Christmas Tour 2013

A couple of times I’ve participated in The Christmas Tour of Homes. In 2008, it was still under BooMama’s jurisdiction. In 2009, it was Nester’s first year hosting the Tour, and I linked up again. Apparently since then I haven’t gotten my tour up in time (may have coincided with the birth of our second child and , so I’m linking to the years I missed as well as putting up a few photos from this year.

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Like most people, I have my old-timey favorite items that I put up every year, but I try to mix it up so things don’t look the same every year.

Mom gave me the little sled this year. So cute!
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Jesse Tree!
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Casual centerpiece with some snowflakes we’d been cutting out that day.
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Balustrade by day.
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Balustrade by night.
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The tree.
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Cute little raccoon Markus gave Anja for Christmas this year
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And then she wanted one with the nativity scene, too. And her doll.
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The kids who live here.
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And the mantel downstairs.
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Love the God Jul sign made by my friend, the owner of Sola Hus, in Moorhead, MN!
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Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

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Merry Christmas!

I missed all the Christmas linky parties, but I did take a few photos of our Christmas decor this week. So for my own posterity…here they are! 🙂

I wish you and yours the merriest Christmas and a very happy New Year!

With love,
Heidi (and family!)

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photo by Leaves of Grass Photography

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I bought a little snowflake card holder this year, and it’s barely able to contain all the love!

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Conversation Starters

I laugh when I hear decor items called “conversation starters.”  In some cases it might be true, but here’s a little snippet from an article in the July 2011 Better Homes and Gardens (one of my favorite magazines, btw) that had me snickering:

Stack bundles of logs, cut ends out, in the firebox during the off season.  For about $15, it will give your room a beautiful natural element and a guaranteed conversation starter.  ~Jenny Komenda

How exactly does that conversation start?  “Say, your firebox is stuffed to the brim with logs…”

Blank

Our coffee table has been bare (other than the occasional toy or this stack of IKEA coasters) for the better part of a month now.  Last year it had a giant basket full of yarn and a blanket I was crocheting.

In recent months it has held piles (and piles and piles) of books, some of our own and some from the library.  And toys.  And the coasters.  And other random things that got set there.

So I have been enjoying it bare, blank, stark.  It makes the whole room seem cleaner.

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What’s on your coffee table?

Paper Heart Garland: A (Pictorial) Tutorial

I was browsing around Etsy the other day month, as I am known to do, and I happened across the most darling little garlands.  I added them to my tumblr account so I wouldn’t forget them, and this weekend I sat down and attempted to make one.  The best part?  They were FREE!  And I finished in about 40 minutes and hung them just in time for Valentine’s Day.

So here’s a quick tutorial for those of you who might like to try it at home.  The rest of you can ignore the text and just look at the pictures (especially the last one–end product!).

1.  Cut a bunch of strips of paper of equal width.  I cut 3 different sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper I had lying around into 1″ wide strips.

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2. Cut equal increments off four of those pieces.  For instance, I took 8 12″ strips and left the first two, cut the next into 10 1/2″ strips, the next into 9″ strips and the next into 7 1/2″ strips.

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3. Fold another 12″ strip in half.

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4. Place the cut strips, facing in, longest inside to shortest outside, so that the two shortest pieces should be on the outside with their backs facing out (just me, or is this much harder to write than to photograph?).

5. Stick the folded-in-half piece in the middle, between the two longest strips, leaving about an inch or two of the fold sticking out the top. Also, excuse my bandaged finger in these pics…had a little incident with a razor.

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6. Staple where the base of the strips meet the center piece.

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7. Gather the varied-size strips, one at a time, and bring them down until they are flush with the bottom of the center piece.  It should end up looking like concentric hearts.

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8. Staple that bottom part together.  Repeat steps 1-8 to make as many hearts as you’d like.

9. Cut some lengths of twine, as many as you have hearts (my twine pieces were 10″ long).

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10.  Tie the twine through the top of the paper loops.

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11.  Use these as ornaments or (as I did), tie these loops onto a longer length of twine and hang it.

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Ta da!  Call yourself crafty.  🙂

If you make this, let me know! I’d love to see your garland!

Children’s Art Puzzle

Anja made a nice little drawing the other day.  “An octopus, a sign, a starfish and some fish,” as she described it.  (All those pink squiggles are the octopus’s eight legs.)  🙂

We took some Elmer’s glue and squeezed it all over the back, glued it to a piece of cardboard, and I cut it into puzzle shapes with an Exacto knife while she napped.  She was delighted with something so simple that featured her art.

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Looking for other ways to use and display your children’s art?

Here I made thank you cards out of some of her old paintings and drawings.

Here is a great article from The Pleasures of Homemaking that features a few ways (my favorite being the rotating gallery clipped to wires).

And Kate at Centsational Girl recently made a playroom art wall and art-making area for her daughter. LOVE. Kate could pretty much decorate my whole house. I heart everything she does.

What unique ways have you displayed your kids’ art?