Oh Christmas Tree(s)!

This year we are seeing double!

The trees (yes plural) are up and this year we have the family version...

And the little three-and-a-half-year-old variety...

I don't mean that the tree is three and a half but rather the tree picker is. No offense tree - your age is hard to tell.

Like last year we headed out to a local tree farm to do the 'u cut' experience. And again - like last year - we fell in love with one of the ones they had already cut so choose that as our big family tree!

No Belle (our dog) this year as she was actually at the vet getting some stitches for a cut she got while playing with some other dogs - ouch!

However, UNlike last year, Chace got HIS own tree.

While Daddy tied the big-un to the roof of our car, Mommy and Chace went out searching.

Chace found one and picked it out all by himself.

Then got grumpy when I tried to take a picture of him with it.

I eventually got Pouty to smile though.

After Pouty had turned into Cheesy, Daddy came back and they began the task of cutting down Chace's little tree.

It wasn't long before Daddy was informed by his foreman that he needed a hand with that task.

All done!

Daddy needed some help trimming off the bottom branches (sidenote - I think he could have probably handled it himself but don't tell Chace).

And then came the obligatory pose with mommy who has annoying camera fetish picture.

Mommy thanks you for humouring her (insert eye roll #they'llthankmelater).

Once we took them home and decorated them we were left with these beauts!

And yes, Chace decorated his own tree which meant we were graced with awesome toddler ornament spacing like this...

And this...

That squirrel is pretty brave to be sticking his nose all up in Abominables' bidness like that.

As charming as that all was, mommy used her restraint and gave her ornaments a bit more breathing room on the big tree.

I mean come on, how could I not? That thing is so freakin' huge we had to borrow the neighbour and lop off the top just to get it inside (#thanksDonnely).

This is the part where I'm glad Chef Kev does not have access to writing my posts as he'd add all kinds of comments here about me 'hiding' his ornaments at the back of the tree because they don't match my ornaments...

Your honour, I cannot confirm nor deny.

They're on there. You just have to look a little harder. Perhaps.

Get up to any fun adventures while getting your tree this year? Do you have a theme or is it "come one, come all"? Anyone bought a toddler version for the first time? Could be the start of a little tradition :) I must admit, It's my fave of the two...

Christmas crazy? Me too! See all my Christmas posts here.


Our Christmas Mantel

Making of the Mantel: 2012 Edition.

The mission - should I choose to accept it - (um, yes please) was to make my mantel merry and bright.

Merry - check.

Bright - check.

Mission accomplished.

Like my Christmas mantel last year, I started with a large piece of feature art and built out from there to support it. See how I turned a tea towel into my big piece of art here.

Pulling back from there, here is what I did on the right hand side.

First I draped a few garlands (snowflakes and shiny beads) loosely across the front. Then I put out my little silver 'twig' reindeer.

Beside Twiggy, I placed a ridiculously large mercury glass artichoke and beside that I placed Sparkle (who I blogged about fixing last year).

Past Sparkle I have a few votive holders as well as a fun mirrored snowflake.

Here is what the left side looks like. You'll see Chace's stocking...

As well as one of my favourite ornaments beside another sparkly reindeer and shiny dove.

Watching over Chace's stocking is this acrylic penguin...

Behind him you will see a pillar candle holder (sans candle because I just like the shape as is) and some more tea light holders...

And there we have it!

Although not technically part of mantel, I can't help but give a shout out to the polar bear in the foreground aptly named Plumpy (by me).

I mean dude couldn't even bother to sit up straight for the picture. Lazy bear.

And in the corner are my white log vases which I used recently for my Autumn mantel here.

So, like the presents under my tree, that's a wrap! All ready for Santa's arrival!

Christmas crazy? Me too! See all my Christmas posts here.


Reindeer Noses - and a free printable {Rewind!}

I originally did this post on December 13th of last year but due to the free printable - and thanks to Pinterest and Google - I've been getting a ton of nice emails daily since about mid October asking for the free template download. As such, I thought I'd repost it incase any of you new readers had not seen it before and were thinking of doing a fun favour this season!

*** And (sidenote) I've updated the post so that you now have the option to either email me for the printable (as before) OR be redirected to download your own!
Here is my original post...

