A Different Feel to Christmas

Hi, All.

Yes, IT REALLY IS only two weeks till Christmas Day.

Sounds like ours will a quiet holiday, just the two of us, with a small family celebration between the 25th and New Years. It was that way last year too, and just fine.

The entire season seems somehow different this year. I’m not sure why. The cold and snow have been very severe quite early; Thanksgiving was later than usual; and a family member has been grouchy ever since. All of that may have contributed to this “off” feeling.

Even after pulling out the many tubs of Holiday decorations from the crawl space, neither of us wanted to tackle any big projects.

So … we didn’t.

We long ago discontinued the hours of conquering snowy fields for just the right tree to cut. It isn’t as fun without children along. The cold got colder as we got older, and the trees seemed to grow more heavy and difficult to transport each year..
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Oh we still put a tree up this year. We have a very realistic and easy to assemble, artificial one now. There’s also a smaller, table tree in our family room that made the cut this year. Only because after last season, I wrapped it up in a big old plastic bag, ornaments and all, and found a spot for it on a garage shelf.
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So … 1 – 2 – 3, it’s a done tree!

Most everything else is minimal. Some that know me are shocked that I left the hutch as-is. It’s fine with just a bit of sparkle added here and there. Although, I spruced up the top a bit, placing this old yule santa next to the plants there.

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Isn’t he adorable?  He was a gift from my daughter-in-law (to-be) last Christmas.

For the table, DB brought a big glass bowl up. I washed it, added a live poinsetia plant, and filled around it with more sparkle.
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The table covering is simply a long piece of wrapping paper for festivity, a remnant of silky green fabric for a little depth and texture, and a red plastic charger plate Jessica also gave me last year.

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The big tree takes center stage in the living room, so the credenza moves to the hall wall. All I did here was … you guessed it … add some sparkle to an existing arrangement. I just used pieces in the vignette that tied in to the colors of the painting above.

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I took a different direction in my office/workroom. I worked with the colors already there. More sparkle was added to the window group.

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Then after clearing my bulletin board, I prettied it up with similar colors.

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Well, there ARE still two weeks to add a few more little things.

Next post, I’ll share some “Make-Do”, pretty ideas … all done on NO BUDGET and VERY LITTLE TIME.

Meanwhile, stay warm, stay safe … and don’t stress, just start!

Later – Cheryl

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Copyright © 2013 Artzzle   All Rights Reserved

Before the Pumpkins Come

September opened here with cooler nights and comfortable days. Touring our yard this past holiday, we noted all the summer beauties slipping away. For a moment I was sad, but quickly remembered that changing seasons are some of the reasons I love Minnesota. Yes, the summers are too hot sometimes, and winters can be cruel, but each of the seasons promises us the return of their own little jewels.

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Orange has always been at the top of my color charts, no matter what features it.
Autumn will offer its’ own beautiful tones soon enough, but before the pumpkins come and the leaves turn to gold, I wanted to share some of the oranges summer can hold.

Summer shows orange in brighter sheen and glows. Fall tames down the color to rusts and ochre tones.

The smoke of Autumn fires fills the evening air, but for one more day, these lilies didn’t care.

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In every season, each day presents us its’ unique agenda. Living in Minnesota, you have to learn to surrender. By accepting the beastly bad, you appreciate the beautifully good all the more.

In the past long weekend I discovered some fun finds. Keep the color orange in mind for next time, when I’ll show them off to you and we’ll do some decorating too.

Meanwhile, don’t stress, just start that project.

Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “Before the Pumpkins Come” my original article, first seen on Artzzle.com. I love comments and questions so send “em” my way. And be sure to spread the word about Artzzle to your friends. The more the merrier!

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Remember, all content on Artzzle, text and photography, is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form, without my expressed permission, or approval from material’s originator(s). You can leave a comment below with any questions on this.

Easy, Quick Floral Projects

SAY IT AIN’T SO. It can’t be Labor Day already!

Autumn isn’t fast approaching … it’s here … well, in just a couple days. And in Minnesota it entered early with a little help from the extremely dry summer. Lot’s of yellows and browns on the scene now, so we’re all anxious to capture as much living color as possible, before it’s gone.

