Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas 2014 Home Tour...Part Two

Thanks for coming by to see the living room of the Christmas
Open House Tour at Kopy Kat Kottage!  

This is the third year that I have used DIY bleached bottle brush 
trees as the main decorating element in the living room.
They are such an inexpensive (if you bleach them yourself)
yet warm, fuzzy, classic version of a Christmas tree. 

 Each year the mantle in the living room has taken on a 
 different look with the little trees depending on the other 
accessories used in the display the trees. In 2012 old books
were the props with the trees.  In 2013 the trees were placed in
glass apothecary jars with epsom salt mimicking snow. 

The Christmas 2014 Mantle pairs wood and wire elements 
with the bottle brush trees. 

When I attempted to make bottle brush tree wreaths, none of
them turned out as well I as had thought they would.  
This year I did add more trees to this wreath and I am liking 
it better.  It reminds me a little of a sunburst mirror.

The center of the mantle has a collection of trees held by a wood
and wire two-tier display stand from World Market. 

This angel used to be gold and not used very often. This past 
summer she got a chalk paint makeover and is more versatile now.


To the right of the mantle is a set of double bookcases.

In front of the double bookcase is an end table holding 
another vignette of bottle brush trees.  Epsom salt once
again gives the look of snow. 

(Epsom salt is cheap...about $1 per pound.  This salt has also been re-used for the third year. 
Just put it in sealable plastic bags and store in a dry place if you want to save it.)

The other end table holds more trees.

The coffee table is kept pretty simple to allow it to be a good
landing place for drinks, etc.  This wire frame reminds me of a
mini-cathedral. I got it at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago...
I think they still are carrying it. 

Looking to the left of the mantle/fireplace is a single bookcase.

Wire baskets lined with shed birch bark...

"Top Shelf" in my house does not mean "the best". Usually I put
things on the top shelf that I don't want folks to see too well like
these metal trees that I thought I could spray paint to look 
similar to bottle brush trees (that don't so much). 

Another way to disguise trees that don't turn out 
quite right is to spray them with adhesive and 

On the wall opposite from the sofa is a thrift store
 re-painted console with frames holding Christmas cards above it.

Originally I made the framed chicken wire to hold Christmas
cards. I have ended up leaving it up year-round and using
it to decorate seasonal displays like Valentine's Day
St. Patrick's Day, Summer, Fall, etc. 

The Christmas cards are held in place with tiny clothespins.

The top of the console holds mini-winter-wonderland scenes
made from glass vases, small Christmas-village-type people
(these are now available pretty inexpensively at Wal-Mart 
and craft stores), epsom salt and more bottle brush trees. 

If you want to try the "glass-epsom salt-bottle brush tree"
 combo in a small version, here's a place to start...

Thank you so much for coming to visit my holiday living room!
If you would like to see the outside decor and the dining room
decorated click on Christmas Open House Tour Part One. 

I am sharing this post over at these blog parties...
Dwellings' Amaze Me Monday
A Stroll Thru Life's Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday
Sand and Sisal's Inspire Me Monday

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas 2014 Open House Tour

Thank you, Sherry, of the "No Minimalist Here" blog for
 inviting me to join in with other bloggers for a
 Christmas Open House Blog Hop! 

We'll start the tour of my home (well, for this post it is the outside
decorations and the dining room...too many pictures for one post)
in the front yard.
Unsightly spot lights and cords are a necessary evil to light up the front of the house at night during Christmas-time.

Last year I made all new decorations for the outside going with
a festive red and bright green color scheme with a candy theme. 

I didn't get all of it back down from the attic this year but 
enough to make the yard and front of the house "merry and bright".

If you want to see a tutorial on how to make the candy decor,
click on the link Make Giant Candy Decorations

Last year's deco mesh garland did not make it out of the attic
but I did make some deco mesh and ribbon toppers for the lights.

They are really easy.  Using 21" deco mesh, cut several pieces
10" wide (your pieces will be 10" x 21").  Roll the pieces into
tubes. Pinch the tubes/rolls in the middle and secure them with 
a pipe cleaner. Then make a bow using wired ribbon
 Add some other decorative elements if you want to. 

