Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Tree Bokeh

I never knew that this word even existed until about two years ago and I saw it on a blog around Christmastime.  I create my own bokeh with my squinty eyes every year when I'm putting lights on the Christmas tree.  It helps to see where the holes are in my tree and shows me where I need to put some lights on it.  Does anybody else do that or am I just weird?  Hmmm. 

Anyway, I got a new lens this year for my birthday.  It's a 50mm prime lens with a 1.8 f/stop.  I love it and boy does it help create some bokeh!  I set up a little studio in my family room so I could try it out the other day and I am loving how my shots turned out.  The kids were at school so my subject had to be something else.  Our mini-weinie dog volunteered to help me out.  At first I was going to use one of my Nutcrackers but she insisted that I photograph her instead.  :)   She's so helpful.    

Look at that bokeh!  Not too much blur but just enough.  Let's go in a little closer.  

Love this one.  So sparkly and fuzzy and almost sort of magical.  The lights almost melt into one another.  Yeah, I guess the dog is kinda cute, too.  If you like dogs and all.   She was getting bored at this point and decided to lay down for a bit. 

I am sure I will take more pictures of the tree as Christmas day is approaching but I had fun playing with my camera and getting a couple of good bokeh shots.  Do you play pretend photographer at your house?  Any good Christmas tree bokeh tips you want to share with me? 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Tree times Five!

Our house gets loaded up on Christmas trees this time of year!  We have trees in the kitchen, the family room, the dining room, and this year a new tabletop tree went in the foyer on my antique vanity.  Plus, the kids have their own trees in their rooms.  Except a certain little boy decided that he was not a baby any more and didn't want Thomas the Tank engine ornaments on his tree.  Humf!  He thinks he's so big, now!  So I'm not going to count his naked fiber optic tree in my Christmas tree round up this year.  Oh well. 

Our family room is the only room that gets a real tree.  We load up the kids and head to Lowes to pick out our 6-7 foot Frazier Fir every year.  We always get one of these trees and I love the smell of a real Christmas tree in the house. 

I love how full this years tree is.  He looks pretty good with just the lights on.  But I loaded him up with all our favorite ornaments.  We are big Disney World fans and on every trip we each get a new Christmas ornament.  All the Disney ornaments go on this tree. 

My favorites are probably the very first ones that the kids got on their very first trip in 2004.  They were so little but we made such wonderful memories on that trip and these ornaments are very special to me! 

Of course, every ornament on this tree is special to me for one reason or another.  Here are some of my other special ornaments. 



This tree is what makes our home feel like Christmas to me!  This is also the tree where Santa always leaves his presents for the children.  We always have a family photo taken in front of this tree on Christmas Eve! 
Our dining room tree is a somewhat skinny tree and is the tree that everyone who drives by our home can see at night all lit up!  It's perfect for this room.   It's all decorated in vintage glass ornaments as I mentioned in this post the other day.  I love all the colors in this tree and in this room. 

I even try to match my gift wrapping to go with the theme of this tree and I love how it all compliments each other. 
Our little girl's tree is a brand new tree this year.  She had a little 1 foot pink Barbie tree for years but it felt way too small in her new room last year so we decided it was time to get a bigger tree.  We bought this pre-lit white 4 foot tree after Christmas last year at Wal-Mart and it really fits her room well.  She has had a lot of these ornaments since she was a baby. 

This Care Bear ornament was her favorite thing one year at Target.  She kept going over to the ornament aisle every time we would go to Target and she kept asking for it.  It really wasn't what I wanted to go on her tree at the time but I finally caved and got it for her.  Now I think back to that memory and could almost cry every time I picture her little 3 year old self picking it up and admiring it.  I'm so glad she has it!  Even though it's a little embarassing to her now I think she secretly still loves it, too! 

Our girl was born on December 11th so we had a ton of  "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornaments.  We still use a lot of them on our family tree but I let her put a few of them on her tree.  This one is extra cute!

Her tree is adorable and she loves it! I let her decorate it all by herself she did a wonderful job placing each ornament in the perfect spot.  Merry Christmas from our favorite girl! 

One last picture is the little tabletop tree that is in our foyer as you walk into our front door.  It is so sweet and I picked up the colors from the dining room to decorate it.  Nothing too fancy but a little touch of Christmas to greet you at our front entry way! 

I already gave a little peek of our kitchen Christmas tree here in the post I wrote about my new tree skirt.  All of those ornaments are handmade by the children and we've had some of them for several years.  It looks so cute in the kitchen and is such a sweet little tree! 

What do you think?  Too many trees or not enough?  My sweet PB thinks I'm crazy, probably, for putting up this many trees but he doesn't say a word.  He lets me have fun with all of it! 

I'm linking up with the fun party over at:

christmas tree party

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Magic

I love decorating for Christmas!  Every year I add a few new pieces to my stash of Christmas stuff and it is so fun to pull it all out each November.   Last year was the first Christmas in this house and since I painted our dining room a beautiful peacock blue I decided to really glam up that room for Christmas.  It is not my traditional lime green and red color scheme that I use all over the rest of the house.  I used turquoise and gold and silver to dress it up.  I love how sparkly everything is and how beautiful it looks at night.  My favorite Nativity set goes in the center of my dining table and I created a sweet little vignette to go around it. 

