Transformers $5 Tree in Disguise

Here is my $5.00 clearance tree all gussied up for a rustic, yet elegant French Nordic inspired Christmas! 

I really wish I had a before photo or even some during, but I was nearly done before the thought crossed my mind!

This was a very sparse, spindly tree, but was too big to fit in the corner I wanted it to--so first things first, I bent in the branches so it was flat on two sides--I could then fit it in the corner! After I did that I fluffed all the branches I bent forward--instantly filling in many of the empty space. After all of the fluffing, I added burlap ribbon from the floral supply section at the crafts store, then added the large silver mercury glass orbs around the tree.
Then I started adding dried hydrangea blossoms, a few faux hydrangea blossoms, and some faux ferns to further fill in and decorate the tree.  Once all of that was done, I cut up some flocked pine garland I had and tucked in pieces here and there, then wired faux mushrooms and glass pine cones to the tips of some branches and tucked some Spanish moss in here and there to make it look more natural.

For the base of the tree, I placed it inside a white cast iron urn placed atop a sturdy antique cheese box for height--that look proved too minimalistic for my taste, so I used a burlap tablecloth as a tree skirt to hide the cheese box! I also added more faux (yes, I promise they are faux, they even fool you in person...) ferns to soften the edge of the urn.
I decided not to put lights on the tree, as I wanted it to act as an over zealous floral arrangement versus a traditional Christmas Tree. This room gets lots of light in the day time, and with the mercury glass orbs, it reflects the light of the chandelier beautifully at night

I want to further emphasize that I didn't have to buy anything new this season to do this tree with one exception, I did buy the mercury glass orbs at a yard sale over the summer, but they were about a quarter each--I say about, because she was asking 2 for a dollar for them and I asked her what she'd take for ALL of them, and they ended up being less that a quarter each!

Here is one more view of the room--which is no longer complete, because I added a Wisteria Knock-Off wreath I made to the window--I will post on that this week-end or early next week!!!

My Favorite Things. . .

I want to start off saying that this is NOT a sponsored post!!! Okay, now that's off my chest, here are some of my favorite places to window shop online--these are some fantastic sources for French Finds and other goodies. I know we are all trying to finish our Christmas shopping--so maybe you will find some inspiration--especially for hard to buy for folks on your list!

You must stop by and see Jody at The Petite Market on Etsy. Here is some of her wonderful merchandise:

Photo courtesy of The Petite Market

Photo courtesy of The Petite Market

Photo courtesy of The Petite Market

Another favorite shop is Pretty Little Store on eBay! They have a wide selection of Santos Dolls, crowns, ex voto hearts and similar items! Here are some photos of similar items they carry or items they carry I purchased from other sources as seen in my living room:

They carry similar crowns.

They carry a wide selection of ex voto hearts.

I purchased this mercury glass flaming heart from them. I love it!

Another favorite shop is, too, on Etsy. Pop over and visit Amy over at Maison Decor!

Photo courtesy of Maison Decor.

Photo courtesy of Maison Decor.

Photo courtesy of Maison Decor.
 Another French Feast for the eyes, as well as a site easy on the purse strings is My Petite Maison. Stop by and visit Tracie's lovely shop.

Photo courtesy of My Petite Maison. This would look great in my kitchen....just saying....

Photo courtesy of My Petite Maison. This could come in handy this time of year...especially how mean some folks get while shopping!

Photo courtesy of My Petite Maison. Oh my...crusty architectural fragments....

One last favorite and drool worthy place is Wisteria. Their selection is phenomenal--from elegant home decor to furniture that would pass for a priceless antique to everything in between--this is a fabulous place you should be sure not to miss!  
Photo courtesy of Wisteria. I have these crowns--you can see them in photos above used in my house!

Photo courtesy of Wisteria. I have these, too, they are pictured above, as well!

Photo courtesy of Wisteria.

Photo courtesy of Wisteria. I want this little guy bad...but he's definitely not in the budget this year!

I hope you have enjoyed my favorite things post! Maybe you have some new sources for goodies for you and yours! Many more goodies coming soon!

