Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

How To Make Gold Leafed Candlesticks

If you are like me, you're taking this week kind of slow and enjoying some down time. But, if down time for you just happens to include a little DIY'ing, here's a fun way to update worn or old candlesticks with a little sheen!

Materials Needed:

  • collection of candlesticks in varying heights
  • fine-grit sandpaper
  • tack cloth
  • gold-leaf sheets
  • liquid adhesive
  • gold-leaf sealer
  • gold-leaf antiquing
  • 2 foam brushes

Gather Supplies

Find a collection of old or worn candlestick holders and collect needed supplies.

Sand Surfaces

Lightly sand candlestick holder surfaces to remove any existing finish.

Wipe Clean

Wipe away dust with tack cloth.

Apply Adhesive

Brush all surfaces with gold-leaf liquid adhesive. Let set approximately 30 minutes until tacky.

Apply Gold Leaf

Lay sheets of gold leaf over candlestick surfaces and press into place with foam brush. Repeat until entire surface is covered.

Wipe Away Excess Leafing

Brush away loose particles with foam brush.

Apply Sealer

Brush on layer of gold-leaf sealer. Let dry 30 minutes.

Apply Antiquing Finish

Brush on layer of gold-leaf antiquing finish.

Rub In and Wipe Away

Rub antiquing finish into cracks and ridges. Wipe away any excess with rag.

To see this and other ideas for decorating DIY style, visit
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It Was Probably The Last Christmas For Believing in Santa...

I do think it was the last year our family will be participating in this ritual. I was thinking about this as the kids set out the cookies, milk and their notes to Santa. Isabella obviously was just going along with the game and Max had brought up a few questions which revealed doubt was brewing, as the day approached. But hey, it's a system that has worked pretty well so far, so really...why mess with a good thing?!

Then after the kids went to bed my husband and I continued the traditions of the last 10 years, waiting until we were pretty sure they were asleep to quickly fill the stockings and bring out the packages from Santa. Wrapped in the paper bought and hidden specifically for these boxes, with tags carefully filled out, writing with my left hand. Oh, the extent one goes to when young children are in the house. But, they aren't so young any longer...

I was a bit sad to think next year we'll probably be celebrating with new rituals and traditions, ones that will fit their new wisdom. But at the same time, I think I'll be happy to welcome what comes next.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

{santa & the reindeer by max}

Here's to a day filled with joy and celebrations among family and friends!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays From Frosty Oregon

We haven't seen snow, yet. But a layer of frost coating everything in sight, paired with foggy skies, has created an atmosphere nearly as pretty!

These pictures are taken in a nature preserve behind our house...
I feel lucky to have such a wonderful place just steps away!

Happiest of Holidays to you and your family!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to Make A Votive Candle Runway For Santa!

Whether you live in a home with young children who are excitedly awaiting the arrival of Santa, or merely want to create a festive welcome for guests arriving during a party, here is a simple way to light the way!

Side note: Looking at these pictures I just have to smile! This is a tutorial I was asked to write last winter for, and I wasn't certain I'd actually be able to pull it off. I mean, we don't have snow every year in the NW. However, I gathered my supplies, took the "steps" photos and then set everything by the front door to wait for snow to capture the "beauty shoot." Perhaps I'd get lucky before the article deadline and snow would magically appear at my front door. Well what do you know, one night the weather report claimed snow might just arrive early the next morning. So I set my alarm for a crazy hour and amazingly snow was falling! I quickly moved out the glass cylinders, lit the candles and started capturing photos. This brief snowfall ended up being the only snow we saw all winter, talk about luck.

A few minutes later I heard screams of delight. The kids had awaken and wanted to get out and play in the snow a few minutes past six! I blew out the candles, bundled them up and off we went to make snowmen! What fun, I hope we are as lucky this year.

Materials Needed:

  • several glass cylinders or mason jars
  • rock salt
  • votives
  • length of garland
  • matches

Gather Supplies

Select glass cylinders or jars and gather votives and rock salt.

Fill Containers

Pour rock salt into each container, filling approximately 1/5 full.

Place Votives

Arrange votive in each container, pushing votive down into salt to secure in place.

Light Candles

Light candles, arrange along steps and enhance with a length of garland.

Wait for Santa to Arrive

Enjoy your handiwork, set out some milk and cookies and get ready for the man in the red suit to make an appearance.

To read this and other holiday decorating ideas visit

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dreaming Of A White Christmas

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, to play with the dog... escape to the woods...

...and to spy a brightly colored home against the frozen branches.

via Pinterest

But I'm not holding my breath!
Enjoy the Season

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Stockings hung on the fireplace, what a magical tradition for children.
And for adults as well, if you were to awake on Christmas morning to a few of these treasures!

From the Holiday issue of House of Fifty

Enjoy the Season!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thinking Beyond the Wrapped Gift

With so much focus on finding just the right gift and a moment to get them wrapped...
It's also a perfect time to keep in mind the truly limitless ways in which we can give
during this holiday season & throughout the year!

From the Holiday issue of House of Fifty

Friday, December 16, 2011

Have Any Time For Another Project?!

Here's a tutorial for making a pinecone encrusted wreath - just in case you're done with the shopping, the wrapping, card sending and the planning for guests in these last days before Christmas and are looking for something to do! I had a lot of fun making this wreath for an HGTV tutorial. For some crazy reason any project using my glue gun is one I find...enjoyable!

How to Make a Holiday Pinecone Wreath

Create a gorgeous organic wreath with glitter-dusted pinecones. Hung with a colorful ribbon, this easy-to-create craft will brighten up your front door, a foyer mirror or any other spot that needs a sophisticated holiday touch.
Materials Needed:
  • foam wreath form
  • small gold encrusted pinecones
  • foam brush
  • gold paint
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • 2" wide ribbon (1 yard)
  • scissors
  • tacks

Gather Supplies

Select and gather a foam wreath form, pinecones and ribbon. Tip: Use small tree ornaments as an alternative to pinecones.

Paint Styrofoam Wreath

Brush a layer of paint over the wreath in the same color as the pinecones to ensure wreath form isn't visible.

Apply Glue and Attach Pinecones

Place a small bead of glue on the underside of each pinecone then place on wreath; press and hold in place for a few seconds until secure. Tip: Place pinecones as close together as possible and vary the sizes to add textural interest.

Cover Wreath

Continue attaching pinecones until the entire front surface of the wreath is covered.

Apply on Back Edges

Turn the wreath over and glue pinecones along the back edges to ensure the foam surface won't be visible when the wreath is hanging.

Hang With Ribbon

Wrap the length of the ribbon around the top side of the wreath. Hang in place by pushing tacks through the ribbon along the top edge of a door or mirror.

To see this along with an endless array of holiday decor ideas, visit!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cute Vintage Cars Piled High With Presents: It's A Trend!

How can you not smile looking at these photos, fun and ridiculously unrealistic. I can just image how far one of these would get, headed down the street, before it became a gifting "free for all" to anyone nearby. 

But regardless, fun. Which reminds me! 
Both of these cars have a resemblance to my first car...

Ha! The places that little thing took me. Wish I had thought of piling a big stack of presents on its roof...