My Christmas porch and entry decorations

Confession: I don’t love to decorate for Christmas. I get super excited and go crazy for Halloween. Thanksgiving is easy because I only need to switch a few things out. By the time Christmas gets here I’m tired and busy. I do what I can but it always seems kinda lame. With that  in mind I thought I’d share a few of my holiday decorations. This isn’t everything – I’m not that lame – just my front porch and entry. Enjoy.

laughing abi Christmas entry

Santa stands just inside the front door on my little entry table.

laughing abi Christmas entry

Next to Santa is the last letter my daughter wrote to Santa before she learned “the truth”.

laughing abi Christmas entry

Of course, I had to include some pics of my girls with the big man himself. Seems so long ago.

Christmas entry table

Here it is all together. (Apologies for the bad flash photography.)

laughing abi Christmas entry

Hanging on the wall above the Santa table is this chalkboard.

laughing abi Christmas entry

My front porch.

laughing abi Christmas entry

laughing abi Christmas entry

laughing abi Christmas entry

This is a bench that sits in my front yard. See the front porch in the background? If you look closely you can even see my little chalkboard and Santa just inside the front door.

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Brown paper bags turned into holiday decorations

My sister-in-law is an amazing artist, one of those people who can do everything. She paints. She draws. She throws clay. She crafts. She crochets. She takes inspiring photographs. Even her name screams creative genius – Piper LaRue. Nice, right? So today I’m sharing a few of Piper’s masterpieces with you, specifically her hand-drawn gift bags. Yep, these all started as plain brown paper bags. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away after last Christmas so I trimmed, laminated, and framed them. Voila – handmade holiday decorations.

Santa Elvis

Santa fish

flying Santa

Santa puppet

If you don’t have access to an amazing young artist, you can find fabric and scrapbooking paper these days that’s frame-worthy. I’ve even seen some wrapping papers here that I would gladly hang on my wall. Do you have any “repurposed” holiday decorations? Send me a link, I’d love to see it.

Last minute Thanksgiving decoarations

I don’t know if you’re aware but Thanksgiving is only EIGHT DAYS AWAY. This time next week people will be arriving at your house. Putting their feet on your furniture. Their heads on your pillows. Their bums on your toilets. It’s crunch time and while I’m no meal-planning or entertaining expert, I can offer some simple, last minute decorating ideas.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

1. Dry erase markers on dishes: I can’t take credit for this idea but I also can’t remember where I saw it. It was an easy update to my Halloween plate wall but if you don’t want to hang plates on your wall you could have all your guests sign or write what they’re thankful for on a large serving platter. Snap a picture of the finished platter at the end of the night for a lasting holiday memory. (NOTE: I tested my dry erase marker on the back of the plate first just to be sure it would erase.)

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

2. Seasonal fabric stretched in a large quilters hoop: I bought this hoop and fabric at JoAnn’s. There are no rules. Just find something you like, stretch it in the hoop, and pop it on the wall for a splash of seasonal color and pattern.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

3. Photographs: Scroll through your family photos and pick four or five faves that scream “FALL”. I’ve used several shots of my kids in the leaf pile, and this one of my baby girl holding an acorn sits on the mantle. Even photos that have an orange or yellow color theme would work. If you have digital images upload them to a one-hour processing center (I use Walgreens.com) and all you have to do is go pick them up.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

4. Candles: Candles are one of the quickest ways to set a mood. Mine are actually the fake, battery operated kind. I added a strip of golden scrapbooking paper along with some alphabet stickers to make them Thanksgivingy. You could use the same idea with different sized candles and place them down the center of the dining table. Just remember if you’re planning to light them, wrap the paper around a clear glass holder instead of directly around the candle so you don’t burn the house down – not a fun holiday idea.

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

last minute Thanksgiving decorations

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving “quicky”?

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

It’s Movember. Time to put a spotlight on men’s health issues and, of course, have a little fun doing it. In addition to letting my mustache grow for the whole month I made these new Mustache and Lip Pillow Shams.

