Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday decor tour, continued

As I said, I'm a sucker for white and metallic.  I've talked about this mantle before.  Here is that post.  This year I switched out a few of the ornaments and used different trees since I used my birch bark trees on the other mantle.  The spidery looking balls at the back are the dried seed heads of allium.  I spray them gold and they add an airiness to the display.  Here's a detail shot from the side.  This mantle never gets old to me.  If it wasn't so holiday, I would leave it up all year.

Here's a little vignette I have on a side table.  The feather tree in the background is wool.  I saw this on Pinterest last year and knew that I had to make a wool feather tree.  My house was built in 1836 so early American touches just fit.  But, a feather tree of wool?  It's like they knew I was coming.  I found the pattern on Etsy for about $12.  Downloadable pdf with many sizes.  Here is the pattern for sale.  The instructions were very clear and I made a 24" tree and a 12" tree.  My plan is to take kumquats, slice them thinly, and dry the slices as you would oranges.  I think the little slices would make the perfect ornaments and would be just the right scale.  But, as luck would have it, kumquats are in short supply this year so I haven't been able to do this.  I keep looking every time I'm at the grocery.

The Santas are from my friend, Brigitte, as I mentioned earlier.  Brigitte mixes different fabrics, fur, and embellishments for these.  I love them.  One of them has crewel fabric for the base and you know I'm a big fan of crewel.

The detail picture shows the star on top of the feather tree.  Again, I took some wool and cut out 2 stars.  I blanket stitched around the outside using gold thread and adding a bead to every stitch.  I love how the beads line up perfectly along the edge.  The star is stuffed slightly with scraps.  And, a vintage pin for sparkle.

This little tree was made using scraps of cashmere.  It's a styrofoam cone on the inside.  I cut little squares of cashmere and attached them using short upholstery tacks because pins would be too long.  The top of the cone is only about 1/2-inch wide.  The texture is fantastic.  Again, this is a technique I used for one of the ornaments at my party.  I'll post pictures of those ornaments soon.  The top of the tree is a mish mash.  I wanted a pom pom and got out some gold cord to make one.  But, the cord didn't want to be a pom pom.  It looked like a haystack instead.  I couldn't bear to throw it away and really liked the way the cording draped.  So, I got a little glitter star out of my holiday floral bin and stuck it through the haystack.  I love the way it looks!

These two mantles are the mainstay of my holiday decor.  I've got little handmade touches in almost every room, though.  Ornaments hanging from cabinets, little touches of red and green, and lots and lots of sparkle.  I hope you love what you see.  I certainly do.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Decorations Tour 2014

I've seen bloggers doing a photo tour of their holiday decorations and I thought I would give that a try.  Much of my decor is handmade by me so I do think my displays are unique.  Today, let's start with my newest mantle in what we call The Connector Room because it connects the old house to a barn addition we did several years ago.

Here is a full view and a detailed shot.  There are 4 types of trees on the mantle.  Birch bark trees in 2 sizes (4 trees total).  Metal trees with a ivory/metallic paint color (2 medium and 1 large), 4 small bottle brush trees, and 2 trees that I made with styrofoam cones and the ribbings cut from ivory wool sweaters.  These were just made this fall and they came out great.  They look like giant evergreens that are completely covered in snow.  Shaggy and fabulous.

I have glitter/metallic poly mesh under the whole thing and some basic lights with a white cord.

 Here is the detail of the stars on top of the sweater ribbing trees.  I made little stars out of ivory wool, stuffed them a bit, and edged them with beads using a basic blanket stitch and gold silk thread.  Then I added a vintage brooch to the center for some sparkle.  These echo the vintage brooches that I used in the fabulous pompom wreath on the fireplace itself.  I talk more about the wreath in a previous post from last winter.  Find that post here.

 Heres a closer shot of our stockings.  The two on the ends were made by my friend, Brigitte, and I won them in the Stocking Contest on separate years.  Mine, on the right, is made with about 20 types of vintage lace.  My husband's, on the left, has a great Father Christmas face which is Brigitte's signature creation.  She makes Santa sculptures that you'll see more of in a bit.  The other stockings were all made by me.  Tin soldier, snowman, and reindeer for my boys.  A Christmas tree with dog bone ornaments and a little matrushka doll for my dogs.  The lining for all is a great Mexican print with little boy angels flying around.

This grouping of ornaments hangs from one of the old barn beams to the left of the fireplace.  I'm going to re-do it next year with ivory ribbon but I just got tired of messing with it this year.  I tried 3 different ways of hanging these and just got fed up with it (and tired of risking life and limb on a ladder).  These ornaments are mostly purchased.  The large textured ball was made by me and is a styrofoam ball completely covered in small bits of ivory cashmere, painstakingly attached one by one with pins.  It is soft and so fabulous.  I included a small version of this for my ornament party last week.  All my friends loved making the ornaments.  It's so soothing to just sit and work on something like that.  Over 100 pins and bits of cloth attached one by one by one.  Why is that so relaxing?  The repetitiveness?  Maybe it's just working with cashmere.

On the next post I'll cover some of the other decorations around the house.  Spoiler alert:  I'm a sucker for ivory and metallic mantles.