Thursday, December 18, 2014

~ Christmas - Counting the Days

The Decorated House : Christmas White with Black and Lime Green Accents

It becomes a bit of a countdown this time of year, finding the last gifts, wrapping presents, planning meals or trips. Maybe you research charities for a lovely end of the year gift where it is needed.
Whenever I see lots of presents all wrapped up, it makes me think of what a great time of the year it is to remember some of the best charities who depend on us to help them do their work. 

Please consider checking Charity Navigator to see how a particular charity spends the money that is donated. Just as important to me, you can also check to see how the CEO of the organization is paid. 
Sometimes it might surprise you to see exactly where your money goes. Just because a group calls themselves a charity doesn't mean that they really are doing much charity work at all.

Most people who do the research will also tell you to look in your own home town, maybe first. The cancer centers, or centers for women and children in your area may have more need than the ones you see on TV all the time and may well make better use of your money and gifts. There are homeless shelters, pet rescue groups, charities that take care of those in need everyday, right where we live.

The Decorated House : Christmas Mantel : White with Mercury Glass and Silver

I still had a couple of details shots of the mantel to share with you. You know the Mercury glass crown is an old favorite of mine. I will let you all know if I ever see any again.

I am really enjoying the old antiqued gold frame again this year. Funny how you get tired of something and then sometime later it appeals to you again. Unfortunately, that makes me think what a good idea it is to save things! Which of course can make you into a  pack-rat. I'm working on that.

~ See Y'All Soon ~

Monday, December 15, 2014

~ Oh ... Christmas Tree ~ The Decorated House 2014

The Decorated House :: White and Silver Christmas Tree with Black Accents

For the last few years I've wondered if I can do without the big Christmas tree. You know, maybe a small one on a table so something like that. I've watch how the Christmas tree trimming story played out with the older women in my neighborhood as their kids grew up, or even the grandkids grew up .... and maybe even some moved away. I think by the time I met them only one still had a larger, real Christmas tree that her daughter used to pull in the house on Christmas eve.  Another lady would still put a small artificial tree on a table in her front window and red bows on her outdoor lights, even though she lived alone.  I miss her, and that silly little tree and the red bows.

The Decorated House :: Christmas White and Silver with Black and Green Accents

For this year, there is still a big tree in the living room. Right where it has been for the last 30 years. I like to think my little family would miss seeing one there, but I'll most likely rethink the whole thing once the needles start falling, or I am wrangling the lights off the tree. Sometimes I forget to just let that be a part of the fun as well. 

But I never forget to enjoy the dance of the lights in the evening when all is quiet after a long or busy day. Somehow it brings you back to a peaceful moment and makes it seem worth the work it takes to put it all together. 

The Decorated House - White Christmas with Black and Silver

I hope your Christmas Season is going well and that you are creating beauty and joy all around you. 
~ See Y'All Soon ~

Sunday, December 14, 2014

~ The Decorated House - Christmas 2014

The Decorated House ~ Christmas Mantel 2014

It's that holly jolly time of the year again when you most likely get bitten by a bug ... the Humbug or more hopefully the Christmas Merry Bug! And yes, there seems to be some in between states of mind as well. Or you might flip from one to the other one day to the next. That's OK, just try to take a little time to breath in the beauty of the season and shake off the stress that sometimes comes with it.

Black and white at Christmas? It might seem like an odd color combo for Christmas decorating. But we have been using it for a while, and I still love it! I think it started for us several years ago when we got a Bambi, Radko ornament set with Flower and Thumper being the cutest of the lot. Flower of course is black and white/silver so that one has been displayed the most over the years. But it was the star that came later that really moved the color scheme to black and white.
Then a couple of years after Flower came to Christmas,  I found a pretty MacKenzie Childs star to add to the decorating mix. A few more, including one more star, came along in the next few Christmases. After a couple of tree crashes that destroyed a lot of the overpriced ornaments, I vowed not to get anymore. Out of all those glass ornaments, the stars are the only ones on the tree every year and I still love them!  The amount of lime green varies a bit year to year sometime a little more and sometimes a little less.  Still the Christmas decorating for me is white and silver with touches of black and remains my favorite combination with a touch of lime green.

