Sunday, November 13, 2016

Christmas Comes to Our Lodge

Hi everyone!

As you all know, I have been starting my Christmas decor early this year, but mostly in areas of our home that don't get used on regular basis.  That would include our "lodge."

In truth, it is our finished lower level and I just recently finished up a bit of a re-do down there that I have not yet shown you. My husband is an avid outdoors man and although I would love to see our basement go a different direction, I have decided to embrace the lodge look so that the poor guy at least has a say in one room, other than the garage!  Since he is my go to guy for home projects, it's only fair!  I am still waiting on a few things before you get the actual "reveal," but in the meantime, I will show you some of the seasonal decor that is being used this year.

The finished area of our lower level is broken up into three areas - a living space, a bar room and a (yet to be completed) bathroom.  Below is part of a vignette in our bar.  The pallet piece is actually a wine rack that I picked up awhile back at World Market.  For a mass produced pallet project, this one is very authentic looking.  I painted the wall with green chalk board paint and it has been fun, listing our cold beverages and other messages. I had planned on painting the wall with black chalk board paint, but accidentally brought home the green.  Being a lazy bones, I decided to just go with it and,  in the end, I like it so much better! I am excited to show you the rest of this wall soon.





This old firkin bucket will hold a little Christmas tree in the coming days, but in the meantime, a stuffed Santa is waiting patiently.


Our pub table holds a grouping of lodge items - a burlap wrapped tree, an old red lantern and a tree round.  When our daughter was little, we used to vacation in Minocqua, WI and would often go to the lumberjack show in town.  The kids could take a tree round for free and have the lumberjacks autograph them.  Baby Bluebird loved that!


We have two of the autograph rounds and both were signed by "Sean Dog" the lumberjack.  Who knew he would go on to appear on MTV's The Real World: Boston and currently is a Wisconsin Congressman?  He married Rachel from The Real World: San Francisco and they have eight children. It is kind of fun that we know what became of this young man!







I am keeping this room low key and simple, like a true hunting lodge would be at the holidays.  I love the vintage feel of the greens with the reindeer, framing an antique game board. 





I hope to get a post up to reveal the re-do of this room soon and then follow up with the rest of the decor.  

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Early Tree

Hi everyone!

As I shared in my last post, I am off to a bit of an early start with my Christmas decor. Why, you ask, why? Well, here's the thing. Over the past few years,  I have tried to simplify the chaos of my Christmas and starting early has worked out well. I am concentrating on a few key things to kick start my plan for peace come December.

First up, our main tree. I am going for a somewhat traditional, simple look. I tucked in frosted berry picks all over the tree, hung an assortment of classic balls and spheres and added in some burlap and jute ornaments.





I wrapped a bit of grapevine around the tree, from top to bottom, for a hint of natural texture.


I also tucked in a barn wood "sale" I bought from my neighbor, Hippie Tom's (of American Pickers fame). Not sure if it will stay (Mr. Bluebird says it doesn't make sense, lol), but at the moment I rather like it.


I will be working on our fireplace mantel next and I hope to keep with the less is more theme. We will see how that goes. Decades of being a more is more Christmas Queen has left me with some hard habits to break!

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hot Under the (Tree) Collar


Hi everyone!

Now that Halloween is behind us, my thoughts have turned toward the upcoming holidays.  I have taken down most of my fall decor, but left my kitchen sporting turkeys and pumpkins and such.  We are just hosting a small Thanksgiving gathering this year, so I am getting a jump start on my Christmas decorating.

We were in need of a new tree this year.  Last year, we had a new and rambunctious puppy in the house and went with a very small and slim tree for our main living area, with minimal ornaments - just to keep our sanity!  I will be using that tree elsewhere, but decided to return to a full size tree this year for our living room. 

I also knew I wanted to do something different with the base of the tree.  I have had an assortment of tree skirts over the years, and while pretty, they get messed up so easily and I am getting too old to be crawling under our tree every day, lol!

I have always like the idea of putting my tree in a basket and actually have done so a few times - with disastrous results! Putting a full size tree in a basket can be a risky endeavor and can lead to the entire tripping over (yes, I speak from experience)!  

Tree collars have been around for awhile now and are really a brilliant idea.  I have seen them in galvanized and wicker, like this one from Plow & Hearth:



Nifty, don't you think?  Also, somewhat pricy at $69.99! They are available elsewhere and go over $100!  What to do? What to do?  I knew I wanted my tree in a basket, or at least to LOOK like it was in a basket.  But, I was feeling stingy and creative all at the same time and I just didn't want to buy one. (I thought I was so clever with this idea, until I did a Google search and found out I am pretty late to this party.  However, although "it's been done," I thought there might be some of you who have not seen it and would enjoy the heads up).

