Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Garlands!

So, as you know, I was able to Steal "Aquire" some Really Nice Garlands from my Sis-in-law's December Wedding:)  Woohoo!!!  
Here's one of has Pine Cones and Berries wired in, White Lights and a variety of different 'Greens'.  It is much Nicer than the ones I've had in the past that looked really Artificial no matter what I did to it.

I actually have Five of them!!! I know! - Lucky Me!!!
So my Advice is...wait til the "After Christmas Sale" at Hobby Lobby/Micheals/Jo Ann's,  or the European Version:) for all my Over Seas Gals and get yourself One or Two Nice Ones per Year at 66% off.  It really does make a difference.

Now- if you have Young Kids- Honey, just grab sometime Long, Green and Cheap- because it's going to be Pulled on, Yanked down and Ridden like a Snake:)  Seriously- until my kids were 12 and 10, we had the Flashiest, Brightest, Most-Plasticy Decorations we could find.  It wasn't until they stopped using them as Weapons that I started "upgrading":)

This image is from

The last few years in the Interest of Simplicity, we have just hung them "As Is" on the Mantle and on the Curtain Rods above our Big Windows.

This Year....I decided it was Time for Color!!!

So Here are the Supplies:)

I splurged this year and bought some Decorations before Christmas...I only Dressed up two of them and I'm going to wait for the "Season of the Fabulous After Sale' for Supplies for the other Three.  
All told...the two Big Tubs from Walmart were about $5.00 each and the Silver ones were a Buck a I'm saying around $12.00. I added some Burlap- about 1/2 a roll- so around  $ just under $15.00.

I used the "Rule of Threes" that I learned from my Stint of being the Helper for 4 Interior Designors who Decorated our Large Church Building.  

I also used some Green Wire and that little Cutty Thingee there...

I just grabbed Three different Ornaments...aiming for one of Each Color and tried to Vary the Sparkley and different Shaped ones.
Then I just wired the three tops together and Voila!

Here they are all Piled up and ready to be Wired into the Garland...This time to Several Season 3 Psych Episodes:)

So Here it is with the Color and the Glitter Balls wired in....Just needed to add the 6 inch wide Burlap Ribbon. 

Here's the Final Product....this one is up on our Mantle and the Second one will be Over our Big Window in the Living Room.  

There's there's the 'Naked One' Peeking in there in the Upper Right...

I'll hit that one soon and get Y-all a Pic:)

Tomorrow I am going to Brave the Terrifying, yet Exhilerating "After Christmas Sales" in search of a few Decorations to add to our Sparkly, Bedazzled Hoard:)

I'll be the one with the Helmet and Elbow Pads....I've seen the You-Tube Videos People!!!

Love to All!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Little Things

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Little Things:)

This Year- we actually had Time for some Fun Little Things!!!  
Such as a long time Dream of mine...A Second Tree!!!   Ok- it's only 18 inches high....but it Counts right?

I think He's Adorable!!!  His name is Melvin....  Is it weird that I named a tree?

Ok- so I got Mel for a Buck a Buck a Buck!!!

I had the Fabulous Hot Pink Star already...
That's one of my  45 Cent Glittery Word Ornaments...
The Sparkly Balls fell off another Wreath I bought....score!
And those Blue Snowflakes were 25 for a ya,, not much:)
I felt like it was a little 'dorky' looking on the bottom- so I grabbed one of the Wooden Wreaths that I stole from my Sister-in-Law's Now Famous Wedding Decorations....

So Melvin joined our family for 'bout- a- buck- fiddy'... as we say here in the Country.

We re-purposed some Wee Little Snowmen Hats for Chicken-Winter-Wear.

We Be-decked a White Topiary that Summers as a Plant Holder with shiny 45 Cent Ornaments...

The Photo Bomb Elf says that the Blue Sparkly Star at the top is "Toads Amay-May"

You may have to Google that one...

We added in an Adorable Polar Bear Family that we Scored at Nick's Last Radiation Treatment...Keep your Eyes out for Little Christmas Hats...they are great for everything from Polar to Poultry!

 And Last but not Least- a Christmas 'Epic Fail'...

I've 'Toads' seen this done before- and it was really Cute.

I even picked out some Cute Paper- but HERE is where my Cheapness bit me in the Boo-tocks...

I got the Paper at the Dollar Store, so it was really thin...I also got the Ribbon for a Buck and This Time, it just didn't hold it's shape:(

I think that a Big Beautiful Bow would have saved them.  If I knew someone that could make a Big Beautiful Bow...

