Please press play below ;)
Now picture me... playing this fairly loudly... to drown out the family stomping around on the floor above me. I am sure they weren't stomping but sometimes they truly sound like a herd of elephants! I'm moving around my room, restless, sad, fluffing pillows, and adding a little Holiday to my Boudoir. I couldn't think straight. My bedroom was as big of a mess as my heart felt. I didn't feel like decorating... I just felt like crying.
This room is my escape from the world, and all it's horrors. A place to dream a little dream and forget if just for a moment that nightmares exist even when we are wide awake. Though it cannot fully erase reality, it gives me just a moment of respite. When I am upset, or sad I clean and rearrange my home. I am fairly certain it drives my family crazy but restless energy is hard to hold, and after today's events, I had more than I could hold.
So feeling a little helpless and small in the world, I just spent my energy creatively. Hoping it would help. It didn't ... not really. It seemed rather unimportant and trivial. Who cares how pretty the lights and greenery are? There are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, neighbors, grandparents, etc who have lost their babies, and loved ones! Children have lost the innocence of their child hood today.
My heart feels empty, like these balls of glass. There are so many unanswered questions. We will never understand how such tragedies happen or why it was allowed by Providence. We watch in horror, knowing how easy it could be our lives changed in an instant and our hearts hurt for our "neighbors."
As the music played and my tasks finished, I took a moment to kneel on my little rug to pray, and ask God to watch over my family and comfort those who need comforting tonight.
Knowing there is very little comfort to be had in the loss of someone you hold dear.
Fully aware there will be no rest for many nights to come for those whose hearts have been broken. Having lost my little brother, I know the endless darkness of the pain to come, as we face life, breathe by painful breathe.
Knowing there is little comfort in the sounds of home as the halls are suddenly haunted with the emptiness and silence left by the absence of our loved ones. Suddenly we become fully aware nothing else matters but love and time is fleeting.
Bearing fully the scars of loss, I know healing will come, but nothing ever fully can take away the ache. We just learn to live with it and find happiness where we can. As the silence of this late night drifted through my home I found myself wishing like crazy my children were still small enough to pull into bed with me, just to reassure myself they are safe. I was reminded that though we walk through the darkest of trials, we are held. As I lay my head down tonight, under the twinkling lights, I pray, as I am a person of faith, that those who need comfort are held under the shadow of the Almighty Creator tonight.
Hold your loved ones close. We do not know what each new day will bring. Let petty grievances fall away. Turn a harsh word away with kindness. Pray for those who hurt you. May we find a way to way to make our world a safer place for our children.
Perhaps you can picture a little girl, with blond hair and blue eyes. The wonder of Christmas morning evident on her face. Racing her siblings down the stairs, to the tree, to see what gifts were waiting. Knowing full well, in her home, a BIG breakfast always came first! Seems rather torturous, but a tradition, none the less. Every year, the magic of Christmas comes alive when the tree goes up. It is a time of reflection, a time of hope, a time of giving, and a time to receive. I love getting gifts as much as I love receiving them. Presents are not a huge part of Christmas morning. Perhaps as much out of necessity as a belief that it is important to take the focus off materialism and put it right back where it belongs and that is in the sharing of love and laughter within the four walls in which we reside.
One of our family traditions is a new ornament on the tree for each person. Have to have a cowboy for my Cowboy.
The primary focus this year, was handmade ornaments. I spent a lot of time creating them, but in the end I am pleased with the results!
All our favorite ornaments we have collected through the years have been added. A simple burlap garland adorns the branches.
This year I wanted to create a basic tree skirt which I could add to or change up in years to come. I do not see the point of changing it out and buying or making a new one yearly. I haven't had a new skirt in over ten years, so it was time. There are so many You Tube and online tutorials on how to create your own skirt, if you are interested. I don't use a pattern, so I am not sure me trying to explain how to accomplish this task would be easy! I just love the white muslin and burlap!
Though I had a "theme" (and I use this term very loosely) this year, there are still some family favorites such as the bright yellow wooden star which stands out! Each of us has favorites, which invoke all the feelings of the season.
As I was finishing up this post tonight, I received a call from my oldest son. I am blessed to discover he has proposed to his sweetheart, and we have the added gift of a beautiful young woman who will be joining our family. My cup runneth over... again.
I always have candles lit
The hub of my home is the kitchen and dining area. My ultimate dream is a formal dining room. When we rented the home we are in, we chose to use the extra room on the main floor as a bedroom, as the kids having their own space is very important. I love the coziness of our home, and enjoy the challenge of decorating and expressing myself creatively through every season. I know you can have a beautiful space no matter your budget or size of your home.
