Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The coziest (and easiest) wreath ever made...

Today we had our first snowfall of the season.  It started with a few barely there snowflakes, but once those little snowflakes embraced each other, they formed a beautiful white blanket over our heads.  
There is always something so fascinating about the first snowfall.  It's almost as if nature lets down a giant white snowflake bunting officially declaring winter. 
But unfortunately (or fortunately to some), it disappeared as quickly as it had come, leaving us with just the picture in our minds and dreams of snowmen and sleigh rides...
Life is like that sometimes...here today, gone tomorrow.  This week has been eye opening to us and as disappointing as it may be, we have faith that there is a master plan in the works. People will let you down, but the creator will always have your back.  I am sure that one day I will share more with you but for now, we say let go and let God. 

It has also been raining for the last couple of days, but today the sun peaked through the clouds long enough to allow me to take some pictures of the coziest wreath ever made.  I don't know if this is an original idea or not (it sometimes becomes very tasking trying to find out whether your idea is original or not).  Trying carefully not to inadvertently 'steal' someone else's idea and always striving to be unique.  Frankly my friends, this time I just did not have the patience or the energy to research. 


Someone once wrote these words to me " you are authentic in your inspiration... that's what matters! "Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent."—Jim Jarmusch.  And I have never forgotten those words....:)  
I have however seen wreathes made out of sweaters and think they look cozy and sweet and have always admired them.  But in my attempt to be original, I decided to use an old scarf I had instead...
I knew the knitted scarf I had was not going to be long enough, so I purchased two inexpensive felt scarves at the DS and wrapped my fall coffee filter (see it here) with them.  I then wrapped the knitted scarf around the wreath and pinned it to the back.  I inserted some of the pretty white foliage (also from the DS) and added the little bird.  Nothing on the wreath is glued on so I can reuse the items and the wreath again. 

I suspended the wreath to an empty frame that I borrowed from my mom and made the coziest (and easiest) wreath ever made...:)

Thank you for your sweet company...I hope you are having a great week! 

much love,
Lucy 


ps.


I've been playing with clay again...
and I think it's time to take a leap...




Monday, November 28, 2011

A white Christmas mantel....

Happy Monday to all!  I hope my friends in the U.S. enjoyed a great Thanksgiving weekend. 

As for us?  We did nothing this weekend.  Nothing at all...and it was perfect.  We tiptoed around on bare feet while dragging blankies from one room to the next, finding a little bit of heaven in wearing pj's all day long...

I did get a chance to put together a couple of Christmas vignettes around the house while the kiddies watched some old movies with hubby.  I will share some of those soon, but for now, I wanted to show you our Christmas mantel.

I have been playing around with it, trying to get it just right and experimenting with different colour schemes.  Because I knew I wanted an all white mantel, I decided to keep the book page background from my fall mantel, otherwise the white items against a plain white background would just get washed out...


Most of the items on my mantel were purchased at our local thrift store and the most expensive item is the large mirror, which cost $6.99.  Everything else is either from the dollar store or items I already owned (remember my Union Jack Chair? It's holding some giant white pompoms...that sneaked into the picture....oops)


I love the significance of the doves, as to me they bring a sense of calmness and peace.  I also think of love and hope....

When working with tone on tone, it's important to add varying heights and textures allowing your eye to scan the entire surface...


This is what the mantel looks like at night when its all lit up...


Prior to adding the lights, I played around with bright colours as I do like the strong contrast between the white and the bright bulbs.  The kiddies always complain that our Christmas tree is 'boring' as we have only solid white lights and not the blinking colourful lights, so this is their favourite...


The old books on the left were there from the fall mantel and because I was just 'playing', I forgot to take them off.  But after looking at them, I think the contrast between the old almost dirty pages and the clean white items is interesting....


Red and white is a  more traditional colour and I think it looks just as pretty....


The pretty glittery foliage was purchase at the DS...


Notice that I often group items in varying sizes and uneven numbers.  This creates a visual triangle that is attractive and balanced to the eye... 

