Dec 19, 2014

Christmas In Our Family Room

Happy Friday, everyone! 

Today, I'm sharing our family room all decked out for Christmas.

This is where our family hangs out whenever the kids come over to visit, so we have plenty of comfy seating here for all six of us. It's the perfect room to be laid back and casual.

We watch lots of movies together here too, so when I found these vintage film reels in my Ballard catalog last year, I thought they'd make great wall decor for our family room. 

For our chalkboard Merry Christmas pennants, I was inspired by Rachel at Shades of Blue Interiors to try making some like hers with my computer and printer. Using simple shapes, a chalkboard font, and rubbing some white chalk over the black parts of each print after I cut them out, gave them a sweet chalkboard look. 

I just love old toy farm trucks, so I waited until this reproduction went on sale for half off at the craft store after Christmas last year and snapped it up. It's been driving around the family room and finally found a spot to park here in my little forest of trees with the rag bunting curled around them on the ottoman. 

I really depend on pillows and cozy throws to add seasonal color to our brown leather sectional (from Bernhardt.) These throws are the best buy ever (at $14 each online from Target) for the warmest softest throws you've ever felt. I have them in just about every color they make. The solid pillows are from Pier One, and the Christmas pillow is from Tai Pan Trading Co. The leather and wood ottoman (from Costco) has big deep drawers to store extra throws and pillows and pull-out trays to hold popcorn and drinks. Our huge wood ottoman tray is from Ballard Designs and provides a stable flat surface for decorating the ottoman, while leaving enough room to rest lots of pairs of feet around it.

You know how much I love chalkboards. This unframed one on the wall is the one I made by painting an artist canvas with chalk paint for my potting bench last fall. It's lightweight and easy to hang quickly with just a push pin. My husband used to quote this Ren and Stimpy saying to the delight of our girls when they were little, and it's the perfect sentiment for how we all feel about spending time together now at Christmas. 

The chalkboard on the front of the wood toolbox is also great for portable sentiments whenever and wherever the mood strikes. 

Chalkboards are great!

For seasonal artwork on my photo clipboards (photo clipboard tutorial here) I turned to my printer again. I used some free printable tartan scrapbook paper from Scrapbook Scrapbook as a background and added some white snowflakes from PicMonkey.

Last year we had a small live tree in a basket here next to our little writing table, but this year I bought a fake tree half off at the craft store and put it up on an old fruit crate with my homemade tartan tree skirt tucked around it. 

I haven't found time to properly decorate this little tree yet, but it's nice to have its sparkle and shine in the family room. I have plans to make some charming new handmade ornaments for it in my spare time. 

(What?! Spare time?!)

Most of our Christmas decorations this year are new or handmade by me, since we've given most of our older decorations to our daughters for their own homes. Our raggedy snowman, a sweet gift from my sister in law, is one of the favorites we kept. 

We really miss having a fireplace in our home this time of year, and a cozy fireplace for the living room is definitely on our remodeling wish list next year if we can win approval from the National Historic Commission to move a window. 

For now, we are enjoying a virtual fireplace in our family room, complete with stockings hung on the mantle and crackling fire sounds. While sipping on a glass of wine with some soft Christmas music playing in the background, we can feel the heat coming from our big screen as we bask in the glow from the "fireplace" and tree lights. 

Well, okay, maybe after two glasses of wine...   :)

Go on, give it a try!

Feel the warmth? 

Thank you for letting me share our family room with you today. I'm looking forward to baking some Christmas cookies this weekend, and I hope to be back early next week to share our festive Christmas kitchen.

Have a wonderful weekend!

{Visit our Christmas living room and dining room, too!}

Please join me at some lovely parties!

The Charm Of Home
The Cottage Market

Dec 17, 2014

Christmas In Our Dining Room

Hi again! I hope you all are having a great week. Earlier this week I shared our living room decorated for Christmas. (If you missed it you can see it here.) Today, I'm back again to share Christmas decorations in our dining room. 

I decorated our dining room with a woodland winter wonderland theme this year. 

I wanted to marry our woodland themed living room with some new white decorations I purchased and made.

Our new white porcelain deer found a home on the dining room table. (I just love them!)

And some new sparkly silver and white homemade decorations have settled into the corner cabinet.

 I made these glittered Putz houses (tutorial here), bleached some bottle brush trees, and made a pretty PEACE banner from twine and craft store letters. I tucked some little battery operated press-on lights in behind the houses to light each of the six scenes at night.

This is the first time I've decorated the old white pine corner cabinet. I just moved all the dishes to the candle cabinet, which is now empty. 

Where did the candles go?

Up here on the other side of the dining room! In the evening with the candles and corner cabinet all lit up, it really does look like a winter wonderland in our dining room. 

My pretty burlap JOY banner was created from a tutorial shared by the lovely 
Yvonne at Stone Gable

My husband built this cute little pine bench for us, and it's come in handy in every room of the house at one time or another. Here in the dining room it holds my chicken wire plate stand filled with branch tips cut from our Christmas tree, some pine cones, a few berries, and two little white trees.   

I just love baking and cooking in the kitchen while looking out at all the Christmas decorations in the dining room and living room.

Thank you for coming by today to see our winter wonderland dining room. Next up, I'll be sharing our family room, all cozy and cute and decked out for Christmas, so don't forget to stop by again later this week!

{Visit our Christmas living room and family room, too!}

It's a great time to party!

From My Front Porch To Yours
Rooted In Thyme
French Country Cottage

Dec 15, 2014

Christmas In Our Living Room

This holiday season has been a magical one for my husband and me so far, beginning with a Thanksgiving feast in our home with our beautiful grown-up children. We all had so much for which to be thankful this year, and a deep gratitude for my family and our rich lives together has been making my Christmas preparations extra special for me. 

