Saturday, December 17, 2011

Burlap Garland

I know it's bumping up on too late to be starting new projects, but I just couldn't help myself!! I spotted a fabric garland that was similar and I just HAD to try it with burlap. 

This was both simple and time-consuming at the same time (of course it wouldn't have been quite as time consuming if I hadn't chosen the longest strand of lights that we own!)

It is just a whole boatload of 1 inch strips of burlap (I used about 3 yards) cut into about 6-7 inch lengths. And knots, lots and lots of knots.  Tie each little strip in a basic knot around your light cord.  Man is it gonna stink when this string of lights goes out....

This was one of those impulsive-don't-feel-like-pulling-out-my-camera-to-take-during-pictures-so-I-can-do-a-proper-tutorial projects.  I know all of you bloggers out there have projects like that... don't judge.

 I cannot WAIT until next year when this is wrapped around my big tree with all my family ornaments hung all around around it.  Yes, I am already planning my decorations for next year.... hopeless is a good word to describe me.

It gives such a simple, natural, homespun feeling to my mantel that wasn't there before and I am in love.  If I try it again, maybe I will look a little closer at the length first :)

FYI: if you, too, make the mistake of choosing a length that is entirely too long and decide that there is no way in the world that you will finish this project in the next 3 Christmas seasons.... you can simply fold the lights over on themselves 3 or 4 times at any point and tie your strips around all the lights.  It makes it look a little brighter and fuller anyway :)

Do you have any last minute christmas projects that you are dying to do?  It's not too late!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Letter to my Husband on our Fifth Anniversary

Dear Hubby the Great,

I can't believe that we have already been married for 5 years (and together for 10?!?!) Time flies and things change... but there is one thing that has stayed constant.  More tomorrow than today, and more today than yesterday.  

December 16, 2006

I feel like I have said that a lot over the years, but I know I haven't said it as much as I should.  I love you more today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today.

December 2006, Gatlinburg, TN

I respect you more today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today.

December 2007

I am so thankful that God chose you to be my husband and I am so proud of the husband that you have become.

December 2007
Thank you for making the decision for me to stay at home with our babies and for taking the financial burden so that I can be a full time mommy.  Thank you for cherishing and encouraging me.

December 2008
And thank you for being the greatest daddy in the whole world to our two little girls.  If I had a quarter for every time someone told me how lucky I was to have a husband who loves his girls and wife as much as you do....

December 2009
I wish I was perfect.  I wish you always had a home cooked meal on the table when you came home.  I wish you always had all your clothes clean (and smelling good).  I wish that I took the time to make you feel as appreciated and respected as you are.

December 2010

As we start a new chapter in our life with our new home and your new job, I pray that the next 5 years are as good (and better) than the first 5.  

More tomorrow than today, and more today than yesterday.
Happy 5th Anniversary!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gift Wrapping- Think Outside the Box

For those of us that aren't all done wrapping our presents.

Here are a few fun ways to make all those presents a little more fun to look at!


Perhaps you have a burger fan in your life?

via Gift Couture at KickStarter

Maybe you like your bows to be the size of the present itself?

via Martha Stewart

Maybe you have more ribbon than you know what to do with...

via Martha Stewart

or no ribbon at all.

via Martha Stewart

Some extra cupcake liners can always come in handy.

via Martha Stewart

And don't even think about throwing away those old potato chip bags!

Maybe you want your kids be involved.

Or do something they would never be able to undo.

Extra dress shirts anyone?

I know you could go for some big, beautiful, homemade tags!

Or would you rather go tagless?

You could always wrap your presents in a scarf.

Or adorn them with a photo (and if you don't happen to have a road name for all those folks on your Christmas list you could always just pop a picture of them on top :o)

via Merriment Design

Or if you are like me, you could wrap them up in comic strips.  Glad that I am not the only person who does this!!

via Organizing Madison

I hope that gives you some fun wrapping inspiration.  One day I might actually try some of these :o)

Only 2 weeks to go... so go get wrapping!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Living Room

Every year I pull out loads of Christmas stuff and say that I'm not going to use it all.  (hahaha) That I want to make it simple this year. (even more hahaha)

For the umpteenth year in a row... didn't roll with the simple christmas.

What you will find below is simply a series of evidence.

I'll begin with the mantel...

