ball & burlap

Two weeks from now we’ll be waiting Santa’s arrival. Can you believe it? Where has 2012 gone? Seriously?

Last week we finally got our butts in gear at the Circa Dee house and did some holiday decorating.  Normally this happens the day after Thanksgiving but we seemed to push it back a little bit and we kept things simple and natural this year.

Here is our tree…

Christmas Tree 2012

Now before you laugh our tree’s miniscule status let me tell you that thing packs a punch!  It is super heavy because we opted for a ball & burlap spruce tree this year.  The root ball is hidden in the galvanized bucket which we propped up on another bucket to add some height.  I can’t wait to plant the tree out in our yard and watch it grow year after year.

ball & burlap Christmas tree galvanized tub

Since the tree is so short, we didn’t want to overwhelm it with ornaments so we kept a simple scheme of red Christmas balls, natural ornaments and a collection of rocking horses.

vintage West Germany ornament

The rocking horses are all Ryan’s.  He received one every year as a kid and now we’ve made the collection the focal of this year’s tree!

rocking horse ornament

All of the glass Christmas balls are vintage. I am sure you’re not surprised! They’re either Shiny Brite or West German.

vintage West Germany ornament

I have to give credit where credit is due.  The star tree topper was my mom’s idea.  I already had the ruler made into a star and she suggested that it would make a great topper and she was right!

upcycled star tree topper

And just for fun this is our Fraser fir tree from last Christmas. Last year’s tree was done in gold and sheet music.  I love using burlap on a taller tree too.

Christmas Tree 2011

I can’t wait to share my mantel this week.  Let’s just say that it coordinates well with the tree!

In other news, I visited some friends in Australia last week.

No not physically.  I wish.  I stopped over at Plan Vintage {wedding} as a guest blogger.  As you know, I am in the midst of planning my own vintage wedding so I love the website and was honored to give some advice on sourcing vintage wedding decor.

And while I’m talking about the blogosphere and Christmas, I should share with you that my mantel from last year was featured on Better Homes & Gardens blog.  Dream come true!  Here’s a refresher for you.

Christmas Mantel 2011

Oh and I almost forgot to share that I am a finalist to be the next home show designer at the Philly Home Show early next year.  I will keep you posted!

Home Show finalist

So what’s new with you this week?

Linking to Funky Junk Interiors, Honey We’re Home

a winter wonder: paperwhites

As the holidays are quickly approaching, everyone seems to be looking for quick and easy decorating and gift giving ideas. Well look no further!

I present to you the paperwhite cocktail garden. This was originally posted here last year on the blog.  I noticed that it has been getting some pinterest action lately so I thought I’d break down the ins and outs of paperwhites.

paperwhite cocktail

First of all, paperwhites are a bulb.  Most commonly they are forced indoors in the winter and that is why they are typically associated with the holidays. Paperwhites are the cousin of spring blooming daffodils.  You may notice some family resemblance in their flowers although paperwhites are, well, white as the name implies.

paperwhite bulbs

Optimal bloom temperatures are 65 degrees.  A warmer home will have them blooming in less time.  On the other hand, if you have a cool home, they will take longer to bloom.  It is like putting them in the refrigerator to preserve the flowers.

So let’s get onto planting them, shall we?

I like to use vintage glassware and compotes like these ice cream sundae glasses.  They are sized just right for one bulb.

vintage ice cream sundae glasses

When planting the bulb, be sure the flat, basal side is down and the pointy, fleshy side is up.  The foliage and flower will grow from there.

paperwhite bulbs

Now you may have seen paperwhites planted in stones in the past.  This is very common however I am not a fan of that method.  Most people plant them in stones or pebbles to give the bulb support because the plant becomes top heavy as it quickly grows.  When paperwhites are planted in stones, you usually see the bulb sitting on top of the stones.  But because I like to plant them in small compotes, I use soil.  The moist soil and tight container help to give support.  I plant the bulb just under the soil with the point sticking out.

planting paperwhite bulbs in vintage glasses

Once the bulbs are in the glasses, I cover them with soil and make sure there is some underneath for the roots too.  You will be able to see the roots grow in just a few days if you use clear glasses like these – fun for kids!  You’ll all see the bulbs push themselves up.  There is really some instant gratification that comes with planting paperwhites.  The grow so quickly.

planting paperwhites

Don’t forget to water and garnish how ever you like!  Cranberries optional.

paperwhite cocktail

With all of the paperwhite planting I’ve done, you would think I’d have a picture of the blooms but I don’t!  You’ll have to plant some of your own to experience the visual and fragrant flowers.  We have some for sale in the shop and we’re open this weekend…

Linking to Funky Junk Interiors


more fun with milk paint

Oh milk paint!  How I am learning the ins and the outs of what make this medium so unique!  It is so unpredictable yet the more I work with it the more predictable I think it is.

Did you catch that?

Here’s the latest addition to the shop…

My first piece using Mustard Seed Yellow.  I knew I’d love this color.  It is so bold!  Right up my alley.

Here is the before shot.  It is a Bassett dresser with classic straight lines.  I love the big wide drawers and how the pulls are wooden too.  I knew this dresser had to be mine and it had to be painted a bright color.

The straight lines were calling for an imperfect finish.  I was fairly certain that the dresser’s current top coat would yield a chippy milk paint finish.

And I was right.  I did not use the bonding agent.  Just 2 coats of Mustard Seed Yellow right over the dresser, drawer pulls included.  Almost on demand, the paint started to flake away as it did not adhere to the shiny finish in some areas.

I encouraged the chipping further with a putty knife as I’ve seen in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint tutorial videos.

Once the loose paint was removed, I used the line’s furniture wax on the entire piece.  It cures quickly compared to other waxes I’ve worked with.  Then I sanded the entire piece for a super smooth finish.  All of this texture yet it is very smooth to the touch.

I am really loving milk paint.  It does take some getting used to but it certainly offers a lot of flexibility in the end result.

I have found that it is best to mix the paint using warm water as instructed and then leave it over night or at least for a few hours.  This allows the water to absorb the powder evenly.  Once you’re ready to paint, mix it again really well.

Speaking of milk paint, guess who’s coming to town!

By the way, my current obsession of the season is vibrant winter berry.  Winter berry is the only deciduous holly.  The red berries are a perfect natural addition to the holidays.  Love!

And thanks again to everyone who came out and supported our Small Business Saturday {weekend} at the Brick & Mortar shop.  It was a great success!  I am looking forward to the rest of the holiday season.

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed & Primitive & Proper