Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Feather Wreaths

This week at Red Writing's is all about wreaths and door decor. So I am going with my feather wreaths. This little red feather wreath lives on my mantel most of the year. And at Christmas I add this great stem to it to dress it up. I start with a little feather wreath. . .

Add one great stem. This one has a little greenery and a velvet and glitter chocolate poinsettia.
I also use one long silver glittery fern leaf.
I just curve the stem and glittery leaf and let them hang in front of the little red feather wreath. Here she is all dressed up for Christmas . . .I absolutely love feather wreaths. But they are really expensive! When I was doing my fall mantel I wanted a chocolate feather wreath, but didn't want to spend $40-$50 for one. So I made one with a feather boa. It really turned out great.
I used one of these wire wreath forms and a chocolate feather boa from Hobby Lobby.
I just cut lengths of wire and wired the feather boa to the wreath frame - put a wire about every 2" to 3" so that it stays in a nice full circle shape.

I wired all the way around the outside wire of the wreath frame, then wired all the way around the inside-middle of the wreath frame.
One feather boa was the perfect length to go around twice on the 12" wreath frame from Hobby Lobby. The frame was $1.99. The feather boa was $6.99 (I think) - and you can use a 40% off coupon on the feathers.
This only took me about 30 minutes and about $6. And it looks really good. I'm going to make a black one next.
For more great Christmas wreaths and door decor, click below to go to Red Writing's.


Thanksgiving Table and Mantel Decorations

Before my house goes fully Christmas, I wanted to show you my fall mantel and dinner table. I went with chocolate, green and silver for the most part. I love those colors together.

I love the way my mantel worked out this fall. And I would just leave it like this for Christmas, but then where would I put my stocking holders? So I might go back to this after Christmas.

I love the chocolate, green and silver in my dining room. I am planning on sticking with these colors in here for Christmas, too.
We eat in this room every day. So I just leave the table set like this all the time. The silver chargers are silverplate trays I have been picking up at Bonne Volonte over time.

I have one more of these nickel-plated candelabras that I am going to list on my website this week.
I filled my tiered tray with some gilded fruit, wood fruit and some sparkly picks.
In a couple of days I will put up another post from the Holiday Tables event I attended. Beautifully decorated tables for Christmas! So please come back soon for some wonderful ideas.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Tables - Thanksgiving & a Christmas Sideboard

Reflection of Thanks

This first table has a very traditional Thanksgiving look. I love the arrangement they made for the centerpiece - traditional Thanksgiving colors and filling the vase with nuts. It looked really pretty on the table.

This table was called "Reflection of Thanks." It was a theme of family. They had some old family photos on the wall, and some small photos in frames on the table.

And at each place setting they had used an old family photo under a glass plate. I thought this was a neat idea.
Blitz, Glitz and Fun

This next "room" was not a dinner table. They had decorated a long, narrow table that could be a sideboard or buffet, or an entry hall table. I love the way they decorated the spiral topiaries. And, of course, I love all the shine and glitter! That gold arrangement up front is just gold-glittered sticks. Easy, but so effective!

I love this old cabinet door made into a tray!
Some of my favorite Holiday Tables from this event are still to come! So check back in next week for more!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Kids Christmas Craft - Clay Pot Snowman

This week of 12 Weeks of Christmas is another Christmas craft. My girls made this snowman out of clay pots when they were preschoolers. Now they are 19 and 21! And I still love putting this snowman out at Christmas!
First glue two clay pots together, one upside down on top of the other. Probably any type of glue that is permanent. Cover both pots with a "texture" paint - you can find "snow" paint or some other texture paint in the paint aisle of your craft store. After that dries, paint the whole thing white with craft paint.

For the hat, paint a smaller clay pot with the same texture paint. Then paint over that with black craft paint. For the bill of the hat I cut a circle out of poster board (use a plate as a circle pattern - you just need it to be a size that seems to fit with the sizes of clay pots you are using). Paint the poster board circle with the texture paint, then paint over that with black craft paint (both sides of the poster board circle need to be painted).

At this point you can paint holly leaves or some other decoration on the hat with craft paint.

Now glue the poster circle to the top of his head, then glue the small pot upside down onto the poster circle. (I think I used hot glue so that we didn't have to wait a long time for glue to dry.)

Because I was making this with preschool age kids, I painted circle outlines for his eyes, mouth and buttons. Then the girls filled in the circles with paint.

To make his nose, I twisted white copy paper into a cone shape and glued it together. Then the girls painted it orange. I stuffed it with tissue paper (and glued this into the inside of the cone) - this gave me a "flat" surface that I could apply glue to and then stick to his face.

Then we tied a Christmas ribbon around his neck to cover up where the two big pots meet. We glued this ribbon to him in a few places so that it would not slide off.

You could use any sizes of clay pots you want to - he could be tiny, or as big as you want him to be. For his body we used pots that are 4 1/2" tall, and for the hat we used a smaller pot that is 2 3/4" tall. So ours is about a foot tall.

