Tuesday, December 29, 2009

to everything turn, turn

My grandfather is dying. He's in the hospital and they are making him as comfortable as they can, but the end is imminent. I don't even know if when I go to visit him tomorrow if he'll still be with us.

I titled this post as I did because there are 2 things that are fundamental in the make up of my grandfather: he is a man of faith, he is also a man of science. I'd like to think that he enjoyed the Byrds take on Ecclesiastes, although it truth, I never thought to ask him.

Right now, I'm trying to take a deep breath, focus and keep those words in mind. As I'm sure Grandpa would want us to do.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

a little like the past

The last few days have felt like vacation. I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to do and I was able to sleep in as late as I wanted. I've really felt blessed to have time with family and alone time too. I've finished up some projects that I had hanging over my head and I've taken care of some tasks that needed completing. Over all, it has seemed a lot more like the holidays I remember as a kid than any of those in recent years. That could be the enormous snow storm or the time spend sledding with my brother, but mostly I think it's just that like I did when I was a kid, I feel content. I have the things I need and many of the things I want and that's a pretty good place to be.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Tannenbaum

I finally managed some nice shots of the tree. It was tricky to photograph! I didn't use any of my silver or crystal ornaments, just colorful glass ones. It makes me smile!I borrowed a pre-lit tree from mom, and I never want to go back to putting lights on again! All I did was plug it in and I was done, that made getting to the fun part a whole lot more fun!

I did end up spending a few dollars this year, $10 to be exact. I made an ornament wreath, like those others have made. I wasn't going to do it. I knew that Mr. PN was going to hate it, but somehow after seeing Thrifty Decor Chick's wreath I couldn't resist.

I got $5 worth of ornaments at Dollar Tree and $5 worth at Target. The hanger and hot glue I already had. Although I'm not sure I'd do it the same way again, I think it looks pretty good for 10 bucks. ( and Mr. PN didn't call it hideous, so that's saying something)

This is hanging on our stairs, where I also added some garland with teal lights and old tinsel starbursts that we had on the tree when I was a kid. I honestly don't know how old they are, but they are starting to show that unknown age so I've made a few copies w/ silver pipe cleaners. I should make a tutorial on how that's done, since they are super easy and cheap, cheap cheap. On the stairs, I also added silver bells that hang from a big snowflake at the end, which is somewhat amusing when one of us comes down the stairs and around the corner quickly, since it jingles!

I haven't decorated much more, but it's a busy time of year at work and the most public rooms are at least be decked and that's pretty darn good. (now if I could just find the time and motivation to clean my disaster of an office!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

candles, candles and more candles!

Nothing says holidays like candle light. I adore candles all year long, but once the days start getting shorter, I feel even more strongly about not only having them in my decor, but lighting them. I don't buy expensive candles, in fact, I think all those I'm using right now came from either the dollar store or Ikea. (yes, you are picking up on a theme, I rather heart Ikea)

So, in continuing my "traditional" holiday decor, I've paired candles with more pops of color.
Here's a cluster of candles in the living room:
My husband's grandmother gave me the tray and the itty-bitty ornaments are ones I picked up over many years and I reuse year after year in different ways.

I also added some candles to the table:
Normally, the table is a clear glass w/ a rattan base, but to dress it up, I added a white tablecloth; the place settings of our white everyday dishes almost disappear against it. For a splash of color, the fun Indian glass votive cups and my silver ornaments make a nice center piece. I was wishing I had some brighter colors for napkins when I set the table, but that's nothing a little sewing can't cure. I also carefully picked from our collection of mismatched stemware to allow the votive cup colors to be the focal point of the table.

So far, I've only used things I already owned in my holiday decorating. I'm rather pleased with myself that I'm going to be able to create a fun new holiday look without having to spend much or any money.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it's beginning to...

(I think you know how the rest goes)
I started the slow process of decorating tonight. I'm normally very into glitz for the holidays; I have lots of crystal and silver ornaments, but this year I decided to go a little old school.

I was already feeling really into using my vintage & vintage-styled ornaments, when over Thanksgiving I read an article in the Milwaukee Journal that noted that in economic times like these people tend to decorate for the holidays with "traditional" themes. Now, I'm not limiting myself to red and green and I'm sure many people wouldn't consider my theme very "traditional", but it does reflect a certain mid-20th-century take on the holidays. Here's a sneak peek at the holidays 2009 done my way:
I started with my collection of silver compotes with candles. Some of the compotes were gifts, and the others I picked up at thrift stores and estate sales. The candle cups are from Ikea and a friend gave me the wonderful disco ball ornaments last year. I like them so much I hardly every put them away. I used a piece of white faux fur since it sorta looked like snow. It's shimmery and just makes me smile. I'm really enjoying mixing old with new to get something fresh yet familiar.

Are you going "traditional" in your decorating?
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