Category Archives: holiday decor

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christmas projects: a roundup

15th December 2014

With everything going on at our house right now, this just isn’t the year for many christmas-related projects, crafts, etc. Just too busy with the reno, you know? Luckily Maya is young enough still that I don’t feel too guilty about not going all out.

If you’re looking to do some projects though, here are a few of my favourites from years past. They are all quite easy, and fun to do!

So you need to have wood slices on hand for these, but then it’s just a matter of painting and having fun doing different designs to make these wood slice christmas ornaments. I still love these colourful ones I did last year, and this year I did some with chalkboard paint and white sharpie paint markers that were super cute and I sold at a craft fair (forgot to take a pic!). DIY-wood-slice-ornaments-the-sweetest-digs DSC_1239

I made this paint dipped wreath out of clothespins that I had hanging around. God knows I don’t hang out the laundry, so they were perfect for this scandi style wreath.

DSC_1188 DSC_1193These mason jar faux snowglobes just took a trip to the dollar store for supplies, and turned out super cute. Bottle brush trees weren’t a big thing back then, but I would love to do some now full of different coloured trees. Would be amazing down the center of a table.

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Need a simple gift to give to family, friends, neighbours? These mason jar cookies are perfect and easy to put together. Plus, they will use up some of those mason jars you have hoarded (if you’re anything like me…).

DSC_0956 DSC_0948There they are. Four easy holiday projects that haven’t gone out of style.

Are you guys in full decorating, baking, wrapping mode these days? There is a radio station here that plays just christmas music for all of December, and Maya and I are totally enjoying it on our drives in and out of town every day. There is some major singing along happening in the front, and “la la la” coming from missy in the back!

burlap and ribbon DIY table runner - the sweetest digs

pretty in pink: DIY burlap and ribbon table runner

14th November 2014

I have been wanting to make a table runner for a while now and thought that leading up to Christmas would be the perfect time. I was feeling totally bored with the usual Christmas, or generally winter, colours though, so I went with my current favourite: sweet pink! Keep reading to see how easy this DIY burlap and ribbon table runner was to make.

burlap and ribbon DIY table runner - the sweetest digs

These are all the materials you need:
-Ribbons (all of mine are from May Arts)
-Burlap table runner (I bought from Michael’s, but you could easily just purchase a piece of burlap elsewhere and trim to size)
-Hot glue gun and gun

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Don’t mind the terrible photos here — I was doing this project at 9pm. Seems to be the only time  these days when I can ever get any kind of project done?! #ParentingProblems ;)

I rolled out the table runner and discovered that it was hugely long. I cut it in half and rolled up the other half to save for another project. So remember that about the Michael’s burlap table runner – makes two!

Then I pulled out my various ribbons from May Arts and laid them down until I got the spacing and colours right. I wanted a mixture of pink and creams/white. Really sweet and feminine.

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Then it was really simple. Just a matter of hot gluing the ribbon down onto the burlap.

A word of warning: Since it’s burlap and therefore hole-y, the hot glue does seep through. In order to deal with this I took some old towels and laid them out on the ground and did all the work on top of them. Then I would lift the table runner up off the towels periodically so that it wasn’t getting stuck. It seemed to do the trick!

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I realized quickly that with some of the more satin and light ribbons, you could see the hot glue underneath. I decided that I didn’t really mind that look – kind of adds to the whole shabby chic thing – but if it did bother you, then you’d want to stick with thicker ribbon. That pink velvet one and the lacy one with opaque center line were perfect. DSC_1252 DSC_1254

I set the table with my Mum’s lace tablcloth underneath and all over her lovely silverware and dinnerware. I really wanted it to feel sweet and shabby glam (is that a thing?). Anyway, I think I got there. I would love to sit down to this table for a Christmas lunch!DSC_1256 DSC_1261

Okay so now for the fun part. I teamed up with some of my Canadian blogger friends for a whole Christmas series. You guys, there are some ridiculously good project ideas in here!! I’m feeling totally like I the GPA down in comparison to this group. Ha! Go check them out…Christmas

