Thursday, December 9, 2010

Walking Into Winter

With the Christmas season upon us our homes are in the process of being transformed into works of art in celebration of this time of year. What better way to do so than to continue to surround yourself and your family with the things you love? Today will give you, Dear Reader, a sneak peek into my home and some of the things I love...first, do you remember these boots? They held fall leaves up until a few days ago and looked like this:

With a few simple changes using some yard sale finds the boots are ready to serve a dual purpose...first as a Christmas decoration and then, with the removal of the poinsettias after Dec. 25 they're ready for the rest of the winter. Making this change was super easy and only cost a few dollars. Then it was on to decorating the rest of the house. Now honestly I have to admit I love indoor Christmas deocrations but hate to take them down at the end of the season. The house is left feeling drab and boring without them. So this year I decided to do a few things that will stay out throughout the winter. I was also on the hunt for *new* decorations this year. Something different. Something shiny and rustic all at the same time. Here's what I rustled up from the stash of things I love:

The two above photos are part of a vingette that will stay on my table top all winter:
Again, this was done using yard sale finds and things I love to look at. Plus, like the boots by the front door they serve a dual purpose...Christmas and winter decorations all wrapped up in one. (Pardon the cheesy pun. Couldn't resist myself.)

Here's a cool new idea I borrowed this year came from Martha Stewart. She used these to make candles, I just used them for funky decorations on the lanai:

Yes, these are simply spray painted seashells. And what an excuse to take a walk on the beach, right? Oh, and talk about super, duper simple to do. A few minutes and couple cans of metallic spray paint and wa-la! Done! I like them so much I added some to a hurricane and regular vase for the bathroom:

Sorry the picture quality is not so great...had these sitting on the counter when I snapped the pic. And yes, that most certainly is a stuffed flamingo wearing a Santa hat in the background. She is one of my most prized possessions!

While thinking about what you love to surround yourself with at home, don't be afraid to mix styles. Like I said earlier I like rustic and I like shiny. So combining the two on the front porch to complete decorating for Christmas fit the bill for me:

In years past our Christmas tree has been a palm tree on the lanai. After one too many summers worth of sun and the elements it had grown tired looking and the metal base had rusted. So to palm tree heaven it was sent and we picked up a small fake tree at a yard sale. All was going well with the *new* tree until we took it out of the box and discovered WHY it as sold super inexpensively at a yard sale. The base was gone. Lost. Never to be returned. So I looked at it leaned against the wall for a day and racked my brain. After-all I HAD to put it up since I had purchased brand-new "bulbs" to go on it and I totally was NOT going to purchase a tree this time of year and pay full price! Since necessity is the mother of invention, into my stash of loved things I went and came out with this new base:

The base is simply and old crock filled partially with sand sitting on a barstool (I sawed the legs down for this) covered by a tablecloth. Only the "bulbs" and berries came brand-new from a store, the rest, again, are yard sale finds. Yeah, I know the top of the tree is bare...maybe I'll get motivated to figure something out for it, maybe not. Sometimes I'm crazy that way. Okay, sometimes I'm lazy that way. And the table sitting next to it is kinda bare...still haven't figured that one out, either. There's always a project in progress around my home...

So as December marches faithfully forward and time seems to slip through the cracks, sometimes making for stressful days, remember to surround yourself with things as uniquely beautiful as you are. With things that just make you smile. Doing so helps to make this time of year more joyful. Really, who can stress when enjoying something beautiful while sipping hot chocolate, or herb tea, or better By taking good care of yourself you are able to take better care of your family and those you love.

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