Saturday, July 21, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Twenty-One


How to display natural items like pinecones, greenery, and flowers - in a word, or two, I don't.  I don't use real greenery for the same reason I don't have a real tree, it's just too messy.  When we lived in Rhode Island and Sophia was in 4-H, we went to a greens workshop every fall to make wreaths and centerpieces.  I can remember dreading every year - it seemed to me to take forever to get that sticky, sappy stuff off of my hands and anything else it touched!  I wouldn't win any prizes for the wreath I made either, but it was an event for her club and so off we went every year.  I know Sophia and her pals had a lot of fun, but then kids don't really bother about stickiness, do they?


Sophia did a pretty good job on her centerpiece.  The first 4-H club she joined also held a local greens workshop but it was to make greenery baskets - stick the floral foam in a basket and then fill with the greens.  The girls had a lot of fun and the baskets were delivered to a local nursing home so it was for a good cause.

We have a couple of special pinecones on our tree, one is from a ship's Christmas party kids' activity and it's a nice memento of that duty station and the other is was a preschool project.


It has one lone piece of macaroni left on the preschool pinecone!

Although I'm not really a fan of real green, I have always wanted to have an herb wreath.  They come out every year in the catalogs, Williams-Sonoma I think has quite a collection.  They are pricey but I would think that would last for a while and they must smell wonderful.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Twenty


How to display wreaths - this is a great article that shows two of the ways I've used to hang a wreath on a door - the upside-down Command Hook and the invisible fishing line although the article suggests using the same upside-down hook for both ribbon and fishing line.  I've always hammered a small nail into the top of the door and hung the line from that.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Nineteen


How to display candles and lanterns is today's topic and I am featured a few ideas for candles in a fireplace when the fireplace is not in use.  I love this look.

This is a really lovely idea and very simple. 


The addition of logs is interesting and you can often find bark-like candles.


This is a more modern take on displaying candles in a fireplace.  These appear to be flameless candles and my favorite brand is Luminara - they are on the pricier side of the flameless candle market but they really are so close to the real thing. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Eighteen


How to display stockings - since we don't have a fireplace with a mantle, I put our stocking holders J-O-Y on the media rack.  This is the second shelf shown below (the TV is on the top and there is another shelf below this one).  Here our elf, Edward, has cheekily shown up one morning with a gift for Sophia from Victoria's Secret!  The stockings hang from the three hooks until Christmas Eve when I take them down and fill them.


Once they are full, they are too heavy for the stocking holders so they end up propped up against the gifts under the tree - Vic and I have the red/white ones and Sophia's is a cross stitch stocking I made for her first Christmas, it's just tucked behind mine in this photo.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Seventeen


Moving on to the How to Display category and today we have Christmas Cards.  How do you display the cards you receive?


We have a decorative basket and they all go in there.  After Christmas, I take them out and put them in chronological order - family first and then friends from England, California, Saipan, Florida, Illinois, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Washington.  It's a little trip around the world through the album! 


 I found this idea on Pinterest some years ago that I'd like to try.  Those are shutters painted red; they are attached to the wall but you could just as easily prop them up instead.  I also saw an idea at a friend's house last Christmas where she hung garland around a door, starting at the bottom left, going over the door, and ending on the bottom right and then she used small decorative clothespins (so many cute designs come out with the Christmas craft supplies) to attach the cards.  I hope we have a convenient doorway in our forever home.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Sixteen


Day Sixteen is all about perimeter ideas - how you decorate your fence line or walkways.  One of the Magical Holiday Home members posted an idea of using Mason Jars filled with sand and a tealight.  I took this idea in a different direction and swapped the tealights (with flame) for the new battery-operated ones that are available and most commonly used inside a jack-o-lantern.  Then I saw this...


What a great idea to use the battery-operated strings of mini-lights that burst onto the market a couple of years ago.  I assume the battery pack is perhaps adhered to the underside of the lid in some way.  It's almost like a group of fireflies trapped in a jar.  I think you would get the same result from a decorated jar like this one below.


This site has some beautiful ideas.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Fifteen


Yards - what's your pleasure?  I am not a fan of blow-ups but I would love a family of reindeer.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Fourteen


I have a little catching up to do after a busy weekend.  Day Fourteen - Lighting - are you Team All-White or Team Multicolored?