Santa Cookies from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
Deer Head String Art from Clean and Sentsible
Vintage Door Advent from The DIY Mommy
Rag Ribbon Christmas Trees from Craftberry Bush
Rustic Christmas Tree from Fynes Designs
Christmas Window Box from Echoes of Laughter
Ribbon Napkin Rings from Suburble
Vintage Table Setting from The Sweetest Digs (me!)
Twig Stars and Snowflakes from The DIY Dreamer
Pretty Gift Wrapping from The Sweetest Escape
Rustic Wreath from North Story
Wood Block Presents from The Happy Housie
Winter Swag from Satori Design for Living

A big thank you to May Arts for sending the ribbon to be used for this project. They really have some goooorgeous stuff!

photo black white and gold christmas cards with shutterfly

christmas cards from shutterfly

12th November 2014

I am trying to stay ahead of the holiday craziness this year and get some of the items checked off the “to do” list. So far I just have Christmas lists brainstormed for loved ones and some DIY projects pinned, but our Christmas cards from Shutterfly? They have been designed and ordered. Boom. They arrived the other day, and they are g-to-the-orge.

I spent way too long going through all of the options on Shutterfly, but was pretty sold when I came across this beauty (called ‘All Stripes New Year’s card). Black, white and gold, with some stripes, and lots of room for pics and text? Perfect.

They have whole coordinated collections now, so I grabbed some matching address labels at the same time (these ‘Glamorous Season’ ones) to create a stylish little package. Makes the whole thing so easy as you get the envelopes too.

photo black white and gold christmas cards with shutterfly

To design the card, I picked some of my fave pics from our beach photoshoot this summer for the front and back, and then made up a quick collage of other memorable 2014 moments for inside the card (I made the collage in PicMonkey).

I really love the ability to add the text. I wrote a quick summary of our year which kind of doubles as the whole “Christmas letter” idea. Now we can just do a small note and signature in each card, and not have to take hours and hours to write each one (annoying when you pretty much just want to say the same thing in all of them!).

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Shutterfly always has sales on the go for all of their various products. You can check out their special offers page to see them all. Right now you can save up to 40% on cards, 40% on calendars, 50% on photobooks. See what I mean about good sales?

Are you guys holiday card people? I always have been, thanks to my Dad who hand writes about 100 every year. I love getting them and dotting them around the house. It’s like getting a little present in the mail every time one comes.

*Disclamer: Shutterfly has sponsored this post, but all opinions are, as always, my own!*

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easter with etsy

9th April 2014

There have been all kinds of lovely things popping up on etsy lately that are all spring-y and easter themed. I love this time of year, when everyone gets so happy with the warm weather and lack of heavy winter coats and boots (finally!). Especially after this seriously long winter we’ve had in Ontario, everyone has seemed extra chipper these last few days.

On that happy note, I have rounded up some of my favourite things that I have been coming across on etsy. A whole mixture of stuff – things for the home, easter decorations, easter gifts for kids, craft supplies, etc. A lot of cute.

(Click on the thumbnail photo to be directed to the individual etsy shop!)

I definitely want to get Maya a little bunny for her first easter. I love the one in the top right of the gallery. Do you guys have any Easter traditions? What are you going to be up to this year? 

*Affiliate links used in this post.

easy easter wreath - via the sweetest digs

make this: a super easy easter wreath

27th March 2014

So I know we are still a few weeks out from Easter, but I actually got on top of things and did some decorating ahead of time. For once, I am like those organized bloggers who post well in advance, instead of the day-of (or week after!) the holiday. Winning!

I’m a big Easter fan.  So many good things – chocolate (!!), spring weather, setting up egg hunts (we do ones with elaborate clues in my household), and pretty pastel decorations. I know, I know, Easter decorations can be on the cheesy and frilly side, but I love the pinks, aquas, and yellows. Everything but the purple, basically. I don’t know what it is with me and purple – we just don’t mix.

