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First comes Thanksgiving ...

Posted on September 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

and then comes Christmas.


If you're dreading the thought of having to plan (and make) decorations for both holidays, why not try and combine the two using material from your own (or a neighbour's) backyard. The first idea is from Camilla Fabbri over at Family chic. So simple and yet so elegant. All you'll have to do once you've bundled up those twigs is replace the candles once they're burned out.


To assemble the twigs, go here for instructions.




Meanwhile over at Love on Sunday, Amy combines twig branches and pinecones to create a simple but elegant wall decoration. Find out how she does it here.



Heather at Poppyhaus turns small birch logs into attractive candle holders for tea lights. These will take up a little more time to do but they'll last forever. Please don't chop the branches from a living tree. You can buy them at farmer's markets or pick them up on your rambles through the woods. Instructions are here.




And here's an idea from Midwest Living for a pretty pinecone tree (again using twig branches and pinecones) that can easily make the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas as a decoration. 



Just remember to check that the pinecones are clean and not harbouring any little critters. Click here to find out how to do it. 




Finally, something as simple as a spray of evergreen branches can transform a blah holiday table and is one that can be used for either holiday. This lovely display is from Die Raumfee a German blog that has oodles of great ideas for all seasons.


These are just a few examples of how you can take some stress out of your life and discover simple ways to create attractive holiday decorations that make the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Even if you don't celebrate either holiday, these ideas would work to dress up your home at this time of year.


Use what you already have or can find in your own backyard, the local parks, or from a neighbour. You save money, you save time and maybe help out Mom Nature. And you will be totally (well, almost) original, too.

More Sticky Stuff

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (1)



In my last post I described how you can easily make your own clear (and removable) stick-on transfers. I use this technique a lot, especially during Halloween. My personal favourite transfers are skulls and, for some reason, these images are popular with a few little girls I know. I use these transfers on trays, dishes, mirrors, windows and even plastic milk bottles (which I fill with battery-powered string lights) or whatever else I can find around the house that needs a bit of decoration over Halloween.



Nice, neat, and removable to use another day!

What's that on my plate?

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)



At Halloween I like to add a few little surprises for dinner guests to discover while wining and dining on the big day but these bugs I found over at Better Homes and Gardens aren't so subtle, are they? Hit you smack in the face. If you don't want to put them on plates, I imagine that you can decorate pumpkins with these.


So easy to make and the folks at BHG even provide the images so you can create your own. Go here for instructions and for the bug image pdf.




Cassie over at Hi Sugarplum borrowed an idea from our lady Martha using bug images to decorate drinking glasses, vases and jars. You'll find her instructions here.




My own take of bugs on plates (in this case, the ubiquitous house fly) is somewhat less threatening but no less revolting. Imagine find these under your salad! By the way, I've got a really, easy-peasy way you can create these buggy image transfers (or any other black and white images).


You can use the images from BHG (see above) or get your bugs and crawlies over at the The Biodiversity Heritage Library. You might have to do some searching at this site to find what you want, but it's worth the effort.


Once you've selected and downloaded your bugs and spiders, etc., size these as you like and then print them out on clear stick-on contact paper which you can buy in sheets at Walmart, Amazon, or your local art supply shops - I get mine at our local hardware store - so check around. Then just cut them out, remove the paper backing, and stick 'em on!


And if you're wondering what all this has to do with recycling - well, because you are using stick-on transfers as opposed to glue-on, you can actually remove the images (carefully) off your regular plates and glassware, stick them on a bit of plastic (I stuck my on a piece of aluminum foil), roll up, and store to use again next year - they're good for at least two more stick-ons! And, best of all, your plates, etc. will show no sign of their sinister and dark evening performances. 

Now - isn't that just plain weird?

Black Beauties - Halloween Pumpkins

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm not a ghostie, ghoulie, witchie decor fan so I look for more subtle ways to celebrate Halloween. Actually if you want the real truth, I'm really just lazy and always on the lookout for easy projects and ideas (but they have to look good, natch). So saying all this, I was quite taken with these two dark and sinister takes on pumpkins. One even includes a bit of carving up which I normally avoid.


Black Magic




Since I am a carving-challenged kind of gal, when it comes to decorating my Halloween pumpkins I usually just slap a black mask on my pumpkins and thereby save my fingers. But here’s a stunning black crescent moon I spotted at Midwest Living that just might tempt me to try my hand at carving (oh – wait a second does that mean I also have to remove the stuff inside?? I may go with an artificial pumpkin). You can get the stencil for the crescent moon here (but you have to register to get it).


Big, Black, and Scary




Craft and food stylist Paul Lowe at his Sweet Paul blog skipped the carving knife altogether when it came to decorating his pumpkin. Instead he used an artificial one and matte paint to achieve this deceptively stark and so very chic pumpkin. Here are his how-to instructions.


Just a wee note: Although I normally believe that natural is always best, when it comes to stuff like holiday decorations, I don't mind a faux take on a few things (like pumpkins). After all you can keep the thing and reuse it year after year. 

Spotted at Ikea - Pallet Recycling

Posted on August 27, 2014 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)


You know that something has gone mainstream when it shows up on Ikea's Livet Hemma site. Instead of pushing their own bed furniture, the stylists at Ikea recently featured a bed constructed from pallets peeking from under an Ikea foam mattress and colourful linen.




And in the garden, Ikea stylists also reused pallets as outdoor furniture.  Can you spot the pallets?


Halloween recycled

Posted on August 24, 2014 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)


When friends ask me if they really can create great stuff by recycling, I always reply - why not? It's all a question on how you look at stuff. This was how I decorated my Halloween hall last year and everything is recycled or upcycled (except the for pumpkins under the bench and these I upcycled into pumpkin pies, soup and brownies later). The bench was made from found wood from a nearby construction site - a friend was coerced into making if for me with the promise of pies!


The containers are garage sale finds along with the faux black pumpkin which was originally orange. I used leftover chalkboard paint to transform it. The hydrangeas were pilfered from a neighbour's yard (okay - I did ask) and spray painted with the same chalkboard paint. I add a bit of hair spray (again from a neighbour - I don't use the stuff) for added shine.


The door in the background was another rescued construction site throwaway - love those sites for scavenging stuff. As for the pumpkin pompoms on the bench, I made these using plastic bags from a local art supply store (Wallack's on Bank Street).



No plastic bags? Create similar using orange, white or black wool for the pompoms and a bit of wire for the stalk. See how to make a giant pompom over at Mollie Makes.


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