Team All-White here but it's mostly the tree in the window.  We haven't put up lights outside for some years but that may change with our forever home.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Thirteen


I sort of covered today's topic - Front Porch - in my Doors post on Day Eleven so I thought I'd show you our current porch which Sophia and Vic decorated with MudLynn's help (this was during the last time we lived here 2012-2014).  A little bit of garland and some wreaths made it look festive (there's a wreath on the door as well but you can't see it because of the glare) and MudLynn was so patient as Sophia snapped a photo of her modeling one of the wreaths!  This Christmas is going to be so tough without her especially as we unpack the 13+ ornaments that we collected (each with an annual photo) for her over the years.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Twelve


Day Twelve is all about windows and this is my favorite Christmas window style - a house with symmetrical windows and a candle in each one.  I used to decorate my windows (considerably less than the number shown here!) with electric candles but the cords were such a pain to try to hide or cover up.  I was very thankful when the candles were redesigned to be run by battery.  Just two AA batteries in each one and we were good to go.  It's such a lovely glow, especially if you have snow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Eleven


Sorry I'm putting this up late and I'm just about to go into mourning having watched England lose to Croatia in the semi-final of the World Cup.  I'm afraid #ItsComingHome is not happening this year, lads.


Day Eleven starts off our Outdoor Decorating segment of Christmas in July 2018 with doors and I'm all over a red door.  I'd like my Christmas door to look something in between these two.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Ten


Day Ten - Ways to make decorating easier, what's your trick?  Among the recent ideas that were mentioned in the Magical Holiday Home group are to use what's in your stash, buy new things to replace ones that are old or broken, take down current decor and replace it with holiday decor, and keep your decorations organized so it's easy to bring them out each year and put them away.

I am in love with this storage set-up, makes it easy if you have a Toteville in your garage or attic to have this color-coded Christmas arrangement.


I love these Snapware containers for ornaments.  Each tray has cardboard dividers that you can adjust depending on the size of the ornaments you are storing.  I haven't quite been able to bring myself to get rid of all of the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament boxes - they say the ornaments are worth more if they are in the original boxes but who am I kidding?  Like I'd ever sell any of them!


I think the best way to make decorating easier is to have a plan, knowing what's going to go where, and if you can store your decorations labeled by room, that's a huge help too.

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #101

How I would love to be in England today for the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Air Force.  Look at this line-up for the flypast.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Nine


Making this a very short post today since I've got a mega-project that has to be done today.  Day Nine is Walls - how to hide cords and hang things without making nail holes.

In a word (or two), Command Hooks!  Garland hides a multitude of cord sins as well.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Eight


I love a fireplace and mantle - Mum always used to say it made a home cozy.  We always had a fireplace with a mantle growing up, but since we were always living in military housing, it was a faux fireplace like the one pictured below in our house in Belgium.  I had a revolving bulb under the pieces of coal at the bottom and two electric bars in case it got really cold.  The mantle is decorated in the same way it was every holiday season - Santa in his sleigh and the reindeer sitting above a raised platform covered in the white fleece snow stuff you buy at the craft store with a couple of little evergreen trees, one on either side.  It made our Christmas complete when these decorations came out and they survived for many years until they were lost in a house fire.


When Sophia was a toddler and we lived in Florida, I bought one of these cardboard cutout fireplaces from Lillian Vernon or Miles Kimball.  I'm not sure if either one is still in business.  Sophia loved it - two little wooden chairs sat on either side of the fire, each holding a teddy in a Santa hat, and she often sat in one of the chairs with the teddy on her lap. 
There are so many Christmas fireplace/mantle design options out there - Pinterest has these two that caught my eye.


Definitely high on the forever home wish list - a fireplace!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Seven


I've had this kitchen cabinet decorating idea pinned for some time - I really like these little boxwood wreaths.  The ones shown below are a little too wispy for my taste, I'd prefer to see a neater wreath but I can't find a photo that shows exactly what I'm looking for.  Boxwood wreaths are definitely something to add to my "Things to Look for in the After-Christmas Sales This Year" list.


Speaking of kitchen cabinets, how about something decorative for the counter below?  A lovely holiday platter would be perfect.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Christmas in July 2018 - Day Six


This will be my Christmas tablescape as soon as I have a rectangular table at our forever home.  I bought the tablecloth and matching napkins - Lenox Holiday Nouveau - at Bed Bath and Beyond in the after-Christmas sale last year.  I think they were something ridiculous like 80 or 90% off and then I had a coupon on top of that which brought the price down to next to nothing.  I found both items stuck all the way at the back of a shelf - things get so disorganized with people digging for bargains and it was my lucky day.


I have this china - Lenox Holiday - but not the mugs as they are Holiday Nouveau.  My mugs are slightly smaller and less flared than the one you see here.  I hope to pick up a few accent pieces for a centerpiece this holiday season.

You can see the difference in the two china patterns more clearly here:

This year, I plan to take my regular dishes out of the cupboard and put them away and use my holiday china all month.

I found a Christmas tablescapes blog hop from last year here - there are lots of great ideas.