Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Things Friday: Things I'm Up To

Ok y'all. I'm going to confuse you a little bit. I already posted part of this post, but I wanted to get all five things in one post for my Five Things Friday post this week. I have five new Christmas projects going on in our home. I didn't plan five projects for this post. It just happened that way! Perfect! 

I will start with the Christmas tree bucket makeover, but for more details on that one, you can read my previous post. 

Do you cover the base of your tree? What is your way of covering it? 

I have really enjoyed painting simple canvases for fun these days. We needed something to go above our mantle. We don't have anything up there normally, and that bugged me even more at Christmas. When you walk in our house, you see this once you are walking out of the foyer, so a plain wall and mantle was not going to cut it this year. We needed something big, yet simple… and gold! So I thought I would try painting a large canvas. Now to what it would say. I didn't want something like Jingle Bells or Here Comes Santa. I wanted something that held the real meaning of this season, without being too religious sounding. Don't take that the wrong way. I just wanted something simple. I thought Silent Night, O Holy Night would be just the right words to be painted on my fresh canvas. So I went to the art store, along with my coupon and purchased a 30"x40" canvas, painted a thin layer of metallic gold paint (leaving some brush strokes to keep it a little rough looking) and then went on to paint the wording. I tried to write on the canvas with pencil first, but I couldn't erase well and messed up so I just did it with the paint and hoped for the best. To add to the fun of making this, I had two little helpers so I have a few mess ups, but all in all, I'm happy with it!

Here's what I was working with. I was hoping my vision would turn out at least half as nice as I hoped.
Thin layer of gold.
White lettering.
I went back and forth if I wanted the letters all in the same font or not. Without telling the Hubs which I was leaning towards, I asked his creative advice and he said to go with the two fonts… the same as what I was hoping he'd say! Do you like the added decoration in our fireplace. I thought the fence would be a nice touch. ha. And no, it is not to keep Santa out. Our little elves like to play in the fireplace so we needed a way to keep them out.
Here is a shot without the fence.
And here is my painting. I'm happy to have the simple white and gold look above our mantle this year!
My next project is an Advent Calendar/Christmas countdown. I used Christmas tree and mitten cut outs, gold paper that I cut into squares, some ribbon and mini clothes pins. I made 1/2" slits into the trees and mittens and put the clothes pin through it and then clipped the gold paper onto it. And then I just taped the ribbon to the back of the cut outs. I would have rather hot glued, but this works just as good and it was quicker.
 Now, while I still haven't written the numbers on the front, the back has room for a bible verse (just the location so we have to make the time to look it up and read it out of the Bible) and some of the days have something fun written on it, like pictures with Santa, bake cookies, go for a drive to see Christmas lights, etc. If you are interested in something even easier, and a whole lot prettier (I was trying to go for a fun and kid friendly look for the boys, even though I was loving the look of the gold and black ones), check these out over at Oh My Deer Handmades
While we are on Advent, I like to change up our Advent wreath a bit each year. My original intention was to get big pillar candles in purple and pink, but I couldn't find them, but still wanted a heavy look so I thought I would get white candles in varying sizes to put around the thin pink and purple candles. I needed something to put it on so I went in the basement, found a piece of scrap wood, some stain and made a base for the candles. And, as soon as it stops raining, I am going to pick some greenery off my tree branches from the extras off the bottom of our Christmas tree. It has been rainy here for days and I am waiting for those little guys to dry off. I should go outside now and bring them in the garage so there is a little hope for drying out. You won't see the final picture until that happens, but here you can get the idea of what it looks like.

 Lighting the candles of our Advent wreath was always my favorite little job growing up! I love having lots of candles to light at dinner each night now!
Does your family have an Advent wreath? Is it the traditional kind in a ring with greenery or do you do something different? I'd love to hear your ideas!

And my fifth DIY for you might be my favorite because it is for my boys! I wanted something to hang on their bedroom door. I just took a canvas I had laying around, you can do this any size you want and then I drew the Drummer Boy in the place I wanted and painted around him with red. You can find Little Drummer Boy silhouettes online and then print one out, color the back with pencil and then place it on your canvas, trace around the picture and the lead will transfer onto your canvas for you. I am going back and forth with painting lyrics (in white) or not. I like it plain, yet I think it needs some lyrics. At first I was going to paint the whole song across the red, but I think that is too much, so right now I am leaning towards just painting a verse and some pa rum pum pums. I'll be sure to post a picture in another post how it came out!

I actually have one other small project I am working on. It's a garland/bunting for our foyer mirror, but that isn't together yet, so maybe that can go up on the blog tomorrow! I have so many DIYs I want to do at Christmas, but it is always hard with traveling which limits my time even more than normal. Next year I should start a lot earlier so I can enjoy more projects! 