He is very cute in person!

For more Christmas crafts, click below to go to Red Writing's!

Thanks for stopping by!

I am doing a little series on Holiday Tables right now, so go to my main page to find those posts.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holiday Tables

Today I have three more tablescapes to show you from the "Holiday Tables" event I attended. The first two are autumn-inspired. The third is more Christmas-y.

Autumn Supper in the Colorado Forest

Isn't this outdoorsy tablescape fun? I like the way they mixed the stemware.

Three Generations
This table setting is so traditional and elegant. Never out of style. I love it. And the harvest topiary is nice for this time of year. It would not be very hard to make!

Toasting the Season

This next tablescape would be a great way to set up a serving table or buffet for the drinks for your party, or maybe for the dessert bar. A great floral piece on the back of the table with some glittery reindeer or some other glittery elements. And use the front half for glasses and drinks, or plates and desserts.
The way they decorated the chairs was nice - very simple to do, but it really dressed them up.
I am linking this post to today's Tablescape Thursday. If you click below you will find so many more beautiful tablescapes!
And be sure to come back early next week - I have some incredible tables to show you that are completely decked out for Christmas! Some of my favorites are still to come!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shopping on Black Friday

There is something I just have to say on behalf of all the checkers out there in any retail store. So here goes.
Black Friday should be re-named. It should become a national holiday called "Be Kind to your Checker Day."

I work at a register at Hobby Lobby. If you are in my line on Black Friday, or any other day for that matter, you should just expect to be there for a long time. For many reasons. All of which are completely out of my control.

I cannot change the fact that Hobby Lobby does NOT (and probably will not ever) have scanners. I have to type in the price of every item from the sticker that other employees have stuck to that item.

I cannot change the fact that those stickers FALL OFF. And when they do fall off I have NO way of knowing what the price is unless it is something I have checked out a gillion times and just happen to remember. I have to call a floor person. They have to look for another of that item and hope that there is another and that it has a price sticker on it. And if there is not one with a price sticker they have to go look it up in an order BOOK. Because that is how HL functions. NO SCANNERS.

I cannot help it that a few of the customers in front of you have probably picked up an item with NO price sticker, thereby setting off this LONG chain of events.

I cannot change the fact that half of the customers in front of you will argue with me and tell me that EVERYTHING in the store is supposed to be half off. And they will not take my word for it that it is only select items. So I will have to call a manager so that they can also argue with the manager.

I cannot change the fact that there will be at least one person in front of you that will be very s - l - o - w to give me all of their items. And very s - l - o - w to get out their credit card or, worse yet, check. And even s - - l - - o - - w - - e - - r to write out their check and find their license.

And I cannot change the fact that most of those s - - l - - o - - w people are that slow because they are on their CELL PHONE and cannot stop talking long enough to pay attention and hand over their stuff and pay and get OUT of my line.

So when you finally do get to the register, slamming your stuff down and cussing at the checker and ranting about the fact that HL (or wherever you are) is THE most irritating place to shop in the whole world and that their policies and procedures are RIDICULOUS is really not going to help in the least.

You see, checkers are just the peon employees - corporate offices don't even know checkers exist. And wouldn't care if they did know. So it's not like your poor little checker can DO anything about all of those issues that you are mad about. That poor little checker is just STUCK with the system - just like you are. So yelling at the checker and making those poor little teen-age girls CRY at their registers is NOT going to solve ANYTHING!!!!

Ok, yes, I know that most of the people reading this will not be one of those irritating customers. But there is something you can do to help counter-act the effects of those people.

Be extra nice to ALL of your checkers - especially at this time of year when we all feel like this -

Ok, I'm done with my rant now. It's time to put my smile on and go stand behind my counter. Maybe I will wear armor today.

Please come back again! I promise my next post will be pretty! And I will not rant! Really!


Monday, November 09, 2009

12 Weeks of Christmas - Shopping!

There are a lot of "little traditions" that I have about Christmas shopping - one of which is always going to certain stores. One of my favorite stores to go to is called Seasonal Decorating. It is located in an old fire station. It is always decked out for whatever season we are in. But at Christmas, it is especially wonderful. Every fall when my mom and sister are here, we make certain to go to this store. Often we end up buying Christmas presents for each other here! This year was no exception. We found some wonderful things.
This tree was done in browns, coppers and silver with nature-inspired ornaments. And he used a gorgeous feather boa for a garland! I loved this tree!

Everywhere you look in this store there is something beautiful and unique to look at.

How cute are these snowmen plates?
This is the outside of his store. And trust me, when you go through the door, you enter a Christmas-wonderland.
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the decorations. I love to walk through stores like this and get inspiring ideas. We move every few years because my husband is in the military, and everywhere we go I love to find these little retail gems that are full of beauty and inspiration! And when I find a wonderful store like this, I make it one of my regular stops every year.

To see more Christmas shopping traditions and tips, go to Red Writing's 12 Weeks of Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by.

Come back by in a couple of days for more in my Holiday Tables series!