Over and over again, I hear on my Facebook page or blog that ya'll want real. You love magazine beautiful... you love to dream... but you want to see decorating you can do... on a budget... kid friendly... small or large space!
I'm in love with burlap! I have been using a lot of it this season! I washed mine on gentle cycle before sewing, and then again after to make sure it would hold together. I have had no issue with the mine falling apart. However, I can't guarantee it will work for you :)
Everything is really about being functional at our house. Don't you love love love all the beautiful dining spaces featured on the internet? I know I do, but I'm too lazy to move all that stuff to sit down for waffles with the kids. So, I use daily items. My kids walked down after I set this up and wanted an orange. Beautiful and encouraging good nutrition... MOM score! I also love oranges this time of year, as they remind me summer will return. Were you a kid like me? Did you get one in your stocking, as a kid, every year, like I did?
I had no idea how to make an oval table cloth! This was a first! My son and I laid out the burlap on the floor and flipped the table upside down on top. We then cut the burlap several inches larger than the table. I stay stitched along the edge. I added a pleated ruffle with lace to finish it off. I mentioned on my Facebook page about wanting to drop kick my sewing machine, as during this project it was being glitchy... I suppose a 1931 Singer has bad days too!
Simply stated... create a palate you can work with through several seasons. This is economical and feasible. particularly for busy people! A burlap table cloth is easy to make, functional, and can be used throughout the year :) Best of all it is durable and as a mother ... that is the biggest bonus!
PS ...make sure ya'll stop back by ya' hear ... I'll be setting it up with my China and taking pictures real soon!
Pierre was so nervous! He and Juliette had been writing back and forth for the last year. They had met during his year abroad while he was attending school as a foreign exchange student at her American University. Pierre had landed a job as a teacher's aide for French 101 and had planned to be thoroughly bored to tears. Juliette had saved him from death by boredom. Never had he met anyone as vivacious and focused as she, nor as lovely! Never had he seen anyone struggle as she had with learning another language. No matter how many hours of tutelage and extra help she was given, she passed the class with a C. Juliette had won his heart, and they spent the year exploring, her sharing her life and love of her beautiful country with him. After a year apart he was ready to make the important phone call.
Pierre was an old fashioned kind of gentlemen. He loved the lost art of letter writing, and wrote to Juliette every few days. Juliette was quirky and wrote him back via email... every time! Finally, she had agreed to join him in Paris, for Christmas. (You can purchase these lovely Balsam Ornaments HERE )
Pierre's heart was racing wildly, hoping Juliette would say yes. Little did he know, she had a gift of her own. The key to her heart!
Neither could believe how one little phone call from Paris, could change their lives forever...and they never would forget Christmas in Paris!
I hope you have enjoyed my silly little story! I had to find some way to use those ridiculous little kissing frogs this year!
Our bedside Christmas In Paris Vignette made the Cowboy smile...and that has been worth all the silliness! Happy Holidays Everyone!
What does being home for the Holidays look like to you and your loved ones? Add your picture below! Three prizes will be given. It can be anything from a recipe, to decorating, to pictures of playing in the snow. Just be creative!
Each Winner will receive handmade goodies from me :) You will need to be able to contact me with your mailing info to be eligible. In the event winner does not contact me with mailing info another winner will be randomly drawn. Limit 3 entries per household. Each entry must be different (cannot be the same picture)
Dont have a blog? No problem! You can still enter! You can upload your photo to your Pinterest and provide it as the URL link (upload your pic, click on it, go to address bar, highlight address, right click and copy, right click and paste into URL section here). If you do not have a Pinterest account ... it is an easy and fun way to collect ideas and information! Best of all it is free!
Post Your Link Here
Share On Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest
Add a link to THIS party in your post (You can use the picture below!)
First Prize: My family will vote on their favorite picture... this should be interesting! There will be NINE of us voting!
The Winner will receive a set of seven heart shaped balsam sachet ornaments featured HERE in my Etsy Shop 'Cowgirls Chic Boutique'
Second Prize: One of you will be randomly drawn.
The Winner will receive two Balsam sachet, handmade by me as shown on my Etsy Shop Cowgirls Chic Boutique (Ribbon and button style may vary)
Third Prize will be voted on by YOU. Here and on the FB page. So in the comment section here, leave the number and title of your favorite picture which says "Home For The Holidays To You" YES, you can vote on your own! In the event there are less than ten votes, third prize will be chosen at Random.
The winner will receive one mini lavender bouquet glass ornament as seen HERE in my Etsy Shop 'Cowgirls Chic Boutique'
I must apologize. I messed up the linky and had to resubmit it so you can get your pictures up! I want others to see your pretty pics!