I wanted to do something in the way of some Easter decorating, but since it looks like we are moving forward with our big renovations this spring (eee! will give you guys the update on that soon – promise!), I have already started to pack up a bit and didn’t want to have to buy any more supplies. Plus I am all about the easy DIYs these days, anyway. Gotta squeeze my crafting into nap time.

easy easter wreath - via the sweetest digs

In my hunt for inspiration, I uncovered some styrofoam balls in my craft closet. I grabbed some acrylic paint in my most Easter-y colours, and some toothpicks, and started painting.

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In order to keep the balls from touching anything while they dried, I pulled out some of that foamy stuff you use at the bottom of a floral arrangement (you can get this at the dollar store) and stuck a toothpick in it, and then the ball on the toothpick.

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Once they were all dry, I thought about how I was going to make these into a wreath. I didn’t have a wreath form, or any heavy duty wire, so I improvised a little with the toothpicks. I stuck the balls together one by one, using the toothpicks.

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It worked, but it isn’t the sturdiest. I think the better option would be to have a wreath form – even some hard cardboard would do – and hot glue the balls to it. I’ll probably do this eventually with mine, but for now the toothpicks are doing the trick.

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It’s just kind of sweet and fun, right? Not the most glam or chic wreath ever. But I kinda love how it looks a little like gumballs.

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So there you go. Easiest easter wreath ever. You can totally get the kids in on this one.

What about you guys? Are you into Easter, or do you turn your nose up at all the pastel colours and plastic eggs? What kind of hunts did/do you do at your place? 

DIY wood slice ornaments - the sweetest digs

the christmas crafties: DIY wood slice ornaments

18th December 2013

Every year I like to make Christmas ornaments. I grew up getting one from my parents’ every Christmas, and I usually did a handmade one or two (or five!) too. I have quite the little collection, as you can imagine. Anyway, I have continued the tradition on in adulthood, and am now super psyched to start giving Maya ornaments and eventually having her make them too.

Before I left for Florida, I wanted to whip out some ornaments for this year. I had been itching to use wood slices for a project, and thought they would make perfect ornaments. I have started seeing these  pop up all over the place during the last week or two … seems that a lot of us had the same idea! Since we didn’t have a log to use, I bought some ready to go slices off etsy (from this shop).

They were really nice and smooth, with rustic birch bark around the edges. We drilled a small hole at the top of each slice before getting started (to loop some string through for hanging).

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It was a super easy project. I just pulled out some acrylic paint, a small brush, and started playing. Some deer heads, some circles, some triangles …whatever! Please don’t mind the yogurt container and empty breastmilk bottle laying around…. this is a true representation of what the house can look like these days! Haha!DSC_1214

I used some jute string I had leftover from other projects to loop through the holes.
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And that was it! I didn’t bother with a sealer coat, as it was already too chilly outside to do any spraying. I also don’t think they need one, as they will only be pulled out and used for such a short time each year.DSC_1212

Here they all are. Cute, right? DIY wood slice ornaments - the sweetest digs

And a bit of a closer look at each one…DSC_1239

The deer head ones I drew out in pencil before painting, while the circles and triangles I free-handed.DSC_1240

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Oh and Maya’s ornament? This personalized one to commemorate her first Christmas.DSC_1242

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Of all the ornaments I have made, I think these ones might be some of my favourite, for sure.

Are you guys making ornaments this year? Any favourites? I saw some folks do chalkboard paint on wood slice ornaments and they turned out super cute too. So many ideas on Pinterest! 

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white christmas trees

16th December 2013

I love Christmas trees. Going and picking the perfect one out from a tree farm, the yummy smell, and the warm glow once it’s all decorated. I have, however, started to develop a little soft spot for white trees. Obviously they aren’t the real deal, but I like their light and bright look.

These ones that stick to a metallic colour scheme are gorgeous.

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And mixing in one colour with the metallics is a nice look too. I’m pretty smitten with this gold + aqua combo.White-Christmas-Tree-7

via here

And then for a bit of a retro, kitschy look, go for a a rainbow of colours. Against the white background of the tree, they really stick out as being bright and cheery. white-christmas-tree-colourful-5a

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via here Treetopia-White-Christmas-Tree

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So fun, right? How do you feel about white Christmas trees? Would you ever get one? I would stick to a real tree for our living room (you just can’t beat a real tree), and then a white one elsewhere in the house. So fun!

