rockin around the christmas tree

With just about a week until Christmas, I found myself cycling through old photos of Christmases past. It is fun to see what decor has changed and what has always made the cut.  Some ideas definitely stand out as more of a win than others.  Want to take a look at some of our past Christmas trees?

I was big on burlap and primarily gold ornaments in 2011 and years prior for that matter.  This tree seems light on ornaments.  Less is more, I suppose.  I am not sure that I still subscribe to that though.  Those red drapes in our old house.  They weren’t ever really my style but they did work really well for Christmas and framing the tree.

2011 Christmas tree

In 2012, we purchased a ball & burlap tree that would later be planted in our yard.  It was a small, shrub so we kept the decor to mostly red ornaments & rocking horses.  The red drapes were still up so I guess they were more of my style at the time than I thought.  Have you ever had a ball & burlap Christmas tree?

Christmas tree 2012

2013 was the year we moved to Cape May and also the year of orange slice garland, dried hydrangeas, twigs & peacock feathers apparently.  As crazy as they all sound together, this might be a favorite Christmas look of mine.  Considering you already have a dead tree in your living, there is just something about layering on more organic, natural ornaments.  I also like the toile panels that framed the tree that year.   This photo is making a strong argument for putting the tree in that bay window again next year.Organic Christmas Tree decor

Christmas Tree peacock feathers, hydrangea & orange

In 2014, we broke away from the themed ornaments and started incorporating more color and sentimental ornaments.  I topped the tree with vintage arrows and draped chenille garland that made an appearance again on this year’s tree.

Christmas 2014- arrows

Christmas 2014-5360

And then there’s 2015.  This year the tree is less themed than it has been in the past.  I kept with the light colors we’ve been incorporating in our space as we’ve been updating it.  I used cotton stems as an ornament.  I like the softness, yet fullness that it adds.  This year, more is more for sure.

Trees aside, what’s Christmas without a pink flamingo holiday sweater, candlelight, a chubby beagle and an awkward photo?  Yes, more is certainly more.  More ornaments.  More lights.  More silly photos.  And more time with family and friends.

Chritmas mantel

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! 

We hope you enjoy this magical season.

Christmas tree-366

 

tree trimmings

cottage Christmas

Our holiday decorating is a wrap at this point.  We’re enjoying the warm glow of the tree every night and we’re watching the pile of wrapped presents slowly grow.  We went with a smaller than usual tree this year but propped it up on my favorite vintage card catalog table.  As for the ornaments, we kept fairly traditional.  I’ve been known to go all one color or theme in the past but not this year.  Christmas 2014-5331

The only big curve ball I threw on the tree were arrows.  I guess I should say I “shot” at the tree.  arrow Christmas tree decor

Since we had no specific color scheme, I thought these bright vintage arrows were a fun addition around the top of the tree.   What do you think?

vintage arrows Christmas tree ornaments

You may remember the arrows and antlers from my fall mantel.  Yep, they easily transitioned to the next season…along with the cotton stems too.

antler ornament

Both have been a hit in the shop along with some other outdoorsy and almost season-less ornaments like the vintage style chairs, acorns & lanterns.

ornaments

For garland this year, I simply used chenille ribbon.  I love this stuff!  It can go around your gifts or on the tree.  We still have some available to trim your own tree with!

cottage Christmas

Tonight is Serendipity of Doylestown’s open house from 6-9.  Check out all of these ornaments and more!

 

mixed greens Christmas tree

Last week I shared our front door decor for the holidays which is relatively simple and traditional.  Less seems to be more this year…

holiday door decor-5217 PM

I’ve been utilizing what nature has to offer as winter approaches.  We’re seeing beautiful holly, dried marsh grasses and bushy cedar beginning to take center stage.  A brisk walk in the woods will provide you with enough supplies to make your very own mixed greens tree.

DIY mixed greens tree

If you’ve read the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens, you may know where I am going with this project…

garden Christmas tree

There are two very important tools that you’ll need to construct this tree:  Florist wire and a tomato cage.  An upside down tomato cage creates the perfect cone shape!  You’ll need to find some sort of base for your tree.  I used a vintage enamel pot.  The handles were perfect for the tomato cage to sit on.  Wire the 3 “legs” together on top to create the point of the tree form.

Tomato cage DIY Christmas Tree-141616

I started creating the tree with cedar cuttings first and followed the lateral lines of the cage, wiring each piece on as I went.  Besides the top point, I wired all greens facing down (stems up) so it looked natural.

DIY tomato cage christmas tree-142539

After all lateral lines are wired, it looked kind of hairy.  Perseverance pays off.  Keep going!  I wired greens on the horizontal lines starting with the bottom first, making sure to overlap the enamel pot.  Each subsequent layer covers the stems and mechanics of the previous layer.

Tomato cage DIY Christmas Tree-142901

Finally, fill in your cage so it looks like a nice, full tree.  I stuck holly branches in without even wiring them.  I also “decorated” the tree with dried grasses and a burlap ribbon remnant.

DIY mixed greens Christmas tree

My DIY mixed greens tree is a little bit wild but it was fun and free to make!  It took about 30 minutes to complete.  And what else was I going to do with my tomato cage in December?

believe Christmas sign-5255

I have been back at milk painting holiday themed signs and boards as well…

holly jolly Christmas sign-5250

Oh deer!

oh deer!