Feel free to share some of your Christmas DIYs! I would love to hear! And please feel free to use any of these ideas!

a good ol' bucket

Happy Weekend! I am loving the fact that it is Friday night! It's been a long week and next week is going to be just as long, if not longer, so I am going to soak up this evening and the next few days. There are still to do lists, but hopefully there will be fun and enjoyment too!

Normally I would leave Fridays for my Five Things Fridays, but I wanted to get my quick little DIY project up tonight! 

During my childhood, my family had a tree skirt around the base of our tree. I didn't want any old skirt and that is pretty much all I could find. I did find a fabulous furry and soft winter white one at Home Goods and I actually bought it and brought it home. And with a little thought, returned it. I just knew in a year or two there would be water spills and sap drippings on it and it wouldn't look so glorious any more. I couldn't go another year without something around the base of our tree and it wasn't looking good for the whole skirt hunt, so I had to think of some other option. I had seen people do baskets and even silver buckets, but I didn't want it just like everyone else. I wanted it a little different. I had a few ideas, but it would either take more money or more time, neither of which I was interested in spending. So I grabbed a huge bucket, which can be bought at Home Depot. I am pretty sure you can get a 16-17 gallon for around twenty bucks. I also had some gold metallic spray paint on hand so I just gave the shiny steel bucket a once over with some gold paint and wallah, it was done! 

Supplies: Steel bucket (Home Depot, $20)
Metallic Gold (or color of your choice) spray paint (Hobby store - bring a coupon to get it cheap!)

I'm loving gold this year so I have been trying to add in pops of gold so this was my color of choice for this project. If you'd like you could spray it red for a nice bright pop, or cream/white. Anything that goes with your color theme! And, if you are like me and change your color theme from year to year, you can just spray over it next year! 

Be sure to measure the largest part of the base of your tree stand to make sure it fits. Our tree stand is 19" at the widest point and the bucket is about 20-21" so this was perfect. All you do is paint the bucket, and pick your tree up (two person job!) and plop it place it gently in the bucket! And there you have it! A quick, easy, and pretty reasonably priced DIY project! 

Our before was a tree stand on top of white garbage bags. Totally attractive, huh? And now we have a simple gold bucket to complete our tree! 

I have a few more DIY Christmas projects I'll be posting over the next few days. Do you have any DIYs that you or your family have done for Christmas? I'd love to see and have you share your creativity!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Added Light Would be Nice

Behind the larger door in this small corner is our laundry room, with a window. Our kitchen doesn't get a ton of light because the main windows in the room are in the back of the house. A little dream of mine would be to have a little dutch door or possibly a glass panel door there to keep the littles out and the light in! This door has to stay closed at all times because the little men of the house find everything in the small room a lot of fun! The room is very tiny. It is just as wide as a washing machine, dryer and folded up ironing board hanging on the wall. The washing machine door just opens and standing adjacent to that is a tall, cheap, bookshelf from Walmart that we put all of our appliances on (toaster, blender, food processor… all that stuff that I hate on my counters.) That's it. It really is a small room, but the window in there is not serving it's purpose at all with the door closed. Maybe one day we'll put in a new door, but it is a pretty expensive update! Do you have any random house projects that you have on your one day list

Monday, December 2, 2013

momma mondays: time change

We spent the past week in the northeast with the Hubs family and my parents. It is always such a wonderful visit when we go back up there to see everyone. But the one thing that gets me as a momma is the time change. The boys had been doing so well at home, waking up closer to 7, 7:30, which was the biggest blessing to a momma that doesn't sleep at night! I knew ahead of time that their schedules would be set off as well as we'd be an hour different. Thankfully it was an hour later there, so mentally I would feel better about early wake ups. 7 at home is 8 in the Eastern time zone. But of course, with the traveling and all the fun being at Grandma's is, the boys wanted to wake up even earlier! They would wake up around 6… Eastern time. Y'all, that is 5 back at home. Now that we are home again, and everything is an hour earlier, I know we will adjust, but waking up and seeing such an early time on my clock is a tad painful. We woke up at 5:30 this morning and the boys are raring to go. Thankfully I don't feel that bad. They are playing and I am trying to gather my thoughts and plans for the week and start to schedule life out so the weeks leading up to Christmas are enjoyable rather than a wild frenzy of to do lists! Today and the days following, we will start to adjust their eating schedule again, the times they go down for a nap, and then bed time. I won't do it all at once, but we will slowly inch our way back to the normal of being at home.

Do you have any tips for traveling with your little ones, especially when changing time zones and getting off schedule?