Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Dining Room Table Vignette

I had fun styling our dining table for the Christmas season.


For Christmas decorating this year in our dining room and living room I am using whites, creams, browns and tans, silver and shades of blue, mixing natural elements with shiny and sparkly. These colours, along with black, are the colours we have throughout our home all year. 


For a focal point on our dining room pine farmhouse table I started with a plank of rough sawn solid cherry that we got from my father-in-law's former sawmill. The plank is layered on a white cutwork tablerunner and wide burlap ribbon.


Then I began to gather items from around our home and in our Christmas bins. The only new purchase for this vignette was a pack of mini glass ornaments in blues (a pack of 24 on sale for $4 at Real Canadian Superstore this week.) I started with another length of burlap on the plank, then a length of sheer silver ribbon. Strings of cream and white beads were added on top of the ribbon and across the burlap. Then I added the little sled to the centre and an apothecary jar with silver balls and a glass vase with wine corks on either side. Gaps were filled in with silver and white votive candles, lots of glass candleholders, creamy-white pillar candles, and white square cut dinner candles.


Next came large and small pinecones and fresh princess pine and aromatic cedar followed by shiny and matt mini glass ornaments in white, cream, silver, and shades of blue.

 A vintage Crown mason jar with river rocks holding some fresh pine and a kissing ball made of birch bark curls sit on the little sled.


Despite the constant rain these past few days, and the fact that it gets dark now so early, I decided to take these photos this afternoon. I am hoping for some sunshine by the weekend to take photos of both Christmas trees. I'm not a pro, but I sure had fun pulling this together. It is probably not practical for dining, but we have another table in our kitchen. For Christmas Eve and Christmas day we will need both tables so I will probably move this display and just use a simple pitcher with greenery or flowers. But for now, we are really loving it. 

There are so many great parties to join this week, and I'm loving all the holiday inspiration at the following parties...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Easy Christmas Idea #7 ~Hang Pretty Ornaments

Today in #7 in my Easy Christmas Ideas series I am sharing a use for extra ornaments. 

Easy Christmas Ideas ~A series at Blue Clear Sky~

I will be sharing some simple ideas for Christmas decorating using items you may already have or that you can find inexpensively. My goal is to inspire readers looking for affordable and easy ways to decorate this Christmas. Your style may be different than mine, but many of the ideas can be altered to suit your taste.

 Easy Christmas Idea #7 ~Hang Pretty Ornaments 

  
Bring some Christmas cheer to a room by hanging pretty ornaments in a window, from a curtain rod, on a cabinet knob, or from a shelf. I used a sheer pale aqua wired ribbon, but any ribbon, twine or even fishing line would work. It is a great way to highlight special, vintage or just pretty ornaments (and it keeps delicate ornaments away from little fingers and our chocolate Lab's weapon of a wagging tail.) I bought these ornaments a couple of years ago at Canadian Tire, and used them in our masterbedroom window before, here.



We are having rain with overcast skies here for a few days that is making it difficult to get proper light in our rooms for photos. I hope you are having a great start to your week. I'm getting pretty excited with all the Christmas posts and photos that are beginning to appear on my favourite blogs!

Did you miss any of the other posts in this series?
Easy Christmas Idea #1 Buckets and Balls
Easy Christmas Idea #2 Leftover Christmas Lights
Easy Christmas Idea #3 Fabric and Burlap Garland
Easy Christmas Idea #4 Vintage Sports Equipment
Easy Christmas Idea #5 Mason Jar Snow Scene
Easy Christmas Idea #6 Make Your Own Bunting or Banner

I'm sharing this with...
The DIY Showoff

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Calf Print for the Photo Gallery

We added this prize winning Charolais calf to the photo gallery in our living room.


A professional photographer I am NOT, but I enjoy printing and framing photographs I have taken of our family and interests including the huge barn photo in our living room and the barn photos in our kitchen. It is not expensive original art, but I love the look and personality they give to our home. I had an 8" x 10" print made from the photo I took of my son's 4-H calf project at the Royal and added it to this photo gallery in the living room that is STILL a work in progress.  With Christmas, work, and family I realize that this gallery is not going to be finished before Christmas, but I can live with that. We don't go back to school and work after the holidays until January 9th so that will give me some time to devote to it then, and save me stress worrying about it now. That's how I roll.


