7 Fall Decor DIY’s

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“Autumn binds poetry in its own withered leaves. “~Terri Guillemets

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When fall arrives, does your nesting instincts  go into full gear?  Mine sure do!  Here are some easy DIY fall decor projects you can create at home to celebrate autumn and get the creativity juices flowing.  My favorites are the botanical pumpkins and the no-water fall window box.  I have even included one that I wanted to love but struggled with, the Mason jar leaf hurricanes, so you can avoid the same mistakes I made.  Happy fall! Continue reading

A Valentine Craft: Making a Button Brooch

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When my middle son Stéphane was in elementary school, he made me a heart-shaped brooch which was adorned with buttons.  For years every single time I wore that brooch, people stopped me and commented on how pretty it was.  That brooch was one of my most cherished possessions.  Then I lost it.  Heartbreaking.  What’s a mom to do?  Well try to recreate it of course! Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Wreath and Planter DIY

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“A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.”  Latin Proverb

February is a big month in our household with Valentine’s Day, our wedding anniversary and my birthday.  With winter setting in, I like to brighten the entrance for the month of February with a Valentines theme.  This year I recycled my holiday decor and transformed it with a few simple tweaks to celebrate the month of love.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” David Bowie

I find a lot of the ready-made Valentines Day decorations are too corny or overdone so I like to create my own.  The  holiday urns had been done up in silver, flocked and red twig branches with red winter berry wreaths.  I left these in place,  removed the silver Christmas balls  in the arrangment(you can see the original urns here) and hung heart shaped ornaments throughout the branches.  Simple, restrained yet not too frilly.  I live in a household of all men, including the cat!  I really like the subtle sparkle from the glitter branches in the winter light.  Don’t have red twig dogwood?  Simply paint any branches with red paint as I did here.

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Orange Pomanders: The Scent of Christmas

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“A big orange and some fresh pine boughs and ‘Silent Night’ are all I need, and cookies, of course.  They are the strings that when I pull on them, I pull up the complete glittering storybook Christmases of my childhood.” Garrison Keillor

The tradition of oranges at Christmas is thought to have originated with St Nicholas who placed gold in the poor people’s shoes in what is today Turkey.  Oranges are thought to be a symbolic interpretation of that tradition since the fruit was an exotic and rare treat.  The orange’s segments are a symbol of being able to share your wealth with others.  My maman who grew up in poverty, one of 15, in depression era Québec, remembers the joy of receiving a single orange in her worn stocking hung with hope, Christmas Eve. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece~ A Tutorial

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One of the things I am most grateful for in my life is my garden club and the creative friends I have made in this group.  Every year we get together to create a fresh Thanksgiving floral centerpiece.  One of our members, the talented designer Mari Dolby, certified in flower arranging from the venerable Longwood Gardens, led us in a class to create a magnificent arrangement just in time for the busy entertaining season.    I learned so much:  from how to dangle apples from a floral arrangement( easy trick!)  to wiring feathers for interest(why not!) and incorporating vine balls for organic texture.  It was an inspiring class.  The principles of flower arranging shared in the slide show below are useful for any seasonal centerpiece and I hope will help you in your future flower arranging.

The completed arrangement

The completed arrangement

With the leftover scraps and some foraged seed heads, this sweet little arrangement was made in a Dollar Store votive “vase” for the powder room.

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Crate of Abundance: Chalkboard Thanksgiving Centerpiece in a Wine Crate

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Wine crates are a versatile and fun vessel to create a centerpiece in.  Free for the asking at your local liquor store and in various sizes, they present endless design possibilities. Perfect on a buffet table, they stand out due to the size and height of arrangements in them.   For this Thanksgiving centerpiece,  I painted a wine crate with chalkboard paint and inscribed it with messages suitable for the holiday (instructions here).  A fun twist on my design would  be to greet arriving guests with a festive drink in one hand and a piece of chalk in the other and invite them to inscribe their own words of thanks on the painted crate! Continue reading

Spring Bouquet In a Radicchio Vase~DIY Flower Arranging Tutorial

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“A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or not the sun be shining outside.”  A.A. Milne

All at once my garden has burst into bloom and there are so many gorgeous flowers to cut and arrange.  Overnight the daffodils, Ice Follies, have opened up and are in abundance for cutting.  I love using unusual containers for flower arranging.   I thought the purple of a head of radicchio would compliment these white and yellow beauties and suit their size. Continue reading