Sunday, December 28, 2014

Farewell to the Decor

I hope everyone has been enjoying their Christmas and holiday season.  We have been busy, as usual, but I want to take a moment to finally share how we kept things a little festive in our home.

The pink Christmas tree was added about 3 years ago.  My husband knew I was head over heels for one, and he randomly surprised me with it.  I bought the ornaments on clearance at Target last year, after the holidays.  It was exciting to open up our storage boxes and rediscover them - I completely forgot I bought those treasures!  The owl jar was purchased at a pawn shop "garage sale" a  couple of months ago.  $5!

Decorating this bookshelf has become a tradition, and I typically change it around with the seasons.  I save all of my glass jars and display them randomly.  Every now and then I take one for bathroom or kitchen storage, or I use them as mini flower vases.

I found a spot for my reindeer wreath (click here for the tutorial) on one of our other antique windows.  I then scattered real and fake plants throughout the display.  There is typically at least one natural Christmas vignette in our home. The "PEACE" sign is from Joann Fabrics.

Now most of it is boxed up.  I have never been one to keep decorations out until the New Year.  For me it loses that Christmas spirit, once the 25th has passed, and I am ready to start fresh.

I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!  Enjoy your 2015 blessings!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Back to the Tree Farm

We try our best go to Santa's Christmas Tree Forest in Eustis, FL every year.  You can read about our 2013 visit here.  As crowded as it was, we were still able to enjoy everything.  They put in a lot of work and used that hard earned Christmas tree money, by completely renovating the place between last year and this year.

My daughter LOVES animals, and, while I realize tons of kids like animals, she REALLY LOVES them.  We had to ban her from all pet stores for a while, because she absolutely loses her mind, when she can't leave with a cat, or lizard, or unicorn.  So, guess who was a happy camper at this place???

I mean.  Can you blame her?

We usually go and just join in on all of the activities and walk out with no tree.  This time we took one home with us.  My husband really can be Clark Griswold at times.  Why not make him an honorary Griswold?  He cut down our tree. Squirrel not included, thankfully.

And then there was the sunset.

Now, we have our tree home, it's decorated, and our house smells as fresh as it did at the farm.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blush-Toned Reindeer Wreath

Well, we had a few days of cold, and now it's going straight back up!  This is expected though.  I don't think Central Floridians (and further on down) can ever be fooled by our crazy so-called Winters.

On to the next craft!  I have managed to create a second wreath.  Actually more - the other two were very simple, and I'm going to use them to pull together whatever vignette I create.  I'll post those as soon as they're up.  I do, however, want to show you this particular wreath, considering it offers a more neutral palette, if you're not wanting to go the traditional route.

I think the colors are beautiful!  While I can go crazy with some intense colors and patterns in my decor, I never underestimate the beauty of simplicity.

I was at Joanns and I grabbed a 1/2 yard of that lovely floral fabric, and I ripped it into about 1.5" pieces.  I then wrapped those pieces around the raffia wreath form (just like I did on the ribbon here), hot-gluing every so often to hold it in place.

Once I had the very top portion left to cover, I stopped there and wrapped some very pale pink alpaca yarn around it.  You know, just to give it some added texture.

After the wreath was entirely covered, I grabbed two greenery sprigs (once again - just like the Santa wreath), and placed them on the opposite side of the yarn section, facing away from each other.  I chose the color as a more subdued green, so it wouldn't overpower the tones.

The reindeer was another plain wooden cutout found in the ornament section at Michaels.  It went through about 3-4 color changes, before I decided (with the help of my husband) to go with gold.  It dried, and I glued it right in the middle of the green sprigs.  I did have to go through with more glue underneath the sprigs, because it was a bit wobbly.  I made sure it was secured well enough, and that was it!  Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Embellished Yarn Trees - Christmas Craft

I have been working on so many projects lately, which I honestly thought I would never have the time for, with working nearly full-time and taking the kids to all of their activities.  I finally decided to take that me time, and it has been GREAT.

Last week, I shared my Santa wreath (click here to see).  Now, it's time to show you these adorable Christmas trees I managed to whip up. I made plenty of yarn-wrapped pumpkins in the past - I decided to go the tree route this time around.  

It started off fairly simple.  Four different sizes of foam tree forms, then some lavender, turquoise, and yellow yarn.  I planned to just wrap up the tree forms with hot glue and call it a day, but I later decided they needed more.

I ripped up some burlap pieces, grabbed some raffia (raphia?), other pieces of yarn, and WENT TO TOWN. 

I also noticed a trend...the trees totally had some LSU pride!  Ha!  It was completely unintentional, but sometimes a Louisiana girl, stuck in a Florida Gators world, just can't help it. In order to give them some added height, I hot-glued on a few old candlesticks.  You can find those at the thrift store any day.

I love the texture and variation these items will add to my decor!  Can't wait to use them!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Rustic-Inspired Santa Wreath

We are not going to decorate the house for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I have not hesitated with my crafts.  Not one bit.  Christmas craft explosion in the office, y'all.  The man down the road from our house has been blasting his Christmas lights since a few days after Halloween...I don't feel nearly as guilty about posting anything here!  It's all for the sake of making sure we have plenty of time to grab our supplies.  Sounds good to me.

So far, this is my favorite Christmas wreath I have ever made.  I feel like the last 2 or 3 wreaths have been so-so, and they didn't last either.  This one is just way more pulled together and actually looks store-bought.  I apologize for the muted coloring on Santa's face.  You'll see in the photos below that there's a little more "warmth".

I bought most of the supplies at Michaels, and thank goodness for sales and coupons.

Raffia wreaths always seem fuller and sturdier than foam wreaths.  They're usually cheaper, too.  I bought the red ribbon at half off, and I wrapped it around the wreath as evenly as possible, using hot glue to secure it along the way.  I ended up not having enough ribbon to fully cover it, but I did have some wide burlap ribbon and covered that section.  It ended up being just what the wreath needed.

I found the wooden Santa ornament (not painted)and gave him the usual red hat, white beard, rosy cheeks look.  While that dried, I hot-glued 2 festive greenery sprigs, then later added Santa.

That's it!  Here's a quick run-down in the photo below.

Hope you like it! And, yes, I'm very happy to FINALLY be back with a new craft post, as it has been way too long.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

One Dollar Prop and Window Light (Photography Tutorial)

I ventured over to the Dollar Tree, before picking the kids up from summer camp.  As I was perusing the aisles, looking for craft ideas, etc., I stopped at the seasonal decor section (currently 4th of July inspired).  Lots of cute bows, banners, and wall signs, but you'll see below what simple little item caught my eye and led to a great, inexpensive photo opportunity.

She had on a basic, white tank top, and I placed the red, white, and blue garland on top of her head (loosened it and made it slightly messy).  I don't own any fancy lighting equipment - this is just back light from her bedroom window.

Of course, I played around with the files in Lightroom and Photoshop, but there are many camera phones that can give you the same "halo" effect, just by placing someone in front of a bright source, such as a window.  Download some free apps and experiment.  I might be trying it out with my Samsung this week and posting it on Instagram (username: mousevolatile).  Just make sure your camera is focused on the darker portion, and it will brighten it right on up.

Hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial!