Oh, how I love the holidays! Remember in my last post how I said I wasn't going to do any decorating this year? Well, I just....couldn't.....help.....it. I had braved the attic storage where my 15 or so Christmas boxes are tucked away in order to find the lights for the tree, and once I started looking at all the fun things I just had to bring a few of them down to enjoy for a couple of weeks.
Besides, I had to do SOMETHING with the extra fir branches I was able to glean from Home Depot's recycle box when we bought our tree. They were just tossing the cut-off branches in a big box, and they kindly let me scavenge. I was laughing at myself at how excited I got about those branches. You'd think I had won the lottery or something. But let me explain....
When I was growing up, as Christmas time rolled around we would go out with a big box and snip fir and cedar branches from the trees in our little forest out back. The trees were so fragrant, and the branches so fresh (they were also cold, wet, and a bit muddy, but let's not ruin the nostalgic moment with too much reality here) that I always enjoyed the rather lengthy task of making wreaths and garlands for our house and as gifts.
When we moved here to Hawaii, I quickly realized with dismay that, at Christmastime, none of that walking into the backyard and clipping evergreen branches was remotely possible. (oh, the agony!) This is the first year that I've had REAL fir branches to play with in 5 years, so hopefully that will explain a little bit of my giddy reaction.
Just in case you're wondering, all the wreaths in these pics are from fake garland strands. I just save them, decorations and all, from year to year = huge timesaver! The branches scattered about on the table are real though, as you can probably tell.
I just had to bring out a portion of my Santa collection. It's a little tight with them all crammed together here, but I don't have time to decorate the whole house - I'm limiting myself to the two front rooms, and only on horizontal surfaces out of Hazel's reach. So no garland on the staircase bannisters, no huge collection of Christmas plates and things above the cabinets in the kitchen, no garlands draped from every doorway and window, no wreath on every door, and no lights or decorations outside (sigh). But hey - at least it only took me a day to decorate instead of my usual week! That's definitely a plus.
Here are some happy Santas doing their Santa thing...
.....and Mr 12-Days-of-Christmas Santa is among my favorites. I was able to buy him at a steep discount because the crook of his staff was broken off, which didn't matter to me! I love Jim Shore's figurines.
I couldn't pass these candles up at Pier1 this year. I love to look around at that store every Christmas for ideas. I'm not the type that buys anything bigger than little incidentals from stores like that (unless it's on sale) but it's sure fun to look!
More bright baubles in Santa's sleigh...
I made this garland from my precious fir branches. The Believe sign was a very lucky find at Ross, and I've had the nutcrackers for quite awhile now. My other nutcrackers are still tucked away in a box. Poor things, they're probably lonely. :-)
The short black "stand" that the cranberry ball is resting on is just a glass tealight holder that I spraypainted black, inside and out, and placed upside down. Remember that from the stack of tiered plates that I assembled for Halloween? Yup, I love a decoration that is versatile and able to disassemble (is there a word for that? Somehow disassemble-able just doesn't sound right, nor does it roll off the tongue. At all).
More repurposed glassware; the one hiding in the back is a glass sundae dish turned upside down. I need to get some holiday photos of Hazel in some of my frames! The poor girl is definitely under-represented.
I've actually been waiting and waiting for the opportunity to take our Christmas portraits. I finished the clothes awhile ago, but it has either been raining, someone's been really sick, and/or Hyrum has scars or scabs on his face from various incidents with his friend's skateboard, his scooter, etc. Hopefully we'll all be presentable soon!
This is a sign I painted a few years ago, and I usually have it displayed with my porcelain nativity scene. That is going to have to stay under wraps this year (there's no way I'm trusting the packers to put all those precious little figurines back where they go safely! I've heard too many stories of the chuck-everything-in-a-box method that some of them use. We were lucky when we moved from Oregon to Hawaii, but I'm not taking any chances with my more fragile little Christmas decorations that need a lot of time and care to put away properly).
Hint: if you every plan on writing/painting with gold paint over a black background, be prepared to paint many, many coats of the gold. It was quite a chore, but I'm happy with the results.
Here is another one I did several years back...
This is our new advent calendar. Isn't it fun? I bought it at Target on the way home from my househunting trip (as there is no Target (!!!!) here on island...yet. The first one is due to open a month or two after we leave, and if ever a store has been long-awaited, Target surely has. That place is going to be absolutely mobbed when it opens, and its shelves will be stripped bare. I'm not kidding, I assure you! Since the shipping takes so long here, when a store runs out of something it's at least 6 weeks before it's back in stock again, if ever. I'm so excited that there are 5 (whoopee!) Targets within a few miles' radius where we are moving in Virginia. I know that probably sounds ridiculous to get so excited over such a thing, but trust me - living without a Target for 5 years has been a trial. :-)
Oh, it's really late and I'm too tired to post any of the ornaments that I took pictures of today (and put them back in their safe little places, due to packer paranoia syndrome and to keep them out of the curious clutches of baby Hazel). I'll just have to let this picture give you a little sneak peek of what is to come. Have a great day!