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design on a dollar ninety nine

Yep, that is all it cost me to have fresh greens around the house this year. I usually spend a few bucks going to local nurseries and buying it already made......but needing to be more conservative, brought on another "blessing in disguise". I went out in my back woods, collected my own assortment of greens and pine cones and made my own. I don't go back there that much when the weather gets colder......but it was cool to see the deer tracks and other little critters' nests in the bare trees. So I gathered up a bunch of branches from random trees and headed back to the house as my fingers felt like they were going to crack off. When my fingers thawed out......I laid the pieces on the floor in like a chain pattern, alternating the different kinds of pine branches. All I needed was a package of florist wire from Michael's that I bought for $1.99 and wound it around. Then I found an old beat up red berry wreath that I was going to toss.....I pulled out the clusters of berries and wired them in with some pine cones to add some color.......and voila!

My wreath is not so great.....I didn't have one of those styrofoam rings to keep it secure and coupled with the fact that it is in the direct line of fire of kids and a dog snout.....makes it acceptable, but nothing to rave about. But, it does look nice at night when I light the candles. Oh, those wrought iron pillars came from At Home America and they are awesome. You can group them within any seasonal wreath/arrangement......or leave them just clustered together and they really go with any decor. A good friend of mine became a representative recently, and did a show at my house a couple months ago. I didn't have to spend much money and I got some really nice things with their hostess specials/rewards. So if you ever want to purchase any of At Home's products.....please use this link!

And since I am snapping pics of my Christmas decor.......I cannot leave out my most precious set of all......my Nativity. Now I collect nativity sets, in fact......I think I have about 5, not including Nev's sets.....I have one cute wooden one that stays up all year. But this one means so much to me as I have been given a piece/collection throughout the past Christmases from Josh. I am very sentimental about this set and my ornaments. Most of them are handmade from the kids or have a date/meaning to them. I am not particular about many things (if you've been to my cluttered/unorganized home, you know).....but I do take the arranging of the ornaments to an unhealthy level. I have to bite my lip when the kids put them up. I try to encourage them to put them in the "right" spot.....and have to be convincing when I tell them they did a great job and thank them many times. I then proceed to distract them to do other things in another room......and frantically arrange them to where they are supposed to go. Because they do have a correct place, don't they? I mean, you can't have a sparkly Santa near a wooden angel, come on people!!! And then, when we take down the tree.......they are individually wrapped and are stored in an easily accessible spot in which they are included in our fire escape plan. Our children and pets are #1 and #2 on the list.....and they are #3.

So I thought I would share these things....being even more conservative this time of year is giving me the opportunity to get more creative.......spend more time outdoors......and doing extra inexpensive crafts at home (like making more ornaments).

I'd say that's a good great thing!




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