Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Deck the Halls

This year I'm handmaking all holiday decorations and started over the long weekend. When we bought our tree, the sweet employee allowed me take all the tree clippings I could wrangle! I've since been up to my eyeballs in sap and made over 40' of fresh garland for the front windows. I'm still not done decking the halls, but getting there a little at a time—and the smell of fir in my home is to die for!


I'm itching to do more inside, but only got to the tree so far. We opted for big colored bulbs this year and it's an instant party each night the tree is lit. But the silver tinsel draped on each branch tip is my absolute favorite; it's the icing on the cake!


Have you begun the holiday trimming at your home? Sticking to traditions or mixing it up and trying something new?

48 comments:

Lauren said...

Looks so beautiful! Can't wait to see all the lovely decorating you do inside!

erika said...

LOVE IT ALL!!!! Now come duck my halls!

Blair said...

Wow! I am so impressed that you are making them all by hand! Beautiful garland-well worth all the sap!:)

erika said...

I meant "dick" my halls.

erika said...

OMGosh, "DECK" my halls.

Courtney said...

Erika's series of comments... (I realize it may be an inside joke, but) I really just laughed out loud! Too funny!

And your house looks beautiful; all the effort is definitely worth it. I can't wait to see what else is still to come!

Uncle Beefy said...

Really, Miss Courtney...it's the holidays. Shouldn't you put a little more effort into your trimmings? ;) Holy cow, woman! You are some type of uber-industrious elf! Looks PHA-nomenal! :) Can't wait for more!

Paloma said...

Courtney, it looks fabulous! I would expect nothing less from you. :) The garland is gorgeous.

Kelly said...

your abode looks stunning! i actually decorated the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving this year - it was the only time i could squeeze it in. :)

xo
Kelly

Krissy said...

cute, cute, cute!! It looks so festive.

Emily said...

look at you, little martha stewart! your place looks positively magical...you've inspired me to get going on my apartment!

beachbungalow8 said...

that sounds so painful! but it's certainly worth it.

I have yet to embark on the project. I asked if everyone would be ok if I just ix-nayed the whole routine.

You can imagine the stink eyes that were shot my way.

You are my fave... said...

That really looks so pretty and classy. No annoying and tacky flashing lights.

paula said...

wow, that is a lot of garland to make. i am impressed. love the tree. we have finished the inside. this year i went more fun for the kiddos. i kind of like it better.

pret-a-party said...

you are truly an inspiration. i wish I had the actual follow through like you've got that accompanies your enthusiasm!! beautiful window garlands. you did a terrific job!

this blessed nest said...

your home made garland is just gorgeous. and... i was complaining about getting my pre-made & pre-decorated garland up. good for you. it looks lovely.

Kaitlyn's Momma said...

OMG- I love your house! Its gorgeous!!

Kudos to you for making all of your decorations!! That is quite a feat!

jae said...

It makes me want to stand outside your house at dusk and enjoy the lights and smell. It looks FIRtastic!

megan said...

i can only imagine the smell, and am jealous. you have the most adorable bungalow! wonderful job!

I *Heart* You said...

it looks amazing, court! i can smell that christmas tree smell from here!

Stephanie said...

Lady - you are too stinking cute.

Your house looks lovely. We're decorating this weekend - I can't wait!

Joyce said...

I love your decorations! Very inviting- I wish I lived close by- I would be singing Christmas caroles at your door- very magical! Well... maybe not sing, I can't carry a tune, maybe stop in for a cup of hot chocolate.
Your little reindeer looks tucker out, but she is a cutie!!

Sarah said...

Oh wow!! The house looks amazing! You're so talented- I wouldn't even know where to start! This year we are sticking with the traditional, it's part of what I love about the holidays.

No.35style said...

LOVE your outside garlands! You are so talented to tackle that yourself. I'm guessing this was done with wire?? Your tree looks fun with the tinsel and colored lights! Can't wait to see the rest!

Courtney said...

No. 35: I used florist wire to tie them all together. It was super easy and I'm positive you all could do it...just took a little time!

Thanks everyone for the super sweet comments!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

I am changing things up a little this year. Trying not to do the same ole thing... I love your tree with the tinsel. :)

The Rauths said...

love it!!! i wish we were in town longer but then again going away for 3 weeks is always nice! =) the house just doesn't get decorated much....it's more winter decorations than christmas! next year!

