Thursday, December 20, 2012

Touches of Christmas Spirit

A few Christmas decorations around the house...

I love this iron hook rack which my father made for me in his blacksmithing class.  I've added a few of my recycled winecork ornaments, a cookie press, and a cute santa pot holder for Christmas.

Buffet top all set up for Christmas.  I just need to select a candle to set in front of the red snowflake plate.

The dry sink has become home to my "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" snowmen and the Nativity set.
(note: knobs are missing from drawers because this piece is going to be a DIY project right after the holidays - stay tuned for details on that!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Porch Decor: Complete

The Christmas porch decorations are complete! 

Note the DIY Topiary Tree and the Hanging Basket

The wreath I created a few years ago.

(please excuse the fact that the porch needs swept!)

Christmas Porch Decor: Simple DIY Topiary Tree

I love the look of a topiary tree or two on the porch for the holidays.  But the ones I've seen in the store ain't cheap!  And if it's one thing you're learning about me by reading my blog - I like a bargain! 

So, you can probably imagine that when I saw reference to topiary trees created with garland and tomato cages, my imagination was sparked.  Especially  when I realized - Hey!  I already have a cone shaped wire frame which used to have a viney houseplant thing growing on it (until I killed the plant last summer, but that's an entirely different post)!  And a  planter sitting on the porch just begging for some seasonal cuteness!

When I also opened up my email one day and saw that Michael's had their 9 foot garland as the Deal of the day for $1.99 - it was ON!

1 9 foot garland
1 wire frame (cone shaped)
1 package inexpensive Christmas ornaments
twist ties
1 flower pot

First, I wrapped the garland around the wire frame, twisting sprigs around the frame to secure the garland.

Next, I used twist ties to secure the ornaments to the garland - decorating the "tree"

The final step was to set the little tree onto the planter and use floral wire to secure it into place.

Ta Da!!  Little topiary tree.  All for a cost of less than $5!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Porch Decor - Hanging basket.

It's been a tiny bit frustrating for me not to be able to get the house decorated for Christmas yet.  We have to finish the floors before we can go dragging a Christmas tree in the house!  Just makes good sense.  Then, it occurred to me - sure, I can't decorate the living room yet.  But there's nothing stopping me from spreading a little Christmas cheer onto the front porch! 

On one of our many, many (many, many, many) trips to Lowe's I spotted some cute hanging baskets holding greenery and decorations such as pine cones and holly berries.  For about $25 each.  Ouch!  Once again the Scrooge inside me reared  up and gasped "$25?  No way!" 

But I kept thinking about them.  And how cute one would look where I already have a hanging basket on the porch.

Wait a sec... I already have a hanging basket on the porch!  A basket looking a little sad because the cute little purslane plants I had in it over the summer are now wilted and whithered in the December weather.  An idea was forming.

I picked up a wreath at Michael's when they were the Deal of the Day - for only $1.99.  And a lovely holiday floral sprig - originally $2.99, but on sale for 50% off. 

Taking the basket off the porch, I trimmed back the brown, sad purslane remains, laid the wreath on top of the basket - greenery side up.  And trimmed off the individual sections of the floral sprig, poking them into the wreath.   Once the greenery of the wreath was fluffed and the picks secured, it was time for hanging.

Voila!  Don't ya just love it?  I do!! 

Christmas hanging basket complete!  And for only about $3.50 instead of $25!! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Living Room: NEW Floors!!

The new floors are finally going in!  Yippee!!  The end is actually in sight! 

FYI - when you see all these DIY shows and they tell you how very simple it is to put in laminate flooring - don't believe it!  

OK, that might be a little strong.  You can believe them.  Maybe it is simple if the floor you are installing over is pretty much pristine.  Ours was not.  We were pulling up 30-something year old carpet.  Which meant 30-something year old padding.  Padding which had been walked on, spilt on, walked on some more, cleaned numerous times, and who knows what else.   In other words, it was a little compressed... matted down... compacted.  As a matter of fact- in some spots in no longer resembled padding at all.  But more of a hard rubber which was now part of the particle board underneath. 

Thank heavens for all the hard work by The Man of the House and the female offspring who spent hours (and hours and hours) scraping that mess up and replacing areas of particle board which were not salvageable!

Finally, the floors were prepped.  The new flooring was purchased.  Installation is ready to begin!

Look at all those boxes of new flooring! 

The first row is in! 

Moving right along!  This is dusty work!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's Curtains For Me!

A few weeks ago I saw these curtains at Cost Plus World Market and fell in love with them. 

They would look amazing in my about to be newly renovated living room!  However, as much as I liked them - when I saw the $34.99 per panel price tag, the cheapskate in me whispered "I can do better!"

And I was RIGHT!  Simply by waiting a couple of weeks, I did a lot better!!

This weekend World Market was running a 40% Off sale on curtains.  Making each panel $20.99.

PLUS - being a World Market Explorer member, I had received an additional 25% off coupon.

Original price for 4 panels: $134.96 + tax

My price for 4 panels: $64.75 + tax!

Living Room: Painting

Whew... finally, the painting is done! 

Pale gray walls with a darker gray accent on the wall with the fireplace.

Even the dog got painted!

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