Monday, November 29, 2010

Decorating sans Tree!

Image courtesy of Martha Stewart

Bring on Christmas! I love this time of year, but boy has it snuck up on me!! I cannot believe how quickly the year has flown, so much so that there are no weekends left for me to go to our other home in St.Pete to pick up the Christmas tree, so this year I am decorating WITHOUT a Christmas Tree...this is a first!! This is also a first for my blog, but I have already made all the things I am blogging about, so I have photos of my actual hand made decorations...feeling very organized!

Ok, so I decided to cut snowflakes out of paper and then I realized that I could also make a Christmas tree out of paper. I stumbled upon a great Christmas tree design which you can find HERE ! You can use the instructions on their website or you can follow what I did.

1. First take 4 large pieces of paper and fold them in half lengthwise

2. Glue the outside half of one of the pieces of paper to the outside half of another

3. Continue this until you have glued all of the pieces together and you can open this structure up so that it stands on its own as below

4. Fold all of the pieces so that they all collapse down into a half piece, then sketch your desired design onto the paper, the design below is from the website I mentioned above

5. Once you have cut out the desired design,open up the tree so it stands up...voila!

This design has a more traditional look, if you prefer a more simple look, you can try this tree which has more basic lines.

Popcorn and cranberry garland

This year is my first try at making this great decoration. Since I don't have a tree, I have to create more imaginative decorations for this year. I was so excited to try this, and now that I have eaten a mountain of popcorn, and it's all finished, I am super excited!

1. Pop some plain white popcorn (no butter toping) and leave this out overnight. Fresh popcorn is too brittle, day old popcorn is softer and easier to work with.

2. Buy some fresh cranberries

3. Once you are ready to work, make sure you are wearing clothes that you do not mind getting dirty as cranberries can leak red juice all over you, and work on a surface that is non-porous

4. Use thick string (thread) long enough for your garland and begin by threading the string (thread) onto a needle, double the string over and tie the end in a knot.

5. Thread a cranberry onto the string and ensure the knot can hold it in place. Thread popcorn, then alternate these in the pattern you desire.

6. When you have reached the desired length, tie the end then hang on your tree!
As I mentioned, I don't have a tree this year, so I am placing mine on my wreath!

Pretty easy huh?

I wanted to include one more picture. I bought these gloves in a gift shop at the "Lodge" in Unicoi State Park, Georgia. They go so well with my red/white Christmas decorations this year!

Happy Christmas decorating!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bring on Thanksgiving!!

I put this picture in as my friend Arna always writes "Happy Turkey Day" on her FB status for Thanksgiving, it reminds me of her :)

Now that Halloween has passed, and we are already half way through Movember, it's time to plan for Thanksgiving. I have been doing a lot of browsing on the web for good table decorating ideas because, let's face it, we're just going to be sitting around a table with our family eating and drinking, right?

The traditional decorations seem to be all based around the turkey, pumpkin, and fall leaves. However, this year I loved the idea from Martha's website of using squirrel decorations, like these fabulous squirrel favours

When I was a child, one of my favourite toys was a wind-up squirrel that would walk forwards while holding an acorn which it moved towards and away from its mouth. The acorn never quite reached the squirrel's mouth, so I would watch this thing for hours, anxiously waiting for the acorn to fully reach its mouth and for the squirrel to take a bite (did I mention I was very young?). Anyway, from that point onwards I have loved acorns, so I thought this year that my decorating theme for Thanksgiving should be acorns.

So in search of acorn related decorations I fist consulted Martha's website, who did not disappoint, and offered these acorn napkin rings

Tools and Materials
Acorn caps and nuts
22-gauge wire, cut into two 16-inch pieces
Floral tape
Seam binding
Wood glue

Making an Acorn Napkin Ring
1. Drill two holes through two acorn caps, one on either side of the stem. Starting on the outside of the acorn cap, insert one end of a wire length through a hole, then back through the opposite hole. Twist wire together. Repeat with second acorn and length of wire. 2. Glue nuts to caps with wood glue and wrap one wire with floral tape. Repeat for the other wire. Hold both wires together so the acorns are facing opposite directions. Wrap together with tape. Wrap again with seam binding, using a dab of glue to hold the binding in place. Bend into a ring to form napkin holder.

Martha, as always, will come up with a unique idea for every topic, so when I saw these acorn lights I was very excited! Click the link to get the how-to, I'm definitely trying this one!

If you like to be super coordinated then you may want to have acorn-related food dishes. Since I cannot imagine eating an acorn, I think this recipe for Acorn Squash with Rosemary is perfect, it looks delicious, and is very much a Thanksgiving food!

Now, if you you want your food to be shaped like an acorn then this acorn shaped cake will be perfect! I love the fact that it is covered in chocolate and lollies (candy, to my American friends)!
For name plates you can use various coloured papers to cut out acorn tops and bottoms (from Danielle's place) and glue them together for some acorn name plates :)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, we'll be in the mountains of Georgia...bring on fall colours!