Christmas 2015: Outdoor Decorations

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, good food, and tons of love! We had a great time here, I ate way too much so I’m now back on my “regular diet” as opposed to my “see it eat it diet” that I was partaking in for too many days straight. 😉 I am forever working on my weight, maybe someday I’ll write a post about that part of my life.  ANYway, I waited until Thanksgiving was over to decorate outside, I *think* I’m *finally* finished all of my decorating…wow, it took me 2 solid weeks to decorate the inside spaces and 2 days to decorate the outside — obviously, I do a lot less outdoors…haha. 😉

I love the look of lights in the windows, and as y’all know, I keep window lights on all year round.  Also, my hubby installed wash lights, up lights, and walkway lights to illuminate the front of the house and the walkway. These lights go on and off every night controlled by a timer that turns them on at dusk and then off 6 hours later. If you’d like to see more about our outdoor special lighting, I’ve written this Special Outdoor Lighting blog.  All of these lights worked in our favor when decorating for Christmas.

I will be highlighting the windows, front porch, front flowerbed, lamp post, wagon wheels, and a fence gate that leads to our backyard.

Okay, so here we go…

The hubby started the process by putting up wreaths on all 15 front windows, including the large palladium window above the little porch.  We used 24″ pine wreaths, we purchased them at Michaels last year for 1/2 price. Here is a link. The wreath on the palladium window was quite a bit larger and I honestly can’t remember where we got that one.  I did not make those bows! What? Nope, I purchased the bows last year at our local “And That” (Christmas Shop) store.  They are pretty large and full though and that’s why I chose to go ahead and purchase them as opposed to making 15 bows…OH the hand cramps that would have ensued had I done that. 😉

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As the hubby was working on the windows, I was working on the front porch decorations.  Sometimes less is more you know? So we chose to only put a lit pine garland over the door and let it drape down the sides of the transom windows.  We added a big lit pine wreath to the front door as well as little lit potted trees on either side of the door.  I made bows to add to each corner of the garland, one for the wreath, and 2 to go on the little trees.

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Now onto my little red wagon decor.  For those of you who might not have seen my post about my little red wagon and all of the different looks that I’ve created to go inside of it, check out my Little Red Wagon Decor post. 🙂

I decided to move the wagon to the other side of the front porch because we have a spotlight mounted on the railing that illuminates the front door and the wagon had been blocking it, so I moved it out of the way.  Here is the wagon stripped nekkid of all decor…I purchased it at our local Plow and Hearth outlet store last winter. I added that white crate that you see in the back and I have it sitting on top of my grandmother’s old milk can.

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I had gone down into our basement and spent quite a while rifling through Christmas bins full of unused decorations.  I knew I’d be able to find *something* to use in this wagon.  I started with an old piece of pine garland.  I wrapped a 35 Christmas light strand around it and placed it on top of the white crate and inside of the wagon; this garland would serve as a nice anchor for the rest of the grouping.

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Next, I found an old pine wreath and wrapped lights around it as well and I made a bow out of the same plaid that I used for the over the door garland, front door wreath, and flanking potted trees.

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I placed the wreath in the left hand corner and then started to build the rest of the grouping working from the top of the white crate down and from the wreath over.  I added 2 solar powered lanterns (the white ones), a  red lantern with a battery operated candle, a large burgundy candle stick with a battery operated candle, some poinsettias, a few sprigs of pine (placed inside of the white crate to add depth and interest).  I found those sets of bells at Michaels for 1/2 price, so I hung them on the one side of the white crate and on the front center of the wagon–I used sprigs of the pine garland like twist ties and that worked beautifully to hold them in place.  Lastly, I sat a pretty red and white snowman on a little red stool, and added a couple of wooden candy canes and called it done. 🙂  I got the big wooden snowman at Kirkland’s several years ago, I snugged him in beside the wagon.  I stood back, took a look, and was satisfied with how it turned out. 🙂

Here it is all lit up at night:

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And from a distance…

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I found this large wooden snowman at The Christmas Mouse and I placed him on the other side of the porch beside the other potted tree…

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Here he is at night, the spotlight shines on him too…

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So, the hard part was done, now it was just a matter of changing out the decorative flags in the flower bed, switching out my gazing ball for a red one, adding a nice pine wreath to the light post & wagon wheels…

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Yes, I made several of those plaid bows, and yes, my hands were so stinkin sore after doing so, but, I love that ribbon and I wanted something that would contrast nicely with the burgundy velvet window bows.

