Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Thursday, December 13, 2012

That's the spirit!

Okay, check one thing off of this week's list (seeing as it's Thursday night, I'd say it's about time to check something off of the list):  I finished decorating the porch.  On Monday, it was very neutral and natural, which was pretty, but not very festive.  I really wanted to just work with what I had on hand, and avoid a 40+ mile trip to shop for things I really don't need, but I wanted a completely different look than anything I've done before.  Luckily, I'm not attached to the traditional red and green, so I have lots of options, and after rummaging through all the ornaments and ribbon from previous years, I managed to come up with something both baroque and quirky...

Winter Belle...BEFORE.
I got the bones of it done before the garden club arrived on Tuesday night for our annual Christmas gathering, then finished the details just as the sun set this afternoon...

Christmas Belle.
Since the porch already has a lot of orangey-red, and since I used this color on the foyer mantle, I made this my starting point.  I pulled out last year's dark orange and gold ribbon from the Christmas boxes, along with all the dark orange sparkly things, and anything nature themed, but glittery.  I searched through old party decor, and the sewing room for ribbons with this color, as well as anything black and white, to add some whimsy.  Walking through the house with an open mind led to some unexpected bits, as well.
I wired glittered faux oranges to the branches of this spindly little tree, then added glittered acorns, leaves and cones.  The bow at the base matches bows I used on the garland and chairs.  The tip of the tree was already bent, so I played that up, creating a star from layers of fabric, hung from coiled copper wire. 
The color scheme is based on the red dresser, but the style came from my quirky spindly tree with the bent tip, which I had tucked in the pot that used to hold the mailbox post.  I have a thing for funny spindly creations.  You too?  Check out this link for artist Doreen Kassel: http://www.doreenkassel.com/France-Workshop.html  (If I could figure out how to stay a couple of extra weeks in France next summer, I'd take this class, too!)
Holiday decorating need not cut into the gift budget!  I swapped out the trunk for the red dresser (which I nabbed for $20 at a garage sale last summer, specifically to place on the far end of the porch), then brought down the other little chair from the balcony(another yard sale last summer, $50 for the pair), and in place of a traditional wreath, hung an old picture frame (yard sale two summers ago, $1, including a really cool drawing that was tucked behind a cheap print, and which I re-framed for my guest room).  The only actual Christmas decoration in this photo is the flying Santa in the middle of the frame (Goodwill last year for 99 cents).
Once I moved the dresser and the tree into place, I knew I needed a little more of the fancy stuff, but it had to be pretty weather-proof.  We get some wicked winds whipping down Main Street, and I didn't want to put anything too fragile out here.  My garage sale finds are probably sturdy enough to withstand the wind, but even if something does topple, I won't lose anything terribly precious.  That's the fun of using second hand treasures --  being able to use indoor things outside, fancy things in rustic places, pretty things for everyday purposes.
After coveting the MacKenzie-Childs checkered ribbon on a client's banister, I dug through my stash and found some similarly patterned ribbon, left from a race car theme party set.  Not quite as posh, but combined with a few loops of rich velvet ribbon under, plus a bow of last year's orange and gold brocade  ribbon on top,  I think it does a pretty fine imitation, and no shopping required.
Now that I have the decorating done, I can finish the work week, and get busy making presents for my family.  Maybe this will be the year my gifts arrive before the wise men show up.  Then again, perhaps I've already tweaked enough traditions this year.
I really wanted to find a place for this silly flying Santa, but he was too big for the tree, and too small to hang alone.  I've had this frame hanging lopsided like this on the back screen porch for a couple of years, and spotted it this afternoon, when I went out to grab the step ladder.  Since I'm not exactly drinking my coffee out there on these snowy mornings, why not raid the decor?

In case anyone is wondering, The Winter issue of 365 Being was printed a week ago, and is at the binder's, apparently a little bound up.  Cat's got the envelopes all addressed, and all your extra goodies tucked inside, so we'll ship them the minute they arrive.  Not a subscriber yet?  Click on over to 365being.com!

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