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December 14, 2011

It’s that time of year, folks – the time when all my spare moments are full of making of all kinds, none of which I can show you.  Well, almost none.  I’ve got a wee gift I’ll show you soon, whose recipient is (being a baby) too young to read this blog, but as I have no pictures yet you’ll have to sit tight a while longer.

I can, however, show you what’s decking my halls this season.  I’ve mostly taken a simple approach to holiday decorations this year; I do love the grandiose displays my neighbors are sporting, but I wanted something quieter, more wintery than Christmassy. Something peaceful, but fragrant.

I’ve had a lot of fun spending evenings on the front porch, happily covered in tree sap, wrestling pine branches into wreaths for the front door and entryway. (Yes, I am a dork. Also maybe a bit cheap. Why pay $30 for a wreath when free greens, a bent coat hanger, and a $1 spool of floral wire do just as well?)

I’ve always loved traditional popcorn and cranberry garlands, but they look a little silly on the variety of Christmas tree I usually wind up with. This year, I saw some folks on Pinterest with a different take on the holiday garland, and followed suit. Three sliced oranges, a 200 degree oven and several hours later, I wound up with this:

Kind of pretty, I think. (There’s a similar garland wound around the upstairs banister, and one across the kitchen window, but I don’t have photos.)

Speaking of garlands, I was inspired by this tutorial to make a star garland, though I used salt dough instead of clay for mine.  (Anything to save me another trip to a craft store in December!)  I used a pretty common salt dough recipe (one part salt, two parts flour, one part lukewarm water) and a small star cookie cutter, and dried the cut stars in the oven alongside the orange slices.  (I also made salt dough gift tags, though I’m unwilling to dwell on that particular failure.)  With my brand spanking new $5 hot glue gun, which really I should have bought 5 years ago, I glued the stars to bakers’ twine, and then hot glued the ends of the 14 short garlands (seven stars on each) to the inside of the window casing.  Easy, satisfying, and I think it adds just the right amount of magic and whimsy.
And we musn’t forget the Christmas tree!

This is our first holiday with our new roommate, who brings with him new movies (how had I never seen Christmas Vacation?), new music (did you know Run-D.M.C. has a Christmas album? Me neither.), and a most welcone enthusiasm for eggnog, hot chocolate and candy canes.
This is shaping up to be a most excellent holiday indeed.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jonesingafter40 permalink
    December 14, 2011 7:50 am

    I love your “more wintery than Christmassy” decorations and the fact that you created them yourself. Beautiful!

  2. Nicole permalink
    December 14, 2011 12:43 pm

    Hi Ashley!

    I love your decorations! How creative! I can already smell the wonderful fragrance of those orange slices.

  3. December 17, 2011 11:51 am

    I’m in love with oranges and stars idea!


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