Most people consider “flower arrangements” strictly as something that someone else does and you buy it commercially. Well, I’m here to say “that ain’t so!” You don’t have to be a trained, professional florist [like me 🙂 ] to bring beauty into your home, and you don’t have to pay a fortune either.

All you really need are containers, water and flowers.
But here are some EASY and INEXPENSIVE TOOLS to help polish your look.
* Floral Tape
* Floral Wire
* Clear Glass Containers

Pictured is green floral tape. I also use a clear, top coated floral tape (sorry didn’t have any today). Both can be purchased at big box or craft stores, usually no more than $1-2, as can the wire.

Floral wire comes in several widths, strengths (gauges). I usually keep on hand one light weight and 1 heavier gauge. Pictured is 26 gauge (a light wire).

Also shown, are clear glass containers. These are use when you want to set your flowers inside another container. I use clear, unornamented glass when my display containers are see-through, such as two of the three in the featured arrangements. I have a set of 5 small, clear glass bowls (with orange flowers here) that are handy. I got mine at DISCOVERY THRIFT in Milaca, MN, for $3. They have black lids and I’ve seen them commercially as well, just can’t recall the name. I also use several sizes of tube vases, which I pick up at garage sales and thrift shops. You can buy them at the store, but for a lot more moola.

TIPS: STEM WRAPS are a great technique to help give your flowers more form (instead of just setting loose in the vase of water). You can use tape or wire.

1. Here, I’ve used the green tape to wrap my stems, because while the seedum stem is wide, it is a SOFT stem, and the tape or wire might damage the flower(s). EXAMPLE: In the supply photo earlier, notice that I’ve done a wrap to demonstrate.

2. The clear tape is used to criss-cross over the top of your container, making an open grid that you can use to help place and support your flowers, in a wide-mouthed vase. I didn’t need that technique here. This tape is double-duty, as it is strong and nearly invisible. You can also use it to do a small stem wrap when using heavy, wooded stems in your arrangements.

Finally, for the fun part, FLOWERS and FILLERS. Here I used what was available in my garden and yard.

Flowers
* Seedum (brown vase)
* Marigolds & seedum Leaves (low bowl)
* Wild flowers (orange vase)
[I don’t know the name here; these were plantings from a friend that took over a large space in my garden JOIN MEon HOUZZ Discussions tomorrow, as I submit a question, to see if anyone can tell me what they are.]

Fillers
2 kinds of wild grasses

TIPS:

1. Don’t always think you have to do big, tall or wide arrangements. Get creative. The marigolds here are mini’s from my garden, but I cut them clear down to the end of the bud and just floated them in the water. Also, remember with ANY kind of flowers, silk or live, I keep everything until the project is done to my liking. Today, I wanted more colorful, taller seedums with bare stems because they would show. Their leaves are pretty too, so I stripped the stems and surrounded my marigolds with the indiviual leaves.

2. STORE BOUGHT FLOWERS Don’t have a garden available (yours or anyone else’s)? Buy one of the $4.99 tub bouquets available at stores and markets everywhere. Then get creative! Often these have lime green, mini button mums, which would work instead of my marigolds here, as would mini carnations.

For taller flowers, vary your heights (3 different heights, remember). Hold them in the arrangement you like, then do your stem wrap to keep them there in your vase.

Containers
Aw, come on. You’ve got this by now. Use your imagination here: cans, baskets, pretty glasses and bowls. What about a pretty box (using your separate inside containers). If you have a see-through metal basket, float two or three kinds of small blooms in random little bowls. Very rustic look there.

The key with loose, casual arrangements like these, is to keep it simple. If they look too bare and empty sitting alone, put them together as the 3 here. Hey, my old magic number. 3 objects, 3 heights, 3 different kinds of flowers; the unifier is the use of the similar type containers (decorative, colored glass).

That’s it. Quick, easy decor projects to brighten up your place when those holiday guests stop over.

Remember, don’t stress, just start.
Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “Easy, Quick Floral Projects” my original article, first seen on Artzzle.com. I love comments and questions so send “em” my way. And be sure to spread the word about Artzzle to your friends. The more the merrier!

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Remember, all content on Artzzle, text and photography, is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form, without my expressed permission, or approval from material’s originator(s). You can leave a comment below with any questions on this.