Monday, December 17, 2012

OMG The Full Mantel!

My Mantel has became its own Country! I think this is the best yet! I don't mean to toot my own horn, but when you see this in person, it is Jaw Drop'n! One of my Friends called it "The Full Monty"! I love that! The colors of Red, Green and Gold will always stay, but each year I try and come up with a new design and I always add something new to it, weather it's a new ornament or Like this year the bow in the middle with the tall glass vase holding the fresh greens and berries.
I start by going to Lowes or Home Depot to get all their free Christmas tree trimmings, I mean I fill up the back of The Hearse (my beach car) with all I can haul. When I get home I spread out an old sheet and start going through the branches with the help of my big ol Black Cat Skooter. I put all the things that are what I call a "given" on the mantel, the lamps, reindeer and candles etc.Then I start adding all the greenery.

I wire together a big side arch that I attach to the mantel on a hidden nail on the back, this curves down all the way to the hearth.

I then start by adding the red lights and all the red berries and I start with the garlands. This year my change up was the tall glass vase filled with spiked seeds from our Sweet Gum Tree, added in the greenery and berries, and this gave me the height I wanted. for the center. (sorry this pic is a little blurry) You can see the Reindeer and the red mercury glass candle holders.

As you enlarge these pictures you can see all the garlands, ornaments, gold grapes, gold glitter tingting, gold glitter mesh ( that I cut into 2 foot pieces, and just tuck in each end to give the illusion of it running through the greenery), ribbons and cute Nordic Snowmen that I've added to the design. Hang a couple of ornaments on ribbons to balance it all out and Voila! My 2012 Christmas Mantel!!
The party is going on, and every one wants to be taking a picture at the Mantel or of the Mantel! It's a Hit!

Still Putting Up Christmas!

I have finally finished all my decorating for Christmas! Whew, I don't know, but for some reason, this year seems to have taken such a long time to get things done, Could Age have anything to do with it? I don't know! But all my friends have had the same problem, just trying to get into the swing of things.
I have the Kitchen Cabinets all decorated in Copper Glitter, which by the way has left me sparkly! Even after a shower I'm still covered in glitter!

I  have this section of my Kitchen a little more formal looking, it goes from Copper Glitter on the left, to Gold and White on the right, this is the end next to my Living Room. Don't you just love my Copper Angel!

The Chest in my Family Room next to the Fireplace has an Angel that was my Moms, you can also see the Christmas Pillow I made from a burlap print and just added all the trims and fringes and red sequins. The Christmas Stocking was sent to me from a friend that I made on the internet in one of my garden groups, she lives in England. I couldn't believe when I received such a sweet present from her, and it matches my pillow perfectly!

I have posted a rather unflattering view of my Dining Room, just so you could see the walls lined with the bags of Ornaments I will give out to all the Women at our Christmas Party, this year I will give out 42 bags, and each holds at least 3 to 4 ornaments. If I know the girl really well the ornaments will coordinate with her decor, and all my Jewish friends get White, Silver and Blue Ornaments.

This is "The 13th Annual Christmas Party" well known around our Beaches Community.
Looking forward to the Party, this really gets the Christmas Season kicked off!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Let the Holidays Begin! Fa la la la la

Things are really buzz'n! Everyone is busy getting up the decorations, and I am no different! Have our 13th Annual Christmas Party coming up, so I'm so busy getting the house ready, hopefully I will be finished with the inside by the weekend, and then we can turn or attention to the outside lights.

Started on the tree! I call it the Mother of All Trees! It is such a kick-ass sturdy tree, it has to be, to hold all the gazillion ornaments I put on every year! I have every ornament that was given to me or that I've made since I was 22 years old!

This tree is a very wide tree and to fit into this space I have to turn all the branches down, and really mash the ones in the back so I can smuch it up to the wall, I do this for walk around space. I start out with my lights and then the garland. This garland is over 30 years old, each year I take and roll it on a wrapping paper tube and this keeps is looking new.

I start by adding all my huge ornaments, they measure for 8 to 9 inches across, then I'm off to the races!

Skooter my Black Cat, sits and watches me the whole time, I will get the Angel on the top as soon as it is unpacked. I don't think there is one inch left on the tree to put even one more ornament!

I add my collection of Christmas Boxes to the tree, I don't put presents under the tree until it's about a week before, then I pack all these boxes away.

Finished up the window ledge in the dining room, now on the the kitchen!

I love this Della Robbia Paper Mache Santa that I found a few years ago at Goodwill!! He is perfect in my Kitchen. I am on to other rooms and will post those pictures later! Have fun decorating your Home for the Holidays! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rena Designs Ornaments!

Thought I would  make a gift for the ladies that head up the committee for Ponte Vedra Players Womens Club, that is where I'll be doing my presentation. I chose to do Ornaments!
I started with 4" styrofoam balls, and using all my little bits and pieces I saved, I am a crafter and even if it's an inch long, I just have to save it, cuz ya never know!! The first ball I covered in the silk flowers I got by taking apart a lei, added a coordinating ribbon, White satin finish ornament, white shell, white pearls, fluffy pom, glitter leaves and branches. The second one I covered with the red netting from an onion bag, yep an onion bag! I keep it all! lol! Added burgundy leaves, pink satin balls, red mirror berries, pink berries, and glitter  branches. I think they will love them! I hope you'll try little fun projects like this, they're so easy, and a great way to get the creative juices flowing!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Presentation in November!

