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.
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.
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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.