As a little girl , books were my gateway into another world. I could travel to cities such as Paris, the forests of India, or into the secret garden of a little girl in England. I longed for the day I'd have a secret place of my own, to lie under the stars on a warm summers night, or sit in a gazebo in the dead of winter watching the snow twinkle under the light of the moon, holding hands with whoever my sweetheart would some day be.
The little girl is all grown up and has three beautiful daughters of her own. My fondest memories of their childhoods have been sharing my love of books and gardens with them. As they grew, they loved to sit in the small gardens we created in Montana. We would play amongst the lavender, mint, peonies, and roses, making plans for our someday secret hideaway.
It is in honor of my three beautiful daughters, I created a simple dream winter secret garden scene. Someday we will sit in a gazebo, bundled warmly, watching the snow fall together. (Tip: Epson salts, medium grain, makes the best faux snow..ever! It glistens!)
Bare branches, white lights, small rustic bells, and little white ornaments bring this dreamy scene to life. Can't you just feel Jack Frost nipping at your nose?
Mason jars embellished with rustic bells, filled with epson salt (to create faux snow), and then tea lights burning in little crystal votives create a layered effect.
The overall effect is simple and lovely. The only new items I purchased for this scene were battery operated lights (2.99), the faux berries (I got an entire set I am using multiple places for under $10), and the $1 wreath. My focus this year has been on celebrating family and home without spending a lot of money. It has been interesting to challenge myself not to buy this and that to embellish or add to this years decorating. I am enjoying the beautiful simplicity and the feeling I am being more responsible with resources.
It was easy to create burlap balls.Someone had given us plastic ornaments which were never going to be used, or so I thought. I cut strips of burlap and carefully hot glued them in random fashion. Pine cones are easy to collect. Add a little watered down Elmer's glue and sprinkle on some epson salt and they are wintery additions! Pip berries and the white ornaments tied the whole basket together.
All in all a sweet, simple, little space to welcome guests and hang my hat!
As a little girl, I loved the carol Silent Night. As a mother I loved any night that was silent. When my home is quiet and darkness has settled over the land, it is the time in which I am most creative.
As I decorated my favorite home space and the area which most represents family to me, I listened to my favorite group, Celtic Woman, and let my creativity flow. In the silence of this night, I am most thankful for the gift of my loved ones.
All Is Calm...All is bright
Faux berries are inexpensive and a great way to add a festive air to your home for the Holidays. Epson salt sparkles like newly fallen snow when the candle light hits it. I don't care to move everything I already have out, so I work with the colors I have in each room. (Soy candles are inexpensive to make particularly in a canning jar, as I have done here)
A dollar store wreath, strip of burlap, keys I already had (which I purchased on Etsy, and some faux pip berries made an adorable arrangement for under $15.
Faux Berries, Hurricane lantern ( I already owned and found on clearance at Pier One), and a homemade soy candle are just a few simple ways to bring a lot of color and winter feel to an area!
Sleep In Heavenly Peace....
I'll be using very simple wrapping paper this year. You can recycle old paper bags as well! I purchased a roll of brown paper from our local "everything" store.
Lovebirds in front of a burlap covered candle holder. The holder says "Bloom" which doesn't work for winter holidays, so I just covered it up. You don't have to buy something new, or move to many things around. You can just get a little creative with what you have on hand.
Simplicity can be beautiful. There is no need to stretch your budget! Use the extra time you save to create memories for your loved ones.
You can Pin The Picture above to let your friends know about our Linky Party Contest The more the merrier!
Do you remember lying under the Christmas tree as a child, falling asleep with the twinkling lights overhead, and the smell of pine filling the air around you? Of all the memories from yesteryear, the Holiday Season was the most magical.
When I decorate my home, particularly this time of year, it is to invoke just a little of that magic back into my life and hopefully create a little of it in my children so their memories are as warm and bright as mine are.
An easy and inexpensive way to add a little "magic" is by making a banner. You can Google a pattern for a banner. I used muslin I had on hand, printed the letters and traced them with a pencil onto the fabric. Now here is the EASY part... fill them in with a brown permanent marker. It looks stamped on... no way it looks like a marker! I then sewed them together and strung a piece of Jute through it.
The pink berries tie it into the colors I already have in my living room and gave it precisely the finishing touches I needed. I paid under $10 for the "pip berries" and can use them through many seasons.
Embrace the magic of the season and enjoy every moment, every memory you have with those you love.
