Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DIY Christmas Decorations

Earlier in the month I saw on Pinterest a link party that was held by Kate from Centsational Girl last Christmas. There were so many awesome projects submitted and I took so much inspiration from them. When I saw that Kate was holding another link party this year I knew I definitely wanted to get involved.

So I put on my craft hat and made myself some sweet little diy Christmas decorations.

I took lots of photos when I was making them and planned on making each into a little tutorial. But (there's always a but), my CF card died and took all my photos with it. So all I am left with is the end results.

I'm still going to post about them, but there's less photos and more words...

(If you want to see all the photos of my Christmas decorating check out yesterdays post.)

String Ornaments

The original image I pinned for these took me to Martha Stewart's website. After reading the instructions and then the comments I decided to do things slightly differently.
  • First up I mixed equal parts of water and pva glue in a small bowl. Then I blew up 12 water balloons (I liked these better than regular balloons because I was able to get a better round shape from them), and I gathered up the rest of my supplies. Scissors, string (I used thick embroidery string), spray on cooking oil, paper towel, spray glue, glitter, clothes pegs and a needle.
  • To start off with I sprayed cooking oil on a paper towel and then rubbed it over each of my twelve balloons - this eliminates the chance of the string sticking to the balloon when it comes time to pop them.
  • Next up I poured some glue onto a flat plate. I would run the string through the glue as I wrapped it around and around the balloon. This bit was really messy, I had to fight the ocd in me really hard not to wash my hands every two minutes.
  • Once I was happy with how the balloons were wrapped I would peg them onto a clothes horse by the tail of the balloon (the bit you tie off when you blow the balloon up).
  • Once all twelve were finished I left them to dry overnight. Then the popping began! I popped each one and was super relieved when the strings kept their shape.
  •  I added an extra little piece of string to each ornament so that they could be hung on the tree.
  • I then held each ornament up by the hanging string and spayed them lightly with more glue and then added heaps and heaps of glitter.
  •  I pegged them back on the clothes horse to dry for another 24 hours and then hung them on the tree.
  • Super easy, and they look great!
Twine Wrapped Trees


No tutorial for these... I wrapped styrofoam trees with twine. I used hot glue to keep the twine in place.

Clay Stars and a Mini Christmas Village.

For the stars I used this recipe, I followed it exactly and it worked out really well. I used cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. For the village I used air-dry clay that I picked up at spotlight. You can't really tell from the photo, but the village is tiny, the top of the cross stands 2 inches high. It looks really sweet on my window sill :).

No Sew Tree Skirt

Calling this 'no-sew' makes it sound simple. I guess it was... But it did take a long time and a lot of fabric to make it (8 metres total!). Definitely worth it though, it totally changed the look of the tree. I got the idea and instructions for it from here.

Rustic and Natural Wreath

Like I said in yesterdays post, this wreath was really simple to make. I collected the sticks from a local nature reserve and hot glued them to a paper mache circle. Very Aussie bush Christmas!

DIY Branch Chandy

 Last but not least I have my favourite Christmas doecoration for this year. Whilst I was out collecting sticks I found this branch and sawed it off a tree (using the mini hack saw I just happened to have in the car). I hung it from the ceiling using removable hooks and fishing line. It really adds an extra dimension to the Christmasy feel of the dining room.

So there you have it, my DIY efforts for Christmas 2011!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Blue & White Christmas

Finally! My Christmas decorating is done and I have gotten around to taking photos :)

As I mentioned earlier in the month, I decided on a blue and white theme, but also included nature inspired elements. I wanted to keep an Aussie feel about it all.

For the front door I made a really simple wreath from sticks and hot glue. I just went down to the 'carefully cultivated to look like true-blue bush' nature reserve near my place and picked up a bag full of sticks off the ground.

I like it, but I think I might go with something a bit more traditional next year.

I decided to put the tree up in the dining room this year. So that ended up being the room that got the most Christmasing (yes that definitely is a word, regardless of what spell check says). Keep in mind though our house is open plan, so really the whole place feels Christmasy :)

I diy'ed a lot of the ornaments and other bits and pieces this year. I'll do a post tomorrow with more details about each of them.

I also made this tiny little Christmas village out of air-dry clay, and it sits on the window sill in the dining room.

In the kitchen I wiped down my chalkboard and then wrote up the words to 'away in a manger', one of my favourite Christmas Carols.

In the main living area I added in a few extra Christmas decorations. A bowl of baubles and my gorgeous Christmas spider (courtesy of Tanya from dans le townhouse). I hung heaps of my diy clay stars on the potted tree next to our picture window, and I added more lights and decorations in our wall cut out.