The Decorated House ~ Christmas Tree and Mantel - White and Silver with Black Accents
Amazing to me, the presents are getting wrapped a bit early this year! Between procrastinating and trying to hide the gifts from my daughter, over the years I always seemed to be playing catch in on Christmas Eve, often everyone was in bed. This year I have a very good start on the packages which are going to be wrapped in white and silver, with black and lime green accents.

~ See Y'All Soon ~

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

~ Christmas Mantel 2014 - The Decorated House - White and Silver

The Decorated House ~ Christmas Mantel 2014 - White and Silver

How is your Christmas decoration coming along? Here is a quick peek at the mantel this year, and I'll post some more pictures when they are downloaded and ready.  I hope you are enjoying this part of Christmas ....  decorating, visiting and sharing your own.

After doing the mantel I remembered telling myself not to use fresh greens because it is such a mess to clean up afterwards. It was too late by then of course.  In this case I don't mind using the faux because I keep it and use it for many years,  and the snow capped greens on the mantel ledge are faux with some real added here and there. But around the frame, real look best right now.

I took fresh greens and wired them together to form a garland around the frame of the Madonna picture. It's such a beautiful painting isn't it? I printed it out on antique paper from the late 1800's which gives it a wonderful aged look.  Although I used the same picture last year, I changed the frame to add some aged gold to decorating this year. 

~ See Y'All Soon ~

Monday, December 1, 2014

~ White Christmas Time

THE DECORATED HOUSE : White Christmas Decorating

It was Christmas tree shopping time this weekend for us,  and this year's tree is awaiting its adornments. The next couple of days will be happily spent listening to Christmas music and deciding what do this year. My guess it will still be the same neutrals of lots of white with silver and Mercury glass with a dash of color. Time to get the boxes in and see what surprises I'll find that I completely forgot about having stored away.  Hope your week is going wonderfully, too!

If you would like to see how the finish was created on this 
vintage frame with the Madonna, click HERE.

~ See Y'All Soon ~

Friday, November 28, 2014

~ Christmas ~ Bless The Animals and The Ones Who Love Them

The Decorated House ~ Bless The Animals. Christmas 2013. Adopt Rescue! Pottery Barn Bottlebrush Dog with Bottlebrush Trees. Christmas Decor 

We were blessed a few years ago with a rescue puppy who found us right after 
Christmas as many of you know. Probably because he came to us so close to this 
beautiful holiday, it is easy to remember to help out some incredible 
dog rescue people this time of year. The work they do day in and day out is amazing.
The world is certainly a better place for them.

Please consider making a donation to one of your local dog or 
animal rescue people, or organizations this time of year. 
You can save a life!

The cute bottle brush - sisal dog came from Pottery Barn last year. Since they are 
wire and sisal, it was easy for me to curl his tail a bit like our Cody Bear's tail is. 
He also got  some dry brushing of white paint to make him a little whiter.
Our lab mix puppy grew up to keep his pretty white color and the 
white paint made this one look more like our pup. 
And he goes perfectly with the bleached bottle brush trees. 

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful holiday
season. Slow down and eat the cookies and 
kiss your loved ones!

~ See Y'All Soon ~

Monday, November 24, 2014

~ How To Bleach Bottle Brush Trees for Christmas Decorating

How to Bleach Bottle Brush Trees :: The Decorated House

Have you fallen in love with these wonderful little bottle brush trees? I haven't seen them in their natural state of creamy off-white in stores, although they can be ordered on-line. However for just a few cents, you can create your own because you can change them very easily. 

The first ones I saw a couple of years ago were vintage, but today you can find them new as well.
The trees on the left are how I found them. They are sold for using in those little villages people put up especially during Christmas time. Look in the area  where you can buy the miniature houses and furnishings and that's where you find those strangely colored blue green trees.

I started bleaching them a couple of years ago, and I haven't seen anyone coming up with a newer idea.  It's all the same very simple process. After they are bleached you can use any kind of dye to make them another color like pink or aqua if you wanted to. Or just leave them pretty and natural.