As many of you know, my cowboy was in a serious accident way back in July. He still has not been cleared to return to work, and we are finding that even though medical bills are covered... other expenses are adding up. Since I take him to his appointments, it has meant we must rely on my Etsy Shop to pick up the slack. This is not a sob story but an opportunity in disguise to practice what I preach about up-cycling and using what one can find or has on hand!! Nowhere is this more true in decorating my home this year for the Winter Holidays! I want to share with you some of the ornaments I have made this year! Ill keep posting them as I finish them...and hopefully on Saturday will have a tree up!
The picture above are just some little mitten shaped sachets. I free handed a pattern, used shears to cut them. stitched them leaving an opening to add balsam, added a ribbon loop, closed stitched them and viola! The are in my entry way... Ill add different ones to the tree!
This year I wanted to make things simple... for my home and for my Shop Cowgirls Chic Boutique. The local dollar store had glass ornaments for $2.50 a box. I made enough for online and a local boutique. I printed off the words and music to "Oh Tannebaum" Cut them in strips on my Cri cut cutter, folded them in half so there is print on both side, curled them around a pencil and careful filled the ornaments. I then added a ribbon. For our house I am using Jute twine! There are sooo many ways to change this up! You can buy these from me Here!
I love the smell of pine. Early in the fall I ordered some Balsam Pine. I had some left over from other projects and decided to make ornaments and sachets out of them! Since I am going with a rustic theme, the ones for my home will center around this! You can easily find different pictures to use at The Graphic Fairy! You can also purchase these lovely sachets/ornaments from my Boutique Online! There are several different kinds!
The back side is just burlap. I found it is a little difficult to work with, however, I just love the way it looks! These are great for those with a fake tree! You get the scent with no mess :)
...and it wouldn't be a Wyoming Christmas without a cowboy or two!
My mother grows beautiful lavender. If you are a lavender fan you will love her online shop Paula's Garden~ Since I am the lucky daughter who gets lavender from her ... I decided this year I would use some of it in my decorating. I love the way bouquets look but they are much too heavy and fragile to hang on the tree... so I got creative! I used 9 stems per mini bouquet. Tied them with a love knot. Added the loose lavender to my dollar store ornaments ...carefully and I mean very carefully added them to the glass ornaments. It took several tries to get the correct length! You can make your own or buy these as well online Here!
Every year my children get a special ornament. It is a tradition we have always held. Someday, when they have their own homes, they can have theirs. This year I just wanted something really special and handmade. Last night someone posted a link from Turnstyle Vogue and I knew what I wanted to do! Her DIY ornaments inspired my idea, so please head on over there and check out her tutorial. The cowboy and I love positive affirmations. There is enough negative in the world and we encourage our family to speak positive over their lives! I decided to print off the positive affirmations I want in my children's lives, along with their names and placed them in an ornament. Affirmations such as love, peace, kindness, joy, hope, abundance etc. They were super easy to make. I cut brown paper to fit my printer, lined out the words in Microsoft Word, printed them off, cut them with craft scissors and carefully placed them in the glass ornaments. Again tied with a Jute Twine.
And the Balsam Sachet hearts from my previous post "It's Beginning to Look A lot Like..." The can also be purchased HERE
Hope you are inspired to make your own ornaments this year! More to come! Please stop by often, as during the Holiday season we will be posting almost daily! We want to inspire you creativity!
A super easy and great DIY project. I had an old board laying around. so I used it... however do not go buy a board... post a message to your friends on FB as someone has to have something you can use!
You will need
Two colors or paint ( I used Annie Sloan Cream and Homemade Chalk paint with Pomegranate flat paint from Ace Hardware)
Two paint brushes (one must be small and easily used for filling in the letters )
pen (color of your choice)
computer, printer, and paper
BEFORE YOU BEGIN... Put on the appropriate music!
Step One: Paint your board the desired color. This is Annie Sloan Cream.
Step Two: Decide what size letters you need. I printed mine off from Microsoft Word and used the outline and draft options when I printed. My font is Georgia.
Step Three: Tape it securely and evenly to your painted board
Step Four: With a heavy hand, trace the letters with your pen.
This is what it should look like after you have completed tracing the letters.
Step Five: Paint your second color, carefully filling in the lines. Any mistakes can be fixed later with the original color! I had to apply two coats of the coral.
Final Steps: Let it dry and hang it up. I wanted to add a ribbon but there wasn't really room! I added greenery, pine cones, and handmade balsam filled mittens around the door.
You can make just about anything by hand for hanging! The adorable mittens are filled with balsam.. when the door opens... you can smell it as you walk in or out... it is wonderful!
I love a cheery entry way... don't you?
Baby, It's Cold Outside... seriously... let's stay inside and have hot cocoa!