Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays from Chicago 2-Flat

I like to decorate for the holidays. Many years our home has not lent itself to this for various reasons. Anywhere from the house was such a mess it seemed a moot point to we were just to darn tired to we had no extra money.

Now that our home is done to the degree of being livable and not a source of embarrassment, I get to have some fun. There are ways to do this without spending a fortune or looking like an over-decorated retail establishment.

This is where some of my squirrel-like tendencies pay off in spades. For example, over the years whenever I have purchased a wreath or centerpiece or beautifully wrapped gift, I carefully removed any of the embellishments that could be re-used. I also save all my Christmas cards and someday I am going to do something really cool with them- mark my words. It helps to have a basement to store these things.
So, this year I was able to cut way back on my spending. Instead, I made my own centerpieces and cut way back of fresh greenery for the outdoors. I only decorated the 2 pots on our front porch and added red ribbons, which are very festive. A string of colored lights around the door, and finis! Cost was about $30.00 for the greenery and bows. I saved money by forgoing the wreath also.

In the dining room, I spent not a dime. The fresh flowers were scavenged from my office. (We get fresh flowers every week and they get tossed on Fridays if no one wants them)

A card "tree" is a great way to display cards. Buy it once and you have it forever. These will mos likely be on deep discount after Christmas on

The centerpiece is simply a piece I had with acorns from Steve's parents yard and some of those embellishments I had squirreled away. I'm not saying it's anything "fancy" but it's casually festive in a way I like. If I was going to go "hog wild", I would probably be inclined to hang evergreen boughs over the windows with some kind of red ribbons. Not this year though. :o)

Here's another little piece I made entirely with scavenged items. The fresh greens came from trimmings from our tree.

I got these matching ornament wreaths at Pier One a few years ago 50% off after Christmas.

Of course, trees are expensive so it's hard to save there. And you want a fresh one that will last. I don't do a tree every year, but this year we will be home and I am off from x-mas till New Year's. I plan to spend several days curled up in the living room with a good book and this is really relatively cheap entertainment when you divide the cost over all that time.

Plus, there's just something about a real Christmas tree. It's romantic and impractical and it's nice to be that way once in a while.

When Steve was bringing it in, I was struck my how strange it is to take this poor tree and cut it down and bring it into a house. Don't trees belong outside growing in the ground?

But then how perfect is it when we are all cooped up inside because of the cold and snow to bring the outside inside to keep us company? Not practical and maybe not so "green", but I promise I will bring mine in to be mulched after the holidays. And I promise to cherish it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I've discovered Facebook...

...and of course being the internet addict that I am I am using it constantly. Well, not constantly, but way more than before I had a profile and signed up. :o)

And I'm devising the ways this fascinating new-to-me-tool can be used.

Of course, faithful houseblogger that I am, I searched for a houseblogger group and there wasn't one. So I made one. And I am the only member right now, so sad.

And of course, the next thought that popped into my head? Let's use it to plan Woodstick 2010!!**

If you're on Facebook, why don't you join me? Come on... it'll be fun! I already consider so many of you friends online so feel free to ping me on there if you like.

**"Woodstick" is houseblogger talk for a huge gathering of housebloggers, which has been talked about, but not yet come to fruition.