Mercury Glass Christmas

As promised, here are more photos from my dining room! 

Center stage is this lovely cast-concrete statue of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus my step dad found when clearing out his flowerbed. It was under layers and layers of mulch and had been forgotten over the years. 

I made these butlers' gazing balls using mercury glass candle holders and mercury glass orbs. I've hand the candle holders for years and picked up the balls at a yard sale a while back for about a quarter each!

To add texture and interest to the display, I layered the top of the altar with antique sheet music and a burlap coffee sack. After taking down my Fall Mantelscape, I had all of the hardware from it in this bowl and added it in for an additional focal point.

While I didn't secure my gazing balls to the candle sticks, you could use a temporary adhesive such as poster putty or something similar. Don't use floral clay--it won't come off.

More goodies coming this week--including how I transformed a $5.00 Christmas tree into what you see in the corner above! Also check back later today or early tomorrow for a post on my favorite sources for French Flair items--whether for gifts or for you!

Dining Room: Christmas 2011

Here is what I've done in the dining room for Christmas! More detailed photos coming this week of the Altarscape--yes that is an altar, the Christmas tree, and the cloches. 

I stuck with a pretty neutral palette in her, aside from the chairs that desperately need to be painted and reupholstered!

By placing mercury glass orbs on mercury glass candle holders, I created the look of a plethora of butlers' gazing balls. The largest one really is a butlers' gazing ball, so be it a reproduction.

I pulled in some cloches, because you just can't have enough of them. More on this vignette later this week!

My woodland Christmas tree, tucked in the corner. Later this week I will tell you how I made a $5.00 tree look like this!

I even added some glass icicles and jingle bells to the chandelier!

One last teaser shot of the room! Check back this week for details on each part of the room!

Christmas Kitchen

Okay, okay, I'm sure you've seen my kitchen before...(here, here, here, and here)it's all over Pinterest, not to mention was featured on lots and lots of blogs, and was in September 2011's Romantic Homes Magazine! I did want to show you I've tweaked it a bit, and decorated it for Christmas. I've kept it simple since it is the kitchen and I do cook in here...You wouldn't believe the number of people that ask me if I cook in there! Of course I do--It's my kitchen! Ha!

A few simple changes over the vent hood (tutorial here)--I added some blue mason jars and a tiny feather tree in a boot. I added the Noel sign for good measure. 

I love the touch of aqua on the snowflake letter o. It brings the color of the mason jars closer to eye level and really draws your attention up.

I added a really neat clock, too--pretend not to notice the big ole bag of chocolate chips...Right after I snapped these photos I made lots of cookies--chocolate chip and cranberry chocolate chip. I made lots of extra cookie dough, too, and popped it in the freezer so I won't have to mess up everything to make cookies again this year!

I hate seeing appliances, but I use my toaster too much to put it away. I've become addicted to the new Kashi blueberry waffles...mmmm.....needless to say, I incorporated my toaster into the vignette. It looks so much more grand placed in front of a large silver platter and flanked with a bust. Even the paper towels look special under a cloche.

I picked up this silver tastevin at a thrift shop for a few dollars. It definitely adds little French sparkle to the bottle drying rack! The vintage-look glasses are from Dollar Tree!

I love the "Free Ice Water" sign--I picked that up at the same thrift store I bought the tastevin from!

As you can tell, I still have left the back of my island unfinished. I just love the rawness of it!

Here I put a tinsel tree and some glittered reindeer with framed reproduction postcards.

A simple vignette of reindeer pulling a sleigh of antique Christmas ornaments tops a bookshelf used as a pantry area.

I put the tree down into a German glass glittered toy drum.

I tweaked a few things in this corner. 

And I have to include a photo of my trash can--so many folks ask me about this. Just take a vintage shopping cart, put a burlap coffee sack in it, turn the unfinished edge under to form a cuff and fit it around the perimeter, and put a plastic garbage can in it to protect the coffee sack! I have a 13 gallon can in there.

Merry Christmas To All! I'll be back with even more goodies. I still have ANOTHER Christmas tree to share, as well!
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