Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Memories and A David Stark Inspired Christmas

 I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It was nice to have the kids home from school for the Holidays.  We had a nice, relaxing travel free Thanksgiving at home with our family of five. 
Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving 2010
Ahhh did you arrive so quickly?  I feel totally unprepared for the Holiday season this year.  The weather here this Fall was so unseasonably warm that it felt like an extended Summer.  After all, we were wearing shorts and flip flops during the week of Thanksgiving.  As a result, I did a double take when I went into the Target and saw the Christmas decorations on display.
Christmas 2010   
I love to decorate...especially for special occasions like the Holidays.  This year I fell in love with West Elm's Holiday decorations.  I am especially fond of the collection that David Stark created for them this season.  I decided to attempt to recreate his look. 

On the mantle, I created a snowflake garland by adhering hand cut, paper snowflakes to a gray, satin ribbon.  The garland was primarily inspired by this one from Martha.  Having not cut snowflakes out of paper since I was a child, I decided to follow a tutorial on YouTube for a refresher course.  I had a lot of fun creating them.  I might have to try some more paper cutting projects in the future.    
Martha Stewart's Glittered Snowflake Garland

I loved the oversized, white Nutcracker soldiers at West Elm, but at sixty dollars for one of them, I decided I could replicate them myself for much cheaper.  I found a large, Nutcracker at my local craft store with a bonus little Nutcracker on sale for eight dollars.  I quickly began stripping off his many layers of fur, rhinestones, and glitter.  My husband helped me sand off the many layers of glitter and glue residue, and he spray painted him a nice, glossy white.  I am so happy with the way that he turned out. 
West Elm's Nutcrackers
My Nutcracker before

My Nutcracker after
We have an amazing locally owned landscape/garden center in our town that I love to browse for design inspiration.  At Christmas time, they have a have a large indoor space that is transformed into a Christmas store.  I could spend hours in the store looking at all of the beautiful decorations.  This year I discovered an entire display of vintage, bottle brush trees in many colors and sizes.  I was quickly drawn to these miniature trees filled with beautiful, Mercury glass ornaments.  Despite my love for the garden center, the store tends to be overpriced.  They were selling each of these tiny trees for about thirty dollars a piece.  Unwilling to spend that much on a single, Holiday decoration, I decided to try to make my own bottle brush trees.  I purchased a bag of dark green, plastic trees intended to be used with Christmas villages for eleven dollars at Lowes.  My husband placed them in a bucket of bleach overnight, and in the morning, I was left with these adorable off white, faux bottle brush trees.  I read online that if you want to you can dye them any color of your choice with Rit dye, however I liked the off white trees, so I left them as is.  I embellished some of the trees with some small ornaments from the craft store.  I think they are really cute.
Faux Bottlebrush Trees before
Faux Bottlebrush Trees after
Faux Bottlebrush Trees after
Faux Bottlebrush Trees after
This year I decided to decorate our tree in silver and white.  I love how simple and sparkly the tree looks. I found the tree skirt several years ago, and it has remained one of my favorite parts of the tree.  I searched all over for an off white tree skirt, and I love it.  
Our Christmas Tree 2010

 Now that the tree is up and the house is decorated, I am very excited to celebrate this Holiday season.  This is going to be our youngest, baby girl's first Christmas, which is very exciting.  She is very close to crawling, and she enjoys playing with the tree skirt.  My five year old and eight year old are very excited about the Holidays as well.  I feel very blessed to have my wonderful husband and my three amazing children in my life. 
A new ornament for Baby C's first Christmas


  1. Your DIY items are so great! The nutcrackers look so modern, just like the WE versions. Hard to believe the were glittered before. I'm also loving your bottle brush trees! Clean and modern.

    If you don't mind me asking, where did you find that small mercury glass tree? I would love one for myself :)

  2. Oh, I totally forgot to say I love your paper snowflakes. That's in my to do list. Where did you find the great designs?

  3. Just discovered your blog! Love the background pic, and all your great decor ideas!!

  4. Hi Erica,

    I tried e mailing you, but your e mail doesn't seem to be working. I have a question for you, but I would prefer to discuss in private, please e mail me at

    Can't wait to hear from you!