My Upside-Down Christmas Tree

For the past 6 years I’ve been hanging our tree upside-down from the ceiling.  And while I acknowledge that it’s not for everyone, everyone always smiles when they see it.  And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?  My family and I love the way it looks.  But mostly, we love the way it makes our holiday feel…fun, exciting and open to new adventures.

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Christmas Decorating with Bryer Carolers

Christmas decorating is a big part of the holiday season, with the tree being the indisputable focal point.  But most people don’t stop with just the tree!  There are countless of collectibles available that are festive and fun to collect.

My mom had a collection of Dickens Village.  I have a small collection of nativity scenes, and one of my dearest clients collects Bryer Carolers.  This year I helped her decorate her highrise apartment and couldn’t help cranking up the Christmas music and singing along.

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My Upside-Down Christmas Tree 2013

Here we are, Christmas Eve and I finally get around to sharing some pictures of my tree this year.  It’s hanging from the ceiling, of course, as it has for the last 4 years.  This year, it’s silver and white with splashes of red.

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My Upside-Down Tree…A peek at my Christmas decor

For the last few years, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with my Christmas decor…forgoing the traditional fare for a more glitzy, and simple Transitional look.   It started 3 years ago with the hanging of my tree, the beginning of a new tradition.  That first year the decor was strictly silver and white, then last year I added chartreuse  to the mix.

2011

This year, I’ve decided to change things up again…I’ve brought out my old, familiar ornaments that I’ve collected throughout the years…and I’ve infused the house with color in the traditional hues of reds, golds, and greens.

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Beautiful 4th of July Decorations

I love this country.  Long ago It embraced my family and me with open arms, offering us a new place to call home.  I feel honored and privileged to be a Naturalized American and am profoundly grateful to have had that choice.

Here are a few decorating ideas to help us celebrate Independence Day.

I love this 3 level floral arrangement.  You can use carnations, which are economical and can be found in a variety of colors at most grocery stores.  When July is over, you can do it again with fall flowers, then Christmas…

Plan now for next July.  Make a note on your calendar to plant ahead for flowers that will be blooming like these come July.

These ordinary galvanized flower buckets look amazing with painted stripes and stars.

Of course, you can’t go wrong with a wreath…one of the most basic, classic forms for decorating.  Here are 2 that are undoubtedly patriotic.  For a tutorial on how to make your own felt wreath like this gorgeous one below,  Click Here.

A star wreath.  Attach a metal star to a boxwood wreath (any wreath will work) then wrap red, white and blue ribbon around it for a classic patriotic welcome.  This star wreath is also totally versatile year round.  Simply use the appropriate ribbon for the season or holiday.

Frames are another classic venue for decorating during any holiday.

Purchase small flags and gently remove them from the stick. Center the flag on a mat inside a frame with no glass. Glue only the top edge of the flag to the mat so it appears to be blowing in the breeze…a very elegant way to display your patriotism.

I love this box below.  Both the box and flag were found items that have been assembled beautifully.  It’s art that can be displayed year round.  For instructions on making this box, Click Here

Here’s a project you can do with the kids.  Wood letters smothered in glitter.  Makes me smile just thinking about it. For a tutorial,  Click Here.

Happy 4th of July!!

Hope I’ve inspired.


Valentines Day Wreaths

Valentine’s Day…  

…yet another wonderful reason to decorate your home.  I know what you’re thinking, “I just took down all the Christmas stuff!”  I hear you!  But when decorating for Valentines, a little can go a long way.  In fact, I love the look of a single wreath hanging on the door…Classic and Understated!  

Here are 5 gorgeous and classic wreaths you can make yourself.  Click on the pictures for instructions on how.  

I love this ball wreath.  It’s shinnny and fun and totally unexpected.  

Ball Wreath

This delicious beauty is made from peppermint candies.  Isn’t that clever?  

Pepermint Wreath

This tie wreath is a more casual interpretation.  The red fabric makes it a Valentine wreath, but you can do green for St Patrick’s or orange for Halloween, pastels for Easter…a VERY versatile design.  

Tie Wreath

Also very versatile is this burlap beauty.  

Burlap Wreath

I love this fabric wreath, made on a foam heart.  But you can use a foam circle too, and as for fabric, the sky’s the limit.  

Fabric Wreath

  Are you inspired?  

Choose the one you like and invite a friend to help.  Or better yet, make it a family project.  Happy Valentines! 

“Love isn’t love, till you give it away.” – The Sound of Music 

Till next time, 

Alba 

 

  


My Upside-Down Christmas Tree 2011

Once again, for the 3rd year, I’ve hung my Christmas tree.

I think I’ve started a tradition!  🙂  …and it’s a great tradition, cause no matter how “un-traditional” a hanging tree is, it always brings a smile to all who see it!  And THAT, is what the holiday’s are about.

This year, I’ve introduce the color chartreuse to the mix. I was inspired by one of my projects…You may remember the “Chartreuse Ottoman”?  I had such a great time with that project that I fell in love with the color chartreuse.  So this year, instead of decorating in only silver and white, I splashed on the green!

 

The challenge, however, was to do it on a budget.  After all, next year I’m sure to splash on a different color!  So I gave myself a minimal budget ($150) and started the creative process. Ten or 12 boxes of green balls (in varying sizes) should do it for the tree…

…my 2009 Hallmark commemorative Cessna ornament is on prominent display.

