Every Christmas season, it’s become a bit of a tradition in our home to make handmade ornaments! This year was no exception and we decided to make some cute woodland animals inspired by our Canadian roots: beavers, bears, owls and foxes!
We used four different types of wood, so each individual ornament has a different natural shade of brown. We sanded them and rubbed oil based sealer on the finished product. We simply drilled holes at the top and used leather scrap as ties! It’s so simple and beautiful – perfect little gifts for our closest family and friends!
For us, ornaments like this will never lose appeal! They go with practically any color scheme and look great hanging on their own. We gave our oldest son the bear, our daughter the fox and our youngest son the beaver. My husband and I will share the owl! Unfortunately, there was suppose to be a deer to add to the group, but our scroll saw broke before we could finish them. Sad, I know. We are waiting for some parts to replace and then we will have to finish them up!
I think it’s great to add a handmade element to your Christmas decor each year. Especially when it’s something you can keep for years to come and give to your kids so they can pass it down when they are parents one day too.
What do you think of these cute little wood ornaments?!
This holiday season is particularly special for my family and I! When my husband and I started our adoption process over a year ago, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew there would be many bumps a long the way. When we got placement of our first two babies, our hearts were full of joy. But our hearts were also burdened. Our son and daughter still had two older sisters in the system that needed a loving home.
This year, some very good friends of ours felt the call to take in these two sisters. When they first opened up about it to us, I cried. I cried and cried. I couldn’t believe that our kids would FOREVER be in one another’s life, which is huge for them. Not to mention, I couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect to parent and love these girls than our amazing friends! I also knew that this was a huge step in faith for their family, since they already had two biological sons. It was going to be a major adjustment. My husband and I thought it would be great to send little surprise notes in our friends inbox and mail box throughout the season. Just to encourage them a long this journey. Thanks to Open Me, I can do this around my crazy schedule! Don’t forget, I still have three babies all 3 and under. It can be hard to find the time to pack them all in the car and drive somewhere to find cards, THEN mail them. Not gonna happen.
With three easy steps, I am able to sit in the comfort of my own home and find the perfect card for my friends! I can either send it to their email or the regular mail! I kind of want to switch it up now and then and keep them on their toes! Best part is, it’s free when you email the card and only $4 to send in the mail. SO affordable. Not to mention, the amazing selection of one-of-a-kind designs to choose from!
I asked my friends on Instagram to choose from four cards! The winner was the Yeti card, naturally! I think it will be perfect for our friends! My kids are helping me with the details, it’s good for them to get involved in something this special. With these three easy steps, we finished our first card:
Step 1. Pick out the card you love!
Step 2. Customize the card by adding a picture and a personal note!
Step 3. Pick the day you want to it to arrive on their door step or inbox and voila!
The final product of our card. It’s perfect! Off to cyberspace it goes and a little surprise awaits in their inbox!
So, if you are running around frantic during this crazy season as I am, do not fear! This is a great option to send someone an encouraging note this season to show them how much you care! For more great inspiration, be sure to check out Open Me on Facebook and Twitter!
I wanted to do something really fun that you could use as decor this holiday season or that party you’re thinking of hosting! This could even carry through to the New Year, it’s just too fun! How about some modern Christmas balloons?
What you will need:
Balloons in black and white
Paint in black and white
Tinsel garland (any color)
Streamers in black and white
First, inflate four balloons (or more if you would like). Paint each balloon with a fun holiday word! I chose “Joy”, “Peace”, “Hope” and “Cheer”! Let them dry completely. Fringe your streamers by cutting slits down the outer side of each. Once the balloons are dry, tie your tinsel or streamer to the bottom of each balloon and simply hang on the wall! I used some lightweight wire by taping it to the back of the balloon and creating a loop on the top of the wire so I could create different lengths. Be careful not to pop your balloons!
I love how playful this DIY is! Every time I walk into our front door, I feel like there’s always a party going on! It’s modern, simple and spectacular! Don’t you think this would be great for a Christmas or New Years party!?
I go a little crazy over the holidays! Let’s just come clean. I am not satisfied until every corner of the house has somehow been touched by the season and it might look a bit crazy when I’m all done. Like the North Pole on steriods. Ok, maybe not that crazy.
I don’t have a lot of wall space in my dining room. Only one wall to work with and that’s not a lot! So, I like to take advantage of that small area as much as possible! This year, I created three little hanging wall ornaments to help give that wall some more of a Christmas vibe!
You’ll need beads in three colors: natural, walnut and espresso wood. I placed them on thin wire and shaped them into rings. One small, one medium and one large. I then hung swedish inspired ornaments in the center of each ring. I simply hung them at varying lengths and you’re done!
The simplicity of this DIY is great, it doesn’t jump off the walls in a loud way and is nice and subtle. Every year I can change up the ornaments in the center or keep them as is. You could even play around with the colors of the beads! Something bright would be a lot of fun too!
Hope you are having just as much fun as I am getting ready for the Christmas season! Do you have your tree up yet?!