In my glass hurricane containers I used vintage glass ornaments and a few snowflakes.  The ornaments were given to me from a sweet friend of mine.  They belonged to her grandmother and she didn't want them.  Lucky me that she's not into vintage decorations!  They are gorgeous with my blue walls and my turquoise metallic tray that I got last year at Target the day after Christmas. 

I love how Mary is holding her heart as she looks at her newborn baby, Jesus.  I can't imagine what was going through her mind that day but I can imagine just how much love she felt for Him.
I used a few other turquoise accent pieces down the center of my table.  I picked up th
is little glass tree last year at Target, too.  The gold reindeer is an old piece I've had and I have used him throughout the years with different colored ribbons adorning his neck.  He looks so pretty with his turquoise ribbon this year. 

I have had this gold wire angel candle holder forever.  It comes out every year and probably always will.  I love it!  Candles are always a part of my Christmas decorating and add a touch of magic to my dining table.  It's always a special treat when all the candles are lit. 

So that is what my Christmas decor looks like on my dining table this year.  It's especially beautiful with all the shiny gold and white candles lighting the whole vignette.  I love how it turned out and can't wait to start having magical candlelit dinners in here!  I'm linking up to Rhoda's vignette party.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Custom Christmas Tree Skirt

Hey Y'all!  Is anybody else shocked that it's December already?  I cannot believe it.  Didn't the kids just start school a couple of weeks ago?  I am having a slow start to decorating this year because me and the kiddos have had the plague.  Or the funk. Or whatever you want to call it.  It's made me have a slow start to decorating for Christmas this year.  But I've finally got one tree finished and wanted to show how cute it looks with my new tree skirt. 

We had a Christmas Craft party at our church a few weeks ago hosted by our Women's Ministry and you could choose from 4 different crafts to make during the two hour event.  I chose to make a tree skirt because I've actually never had a real tree skirt.  I've used fabric in all of my 15 years of decorating my own tree.  It's always worked and I never wanted to spend the $40 to $50 on a tree skirt.  Heck, who am I kidding?  I have admired one in the Ballard catalog for so long I feel like it's mine but at $98.00?  It will just have to remain there on those shiny pages.   

Back to the story!  The lady who was helping oversee the tree skirt suggested that we buy 3 yards of a fabric of our choice.  I went to Hancock Fabrics and chose 3 different Christmas-y fabrics in my favorite Christmas colors:  red, lime green, and white.  I also decided to add a piece of trim to the bottom of my skirt so I bought 3 yards of wide ric-rac.  I had a coupon so ended up only spending $23.00 for the 3 yards of fabric and ric-rac. We were going to be cutting our fabric into 4 inch strips and hot gluing them to an old tree skirt.  (I had to go buy a cheap one at Dollar General.) 

  Pretty cute for $5.00 at the DG! 

All my supplies:  red, green, white strips of fabric, wide ric-rac, and lots of glue sticks!
I began working at the bottom of the old cheap tree skirt and ran a 4-5 inch line of hot glue across the bottom edge of the tree skirt.  Then I quickly took my green strip of fabric and placed it on the hot glue and bunched it up to make it look like it was gathered with a sewing machine stitch.  I held it in place until it was semi dry and then kept going around the bottom of the skirt.  Once I got all the way around the bottom of the skirt, I started a new row with my white fabric and did the same exact thing: ran a 4-5 inch line of hot glue and began bunching my white strip of fabric until it looked like it was gathered.  I placed each row of fabric about 3 inches above the row below it so that it slightly overlapped.  I worked my way up the tree skirt with each color of fabric until I had 2 rows of each color.  I forgot to take pics along the way but remembered to do so on my final row (thank goodness!)  My little fingers were beginning to get sore from all that hot glue bunching! 
Then it was time for me to work on my trim piece:  the wide ric-rac.  I started out by putting a thin line of hot glue on the backside of the entire top edge of ric rac and placed it on the trim.  After a few inches of doing this I realized I was going to be using a lot more ric rac than I had so I started placing a dot of glue at the top part of the ric rac and just placing it on my green fabric where it would touch the edge. 
Hindsight is definitely 20/20 on this project.  Once I was done I realized it would have been easier to put my trim piece on my green fabric either before I started with the whole project or maybe not gather (or bunch up) my fabric quite as much as I did.  Regardless of my hindsight I think that it turned out adorable and looks so sweet under my tree.  I love that it's my style and matches my Christmas decor perfectly in our kitchen. 

This is a little 4 foot tree that I put in our kitchen.  All of our handmade ornaments go on this tree and it is so special to me.  The kids pre-school craft ornaments go on this tree and some of them are so simple but are so precious!   It is one of my absolute favorite things that I decorate for Christmas each year. 
I'm sharing this over at so you can link up a post of your own if you want!  Come check everything out!

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