Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deck the Mantles...

The first thing I decorated this year was the mantle.
It seems the easiest for me to do. A little greenery, a little pretty thing or two and Christmas is officially here.
This year's mantle is sorta similar to the one from last year, except with my new blue touches in the house, I decided to go more blue and red instead of green and red. Thus my green square wreath didn't make the cut (on the upstairs mantle at least).
In fact, this mantle went through a couple versions before I finally feel like I got it right.

Allow me to give you the run down...

The garland

This garland is like 15 years old.

Okay, maybe more like 10, but it is in BAD SHAPE. Regardless of the condition, I learned a few years ago to add stuff to the garland to "gussy it up." My favorite thing to add is this light green eucalyptus.

I love the contrast.

There is really no rhyme or reason. I buy a bush or a stem and cut the heck out of it and literally just stuff it in the blank spaces.

Then I add in my red toile ribbon (surely by now you would know (surely by now you would expect to see some toile from me!) Finally I shove in bits of red pepperberries I hacked off a large garland.

Here it is all plumped up and purty:

You can see how I tried to tie in some of the blue from my built in's and roman shades with the plate. But how is that transferware plate just floating on top of it?

Wish you knew? Okay, I'll show you:

Those are Command Strip picture hangers. Basically it is like velcro.

It holds really well. That plate is actually off my dining room wall where they have been hanging like that for a few months.

Along with the mantle, I have a big ol' hearth to accessorize too. Here are some close ups of that area:

Here is a parade of pictures for the upstairs mantle:

This is the view that greets me at the top of the stairs every morning.

It makes me smile. everyday.

Oh, don't go away please. Come downstairs with me. This part of the post won't be as long. Keep in mind I do the same tweaking with the garland here too.

A few lights, a few shoves with some greenery snippets, some glass beads, a little ribbon and there ya go. Fat, fabulous, expensive looking garland.

I did go with traditional red and green downstairs for two reasons. One, it matches and two, I love my polka dot ribbon. (toile and polka dot, my two weaknesses)

I spare you almost all of the wordy details and just show the pics:

Thanks for sticking through such a long post! I'm linking up with Layla and French Country Cottage, so if you REALLY want to be impressed by some decorating skills, come visit the party!

There are lots of Christmas parties coming up and I plan on posting quite a bit throughout this month, so keep checking back!

In case you didn't know, December is the "Month O' Decorating!"

The Lettered Cottage

Let the merriment begin!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Month O' Organizing- Dreaded Junk Drawer

Yes, it's November, and October was my month dedicated to organizing, but technically this project was completed in October, so I'm using it.
So there.
Sorry, been around kids for the past 24 hours, my sass got the best of me.
I have a SUPER island in my kitchen. If you haven't seen it, check it out here.
The bad thing is that it is a super clutter magnet.
It is the first stop when we walk in the door and everything lands there.
I was reading the Nester's 31 days series and she had a post about a "man station."
I thought that was pretty brillant.
So I decided to dedicate my junk drawer
(well, okay a PORTION of it)
to my man for his "station.
Here is the before: This is the drawer that I stuck everything in I didn't know what to do with when we moved in -a year ago- and it has just gotten worse since then.
See that Valentine's dish towel?
The dish towel drawer is RIGHT NEXT TO IT.
Don't ask me why it ended up in there. Well, okay ask me. It is probably because that drawer is too crammed.

I emptied it, purged some stuff, put other stuff away and dedicated each section to certain members of the family.
Here is the after:

The far left is for the kids.

It is the homework, school paperwork section.

I found about a million pencils in this drawer. We can NEVER find a pencil. The far right section is hubby's.

This is all the stuff that ends up on the counter.

Yes, that is a smoke detector.

It was removed the other night when it went off as he was frying bacon.

Yes, I have a degree in Safety and Health as well a certification in School Safety.

I am a prime example of do as I say and not as I do.

The middle section is mine all mine.

That is because most of the clutter that gets on my nerves is mine. It is another disease. It is called the Sprawl-Your-Stuff-All-Over-the-House Disease.

Maybe that medicine in my section will help.

Oh! My organizing spread to the drawer next door and I tackled the dish towel drawer. I didn't get a before (but I'm sure you can imagine if I couldn't squeeze in one more towel), but here is the after-sheer loveliness!

I love dishtowels, can you tell?

I think I am going to extend this organizing month for a little while longer. I have a pantry project to share and I REALLY want to tackle the master closet.

I'm thinking I have another series idea thru all this, remember "Decorating A-Z?"

I may post an explanation about it in a few days, keep coming back!

OH! BTW, I'm sure you noticed that I changed my blog background. I need some feedback from you all to see if you can read it okay. When I pull up my blog on my iphone, I can't read it because the background doesn't pull up (and the font is white). I'm hoping you all are able to read all this. If you don't mind, would a few of you leave me a comment and make sure all is well on your end?

Another BTW, if any of you readers are blog pros, I could use some help reorganizing my blog. Maybe a total revamp? If you have any suggestions or people you know, pass them along!


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