Monday, December 31, 2012

~ Happy New Year - Mantel Decorations

 
Although I don't fancy a long list of resolutions which are unlikely to be kept, nonetheless, it feels good to re-focus and think about what is really important. For that reason maybe, there is a decorated mantel for New Year's celebration. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

~ The Decorated House ~ Christmas 2012



If you listen closely
You can Hear the
Angels Singing.
-------------------
A pretty Mercury Glass container filled with fresh cedar, 
dusted with glued on faux snow,
& a simple White Candle.
Little snowflakes made of felt.
Bleached Bottle Brush Trees & Small Mercury Glass Ornaments.

Friday, December 14, 2012

~ Bleached Bottle Brush Trees & Pottery Barn Bottle Brush Dog & The Christmas Dog




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!
All you have to do is fill a container like a plastic or glass bowl, or a plastic tub, with water and 1/4 -1/2 cup of bleach. Let them sit until they look like the ones on the right in the picture above! Really, that's all there is to it, and what a big difference. They will match other natural bottle brush goodies very nicely. Let them dry on a paper towel or sitting outside.


There is a special family member who has had a little influence over my decorating the last few years. He is very white, and he has a curly tail.

We celebrate "The Puppy's" birthday in October, but Puppy Day is just as important and it is the day after Christmas, Dec 26th. That is the day he found us. Even now it makes me smile to remember  the silly story that I shared here: Cody ~ New Year, New Love.

Just like with your kids, when I see that picture, I wish I could just pick up that little rascal and hold him in my lap. Well, he's about 65 lbs. now so he no longer fits in my lap.
I have said before, I really didn't understand those "crazy dog" people before Cody came along. Now they all seem perfectly normal to me after all. Well, most of them anyway, and we might all be considered crazy dog people in this home now.

Yes there was the year that I went in search of the Nativity Dog. I had never seen a dog in the Christmas manger sets, and when I did, it was a mission to find one for our vintage nativity. And then... well we had three, just because. I like to collect in threes anyway. 

 
Here is the story of the Nativity Dog which you might like if you are one of those dog people or if you like vintage goodies.



Now this year, The Cody Puppy was the reason for hunting down these fabulous bottle brush Lab bottle brush (sisal) dogs. None of the Pottery Barn stores in my town received a single one! Shocking for such a big store.  I called their customer service; they told me how many of the dogs were in the stores in my state, and I selected one, called them up and purchased the dogs and they sent them right to my house. Free shipping on line, so they did free shipping from the store as well. If you can't find any in your stores, this is an option for you.

When they arrived, I was very pleased. They are so cute! Our Cody is not a full lab, he is a rescue pup! He is very white, and well, he has a perfectly curled tail which is very indicative of his personality.  The bottle brush dogs are natural dark cream and were airbrushed with some darker highlights. I was able to bend the wire in the tail so it  now has a curly tail like Cody, and add a dry brushing of white paint to make it more white like him.  Totally crazy dog people, I admit it.




The dogs are the  perfect complement to the little bottle brush trees and the wreaths as well. The arrangement on the entry table this year is very different than years before. I am enjoying the whimsical nature of it every time I walk by.

** Last tips:
The trees and dogs in real life actually have a bit more yellow to them. The first picture in this post shows a little more yellow. The last picture just above has been adjusted to show less yellow.  You can make them look more white by dry brushing the tips with white paint. And you easily glitter them by painting on some glue, and the sprinkle with glitter or roll the trees in the glitter and shake off the excess.


Also if you are going to bleach any bottle brush, make sure it is not plastic. The ones shown above are made of sisal. I am not sure  if the plastic material would bleach, although it might.


See Y'All Soon~
Donna

Monday, December 10, 2012

~ Christmas 2012 Mystic Nest - Inspired by Anthropologie Mythic Nest




This is my newest fantasy Christmas nest creation. I made some changes, although it is very similar to last year's that you can see here: 2011 Mystic - Mythic Nest.  Last year I called the Anthroplogie nest "mystic" instead of "mythic" as it was called on their site. So I went back and changed  the original post to the "correct" title. But the more I thought about it, I liked the idea of mystic as a better description for mine.  So that is what mine will be called. This is such an easy