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Posts Tagged ‘decorating’

A community of crafty DIYers? Yup, knee-deep in Christmas ornaments.

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We gave up the tree. We’d actually experimented with this a couple of times while the kids were still around, largely due to my (Xan) discomfort with the holiday, but they weren’t ready to relent. However, with the kids living on their own, we’re now on our third treeless year, and having a blast finding creative ways to use the dozens and dozens of ornaments. Being a slightly obsessive organizer, I’ve got them sorted into little box according the theme: skating ornaments, animals, ethnic, artsy, religious, santas, etc. So far this year, though, I’ve only managed to decorate the goat.Goat Xmas

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Treeless here at our house too. When we lived in Palm Springs, I (Sincerely, Emily) was still at a point where I decorated the house. As the years went on, I was working full-time and doing art shows on weekends and some evenings. Eventually, I was beading non-stop and doing arts & craft shows full -time. January was the start of a busy season of art/craft shows in my area and the tree and decorations seemed to still be up in April. There came I point that I just didn’t go all out with the decorations anymore.

I truly enjoy the decorating part, I love seeing all the ornaments and the memories as I hung them on the tree, but I really dislike the take-down part. So, even though we are in Texas now, and I am not beading up a storm and doing arts/craft shows every-other minute, I still do not put a tree up (unless my mom visits). I MAY still wander up to the attic this year and dig out some things to put around the house, and then again, I may not.

For this post, I did manage to unearth one of my favorite ornaments (I have several). I love the clear sparkle of glass or crystal on my tree with the white lights. I have many other ornaments of color, but love the mix in the glass & crystal for the sparkly factor they bring.

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I found these ornaments at a store in Bayfield, WI one January long long ago. Oh, I think I will head up to the attic now and find one of the smaller trees to bring out.

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What are your favorite Christmas decorations?

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The past two weeks have kept me more busy than normal. Volunteering, working on things for a banquet, a party here, meetings, etc., all mixed in with doctors appointments. I was really ready for these past weeks to be over.

A few nights ago was one of the parties and a group of us have been working for several months to get the decorations finished. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work.

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Bringing a group together and working to come up with ideas that we all can agree with and be happy with can be a challenge. We really wanted to keep the decorations simple, but make a statement with an old-fashioned Christmas theme in mind. From a center piece on each table that was a simple as a stack of wrapped presents, to foot after foot of red and green paper chains. From a small handmade box with a treat for each person to other die-cut things on each table, I think we were successful.

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The banquet went very well, and we had a lot of very nice complements on the decorations. That put a smile on my face.

Have you come up with some simple and creative ways to decorate for a large party or banquet? 

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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It is fun to explore how each of us has our own unique holiday traditions.   Today we have tried to capture some of the magic of our personal traditions with our photos…enjoy!

Each year we make homemade ornaments…these are Christmas balls we made for Sweet Girl’s pink tree.

There is the annual gingerbread house…

We try to find snow somewhere!

Getting out weird and wonderful Christmas decorations!

And of course there are the usual holiday greeting to send!

Here at Chiot’s Run we have a lot of traditions, some very strange. I don’t have many photos of our traditions, I guess I’ll have to make sure to take some this year. We always have a nativity and one of those candle things that makes the angels spin. This nativity is the family set my mom gave me, it’s from Colombia, which is the country I was born and raised in (my parents work there).

Being a religious family, my dad always reads through the Christmas story before we open gifts. We then open gifts one by one, everyone watches the person opening the gift. It’s so great to see the reactions.

While we open gifts we enjoy homemade cookies, candies and pie and we sip on eggnog, coffee, or hot chocolate.

Mr Chiots and I have made a few traditions of our own. We make a big breakfast on Christmas morning and watch vintage James Bond movies all day and as many as we can fit in before New Year’s.

So our not so normal readers…What are some of your unique traditions at the holidays?

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Happy Sunday to you all!  I hope you are staying warm and cozy on this December day.  When we think of December there are many things that come to mind…snow, woodstoves, family, presents, hot cocoa.  Few things say Christmas and the holidays quite like a Christmas tree!  So today we are sharing some of our photos of what we think of when we consider our Christmas trees.

I used to have trees with fancy ornaments.  I also used to have trees with teddy bears.  I loved those trees…

But somehow I wanted something that was more personal, something with a deeper meaning than grabbing an ornament at Hallmark.  So about 7 years ago I started decorating our trees like this…

I take so many pictures that I actually have 3 trees covered with photos of my family.  This is in the dining room. I tried adding icicles, and garland but kept coming back to simple black and white photos.  I must admit that more than anything else I put up at Christmas this is what brings a smile to my face.  I also can spend vast amounts of time wandering from tree to tree looking at all the pictures and remembering when each one was taken!

Each year I add about 100 photos…I think I may have to get another tree! Oh and yes there are a few pictures of the camel on there…I put them towards the back, lol!

And while we are talking about trees I have to share the giant that lives in our pasture…

This huge fir tree which dwarfs all the other trees in the area is most stunning in winter when we get one of our rare Northwest snowfalls.  I have always wanted someone to climb to the top and put a huge star up there for all of the valley to see…but alas I have had no volunteers so far!

Neither growing up nor during my married life have we ever had a live Christmas tree.  We enjoyed the traditions of stringing popcorn and cranberries and used way too much tinsel, but we never felt like a live tree would help my allergies.  For some reason, this year seemed different to me.  I don’t know if it is the economy or the fact that the kids are getting older, but it seemed like this was our year to do something different and a bit more old fashioned.

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We headed to the farmers’ market and selected our first live tree ever.  It was grown locally and I was happy to support a local farmer.  I also got to join the ranks of folks who drive about with a tree strapped to the roof of the van!

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We have a mixture of ornaments, some made by the kids over the years and some that we have bought on vacation. We typically do not buy ornaments just for the sake of decorating our tree, but rather buy ornaments at meaningful occasions…like every trip to the beach!

At Roberts Roost the tree is a celebration of the return of light to the world.  We use an artificial tree in the house and plant a new tree in the yard each year.

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