christmas tour 2011!

i really love christmas decorating. i also really love christmas crafting. so any chance i get to integrate the two into handmade christmas decorations, i get a little tingly inside. i get super sentimental warm & fuzzies when i pull out our collection of ornaments & decorations & it's almost like a puzzle, a personal challenge, to use the same things in new ways.

so, welcome to our home! imagine it's evening- you're coming over for coffee & there's a big plate of christmas cookies waiting for us heaped high with red & green icing...
we have lights on the front porch this year & they make me so happy. my kiddo sits & watches through the long windows on either side of our door for them to turn on. the big, sparkly clear snowflakes were a dollar tree find this year, & i'm tempted to go back & buy about 50 of them & go all anthropologie on my chandelier next year.
i like for there to be little reminders of the season in every room. little peeks of red & white are hiding in secret little places [& the edible ones are high up on a shelf like this one out of self-preservation from my very sneaky 3 year old.]
my decor isn't fancy, is often free & there aren't any magazines coming to photo it anytime soon. but it's friendly & warm, & being tucked in the back of our town homes gives it a cozy glow when the sun goes down. [that's my optimistic way of saying there's not a single ray of sunlight for photo-taking after about 3:30 pm.]

the stockings are hung by the erm, sofa with care... our tv is above the mantle & they just look so much more festive in here.
i made these stockings last year & it was an epic undertaking... this is the first time i'm seeing all 5 of them hanging together [there's one for the dog. no babies baking at present!] & it makes me so happy thinking how much our family has grown. if our house was on fire & all the living things were safe, i'd be clutching these stockings while escaping the flames.

seriously. hand-stitched.

we've had the same artificial pre-lit tree for the past 6 or so years now, almost as long as we've been married. i miss the smell of having a real one quite a bit, but this one just makes us laugh. it comes apart into 3 pieces & is basically a member of the family now. this year, between a new crawler, afore-mentioned pesky toddler, & one dog [the best behaved of the bunch when it comes to the tree] the presents are safely tucked upstairs rather than under the tree.
we moved our furniture around & ended up with a dining room with completely empty walls. so in addition to decorating we've been hanging mirrors & picture frames this week too.
a pool swim noodle & some jute ribbon were my wreath ingredients of choice this year. i finished it in one afternoon, immediately hung it on the big white mirror for some color, & i think it might be my favorite wreath i've ever made! [here's a tutorial i did explaining the pool noodle thing.]
i did a fun red & white 'tablescape' for a family dinner this week. the glass ball ornaments are always on clearance after christmas & the big glass vases are also dollar tree. i was super excited to find the red chargers for .98 cents each at wal-mart in the perfect shiny red. i figure when they get worn & scratched up looking, i'll hit them with a little krylon glitter spray & they'll be like new!
i lost my mantle to the big screen a few months ago, but my big candlesticks are still my go-to spot for decor each season. the unpaintable pumpkins in october gave way to my little forest of simple christmas trees:
they're made from dollar tree party cone hats [a pack of 8 for $1 which means if you have some ribbon or felt on hand you can make 8 little trees for just a buck! that gets me excited. the biggest one on the left is actually crocheted.
each one is covered in scraps of different stuff... ribbon strips cut with pinking shears, felt circles, and wrapped in yarn. easy peasy & completely cute! they're one of my favorite things to unpack and find a place for each year.

thank you so much for visiting my little space here. i hope you'll visit back often for fun things like a few tutorials & this year's the no-budget christmas decor series!

my family & i wish you the merriest of seasons as we celebrate our savior's birth & the abundant life we live in him. merry christmas!
[yes, even oh, deer gets in on the merriment. although, he did tell me he misses his red scarf from last year.]


  1. Love love LOVE the pictures and your talent!!! Thank you for motivating me!!!

  2. Yup! Loved looking at all of your decor. It feels very warm and welcoming (even over the internet)!

  3. I really like those trees on your mantel. Cute! :)


  4. You are so gifted...what a gorgeous home and so festive with your crafts and designs....you amaze me, Girl....What a gift you have. I felt I was there visiting and eating on those gorgeous red and white dishes. Merry Christmas to you and Matt and the little ones. Love and miss you....(Boy did the candie canes remind me of one christmas at your mom's....the tree, etc.
    Debbie Stafford


i love to hear your comments or questions! i'll try to respond as quickly as possible, or you can email me at leafandletter[at]gmail.com :)



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