So, I'm also extra happy to be sharing our holiday-decorated home with you on my blog this year, beginning today with our living room. I've been busily working non-stop since Thanksgiving making decorations and preparing our home for a warm and cozy Christmas. Every little task has brought me great joy, and every little detail is brimming with love for my home and family. 

I hope you enjoy it!

We always have our fresh cut Christmas tree here in the corner of the entry where we can see it from the whole house.

This is the first tree I've ever decorated with a theme. I separated out anything that seemed woodsy from our own ornaments, then I made a bunch more and bought a few. (Read about the ones I made here and here.)

My husband loves the natural look with so much of the tree showing. He says, "Now, that's a Christmas tree!" I think he means a manly tree. :)

We don't have a fireplace, so I try to think up creative ways to leave the stockings where Santa will find them. 

It's always fun to decorate the hutch. The antlers on top are from my husband's childhood, hunting in Montana with his father.

My daughter brought these deer home from the thrift store for me. I painted them with gold metallic paint and glittered the horns with German glass glitter.

These framed photos are of my mother and father at Sugar Bowl in the 1940's.  They were both pioneers of skiing in the Sierra Mountains. 

As always, we have faux candles sprinkled all over the house. They go on at five and off at ten. I love them!

I have tried and tried to grow real bulbs at Christmas, and they always flop to one side, so this year I bought some that will never fall over! 

I bought this brass deer at a yard sale just down the street last summer. I just love it when that happens. And look! My faux on-at-five/off-at-ten candle fits it perfectly! Gosh, life is good!

I've had the other big brass candlestick for as long as I can remember, and it always comes out for the holidays.

Doesn't Tucker look cozy over there by the window? I think he makes the best holiday decoration.

My cow asked me for his very own rockin' winter scarf after Laura's cow showed him his snazzy red one.

I always end up putting my favorite new ornaments somewhere other than the tree the first year, so I can enjoy them close-up. These are next to my reading chair.

It's not by chance that my reading chair has the best view in the house of the Christmas tree.

The chalkboard meandered over to this side of the living room to make room for the Christmas tree. Do you move stuff around for your tree, too?

I tucked my father's snowshoes and some greenery in my olive bucket behind my chair in the corner. My father used to snowshoe into Squaw Valley with his skis on his back before there were roads there, a real pioneer whose passion was skiing.

Two new woodland deer joined my favorite vintage Santa in my big tray under the clock this year. 

I found Santa for 75% off at the craft store after Christmas years ago. I wrap him up oh, so carefully, every year after the holidays, and he never looks a day older.

I just love that beard! There could be a bird or two snuggled inside that beard, and we'd never know.

I saved my favorite new decoration to show you last. My husband gave me this cool pillow that I've wanted for ever so long for my birthday last month. I just tore the page with the picture of it right out of my catalog, gave it to my husband, pointed him in the direction of the mall, and the saleswomen did the rest. (I think I'm onto something there!) 

Tucker says I've spent enough time sharing Christmas in our living room for today. The sun is setting, and it's time for his dinner. 

It's time to turn on the tree lights, close the curtains against the cold, and wish you a good evening.

Thank you all for joining me today. I had so much fun showing you around. I'll be sharing the rest of our home decorated for the holidays later this week, so I hope you come back!

{Visit our Christmas dining room and family room, too!}

I'm sharing the love this week with:

Dec 11, 2014

Pottery Barn Knock-Off DIY Glittery Putz Houses

Yesterday, I deviated a bit from my woodland Christmas decorating theme to make 
some glittery Putz Houses. 

I wondered where the term putz came from, so I did a bit of research. Now don't quote me, but I think the word putz when applied to these pretty shiny houses may come from the German word putzen, which means to brighten and/or from the Yiddish word puts, which means ornament. 
However they came by their name, I've always loved the magical quality of these little paper maché or cardboard houses decorated with glitter. They invite my imagination to visit a snowy sparkly miniature world of enchantment. Happily, I found out Putz Houses (just like this pretty one offered at Pottery Barn) are really easy and fun to make. 


You can make your own Putz Houses from cardboard and patterns found on the internet or even design your own patterns. You can also purchase houses like the ones above at craft stores.

  This year, I found these cute little wood houses for a few dollars at the thrift store. They're pretty cute as they are, but I wanted them to really sparkle for Christmas decorations. 

I mixed up some homemade chalk paint in a jar (a heaping tablespoon plaster of paris mixed well in a little water, then added to about half a cup of latex paint) and gave the houses a couple of coats of white to make an easy base for the glitter to cover. Regular old craft paint would work fine 
for this, too.

 They're already beginning to look more wintery with white paint, but look how the glitter transforms this little house to magical.

When the base paint was dry, I used large and small paint brushes to apply undiluted white glue (poured into a small jar) to the roof and trim. I sprinkled on lots of silver chunky German glass glitter, catching the extra glitter on a paper plate to reuse. I let those areas dry overnight, and the next day I painted more glue onto the sides and sprinkled them with fine white glitter. It was super easy!

I glittered all my little houses and put them in my dining room corner cabinet. Lit up with candles at night, they're transformed into a magical twinkly winter wonderland. I'll share them on my blog soon when I have the rest of the dining room ready, so I hope you'll come back to see. But today, I wanted to share how easy and fun it is to make a Putz House of your very own.

{Note: I just posted my Christmas dining room, so click here to see the rest of my Putz Houses.}

Thanks for coming by, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

It's time for a party!

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