 

Today’s post was part of the 613 holiday special series. Now time to check out the rest of the Christmas-tree posts from my fellow Ottawa bloggers!

613 holiday special

Join us five Ottawa bloggers as we set our tables, deck our halls & try to survive the holiday season with style & cheer. Grab your eggnog and toast to the season with us every Monday until Dec 23rd. Happy Holidays! 
 
Meredith & Sue @ newberrysykes.com
Gemma @ thesweetestdigs.com (me!)
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holiday decorating: an oldie but a goody

9th December 2013

Okay so I have a little confession to make. Maya and I have jetted off to sunny Florida for the month! This is the year of Christmas with my in-laws (we rotate each year) and they do Christmas in Sanibel, FL where they own a home near my grandmother-in-law. Since I’m on maternity leave, I figured I would be crazy not to come down early to get some extra time in the warm sun. My parents came down with me to keep me company for these first two weeks, and then Dan and his family head down later in December (and we are having folks house-sit our place). So as much as I love doing all the holiday stuff and decorating the house, I’m taking a break from it this year and doing a little bit more of this…

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Maya’s first time in the pool (we have been taking her around dinnertime to avoid the sun). She was a little unsure, but didn’t make a peep and just bobbed around!

I am still smitten with one of my holiday crafts from last year though, so I thought I would re-post it this year. It’s one of those simple, cheap, but oh-so-sweet decor projects.  Here it is…

<<from 2012>>

I saw some mason jar snow globes floating around on Pinterest lately and was totally swooning. Love of mason jars + love of christmas + love of all things crafty = a lot of love.

So I thought I would try my hand at these bad boys to amp up the festiveness around here. I decided to take the easy route and nix the real snow-globe with water and all that jazz (I did see tutorials out there for those though), and just decided to do little winter scenes.

First step was to do a trip to the dollar store for supplies. I grabbed some gold mini christmas trees, two different white ‘fillers’ (beads and styrofoam balls), and some little animals.

I wasn’t really sure if the animals would fit, but grabbed them just in case.

After I had a chance to test everything out, the only things that fit into my mason jars were the christmas trees and the small Bambi. The polar bears and other guys are going to have to be just decorative (unless I find some gigantic mason jars!).

So time to do some assembling. I decided to try doing the mason jars two different ways. First way was to put some hot glue on the bottom of the item (like the Christmas tree below)…

… and then place it in the mason jar, right way up.

My second approach was to hot glue the item onto the bottom of the mason jar lid. This way the jar would be sitting on its top and be more snow globe-y.

Before screwing the lids back on, I poured in some of the vase filler (either the beads or the balls – doesn’t matter which you use) as the snow. And here is how they ended up! Aren’t they sweet?

I think I like the ones that sit wrong side up as they seem more like true snow globes and are easier to see into. I’m totally loving this project. It took all of 15 minutes, cost less than $10 for all 3 (and I have leftover supplies), and adds a little injection of holiday sparkle (in a not-too-over-the-top kind of way).

Cute, right?

Today’s post was part of the 613 holiday special series (613 is the Ottawa area code – hey ottawa peeps!) – all about holiday decorating.

613 holiday special

Now join us five Ottawa bloggers as we set our tables, deck our halls & try to survive the holiday season with style & cheer. Grab your eggnog and toast to the season with us every Monday until Dec 23rd. Happy Holidays! 
 
Meredith & Sue @ newberrysykes.com
Gemma @ thesweetestdigs.com (me!)

 

christmas card 2013 final

getting carded: christmas cards from minted

4th December 2013

Are you guys Christmas/Holiday card people? My Dad is super diligent about it – always getting them printed in early December, sits down one Sunday and writes them ALL out. Like probably 100 cards? And not the exact same message in each, either. Then he hand writes all of the addresses, and mails them off before most people even have their decorations up. I have (not surprisingly) developed a deep love for holiday cards – getting them in the mail, reading the little messages, and then proudly displaying them all over the house during the month of December. So cheery.