So, Thanksgiving is officially behind us and I think it’s safe to say we can now jump head first into Christmas! My house is already pretty much primped and prepped. I’m just working on some of the finer details in each room, like this fun hanging enchanted mushroom forest! It ties in nicely with my moss wreath too!
What you will need:
Faux mushrooms (various sizes)
Confetti (I used some fun shimmery-snowy-like confetti)
Pretty dish/container (I used an antique silver bowl)
1. First start by putting a nice layer of mod podge on the tops of your mushrooms. Dip the tops into the bag of confetti (or sprinkle on top) 2. Let them dry completely 3. Place hot glue to the bottom of each mushroom stem and place firmly onto dish until it is dry 4. Repeat with the other mushrooms. Finally, finish it off by placing moss onto the bottom of the dish and little bits of confetti to give it that enchanted look! Once you have created the yarn holder, place the container carefully into the center and slowly lift from the top. Make sure it’s perfectly balanced and stable before hanging. Adjust where needed. Then and enjoy!
When I was done, I placed mine in our breakfast nook . I love how it adds a small amount of sparkle to that space and creates that Christmas flow from one room to the other without being too in-your-face! It’s like a winter wonder land for mushrooms! It’s so playful and whimsical, perfect for the season!
I was looking for some more greenery to add to our holiday decor. My tree just wasn’t enough for me! I needed something pretty and natural to add to my dining room wall! Alas, a woodland moss wreath!
What you will need:
Woodland animal (I used a handmade wooden fox)
Hot glue gun
1. Gather your supplies and start to break your moss into nice sized portions 2. Carefully hot glue the moss onto your straw wreath 3. Cover the top completely and work your way to the inside and outside of wreath (add more in thin spots where needed) 4. Place your berries where you would like 5. Add moss to cover the ugly bits 6. Add your woodland animal!
I think the wreath looks great paired with my paper garland, the dining room has a very Scandinavian feel to it now! There are all sorts of great ideas out there and I’ve been busy pinning them to my wreath board for a while now! I love the idea of this wreath being simple, with a little touch of color and amusement!
I love wreaths during the holidays! I think they are such a great way to decorate and I truly believe you can never have too many! So stay tuned, I might have some more ideas up my sleeve!
I thought it would be so fun for the kids to have a few giant ornaments hanging from our ceiling for the holidays! I made some fun geo shaped ones and we are all kind of liking them! I’m thinking they might just have to stay up year round!
What you will need:
Paper Straws (I found some fabulous black and white polka dotted ones and gold striped ones
I’m not going to lie, this process can be really complicated and I am terrible at explaining it. And honestly it took me a few tries to get it right, so I will direct you here for a better idea as to what I did! Keep in mind, I used regular sized straws in order to have the ornaments nice and big!
This is such a cheap project! Who knew that string and straws could produce such a fun piece for the home! They go perfectly with the colors I am going for this year. Not to mention, they aren’t too Christmas-y, so I can keep them up as long as I would like!
Today is the start to our Thanksgiving holiday! I hope you all have a fabulous time with your family and friends!
I’m not going to lie. It hurts. This is so hard. I feel at times we can never just get a break. I want to cry, but I am so overwhelmed with so many things, I can’t bring myself to tears. It would just feel so good to cry out too.
Instead, I just deal with it. Day at a time. Somedays, the littlest things become too much and I just sit on the couch. Not lifting a finger. I let the kids eat junk and watch movies all day. I let them make a mess in the living room and leave their toys sitting around. I don’t care. Because it seems so trivial in the moment. In all the clutter and mess that is my life.
This week has been the breaking point. We are missing out on an amazing chance to go to Sweden with my husband’s entire family. There are many unfortunate reasons, but the easiest one to explain would be due to our adoption not having been finalized yet. It’s just another thing we are tempted to be bitter about. It has brought about a deep sadness for me. A sadness for my husband being the only sibling to miss out on meeting family and experiencing his rich heritage with his parents and kin. A sadness for my children not being included in something this special with their cousins. We are also trying desperately to get things figured out for the holidays so we can at least spend it with my family, which is proving impossible. It’s just one road block after another. I want to just be done!
Even now, I just want to sob! I don’t know if it’s God telling me to suck it up. That he won’t let me have this pity party I so DESPERATELY want to have! I am so often that crazy woman in the car, talking to myself (but really Jesus) asking….why, why, why, why, why, WHY?!
For my husband and I, nothing has come easy. Nothing has been easy for a long time. There’s always something going on in our lives. Hurtful things. And when we think we’ve finally come on top, something else comes along. And after all my asking why’s, I can only come to this conclusion: because someone else out there has it much worse. Someone out there is going through something they would trade me for any day. And it’s so hard for me to imagine how good my life is compared to that someone else. I feel ashamed for all my whining and feeling sorry for myself.
I am learning to accept it. ALL of it. Not what I wish it was. This is our life. And it isn’t all bad. If I would just stop focusing on all the loud, banging, clanging, crashing, smashing, ripping, roaring sounds of my crazy life. Because there is a very still voice, saying again and again ‘I’ve got this”.