Secure the mesh rolls onto the lantern with the pipe cleaner.
Tie the bow on next.  Add other decorative elements if desired.
I actually ended up using two sets of the deco mesh spiral bundles to make the topper full. 

Because I already had wreaths for each of the six windows 
across the front of the house, I made a burlap door hanging of
a Christmas tree for the front door.

I love making burlap door hangings because it allows you to
choose any object you want, any size you want, any color
you want to paint it. They take a little time, mainly for the 
paint to dry, but they are not hard to do.  Here is a tutorial:

Each of the windows has a deco mesh wreath.

These are also easy to make and give you a lot of bang for 
your buck.  Here's how they are made: Make A Christmas Wreath.

 Most of the lollipops by the mailbox are made differently 
than the ones by the front door. Although both types use the
 canned spray foam, most of the lollipops by the mailbox 
get their color from paint rather than from wrapping paper. 

All of them are covered with cellophane to mimick a candy
wrapper and to protect them from the weather. 

Here is the mailbox as the sun is setting and the lights are turned
on. The mailbox itself got a new "do" this year. If you want to
 see the tutorial for it, here it is: Deco Mesh Mailbox Topper.

Here is the front of the house at night...

So come on in the front door now.  This are is just an open area
that is a combo foyer and dining room.  When we moved into this
house ten years ago, we sheetrocked over an opening in the wall
behind the buffet.  This gave us a longer wall to put this large
piece of furniture on AND kept folks from seeing directly into 
the kitchen from the front door. 

I enjoy changing out the artwork in this frame seasonally. 

This angel was a very last-minute Christmas decoration a 
couple of years ago and I still love her. Here is her story...

On top of the buffet are candles and bottles brush trees in 
pottery from Hobby Lobby. 

The two candle holders were a splurge for me. I bought them from
accessorizing. Usually my shopping style is 40-50% off coupons.

The candles in the pottery are LED lights that won't burn the 
bottle brush trees. They also have a great feature of coming on
at the same time everyday for about four hours. Especially in the
winter it is nice to come home in the dark and candles are
"burning in the window" to welcome you home. 

The "snow" in the pottery is actually epsom salt. To keep from 
using so much epsom salt, a piece of cardboard was cut to fit the pottery and placed  on top of several upside-down glasses down
 inside the pottery.  Then the salt was added on top of the board. 

Looking to your right, you will see the dining room table.

Even though we almost never have snow on Christmas in Alabama,
I have been brainwashed by songs, etc. to think that Christmas
is better with snow. The miniature houses and little bottle brush
trees sit on serving plates covered in epsom salt to mimick snow.

The little houses are $1 each from Wal-Mart and Dollar Tree
that have been spray-painted white. Here's how they were made
and used in 2012 ...DIY Mini-Winter Wonderland.

This year I used more ornaments, less bottle brush trees and
less plates in the vignette. 

Glass Cake Stand

Serving Stand with Handle (in middle)

Silver Cake Stand

I lucked up on little cardboard houses WITH trees that have a
little light inside that you can switch off and on. 

Did you know that it is very easy and inexpensive to bleach 
bottle brush trees? Here's how: Bleached Bottle Brush Trees.

If you don't want to bleach your own trees you can find small
ones in stores already done. Hobby Lobby has some in the 
doll house section. These with balls already on them came
from World Market...

...in the scrapbook section of Jo Ann's I found these...

The chalk-painted hutch also in the dining room usually has 
more bottle brush trees displayed but this year it got a
 pared-down look with older silver trees from the attic. 

In the background of the picture below, you can see into the
living room.  If you would like to see the living room and the 
fireplace mantle decorated click on  Open House Tour Part Two.

Thanks so much for visiting!
Be sure and go visit the other blogs that are in the "hop" today!

21 Rosemary Lane reveals her beautiful living room...

A Stroll Thru Life shares Part One of her home tour...

All About Vignettes shares her "other" mantle in her sunroom...

I'm sharing this post at these blog parties:
Dwelling's Amaze Me Monday
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday


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