Enter a serendipitous find at Goodwill recently:



This beauty was brand new, with the tags still on, and I picked it up for a mere $4.99!  For that price, I thought I could give making my own tree collar a try and if I bombed - well, it was just one less pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

So, I brought it home, tossed the liner,  sized it up with the Christmas tree stand I had and proceeded to cut a hole in the bottom of the basket with some nippers.


A few short minutes later and - bam! - ready for the tree.  I did not give a lot of forethought into the hole I was cutting and if I was doing it over again, I would make the hole much smaller - just big enough to get the tree trunk through.  Oops! But, have no fear, things will work out in the end.  Keep reading!


The natural, yellow wicker wasn't quite what I wanted for my finish on the tree collar, so the first thing I did was give it a light spray of silver I had left over from another project.  This also was "not quite," but was a good beginning.


 The next, "close, but no cigar" step was a coat of nutmeg spray paint, allowing some of the silver to show through.  Not bad, but still a little shiny and new for my tastes.


A quick coat of some stain I had laying around and then a light, all over sanding and presto! I was on to something.


I dusted off my Christmas tree stand and got to work getting the tree put up.


And...here is my version of a tree collar!  No, it is not round like the Plow & Hearth version, but I actually kind of like the shape.  I wrapped a red and white quilted pillow sham around the base to cover the oops! oversized hole.



A closer look at the quilted sham - I need to fluff with it a bit more, but I like the pop of color.


I am loving the new tree.  It is a natural looking pine, so it is more sparse than some of the balsam firs you commonly see in the faux tree department. I will have more info on that in a future post.  I am going for a bit more simplicity, so this style fits the bill.


 I also got a wild hair and will be breaking away from the family ornaments and going with this look.
(Calm down, the family favorites will make an appearance in a different room!) I still don't want to use our precious family ornaments where the dog can get at them...he still is a bit naughty with things like that!



 A combination of inexpensive finds from Hobby Lobby and WalMart...


I will be working on the tree decor over the next few days and will definitely share it with you all.


 One last look at my "homemade" tree collar...I am smitten!  And for $4.99, even Mr. Bluebird thinks it's awesome.


I know it might be a wee bit early to start decorating for Christmas, but the season comes so fast and I am often so busy "trying to catch up" during the holidays that I don't get a chance to enjoy our home.  I started early last year as well, and it was so relaxing.  I am not saying it is for everybody, but it works for me.

When do you start your Christmas decorating?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's a Dog's Life

Hi everyone!

As I was puttering around the house today, I started noticing all of the "dog" decor I've used in my decorating.  I never really thought about it, but wow!  I definitely have an unintentional collection going on.

The ears on this little guy - so silly!




This bird hunter was found in Branson, MO this past spring.  I am not sure why I like him, as I am not really a bird hunting kind of gal, but something about him spoke to me.


Even a hunt scene has made it into our house.  Do any of you remember when hunt decor was popular back in the late 80's? I did not have it in my own home, but I recall loving all of the plaid (no surprise there!) and the brass horns. This is an old canvas I purchased  a few years ago.


I picked up this cute little figure at a charming little antique store, Wonderland Antiques, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas just last week while Mr. Bluebird and I were vacationing.  The shop owner was the sweetest lady you would ever hope to meet!


Scottie dogs have been some of my favorites for a very long time.  I've had the tan cast iron doorstop (my Scottie purchase that started it all) for 34 years! These guys watch over my washer and dryer to make sure I am doing it right.


Every one has probably seen a version of this Boston Terrier door stop at one time or another. There are a lot of repros out there, and truthfully, I have  no idea if mine falls into that category.  He was a good price and looks cute on top of our master bedroom fireplace.



Of course, my favorite dog "decoration" is the one and only Palmer - who truly makes our house a home. Just look at that face!!


How about you?  Do you have any unintentional collections that just sort of "happened" at your house?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Texts of Fall

Hi everyone!

The texts of fall...you know you look forward to it all year long.  There are so many. They are all more awesome than the next. Ah, the texts of fall....



No, sillies, not texts as in cell phones!  Texts as in textures!  Ha, ha - feeling sassy today, I guess. But you know what I mean, fall has so many fabulous textures to it.  The changing leaves, the colors, warm sweaters, crisp apples.  Glorious!

Today I am going to share some of the pretty fall textures popping up in and around the Bluebird household this mid-September.





















What kind of "texting" have you been up to this fall?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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