I created the Christmas tree using this tutorial

I just used a tin from goodwill that had a flat top instead.  It wasn't tall enough, so I stuck it on a candlestick and put an LED candle on top.

A little spray snow and a fur wreath (a project from last year) added a wintery feel to an old window sash.

Still not sure where the nature santa dude came from, but I like the bird in his hair :)

These little glittery trees came bundled in the box of ornaments that I used to create my Ornament Swag.  I consider the Swag to be $5 and these to be free :)

This family sign is made from a cabinet door and starts every single mantel set up.  Wanna know why? It's hiding all of our cords that go from the tv to the built in's.  We will probably never get around to drilling a hole for them!

The lantern-looking thing to the right is actually a candlestick glued to a vase.  I found them both and goodwill and couldn't resist making them a pair! 

I love free printables! This one can be found here.

And at the center of it all...

The christmas trees on either side stood in the baptismal for our Christmas wedding 5 years ago.

I love it, but the living room isn't magical until it gets dark.

The nutcracker collection seems to come alive when it is lit by all the lights around the room.

One day I would like to try my hand at a designer tree, but for now, family ornaments with some peacock feathers from the peacock who used to live in our backyard will do :)

I still have 2 things on my to do list.  Burlap stockings and a burlap tree skirt.  Hopefully I will get to them this year, but we'll see.  My time is already wearing thin :)

I can't wait until the bottom is filled with presents and our two little goldilocks are gathered around this tree tearing apart paper and screaming with excitement.  That's when the magic really comes in!

I hope you all have a blessed evening :)

Friday, December 9, 2011


Come visit me over at Pocket Full of Pink where I did my first guest post!  I shared an awesome tutorial for homemade stovetop potpourri.  Christmas isn't Christmas without it around here!

While you are there, be sure to look around!  That blog is bursting with inspiration!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marry Him, Marry his Nutcrackers...

When I married my husband 5 years ago...

I also married these guys.

4 large boxes of them.

They have been collected over the last 20 years and represent all stages of Hubby the Great's life.

I'm just sayin'  I'm a lucky gal!

You'll see more of these guys in a few days :)

Christmas pressure is falling down on me and I'm cracking quickly.  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Thank you for my moment of peace... I will now be returning to the chaos that is my home :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Christmas Tablescape

My table centerpiece this year is ridiculously simple.  

I was at a loss for what to do on this table for a few days.  In fact, I was getting down right frustrated.  I think I even had a wreath with some nutcrackers stuck in the middle of it at one point.
But I have learned this... when you get frustrated, walk away and let it simmer.  It will come to you.

A few days later....
I found a bunch of milk glass vases that I had laying around and stuck them on a cabinet door.  I like using a cabinet door because it is so easy to pick up and move if need be.  And wherever you set it always looks fabulous!

Last year I bought a bunch of these plastic ornaments on clearance *thinking* I was gonna make a bunch of wreaths to sell this year.  Haha.  I should learn that I am never going to be that ambitious. Ever.

So I stuck them in the top of the vases :)

I needed the centerpiece fairly simple because of the busy vignette behind it. I didn't want the room to look like Christmas threw up on it.

The buffet setup was really easy.  In fact, it looks a lot like my fall setup :)

I switched out my burlap runner for a white folded tablecloth and added some ornaments on my twigs.  I kept the thrift store vases the same because I really liked the pop of red and the natural elements that they added.

I changed out my fall scrap wreath for a Christmas one.  My best friend made these for me and they are my favorite new decorations for this year!  Aren't the colors in this great?!  She is brilliant when it comes to fabric combinations.

My little gold reindeer got a white spray coat last year.  I love the spots where the gold is starting to poke through.  I think that these will get better every year that I pull them out and they have a little more wear on them.  I wrapped a scarf around their necks just in case they got chilly!

And, of course, my coffee filter tree.  Nothing gets more attention in my house than my coffee filter wreath.  Whoever the first person was that did that.... you should get a medal (not that you will ever be here reading this blog, but still... you are brilliant)

Probably the simplest setup I have ever done.  Goodness knows, the rest of my house is so crazy..... I need simple.

And, in honor of my 5th anniversary coming up, I left my bride and groom salt and pepper shakers kissing in front of the Christmas tree in the china cabinet :)

I love December and all that it brings.  I hope you are staying calm and taking the time to enjoy the spirit of the season!

The Lettered Cottage

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