Sunday, December 29, 2013

our second christmas

last year, i didn't decorate the house for christmas. i put up a boxwood wreath inside, but that was it. i had grand plans to order everything i wanted on sale after last christmas. i had a plan...

reality: i waited too long to order the wreaths. i tend to do that. they were sold out. garlands are expensive. i thought we had more white lights than we did (only one short string in the rubbermaid tub). we have been traveling so much that it didn't make sense to put up a tree.

so i ordered cheap artificial outdoor wreaths from amazon. not boxwood, like i originally envisioned, because i couldn't find them at a reasonable price point. we put them up on each window, but not the front door. still haven't been able to figure out how to hang it successfully on the storm door : ) and still haven't changed the door or storm door. eh. maybe next year?

i bought a single strand of icicle lights for across the front porch. it's almost the right size. but it doesn't hang straight. there are recommendations online, but they mostly involve a lot of time and a hair dryer. nope. does anyone have an easier way?

then i wrapped two columns with white lights. we did not wrap any garlands - too expensive. i might order an artificial one for next year (yeah, yeah, i know - because it worked so well last year). but wouldn't the porch railing look pretty with a green garland?

we also hung the wreaths on the interior of the house on the three upstairs windows. however, there are HVAC vents above the windows. the wreaths kept falling. so in the oh-so-lovely dark photo above, the middle upstairs wreath has fallen to the bedroom floor. i'll try climbing out onto the roof and hanging them outside next year.

inside, i did bare minimum decorating. number one on my after-christmas list is stocking holders. i really like the topiary ones from ballard designs, but unfortunately they don't carry them anymore.

maybe i could make them? maybe not. but i really like them. this year i just set the stockings out on top of the fireplace. which looks a little silly. i'll keep searching for hangers. we also did not put up a tree. we went to key west with phil's family the week before christmas, so we didn't think it was worth the hassle. however, my beautiful friend alycyn sent us a gorgeous small tree from a cute old town florist. what a fun treat on christmas eve! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

artwork progress

surprise! i'm back.

this time i've been traveling. i've been to north carolina, new jersey, maryland, and northern california for work. and dallas, athens, and abilene, texas with my family. and key west with phil's family. it's been quite a month. but we have seen all of our nieces and nephews! : )

i put together artwork in our guest room. remember, the pink one? i had found the beautiful center piece for a gallery wall (description here). i ordered a special frame. and then i combed through pieces we have collected through the years to organize a grouping.

option 1, clockwise from left: "so much," photo of stained glass from santa fe street market, capitol watercolor from eastern market, photo from hall of mirrors in versailles, small painting from my watercolor teacher saved from my time studying abroad in italy. the painting is on scrap board, and i would have to figure out how to hang it. and it looks a little lost.

option 2, clockwise from left: versailles photo, limited print produced by an RA from my study abroad time, "so much," santa fe photo, capitol watercolor, watercolor i painted under above-mentioned watercolor teacher. i have done watercolor lessons twice so far. i studied under a family friend in high school - she taught me about color and edamame. i worked with a local artist in italy - his english was poor, but our italian was worse. he preferred to paint outdoors around the village. not crazy about the two vertical pieces at the bottom of this arrangement.

option 3. i edited. and then i chose this arrangement. i like the way the colors are similar in all the pieces. it is a slightly feminine assortment, but the room is already pink...

then i traced each frame onto scratch paper. it was leftover tissue paper from an anthropologie bag, i think. then i taped it up on the wall above the bed to check if i liked the arrangement.

i also marked where i would need to nail into the wall to hang each piece.

i hung the gallery piece by piece, taking down the tissue paper and leveling as i went.

et voila! a simple foray into the gallery wall. of which there are many much, much more elaborate and beautiful. like this. or this gallery of galleries from lonny