Monday, December 28, 2015

Snippets of the Holiday Past

As I said before we didn't get much decorating done around here, I missed it ( not as much now that clean up will take no time at all!!), but we still had a wonderful Christmas filled with activities, family fun, candlelight service and too much good food. 

I did want to post a couple of pictures so that we, at least, have a visual reminder of the things we did do and liked :)
(I have referred back to my blog more than once to jog my memory!)

We got a beautiful big live tree.

Mollie wanted some of the awesome stars from Target so I bought a couple
and we used one on the tree.

And as stated before in a previous post, 
we only bought lights and a live tree/greenery this year.
The gold foil stars at Target were our only slip up. But Mollie wants them for year round use so technically they weren't a Christmas impulse buy.

(Please excuse the bag of gift wrap in the corner and the wonky cord)

Anyway, we all loved these vintage-looking, large colored bulbs.
 They are just like the ones my mom used to put around our front door!! 
I'm usually a white light girl but these were so nostalgic that we bought a few strands and draped them haphazardly around the kitchen.
They were so fun!!

So it was a minimal, colorful Christmas! 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

 I never got it together enough to even post something minimal
with "Christmas" or "tour" in it.

I love decorating for Christmas - one of the best parts in my book even though I have simplified considerably - and I am a bit sad I didn't do more but it's too late now :)

There were some major things going on a round here and something had to give.
One of those things "going on" was the first ever Live Drive Thru Nativity at church.

Getting the littlest shepherd ready!
( He was so excited and stayed out the whole time both nights. 
It was really cold Friday night so his Dad had to make him come in for a few minutes and warm up!)

And some angels!

 Driving up to the main scene.

Inside the stable.
We had two "sets" of Mary, Joseph and the Angel so they could switch out - especially if it was cold. And it was so this worked well!!
This Joseph sent me a selfie from the stable and called it a portrait of the "First Family."
They are so funny!!

There was a steady stream of cars especially on Saturday night.
It was our first time so we had no idea what to expect.
The kids were so excited!

We Three Kings...

These little angels were more interested in the baby goat than they were in the baby Jesus!

 We wish you a
Merry Christmas
and a  
Blessed New Year!
*If you are considering hosting a Drive Thru Nativity or similar event
 and have any questions, please ask!!
 For first timers it went quite smoothly and I'm happy to share what we learned!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lights! Camera! Action!

It's showtime!
At our church anyway!
We are hosting our first ever live drive thru Nativity.
Image result for nativity silhouette

It has been a year in the making.
 I thought about us doing this last December 20th while driving to our community cantata event and by Dec. 20th of this year we will have hosted it two nights, 
be finished until next year  and be preparing for Christmas Eve services.

When I changed jobs about 4 years ago I moved to a much smaller church.
 I was used to huge volunteer work forces and different sized budgets.
 But let me tell you, this congregation may be small in numbers
 but they are "go big or go home" 
when it comes to supporting our WCYouth and what they want to accomplish!!

We have planned and asked for volunteers.
The entire church donated strands of Christmas lights to light up the night.
They bought and wore t-shirts advertising the event.
Costumes have been sewn, a stable has been constructed, 
a refreshment team is in place (pizza $$ donated and cookies baked!),
 parking attendants are at the ready. 
Large signs with verses have been painted. 
One thousand candy canes have been tagged with an invitation to join us again 
on Christmas Eve
and animals have been rented!
Image result for nativity silhouette
 When you are in Atlanta your livestock has to come from afar just like the Wisemen did! They will arrive shortly before our Nativity begins each night.
 And again, when you are in Atlanta, an off duty policeman has been hired to direct traffic. Lots of details.
It has been amazing to see every generation in the church volunteer for this endeavor. Senior citizens have sewn, built 
and volunteered to be Wisemen 
(the men thought I said Wise guys!! so they volunteered right away!!) 
and we will have little tiny angels and shepherds in our scenes as well. 
Image result for nativity silhouette
Our college students have rolled in from schools all over and shown up at church as soon as they got home to paint signs and make props!!
And for those of you well versed in volunteering for events at your church -  there wasn't a budget for this. Not one penny!
 So our first ever live drive thru Nativity has humble beginnings but we are ready to celebrate because
 "For Unto Us a Savior is Born."

