Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Fin-al Count-down...

It's almost here and everything is in readiness around our place. The baking is done... The house has been decorated to within an inch of it's life - the earlier tour is here... (This is what happened to the rest of the boa, by the way. What - you don't have a feather boa wreath on your pantry?!) Even the 'cupboard under the stairs' is feeling Christmas-y... The annual Christmas carnival has been attended and enjoyed... The local street of Christmas lights has been visited... The stockings are hung (inclding the new one I made with fabic from Retro Mummy and doilies from Sweet Vintage and the op shop)... Many gifts have been given and gratefully received... And we are all set for the big day!

From my house to yours this festive season -

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,

The gladness of Christmas give you hope,

The warmth of Christmas grant you love.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Trash to Flash for little Cash...

I have been after one of these tiered cake plates for-ev-er.

The cheapest new ones run to $15-$20 and are not all that attractive. Who wants to pay that and still have to work on it? Yesterday, thrifting at Lifeline, score! While not the ugliest I have seen (and I have seen some ug-ly) it was not really my style, so apart it came.

I had some paint left from another project (White Knight Hammered Finish in Pacific Blue, in case you're interested), so used that to give it a couple of even coats on either side of the plates. This paint is a 'one-step, no primer' number - my favourite kind as I am very impatient once a project is started.

This morning I put it back together. Not bad for $4.00 and a few passses with the paint can! Can't wait to see it full of Christmas goodies when friends drop in next week.

PS. At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.

Thomas Tusser

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shriek! Gasp!

Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god!
Picture, if you will, a dorky (but secretly stylish) teenage girl who has just been noticed by THE coolest boy in the school. Are you getting it? The increased heart rate...the goofy smile...the butterflies in the tummy...there yet?
Now transpose those feelings into me as I do the happy dance around the craft room...  

 Photo from

Wanna know why??
The fabulous Eddie Ross of the wreath fame decided (in his wisdom) to run a little competition to see how many crafters out there were following his instructions and making a bauble wreath.
And guess what?? Eddie and the charming Jaithan chose my little feathery attempt in the final eight!! Oh. My. God!!
So please, could you go and vote for me here? Number 5, pretty please?
While I am very proud of my effort
and I think it's cute, some of the other entries are stunning. I am so pleased to be counted amongst them. (I don't think I'll win, but would at least like to get some votes so I'm not embarrassed in front of the seriously stylish folk!)
Thanks friends.
The voting is open until Thursday. Mwaah!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Tour...

Hi all! Tomorrow (assuming I can work out the international time zones) I am joining in my first linky party over at Nesting Place. If you want to check out the tour, click on the button on the right.

So here is a little tour of my house as I get ready to host the 'big family Christmas'. Come on in! I decided to start the new colour scheme right at the front door. The famous Eddie Ross wreath has pride of place in the lounge, along with some simple bursts of colour in the new theme.

Bowls full of baubles add lots of punch for little dollars. (These are all plastic!) The tree - also themed for the very first time! Luckily my multi-coloured ornament collection of many years included plenty of red, aqua and silver, so I only had to buy a few new pieces.
Couldn't resist this little guy. He's new. (How could I go past the aqua feathers, I ask you?!)
I shopped the house for accessories the right colour, so that I could have a little bit of Christmas everywhere...
and even the smallest room in the house deserves some festive cheer.
I added some sweets in my colour for the season (these are sugared almonds) as they are a fun and cheap way tie in any little area.
And finally, as this is Queensland, I have added a wreath and fairy lights to our outdoor entertaining area. This space will get plenty of use on the big day, so why not?
Hope you enjoyed the tour. Come back soon!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do you Renovate?

No, not of houses...of decorations! I do, in a big way. This is my latest 'reno'.
Our house has a double front door - looks really great, but is hard to decorate at Christmas. One wreath just doesn't work (which side would you put it on?) and two looks odd to me. (No offence if you have two on double doors - just doesn't do it for me.) Instead, I have been using two of these swags... They were still looking OK after about 10 years of use in various places, but this year did not match my new red/aqua/silver theme AT ALL. So off came all the gold and anything that wasn't attached firmly.
That left me with greenery and red berries - a great base. I started the reno with a present topper (2 for $1 at the cheap shop) in red and silver. Hot glue is your friend. Perfect for this job.
Then I added 2 poinsettia flowers from my decoration stash, and a few baubles left over from the wreath. (Either wire them on to switch out each time your colour theme changes or hot glue for a more permanent change.) Looking good!
A couple of aqua leaf picks, (also from the cheap shop ages ago - I didn't know what I was going to use them for, but knew that I would. You know how it is) one either side of the present topper.
Some more feathers from the boa I bought for the wreath (still mostly intact, by the way. A few dollars really well spent) tucked in with a dab of glue and a piece of ribbon tied in a bow around the topper...
Ta -da! A tiny piece snipped off the end of a piece of aqua tinsel and hot glued on finshes each end of the swags and adds a little sparkle. They are held on with 3M 'Command' hooks, clearly one of the best inventions ever.
I'm pretty happy with the new look. Will post some more renovations soon.

Till then, remember the old adage
"Make new, make do or do without."
Hope everyone is keeping those Christmas budgets in check!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

It's finally here! Today marks the start of the official 'festive season' at our house. The Advent calendar is up, the countdown tree calendar is out, the decorations are appearing and the tree will go up tonight, with the kids' help. Yay!

Back in October, I came across a post from Eddie Ross from last Christmas, showing a gorgeous bauble wreath. It was love at first sight. :sigh: I knew I had to make one. It seems that half the blogosphere has had the same idea this year - they are popping up everywhere.

Here is my version: Gather your supplies - a wire coathanger, something to unwind the hanger and shape it with, some craft glue and baubles in co-ordinating colours (allow more than you think you'll need - trust me on this).

The fabulous Eddie used 80 vintage glass balls. My version is a tad more thrifty. I used about 50 balls of various sizes - plastic ones from Coles, Crazy Clarks, Spotlight and my decoration box! Before you start the assembly, take the time to pull off the caps and glue them back on. (I neglected this step and was very sorry and frustrated - no room for 'she'll be right' here.) Hot glue is the quickest.
Once you have unwound the coathanger and shaped it into a circle, start threading the balls on. Make sure to vary the size, so that the smaller ones fill the gaps and you can't see too much wire.
Leave a small amount of wire at the end. Once all the balls are threaded, push them together tightly and bend the last bit around the base of the hook. (This is the point where your baubles will start shooting off if you have neglected to do the GLUE step! It would have made a great 'funny home video', but not from where I was standing. You have been warned.)
As every man and his dog is making one of the wreaths this year, I though I would personalize mine a little. Enter a feather boa from the $2 shop.
I pulled off individual feathers and dipped the end into some glue. Then I just poked them randomly in between the balls, as close as possible to the wire.

Ta-Da! With the addition of a matching piece of ribbon (purely for looks), I hung the wreath from a mirror using the hook of the coathanger, just bent around to face the back.
Pretty huh?


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