Cake for Breakfast said...

Your windows are beautiful with the garland and lights! Perfect. I've gone ultra traditional this year - classic mantles with greenery and lights and stockings are my favorite part.

Sarah Danielle said...

I love your huge dog! I just want to cuddle!!

Kimberlee said...

Courtney - you are amazing! it all looks stunning. xx

MIMILEE said...

Courtney, you are so smart! Innovative too! I love it all....great job!

I am laughing out loud at ERIKA....what a hoot she is!

I will be showcasing my decorations on my blog soon....

Barchbo said...

I love Christmas in the Heights! Your house looks great and so very cozy - love the door garland, especially.

Are you going on the home tour in the Heights?! We are bummed to miss it this year...

Courtney said...

Barchbo: I don't think we're going to make it either. I have so many things I need to finish around here, namely getting my Christmas cards in the mail by this weekend! But we're definitely not missing Lights in the Heights or Christmas on 19th (which is this Friday).
xx

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Love the retro lights on the tree - very Charlie Brown Christmas - which I ADORE!!
As a former Heights resident who misses my little cottage very much, please take an extra moment to enjoy your 'hood for me!

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

It looks beautiful Courtney! I can just imagine you at Lowes scooping up all those trimmings. I like seeing Burkly in the picture. So cute. I need to start my decorating this weekend. You got me in the mood!

Helen said...

Ohhh I bet that smells lovely! We don't get a real tree anymore which makes me sad, I love the smell of them.

summer said...

how beautiful! you are so creative- i love it all!

please sir said...

Aww it looks amazing! Great job girl!

amber {daisy chain} said...

so, so pretty!!
I'm actually making wreaths today with my daughter and her little friend with some left over spruce sprigs - have any pointers??

AT said...

Aw man, I wish I could pretty up my house with fresh garlands. Well, first I'd need a house. But then I can't imagine being with-it enough to purchase and distribute (let alone make) fresh garlands around my home. You're the bees knees.

goosey said...

Darling.

Jennifer said...

yes! I'm getting started tonight! any tips on the hand-made garland? I'm a total amateur but am determinded to pull it off!

Courtney said...

Amber and Jennifer! I'm so so excited to hear how your garland turned out. Here's some pointers, although keep in mind this was my first time! I'm sure there are books or sites that show the proper way to make garland -- I kind of winged it!

So all the hardware shops or wherever you'll buy your tree, they will have a huge stack of clippings that they've removed from the bottom of trees. I believe all places will let you take them for free if you ask. We loaded up (actually at Lowe's they ran the clippings through that mesh they use for the trees, so it made it easier to transport my clippings home...and was super nice of them!).

Once you have all your clippings, they will be very very wide because they came from the bottom layer - the widest part. I had to cut them down to the size I wanted for my garland. I like thick, heavy looking garland so I left them chunky and large, but in manageable pieces. Using green florist wire (can buy at any hobby/craft shop for a few bucks), I connected the branches to one another. I would make about 10' sections and then connect them together once I had it hung....will be too much weight to connect everything, say 20', and then try to hang it. Once hung, I filled in any gaps and fixed it up. Also, remember to water it a bit to keep it lasting...Erika of Urban Grace reminded me of this and it's kept mine super green and smelling great after you give it a watering!

To connect the pieces, I would literally wrap the wire around one branch to get that piece of wire well-secured and then I'd wrap it to the connecting piece. Just make sure you're overlapping the branches enough to make it look full and thick. I hope this makes sense! Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!

Tonia Conger said...

Your garland is beautiful. Though I'd love to have live pines and boughs in my house I just invested in a 10 foot faux that sits in the corner.
I also have faux wreaths that hang on windows outside and faux garland that drapes from the porch railing. I think I need some pine fresh scented spray to fool my senses.
BEAUTIFUL job Courtney!

Dolce said...

I LOVE your house! And the patience you have to make your own garland! Wow- I'm impressed. I leave outside decorating up to the husband and I do all the interior myself. I haven't even started this year...it my weekend project.

parisienish said...

love the garland! simple and sweet. i'm inspired to go home and make some more...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your photos. I showed them to my husband, who had never, in my opinion, lighted our trees well. He looked at your photos, got inspired and did them justice this year!

Aparna said...

I really like your work, because you made them in hand, very impressive.