I'm not convinced I'm done yet, as I am always taking away or adding items to it.  I also want to experiment with some greenery.  I think boxwood would look beautiful.

If and when I change it, I will make sure to show you some pictures.  For now, this is what it looks like.  Do you have a preference? 


I debated whether or not I would share my Christmas mantel this early in the season, but I decided that perhaps this will inspire you to get yours done if you have not done so yet.  I know that when I visit many of your beautiful blogs I am often inspired to create in my own home...


As usual, I close this post by thanking you for taking the time to stop by and I wish you a beautiful week! 


much love,

Lucy 



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Friday, November 25, 2011

JOY

This week I have been dreaming of purchasing a brand new tree; a white one, decorated in soft blue tones and crystal ornaments.  I have been dreaming of painting our family room and adding beautiful molding to the walls.  I have been dreaming of slip covers for my furniture and dark stain for my stairs to match our floors.

But alas, we are not financially able to make all of those changes right now and so I remain with that virtual vision in my head; the one where my house is picture perfect and magazine worthy.  The one where the sunlight streams just right through the window and reflects the crisp white walls and as the wind blows through, the white linen curtains gently ballet across the floor.  The picture where if I look out my window, I can see across the vineyards or better yet, I can see across the ocean.  Do you know that picture?

A few years ago, our little family went through some hardships, as my husband found himself out of a job for over a  year.  We depleted all of our savings and maxed out our credit cards.  Though financially we were at our lowest, our souls and hearts rejoiced during that time.  We found joy in each other and and we had that peace which transcends all understanding.  We explored God's nature a little longer and played a little harder.  We hugged tighter, laughed harder and loved deeper.  That year taught us that as long as we have each other and God by our side, we can find Joy, not in the material but in life itself. 

As another Christmas approaches and my human desires are to have more, newer and better, I feel that little bit of anxiety over not being able to make my 'virtual vision' come true.  But I stop and reflect on the past; on all of the things that we are fortunate to have but mostly, I reflect on the lessons learned.

I was once approached by an elderly woman as our little family sat on a bench enjoying some ice cream.  She looked into my eyes and smiled warmly while saying 'you are a millionaire family'.  As she walked away, I immediately understood what she was referring to, but it wasn't until now that I realize that she was right and full of wisdom.

The future is not ours, yet we can find comfort knowing that God is leading our way and that if our yolk is too heavy He will give us his, which is easy and light.  Don't get me wrong, I believe that it is good to want and desire and dream; I think God wants you to be dreamers and achievers, the head and not the tail.  But it's important to appreciate what we do have, even if it's not like your 'virtual vision'.  So today, as we sing carols while putting up our 15 year old tree, I will make it beautiful with homemade ornaments and as the author of The Merry Book of Christmas said:
"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall."  And to us, that is all that matters.
Friends, as it often happens, my heart and thoughts took me on a different direction; as today, I wanted to simply talk to you about this little ornament I made, I also wanted to give you a little sneak peak into my Christmas mantel which is almost like the 'virtual vision' in my head. :)


I made this little 'joy' ornament by gluing some crystal vase fillers together with a hot glue gun. I then glued them onto a craft wire.  I left the wire visible as I want the words to appear as if 'floating' on the tree.  If you want it to look more polished, I would glue a satin ribbon onto the wire and then hot glue the letters onto the ribbon. 

You can have so much fun with this idea, and form names or shapes such as hearts or snow flakes. 

If you are not able to find these crystals, you can use pearls like I've used here.  Have fun! 
Thank you for stopping by and helping cultivate my little Craftberry Bush.

Have a beautiful weekend.

much love,
Lucy 



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The advent calendar....


Hello everyone.  First of all, I want to wish all of my American friends a beautiful Thanksgiving Day; may God continue to shower you with blessings!  We have so many things to be grateful for and as you gather around the table with your loved ones, I hope you can take a minute to say 'Thanks'.


Today is one of those days where the words do not seem to want to sprout onto the screen, even though I'm trying my hardest to cultivate them.  I look around the room and see pictures of the kiddies smiling back at me and a muted giant screen TV displaying hog hunters hard at work (I'm both disturbed yet shamefully intrigued by these reality TV shows).