Ya, six U-tube videos and an Hour on Pinterest later and it was just Me, Sophie, 9 empty Cans of Diet Pepsi and 12 yards of Crumpled Ribbon...

 I just couldn't pull these off!  I think the Trick is Really Nice Thick Paper and Bows...I'll watch for those in the 'After' Sales:)

I was just about to 'Unwrap' them when my Husband walked out of Bedroom, past Melvin the Tree, past the Well-Dressed Chickens, Past the Sparkly Topiary...straight to the Wrapping Paper Pictures and....He loved them:)   So here they are!  Bowless, Imperfect and Beautiful:)

So those are our 'Little Touches' and they have been so much fun.  Even though I have a House full of Boys- they really enjoy the 'Festiveness':)

What Little Touches do you add that Make all the Difference?
I'd love to hear about them!

Love to All!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Christmas Cards & Mailing Envelopes!

Well, I have to say that in my head, my 5 x 7, Professionally Printed, High Quality Christmas Cards have already been sent out to Everyone I know:)  

In Reality- didn't happen...obviously or you'd be reading one Right Now!:)

I Did Manage to get a few done so that in my Heart I felt like I accomplished 'The Dream'...  But I have to tell you that the Main reason I did ANY of them is because I was told by a Local Printing Guy that it was "Basically Impossible".... or at least so "Difficult" and "Time Consuming" that he basically couldn't "even think of doing it right now."

What did I ask him to do?  To slap an 8 x 10 canvas on his Scanner and make into a 5 x 7.  I know- Nothing like this has ever been done in the History of Mankind...

So, I came home- slapped that puppy on my HP Printer...set it to 76% and pressed Copy.  Ya- it worked just fine.  Needless to say this guy missed out on a Lot of Biz and Referrals.  So if you're in the Prescott Valley Area, please contact me before you go 'a-huntin' for a Printer Guy... here is the Canvas.  It was from Last year and I didn't give them away because I realized after looking at them that they all looked like the Kids on the Unit with in Hospital Gowns...:)

Here's another one...:)

Ya...see what I mean?

But, Time was of the essence, so I tried to choose the "Least Hospitally and Most Angel-y" one and did the Impossible...printed it in a 5 by 7...ya...amazing:)

I had bought some really Ugly, Late 80's, Mauve and Forest Green Cards and Envelopes at the Thrift Shop a while back.  Fortunately they were only ugly on the Very Front,  so I just Mod Podged my Angel right over the top, we'll call it 'Upcycling'. And then I made a full size one and slapped it on a Mail Envelope.  Tada!

I will admit they are NOT professional Grade and Definitely not Etsy or Pinterest worthy:)  But I think the people I love that I sent them to were ok with that:)  And a Little Love, and Mod Podge, goes a long way...

So here they are...  Just some Christmas Fun without the Big Christmas Commitment:)

So...the Cards were like 10 cents....for all of them:)  
The Mailing Envelope...25 cents, same Thrift Shop...
4 Color Copies  I'm going for 50 Cents- but I'm not real sure- there's probably an App for that...

So, like, under a Dollar....Yay!  Postage on the Big Guy was $1.75 and I filled it with the other little ones and Gift Cards so it was all going to the Same Place:)  Under $5.00!

AND-  these were all Accomplished while D.O.L. (Dog on lap)

Sophie was  just about done with Crafts for the night...

Next year I definitely want to go with something more 'Thought Out' and Professional looking- but it's nice to know that in a can Make it happen:)

So grab some Mod Podge, an Ugly Greeting Card, Several Assorted Beverages and a Print of one of your Favorite Pics.  You've got all you need for some Holiday Magic....

All you need...except do need Popcorn:)

Love to All!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Home Made Ornaments

 Christmas Fab On A Budget- Hand Made Ornaments

Here's a sneak Peak!  

I'm kind of in love with them:)
They are Scrap-a-licious and Probably the Messiest Craft I have ever done!  Consider yourself 'FairlyWarned'!

 So this year I Really, Really wanted to make a little something for Friends, Fam and Neighbors.  As you may have already guessed, I am a bit Obsessed with Collaging Scraps of Paper....
I pretty much do it in my sleep...

SO!  When I scored these Clear Frosty Ornament Packs for a Buck a Piece on my Epic Thrift Shop Run, I knew that Mod Podgey Messiness was in my Near Future.

So Here we go!

First I grabbed a bunch of My Favorite Scrap Papers.  I wanted to go Tan/Neutral and a wee bit of Pink and Pale Blue.  Mine did end up pretty "Country"  but you could use any Color Scheme...even Go Glitter-tastic...Use what you love!

