Friday, December 28, 2012

First Christmas at Our New Home

This was our first Christmas in our new house and anyone that knows me well knows that I LOVE to decorate.  I got to decorate a little for fall, but I really got into the Christmas spirit.  I have a very neutral living room since it is open to the entire house.  For my mantle I made a NOEL banner for the lighted greenery wreath and put my Willow Tree nativity "up high"....lots of little hands at my house.  The bird house is my main focal point on my mantle for all seasons and I like how it looks with the Christmas decorations.  The chalkboard JOY fit just perfectly and my star from IKEA turned out very neat.  I thought at first it was going to be too tall, but with our 2 story room it worked out well.  I made burlap stockings for my mantle although the kids asked several times where their stockings were.  The tree next to the fireplace is for my ESC Snowman ornaments.  I love them.  This tree has only toppled down twice on my 16 month old! 
 Here's a close up of the mantle.  I orignally had the ornate decoration in black, but decided when I took down my fall decor that I was going to paint it an off-white.  I really like how it turned out!

 My Christmas tree this year was a lot of fun.  I finally have back the lanterns that we used for the centerpiece decorations at our wedding reception 10 years ago.  They have been loaned out to over 15 weddings and parties.  I got quite the deal on them from Michaels and I got 2 in a box with the stand to hold them for $1.28 each.  I started with 40+ but am not down to 25 or so.  I added them to our tree to celebrate our 10 years together. 

 The garland is just burlap bought by the yard cut into approximately 4" strips.  I used gold berry sprigs that I already had for filler and bought some gold/silver balls for a little bling!  The picture ornaments are just 4x6 sepia toned photos printed out and I cut shapes on my cricut for the matte.  I LOVE this ornament idea.  We lost our 4 1/2 year old son 3 years ago to cancer and this really helps to keep his spirit alive during the Christmas season.  Our little ones get to see him too and know a little more about him. I plan on doing something very similar next year.

 Here's a peak at my dining room wall that holds very sentimental items from our Ethan.  This was his cowboy hat, guitar, boots, lasso, work gloves and horse shoes.  I think it turned out perfectly and we can see it from our living room so we can enjoy it from there too.
 This is the buffet on the opposite wall in our dining room.  I really love this ladder that I got earlier this year.  The ball jars were for pictures of my little ones that I printed in gray tone, but they were too large for the jars so they are empty this year, but the plan for next year is to print out wallet size pictures and put little tea lights behind the photos.  The milk jars on the far right are from the dairy that my husband's family used to own.  We got a few more for Christmas too so it will be fun to add to this collection next year. To top off my crate I have some more ESC snowmen and another one of the lanterns that I had at our head table for our wedding.

 Here's a look at our dining room.  The center piece is just silver balls in a glass container and some greenery on a silver plate.  I made the table runner out of felt and some ruffled edging on the ends.  (I guess I forgot to take a picture of that detail!)  I LOVE the silhouettes on my wall.  I had that planned out well before we moved in.  I really like this focal point for the room. 
 This was a hard photo to get, but this is the lighted greenery on our stairs.  I think next year I might add some burlap ribbon in it too.  You can't see it, but at the top of the steps on the toy room wall we have a colored light tree with all the kids ornaments.  They had fun with this tree.

Here is a view of the mantle and garland from afar.  I love sitting in our living room looking at all the decorations.

My kitchen didn't get decorated near as much as I had hoped, but I just plain ran out of time.  I did get my chalkboards updated thanks to my Mom and had another ladder that I hung on our wall with some greenery.  Next year I would like to add word silhouettes on the greenery.  Lots of ideas in store for 2013. 
Hope you enjoyed my "Christmas House Tour".  The season flew by so fast, but I'm sure I will have just as much fun decorating for spring. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Playing with MFT

I'm finally getting to play along with the MFT Guest Designer contest.  This has been on my wish list to do for quite some time now and I finally sat down the other night and created a cute little card using my Peek-a-Boo Pure Innocence stamp set. I LOVE Pure Innocence stamps.  I've got several on my wish list for Christmas!  Every month they have this contest I think, do I have time to dedicate myself to designing for a month as their guest designer? I'm finally at a point after 2 1/2 years building our house, getting almost everything unpacked, Christmas cards made, almost all of my gifts purchased and the house decorated, I am ready!  Not to mention my 6 year old Ava, 3 year old Kale, and my 1 year old Emelia that keep me hopping every minute of everyday!

The prize as they say is HUGE!  Now this would be the best Christmas present!  If you aren't familiar with My Favorite Things Stamps then head over to their blog and check them out!  Each month the stamps just get cuter and cuter and I love their paper too!  I used the Lily Bee Design - Handmade Tiny Tablet.  The best part is that this card has already been received by a special friend and she LOVED it!

How will I do this if I win?  I have my room organized and I'm ready to go.  I do most of my crafting at night when my kiddos are sleeping.  It lets me relax and unwind from the day.  One of my goals is not only to take more time to make cards and scrapbook, but I want to actually get my cards out in the mail!  My friends and family love it when they receive cards from me so that is a HUGE goal that I have set and so far the past couple weeks I have sent out over 5 cards.  Getting ready to send out 120 Christmas cards too!  I think 2013 is going to be a great least I hope it is!  I will be back next week to share my Christmas card with everyone.  I kept it pretty simple this year due to how many I send out, but none the less I love them and my picture is sooo cute of my kiddos! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Wish me luck!