HOW TO: This is all you need to know! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

~ Decorating for Fall - Autumn with Vintage

No the Keno brothers from Antique Road Show are not looking for this little boot; this is a different kind of treasure. Family "treasure" might be a stretch, but this little copper plated boot - shoe was Sweet Hubby's so it  makes it a little family treasure. His mom kept long after he was grown, and gave it to him several years ago. Most of the time it has been on my desk being used to hold trinkets, paper clips and who knows what since then. At least it has been out and not stuffed in a closet. Since this Fall the decorating is copper and lime green, the search was on for copper. And this little "treasure" was perfect for holding a special pumpkin.

There is always a place in our Fall Decorating for this beautiful hand painted ceramic pumpkin. It has been a part of Fall for so many years, and it is always fun to bring it out.  The copper coffee pot also has been around here for at least 20 plus years. It has been hiding in the garage as I contemplated how much of the old copper stuff to give away. I actually forgot it was still here. Filled with late sumer flowers it adds a nice extra touch of copper. 

Sitting in the little round glass area of the copper shoe  is the smallest of the velvet pumpkins that I made. You can see how I made the pumpkins HERE.  If you are thinking that you would like to make some of these but you just can find any dried real pumpkins stems, then why not make your own? 

I had one pumpkin stem that was my favorite, but it was too large for this little velvet pumpkin, so I made a new stem for it. This one is made of air dry clay. I don't have the package so I'm not sure if it is paper clay. The air dry comes in different types, but I think this kind is the paper. It is very easy to use, and you can keep it from drying out by keeping a damp paper towel in a plastic bag with it.


I haven't used it in almost a year and it was not dried out at all inside the plastic bag. I laid a damp paper towel over it for a few minutes before I began sculpting with it, and if a spot seemed to dry I just dipped my fingers in a little water and applied it to that area. Very easy and fun to play with. 

~ See Y'All Soon ~

~ How to Make a Pottery Barn Style Pillow with Christmas Wreath - DIY

The Decorated House - Pottery Barn Knock Off Pillow
Handcrafted Christmas Decorating Ideas:

When I first saw the Pottery Barn Pillow, I was smitten. There had been a few copycats and knock-offs but none where quite what I was looking for. Even the Pottery Barn version was the reverse of the colors of what I wanted. So of course, it's time to make your own!

See Y'All Soon~

Monday, November 17, 2014

~ Celebrating Fall ~ Autumn - Inside Your Home

Fall Decorating - The Decorated House

Fall is loved for its beautiful colors and it is just as wonderful to enjoy those same colors inside your home as well. You can use real and fresh leaves (as in the vase above) or dried magnolia leaves, with their rich color combination of copper and green for the perfect look and colors of Fall. If you use the preserved leaves, you can carry that element into the next season too. Almost everything in the vase is from nature - dried flowers, leaves and feathers along with only a few faux leaves here and there to fill it out. So depending on where you live, you might find everything you need for a pretty arrangement right outside your door!

Fall Autumn Decor - Magnolia Leaf Candle - The Decorated House

Previously I have shown you the magnolia leaf candle wrapped with the leaves all facing on the copper side, and also with the with the copper alternating with green. You gather from Nature and your garden to create a simple, or even more elaborate arrangement than this one. Here I used the candle in a white concrete garden container. It was filled with a floral foam so I could easily stick the leaves, berries and picks into it. It was covered with moss so you can't see the foam. The pumpkins can be painted with either flat white paint, or chalk paint.

The candle arrangement  is on the dining table, but it can easily be moved to your coffee table when it's time to get the table ready for a dinner.

The Decorated House - Fall Decorating White Pumpkins

For the entry table it was simple to remove all the Halloween related elements and keep everything that felt like Fall. The antique books and rusty lock are a wonderful balance of autumn colors against the shiny silver and the white pumpkins. The pumpkins are a mixed of painted ones, mercury glass, and velvet giving you a nice range of textures to add more interest.

Click the links below to view

See Y'All Soon~