And suddenly I hear these sweet words from a sweet song:
“You’re not alone, for I am here. Let me wipe away your every fear. My love I’ve never left your side, I have seen you through the darkest night. And I’m the one who’s loved you all your life. All of your life.”
This year, I wanted to create a fun banner to hang out on the wall as part of our Christmas decor! I was so inspired by this Halloween banner, I just had to make my own version!
I chose to use the word”JOY”! This year has been such a blessing! We have the most incredible children and I often just stare at them, wondering how we got so lucky! Not to mention, my family and all our friends have really been such an encouragement throughout this whole adoption process. I am truly full of joy!
What you will need:
Fabric (whatever pattern)
Felt (in any color your choose + with sticky backing)
I started by creating strips of fabric to drape over the dowel. I created tiny cuts at the top of the fabric and then ripped by hand all the way to the bottom so I ended up with a strip of fabric. I did this until I had enough to cover the entire dowel. I then placed the black felt onto the fabric strips to create my focal point. I cut out a J, a diamond for the “o” and Y. I placed the letters onto my black backdrop. I also put some glittered sticky paper inside the diamond to add a little sparkle!
I love the unique feel the textured fabric creates! The varying lengths and widths add a playful and whimsical feel to the banner! It sits so nicely on the wall and really modernizes the rest of my Christmas decor.
So there you have it, my idea of a fun holiday banner! What do you think?
One project I love to recreate again and again for the holiday’s is a good garland! Garland’s are one of those additions that instantly make the space fun and seasonal! There are a million materials you can use and styles you can go with!
I decided to put a vintage book to use this week (one of the many copies of reader’s digest)! I pulled out a few pages and thought it would be fun to give them a new look. I put some black dye in a cup with a little water to dilute it a bit. I filled the cup to maybe a 1/4 full. I then rolled my papers and placed them into the water so only a bit of the pages would become colored. I let them sit there for a few minutes to let the color settle in a bit. I rolled the cup around a little so the color would run unevenly over the pages. This will give each piece of paper a unique design. I carefully pulled them all out, separated them and let them dry completely.
Once the pages were completely dry, I punched small holes in the top center of each page and pulled a piece of string through them. Then, just hang it up and enjoy! It’s such a straight forward technique, but I love the end product. The pages are so fluffy and the dip dyed ends bring out so much depth and texture! I think this will look great with the rest of my black, white and gold Christmas decor this year!
I think a bunch of these strung across a wall or ceiling could create a beautiful effect! I might make a few more in varying lengths and layer them above one another to see what it looks like! It’s just too fun!
The last month, my husband and I have been trying to give our kitchen a small makeover on a budget. I gave the cupboards a face lift, added a fantastic mid-century cabinet and made some custom light fixtures! But I have to say, I was pretty excited about today’s DIY! It’s really solidified the look of the room and makes everything feel a lot more fun and modern!
I came across this great DIY and knew I had to do it! Our kitchen is so small and it just looked and felt neglected. I knew adding these gold dots would really make the room feel more loved on! I simply ordered some gold contact paper and bought a fancy circle cutter. I then experimented with the sizes of dots to figure out what would look better on our wall.
Because the wall is pretty small, I didn’t want to overwhelm it with big dots and I didn’t want it to look too busy with the smaller dots either. I found that 2 1/4″ was perfect for our wall! It really has become the focal point in the room. The space feels so much brighter by adding more warmth to the kitchen! The gold works nicely with all our wood accents and it really pops off the white walls. I actually want to spend time this room now, it’s a miracle! Hmm, maybe I’ll cook and bake more…
I am so glad I decided to make my own, I loved the challenge! It feels so rewarding at the end too. Call me crazy, but it was so therapeutic to cut, peel and paste the dots to the wall. It really didn’t take too much time at all and it’s so easy to adjust if you make a mistake along the way!
So, Thanksgiving hasn’t come…..yet. But in Canada (my homeland) it has, so I’m justifying why it is I am going to be slowly transforming our home this weekend for Christmas! I can’t wait anymore, it’s torture!! Don’t worry, I’m easing into it!
To me, there isn’t anything more cozy and comforting than seeing stacks of wood. I don’t know why! Maybe it reminds me of snuggling up near a crackling fire place or being outside on a crisp, wintry night to star gaze! Can you tell I miss having real winters?
Regardless, I thought it would be fun to have a small stack of our own! In our house, we have a rather odd cubby hole in our breakfast nook where the telephone use to belong. Right now, it just collects stacks of paper and all sorts of odds and ends. To try and keep this from happening again, I decided to stack some fun pine wood from our yard to give it a cozy feel in an already cozy room of the house!
But having just a random stack of wood wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, so I transformed them into art by simply using a black and gold sharpie to create some “tree” like shapes facing outward…well, technically triangles! Every year I love to incorporate nature in my home decor in some way! It’s free, easy to get a hold of and always makes the space feel fresh! What do you think?