I finished up my outdoor decor by doing just a couple more little things.  My dear friend Karen had given me 2 snowman wreaths years ago, at that time they had bright red ribbon bows and ribbon tied around the snowmen’s necks.  I did a little repurposing to the wreaths…IMG_9625I decided to make new bows out of that plaid and use the same ribbon to tie around the snowmen’s necks…I hung them on either side of our “Newfie” gate (where silhouettes of our pups are located)… I also tied ribbon around the Newfs necks. 😉

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It has been raining buckets here for the last few days, so I went on the search for something that I could spray on those fabric snowmen and on all of my bows that would be exposed to the weather.  I found this at Home Depot…fingers crossed that it works!

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To finish off my outdoor decor, I decorated up our mailbox…Here is that little design…

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See that wooden candy canes sign hanging under the mailbox? That is actually meant to be hung on a little decorative pole (I had it hanging on the front porch of our other home).  I didn’t have a place that I wanted to hang it here at this house, but, I’ve been using all of the “signs” that I collected throughout the years to augment my mailbox decor.  I really need to do a post describing how I change out my mailbox decorations…I’ll get to that soon. 🙂 I get the signs from Piper Classics.

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I can definitely say that I am completely (and finally) finished decorating for Christmas! I plan on writing one more Christmas themed entry showing y’all our large Christmas tree in our family room (honestly, nothing all that interesting crafting wise…but it sure is filled with all sorts of sentimental ornaments) and an all-over look-see around the house. I have really enjoyed doing my decorating this year and I’m glad that I started way before Christmas, I’d be a crazy lady now trying to get ‘er all done along with all of the shopping and wrapping.

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I hope that this rain stops soon, I’m not complaining about the rain, I realize that we can always use the rain, but, I think I’d rather be seeing snow! 😉

Here is one last picture of our home all decked out for Christmas…

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“Merry Christmas to ALL and to all a goodnight”. 😉

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn

 

 

Christmas 2015: Sled Centerpieces & “Merry and Bright” Grouping

It is now day 6 of my decorating frenzy and I’m very happy with what I’ve gotten accomplished.  In this entry, I will highlight 3 different arrangements that I created to go in my family room.

The first piece was made *just* so I could cover a wall outlet that is to the right of the fireplace that would have driven me crazy to see throughout the Holidays.  I took an old (and I mean *old*) Longaberger basket and I filled it with a bunch of pine cones–you know those ones you might buy every Fall, they smell oh so cinnamon’y’ and wonderful.  I also threw in a pip berry garland that happened to already be residing in the basket.  Then I took a pine garland (that I actually used for all 3 of the highlighted projects) and trimmed off a piece of it and placed on top and placed more pine cones on top of that. I also added a set of 15 “DecoLights”. 

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I’ve had this little sled for several years and I just love it, so I wanted to utilize it in some way, so I decided this would go nicely in this little centerpiece, so I stuck it down into the pine cones toward what I thought would be the back of the basket.  I made a little arrangement out of a piece of that pine garland and some red sparkly bead berries.  I tied those things together with a pipe cleaner and tied them onto  to front of the sled; I tied a bow on the top, added a few of the red berry beads in and around the pine cones and lights, and sat a little stuffed snowman on the edge of the basket and called it done.

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Here is the finished project that covers that wall outlet nicely:IMG_2436

And it blends in nicely with the rest of the fireplace decorations:

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My next little project was a centerpiece for the credenza that sits under our tv in the family room.  I needed to make a lower profile centerpiece so as not to block the tv screen.  I found a cute little sled at our Home Goods store here in town and that is what I started with.

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This went together very quickly, I simply cut off a bit more of that pine garland that I used in the previous project and laid it into the sled. Then I just started to place some burgundy pine cone picks that I had in my stash and a cute little sign “My Family Is A Bunch Of Flakes” (they’re really not, but I thought it was a cute sign…haha).

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To finish this centerpiece, I added a few sparkly snowflakes and some cream colored wooden snowflakes, sat a snowman with a cute saying on his belly in front of the sled and called it complete. 🙂

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Here is the credenza with the centerpiece in place…(those are my pretty daughters in the pictures). ❤IMG_2457

The third thing I’m highlighting in this entry is my “Merry and Bright” corner grouping named as such because I found this cute sign at Hobby Lobby.