Here is the link if you are local and would like to bring family and friends 
to see the first ever
Wesley Chapel UMC Live Drive Thru Nativity.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Favorites of Christmases Past.

As mentioned previously I haven't done a thing toward Christmas decorating.
Actually that's not completely true.
I have looked at all the blog tours of already decorated homes.

Does decorating the dog count??

But in years past I have been spot on

and accomplished Christmas d├ęcor greatness 
 (ok, at least gotten the tree up - with lights!) in a timely manner.

I also used to make cute Christmas projects and share the DIY!
Let's remember fondly and revisit my top Christmas posts.
In case you,too, are #seekingmajormotivation.
They are all simple and easy I can assure you!

This guy is and has been my number one blog post "view"
and my number one "pin" on Pinterest!

This paint stick project of the Three Wisemen
is also a top post.
It is practically a "free" green craft.

This simple outdoor Nativity that I first did with children
waaaaay back in 2011 is still a top 10 post year round.
It is made with concrete landscape pavers.
 Mine still looks like it did when I painted it four years ago!
(And we do use it outside)

A little more involved but a keeper from year to year-

is this Advent Candle Wreath made from terra cotta pots.
I made it with groups of children for a few years in a row so we painted the pots and made candles and "flames" from TP rolls and tissue paper. 
Many of their parents supervised its use and substituted real candles. 
It is equally pretty left in its natural terra cotta state and filled in with real greenery.
One of my  volunteer moms had her children craft them for their grandparents one year and it was a HUGE hit!

And I have a bunch of Snowman projects
 but this one is the second most viewed post of all time.

Snowman in a Baggie!!!
It was a simple idea I cooked up for a school party activity and it is still being used year after year.
So easy and inexpensive but everyone loves to make him and then squish that nose around!

If you are looking for more projects then check the archives!
I have several Nativity projects, more snowmen and some burlap and painted canvas projects that are 'oldies but goodies."

And maybe I'll be back soon with some actual Christmas decorating pictures -
from my actual house!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

From My iphone...

1.Every year Trader Joe's has beautiful, full boxwood wreaths for $9.99. 
They are the deal of the season and usually sell out in a day or so.
They are lush and green. And smell so good.

I hung one up on our French door in the family room last Christmas.
 It dried out perfectly and rarely shed. I left it.
Last week I bought a new one so I took the dried one outside and sprayed it gold. 
That's some serious bang for the buck!
Now.... where to hang it?

2. We went to Charleston for Thanksgiving.
 If you follow me on Instagram then you are probably on Lowcountry picture overload.

But every sunrise and sunset was beautiful.
We just sat on our deck or the walkway through the dunes and soaked up the view
 and the 70 degree sunshine!

3. I shared a few weeks ago that my hair had gotten really long - finally.
(Also, I stink at taking selfies. And I'm really self conscious in them!)

I went to the salon Mollie uses - she said I hadn't had a haircut in years and I needed a really good one :)
The hairdresser, Lauren, was great about following the hair donation "rules" and gave me the full salon treatment and a cute long bob that I love.
When I got to the front desk at Challise and Company in Marietta they said it was comped because I donated my hair. They let me tip Lauren but that was it!! 
How awesome is that?!!
I'm definitely going back when I need a trim!

4. My view every morning this week before I leave the house. 
I'm on a ladder painting again.

I get up early. Paint. Shower. Go on with my day.
If only the job was finished when the paint bucket is empty.
More on this later.

5. We had some major thrifting success in the Lowcountry last week. 

Not pictured but artfully packed into the back of the car were 2 vintage bamboo mirrors
 ( matching mirrors, even!!!!), 2 lamps - one a brass pineapple lamp, and two coolers full of shrimp straight off the boats in McClellanville. Oh and the trunk had stuff "stuffed" in it :)
We had to get pretty creative when we added our luggage!!

