Thursday, December 12, 2013

simple live wreaths

I showed you my fun and simple live wreaths on Tuesday, and as promised, here's the non-tutorial! It's another super simple free christmas decorating trick, and you'd better believe I'll be doing this again and again and again.........
Do yourself a favor and whip up one (or ten). They're whimsical and fun, and the imperfection is what makes them so great. I don't know about you, but I'm really good at an imperfect project ;)

Here's what you need:
Wire (an old coat hanger works well for this) bent into a circle
Tree/bush cuttings (the longer and thinner the better). I used trimmings from a gigantic neighborhood ficus. Again, freeeeee!
Bend your wire into a circle if it isn't already. Grab your longest branch and start weaving it around the wire. It's like those crafts you do when you're a kid: over and under and over and under!
Continue weaving until you're out of branch :)
If your branch is forked at all, just weave them one at a time. Pick one fork, and weave it until you get to the end, then go back and do the branched pieces. Be careful to wrap under leaves as long as you can.
To start a new branch, tuck it between some of the other branches that are already woven in.
And that's it! It's seriously so dang easy. Like I said before, it took me five minutes to whip these up, and that includes the time it took for me to hunt up something on which to hang them. Since they were yard trimmings I can just toss them at the end of the season, but the beauty of this project is that once the branches die and stiffen up, the leaves will just fall off and I could just have a plain branch wreath to use. I can't decide what I wanna do!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

free fluffy fake tree trick

Are you ready for this?
I inherited my fake Christmas tree right after college when my aunt decided she wanted a silver one instead. SOLD. We got a real tree last year because Tim HAD NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE (silly, I tell you), but opted to use the fakie this year.
It was pretty and glowy and magical and just oh-so-totally fake-looking. It is one of those umbrella trees that just unfold and plug in, aaaaaaaaaand even if it's totally decorated you can totally tell.
 Now check this out.
No new ornaments were added, not a single one. Two additional strands of lights were added, just because my trick muted the prelit ones just a little bit. BUT. Amazing difference.
So here's my secret weapon:
Tree cuttingggggggs!!!!!
 YOU GUYS. If you ever pay for pine cuttings YOU ARE BEING RIPPED OFF. We were able to get this gigantic pile of trimmings for $0. ZEROOOOOOOOO! This is a game-changer.

Places that sell Christmas trees will trim the bottom branches as a service, and stick all the leftover branches in a bin to be recycled. If you ask, they'll let you take it (the more you take, the less they have to pay in pickup fees, so it's good for you AND them)! Box stores do it, and I'm pretty sure smaller mom&pop places do it too. We just grabbed a bunch of them, and stuffed our tree with the cuttings. HAHA.
Look how dang fluffy it is! It looks so much more like a real fluffy tree, and smells like one too :) At some point during the stuffing, we blew a fuse in one of our light strands. Whoops! And to tell you a little secret, we totally didn't fix it. haha No one said I was a domestic goddess. The "stuffing" muted a bunch of the lights on the prelit tree, so we strung two strands of colored lights to make up for it.
It was kind of a pain to un-decorate the tree to stuff it and then REdecorate it, and again there is the bummer of having to put MORE lights on a prelit tree, but WHO CARES! It's amazing!  The branches may get crispy, but I'm thinking we've got at least a week or two in there :) Maybe I'll spray them with water, but probably not haha.
Isn't this the bestest trick everrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!? Tell me if you do ittt!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

deck the halls or whatever

First, BOKEH!
We pretty much reused all of our Christmas decorations from last year, and I'm totally good with it. A) We travel for the holidays and don't generally get to enjoy a pretty decorated house, and B) uh, we're not made of money!!!!! So my snowflake and paint chip garlands made an encore appearance. Again, I'm cool with it.
We moved the tree to the opposite corner of the living room and left the TV where it was. It's more fun having the tree in this corner because it can be seen lit up from the street :)
Day // Night
Oh, and just to get you to come back tomorrow, here's our tree after my awesome fluffy fake tree trick:
Seriously. Come back tomorrow.
Remember the awkward swaggy-thing we used to have over our bay window? I barely remember it too, thank goodness!!! Unfortunately, when I took it down I didn't realize that I would miss it part of the time--It looked awesome at Christmastime! We would swap the chiffon for a lighted garland that we'd hang with sparkly Christmas ornaments. It was so magical! Remember?
Christmas 2012
This year, since we'd said goodbye to that awkward hardware and hello to punchy curtains, I had to think outside the box. So I just stuck the garland on the bay sill and hung the bulbs in the window. Presto change-o, that's my M.O.
I added a few live wreaths between the curtains this year, and I LOVE them. I whipped up all three of these in five minutes, and that includes the time it took for me to hunt down three little hooks AND hang them. Boom. Tutorial coming Thursday?
Everything is also pretty glowy and gorgeous at night :)
Oh, and our door!!!!! I whipped up a wintry wreath for our front door using pipe insulation, some yarn, and two 8.5x11 sheets of felt.
I made a wintry one instead of a Christmas one because I'll probably forget about it until March ;). It's so happy and punchy and simple; wreaths are my new favorite thing.
Aaaaaaannnnnd now I'm off to clean my front door, blech. Just keeping it real, folks ;)
Merry Christmas season!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

early christmas present

Rug from World Market
My sweet mother-in-law gifted us the rug of my dreamsssssssssssssssssssssss while we were in Flagstaff over Thanksgiving. We seriously dig it.

Again, we loved our lattice-print rug, but it just wasn't practical in the space with our sand-and-mud-tracking pup. No amount of shampooing could save the white spots on that rug :(. It will find a new home in our bedroom, probably. Before:
 After! For some reason, getting rid of the printed rug makes the room feel more grown-up, but that's not a really fair assessment because it's all Christmassy and any room would look more dressy with a Christmas tree!
Speaking of Christmas trees, this photo was taken before Tim and I employed THE MOST AMAZING TREE TRICK EVER. I think I invented it, because I haven't seen it anywhere on the internet yet. If it's not on the internet, it doesn't exist, I say!  Anyway, come back tomorrow to see it transformed from fake to FLUFFY AND FABULOUS. I'm not kidding. Here's a sneak peek:
No photoshopping was done to this, I promise! IT'S THE SAME TREE, just almost twice as fluffy. FO FREE.


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