Sunday, December 7, 2014

Is the holiday decorating ever finished?

I have always fussed with the Christmas decorations taking days to put it all together. Garland on the banisters, twinkle lights, lots of ribbon and fresh greenery added into the artificial mix. Now here is a little secret {shhh, don't tell Richard} - this year the holiday decorating is just a test drive. I have had more than sugar plums dancing in my head when it comes to how I want Cardinal House to look for the holidays. This year I have played with the decorations we have, added a few new key pieces {like the nativity sets and angel}; but there are some classic things that I am looking for that will last for many years.

I like the Christmas decor to look somewhat vintage with a bit of sparkle. I stray away from the traditional red and green mix or anything trendy, instead looking for pieces that may pass as something my Grandmother might have owned. Cream, soft gold, patina finished - all with a bit of shimmer.
Having said that, we have a four-and-a-half-year-old Granddaughter who wants some whimsy. I managed to stray away from the Disney a'la Frozen ornaments {seriously I'm feeling a bit burned-out by the amount of Frozen gear}. Knit and felt squirrels, mice and deer {Target} and vintage cars with Christmas tree's were added to the usual mix on the tree in the media room.

This glossy VW ornament from Canadian Tire is perfect to hot glue a bottle brush tree to the top.

Felt mice and squirrels are from Target, adding a vintage charm to the tree. The stamped cotton garland is from Home Sense, but could easily be a DIY project to do with small children.

The tall skinny tree was our replacement tree while we lived in an apartment during renovations. The BIG tree is upstairs in our family room after being packed away for the past few years - it was overwhelming for our apartment space. I'd like the tree to be a bit fuller for the media room, but it's not an everyday used space so it works. A

Kya was more than happy to put the whimsical ornaments on the tree adding  candy canes - a few candy cane may have been consumed during the process. She made a long construction paper link garland for under the tree and set it all up with white bird houses and the tree carrying Beetle car.

Tree decorating may have involved me putting on most of the ornaments while Kya played. Can you blame her..........

This is the not-yet-completed play area. A perfect spot under the stairs to snuggle down on big cushions {that I need to find/make} with a book. I painted the chalkboard wall that changes with the creative mood, picture rails from IKEA hold Kya's books. The mirror ball and wall reading lamp are also from IKEA. On my list of additions are black 'stage' curtains to create a tent like feel when tucked inside or the option of performing from the space. Perfect for a little girl who loves to sing.
Grandpa scored the professional kid size drum set from a garage sale, it was a great deal in more ways than one. We discovered the very first time Kya sat down to play that she has a lot of rhythm.

The little mini table top tree is perfect for Kya's dresser. Simple wooden clip reindeer added to the branches are all it needs. All from Target - tree $3 - clips $4 = cute table topper. 

I don't even remember where or when I bought these little ladies, but they have enhanced the holiday greenery for many years. It always makes me happy to open the decoration boxes and pull back the tissue paper to see them. This year the vintage winter ladies adorn the glass bistro shelves in the kitchen.

What is your holiday decorating preference. Do you stay with the tried and true each year, or do you change it ?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dressing Cardinal House for the Holidays

I have been playing with the Christmas decorations for two weeks - not kidding. The truth is, I likely will fuss and move things around throughout the the entire holiday season. Decorating for the holidays is about layering, freshening the live greenery and plants, right until the moment it all has to come down.

Since this is our first Christmas in Cardinal House, it brought the opportunity to play a little with the decorations and figure out what would go where. I dragged it all out - two tree's {yes artificial}, garlands, and ornaments. I arranged and re-arranged the treasures with my ipod playing a holiday music mix. What a hardship. Honestly, if Richard had come home and said he would help decorate the tree, I would have insisted he relax and watch an old movie. Note - I think he was thrilled that I was happy to do all the decorating myself.

Here's a look .... so far........

Living room mantle.

The nativity set and large white tree's are new this year {HomeSense}. I use a deep green artificial garland with layers of fresh cedar draping over it. Wilt Proof helps keep the greens fresh and I will have more bunches set aside for the week of Christmas to freshen pieces that get too dry. 

Crossing my fingers that the marble surround on the fireplace is installed for Christmas.

Looking from the front of the house through the living room, dining and into the area between the piano room and family room.

I almost threw this wreath out. It had been packed away for years with old ornaments stuck to it. I stripped the wreath down, fluffed the greenery and added one of my garden angels.

The new tall Angel {also from HomeSense} fills the wall over top of the sideboard in our living room. I'm not thrilled with the adornments underneath and will probably make a small change as soon as I figure exactly what I want there - I'm thinking fresh greenery mixed with the white branches would perk it up.

Simple greenery - again a mix of artificial and fresh with white satin ribbon adorns the new banister at the front entry.

The BIG tree upstairs in the family room area.

I've had this little Angel for years, he is one of my favourite things to place on the tree.

Bubble lights that I originally bought for the tree for my own children had been packed away for the last few years. The lights were added to the big tree this year to the delight of our Granddaughter.

This lucite drum soldier seems to waiting for Richard and Kya to sit and play a tune with him at the piano. 

A fresh wreath {treated with Wilt Proof} hangs on the stove hood. Another one of my garden Angels adds just enough accent. 


I have my eye on soft blush tone Poinsettia for a few spots in the house and hope to find a couple of special treasures to add to the mix. The outdoor tree and greenery is in place and most of the media room decor is finished {more on that in another post}.

Because I couldn't decide which colour of nativity I wanted, I bought both with the intention of trying them on the mantle and then returning one. They are both so beautiful,  so now the grey and white nativity adorns a French sideboard cabinet downstairs in the media room.

And isn't this what Christmas is really all about.

'A King is born in Bethlehem'

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Deck the Halls

I could easily skip Halloween and roll right into Christmas decorating mode.
I LOVE Christmas. The warmth and happiness that people have around Christmas. The gatherings of friends for a night out and a few bevies. The enormous dinners with days of preparation. The fun of watching the kids excitement over Santa. The wrapping paper, the ribbons, the decorating..............oh, the fun of decorating.
Last year I decorated for a local shop - five tree's, outdoor planters and several vignettes inside the shop. The addition of decorating clients outdoor holiday planters made the pain of not having our own house finished a little easier to digest. But this year........... it's our turn. This is our very first Christmas at Cardinal House and it will be my test run at the holiday decor. I'm a lucky girl because Richard steps aside and lets me play with the decor {although I might knock him over on the way to hanging a garland or two}.

Terra Nurseries

I decided to gather the greenery for the outdoor planters today and get some of the holiday prettiness started before the weather turns too cold. I'm really not a one stop shop kind of girl, preferring to gather special things from several spots to create the look I want. Today I stopped at Terra Nurseries where they were more than ready for Christmas and I got things started with the basic greenery for the planters.

Terra features a wide selection of prepared greenery baskets or the fixings to create your own holiday masterpiece. A large selection of poinsettia, cyclamen, and lemon cypress start the collection of fresh plants that mix so well with the glitz of Christmas decor.

'Frosty Fern' and poinsettia

Chalkboard inspiration from Terra Nurseries.

Traditional tones of deep red are popping up more than ever this Christmas, and for the first time in a long time I am loving the red accents.
Do you have a theme for your holiday decor? One colour or the whole rainbow? Tinsel or burlap trimmings? Whimsical toy-like decor, natural from the great outdoors, or sparkle all the way?  Share your decor plan for the holiday's and inspire us.