These photos of the print aren't as good as the in-real-life print which shows the beautiful old barnboard of the Royal Winter Fair barn stalls. But then, the in-real-life print doesn't do justice to the real live calf either. She is a prize winning beauty and we are thankful to our friends, her owners, who allowed our son to show her this past year.

I hope you are having a great weekend! I'm sharing this with...

Easy Christmas Idea #6 ~Make Your Own Bunting or Banner

I crafted a Christmas banner for today's Easy Christmas Idea #6.


Easy Christmas Ideas ~A series at Blue Clear Sky~

I will be sharing some simple ideas for Christmas decorating using items you may already have or that you can find inexpensively. My goal is to inspire readers looking for affordable and easy ways to decorate this Christmas. Your style may be different than mine, but many of the ideas can be altered to suit your taste.

Easy Christmas Idea #6 ~ Make Your Own Bunting or Banner

Christmas buntings or banners can be made with fabric, ribbons, string, cardstock, fancy papers, paint, chipboard letters, glitter... there are so many options using supplies you may already have on hand or can pick up at discount or dollar stores.  The flags can be plain or have text like 'JOY', 'HOHOHO', 'NOEL', 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' and more. Hang the banner or bunting on a mantel, curtain rod, Christmas tree, banister, across a doorway, on the porch... and enjoy a splash of Christmas cheer.

You can find more photos of the banner in this post.

Hoping all my American friends had a great Thanksgiving. I'm so looking forward to your Christmas posts!

Did you miss any of the other posts in this series?
Easy Christmas Idea #1 Buckets and Balls
Easy Christmas Idea #2 Leftover Christmas Lights
Easy Christmas Idea #3 Fabric and Burlap Garland
Easy Christmas Idea #4 Vintage Sports Equipment
Easy Christmas Idea #5 Mason Jar Snow Scene

I'm sharing this with,,,
 SNS at Funky Junk Interiors

and...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gorgeous Christmas Salt Box in ConneCticut

Isn't this a pretty front door for Christmas and winter?


It belongs to this charming salt box home in Connecticut...


and the owners,  Frank and Andra Mollica. Many of you may have seen the article in Country Living magazine, or on countryliving online, but I can't help sharing it. I admire the colours, textures, and simple feel of this home so much (including the Christmas decor.) 


The wall and trim colours are very much like our main floor and hallways. Love the little trees in bowls and buckets. I would love to have a wall of windows with a wreath in each one. I might just have to try a similar look in our family room. Hmm...


The galvanized tub for a tree stand is another perfect touch, in my opinion. Can you tell I like my home to be a little simpler, a little more rustic?


Stop by the link to CL if you would like to see the kitchen and other photos. I'm going to strain my eyes analyzing these photos a bit longer ;)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends today. Enjoy your weekend and safe travels, including to my sister, brother-in-law and two nieces travelling today from here in Ontario to Pittsburgh, PA. We have our family room tree up, but lots of decorating still to do. On another note, I have always considered myself a pretty good speller, but I really did not know that Connecticut had that middle 'c'. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

PEACE Banner in Naturals and Blues

It may not have traditional Christmas colours, but this PEACE banner is the first thing I have made for Christmas decorating this year.


It is also the first indoor decoration we have in place. (Warning: Evening photos that are making my white living room walls look yellowy. I'll have to try again in daylight.)


I made this PEACE banner with items I already had in my craft supplies, so there was no new cost. I didn't have chipboard letters to glitter, so I used cardstock to print out large outlined letters on Microsoft Word. I cut the cardstock into squares making sure the letter was centered in each square. Using a small paintbrush I painted inside the outlined letter with white glue and poured on the Martha Stewart glitter in azure. If you miss a spot, just add more glue with the tip of the brush, and then pour on more glitter.


With blue accents in our living room, I decided on a natural and blue theme for this banner. My boys are taller than me, so they hung it up tonight, but I may adjust the height. 

I love the sparkle of the Martha Stewart azure glitter. With chipboard letters there would be more dimension and a layered look, but I'm happy with my make-do version. The loose weave burlap is cut from a roll of burlap from Michaels craft store (the same type I used on our Canadiana Christmas tree last year and our Cowboy Christmas Tree the year before.)


