Friday, December 21, 2012

My Home For Christmas

We finally got some snow in my part of the woods and it has put me in the Christmas spirit!  Thought I would dash out in the middle of a storm to take photos of the house lit up for Christmas!

I had said in an earlier post that I would share photos of how I decorate the house for the holidays.  So today's post is mostly photos.  Enjoy!

The Foyer - This was once the Receiving Room where ladies would sit to have tea and chat.

View from front entrance
View from the stairs
Our main Christmas tree
Our tree is covered with photos of family and friends
Dollar Store frames with ribbon attached to the back (this is me in the photo)
Our Nativity Set

The Living Room

Looking in from the foyer

From another angle
An ornament from Mr. P's grandmother that came over from Holland
Another ornament that came from Holland.  It actually makes a noise when blown into.

The Dining Room

I kept the dining room table simple

A simple swag and wreath in the window of the dining room
My Office - I have a fireplace in my office with shelving on either side.  It is decorated with our Victorian Village.

Jax loves the fireplace!
This is the down town portion of the village.

The residential area

The park

In my opinion there's nothing prettier than an old Victorian home decorated for Christmas.

I'll be taking some time off to spend with my family but I will be back in the new year with some exciting organizing ideas and maybe even a new recipe or two to share.  In the mean time let me wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Ways to Organize Wrapping Paper

Not sure how to store all your wrapping paper throughout the year?  Some of you may remember the picture above from when I shared the before and after photos of my rec room closet.  Mr. P installed a track that was picked up from the local hardware store and the baskets are for an over-the-door pantry organizer.  Holding the wrapping paper in place at the top are two paper towel holders from the same pantry organizer.

I keep two plastic containers in the bottom basket that holds all my cards and accessories such as tape, scissors, tissue paper, gift tags, pens, and elastic bands (to wrap over the rolls of paper to hold them in place).  When I need to wrap a gift everything that I need is right at hand.

I even have the ribbon on a bar above the paper and a large gift bag filled with all the other gift bags.

Admittedly it was quite a bit of work and may not work for every situation so, with the help of Pinterest, I have assembled a few more ideas for storing wrapping paper.  Check them out.

Try storing gift wrap in a laundry hamper.  The hooks on the outside help keep items neat and organized.

If you are in the US, Elfa makes a great over-the-door gift wrap station.

Try using plastic bag holders from Ikea.  The bonus is that they are extremely cheap!

Use Ikea wall storage rails and accessories.

Use tension rods for the paper and boxes with holes cut out to dispense ribbon.

Get the wrapping paper completely out of the way by suspending it up high in a closet.

Here's a unique idea.  Turn an old stool upside down.  Add wheels and some tool belts and you have a portable wrapping station.

For another unique look, store wrapping paper in an antique crate.

Even a waste paper basket makes a good storage place.

Here's a charming wrapping station.  I love the waste paper basket!  Dowels hold the wrapping paper and ribbons here.

I used a garment bag for years to hold all my gift wrap.  I also hung a small gift bag over the hanger to hold all my accessories.

Since most of us are in the middle of wrapping gifts let's try to keep everything together so that next year when it comes time to wrap all those fabulous presents that you bought you won't have to search the house for a pair of scissors or realize too late that you are out of tape.

How do you store your wrapping paper?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

This has become my new mantra this holiday season and I plan on having the most sophisticated Christmas ever!

I was actually ready for Christmas quite early this year.  It doesn't hurt that our first party of the season is always an open-house during our local Santa Claus Parade held near the end of November.  It goes right by the front of our home.  My house is decorated, my youngest son and I make Christmas cookies and we hand out hot chocolate to all our party goers.  We even borrow patio heaters to help keep people warm.

As usual, I tend to overdo things.  You could say I am the Clark W. Griswold of the neighbourhood!  I come by it honestly as my mother and grandmother always made Christmas special.  Besides, an old Victorian home never looks more beautiful than when it is decorated for Christmas!  

A few years ago, when our house was on the local holiday home tour, I put up 4 Christmas trees!  Yes, you read that right, 4 Christmas trees!  I had one in the front foyer, one in the front living room, one in the rec room and another in our bedroom.  The little tree in our bedroom broke a couple of years ago and, since I wasn't putting up that one, I decided not to put up the one in the rec room either.  We were down to two trees for a couple of years. 

I really missed that little tree in our room.  It was decorated with all the antique ornaments that we owned.  Some were brought over from Holland by Mr. P's grandparents and others hung on my grandmother's Christmas tree.  It was special.  

Mr. P surprised me one day, a couple of weeks before the parade, with a new tree for the bedroom!  I was so excited!  Not only was I going to put up that lovely new tree in our room but I was also going to dig out the tree from the rec room and we would be back to being a 4 Christmas tree family!

But then something happened.  I got sick.  I came down with a nasty cold that lasted for almost the entire two weeks before our big party.  Each day I fell further and further behind in my preparations.  Finally I had to admit that everything I was trying to do was too much.  I asked Mr. P to return the new tree, we hadn't even taken it out of the box.  I did not put up the tree in the rec room and I took my time getting the rest of the house decorated.  

I did very simple Christmas cookies and even (gasp!) bought some.  And you know what happened?  Everyone had a great time!  People raved about how beautiful the house looked and one even asked me for the recipe for the store-bought cookies!

Sometimes simple is better.

After the party was over I thought about my bedroom tree situation and realized that it wasn't the tree that I was missing but those ornaments that mean so much to us.  So I took the decorations off of the tree in the living room and brought out our lovely antique ones.  It's beautiful!

I'll try to share some pictures in the coming week.