Category Archives: holiday decor

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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

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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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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)…

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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,

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holiday round up: DIY advent calendar ideas

20th November 2013

Okay, so my 3-month old daughter probably isn’t going to have any concept of the holidays this year (as much as I am itching to start traditions and DIY her all kinds of Christmas presents!)… so in lieu of making my own advent calendar for her, I thought I would round up some of my fave DIY ones I found on Pinterest.

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I love all of these different ideas. Some are a little more complex than the others (there is one made out of toilet rolls!!! Can you guess which one?!), but they are all super sweet. Click on the ‘via’ link at the bottom of each photo for the tutorial/original site.8202101989_73b3055107_z

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The pouches/bags for little treats is one way to go (a trip to the dollar store would help fill those up with goodies!), but I equally love the kind of advent calendar where you move items in or out of the numbered spots as a countdown to the 25th. advent-beauties-600-54

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This one has little cards where you could write messages for each day, like lyrics to a carol or an “action” like choosing a toy to donate, or going around the neighbourhood to check out the Christmas lights. Love.Advent-Calendar-After

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So fun, right? I’ll be coming back to this list next year for sure…

Have you guys made any advent calendars before? Have one that has been in your family for ages? Do you buy the chocolate ones at the grocery store? Skip the whole idea altogether?

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the friday roundup: christmas stockings

8th November 2013

Happy Friday, you guys! Hope you all had a good week.

The weather here is starting to officially get cold and I can feel winter right around the corner. I’m a little anxious about it this year as I am loving getting out of the house and going on daily walks with little miss Maya and don’t think I’ll be able to once the snow really hits. I’ll probably start going to more indoor activities with her, but I can’t ever seem to make it anywhere on time these days! We’ll see how it goes!

Anyway, since this will be Maya’s first Christmas, I am starting to think about traditions. My mum always gives me a christmas ornament every year, which is a lovely tradition I’m going to start with Maya. We also always do the Christmas pyjamas – a new pair every year to snuggle up in on Christmas morning. I won’t be doing PJs for Maya quite yet (pretty much everything she wears these days are PJs anyway!), but I do want to get her a stocking. I’m thinking I might get matching ones for all three of us – we’ll see. My childhood stocking is red velvet with a big teddy bear head on top, and Dan’s is a long rainbow knit stocking. They don’t exactly match – haha. I would still want to display our childhood ones, but think it would be nice to have a matching set as a family. Since they are something we will have for a good long while, I want to choose something timeless and sweet. Here are some of my favourites I have found so far.

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sources (mostly etsy): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

In other news, don’t forget to enter the Target giveaway for your chance to win a $25 gift card! Contest closes today at 5pm EST. And speaking of giveaways, there are a few going on for my etsy shop. Check them out here and here to enter. Thanks for featuring the shop, ladies!

What do you guys think? Any favourite stockings? What are your holiday traditions? Do you have a Christmas stocking you have had since you were a kid? Are there things that are always in them? We do a clementine, a walnut, a chocolate, and some coins at the bottom of each stocking.