Yup, I have become one of those people who does a themed Christmas each year. I am still not sure if this is a sign of greatness of madness! While I admit to having accumulated many boxes of decorations, I … Continue reading
I planned this project a while ago and got motivated to finish in time for our ex-pat Canada Day party.
While it was fun going a bit over-the-top with Canadiana for the party, I appreciate classic Hudson Bay stripes for providing a more sophisticated touch of Canadian culture. This iconic pattern has a great retro homey feel.
I mostly blog for myself – as motivation to finish projects and to put something pretty out into the world. As the blog has grown, it has one of the best experiences to connect with other people all over the world who … Continue reading
As you know, this year’s Christmas has a vintage theme, and I thought it would be great fun to share some old Christmas pictures with this simple and pretty photo garland.
To start, I collected old pictures, including some of from my childhood and from my parents before I was born! Once I got into the project, I added some more recent pictures of our kids. I edited all of the pictures using an iPhone app called Instants, which makes them look like vintage Polaroids.
I used ric rac ribbon from my mom’s stash to make the garland, so this is authentic vintage! I hung the photos from the ric rac using clothes pins decorated with scrapbook paper in this year’s colors of pink, turquoise, and red.
So, I made a list of projects I wanted to do before Christmas, and they ranged from more practical (updating our mailing list for Christmas cards, sewing the living room curtains in time for our Christmas party) to the more … Continue reading
So, if you have been following along, you will know that I have a colorful Mid-Century Christmas planned for this year. So far, my preparations have included a new Christmas tree skirt, and next up was this pretty ornament wreath!
I found a lot of beautiful inspirations for this type of wreath, including some beautiful and whimsical examples from Georgia Peachez.
There are a lot of different methods out there for making ornament wreaths, and I read through several examples before starting my own.
I used a piece of foam leftover from another project as my wreath base. It was flexible, but once the ornaments were glued in place, it held its shape. I used a piece of heavy beading wire to create a hanger on the back, before I started attaching the ornaments.
To attach the ornaments, I hot-glued a ring of the large balls in this year’s colors of pink, turquoise, and red around the entire outside and inside of the wreath base. I then added a few large ornaments to the top and filled in with medium and smaller ornaments. I included a few pine cone ornaments to change up the look. Also, I kept the hangers visible on a handful of the ornaments for more visual interest.
Some methods include tinsel on the base or painting the base. Since I didn’t do either, I needed to make sure I filled all the gaps, so I finished off the wreath with some vase filler and large beads. This is definitely one of those projects, like L’s birthday quilt, where it takes a long time and a lot of planning to make it look “random.” By the time I went to bed, I was seeing ornaments float before my eyes…
But it was all worth it! I am not decorating quite yet, so for now, the wreath is adding some cheer to my craft room window, and as Nicola said when she came over for our recent Creativity Circle, it looks pretty good there!
With the new tree skirt and this wreath, I think I am well on my way to creating this year’s theme, but I do still have a few projects I’d like to add, if time allows! Looking forward to seeing it all come together!
I know it is only November, but I am already getting excited about the upcoming Christmas season. The last few years, I’ve changed up our decorations to have a different theme each season. This year, I decided to go with a retro mid-century Christmas theme. You may remember that I am a big fan of the TV series Mad Men, and I really wanted to have a party to mark the series finale this spring, but life is way too busy, so I decided to have some Mid-Century fun for Christmas. One of my inspirations was this Christmas tree skirt that I saw advertised on mod cloth last year.
It’s sold out now, and it was also smaller than I wanted, so of course I decided to make my own. If you are feeling inspired, here’s how I did it.
- White fabric for the background
- Mix of colored fabrics and/or felt for the ornaments
- Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive
- Thin ribbon
- matching thread
- I sewed the skirt with the same 60″ diameter as our grey and white tree skirt
- I then cut out and appliqued the ornaments the way I made appliqued onesies. For the print fabrics, I just did a simple silhouette. For the more solid fabrics, I cut out some shapes, taking inspiration from the Mod Cloth original
- I sewed the ornaments and ribbons in place, and ta-da!
I’m waiting a few more weeks to set up our decorations, and I am so excited to see this pretty skirt under our tree!
Update: Here are some pictures of the skirt under our tree!
I love Christmas! and I love Mad Men! The last few years, I have changed up our Christmas decor each year.
This year, I’m really loving the look of a colorful Mid-century Christmas. I’m gathering inspiration and have a few projects to show you soon. Here are some of my favorite ideas.
I love everything about Danielle Thompson’s Candy Colored Christmas. This pom-pom wreath is adorable, and the simple white background keeps the colorful theme from being over-the-top.
And how about this beautiful Christmas tree skirt that was sold on Mod Cloth? It’s out of stock now, but I’m looking forward to making my own!