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I purchased this picture with a ladder that I got  last summer in mind.  That ladder has presented me with a challenge as I’ve traversed through the seasons.  This will be the third time that I’ve created decor to go on and around this ladder; I love a challenge, but admittedly this is not an easy little task because I’ve got to rig something with which to hang whatever decor on said ladder.  Here are the other two designs that I came up with…

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As I’ve explained in other blogs, I have basic ‘staple’ pieces in my home that remain constant throughout the year in certain places, i.e. on the hearth and mantel to name just two.  For this corner this ladder has been added to the Longaberger basket and my Grandmother’s old sewing basket staple pieces; this ‘corner’ is to the right of the family room’s credenza. Here is a blog post about how I arrange my Cozy Corners. For this specific corner, I always change out the quilt on the basket and the pillows and add accent pieces to match whatever season or ‘feel’ I’m trying to attain.

Okay, so here is how I created this corner’s Christmas decor.  I started by utilizing the rest of that pine garland that I had used to create the two sled centerpieces.  I wrapped a 35 white light strand around the garland and started at the top of the ladder and wrapped it around ending at the very bottom rung. I placed a woodland angel at the top, made a bow and and offset it to one side, I glued pipe cleaners to the back of the “Merry and Bright” picture and tied it onto the ladder.  I then placed some gold Christmas bulbs throughout the garland (simply by taking a sprig of the garland and threading it through the holder at the top of the ornament).  I made tufts of the bow ribbon by cutting 8″ pieces and catching them into two of the pine sprigs; I did this several times to fill in the empty gaps.

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Then I started to build the bottom of the grouping.  I placed a Christmassy quilt on the basket and placed two pillows on top of that, I then used some pine sprigs and pine cone picks to make a little arrangement.  Placing the wooden snowman atop the sewing basket finished this grouping off nicely. 🙂  IMG_2468

The finished project:IMG_2471

While I’m at it here, I might as well show you two other little things that I did, these literally took me 10 minutes combined to put together.  Only supplies needed to augment two of my staple pieces were pine garland, wired ribbon and a simple burlap Christmas ornament.

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There it is to the left of the hearth…IMG_2413

And here is the other one, it sits to the left of the credenza and to the right of the fireplace…

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I have several more centerpieces to show you, but I will save them for another posting as this one is becoming a novel. 😉  Here is a sneak peek at my kitchen table’s lantern centerpiece that I’ll be describing (among others) in my next posting…stay tuned. 🙂

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Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**

Deco Mesh Christmas Wreath (Red & White Striped & Snowman)

Deco mesh has become one of my favorite things with which to make my outdoor wreaths.  It holds its shape and handles rainy or snowy days beautifully. 🙂  I have been making wreaths for my front light post as the seasons pass since last winter, so I decided to go ahead and get my Christmas wreath made today.  Honest to goodness, I wish I could find my “off switch” sometimes, I truly am like the energizer bunny and I am rarely idle. I shouldn’t complain huh? I should be very grateful that I can still put my feet on the floor in the morning and go through my day with an exorbitant amount of energy. 😉 🙂

So, here we go…I used a 16″ “work wreath” which only means that it is a metal form with chenille twist ties already attached.  I actually was able to find one with red twist ties on sale at Hobby Lobby in the Christmas department.

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I was able to do this entire wreath with one roll of deco mesh:

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I started this wreath by unrolling a good bit of the deco mesh and start attaching it to the outer ring of the work wreath.  I then started to make loops using about 10″ of mesh for each loop.  I followed that pattern all the way around the outer ring and then transferred to the inner ring and did the same thing until I had filled all of the twist ties…

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Now to add a few extra adornments to the wreath, I took some 5″ deco mesh ribbon in the same pattern that I used for the wreath and I cut 4- 12″ strips, and I did the same thing with some red and white striped wired ribbon.

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Then I made a little pile consisting of one piece of the cut deco mesh, one piece of the red and white ribbon, and I added a white “snowflake” pick and bundled them all together and placed them into one of the twist ties on the wreath.  I did that 3 more times strategically placing the 4 tufts around the wreath.

