Wow, I am amazed that Christmas has snuck up on me again! I was online last night searching for a couple of last minute gifts for family and was about to check out when I noticed that my shipping charges, to have said gifts here by the 24th, were upwards of $17. I though, surely! not with so much time before Christmas!, but then I glanced at the calendar and laughed at myself for forgetting that the special holiday is just (literally) a few days away! What!? I’m avoiding the mall at all costs but I might not have a choice now…
Ah well, on to prettier topics! Anna Kate and I each put together a Christmas and New Year’s Eve outfit to share with you all for the Wardrobe Style Boards gallery and without further ado, here’s a little Christmas inspiration for you.
When Morgan asked me to put together a couple of style boards for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I knew just what I wanted to do. For me, Christmas Eve is always a little bit crazy. There are gifts to wrap, church services to get to, and so much food to make (What? Not everyone has 50 people over for Christmas Eve dinner??) so I try to keep it simple when it comes to my outfit. I always have to resist the urge to wear red or green, because it’s just too obvious and no one wants to be the girl in church lookin like a Christmas tree! So I usually go with a special black dress and pretty accessories. I added a scarf, tights, and a coat to this outfit because if I’m dressing up, I’m all about staying warm and cozy! And for a festive touch, I will definitely be wearing this grown-up glittery nail polish in the perfect Santa Claus red!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
(PS don’t forget that you can catch all of her lovely style – home and family, too! – over at her blog: Home Away From Home)
Anna Kate and I didn’t share our boards prior to this post, so I was really happy to see that we each took our outfits in different directions. I love her black and mustard combo, and that jacket is amazing.
I was dreaming of a late night Christmas Eve when I imagined this board and what I would wear that could be both pretty and lounge-worthy (for the post-Church gatherings with family and friends or the early dinner that we’ll enjoy together. That plus toddler-chasing. The perfect solution? A beautiful tunic top paired with comfy leggings and satin sparkle flats. Plus accessories that announce that the occasion is indeed special . Now if only I could get the below shipped to my casa by the 24th – Amazon Prime, where are you when I need you??
Don’t forget that you can catch all of the wear-to-find and price info for the above over in the actual gallery itself (just click on a board to see the details).
Posted in Anna Kate's Style Boards, Fall, Holidays, Party, Spring, Summer, Wardrobe, Winter | Comment »
I’m working on adding a few homemade Christmas touches each year to our collection and this year I decided to DIY a new pillow cover for our couch. The sectional is an ever-changing pillow hodge podge (I tend to just cover up a current pillow with a new cover, so sometimes you can find two or three previous designs underneath ) and I scooped up this particular basic tan throw pillow cover from Ikea for $6.
I thought about felting an ornament or Christmas tree design onto the front (maybe a future project?) but then recalled seeing pillows of seasons past with a simple, scripted message and decided to give it a go.
The toughest part was deciding on what word! I love the pretty flow of ‘Merry’ and the joyful message – or state of Christmas being – that it conveys. It’s a good word to see day in and day out during this special time of gratefulness. Plus ‘M’s are just too fun to write out in cursive! (yeah for an ‘M’ first name)
Supplies for this project included two bright red embroidery thread bunches, an embroidery needle and my blank pillow cover.
An embroidery stitch is quite simple, it involves a basic back stitch technique so that while you’re stitching forward in your design, each stitch will head backwards as you go. Forgive the left hand awkwardness of this shot while I balance my camera in the other:
So my forward progress is on the reverse side of the pillow (though make sure you’re not stitching the two pillow sides together) and my needle pops up and out of the fabric about 1/4 of an inch out from the previous stitch. Then I head back towards that previous stitch to cover up my 1/4 fabric gap. The back stitch allows me to overlap my stitches just a hair so that the embroidery might appear to be close to one continuous line.
Writing out the entire word ‘Merry’ took a couple of hours one late evening while we had some friends over. I like projects that occupy the hands but don’t require too much thinking .
I first attempted to draw a light pencil line on the actual fabric to give myself a template to follow with the needle, but quickly found that it disappeard into the color of the tan fabric too quickly. Anything darker and it would have been harder to erase off of this heavily weaved fabric. Update: Sheila just shared with me that you can purchase a vanishing fabric marker that will write purple and disappear by the next day! Perfect!
In the end I wrote out ‘Merry’ on a card and free handed the pillow. The imperfections are part of what makes it special, though I see areas where I would have dipped my cursive down further, should have slanted my ‘y’ more, or might have added more flourish for interest. Ah well.
I’m really excited with how this project turned out given the time I worked on it and the easy update it makes to the living room! When Christmas is over I can pull off the cover of one of my favorite pillows (those ikat tan ones left over from the nursery glider fabric) that’s hiding below and pack up the ‘Merry’ cheer into my Christmas boxes for next year.
Christmas is just around the corner! So exciting!
Tags: Accessories, Christmas, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Living Room, Red, Sewing, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Holidays, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »
Boys are hard to shop for. Make that very hard to shop for. It might just be me, but when it comes to my gift list and I get to the 8 brothers (yes, 8! including Kevin’s siblings), 3 dads, 3 grandpas and one special hubby in my life, I tend to go back to old time favorites (sweaters, socks or a loved alcoholic beverage) again and again and again. Or worse – I wait until the very last minute and then regret my day-before-Christmas decisions.
Not to say that I haven’t already picked out some very cozy wool sweaters for a few in the group , but with all of that in mind, here are a few ideas I’ve pulled together from favorite shops, the good ole’ web and my favorite gift guide magazines. I hope that it’s helpful for all of the men in your life! And here’s a link to last year’s list (which is full of even more boy ideas).