6. I took a screen shot of this post from Chez V's IG.
She was one of my ORC inspirations and I love her feed and blog.

She found this inspiration pic and said she was going to try and duplicate it. 
Meanwhile, I actually stumbled on a tutorial for this on a new to me blog, Good Life of Design.  I'll be doing good to get a regular old wreath on the door this year :)

That's it. 
I hope my next post has something to do 
with how my house is clean and decorated for Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Assignment Should You Choose To Accept It...

... is to stick to the statement I made a couple of weeks ago:

I said, out loud, where people could hear it,
 " I'm not buying anything for Christmas decorating this year except lights
 and the live tree and/or greenery."

Would you ever guess that this photo was taken in August? Greenery from The Magnolia Company
(And an unrelated thought, "Oh how I wish I could whitewash my brick!)

I said it. And I mean it. 

(probably won't need quite this many lights!)

A Winter's Evening...  #whitechristmaslights:

I've been simplifying Christmas for the last couple of years but this year we are using what we have or our noodles to come up with something that doesn't require a trip to the store.

Greenery and ornaments Christmas tree panel.

I have donated a lot of Christmas decor the last few years but I still have too. much. stuff.
I'm not being Scrooge-y. 
I love the season but I want to focus on that 
and not get to wrapped up in overdoing the decor. 
Tall orders for me.
 I have been known to repaint a whole room in a day or two 
at the beginning of December in order to decorate it for Christmas. 

So I guess after making that  bold statement above
 I'm going to have to DIY some of these:

Chinoiserie Ornaments - Set of 3
Blue and White Hand Painted Ornaments by Dana Mahnke on Etsy Indigo Home

I also have not started decorating one. single. thing!
I know ... #gasp

I went to the beach for Thanksgiving 
and I've still got to refocus after all the seafood and glorious sunshine.

Some of us are having a hard time getting back to reality....
Image result for santa at the beach

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Junior League Christmas House!

In the midst of the One Room Challenge hoop la
 I was invited to be part of the design team at a house on the
2015 Junior League of Woodstock Christmas Tour of Homes
That's a mouthful.
And pretty "big league' for me.
The lead designer at this home invited me to help and I chose two small areas.
Let me preface by saying that this was a model home. 
 The only nonresidential home on the tour and it was drop dead gorgeous
 from top to bottom.
It's very industrial chic and lots of moody colors and textures.
 To die for painted brick in the interiors in some spots.
 Really amazing.
I want to move in.
I chose a desk/study area in a small landing at the top of the stairs.
It's the hallway between the master and the other bedrooms. In many floor plans it's open in this area like a catwalk but this is a great use of space.
 I knew I wantd to do a gift wrap station.

And I wanted it to look like it was in use right now!!

We covered existing framed art that we couldn't move with pictures of the Big Guy in Red that I printed off of the internet.
We typed notes to Santa to go in the antique typewriter and left lists of naughty  and nice people laying around on the desk!

This cart was very popular. It's a hand me down .
It is really used to store floor plans in a drafting office but I like gift wrap better :)

It was a ton of fun and the hit of the whole deal was my tomato cage tree in a galvanized bucket.
 It's so simple and easy but sometimes that's the best.
We have a couple and I use them on our screened porch at Christmas. They have pebbles in the bottom so they don't blow over and I use plastic ornaments.
My other spot was in th kitchen on the main level.
 It was a huge bakers rack in between the kitchen and eating area.
 I knew what had to happen there the minute I saw it ... cookies for Santa!

This popular guy made an appearance at the Christmas Tour of Homes
 and, once again, was a big hit!!

I made stacks of air dry clay gingerbread men (I use Crayola Model Magic), painted them  and glued them to cookie sheets, spatulas and drying racks from the Dollar Store.
The "Fresh Milk" sign was a last minute, night before the tour project.
Someone asked how old the sign was and we said, "24 hours :)))))"

   Mollie helped me swirl white paint in milk bottles and add cute straws.
what did we do before you could buy cute straws in every color??

It put us all in the mood to decorate at home after Thanksgiving.
And that may be all the cookies that get "baked" this year.
Think I can get away with it???