Have you guys heard of Minted? They have a huge selection of holiday cards, all designed by different indie artists. They are gorge.

For our holiday cards this year, I was obviously going to be featuring our 2013 addition! With the photo cards at Minted, what is so nice is that you upload the photo you want to use, and then it shows you all of the card options with your photo in it. Of course some aren’t going to work (the text isn’t in the right spot, the orientation of the card is wrong, etc), but you can get a quick visual of your favourite options.

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Here were some of our contenders (before editing – hence the dotted lines, etc)…

option 2 option 3 option 4 option 6 option 7

And the one we went with in the end? This beauty!

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And when I got the cards in the mail, they were seriously lovely. The quality is amazing. Thick cardstock paper, beautiful envelopes (all pre-printed with the addresses, by the way!), and packaged sweetly. Couldn’t have asked for more.

If you’re looking to get some cards done for yourself, I would definitely recommend Minted. Until Thursday, they are offering a 15% off orders of $150+ and 10% off orders over $100 (check here for coupon codes).

Are you guys holiday card people? Do you send any around? Do you include a family letter, or hand write in each one? Or just forget the whole thing? 

**Disclosure: 25 free cards were received for free from Minted, but opinions are all me. I have been crushing on Minted for a good long time!

DIY clothespin wreath

DIY holiday decor: a clothespin scandi wreath

25th November 2013

Alright you guys, I have something fun for you today. I’m part of the ‘great canadian wreath hop 2013′. A bunch of us blogger gals got together to all DIY some holiday wreaths. I had tons of fun putting together my wreath, and I’m pretty pumped to check out what everyone else got up to!

Here was my criteria for this year’s wreath: not super time consuming, no need to shop for materials, and something fresh and fun. The result? This scandi, dipped clothespin wreath.

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I started out with a big sheet of cardboard (fished out from the recycling bin!) and traced a circle to get the shape of the wreath.

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I cut out the circle to form the base of what my clothespins would stick to. It had to be narrow enough so that you wouldn’t really see it once all the pins were clipped on.DSC_1150

Here’s a closer shot so you see what I mean.DSC_1151

Then I laid out a bunch of clothespins to make sure that I had enough before getting to the painting part. I had two big bags of clothespins from the dollar store in my craft closet, so luckily there was no running out!DSC_1152

To dip, I poured some white acrylic paint into a little jar, dipped the clothespin in until the metal pieces, and then clipped them onto this cardboard contraption I put together. You want something that keeps the pins with the paint facing downwards, and has somewhere for the paint to drip onto.DSC_1154

Then it was just a matter of clipping all of the pins around the cardboard cut out. It’s a seriously easy wreath to do, you guys. Besides letting the paint dry (I think I waited about a half day), I would say like 20 minutes tops?!

I used this beautiful striped ribbon from May Arts to hang the wreath from our front door. It finishes it off nicely, right?

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I’m really liking the scandinavian feeling of the wreath. The sparse aesthetic and light wood + white combination is clean and pretty.DSC_1192

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What do you think? Fun, right? Now it’s time to hop around and get some more wreath ideas! For tons of inspiration, check out these 14 incredible wreaths created by my lovely fellow bloggers.

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(from left to right, they are):

Jo-Anna from A Pretty Life In The Suburbs
Thalita from The Learner Observer
Angie from Echoes of Laughter
Virginia from Fynes Designs
Tara from Suburble
Shauna from Satori Design for Living
Kelly from A Swell Place to Dwell
Stephanie from Garden Therapy
Becky from Sketchy Styles
Christine from DIY Dreamer
Alex from Northstory
Shannon from AKA Design
Ingrid from Now At Home Mom

<me!>
Brooke from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Have fun browsing these beauties! 

**Disclaimer: Free ribbon was received from May Arts for this project!**

Linked up at the DIY Dreamer, the DIY showoff,