Would someone please pinch me? Is this for real? Am I really blogging??? I can't believe it!!! It's 9:44 pm and the two men in the household are asleep. Both were a bit on the grumpy side tonight. One didn't feel well and had a long day, the other is cutting teeth.... I'm sure you can figure out who is who. So, since they're both sleeping and dinner is over with the kitchen cleaned, I guess I have a few moments to myself. Why not catch up on some of my favorite blogs?? (The Lettered Cottage, The Nester, Our Suburban Cottage, Thrifty Decor Chic... and on and on and on)
We've started decorating for Christmas, but no, we do not have a tree. Our weekends are so extremely busy and if the day is nice, we have plans. If we don't have plans and intend to go pick out a tree, it rains. Raining cold weather is no fun to take the baby into. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one day before December 24th, we'll have a tree. The good thing is that it's getting close to Christmas and many places have them marked down already! WOO HOO!!!
This year Joe and I are hosting the Carr family Christmas Eve. I'm rather very excited about having an opportunity to plan decor and food again. I don't know why, but I absolutely love planning get togethers. I love planning food and decor. I made a deal with Joe's mom and sister that I would take care of Christmas Eve, if they would take care of Christmas day. That way I don't have to worry about rushing through Christmas morning and cooking, too.
So, this year, I've changed the whole Christmas theme from the years past of the primitive folk art to the more elegant "bling" Christmas. At this point, if it sparkles, I want it. I'm so into this whole shiny, blingy, sparkling stuff. I absolutely love crystal. In fact if Santa is reading this, there's the most beautiful hurricane vase over at Carolina Pottery that I've had my eye on & I've been a good girl!
Really, though I absolutely love that hurricane. The way it captures the light and shines is just breath taking to me. Okay, so it is only $40, but when I've been finding crystal at the Goodwill and Karm Thrift stores, I find it difficult, almost sinful, to pay $40 for a vase.... Hmmmm .... let's see how long this will power lasts.... I wish I could find a picture of it for Santa....
Speaking of Goodwill, Karm, Carolina Pottery, and a few others (Dollar General, Big Lots, and JoAnn Fabric)... well, that's where I've bought this year's decor. I bought all plastic ornaments, in honor of my 15 month old son... There's nothing that scares me more about having a Christmas tree than broken ornaments around him. With the fact that we have hardwood floors, I'm sure that if an ornament fell, it would shatter to pieces. So, I bought shatter proof!
The theme this year is aqua blue, silver, white, and crystal. I took the left over crystals from my wedding and strung them onto jewelry wire. I did this about a year or so ago and just never knew what I was going to do with it. Well now it is adorning my mantle and adding some "bling".
I only bought sale items at JoAnn Fabrics at 50-60% off. The good news is that I also had an additional 20% coupon on my total purchase of regular price AND sale price items. So needless to say, I made out at JoAnn's! I bought some new pine garland. It's so pretty! I absolutely love it. It's faux pine with pine cones and some plastic pieces to represent snow. Okay, so that sounds really ugly, but really it's gorgeous! I also bought a white glitter star for the tree topper, silver and white brocade fabric for the tree skirt mistreatment, and silver plastic garland. Oh yeah, and three velvet white stockings, two silver bell doorhangers, and a partridge in a pear tree... LOL just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
From Carolina Pottery I bought two white amaryllis potted flowers in shiny silver pots. The flowers and leaves have glitter on them. I also bought some crystal votive candleholders.
From Big Lots I bought all of the aqua colored ornaments, the white multipointed stars in glitter, the silver glitter ornaments, the lights, and two mercury glass hurricanes and I think that's it.
At the Dollar General I bought some candles, the Peace and Noel signs that sit on the fireplace box, a few spools of ribbon, and the two silver bell doorhangers I'm using in the kitchen on my hanging shelf.
At the thrift stores I bought candle holders, a metal runner sled, a pair of ice skates, and a snowman tile tray.
I did get a free box of Christmas decor from freecycle, but most all of the items were in burgundy, green, and gold, not my colors at all. I tore apart a wreath & hung it on my sled.
Did I spend a fortune??? Heck no! Does it look like I did? I'll let you decide! (Remember there's no tree yet, so these are in progress pictures)
In addition to the mantle, I've also decorated the kitchen shelf above the table. Here's the picture consisting only of items purchased at JoAnn's (garland), Big Lots (all of the ornaments shown), and Dollar Store (bells).
And finally, the sled. There's a story behind the sled. Yes I live in the South and no we don't see snow. So, why would I have a sled and ice skates? Well, because I've always wanted to decorate my porch with them. One year I went on the Twig Tour of Homes in Granville, Ohio. One house that I went to had a sled with ice skates as decoration on their front porch and I absolutely adored it. I've always wanted to do it, too, but could never find either. So this year, I found both in the thrift stores! The skates I bought for $1.00 at Goodwill and the sled was marked $30, but I got it at 15% off. The wreath was free from freecycle. Not too shabby, huh? Oh and by the way, notice the doormat.
Okay, now onto the doormat..... This was a DIY project inspired by a blog I came across called, "Our Suburban Cottage" (thanks to my mom!). She did a DIY personalized doormat tutorial. I've loved the personalized doormats that Pottery Barn sells, but I can't see spending $69.00 for something someone wipes their feet on. I think I would cringe every time I saw someone step on it. I would be the loony woman asking people to step over the doormat!!
So, my good friend Carol and I took a trip to Ikea in Atlanta a little over a week ago. To my suprise, what did I find? A plain coir doormat! Yay for me!! I scooped it up and paid $7.00 for it. Then I printed out a "C" in a font I love. It didn't work. Then I found the next runner up in "C" font... and printed it. I waited until the baby fell asleep and my husband wasn't home and I went to work on a DIY project like a little kid who was trying to sneak candy in his pocket before his mom caught him... I mean, I worked as fast as I could to make sure I could get it done in the hour span I have for napping... LOL
I cut out the "C" font and used it as a stencil. But before I placed it, I used duct tape and masking tape in two different sizes and outlined the areas I wanted to stay original coir color. Then I placed the "C" in the framed in area. If I had it to do over again, I would have chosen a better way of holding the "C" stencil in place because it didn't come out clearly enough in the end. OH well, it was my first attempt. So, then I spray painted with my favorite black flat spray paint and watched the paint dry.... literally.... I couldn't wait until it dried so that I could uncover the final product. Here's the doormat in the various stages. What do you think??? Not too bad for a $7.00 mat with a few items from around the house... MUCH better than $69.00!!!