The little bows are a light blue sheer wire-edged ribbon.  


Wishing all my American blogging friends a Happy Thanksgiving! and PEACE! We are having a quiet weekend (our Thanksgiving here in Canada was back in October) but my sister, bil, and nieces are headed to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for a girl's hockey tournament.

I'm sharing with...
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
WOW us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Under $100 party at Beyond the Picket Fence
SNS at Funky Junk Interiors - Rustic/Natural/Burlap Christmas Decor 2011 Special
and the Christmas In July/Cowgirl Up Link Party at 8 great blogs
 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Easy Christmas Idea #5 ~ Mason Jar Snow Scene

Thanks for stopping by this fifth installment in my Easy Christmas Series.


Easy Christmas Ideas ~A series at Blue Clear Sky~

I will be sharing some simple ideas for Christmas decorating using items you may already have or that you can find inexpensively. My goal is to inspire readers looking for affordable and easy ways to decorate this Christmas. Your style may be different than mine, but many of the ideas can be altered to suit your taste.

Easy Christmas Idea #5 ~ Mason Jar Snow Scene


You can easily and inexpensively add a little Christmas or winter scene to your home with a mason jar, food jar, apothecary jar, or vase. Simply add some artificial snow or epsom salts, a favourite Christmas ornament, little house, bird, forest animal...whatever suits your style or theme. Tie a ribbon, a scrap of fabric or twine around the top of the jar and enjoy. I have also made others to share with family and as little hostess gifts. Only 35 days until Christmas!

Did you miss any of the other posts in this series?
Easy Christmas Idea #1 Buckets and Balls
Easy Christmas Idea #2 Leftover Christmas Lights
Easy Christmas Idea #3 Fabric and Burlap Garland
Easy Christmas Idea #4 Vintage Sports Equipment

I'm sharing with....
SNS #108 at Funky Junk Interiors





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Easy Christmas Idea #4 ~Vintage Sports Equipment

Thanks for stopping by to see this fourth post in my Easy Christmas Ideas series.


Easy Christmas Ideas ~A series at Blue Clear Sky~


I will be sharing some simple ideas for Christmas decorating using items you may already have or that you can find inexpensively. My goal is to inspire readers looking for affordable and easy ways to decorate this Christmas. Your style may be different than mine, but many of the ideas can be altered to suit your taste.

Easy Christmas Idea #4 ~Vintage Sports Equipment


Add some outdoorsy Christmas style to your home by displaying vintage sports equipment with greenery or ribbons. You could use old skiis, ice skates, snowshoes, equestrian helmets, an old fishing vest or creel, or even tennis rackets. Indoors or out, just pick your favourite sports and keep your eyes open at thrift stores, yard sales or dig in the garage or shed for these vintage pieces.

Did you miss any of the other posts in this series?
Easy Christmas Idea #1 Buckets and Balls
Easy Christmas Idea #2 Leftover Christmas Lights
Easy Christmas Idea #3 Fabric and Burlap Garland

I'm sharing this with...
WOW us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Farmhouse Friday at Laurie Anna's Vintage Home

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Easy Christmas Idea #3 ~ Fabric and Burlap Tree Garlands

Time for part three of my Easy Christmas Ideas series.


Easy Christmas Ideas ~A series at Blue Clear Sky~

I will be sharing some simple ideas for Christmas decorating using items you may already have or that you can find inexpensively. My goal is to inspire readers looking for affordable and easy ways to decorate this Christmas. Your style may be different than mine, but many of the ideas can be altered to suit your taste.

Easy Christmas Idea #3 ~Fabric and Burlap Tree Garlands


A Christmas tree garland can be easily made from cut or ripped fabric strips or burlap. A chain of book page or scrapbook paper strips would also be easy and affordable. Pick a colour or texture that suits your decor style and theme. Garland is great for adding some fullness to your tree. Do you use a garland and what type?

Did you miss any of the other posts in this series?
Easy Christmas Idea #1 Buckets and Balls
Easy Christmas Idea #2 Leftover Christmas Lights

I'm joining...
WOW us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Easy Christmas Idea #2 ~ Leftover Christmas Lights

Today I am sharing the second in a series of Christmas ideas.