One more project I have in the works is an ornament wreath inspired by the fantastic ones by Georgia Peachez.
I’m looking forward to bringing all these fun retro Christmas ideas into reality in our house this year!
This year, L is turning 9, and since his birthday falls at the start of his youth baseball season, I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a retro baseball theme.
He wanted to hold the party at a trampoline place, which took care of the activities for the kids. This allowed me to have some fun putting together decorations, favors, and a ballpark menu.
Since we had a table in the middle of the trampoline space, I couldn’t make use of the walls for decorations.
I did find a little spot to hang our reusable birthday banner, customized for the baseball theme.
I also bought a set of these 12″ table number holders to display posters and signs. I found various retro-looking baseball posters and printed them with birthday messages and signs for the food and displayed them around the table.
We had a ballpark-inspired menu including:
- hot dogs and sausages with fixings, served in these red-and-white checked food trays (link to: Retro hot dog sign)
- Popcorn served in these red-and-white striped boxes (link to: Retro popcorn sign)
- sparkling water (link to: Retro soda sign)
Each boy also got Cracker Jack in old-fashioned packaging.
I created these charming gift tags to go with the party favors.
What a fun time we had celebrating!
I did not want the night to end when we threw our Mad Men-themed birthday party a few weeks ago. There are more ideas in the first post about our Mad Men party and the retro menu can be found in another post as well. Here are some of the finishing details that pulled it all together – not the least of which were the fab costumes of our guests!
Lucky Strike cigarette boxes
Mad Men would simply not be Mad Men, without all the smoking, particularly the Lucky Strikes. At the same time, I’m not such a devoted fan of the show that I was about to start up a carcinogenic habit. As a compromise, I printed up some empty Lucky Strike cigarette boxes and filled them with Hershey’s Ovation Dark Chocolate Mint Sticks, which have that long thin cigarette shape.
There’s a great printable Lucky Strike box from Namida on Deviantart.com. It has a fun disclaimer on the side and otherwise looks quite authentic.
To save ink and paper, I printed two copies and then placed just the box images side by side, so I could make additional copies with two boxes per page. I printed mine on heavy Index Card Stock (110 lb paper) and then set them up in the front hall, under a vintage Lucky Strike ad, for guests to enjoy. I will say that this project was more time-consuming than I had anticipated, but they helped set the tone at the party and made a fun party favor, too!
Mad Men Photo Booth
I love photo booths. I still have favorite strips from my school days and when Steve and I were young and goofy (now we’re not-so-young and still goofy). With today’s technology, it’s so easy to make your own photo booth, and that giddy sensation of not knowing exactly when the flash will go off, of trying to squeeze all your friends into the frame, is easy to recreate in your own home.
To make the photo booth, I used
- large cardboard boxes spruced up with fabric panels around the outside
- a custom Mad Men photo booth sign
- iPad with Picibooth app, attached to the inside of the box with Command Picture-Hanging Strips
- three different backdrops
- city skyline graphic (mine is Spirella Skyline shower curtain purchased on eBay. Another good options is this Design Home Cityscape / Skyline Print Shower Curtain)
- Mod 60s print fabric
- Solid green (our own curtains – clever, huh?)
I hung all the curtains from our regular curtain rod, so it was easy to switch backdrops, just like the traditional photo booths!
I provided some props, like costume jewelry, a fedora, fake cigarettes, and Lucky Strike boxes, all arranged under Peggy’s breakthrough Belle Jolie ad. Our guests had plenty of their own themed accessories, too!
The photo booth got a lot of action that night. I loved going back later to see all the sassy poses, and I especially loved discovering that our seven-year-old had gone up several times to take pictures himself!
Guys and Dolls – Fab Costumes
I cannot take any credit for the following photos, but I just had to share all the great looks that crossed our threshold that night. Honestly, it was like opening a birthday present every time I opened the door! It was enormous fun for us to see how much fun our friends had creating their costumes. From crinolines to bouffant hairdos, bow ties to patent pumps, every one looked perfect!
More Mad Decor
I wanted to feel immersed in the Mad Men world everywhere I looked, starting with our front door, where I hung a large framed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce logo:
Another logo was prominently displayed over the buffet table:
This vintage typewriter sparked a lot of conversation!
Leading up to the party, I became obsessed with collecting vintage barware in thrift stores and on eBay. I love the collection of Dorothy Thorpe silver-rimmed glasses displayed at our kitchen bar area and the classic California-themed tumblers gathered on a tray.
If you’re looking for some fabulous artwork to display, this book has fun illustrations Mad Men: The Illustrated World by Dyna Moe, including this one that I framed to put next to the dry bar area.
I said I didn’t want the evening to end, but it did end perfectly. After most of the guests left, some of our college buddies hung out with us in the living room to catch up some more, and one of them snapped this pic of me and Steve at the end of the night.