I used this Plastic 12 x 12 to kind of keep the Mess under didn't Work at ALL!!!
Look at this!!!

Ya- that's my Coffee Table.  I waited til the Hubby was asleep to Minimize the Chaotic-Impact but again...Messy IS my Middle Name:)

Here is my Supply list:
1.  Glossy Mod Podge...a lot of it:)
2.  A cheapy 'Pastry Brush' type brush...or Foamy thingees.
3.  Pre-torn papers
4.  TV Clicker for watching Old Christmas Movies
5.  Assorted Beverages

My son Nick is my "Personal Beverage Consultant".  I rarely travel anywhere without at least 4 different beverages- so I retained his services to keep me Supplied as I worked.

 In this shot, Nick was in the process of bringing me my Frosty Diet Pepsi....I don't recommend you Ever begin Crafting without Securing a Goodly Supply of Diet Pepsi.  Consider a Beverage Consultant/Technician...they will often work in exchange for Baked Goods...and you are worth it...

First of all take all the tops off.  You can stand the Wet Ornaments upside down on the tops to dry.

Here- I am beginning the process with Covering Half of the Bulb at a time in Mod Podge.  I thought I'd just stick on a bunch of scraps and then cover them again with more Podgey Goodness.

It wasn't quite that easy.  I ended up having to coat each paper scrap top and bottom and then apply it...SO my hands, and most of my Upper Body, were covered with Mod Podge.  If you fear the Messy...perhaps this is not the craft for you:)

But they are "Todes Adorb!!!"

Here they are- it took me approximately One and a Half Episodes of Psych to finish these.  

As I said- I dried them upside down balanced on their tops.

I added back their Metal Tops and discovered that the tops actually pulled off Much too easily.  So I put a spot of Hot Glue around the Neck of the Ornament and then another dot on top at the bottom of the wire where it inserts.  This made it Much More Sturdy and ready to add Ribbony-Goodness later on.

 I stored them back in their little Box while I attempted to scrape enough Mod Podge off my Right hand in order to Partake of Popcorn.

I decided to make one of the Bigger ones.  In Hindsight I wish I had just done them all, but I was pretty 'Collaged Out' at that point.

Next I decided they needed a little Focal I added the Word Peace to each of them...

I just printed out the Word "Peace" a bunch of times and then Used a Brown Ink Pad around the edges.  I just Mod Podged them on each one.

I  decided to Continue the Burlap Obsession by Cutting 1/2 inch by 12 inch strips of white Burlap to use as the "Hanging Ribbon"

I also Cut some Brown Burlap Ribbon in 1/2 inch by about 8 Inch strips and made little Bows which I Hot Glued on at the Base of the Metal Tops.

I dug through my Ribbon Supply which has Grown Pretty Considerable thanks to Donations from My Sis-in-Law Laura:)  I just tied some at the very top of the Hanging Loops...just a simple knot.  I used Lots of Different colors so they were all different.

So here they are Altogether:)

So if I was going to put a Cost on's what I would say...
Ornaments- 12 Small    $1.00
Ornaments-  4 Big       $1.00
Mod Podge-  1/4 Jar- 40% off 6.99...around $1.50
Burlap strips                Less than $1.00
Paper Scraps               Already Had 'em
Ribbons                       Whatever I had on hand- Nothing:)

So for 16 Ornaments...about $4.00 ish.....Whoohooo!

And if you Take advantage of  the After Christmas Sales you can Score some Serious Deals!
I had a Lot of Messy fun making them and they were Great to hand out to Neighbors, Clients, Church Friends and Family:)

What are you making this Christmas?  I would love to hear about what You are 'Craftin' up' this Year!

Remember, Keep it Simple and Keep it Fun!

Love and Blessings to you All!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Our Sweet Little Tree

  Our Sweet Little Tree

I'm Back!  Good Grief did I ever Over Estimate what I would be able to get done this Season!  I am chalking it up to End of Chemo, My Mom's Surgery and a Crazy Flu Like Something that just wouldn't let go of me...

Fortunately we are all back in the Swing of things!  Nick, my 17 year old, is Cancer Free, My Mom's surgery went More Wonderfully than we could have imagined and after 4 weeks of Yucky Flu Like symptoms, I am finally feeling better:)

So- How the heck are you doing on the Holidays?  I am Fluctuating between a Glowing Happiness that I got to do some Home Made goodies this year and "I am so stressed out that next year we are going on a trip to Guam for all of December.  What about you?