For the table, I found these chartreuse-colored glass vases at Garden Ridge for $1 each.  I just couldn’t pass them up, so I turned them upside down and used them as candle holders.  They look fantastic!

The place mats I found at Ross for a mere $5 for a set of 4.  They’re simple bamboo mats that came with the matching coaster, and the colors are perfect for my decor.  I placed a glittery leaf on each plate, which I found on sale at Hobby Lobby.

I wrapped 2 white candles using the same glittery leaves…

…and found this Poinsettia bush…in Chartreuse!  

 

Of course I added green balls and ribbon bow to the wreath.

As you can see, decorations were kept to a minimum…allowing the tree to be the star of the show!

 Did I mention it twirls?!

As we wrap-up 2011, I can’t help but to look back at all the magnificent friends, times and opportunities this year has brought me. I am indeed fortunate!

Especially, I am grateful to all of you, my client and friends.  Without you, I would have missed many sources for fun and love.  Thank you!  I have the BEST clients in the world!

From My house to Yours…

Merry Christmas!

Alba


A Holiday Home Tour in Austin

Last Friday I drove to Austin to spend the weekend with my good friend.  While there, we visited a Holiday Home Tour.  It was a fundraiser event for a local elementary school. 

The house was filled with very interesting details, like this niche in the master bath.  It’s covered with a gorgeous piece of onyx then back-lit to enhance its beauty and translucency. 

Below is the view of the niche from the shower side.

The same onyx treatment was used for the bar’s counter top, which is also back-lit.  Absolutely stunning!

The house was decorated for Christmas including a different tree in almost every room.  The home owner’s collection of nut crackers are displayed on the high moldings.

I just love this cow hide valance!  Particularly for this  boy’s room which is decorated with a Texan decor. 

This faux deer runner is exquisite! 

The guest bath has just the right amount of river rock in the shower floor…

…and how clever is this!…the transition between the bath floor and hall is done with the same river rock.

The outdoor living is unbelievable! The infinity pool appears to overflow into Lake Travis.  I really like that the Adirondack chairs are painted a bright turquoise.  It’s that pop of color that makes it more fun and casual.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday…a personal concrete slide, with a constant water flow. 

The house was built by Sendero Homes.  It was decorated by designer Kayce Geer of Geer Design.

Hope I’ve inspired.

Till next time,

Alba


Elegant Fall Decorating Ideas

As the weather starts to cool outside, we begin our gradual migration to the inside…and we start getting ready for the beginning of the holiday season.   This is the time of year when decorating your home is the norm…Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas… But sometimes, all you need is a few simple, yet elegant pops of decorations to bring the season inside. 

Here are a few elegant and timeless ideas that will delight you through the entire holiday season.  

Ruffled Fall Felt Garland

 This garland is such a simple idea, yet elegantly classic.  Decorate your mantle with this easy-to-make felt garland. You can use any color felt…orange, brown and/or gold are perfect for the fall.  Follow the easy tutorial from Myra at My Blessed Life.  Source: Fall Felt Garland – My Blessed Life 

Decoupage Pumpkins

 Pumpkins are a symbol of fall…not just for Halloween.  And there are hundreds of things you can do with them, but here’s an idea you don’t see every day.  These pumpkins have been decoupaged beautifully for a classic, almost country look.  However, the same process can be used to decoupage with a multitude of paper patterns and colors for ANY decor style. Fun and unexpected!  You can find detail instructions from Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict. Source: Decoupage Pumpkins – Confessions of a Plate Addict 

 

Apple Tea Lights

 This idea is so simple and can be used year-round. Carefully carve a hole on top of the apple, insert the tea light, and you’re done!  You can find tea lights in lots of colors and apples will last several days.  That makes this project a beautiful and natural way to decorate ANY tabletop…your coffee table, foyers and dining.  Source: Apple Candles – Holiday with Matthew Mead 

 

Nature's Foliage

 What can be lovelier than this gorgeous arrangement of nature’s foliage?  And it doesn’t even matter if they’re real or silk.  Plus, an arrangement like this is incredibly versatile…place it on your coffee table, then use it as your dinner centerpiece, then to the guest bedroom to welcome family and friends.  It is sure to evoke holiday charm. Source: HGTV 

 

Custom Fabric Tablecloth

 If you’re entertaining buffet style this year, consider making your own custom tablecloth.  All fabric stores will have fabrics that have “fall” inspired patterns.  Find one that fits your color scheme and create your own tablecloth.  You don’t even have to sew…binding tape (the type you iron) will do the trick for hemming all 4 sides.  I LOVE the way this one drapes long to the floor.  

 

Wreath Hung By Ribbon

 Wreaths are universal when it comes to holidays.  You can use them to decorate for ANY season.  And while traditionally we hang them on doors, here’s a simple and elegant way to display a wreath, hung from a ribbon…in front of a mirror.  I LOVE this idea, and we all have mirrors!  This wreath is made of corn husks!  Instructions on how to make it are provided by Martha Stewart.  Source: Harvest Wreath – Martha Stewart 

 

White Pumpkins

I’m totally partial to white pumpkins! I Love them. They’re so classic and vintage. And they’re right at home in any season. These are painted white…which is perfectly acceptable to do. This arrangement of pumpkins and urns works for any holiday and can be embellished with ornaments appropriate to each. 

 As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.   

~John Fitzgerald Kennedy 

Till Next Time, 

Alba