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A bow was next, I made it out of the same 5″ deco mesh and red and white ribbon that I had used for the little tufts.  Here is a link to my “How to make a bow tutorial” (video)…

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I found a “Merry Christmas” worded sign with glittery white lettering, I was able to tie that into the twist ties; I did glue it in a couple of places as well…

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Next, it was time to place a few snowmen and candy Christmas ornaments; I hot glued them into place and called it done.

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When it is time to decorate for Christmas, this wreath will replace my Fall wreath on the light post…

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Or possibly, it will replace the spray on the wagon wheels…

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I’m extremely happy with how this wreath turned out and *bonus* it only took me 45 minutes to make from start to finish; I hope that this will inspire someone out there to try one for themselves.  You can do it!

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**

The Ever Changing Kitchen Window Decor

Hi Everyone!

I think we are having a monsoon here in the South, it has been raining for days and it is predicted to rain for many more days to come.  I am one of those people who really likes to see the sun shining, so all of this rain has me clambering to do something productive inside; I will definitely get to that productive project soon (maybe..haha), but in the meantime, I thought I’d show y’all how I decorate my kitchen windows throughout the year.  I love my kitchen windows, they open by using a crank so that design lends itself to me being able to place decor on the wide window sills.

I have tried really hard not to over-decorate this new house, in the past at our previous home, I *might* have been known for decorating every available wall and surface and admittedly, it got to be a little overwhelming.  So when we moved here, I’ve tried to minimize my decor yet still put a touch of *somethin’-somethin’* on most available spaces; this house has a very open design so there really isn’t a lot of wall space to utilize and I don’t have a ton of tables just sitting around to be used solely for decorating upon, so these windows are a pretty place to pull some seasonal accents into the kitchen.

So here we go, this is how I had them decorated in the Fall of 2014:

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I placed plates at either end to anchor the look, in this case I used very cost friendly plastic chargers–I think I paid $1.99 for each at our local Michaels. I also have 2 tin ‘boxes’ for lack of a better word, and I change out the flowers/pip berries to match whatever decor feel I’m trying to capture.  The lanterns on the two end window sills stayed there for a while, but honestly, I removed them when I decorated for Fall this year because the complete look was getting too busy (I’ll show you a picture of this Fall’s window decor at the end of this entry).  In addition, the country vase and candle holders are always there and I change out the candles and the vase contents as I go through the year.

Next was Christmas, as you see, I changed out the chargers for Christmassy ones; still plastic and bought at Michaels as well.  I changed out the flower/pip berry arrangements in the tin boxes and the vase and just added a few little snowmen wooden plaques and ceramic snowmen ornaments:

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After Christmas was over I wanted to create a look that would carry me through the winter months. I found those two awesome wooden plates at a local craft store, so I placed them to anchor the look, and then I just changed out the arrangements in the tin boxes and vase for something a bit more generic, added stars and some wooden words and called it done.  (I did take the lanterns away for this look, they were blocking too much of the windows)

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Now it was time to decorate for our family reunion/spring/summer (haha…I really did leave the same stuff up there from May-September).  By now, y’all know that my theme for the family reunion (see link for all of that decor) was red and white gingham, red and white gerber daisies and mason jars.  I made new arrangements in the tin boxes and the vase utilizing burlap and silk gerber daisies and pip berries, and I added a resin cream color gerber daisy (found at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 off) in front of/beside each tin box. Yep, those lanterns showed back up for this grouping…;)

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Last but not least, I just decorated for Fall and I’ve changed out a few things.  I found 2 wooden Fall themed plates at a local country store and bit the bullet and purchased them (they were about $15 a piece, I rarely spend that much on a Seasonal decor accent, but I couldn’t resist and I will reuse these every year moving forward). I, again, changed out the flower/pip berry arrangements in the tin boxes and vase, changed out the candles, and added a few scarecrows and fabric pumpkins here and there.  I’ve removed those lanterns for good now, I’ve found that I like it much better without them.

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I’ll be decorating for Christmas next, so I’m on the lookout for a couple of wooden plates with which to replace those Fall themed ones. And who knows what else I’ll come up with once I get started designing; I try not to look back on past design pictures, instead I start each new project by gathering everything that I want to use for any certain grouping and let the creative juices flow…I love the process and will tweak and tweak until I love the end design. 🙂

Well now, there we go, I did do something productive inside…I wrote a blog entry…Each one of these is a little project in and of itself. 😉 🙂

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**