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

You can find them for sale over in my Etsy shop. While they were inspired by the Movember movement they would be the perfect gift any month of the year.

– Christmas/holidays
– traditional wedding
– gay wedding (2 staches or 2 lips)
– house warming
– kid’s/teen rooms

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Movember mustache and lips pillow shams

Hope you love them as much as I do. I’m trying to figure out how I can make a donation for each Etsy purchase. Will let you know when I do.

Easy fall decorations

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the smells, the cool air, and of course, the decorations. I like to keep it simple and incorporate little bits of family. This bookshelf features a photo of my girls in this year’s leaf pile and one of the leaves, too.

easy fall decorations

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Outdoor Halloween decorations – Part 2

I thought I was done. After this post I really thought there was nothing else I could “Halloweenify” in my yard. I was wrong. While the hubs and I were outside last weekend he casually moved a bench from the patio to the yard to rake some leaves. I looked up, saw the old, leaning thing (the bench, not the hubs) surrounded by fall color and knew what I had to do.

We have a big circle of trees in our front yard that’s been screaming for a sculpture or some sort of center focal point for years. What’s more perfect than an old, wooden bench sitting under the trees on a blanket of fallen leaves? Here’s how it came out. Totally my favorite decoration of the entire season.

outdoor Halloween decorations

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Fall goody bags

fall goody bags

I’ve always made goody bags for my daughters’ classroom parties. Not because I’m one of “those” moms, but because we love to make things together and it’s become a mother-daughter tradition over the years. Halloween is a challenge because our school district doesn’t allow “Halloween” parties. (We wouldn’t want to offend anyone, would we? Insert sarcasm here.) Instead we have fall “Harvest” parties. That means the obvious goody bag ideas are not allowed. No witches, spiders, monsters, skeletons . . . you get the idea. My solution? Owls. Here’s a peek at the fall goody bags we made this year inspired by this post from Tales of a Trophy Wife.

fall goody bags

fall goody bags

And here are the lovely little hooters we made last year.

fall goody bags

fall goody bags

I love their crossed eyes. Makes me smile. Do you have any creative fall or Halloween traditions?

Witch’s potion Halloween decorations

My house has a teeny, tiny entry space so decorating is always a challenge. This year I tried something new and I LOVE IT. The best part is I spent $0.00. Check me out.

potion chalkboard

potions bar

wool of bat

potions collage

Here’s a quick breakdown in case you wanna make your own.

1. Chalkboard & table: These are permanent fixtures in the space. They get updated every few weeks, depending on what’s happening around here. (FYI – both items were garage sale finds.) The quote was inspired by Shannon over at Madigan Made http://www.madiganmade.com/2010/10/october-new-month-new-scary-quote.html
2. Books: Those are real books that I pulled off my shelf and covered in paper. The graphics are just bits of clipart that I found online and pieced together.
3. Jars: The little jars were part of my existing Halloween decorations. The bigger ones were storing various things around the house. I dumped them out and repurposed them for the holiday.
4. Eyeballs: Again, part of my existing decorations. Me and my kids made them from clay several years ago but a friend told me she found eyeballs at the dollar store this year.
5. Jar labels: Free clipart, it’s a beautiful thing. I left some links for you at the end of this post.
6. Fabric: I had an unopened package of cheese cloth in my craft stash. I have no idea why. I soaked it in coffee for an hour or so to give it a little age and voila!
7. Jar contents: The bat wool is pillow stuffing with a few shots of brown spray paint. The eye of newt concentrate is water and neon food coloring. The petrified butterflies are some landscaping materials left over from a summer project.

I think that’s everything. I hope this inspires you to shop your house and try something new and creative this year. Happy Halloween!

Here are the free labels I promised.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovemanor/sets/72157602788222231/

http://cocoandbella.blogspot.com/2009/10/free-vintage-halloween-poison-labels.html

http://karencookiejar.com/2012/05/halloween-printable-labels/