Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry and Bright and Santa Hats, brought to you by Pinterest

Today is the day after Christmas (Boxing Day for many, but not in the US--it's SALE DAY). I am enjoying a very lazy and peaceful morning sitting in my recliner and cleaning up photos from this month, and decided to share what we did:

The hubster put up the Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and my sister and our friend Holly stayed all evening to help decorate (that was the day we had Buck put down). I normally decorate the tree by myself, sometimes with the help of our youngest, David, while hubs sits in the recliner drinking a glass of wine and telling us where to put things (I usually ignore his suggestions). This year we did not place any of our traditional and sentimental ornaments on the tree--this year it's all about the bling. And a lot of blue.

On that Sunday, Steph and Holly and I ventured out to Michael's armed with our 40%-off coupons, and I wanted copper accents to go with the blue. I found several ornaments, picked up two garlands and some other items to trim them, extension cords, and then we went to Wally World where I picked up some lights for the garlands. Last week I completed the garlands, but I'll add more to them next year--they look a little lame to me.

While surfing Pinterest for Christmas party food ideas, I found this Pin and thought, I want that!

I used larger canvas than the original Pinner. She didn't paint the entire canvas, leaving it white. I printed the words "Merry" and "Bright" to size, cut them out and glued them to the canvas. I then spray painted the canvas with Krylon Island Splash Satin, then spray painted them with Krylon Glitter Blast Sapphire Shimmer. I did an uneven spray with both paints.

Hit them with the blow dryer for a couple of minutes, then took a black Sharpie and outlined the lettering (this proved to be an unnecessary step).


I then painted two coats of FolkArt Metallic acrylic paint (Copper) in the lettering. I thought the Sharpie outline would show up underneath the paint, and forgetting how acrylic paint works, realized very quickly that I was wrong in that assumption.


(They are not different colors. One photo was taken in the dining room, the other in the mud room which had all of the sunlight.)

After the copper paint dried, I took my awl and poked holes through the canvas, and using LED mini lights (battery-operated), inserted the lights through the holes, and affixed the battery pack inside the bottom stretcher bars of the canvases.


I had a great time making these--and I'll probably do it again next year if we change the color scheme. I have some other ideas brewing for decorating next year--I need to write them down before I forget!

And this is from my Day of Christmas at the office--when we started the Days of Christmas we had 12 employees; when I started writing this post we were at 10; last week we lost a co-worker to cancer--he was diagnosed the first week of December and lasted just over 2 weeks. My Day of Christmas we found out the end was near and no one felt like celebrating. I brought the goodies anyway hoping to bring a little cheer. 

I wanted to keep things easy this year because I just didn't have the time to go large scale like I did last year, which was this:
This year I also served our family's version of Chex Mix (gluten free, of course) and Apple Cider made from apple juice and Red Hots in the crockpot.

Christmas was also low-key this year; we had Ross and David (Jack went to his girlfriend's home in the western part of the state), and my sister and our friend Holly. We decided to downscale dinner this year and I thought it was perfect. We had a rib roast with mashed potatoes, au jus, horseradish cream, fresh carrots and green beans, homemade rolls, and pecan pie:


Maple Pecan Pie
We've tried to cut back on our consumption of corn for several months, so I found this recipe for the pecan pie at Slate.com and really enjoyed it; I'm saving the recipe and will use it again.

Do you enjoy decorating for the holidays? I have come to enjoy it more and more every year. I have gone from no tree and decorations (while we had the quilt shop), to wanting to decorate every room, but I'm not there yet. Baby steps. I adore baking for the holidays, too, but since going gluten-free it's been harder to do; I'm still learning and sometimes the results are less than desired.

Finally, here are some photos from yesterday. It was a wonderful day--I hope yours was wonderful, too.
Holly and Steph looking at photos taken by Ross

David and Ross watching the Julia Child YouTube remix video

Santa (hubster) chilling after dinner