Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Five Buck Holiday Wreath

This past week, I was in the mood to make a wintery wreath for our very bare and unfestive looking front door. I've been feeling like a scrooge all season since this is our first Christmas in our new house and we're the ONLY ones on the block who didn't have even a dash of holiday decor on the outside of the house. I'm not saying I like all  or even most of the over the top glowing candy canes and giant blow up Santas, etc. that have recently popped up on our street, but I did feel like we weren't even trying. T'was time to to do something. Here's how it came together... 

Most thrifty craft projects begin, where else but Dollar Tree. I picked up the wooden wreath base and the two tubes of dull silvery balls (they were just the right shade so as to look a bit on the vintage side) for $3. To wrap the wreath base, I used scraps of cream muslin I snagged for a buck a while back at an estate sale. 

I cut about three lengths of muslin and ironed it to to freshen it as well as to keep one side of the strips folded over so the outside edge of the fabric would looked finished. I just glued down the fabric here and there underneath as I wrapped it around. And here we have our nice little base.

Next, I just started gluing on the silvery holiday balls sort of willy-nilly. One can kinda wing this part as the gaps between the ornaments get filled in with cream muslin ruffles, bits of twisted yarn and finished with vintage creamy buttons. It'll look like crap at first, but don't stop. Just keep gluing.. 

Once all the silver balls were glued on and the wreath was looking pretty wonky and weird, I cut out 3" circles of muslin and folded and hot glued them into little ruffle shapes. I probably made 30 of these babies. The more you fill in the gaps with them on the wreath, the more full and festive it looks. 

It also helps to have a snack, don't you think? Left over white chocolate-drizzled popcorn mixed with peanut m&ms was just sitting from a gathering the night before waiting to be eaten. Munch a little, glue a little. Munch, glue... 

Once the creamy ruffles were added, things started looking promising... 

Towards the end, I knew I wanted to add a bit more texture. I wound 8" pieces of yarn around two fingers, tied them off at the end and glued them in and around the balls and ruffles. It added a wintery flair, I thought. I also tucked in (via hot glue) clusters of creamy antique buttons. Couldn't help myself... 

And the finished product! I added a muslin ribbon to the top of the wreath, so it would hang nicely on my ugly front door. Alas. My one complaint is that I don't have a gorgeous smokey gray front door this year. Perhaps next year my door will be a lovely color so my wreath really looks blog-worthy. 

And that's how she came together folks. With my $3 worth of materials from Dollar Tree, muslin scraps, bits of yarn and 3 glue sticks I used, this little project couldn't have cost more than $5 - and I think it's something that can hang on the door well in to January perhaps even February. What's hanging on your door this holiday season?? 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Little Women: A Holiday Must-Watch

You know how some movies that you love when you're younger (like in junior high and high school) seem well - lame or silly or just not nearly as good as you remembered when you watch them again as an adult? Little Women is NOT one of those movies. I watched it last week for the first time in ages and it completely hit the spot. Now I'm quoting lines from it every day and Ike has no idea what I'm talking about. I'm humming the theme melody from the opening credits. It's just so well done. So lovely to watch and so tender...And it's perfect viewing when you want something Christimas-y. Watch it. 

(additional incentive: a young Christian Bale plays Laurie and he's so darn cute) 

What holiday movies are you loving right now?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Handmade Holiday Boutique Coming Up!

If you're in the area this weekend, please stop on by this fun and fabulous boutique at the home of our friend and artist, Tiffany Beach. There will be a great group of artists selling paper goods, accessories, jewelry, clothes, art and more. Kara and I will be sharing a table and we WILL be taking debit and credit cards, so leave the cash at home and come see us! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Currently Nibbling On....

Yesterday was a cold, windy, snowy day. It got me all in the baking spirit. I had a few brown bananas wilting in the  fridge and thought of this recipe I saw while meal planning a few weeks back in a fall issue of Cooking Light

.Moist, gooey peanut butter banana bread. Yes sir. I'm not a huge milk drinker, but this bread longs for a cold glass of milk to accompanying it down the hatch. It came together easily and called for some healthier alternatives which I liked: fat free Greek yogurt and flax seed. It has just a bit of butter and not as much sugar as normal banana bread. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free baking flour (I'm back in the gluten-free saddle after fudging quite a bit this fall and feeling the resulting yuckiness) and it turned out splendidly. I think the mashed bananas and Greek yogurt help maintain moisture - especially for a gluten-free variety. Once the bread cools, top it will a creamy peanut butter glaze and its oh so tasty. Find the recipe here.

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