I finally got all of my Home Made Goodies in the mail, did a few Christmas Cards and got a Couple Dozen Cookies passed out.  So I am Loving being back to the 'Home Made' Tradition that I love- even if it's only 'Half way':)

Here is a little glimpse at our Tree this year.  As we have been all over the place the past  years, we have Simplified our Tree to just the Basics that we love.  The smaller size lets us move it to the Hospital, or the Apartment or a Room at Mc Donald's House.

This year- I added my New Addiction.....Burlap Ribbon.  I stole this tip from my Interior Designer Friends and I think it really 'Classed up and Filled out' our little Baby Tree:)

 I used my Collection of Disney Ornament Stuffies and my Favorite Ornaments from my Sis in law.  We added a few of Each Family Members Faves and that was it!  Simple, but Meaningful:)

Wooops- the Photo Bombing Elf strikes again!

I think Next year we might go for a Full Sized Tree.  I told all my Boys that this was their next tree...  Hobby Lobby's Extra Girlie, Sparkly, Fabulous Inspirational One:)

They were less than thrilled...

WELL!!  It is actually Snowing right now at this very minute!   So I am going to go grab my Hot Chocolate, my Kindle and Enjoy a Few minutes of Snowy Blessings:)

Love to all!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Rocking the Mantle

Christmas Fab on a Budget- Rocking the Mantle!

Welcome Back!  If you missed my Previous Postings you can Jump over right Here:)

Ok- Today I need to confess my recent's Burlap.  I'm pretty obsessed.  I have it in Dark Brown, Light Brown, white, off-white, get the picture.

What do you think happened to me when I was trying to survive Walmart on a Saturday in December???  There I was trying to avoid the Creepy Direct TV guy when I caught it out of the corner of my eye...

Burlap Ribbon!!!

  I know, I know you've seen it before...but not for $3.49 for 20 feet!!!  I KNOW right?  It was the Holy Grail of Burlap!!!

I swam through the General Populace and Grabbed one before the Current pushed me onward...

So- that leads me to Today's project.  It was one of the first ones I put up.

The Mantle Piece:)

For two years in a row I have the Great Honor of Decorating our Church for Christmas!  Now- before you get the wrong idea- I showed up to not One- not Two- but Three Professional Interior Designers...all of whom had volunteered their Busy Beautiful Selves to make the Room Amazing.  I was the Grunt of the bunch:)

They literally spent HOURS making two Wreaths.  They were Amazing!  They looked, well,  professional:)  My job was to run around with tape, wire and cutters and just Soak it all in.

I am aiming at Far More Casual than Professional:), but
one of the things I watched them do is take a perfectly ordinary garland and make it look really Full and Fabulous.

 Here is what it started like- It was a pretty nice one that I am pretty sure I stole from My Sis-in-law's wedding...

Here's a Close up- it had some cool Pine cones and Berries on it.  I think this is the nicest one I have so I put it in the Most 'Looked at' Place.

So I can pretty much sum up all of the Awesome Tips I learned....
"Fill that Sucker up!!!"

Here are my Top 3 Tips:

1)  Wire more than one Ornament together!  It seems like a simple thing- but making sets of Three makes it look FAB-u-lous!

2) Weave a Big thick Ribbon through the whole thing.  

And this is where I broke Burlap!!!

I just literally twisted it around in there.  It was a really wide ribbon so it filled in all the gaps and made it look really Expensive if I do say so myself!

At first I wasn't too sure I liked the 'Country Vibe' and the 'Modern Vibe' together...but it grew on me.  And it kind of tells our story.  We are City Folk turned Country Folk.

3)  Use Pointsettias, Pine Cones and Other Natural Stuff or Sparkly stuff...

They now make Poinsettia's in Every Conceivable color.  But they were a little too Pricey for me at this point.  I just tried to use a different style of Ornament here and there.

Maybe next year we will spring for some Turquoise Sparkle Poinstettias....they grow around here you know..

4) Use what you Have!!!

These girls scour the Thrift Shops, Antique Shops and Consignment Stores weekly so they have a lot of Cool stuff at their disposal.  They use things over and over again and are always Repurpousing.

So,  I used my 45 Cent Glittery finds to make this Tower that is always there a little more Festive.

It felt so much more Luxurious and full!  And it was so much Fun!  My house used to be very French Country- mostly Red's and Yellows and Toille-ey Goodness.  But as I usually paint my house at least every other year- and since we were going through quite a bit of stress- I opted for fun and fabulousness:) We have all kinds of Bright Colors and fun, quirky things.

So our Christmas had to be just as Quirky:)

Tomorrow we are on to the Tree:)  And YES- Burlap IS involved!!!

Love to all!

Photo Bombing Elf...