Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Tree 2011

As I sat here listening to the first drops of rain of the evening, which are forecast to turn into the first snow of the season (I'm not counting the freak Halloween storm because I wasn't here for it!), it occurs to me that I'd better share my tree soon or I'll miss my chance entirely! 

 It took me awhile to figure this tree out, and I don't feel I've quite made it all the way yet. No proper topper, you see...

But that sweet little owl holds the place quite nicely!

 I'd just like something to glow a bit behind him... I was going for a sort of enchanted forest, rustic glam sort of thing this year. Which was a new one for me even though I've been lovin' that look for awhile!

I started out with a shot at flocking the tree. (Lightly, since I couldn't find real flocking and only had canned snow!)

Outside, in the full sun, I thought it looked horrible! So paste-y! Not shimmery and enchanting at all, despite a liberal application of glitter. 
But then I got it inside and with the lights on it was a whole different thing! I loved it! Of course I wasn't about to pull everything back off, haul the tree back outside and finish the flocking, so I have a half -flocked tree this year! (I think I might go whole-hog next year, we'll see how hard the clean-up is after removal!)

At first I also thought I wanted a pink and green tree:

But that was looking a little too Arsenic and Old Lace, and not in a good way... or at least not in a way I was feeling. So I pulled off the pink ribbon, added some shimmery burlap trim and DIY pine-cone and twine garland instead.

 A healthy dose of cute little critters to finish:

Adorable stag from JCPenney.

Glimmering mushroom from Crate and Barrel.

Absolutely adorable reindeer from Crate and Barrel. (really hoping to get back and get more of these!)

And voila! A Christmas tree! So far.... : )

Check back to see the mantel in continuous progress as well!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Crafts: Non-taxidermy Deer

And NO! I didn't just hang an un-preserved dead deer from my wall! EW!
Growing up my Mom had an antique taxidermy deer head in our family room. And while on one level it grossed me out (that would be the level where the day she came home with that piece of decor she was inspired to make a deer stew out of a deer's neck. I'll tell you when you open that pot to see what smells SO delicious and see recognizable bits of anatomy and you're 12....) it also had a certain charm. We named him Bambi and put a bird's nest on his head, and bauble earrings at the holidays.
Lacking my own taxidermy version to put up for the season, I made a cute cardboard deer head!

It looks pretty cute! As long as you don't look straight on...

 And it actually doesn't really go anywhere in my house, so he'll be going down to my brother's place for early Christmas dinner with Mom (I'm in charge of decorating! Wahoo!)

We'll just find a nice side-wall to put him on where no one will see him face-on.
Want to make your own cardboard deer head? Instruction are here on Good Housekeeping.
Just be careful with that exacto knife!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Crafts: Lamp Silhouette

Hey Everyone!

The other day I decided the lamp in the corner of my living room needed some holiday flair. 

A little plain, right?

Reindeer have been speaking to me this year. Not literally... I have seen a few in the neighborhood, but none have struck up a conversation yet...                                                                                                                                                
Anyhoo, I went online and found some clip art I liked, blew it up and printed it out. I planned to simply tape the whole piece of paper in the shade and be done with it, but  you know these things are never that simple! First the printer skipped parts, which I filled in with marker, which it turns out is denser than printer ink, so I had to go back and fill the whole thing in. Then the edges of the paper showed, so I ended up having to cut it out...

Well anyway, in the end I quite liked the result!

Seasonal, but not too kitschy. Not that I'm against kitsch- HA!
I thought it could use a bit more of a colorful festive touch, so I wrapped some pink dupioni ribbon around the base.

And then promptly moved the TV in front of it to make way for the Christmas tree! Oops! Oh well, you can still see it from parts of the room...

In the meantime, while I was meticulously cutting out all those little antlers I decided to do it well enough that I would have the negative left for another project. Stay tuned to find out what I did with that! 
I'll give you a hint, it has to do with this. Can you possibly guess? 
: )

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Seasonal Pillow Covers

Hey All!
Tis the season for crafting, no? I got started on my own seasonal decor with some new covers for three of my throw pillows. Previously they were a mish-mosh of pink and burgandy and asparagus green, now they're all light blue velvet and cream and gold brocade!

