Loving Out Loud: Modern Brass Trees ….

Things in my home have to play double-duty.  Decorative boxes hide remote controls.  Wall sculptures become coat hooks.  My oven doubles as shoe storage…..you get the picture.  So I have always had a bone to pick with holiday decorations for that reason — they are single use decor.  For 90% of the year, they are stored in the garage taking up valuable space for say….shoes.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across these modern brass trees from online retailer Jayson Home…..

Jayson Home Brass Trees

These adorable beauties run from $28-$46 but make the biggest impact when grouped together (remember – the rules of odd number pairings!).

Perfect for the holidays, but just as nice for year round decorating.  These will definitely find their way into my holiday table.

So tell me, do you have any holiday decor items in your home that sit out year round?  Share them with me on FacebookTwitter or Insta.gram.  In addition, feel free to check out me out on  Pinterest  for my musings on design, food and just plain randomness.

ps:  My Joss and Main Curated Holiday Guide is still going strong!  Swing by and take a look at my selections.

My Christmas Tree…….

I mentioned yesterday, I finally got the tree up and I  have to admit that between taking on a new client, school work, holiday shopping and battling a cold the tree almost didn’t get decorated.  Fortunately, I found a small window late one evening and just plowed through it thanks to Theraflu and Pandora radio streaming Christmas music at full blast.

I opted to not do a real Christmas tree this year.  The thought of a live tree seemed too overwhelming, so I opted to use the  white plastic tree I picked up at Wal-Mart last year for $20.  Last season I become obsessed with having a white tree and rushed out and found this one on clearance.  It’s 6’5″ tall and the perfect size for our living room which was not the case when we bought a live tree 2 years ago – that sucker was HUGE.  Because it was the wrong size getting it out of the house once the season was over was a nightmare.  Once it was unfurled, it couldn’t fit down the staircase, so we had to hoist it over the loft into the kitchen and spray the entire first floor in a rain shower of pine needles (not fun).

Fortunately, the artificial white tree proved to be quick and easy to assemble and provided the perfect back drop to the bronze, brown and gold color scheme I envisioned.  However, I did sneak in a few colorful accents to spice things up……

I could not find a tree topper in gold that was not an angel or an extremely clichéd looking star.  So I opted to create my topper out of a stuffed owl and two gold candle wreaths.  I simply wired the two wreaths together and with some fishing line added the owl. It took about 10 minutes total to do and I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Don’t these ornaments remind you of something Jonathan Adler would do for his stores?  Surprisingly, they are some off-market brand that I was able to pick up at Marshalls for about $1.50 per ornament.  I am totally scouting out my local Marshalls to see if they go back on clearance this year so I can scoop up some more.

Told you that  I snuck in a few hints of color like these fantastic peacock ornaments that I found on clearance at Marshalls last year.

I even bribed a certain adorable dog to get in on the Christmas action.  It’s amazing what Scruffy will do for a well-placed (and well-timed) doggie treat.

I think I may be a full convert to artificial trees after this year with one caveat.  I think fake trees should look, well fake,  hence why I love the white tree.  There is no way in hell unless you are Helen Keller that you would think my white plastic tree is real.  So where do you stand on white trees artificial trees?  Yay or nay?

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Holiday Decorations Breakdown…..

Earlier this week my holiday vignette was highlighted on Living Livelier as part of their virtual holiday house tour.  I wanted to breakdown the vignette and explain in a little more detail what went into create it……

Vignette lit up at night.....

– Greenery: The live greenery was found in the compost bin behind my condo complex.  My neighbors had just finished trimming their tree and needed to lop off a few of the lower branches to have it fit into their tree stand.  Lucky for me, I was able to fish the branches out before the day’s meal scraps were thrown on top.  To simulate snow, I lightly dusted the branches with white spray paint..

– White Doves: Well they didn’t start out looking like the symbols of peace they are now.  When I saw them at the Dollar Store, they were cardinal red, but they had potential.  I ended up spray painting them white (gotta love spray paint!) and when they dried, lightly dusting them with silver spray paint.  While the silver paint was still tacky, I sprinkled glitter on their little heads and backs for added sparkle.

Silver Packages: I needed elevation on each side of the vignette for the lanterns, so I wrapped large art books in faux-silver snakeskin I found at Marshall’s to give height.

Pine cones & Jingle Bells: Both were purchased at the Dollar Store ….a bag of pine cones for a dollar and a box of six bells for a dollar.  The other big box craft stores were selling bells for $1.99 for two and pine cones for $3.99 and up for a bag.

Love Birds: Or maybe they are partridges, but in either case, they were only a dollar each at the Dollar Store.  A quick coat of white spray paint in matte completely changed them from hokey to adorable in my opinion.

Lanterns: These are the Ikea lanterns we typically use on our patio during the Summer, but I am all about repurposing!  I bought one more additional small lantern, so I could have a set of each size.  A simple candle from the Dollar Store and they were done…..

Glitter Cones: I bought the cone forms at the Dollar Store with the intent of making feather trees, but when I counted, I had something like 7 birds in the vignette and the thought of adding more feathers seemed a little overkill….plus I was tired.  So I opted for an easy craft project. I spray painted the cone forms silver and while the paint was wet, sprinkled them with clear glitter.  Once dry, I topped each with a bejeweled ornament I clipped from a holiday floral arrangement I had from last year and one of the white doves.

Branches: The silver branches you see in the right corner is just that…a branch I found on a walk that I spray painted silver and propped up.

Silver Ornaments: All the ornaments were bought 2 for one dollar at the Dollar Store.

Paper whites: The flower that just won’t quit! I love these things….honestly they fight you NOT to grow.  I found the bulbs at our local garden center and planted them in a glass vase I already had.  What I love most about paper whites is that you can replant them once the holidays are over.  Just be sure to give yourself 6 weeks to get them to bloom (which you can see in this picture, I did not)….but I by the time I get back from New Jersey, I am sure they will be in full bloom!

So there you have it…..simple, easy and inexpensive.  Holiday decorations don’t have to be cost a ton to have high impact.  For as little as $25, you can wow your friends and family.