Tuesday, December 09, 2014

GUEST POST: CHRISTMAS DECOR WITH LINDSAY

Today I've got a special treat!  I'm thrilled to say that my sitter-turned-dear-friend, Lindsay (who I adore), is guest blogging.  Lindsay has creativity bursting from her seams, and when I saw these pictures on Facebook, I asked if she would be willing to share them here.  I hope you are as inspired as I was!  Without further adieu . . .

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Friends! Hi! 

Thanks for having me here- to be real, I don’t even know what to do with the idea of blogging. Quite a few of my friends blog and are wonderfully good at it; for me, it’s semi overwhelming. It’s very possible it took me ten minutes to come up with the stunning opening, “Friends! Hi!” I toyed with the idea of starting a blog for about an hour last year and then I remembered that I don’t have children or a job. So instead of writing about unloading the dishwasher and trips to the antique mall, I just scrapped it. 

Carol and I go to church together and I started babysitting for her family around the time William and Violet were born. It’s no secret to y’all that she is the bombDOT, and it’s totally a privilege to sit at her feet and learn the arts of cookie decorating, child wrangling, and life doing. So when she asked me to do a guest blog of Christmas decorating ideas, I was equal parts honored and frightened. But, YOLO, right? 

I like Christmas. And I like to decorate. So you can appreciate that I scarcely have the brain capacity to handle December. Hand over my heart, the girls at Hob Lob know me by name, and I may have been asked where items were located a time or eight. I went to a Jen Hatmaker conference earlier this year and she commented that she and God did their “heavy lifting” while she studied Scripture; I’m 94% sure we do ours in the Paper Studios aisle. Truly. I am so fascinated by the way that the Lord gifts us all so differently (don’t even get me started on Restless by Jennie Allen), and He has graciously given me a love of hospitality and all things creative. I recently shared some pics of what my homestead looks like around this time of year, along with a few ideas of how to make your homes a smidge more dreamy. So excited for you to see them, as well! 

I feel like we have to start with the tree, no? Here are some pictures of mine this year:

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What makes people’s homes so unique is the way they’re decorated. Why shouldn’t this be the same for Christmas trees?? Get creative! Use garland or ribbon that is unique for your family (I used ribbon with music notes on it- my husband is a worship pastor for students). String cranberries or popcorn (or your favorite family treat) with your kids as a way to get them involved. Your family tree is YOUR FAMILY tree- ornaments don’t have to be store bought and run-of-the-mill. Put things in your tree that reflect your family's personality and style, or that remind you of special memories. For example, I put old postcards, books, a paintbrush (for all of our house remodeling this year!), and glittery letters in ours. To create the illusion of fuller tree, hang multiple ornaments per branch, starting from the inside out. Along those same lines, try an untraditional tree topper- a globe, lighted marquee letter, or old drum. 

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A super fun way to make your tree completely yours is with custom gift wrapping. 

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Try using plain brown craft paper and sharpies to create wrapping that is totally unique! 

How darling would this be with your kids and Crayons?! Tiny human artwork AND a gift? Cue “Farrah-on-Teen-Mom” kind of ugly tears. Also, if you’re local and interested, I am totally available to gift wrap for you! Just ask Carol for my info. 

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The mantel/fireplace may be my single favorite part of a home (which SIDE NOTE, I've been spelling “mantel” wrong for 27 years. I saw it spelled -el  in a Pottery Barn catalog a couple months ago and literally had the thought “how embarrassing, PB, don’t you have a flipping spell check?” So naturally, I took to the Google, and sure enough- “mantle” is like a coat or when you refer the layers of the earth; “mantel” is what's above your fireplace. Are you as floored as I am? Still reeling..). Anyway, the first thing to do is assess what items need to stay on there, like your TV. This will help you determine what decorations can fit on the mantel and how big/small they need to be. It's important not to go overboard- pick a few pieces in similar colors or themes and add smaller fill ins. Keeping symmetry on either side is key. Symmetry doesn't necessarily mean "do the same thing on either side of the TV"; rather, maintain balance on either side with similar heights, colors, etc. In addition, hang stockings on either side of the fireplace rather than in the middle, leaving it as a focal point (especially if you plan on using it!).

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Tables decorated for Christmas dinners make my heart pitter patter. There’s just something magical about our ordinary dining room tables at Christmastime, amirite? 

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Instead of a normal tablecloth, try brown craft paper or chalk runners with Christmas quotes! Way more fun and waaay less pressure to keep clean. Put out some sharpies or markers and let your people go for it. Also, instead of one big centerpiece, make a deconstructed bouquet consisting of different flowers in the same color. Space mason jars down the center of the table for a more casual feel.

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Use a tiny mason jar with pine needles and sea salt to create a custom winter place setting. 

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Simple white flour sacks wrapped with twine, cinnamon sticks, and pine needles serve as a darling napkin/place setting combo.

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This may be my favorite idea yet! Instead of boring old place settings, try this twist! Print pictures from your guests' Instagram pages and create little Polaroids with their usernames. 

I know Carol mentioned in previous blogs that she didn’t go as “all out” as usual- I’m totally picking up what she’s putting down. I love the idea of doing a few things in a few rooms- making it feel “homey” and like Christmas without getting lost in Rubbermaid tubs of mesh and reindeer. 

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A simple bunting and a pillow or two totally does the trick. "God Jul" is "Merry Christmas" in Swedish (where my dad's family is from)- do some research about your culture and add some unique, sweet details to your home (another great family opportunity!).

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My not-so-secret dream is to be Joanna Gaines and have a farmhouse in the middle of Heaven (aka Texas), but, for now, I love my little house in the city. I like to use old sleds and trees in galvanized buckets to trick my porch into thinking she lives in the country. One day that old white door and Radio Flyer will be on a porch in the middle of nowhere! 

Y’all, this has been fun! Thanks for letting me share a little life with you- I like to imagine that you’re holding a cup of hot chocolate and wearing big, fuzzy socks while reading this. I hope that some of these little tidbits have helped give some inspiration for your homes this season! I am very aware (especially as women) that this time of year has a tendency to highlight our perceived “shortcomings” and exacerbate our comparison meters. More than anything, my real, “to-the-bones” hope for you this Christmas is that you are quick to leave perfection and dirty dishes in the sink, and even quicker to share that extra piece of pie with your people.  


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Isn't she the best?  I love her style and the simplicity in the ideas.  And - she mentioned it in the post, but let me know if you are local and need help from her.  She has already come and picked up my presents to wrap for me, which makes me breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Thanks, Lindsay!  ❤️

1 comments:

Jenny said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I can't believe that is her handwriting!