Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tis The Season for GIF-ting

So, I must say, I was pretty disappointed in my lack of motivation to decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving, where I did just about nothing to make the house feel festive. I think it's mainly because I don't have many decorations on hand, and because the fall colors just aren't my favorite.

But now it's Christmas time!! And I do have decorations and red+green=joy. Actually, literally speaking, red+green=brown, but that's neither here nor there. I will not literally mix the colors together, just lovingly place them side-by-side.

The day after Thanksgiving, John and I decorated the whole house. What that really means is that John got the boxes down, sat on his phone refreshing ESPN, and then re-joined the process once we were ready to hang ornaments. As you may see below… I made a GIF. It's the first one I've ever done, and it was actually extremely easy. I just followed this tutorial, and there you have it. Our Christmas tree from start to finish. Please excuse the combination of all types of terrible lighting. Normally I take pictures of the house early in the morning before the sun is casting shadows, but doing real-time pictures makes that a little difficult.

We got our tree from Home Depot with a lot of help from some leftover wedding gift cards. It's a Martha Stewart pre-lit 7.5" tree, and the lights can either be colored, white, or transitioning between the two. It came with a metal base, and the tree was split into 3 pieces. It was insanely easy to put together--we just set out the base and then put each piece on top of the next. We didn't even have to deal with plugging the wires together because they connected through the pole in the center.

Shall we look at all of the other decorations now? Don't mind the mossy concrete… it's only been a year since I last power washed our entryway and driveway, but it's already time to do it again.

Below is the chair that normally sits where the Christmas tree is. We just moved it over to the other side of the room, and I actually really like it there. It's a strange little area because of how the stairs meet the wall, and having something over there is a nice addition. Perhaps we'll get another chair for that spot? But then we'll have 3...

The pillow on the chair looks a little busy, but it was the best spot given the choices. I think bright spring florals and Christmas just don't necessarily mix, but I'd rather have it out than not use it. It also looks a little funny to have those stockings on the door knob (and there are two more on the front door knob), but this is my first Christmas without a mantel so I'm not really sure what to do with them. Any suggestions? 

I just swapped out our usual yellow pillow for a Christmas one from Crate and Barrel that I got a few years ago, and added a picture frame of me that my mom always used to put out.

The picture is of me playing with Mardi Gras beads which were apparently my absolute favorite. We have another picture of me wearing some that went down to my knees! I guess Tulane was the obvious choice for more than one reason.

Some of our art & outdoor furniture is looking mighty Christmasy nowadays. On the couch, I just popped on two holiday pillows and swapped out our normal blanket for a really cozy knitted one. Note to self: need more holiday pillows.

On top of the table you can barely see a little red Santa that counts down how many days/hours/minutes until Christmas, and on the front of the table is a countdown that John got us last christmas. If you look closely, you can see a tiny yellow triangle on a clear plastic hand that's pointing towards the "1" that you move around as we get closer to the big day. 

I even got around to wrapping all of the Christmas presents we've bought for people. John's are the only ones I haven't done yet...

Can you tell we love the Peanuts gang?

This is an ornament I made for a lot of people as gifts a few years back. I just took a styrofoam ball and glued on fake pearls and added a ribbon. It was extremely time consuming (especially because the pearls had a hole drilled through them so they could be strung, so you had to orient them perfectly to hide the holes), but I really liked how they turned out.

This year I went and got some butcher paper to wrap gifts in so I could try my hand at using fun fonts on the exterior. I still need some practice… hence the lack of a closeup ;)

In the dining room I set out a table runner I made a few years ago, some Crate and Barrel napkins, and a ornament tree I made last year.

The table runner is a long piece of felt with slits cut every inch and a half or so. I just ran ribbon through it to make a woven pattern.

The tree is a tall conical piece of styrofoam-ish material that I glued ornaments to. This is the perfect example of a DIY project I should have never done: I saw the finished product somewhere for $50 and through to myself, "I could make that!" So, I went and bought all of the supplies (which ended up being just about $50 because it took a lot more ornaments than it seems like it would) and spent 5-ish hours painting the cone gold (for the visible spots between the ornaments), removing the metal pieces that are on the end of ornaments so you can attach a hook, and hot-glueing them onto the cone. There are a lot of DIY projects I've done that makes me appreciate why things cost what they do!

And, as you may have seen on Instagram, my extensive holiday dishtowel collection. I didn't realize it was so bad until I literally ran out of surface to put them on. The red one on the right with the little Christmas trees is actually sticking out from under my microwave… because I was that desperate for a spot (not to mention that there's a towel directly under that one… can you see it?). It may seem a little silly to just stick them wherever I can, but there's something about our first Christmas together in our house that has taken away all of my self control and editing eye. It's like, if I have it, I'm going to use it. Just because I'm too excited not to. Perhaps next year I'll pare things back a little, but this year we're all-in.

So do you have any fun DIY projects you do for Christmas? And delicious recipes? Please share! Also, if you have any suggestions for where to put our stockings, I'd love to hear them!

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