So there you have it. My decorations for Christmas 2011. Don't forget to check back in tomorrow for some DIYs :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wolgan Valley

A couple of weeks ago Sean whisked me away for a weekend at Wolgan Valley.


It was seriously amazing!

Before I share details or photos I just want to put it out there (again) that we didn't pay to stay there. The two nights were a gift. If we had a spare $4k lying around I can guarantee you I wouldn't be spending it on two nights accommodation. However if I had squillions of spare dollars lying around and was looking for a good way to spend it I would go back to Wolgan Valley in a heartbeat. That place was ah-maz-ing!

The scenery was to die for. The resort is in the most gorgeous valley up in the blue mountains. Before this weekend away I have always been more of a beach resort kind of girl, but this trip changed me. I never knew we had such amazing landscapes so close to Sydney.

The resort features the original homestead that was built in the 1800's. We took a tour of it, which was cool. But it made me really glad that its not the 1800s anymore. Outhouses make me nervous, too many chances of bumping into a snake or spider. Speaking of which, during the wildlife safari we did see a red belly black snake. One crazy tourist ran straight up to it, calling for her husband to take a photo of her. Turns out having squillions doesn't automatically make you smart... The snake ran (slithered?) away though and all she got was a lecture from the tour guide.

One of the awesome things about the package was that it included all meals and drinks. And not just any meals or drinks. Gourmet breakfast, divine lunch and an 8 course degustation menu with complimenting wines. I was in food heaven! I wanted to take photos of every course, but Sean wasn't keen on that! I can only imagine the kind of damage I would have been able to do back in the days when I could handle more than two glasses of wine!

Hands down the best part of the weekend was time away for Sean and I. Our room was spectacular, yet so comfortable and liveable. We had everything we needed in there for the perfect romantic weekend. Including our own private plunge pool. Definitely a glimpse into how the other half live!

As you might have gathered it was the best weekend I have had in years and exactly what Sean and I needed. Thank you so much Aggie and Kym for passing it on to us!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Last Year

I still haven't quite finished up my Christmas decorating this year (crazy I know), so in the meantime I thought I would share a couple of photos from Christmas last year.

I went with a red and white theme last year. I really loved it.

Max at Nona & Pop's house. The red present with the star is how I wrapped all my presents last year.

The little paper garland I made last year.
Presents for Max's daycare ladies.

Max and his two adorable cousins having their Santa photo (he wouldn't go anywhere near Santa without me holding onto him! I think this year we're going to have the same problem.)

Hopefully I will have photos of this year's blue and white theme ready to go soon!

Friday, December 9, 2011


I have so much to share with you guys, our trip to Wolgan Valley, my home-made Christmas ornaments, Max's first Christmas Carols, my Christmas decorating and more...

But instead I'm back in bed. This stupid illness that I have seems to sneak up on me when I do too much. My legs are barely working, I have a cold sore and my face is breaking out, I've got a cold and my eyes have puffed up to the point that I can see my own eyelids when I look straight ahead.

Attractive huh?!

The disease I have is called MS (multiple sclerosis). I will do a post about it at some point, but right now I don't feel like I even know enough about it myself.

I first started getting symptoms a little over two years ago when I was pregnant with Max, and its taken from then until a couple of months ago to get a diagnosis. So its still all very new to me.

Most days my life is perfectly normal. But on the days where it's not (like today) it starts to really get me down. I'm not going to go into too much detail today because I would rather write a post about it on one of those days where I'm not feeling sorry for myself. Which is definitely not today!

So I'm back off to bed to rest up and get better.

I promise I'll be back soon with some festive cheer :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Max's Plane Party

On Saturday we celebrated Max's 2nd birthday with a plane party. The whole event went of without a hitch and Max had a really good time. I was really impressed that with a bunch of toddlers we didn't have one tantrum. A miracle!

I think the favourite activity for the babies was just sitting around and playing with toys and the favourite for the adults was the desert buffet.

You can click on any of the photos below to see a larger image.

The Invitations
Afternoon Tea Table
Buttered popcorn, mini oreos, mini crackers, sandwiches, carrot sticks in dip and fruit skewers.

Plane Shaped Sandwiches
Drinks Station
Simple entertainment
Cloud Favours - Paper packages with mini mm's sewn inside

The Desert Table - with mini cheesecakes in jars, chocolates, jelly in fruit, oreo cream filled cake, lollies and iced coffee for the adults.

Straws and Milk Bottles from The Little Big Company
The Cake
Cutting the Cake

Present Table

My Birthday Boy

For games we played pass the parcel and Sean also brought out his guitar for a musuc session with the kiddos. My Mum took photos of both but I haven't got the photos off her yet.

It really was a great day. I can't wait for next year!