Easy Christmas Ideas ~A series at Blue Clear Sky~


I will be sharing some simple ideas for Christmas decorating using items you may already have or that you can find inexpensively. My goal is to inspire readers looking for affordable and easy ways to decorate this Christmas. Your style may be different than mine, but many of the ideas can be altered to suit your taste.

Easy Christmas Idea #2 ~ Leftover Christmas Lights



Do you have broken Christmas light strands or have you switched to energy efficient bulbs? Don't throw away the old bulbs. Gather assorted coloured bulbs, or just your theme colours, and pop them in a glass vase, under a cloche or in a basket for some inexpensive Christmas decor.

Did you miss any of the other posts in this series?


Friday, November 11, 2011

I Will Remember ~Highway of Heroes

On this Remembrance Day, as we remember the young lives cut short in their brightest of days by war,
WE WILL REMEMBER.



Here in Ontario, one of our major highways is the 401, also called the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway. A few years ago a stretch of Highway 401 was also named Highway of Heroes, in honour of Canada's fallen servicemen and servicewomen. This length of highway 401 is often travelled by a convoy of vehicles carrying a fallen soldier's body, with his or her family, from Canadian Forces Base Trenton to the coroner's office at the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto. Since 2002, when the first of Canada's fallen soldiers were returned from Afghanistan, crowds have lined the overpasses to pay their respects as convoys pass. Highway of Heroes was co-written and co-produced by The Trews and Gordie Johnson. It was inspired by the 2006 death of Captain Nichola Goddard from The Trews' hometown of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. We thank and honour those who have sacrificed all in service of country.

The Highway of Heroes by The Trews


The day I shipped out,
They numbered a dozen.
Upon my return,
Were a hundred or so.
From the coast and from the prairies,
I bet they keep coming.
add one more name from Ontario.

Chorus:
Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.
People above with their flags flying low.
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.
True Patriot Love,
There was never more.

I served with distinction,
No visions of glory.
I served without question,
Or personal gain.
Seek no justification,
Its not part of my story.
and it offers
No comfort to the ones who remain.

Chorus:
Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.
People above with their flags flying low.
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.
True Patriot Love,
There was never more.

I took up my vocation,
I was called by my nation.
Without hesitation,
My answer I gave.
Now I am not wondering,
the things that I might have been.
I'm no consolation,
To the forgotten brave.

Chorus:
So Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.
People above with their flags flying low.
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.
True Patriot Love,
There was never more.

Chorus:
Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.
People I love with their heads held low.
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.
True Patriot Love,
There was never more
There was never more
There was never more
There was never more
There was never more
There was never more


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Easy Christmas Idea #1~Buckets and Balls

Today I am sharing the first in a series of Christmas idea posts.


Easy Christmas Ideas ~A series at Blue Clear Sky~

I will be sharing some simple ideas for Christmas decorating using items you may already have or that you can find inexpensively. My goal is to inspire readers looking for affordable and easy ways to decorate this Christmas. Your style may be different than mine, but many of the ideas can be altered to suit your taste.

Easy Christmas Idea #1 ~ Buckets and Balls


Hiding the base of a tree can be easily accomplished with a bucket, pail, or crock (in this case an ugly plastic stand.) I used a $2 galvanized bucket from the dollar store to hold a tabletop tree. Filling the bucket with beach stones helps to keep the tree steady and balanced. Shiny and matte white, silver and cream Christmas balls from the grocery store and bead garland from earlier years fill a thrifted vintage silverplate tray and add sparkle and interest to the arrangement. This would be a great way to use new, thrifted or vintage balls and garland.

I'm sharing with...
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

4-H at The Royal

This little miss and our oldest son had a busy time at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.


The photo below shows K competing in the 4-H National Junior Beef showmanship. In Comformation they won 1st place in Calf Class.


It was a sea of green in the 4-H beef parade that started the competition, with youth from Ontario and across Canada showing their region or provincial signs and flags. 


It was a busy, exciting, fun, and tiring few days and we are proud of K and all the competitors. So much to see, to eat and hours upon hours of walking and standing. (And I have learned that I need a different lense on my camera for next year for distance photos.)
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