I have been getting ready for my November presentation. These are so much fun , I give decorating ideas for the Holidays, do a tutorial on napkin folding and show all how to tie beautiful bows and store them correctly. A lot of my groups are Women's Clubs, Luncheon Groups etc. These are made up of all ages but so many are of the Mature persuasion. I try to encourage them to decorate for themselves, as so many have stopped because they don't have Kids or Family to visit. I stress the importance of doing it for their own happiness. I show them how to make a small vignette on a dining room table or to just put some favorite ornaments in a dish that they will pass everyday, it doesn't have to be a full tree, but just seeing a few of the things you used to decorate with can truly lift your heart. I also make two arrangements that they raffle off. This year I noticed in so many of the Holiday Decorating sites they were using more sleighs this year, and they have also shown pitchers as the containers for their arrangements, so I did the same. The Sleigh was a find at a Church Bazaar, and the Pitcher was from a friend years ago, the gift was well used and she would love the idea of my passing it on for someone else to love!

Since the pitcher had a more rustic look, I kept with a Forest Theme. I saw on Pinterest the decorated pine cone and decided to try it and I loved the way it turned out! Just a really fun way to use up all those ribbon pieces we tend to save for what I don't know! Cut ribbon about 2 1/2 inches long and glue ends together, take one of your loops and put a dab of glue on the end and insert in between the petals of the cone, start by using a slightly wider ribbon for the top row and then alternate your rows of coordinating ribbon the rest of the way. Put a little decoration on top, I used red glitter berries and made another loop of ribbon and glued in the middle for the hanger. I added this to the side of the arrangement and finished off with a wide red bow.

With the Sleigh, I stuck with the same theme of Forest. Using a big gnarly Poinsettia, Pine boughs covered in Snow, red ornaments and finished it off with Red and Green Plaid Ribbons, and I love the pieces of red glitter loops! For some reason my pictures are showing Fuchsia, but believe me thy are true Christmas Red!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

After such a pitiful turnout of Trick or Treaters this year, of which I only had nine! Two groups of four and a single little Mermaid, I started thinking of all the fun time we were privileged to experience on Halloween. Those days are long gone my friend! Seemed the whole neighborhood was involved in this fun night, people turned their garages in to haunted houses, with spaghetti in bowls (brains) grapes in bowls (eyeballs) mashed potatoes in bowls (snot) soft carrots in bowls (fingers), they would blindfold us and lead us through, all of us
screaming as we reached in and felt the brains, eyeballs, snot and fingers! Dads would have scary elevator rides, a board perched on top of two one gallon paint cans, blindfold us, have us stand on the board then they would grab each end of the board and lift it a little and as they did this they would start crouching down, and our hands that were grabbing hold of their shoulders could feel the sensation of going high up into the air, of course we would jump off screaming thinking we were a mile high, hit the dirt that we were only six inches off of, with a thud, jamming our knees up to our foreheads! We were running in groups of at least ten to twenty, ghosts, witches, hobo's, bloody faces, long fang fake teeth, ballerina's, gipsy's, cowboys, indians, sailors, mind you most of all these costumes were home made, all of us and a gazillion other groups of kids, running and screaming "Trick or Treat", holding out our pillowcases, then on to the next house! Bags heavy, running home to empty and head right back out! Oh and getting homemade popcorn balls wrapped in cellophane, homemade chocolate chip cookies in little white bags, apples, oranges, and a really good house gave out nickles!! do you know how much candy we could get with that nickle!! and we all knew who's mom was the "Good" cook! And we were "Alone", we did not have each one of us hosting ten adults following with flashlights!  Now in my neighborhood, of which is a very nice one, most people turn out their lights, and do not give out candy, how sad is that! One year I put on a scary mask and a huge purple tulle skirt around my neck, but when I came to the door a mother yelled at me for scaring her kids...wha?? BALLS! This holiday has really turned into more of an adult thing, we are the ones wearing the costumes and having elaborate parties, spaghetti in bowls, grapes in bowls, I guess we're trying to get back that long lost feeling of running free, screaming, the tingling of being scared! Halloween!

Dixie Boy looking out the glass door, I think he spies a Goblin coming!
The Mantel all ready for the night, Halloween Night!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Starting to Look Like Fall !

One of the best times of the year, we get to bring some of the warm colors into our home decor! Olive Greens, Mustard Yellows, Burnt Oranges, Pumpkins and a little Halloween thrown in the mix. Just transforms the whole feel of the house! I love it!

This basket of leaves are the ones my Grandaughter and Grandson picked up from the front yard when we first moved into the home. They were 2 and 5 years old at the time, now they are 15 and 17! I love putting them out every year, I guess you could call it a Fall Tradition. I hope they love all the little things I do, because it is just for them, and it is totally from my heart.

Blue Angels Come to The Beaches!

Had a Wonderful start to the Weekend! The Sea and Sky Spectacular was at the Beaches! The Blue Angels put on such an exciting show, something about those jets flying overhead , makes you feel so proud to be an American!  Got to watch the show from an oceanfront condo on the ninth floor balcony, so the planes zooming by were right at eye level! Thrilling is the only word that describes the maneuvers these brave pilots accomplish, with such effortless looking flair.

The air has already changed, the humidity has all but gone! I've been enjoying all the changes, leaves are starting to fall, all the Fall blooming plants are just starting their show! My Roselle is blooming like mad and I noticed the Orange Honeysuckle is starting to open! Cool mornings are such a treat!

And check out the Pothos growing on my fence, this was a tiny piece at the bottom of a plant, the top leaves are the size of dinner plates! Will hate to see them go when the cold weather brings the freezes.