I look up at the bright pot lights and wish I could 'clap' them off instead of having to get up and switch them off.  If only one of the kiddies was here; I smile as I remember my husband and I joking with them by saying parents only have children to turn off lights or fetch them items that might be out of arm's reach.  Their little faces not amused but knowing full well that they are our sole reason for everything we do. 

Such is the case for this little advent calendar.  It's simple and did not take me as long as the one from last year (you can see it here), but nevertheless it was made with love for my little ones. 

I realize that you can purchase mini buckets at craft stores, but as usual I wanted to make them myself and save some money.  Just in case you wanted to make your own, I have made a little tutorial for you...

1. Dixie cups, pliers, coloured paper, craft wire, glue and tissue paper if desired.
2. Dis-assemble a Dixie cup and trace out the pattern
3. Cut pattern and set aside
4. Make a semi-circle out of craft wire and bend the edges to form a little hook

5. Punch two small holes at either side of the cup (I used a toothpick, as I don't own a small hole punch) and insert the wire at either side; with pliers close the loop
6. Glue pre-cut pattern onto cup
7. Cut or draw some numbers onto your 'bucket' (I used my brand new CriCut I had received for my birthday last month...YAY!!)
8. Cut a square piece of tissue paper if desired and insert into your brand new bucket 


I love this colour combination so much!  I recently posted an album with this colour scheme on my FB page and  I think that served as my inspiration.

I'm still not sure what we will place inside the cups; the candy canes are glass decorative ones, which was disappointing to some little people around here.   


Well my sweet friends, as I reach the end of this post, I would like to THANK YOU for stopping by.

Every time I come here and read your comments I am humbled and grateful, not only on Thanksgiving Day, but everyday!


much love,
Lucy














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Friday, November 18, 2011

Nordic skiing....ornament series nummer fyra

Good day to you my sweet friends.  Another Saturday morning and like a child, I wake up too early for a weekend.  If you frequent this little space of mine, you might know that Saturday mornings are one of my favourite times of the week (I talk about it here). 

This morning however was a little different in that the kiddies were already up and I made the mistake of stepping on that one plank on the floor that makes the slightest little creak.  The one that sends alarms into their little brains saying 'MOMMA IS AWAKE!!! MOMMA IS AWAKE, COMMENCE REQUEST NOW, COMMENCE REQUEST NOW!!!!!' 


All three marching towards me with desperation in their eyes and me, their hero.  Their troubles? "MOMMA THE Wii IS NOT READING ANY DISCS!"  Tempted to say 'I'll look at it later', like I have so many times before, I decided to skip my hour of peace and fulfill my heroic duties.

Unfortunately, I was not successful in fixing the problem and will have to ship the device to Nintendo.  But they were appreciative and after monitoring and shaking my head 'NO' to their generous amount of jelly on their PB&J sandwich, they now sit at the table with me while I type this; from time to time, making me have to delete what I have written as my concentration follows their simple child conversation.

Not my usual Saturday morning, but beautiful nonetheless. 

Yesterday, the kiddies were off from school and we worked on these adorable little Scandinavian style skis.  Scandinavian decor is probably one of my favourite styles, with the beautiful crisp white interiors and little touches of bright colours.

Even though I love the vintage look of old books, nothing says Christmas like the traditional red, white and green....

This one is Tristan's....:)

Here he is hard at work, so much concentration! :)

 Click on the pictures to enlarge
Click on the pictures to enlarge


As you can see, we used a toothpick to paint the details but you can use a stencil to make it easier, or just glue a pretty ribbon to the skis instead of painting them.  As usual, I encourage you to make it your own and run with it! 


Well, my time is up!  We have a day full of birthday parties to attend!  The sun is shining and life is good!

I hope you too have a great weekend! 


much love,
Lucy




I hope you are enjoying our little ornament series.  Here is a look at what we have done so far.  Please click on the image to direct you to original post. xo






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