Simple Christmas Branch

Last year, we celebrated a fabulous and fun retro mid-century Christmas with lots of over-the-top colors and decorations. This year, I’m going in a different direction with a pared-down Christmas.

I was inspired by pictures of simple branches hung with ornaments. I was going to do this in addition to our Christmas tree, but I’ve decided to do it instead of a tree, and it feels very liberating! This idea is great for people who live in small spaces or just want to simplify.

Our overall look this season is Scandinavian-inspired with touches of gold and glam, and our centerpiece here fits tight in.

Enjoy!



Hope you’re feeling cheerful and warm this season!

“Jewels”

DIY Gold Feather Table Runner for Fall

Thanksgiving at our house has been pretty small the last few years. Most of our family is not in town, so we enjoy a quiet long weekend with just me, Steve, and the kids. Sometimes, however, I crave the hustle bustle madness of a big Thanksgiving celebration. I’m excited this year because we get to host one of my new coworkers!

To help make our Thanksgiving dinner this year extra festive, I have some new decorations planned. One of them is this simple linen table runner.

I sewed the runner and used gold craft paint to add this feather design inspired by a rubber stamp Creatiate on Etsy.

Up next, a “stenciled” runner for our dining table. Red wine included 🙂

Happy Turkey Day! May your hearts be full of thanks!

“Jewels”

Metallic Geometric Garlands

For our Mod Metallic Christmas, I wanted to make garlands for the tree and beyond. I love how these turned out, and I love that they are neutral enough to use for any occasion!


To make the garlands, I used beautiful metallic contact papers and simple twine to create a variety of garlands. You can find twine and white contact paper at a lot of local hardware stores, and here are the links buy the metallic contact paper:

I made three different garlands – squares, triangles, and circles – by cutting out shapes from the contact paper and sticking two sides together with twine sandwiched in between.

For the circle garland, you could also buy pre-cut circle stickers which would make the project even faster!

Here are the finished garlands, ready for when we put up our Christmas tree and for many celebrations to come!

Cheers,

“Jewels”

 

 

Recipe for a Mod Metallic Christmas 

You know decorating for Christmas is a serious thing in our house, and to keep my sanity, I usually try to start planning early. This fall, though, every spare moment outside of work and basic survival has been consumed with stuff for the boys’ school and birthdays! Now, I’m starting to feel a bit of breathing room – or I’m forcing myself to maintain some sanity.

I honestly had so much fun with last year’s retro Christmas that I thought about recreating it. I’ve decided, however, to try a new variation I’m going to call a “Mod Metallic Christmas.”

Here is an inspiration photo (source):

Three years ago, I did simple white and grey Christmas theme, and I’m excited to add some glitter and glam this time around!

Taking inspiration from The Design Cookbook, I created a “recipe” to help me focus my vision for this project and keep it on track:

  • Color scheme: white, grey, black, gold, silver
  • Natural elements like branches
  • Glam/ mod touches, such as clean lines, geometric shapes, and faux fur

Some projects I’d like to work on include:

Metallic garland (source):

diy-gold-triangle-garland

Tin can luminaries (source):

Dip-painted wooden ornaments (source):

Painted pine cones (source):

Felt garland (source):

And here are some more inspiration photos (source):

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What do you have in mind for holiday decorating?

Cheers,

“Jewels”

 

Bridal Shower Photo Booth

I mentioned that Nicola recently hosted a bridal shower for one of our friends from work, and I helped out with some decorations. Over the past few years, I have gathered the elements for a DIY photo booth, including props, a tripod, and a Canon SELPHY Photo Printer.

In the past, I’ve adapted the backdrops and props for Christmas, a retirement party, and a Star Wars birthday party. This latest theme would be great for a wedding as well as a bridal shower. Want to do this yourself, here’s what you will need:

  1. Backdrop. I hung a graphic striped shower curtain and then added these giant paper flowers.

2. Seating. I used a piano bench

3. Display. It is so fun to display and enjoy the photos during the party, before everyone takes theirs home. I hung some pom-pom trim on the fence and added some paper rosettes and clothespins covered in scrapbook paper to make a pretty gallery.

Here we are, smiling at the end of a beautiful afternoon with friends!

Say cheese!

“Jewels”

Hot Wheels Birthday Party

Vroom! Vroom! When JJ turned four, we celebrated by playing with Hot Wheels!

Decorations: To set the theme, I decorated our house with balloons and a Hot Wheels birthday banner. IMG_2889.PNG

Activities:

  • Car Wash: bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles!
  • Race Course: the kids used sidewalk chalk to create their own race tracks

Food:

We managed some themed food, too:

  • Traffic light – strawberries, green grapes, and pineapple
  • For the cake, a giant chocolate bundt cake made a great tire!

