We had planned to have friends over for dinner tonight, but with the blizzard we have rescheduled for tomorrow night. That means I have this evening free to blog, work on some Christmas gift, and just enjoy and be thankful for the warm home I have to enjoy in the midst of this storm outside.
I am finally posting the pictures of my Christmas decorations! I must confess that last night, as I was uploading them from the cd I had made from the disposable camera, that i felt a twinge of insecurity. When you compare my home and my decorations to so many others, mine seem pretty meagre. But I stopped that and reminded myself that this post will represent huge progress in my life. In years past, I put up the tree and put out our nativity set, and that was it. So, please be excited with me as I share these photos not because I am Martha Stewart, but because I am Mrs. Recovering Armchair Housewife. :)
The first thing I want to share is that I so wanted to have some wreaths for the house, I love natural-looking decorations and wreathes of all kind are so lovely. But have any of you ever checked out the prices of wreaths? Yikes! But, I was in the Canadian Tire (an auto and homewares department store) a couple of weeks ago and found these:
Which is basically wound up wicker-type material, meant for garlands and the like. I bought four of them and decided to make wreaths out of them. I had no idea what I was doing, but I just started unwinding the first one and re-shaping it into a wreath. I then took some ribbon i bought from Michaels and some decorative fruit ornaments I got from the dollar store and made this:
And in truth I sort of got excited,because i thought that looked pretty nice. And the wicker garland cost me five dollars, the ribbon probably 30 cent and the pears were three for a dollar. And, I can easily redecorate this by changing the trimmings.
So, i carried on and came up with four wreaths:
All of the wreaths were decorated with ribbon and little ornamentals from either the dollar store, the sale bin at Michaels, or the thrift store. Then, at the thrift store I found four pretty little brand new glass candle holders for two dollars each. They have a triangular cup that sits in a larger fishbowl-shaped glass holder, and this allows you to put decorative items in the fishbow part and burn a tealight candle to illuminate whatever is in the bowl. As you can see it's hard to explain, but above you can see I made one to match each of the four wreaths, simply putting some of the matching ribbon in the fishbowl and it looks very simple and pretty.
The winterberry wreath, with a matching garland that I picked up at the second hand boutique our church held in the fall on our inside front door.
Next year I'd like to have much more around the door, preferably with some lights and more garland. But this was a good start this year.
This is a little tablescape I created on the far end of my bookshelves. Above is the pear wreath, and I have my bible open to the Christmas story in Luke and an Advent devotional surrounded by some candles, my pretty snowman, and some simple glass vases of bulbs and greenery (and you know I got both the vases and thebulbs at the thrift store... did i even have to say that?).
After I took the pictures, I switched the two above wreaths. it's hard to see but the one above the window has pretty metalic bronze and brown circles on it, and they went much better in my warm yellow and brown bathroom, whereas this festive red and green wreath looks nicer over he window in the livingroom.
You may remember I got this topiary tree at the same second hand boutique and didn't know what to do with it, because i've never decorated anything in my life. :) i think I did ok with this.. just used some of hat beautiful ribbon and a few red bulbs to dress it up. It looks very warm and festive in our livingroom.
Speaking of our livingroom...
One of my favorite ideas was taking that big green brandy glass vase and putting a red votive candle in it. When it's burning and the livingroom lights are down low, it is the prettiest thing and casts the loveliest geometric patters on the wall around it.
My mother gave me this candle holder the last time I was down visitng, and I love the look of my two dollar store red pillar candles on it. Next year I want to get a small green leaf wreath to hang around the two candlabras, I think it would make it look all the more festive.
Our dining room. Very simple, but this was the first thing ever hung on the wall in this room, period, so it's a step in the right direction. I got the lovely silver leaf wreath at Zellers (sort of like KMart) on 40% off. If you look closely, you can see my green class collection decorating the table.
More of my dining room. Next year I want to hang a pretty wreath in front of the mirror.
The three green square plant holders on the tray (that i also bought at the second hand boutique) are filled with little winterberry ornamentals I purchased at Michaels, held in place by some floral styrofoam. I think it looks very festive. And yes, those ARE red and green MnMs!
This Apron and the "Merry Christmas" on the chalkboard is all of the "Christmas" that made it into the kitchen this year, but I am working at hanging things on the wall, and I have big hopes that i can make it more festive next year and even before with other seasonal decorations.
Thanks for coming by and checking out my Christmas decorations.!! I know they are simple, but for me they are such an exciting step in the right direction. more than once now i have had a visitor say they thought the apartment felt warm and festive and cozy, and full of Christmas cheer, and that has blessed me immensely. My earnest prayer is for any of you out there who struggle as I have to feel like you have any domestic or home-beautifying skills what so ever, not to mention a lack of budget, that if I can get started, so can you! Oh, and I just found this amazing scripture over at Ruthanne' blog:
"Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin."