Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

My parents, husband & I have had a tradition since before we were married, of staying up late and playing cards until 2-3 in the morning on New Years Eve. Three years ago, they informed us that they were feeling "too old" to stay up that late anymore, and asked if we minded coming over on New Years Day instead.

Mind? Of course not. But... what to do then, on New Years Eve?!?

That year, we purchased the Wii as a family gift. So the four of us stayed up until 5am competing against each other at bowling, golfing, and all sorts of other games. And the kids loved it so much, that we've continued that tradition every year since.

This will mark our 4th annual New Year's Eve Wii-petition. And with a few more games in our collection, this looks to be one heck of a challenge this year if we see if anyone can finally beat Daddy at golf, the boy at bowling, the princess at Balance Bubble, or Mama at Rhythm parade.
 In keeping with last years' New Years Eve decorations, I gave myself a $20 budget - and this year, barely spent HALF that since I already had so many goodies on hand. And this time it was my SON who helped choose how & where we would decorate! No clue why as it's usually us two girls prettying up the place, but this time my guy helped me. And I LOVE what we came up with!

We combined our lantern-decoration from last year with the clocks, and added just a few more clocks from the thrift store.

On the tray with the pocket watches, instead of the glass beads we chose to use vintage buttons this year - and I really think it added just a bit more "oomph" to things.

In our kitchen niche, we did almost exactly the same thing as last year... simply adding the new year to the back of last years' paper "2012" to get one more years' use out of the pretty shiny brown cardstock.
The biggest change this year, was actually ALL my son's idea. Inspired by THIS number display, he suggested we hunt for items at the thrift store and within our house to create a display of "Things with twos, zeros, ones and threes."

We found a couple board books for $1.91, and a partial game of dominoes for $.65 and decided to raid our own game cabinet for the rest of our display. And I have to say - I LOVE how this turned out! It's a bit more whimsical (and brightly colored!) than I had originally imagined recreating that display, but I love how nearly everything there was already in our house - and that it came from the imagination of my son.

Happy New Year everyone!!! How are YOU spending this evening?!? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Tiny Winter Garland

I have been trying to come up with a tiny garland for my fireplace, and not really liking anything I've seen. I wanted something wintry, but simple. Something I wouldn't get bored looking at all winter long. Last week, I placed an order for a few gifts for my preschoolers, and added a package of mini-clothespins because I'd been wanting them for a Valentine's Day craft. When they arrived, inspiration struck & I pulled out my crafting supplies.

 Isn't it pretty? Other than the new little clothespins, everything here is from my stash of crafting papers/goodies and I LOVE how it turned out!

The snowflakes were punched from glitter cardstock for subtle sparkle, and the buttons came straight from my button jars.
The letter stickers have been sitting unused in the bottom of my sticker drawer for nearly a decade, and the red papers are actually paper scraps from my scrap-baggie!

To share just one more winter photo... with my latest living-room rearrangement I lost the LONG stretch of bookshelves against one wall. Now I have a MUCH smaller space above the cupboards, but I still wanted to do something festive to brighten things up.

After a few attempts, I'm happy with the space now. And all it took was putting my thrifted candy dish up there with a few glass ornaments!

Don't you just love it when projects just "fall into place" like this?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Winter Decorations

Wow, is it this time already?

Our house is all ready for Christmas in our winter-long decorations, and I can't wait to share. Several of our decorations have remained the same from last year, but there are some definite changes. The first meets you right at the door.

Since moving the sewing machine to our entry space, I had to find something to go on the wall above it. I loved the way my HUGE grapevine wreath filled the space, so I just took the fall decoration out of the center, and added some pinecones & snowflake ornaments. I LOVE how this looks!
Then on top of the machine are my "white Christmas" elements.

My tree & fireplace decorations haven't changed from last year. NEXT year our tree will be going through a makeover, but for this year we stayed with our snowmen, snowflakes & glass icicles for a happy wintry feel. My daughter still loves rearranging the scene underneath the tree, and I am still loving how much easier it is to maneuver around the living room without an enormous tree constantly in our way. 

In the living room windows, I keep my antique mason jars and the giant pinecones from my sisters' yard. It's hard to photograph this space because of lighting issues, but you can see how we added some holly garland & poinsettias for a bit of a festive flair.

In the kitchen, because I need every spare inch of space for everyday baking, I keep things to a minimum. The niche above my cabinets and the windowsill are the only places ever decorated. My window was inspired by a photo on Pinterest, and I even made a new curtain this year - from a scrap of fabric I've been saving from my wedding dress!

In the dining room, most of my decorations have remained the same; the nativity is still in the same place, and many of the decorations on my little hutch are from years past - though some have moved from one place to another over the years. 

Two new goodies for this year are my little car, and the cardinals. In years past, these cardinals have been in the living room. This year I thought I'd give them a new home, in a stack of birch from my parents' yard. And my little Volkswagen car usually sits on the bookshelf in my room, but this year it came out as a seasonal decoration, with a tiny sisal tree tied to the top!

For the table, I placed a vintage embroidered tablerunner over my favorite crocheted tablecloth, and added the cutest little thrifted sled as a centerpiece. My chandelier is the same as last year, with green garland, poinsettias, and spare snowflake ornaments from the tree.

In my bedroom I set up my little feather tree, but unlike years past I put it on top of my Amelia Earhart suitcases instead of the tiny electric fireplace. I love the way this turned out! And of course I had to repeat the little toy car element, with my husbands' antique car. I think his looks even better than mine.

My kids are free to decorate their rooms their own way, and I usually have very little to do with this. Being a teen, my son is rather ambivalent and has yet to put up his retro tinsel tree quite yet.

My daughter on the other hand has been waiting for her friends to come over, to make a party of decorating her room. Most of the decorations will likely stay the same as previous years, but at her request we did make a few new goodies for her space. This year she has a new tulle wreath, and a little snowgirl (complete with hand-crocheted hat & scarf!) made from a giant jingle-bell that really help set the tone for her pastel bedroom.

What do you have in YOUR house?!?