Now, I like me some fun reindeer games a fun party so I've been really looking forward to my husband (Chef Kev's) Christmas work party this year. It's always been a blast in the past (not a blast from the past - but a blast IN the past) so when I was asked to design this year's party favours (to be on the table when guests arrive) the discussion went something like this...

Kev: "hey, will you make the party favours for my work party this year. Only if you have time, no pressure"

Elaine: {inside voice - what! Christmas! crafty stuff! Designy things! party favours? I'm SO in! ... but play it cool...} Outside voice: "sigh, oh, okay... but only if you make me dinner for a week"

Kev: "I already do. Oh, and thanks"

Elaine {inside voice again - Dang! Foiled again by my quick tongue. Must. think. out details longer. next. time.} Outside voice: "right".

So that was that. Operation design party favours had begun.

Before I lose you, here is what I did. Details below if you've read this far (and thanks if so).

And here is how it came to be.

I went to pinterest for some inspiration and searched 'Christmas party favours'. I had a few criteria when searching. 1) It had to be relatively easy to do as I had to do 50 of them and 2) It had to be relatively cost effective, as well... I had to do 50 of them!

This caught my eye.

(source: "A personal touch" blog via pinterest) 

But I wanted to give it my own spin. So I set out redesigning the header card portion.

Once I had designed my header card and sticker I purchased my brown and red reindeer noses. You can buy whatever you'd like of course, but for mine I bought: milk chocolate covered caramels, malt balls and jujubes as well as dark chocolate covered espresso beans and almonds. Rudolph's nose is a cherry sour.

I then purchased 4"x6" treat bags (lollipop bags) at the craft store (Michaels) and convinced Chef Kev to help me divy up the chocolate!

I trimmed down my header cards that I had printed on card stock (which are actually 4.25" wide so there is a slight over hang on each side) and scored them with my paper cutter. I happen to have a trimmer that has a setting made for scoring but you can use a bone scorer or even lightly score with an exacto blade if you are comfortable with that route (do not press hard as you will cut right through - you want to apply very light pressure to simply cut only the top fibres of your paper). You always want to score on the side that you are folding away from (so in this case, the printed side).

Score right along the edge where the red 'front' meets the green 'back'.

I put the headers aside for a moment while I moved on to folding the top edge of the treat bags over (about 1/2 - 3/4" and stapled once on each side. Chef Kev helped here too!

Then I used a tape runner (that I already had but you can get them at the craft store in the scrapbooking section) and applied a strip along the inside BACK ONLY of the card (bottom part). You don't need to do the top/front as your round circle sticker will seal that side.

Then I lined the top of my bag fold into the crease and pressed down along the tape.

After I folded the top over I applied my round sticker (printed on "Avery 5294" 2.5" circle label stock) to close the front part of the header card and attach it to the bag.

I actually found if I applied the sticker upside down I had more control. You may have noticed in the free template image earlier in this post that I left a blank spot where the label goes. The label stock has a bit of 'show through' so you could see it through the sticker if you had the pattern run across the whole card. It actually works well as you have a 'guide' to line your sticker up to so that each favour looks the exact same (sticker isn't lower and higher as you look at different packages). Bonus :)

And now the really fun part - gluing Rudolph's little nose on! For this I just used white craft glue and a toothpick to apply. I let the noses dry a few hours so that none would fall off in transport.

Here are a few pics of my workshop mid-nose application....

Did I mention I had to do 50 of these!?

Once they were dry it was time for the 'after shot'!

And here is close up of the back. I changed the colour palette in the pattern for futher interest.

I've left the 'contents' box blank on the template so that you can simply apply a label or hand write your own contents or message here.

And one last 'after' shot!

You'll probably notice a little message under the title. It reads "Wishing you the very best this holiday season from your (husband's company name) family" I deleted this in the template for download of course! 

Chef Kev loves them and says he is proud. I know someone else who would be proud too...

(source: google images)

Thanks Rudy :)

Have you done any Christmas favours recently? Been busy decorating and enjoying the holiday spirit? ... or just eating a ton of chocolate? Me? All of the above. 

Hey! For those of you following, this is my second Rudolph reference in two days! Weird.

Christmas crazy? Me too! See all my Christmas posts here.

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