Aren't they purty? I made this one first:

With the brocade on one side and the blue velvet on the other.

I thought that looked a little bland, so on the next one I did brocade on both sides with an edge all around and stitched on the word "joy" in the blue velvet. 

For the large square pillow I wanted to do a bold image, but not something that would look silly after Christmas was over, so I decided to do a bird. Let me say now I suck at art. So I took inspiration from a partridge-like bird I saw appliqued onto a pillow at HomeGoods last summer. Can I find that photo now? Of course not. So you'll just have to take my word for it that this is a good adaptation!

It's a little odd... but if I think of it as a penguin, or an homage to Despicable Me, it works! 
I'll probably go back and stencil something on that plain pillow with fabric paint, but I need to get some paint first, so that's on hold!

For now they all look quite nice lined up on my fancy couch. (That's as opposed to the big comfy couch!) Tembo seemed to think I needed to pay more attention to him and less attention to those pillows! Funny boy... 
I've been working on my Christmas mantel, so check back soon to check that out!
: ) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spain, Barcelona

Ready for more photos from Spain? Well, like I said in my Valencia post, the biggest reason I chose Barcelona for the vacation portion of our Spain trip was because I wanted to see some Gaudi design, so there's a lot of that in here! Prepare yourself! ( I suggest a beverage and a snack... and mascara. I need mascara for just about anything.)
Good! Here we go to Barcelona!

First stop: Segrada Familia!
Proof we were there. 

Passion Facade, Segrada Familia
Passion Facade, Segrada Familia
Nativity Facade, Segrada Familia
Nativity Facade, Segrada Familia
Random church we passed on the way to Segrada Familia. 
La Padrera- this was on the corner of the street we were staying on, so it was our landmark for where to turn. So Cool!
Casa Batllo at night.

Casa Batllo and neighboring building, check out that line! (It wasn't too bad, actually.)
Casa Batllo interior.
Casa Batllo interior.
Casa Batllo interior.
Casa Batllo cool ceiling.
Casa Batllo stairway door.
Casa Batllo roof-line.
Casa Batllo, the "dragon's" back.
I may have loved the building to the left of Casa Batllo even more! (Puig i Cadafalch’s Casa Amatller) 
Isn't it pretty?
Port Vell by night.
Ancient church and statue we found while lost. It is in the guide book, but I forget...

Push-up leggings? Sign me up! (Unfortunately I could never find this store while it was open.)
H&M... in a castle......
Imprints on sidewalk on Passeig de Gracia. 
Anyone who says Spaniards have no sense of humor clearly never saw this sculpture!

Gaudi's Parc Guell.
Detail of ceiling in first structure of Parc Guell. 

Posing with the famous mosaic lizard.

A long line of vendors taking advantage of the masses of tourists. There was a police raid while we were there- those guys can pick up and move FAST!
Cool cave-like passage. 

Me and a view from the park.
These guitarists were fantastic (I bought their CD!)

Chillin' out, listening to the music. 
The backside of that bench we're sitting on. 
Lunch at the beach. 
Very pretty beach!
Such stylish people everywhere!
Arc de Triomf- everyone needs one!
Palau de la Musica Catalana.

Sneaky interior shot (through the window) of the Palau de la Musica.

Exterior of Cathedral... Barcelona? I forget which this is!

Beautiful light in Santa Maria del Mar.

Stained glass in Santa Maria del Mar. 

Santa Maria del Mar.

Santa Maria del Mar. ( I went a little nuts with pictures in here!)

Very unusual stained glass windows in Santa Maria del Mar. 

Interesting light and shadows. 
La Boqueria. 

Incredible displays!

Fresh squeezed juice, anyone?

How about some mushrooms?

No? How about a couple of goats heads? AH!

Statue at Museu Nacional d'art de Catalunya- she made me feel so svelte!

Haris ponders the male statue. 

And finally, the view of the sun setting over Barcelona from Museu Nacional d'art de Catalunya . If  you blow the picture up you can see the Segrada Familia in the backround!

PHEW! I don't know about you guys, but that was a little exhausting for me!  
Well, now we're back home getting into the Christmas spirit (some of us more than others!) I've already started on a few projects I'll be sharing, so check back for the start of sparkly season!