Thursday, November 04, 2010


Yeah, I just used the word "Christmas" in my post title.

Thanksgiving = 3 weeks

Christmas = 7

I will now pause to allow blood pressures to return to normal.

I've posted here lots of times about Christmas and how I love it...oh and of course of my intense love for Thanksgiving too...but Christmas is special, and this year it will be EXTRA special. Why?
It's my first Christmas with the Jamonster. Though we've be
en together nearly 6 years, we've never spent a Christmas's our first Christmas in our apartment.

I'm not getting too crazy with decorating the house for fall. We're not hosting Thanksgiving here (we'll be upstate with Jamaal's parentals), so I'm not going to leaf-garland the whole place. I did hang up our fall-oriented wedding centerpieces on the front an
d back doors:

Mum wreaths from the Paper Source

And I do intend to glitter some leftover wedding decoration gourds a la Martha Stewart (dammit she strikes again!):

I'll put them in the Charleston centerpiece bowl I received as a shower gift - it's been sitting empty on a shelf waaaay too long:
Beyond that though, my energies will probably focus on Christmas. I super-excited to be tackling non-wedding crafts again - I know I mentioned that earlier - but I'm also excited to bring a little cheer to our small apartment.

First off, we have to finish framing our Audubon prints. My roomie from undergrad gave me an amazing folio of Audubon prints as a gift when I graduated with my master's. I really really REALLY wanted to hang some of the prints in our apartment. Since I'm a huge bird nerd and husbando is only "eh" about the bird thing, I thought just getting one on the wall would be a battle. Luckily the prints are sufficiently rugged and manly to fill the "hunting lodge living room" fantasy Jam has (which btw, I fully support - I grew up in a house with a room decorated with duck decoys, people!). While my favorite print, the Baltimore Oriole, was passed over, Jam chose seven (YES SEVEN!) prints that he loved. Adorning our walls will be:


Screech Owls
Louisiana Heron

Great Blue Heron

Carolina Parakeets

Blue-Winged Teal

Pileated Woodpeckers

Sadly, the Baltimore Orioles did not make the cut. They are quite lovely though, and will hopefully find a home somewhere else:

Of course, these vintage prints are 9"x12'', nearly impossible to frame on the cheap. I managed to find some decent frames on Amazon that were supposed to be 9x12, but must be some other odd shape, because they're too big for the prints. Ugh. The good thing is that I was messing around with some cream colored vellum and cut it to the frame size. The prints looked surprisingly good on top of the vellum, so I'll be going to Paper Source to pick up some more. For now we've solved that problem.

OK OK enough about that. Christmas is supposed to be my focus, right?! Christmas and decorating!

First up, we get to buy a tree this year! Thankfully neither one of us have pine tree allergies, so a live tree will be possible (oh and we have absolutely no place to store a fake one. that's ok though!). This means investing in lights and a tree stand. I hated LED lights when they first came out and loved the little "merry midget" twinkle lights. LED's though, are a better choice for your tree and for efficiency purposes. Dang! Luckily I found that LED strand lights have come a loooong way - while wandering through my local (and shiny new) Target (which I love because they converted an existing structure to a Target instead of mowing down a forest - CHAIN STORE WITH SLIGHTLY LESS GUILT!) I saw a display of Phillip's lights. I loved the soft, glowy faceted sphere lights in warm white:

If there's a tree, there has to be a tree skirt...and of course, I want to make one. I already bought my Moda Layer Cake Fruitcake thingamajig to make THIS:

Look at that gloriousness! And there's even a "20% off your whole purchase friends and family" sale at Joann's this weekend, so I can buy the rest of the fabric. Perfect!

Over the years, mostly because I've participated in freshlyblended's ornament swap, I've amassed a good deal of ornaments. Many come from trips as well. I think I might ask my mom for my egg ornaments this year as well, though it will feel weird! Every Christmas, my grandmother makes us a new faberge egg ornament for the tree. She has been doing this since our first Christmases, and this year I will have 29 (!) to hang on our tree's branches. I stole these from my sister's flickr so you can get an idea of what the heck I'm talking about:

I mean, there are tons more, those are just a few shots of some of the ones we have. They always come out looking garish with a flash, and you can barely get them to come out in photos without a flash - maybe this year I'll try and photo catalog mine with natural light, since we get amazing natural light coming in our windows in the afternoon.

Moving on - I'd love to pick up a few more ornaments. Of course I was totally sucked in by the safari theme that I'm seeing this year at places like Crate and Barrel and Anthropologie. C&B has the better deal. Would I shell out $32 for a set of ornaments? Um not normally. But look at the cuteness:

And since I'm all about all things Africa/all things Kenya, these are perfect.  Plus I need this - we can put a wedding picture in it!:

I think I even found a decent tree topper at Anthropologie. No, not the $400 woodland fantasy tree topper, the reasonably priced vintage-inspired star:
Very nice.

I'm still contemplating the whole candles-in-the-window thing. I love love LOVE the look, but am afraid it might look strange if just the second floor of our house sports candles. Maybe I'll wait and see if the neighbors do anything?

We'll also need some mini lights for our love tree:
And some sort of door decoration wreath thing would be lovely.
How about something a little less traditional and very DIY?:

Two thumbs up.

I know someday I'll amass the amount of decorations my mother now possesses and I'll be able to transform our home into a delightful wonderland of holiday cheer. For now though, I think we're doing OK, considering it's our first Christmas and all! Excitement!

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