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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Using Fresh Greenery.



I can hardly believe that Christmas day is only a week away. It doesn't look like Christmas around here at all. I woke up to the the most beautiful snowy morning out my bedroom window a couple of days ago and thought - Finally! That's what I want to see! Unfortunately, it didn't stick around and the forecast doesn't offer much hope. However, I did spend after school today, wrapping gifts for our Christmas families with my staff. The generosity of our school community is heartwarming to say the least. It certainly was my first holiday nostalgic moment this season.


I didn't decorate my home as much this year for Christmas, aside from the tree. But the last few days I've added a few more things, since we are having an open house party this weekend for all our friends. I am so excited to have everyone and it gave me a kick in the pants to add a few more things. 


I love using fresh greenery and I've been sticking it everywhere I can find a spot. I've filled vases with spruce, pine and boxwood. I also fill my artificial garlands and wreathes with springs of greenery to make them fuller and more natural looking. A tip, I recommend, is to spritz it with water to keep it fresh.




I put up a garland with lights on the windowsill over the sink. I'm going to stuff it with real greenery but I was tired out.. enough for one evening!



I have more to share but taking photos has been challenging. It's already dark when I get home from work, which is not ideal for taking photos. I'll try to get some and share more this week. Hope all your holiday preparations are going well. It will be here before we know it! E-x-c-i-t-i-n-g!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Our Christmas Tree.


Our Christmas tree is up! Actually it's been up for over a week now but today I'm going to share it. We picked it from a Christmas tree farm and it was my first time doing so. I was a fun to search up and down the rows for one to call your own and I enjoyed it. Mind you they all start to look the same after a while and choosing one is challenging.. at least for me! We found that "perfect" one a few times but then proceeded to make sure there wasn't something a bit better and of course losing the one we liked in the process.

It's not quite the perfect cone, as it appears a bit lopsided on the bottom but once it's up, it never really matters. It's magical nonetheless! Photos simply don't do it justice.


I decorate it with a mass of ornaments. No ribbon, trim or any other details. Mostly because I like the simplicity and because I have a lot of ornaments and I feel it's enough. I've collected them over the years. There are special ones, I've received as gifts and others I've snagged during after Christmas sales. They all share a common theme, clear glass, white and silver. As in recent years, I added a few blue ones for color.




Of course I got a few shot of Beaufort posed in front of the tree. Poor thing. He just sits frozen, patiently waiting for me to finish. A tad annoyed, I believe, but anything for his mommy... or a treat:)



I'm participating in link parties at:


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fireplace Facelift.



Remember when I talked about painting the hearth of my fireplace? I was inspired when I saw one similar to mine on Erin's blog. If you follow me on Instagram (modernjane), you may have seen the above photo. Proof that I finally got around to doing it! Now that it's finished, I can't believe I didn't do it a long time ago. It didn't take long at all and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Before:


I vacuumed the tile and washed it really well, then taped very carefully all around the hardwood floor.

 I apologize for the gross bone in the corner of the photo. We are those people who give their dogs pig knees and pretend it's not gross that they carry it all around the house for weeks at a time.


I used a paint brush to cut in and a foam roller for the rest. I used a Rustoleum flat black paint and the can recommended only doing one coat. Within 20 minutes I was done. Only thing to do was to wait for it to dry and to keep Beaufort off of it.. easier said than done!:)

After:



Much better, wouldn't you agree?

Monday, December 10, 2012

This Year's Christmas Mantel.

I went white with a little bit of silver for my Christmas decor on the mantel. Quite similar to last year. I love the monochromatic look with the little bit of shimmer and shine. I plan to add some fresh greenery and lights but not just yet, as I want the greenery to stay fresh and I find if I put it out too soon, it's dry and brittle by Christmas.



 
The white feather trees that I picked up at Superstore a few years ago are still a holiday favorite of mine. They find a spot on the mantel each year, usually with the little reindeer and a few Christmas balls.


I picked up this T bar for displaying ornaments at Ikea this Fall. A steal of a deal at $2.99. I dangled a few mercury glass ornaments from it. Isn't the reflection of the Christmas lights pretty in the mirror?


This crazy wiry wreath makes a huge mess of sparkles everywhere when I put it out but I can't resists its whimsy each year.


I finished off the other side with some bottle brush trees, another sparkly reindeer and some branches in a large white vase. It all feels very wintery and fresh :)



Thank you for your kind comments about my Little Gram. Spent the last few days cherishing the memories of the remarkable generosity and love she had for her 14 children, 58 grandchildren, 75 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren. Not to mention anyone who ever had the privilege of meeting her. She was so dear to me and I will miss her terribly, however I am grateful for her 99 years on Earth and her peaceful passing. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Loving Distractions.



We picked out our tree on Sunday afternoon. It was the first time we all went as a family to the Christmas tree farm and marched around in the snow picking out that perfect tree. I wanted something Charlie Brown-ish for a change but after over an hour of searching, I ended up loading a somewhat perfectly shaped tree into the back of my dad's trailer. 

Maybe next year?

Taken with my 50 mm lens.. my attempt at bokeh!

This week started out with the intention of finishing up my holiday decorating and sharing it all here for you. However, Monday morning we received news that my sweet loving grandmother, at the age of 99, had taken a turn.

While still lingering with us, she is very low and has had 10 of her 14 children at her bedside for the last two days, holding her hands, signing to her, praying with her and whispering loving words in her ears.

Somehow, blogging hasn't seemed such a priority. Instead, I've been finding comfort in holiday decorating, a glass of wine in hand, Christmas music in the background. Memories of the the woman I cherish and admire so fondly tugging at my heart strings. Hoping and praying that she peacefully finds her eternal rest.