 

 

 

trimming the tree with citrus

The phrase “trimming the tree” took on a whole new meaning for us this year.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

We picked out a live Fraser fir tree a few days after Thanksgiving.  Shortly after getting it in the house and decorated, we realized that the tree wasn’t taking up water.  Panic set in as I recalled what is now referred to as The Tree Fiasco of 2007 when my tree was dead as a doornail 2 weeks before Christmas.  I am talking flammable.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I couldn’t live through replacing a dried out, dead tree again so we had to act fast.  At this point, there were just a few dry needles on the decorated tree.   I knew it could be revived.  This is the point where we actually trimmed the tree.  I held it up out of the stand while Ryan gave the trunk a fresh-cut.

Dried Hydrangea on the Christmas Tree

Crisis averted.  All is calm, all is bright.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Would you believe that not a single ornament moved during this swift surgery?  A Christmas miracle.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I committed to a natural, slightly crafty and  definitely busy look this season in our living room.  I haven’t bought any new Christmas decorations and have yet to regret it.  We had burlap, peacock feathers and moss-covered seed pods leftover from our wedding.  Up on the tree they went.

Dried Seed Pod on the Christmas Tree

We live on a wooded lot now so I was able to collect fresh holly and cedar for the mantel right in our backyard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Plus twigs and dried hydrangeas for the tree.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

Following suit with the natural decor, I checked my fruit bowl.  I bought 2 large bags of grapefruit a few weeks ago.  After we packed in as much vitamin C as possible, we were left with six grapefruit staring back at us.

Grapefruit to Garland

A wonderful opportunity to try my hand at a citrus garland with the leftovers.  I am so glad I did because they quickly became a staple of our holiday decor this year!

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

First prepare the grapefruit…

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Slice up the grapefruits or oranges. Each one will yield 5-6  1/4 inch slices
  • Pat them dry with a paper towel and place on a non-stick cookie sheet
  • Lightly bake for 3-4 hours, flipping the slices halfway

Grapefruit to Garland

Next, make your garland…

  • Choose 1/2 inch-1 inch wide ribbon, twine or fabric as the base of the garland.  I chose to cut up an old flannel shirt, of course (keeping with our Lumberjack holiday theme)
  • Cut into approximately 12 inch long strips.  You will need one strip per piece of citrus
  • Tie each strip of fabric through the citrus.  Most slices will naturally have a whole in the middle
  • Then tie each piece of fabric together creating a little bow at the connection

DIY Dried Citrus Garland

The citrus garland adds a festive illumination to the lit tree.

DIY dried citrus garland

Garland your tree, mantel, foyer, whatever!  Just don’t worry about spending an exorbitant amount of money.  Re-work what you already have in your house…even if it’s edible.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

What are you making this holiday season?

home for the holidays

I’ve never thought of myself as a very transient person being that I always lived within minutes from family and close friends.  Always in the Philadelphia area.  And let’s face it, this last move to Cape May is still pretty much within the Philadelphia metro area…only a mere two hours away.  Still practically a Philadelphia suburb if you ask me.  People here are Phillies fans.  And Eagles fans.  It is definitely still like home in that regard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

However, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever moved out of Pennsylvania.  I’m faced with learning New Jersey laws and regulations.  Most of which are much lighter and easier than Pennsylvania’s.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

It has occurred to me that I have lived in five homes in the last 10 years.  Five!  I must be more transient than I thought with that many addresses under my belt.  This is my first official New Jersey home.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

With each move, comes decorating and redecorating.  Especially around the holidays.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Questions arise like where will the Christmas tree go?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Where will the stockings be hung?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Will Santa know where to find us?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

And with each move, comes new traditions.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

A new sense of “home”.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

New beginnings…

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Happy holidays, friends!

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

 

Linking to:

Jennifer-Rizzo-link-party-button-Holiday

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

all that glitters

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree!  How I lo-ove thee! 
Our tree is trimmed and presents are starting to accumulate underneath.

We chose a tall, skinny Fraser fir that fits just right in the window space we carved out for it.  The tree is actually in our dining room.  Tonight we had dinner next to it and it was really quite nice!  Plus, it provides for a holiday focal in that room while the living room’s focal point is exclusively the oversized rustic mantel.  And  did I mention that the tree smells ah-mazing!

I tend to stick to a traditional color scheme when trimming the tree.  White sparkly lights and gold ornaments with a hint of holiday red.  This year the traditional decor was accented with our overall Christmas theme of galvanized, burlap and sheet music to coordinate with the mantel.

Burlap played a major part as the tree garland. 

The only new ornaments added to the collection this year are sheet music DIY balls.  I just inserted strips of vintage sheet music into clear glass balls.  And now we’ve got sheet music on the mantel annnd tree.

Did you spy where the galvanized comes in?  I skipped the tree skirt this year.  We put the tree and stand right in this big galvanized tub.  It keeps things tidy when watering the tree, looks awesome and seems to spare some space under the tree…for more gifts!

Yes, even the gift wrap follows the rustic theme.  Natural brown paper.  Burlap ribbons.  Sheet music wrapping and tags.  Plus hints of gold and red.

Consistency really pulls it all together.  It is easy to have a theme in your Christmas decor by simply repeating the core elements and colors.

What is your Christmas theme this year?

Linking to:

vif187