IMG_2887-0.PNG
Party favors:


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Happy birthday, big boy!

“Jewels”

Giant Paper Flowers!!!

Oh, I honestly love any project that involves paper!

For a friend’s bridal shower, I offered to set up a photo booth and make some other decorations, which was the perfect excuse to try making these giant paper flowers.

Materials:

  • 12×12 Cardstock – I used 3-4 sheets for the outer petals and one more sheet for the inner petals on each flower; you can cut two leaves from a sheet of green cardstock
  • Muffin cups for the centers
  • Cardboard for the backing
  • Tacky glue or hot glue

Instructions:

  • I started with this template and tutorial for giant paper roses
  • Because my cardstock was 12×12, I used the template to cut one each of sizes 1, 2, and 3 out of each sheet of cardstock. I made a smaller size 4 and used that to cut out the inner color
  • I varied the tips of the petals to get some variety (the pink-red and purple flowers follow the template; the blue has pointed petals, and the yellow and pink-yellow flowers have heart-shaped petals)

 

Here are some close-ups of the flowers:

They look really impressive grouped together:

And while I was taking pictures, it was so cute that Finn came over to smell the flowers!

Here’s how the flowers looked in our photo booth. The backdrop is a striped shower curtain.

Any ideas of where to put the flowers until our next event?

“Jewels”

 

 

 

DIY Gold-Painted Vases

One of my favorite partners in craft-crime recently hosted a bridal shower for one of our coworkers, and I offered to make some decorations. First, I made giant paper flowers for a photo backdrop, and next up were these gold-painted vases.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

Materials:

  • Empty glass jars (pasta sauce, peanut butter, mustard, etc.)
  • Goo gone
  • Painters tape
  • Gold spray paint

Instructions:

  • Clean your jars thoroughly. I peel my labels as much as I can and then use Goo gone to remove the adhesive. Then, I run them through the dishwasher.
  • Mask off the area you don’t want to paint. I did a few variations: simple horizontal stripes, uneven edges (tape some torn paper around the vase), elastic bands, and geometric angles. You could get creative with round stickers for polka dots, etc.
  • Spray with gold spray paint and ta-da!

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

I love how this textured jar turned out. I think it was a sauerkraut jar.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

At the shower, I grouped vases together, so these small arrangements made a big impact.

DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

From “trash” to treasures!DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at HomeDIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

I gave most of the vases away as party favors, so the is the only picture I have of one of the diagonal geometric designs (far right).DIY gold-painted vases | Jewels at Home

Of course, now I am seeing beauty throughout my pantry and already have plans for another set of vases!

“Jewels”

 

(Ex-pat) Canada Day Party

Canada Day is coming up this Friday, July 1. My ex-pat friends and I had the pleasure of celebrating a little early today. “What is a Canada Day party?” some of our American friends asked. Well, a regular Canada Day party is a nice summer picnic or barbecue, but when you are an ex-pat, you have to go over-the-top to assert your Canadian-ness, and today was a good example.

Setting the scene:

Red-and-white everywhere!

And some more subtle elements like these Hudson Bay striped pillows:

Music:

So much good music comes out of Canada. You will have no problem putting together a playlist with artists like Bare Naked Ladies, Sarah Mclachlan, Bryan Adams, Tragically Hip, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morisette, and so many more!

Food and drink:

You can find Canadian beers, wines, and soft drinks at specialty stores like BevMo. We also enjoyed Nanaimo bars, smoked salmon, “Timbits” (donut holes), and other treats.

Be sure to add these adorable igloo ice cubes!

Games:

Falling in July, Canada Day is not typically celebrated with snowball fights, but that didn’t stop us from having a ball with Snowtime Anytime.

Happy Canada Day to my friends at home and all over the world!

“Jewels”

Kids’ Upcycled Easter Garland

We had a great time celebrating Easter with my sister’s family last year. I had wanted to make a garland with the kids, and a stack of drawings was the perfect starting point! Why leave all those creations hidden in a pile when we could hang them up to enjoy?

Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home

I made two templates out of cardboard: an egg and a bunny face. With older kids, you could add more shapes, but our three- and four- year olds barely managed with the egg, so this was perfect for us.

J and his cousins chose drawings and created some new ones. We traced the shapes and then cut them out. I made two small vertical slits at the top of each egg or bunny, and we threaded some ribbon through.

It was great to see these preschoolers practicing their fine motor skills and helping each other to put together our Easter decorations.

Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home  Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home

Hoppy Easter!

“Jewels”