Love this plaid twill driving cap and very handsome messenger bag at a very decent price. Banana Republic’s big & tall is consistently my go-to for Kevin, this sweater is available in regular and long. I would love to gift Kevin with a new leather watch! I have my eye on a few… Kev is also on the lookout for a new pair of boat shoes, and I wonder how he’d feel about the jute? I kind of like these guys a lot (especially for the price).
I shared one of my favorite retro alarm clocks last year, but this year’s version is the perfect step up – an iPhone docking station as well!
This macaroon suction cup is a tasty idea to keep earbuds tangle free and connected to your phone. Also for electronics, I dig the unique look of this bamboo charging station – perfect for the kitchen counter and to keep all electronics corralled and powered.
For the snow enthusiast, here’s a take on a repurposed board or ski that I haven’t seen before – a bottle rack! And while on that ski vacation while using said bottle rack, don’t forget your charades to go for instant and immediate friend fun.
A mini pocket fishing rod! For when an afternoon bite calls at lunch time (and you happen to be within walking distance of a pond…). More outdoor ideas: for all of the bike lovers in your life, I love the unique use of refurbished bike chain accessories and art. Check out this cool bowl. And with names like ‘the Exploder’ and ‘Jetstreamer’, here are four fun tricks to play on a friend’s short game… the perfect treat for the golfer.
Nosy keeps track of glasses for the hubby or dad who can’t ever seem to remember where he put them down…
The ultimate survivor-kit-in-a-water-bottle.
This is an accessory that I would love to add to my own bike, and one that I’m sure many a bike rider would use! Listen to music, track miles on a biking app or use the GPS of your handlebar mounted phone.
Kev loves a good home brew, this chart would be perfect for his garage/man cave. Speaking of home brew, one year he gifted his latest batch to each of his buddies, I’d like to see them draped in ugly Christmas sweater bottle covers next time. Hehehe. Or perhaps for a gift of whiskey or scotch (or wine? or any other alcohol that guys will most likely…).
Scientists and foodies alike, this looks like an awesome kit! Molecular gastronomy at the home level – kind of reminds me of this place that I’m dying (though my wallet’s not) to check out. They also make a version for cocktails! Speaking of yummy drinks and adventure, my camper-of-a-husband would think this little collapsible cup keychain is a great addition for his backpack – and if I stuffed a IOU One Camping Trip note inside, he’d be doubly happy. Ditto for the 10-in-1 Adventure Tool.
Don’t let a mess of cables make you hang on for dear life, hubman to the rescue. And if your man is more of the hands-on type, retro safety glasses for the hipster carpenter (DIYer, mechanic, fix-everything-guy…).
Finally, bike enthusiasts unite under one clever book title. Here’s a quick read full of quirky writing on the world of bicycle commuting. Another title that looks equally amusing for the biker: The Bike Snob.
For all the musicians out there, here’s a poster to rock his socks off: James Gulliver Hancock All the Guitars in Tennessee. And how cool is this? Transform just about anything into a custom guitar pick! Recycle gift cards, credit cards, old IDs, container lids…
When we were in Japan we came across the most perfectly round glass-sized ice cubes that we’d ever seen. I’ve finally found a product that promises a homemade version! I scooped up one for Kevin and one for my Dad.
Because we’re talking about boys today, and because storm proof matches would make any guy impressed. And because, why not?
BeerMo’s clip on to a beer (bonus: also a pacifier) to enliven any party. Looking to quickly chill that bottle of white? This is genius: a Corkcicle. If you’re looking for a toastier drink instead, I have nothing but rave reviews for my favorite milk frother (cappuccinos, chai tea lattes, hot chocolate…) which I really should have included in the Ladies Gift Guide – I use it on an everyday basis! Man or woman can appreciate a good cup of coffee at this price (ps this little contraption doesn’t steep espresso, but froths that perfect foam/hot milk to go with your morning cup of Joe.)
That red contraption above is touted as the perfect snow ball maker. Sold.
And just because I would really like to keep some of Joe’s amazing sticky stuff around the house, I’m including a gift every guy should love. Speaking of gifts that I know are winners, here’s the super lite pack that we took on our big adventure in September – I highly recommend for the avid traveller who doesn’t want to pay for extra luggage weight (throw this guy on as a backpack or look a bit more sophisticated by carrying it messenger style or by the top handle).
The above are full of ideas for little stocking stuffers, but here are a few add-ons that would be fun to find on the mantel on Christmas morning:
Data Warriors are the perfect stocking stuffers for anyone who has to tote around technology on the go. Bringing documents, pictures and projects to and from school, work and home is easy and cute (can I use that adjective to describe a guy’s gift?) with these little men. Another thoughtful stocking stuffer for the techy! Keep cords wrangled with these practical (but in the coolest shapes) cable twisters.
Updated photos of Olivia and family are mandatory gifts for parents and grandparents alike. I LOVE that this artist easel is a holiday-card version.
Ever have one of those days where you’re ready to aim a dart right at your most recent to-do list? Add a little whimsy to the corkboard in the office with these fun pushpins.
Rare, medium and welldone – the easiest way to check on your steaks (and make em perfect for each family member) and a great little stocking stuffer for less than $3.50 each.
Fun ideas for the boys! I hope this helps you crack the case for all of the important men in your lives – be they tech or sports or outdoor enthusiasts.
Posted in Gift Guides, Holidays | 6 Comments »