Monday, December 15, 2008

modestly festive

I am not an over the top holiday decorator. Nor do I like to pour my hard earned dollars (yes sitting at a computer all day in excel is hard work) into temporary bits of glitz and glam. When I do decorate, I prefer it to be subtle, natural, and at best cheap, if not altogether free. I don't have plans to host a Christmas party this year, but I did have a dinner party for work colleagues on Monday and spent much of last Sunday getting the place ready for the season.

Digging through my fabric stash, I came across three yards of well made wool plaid. (Purchased with sister-in-law J at our favorite off the beaten path thrift store fabric stash in Fairport, NY) By this I mean yarn dyed and woven, not printed plaid. The texture is a perfect contrast to the spiky pine branches, shiny ornaments, and rugged grapevines I also intended to include. I also had recently purchased two round bowls for 25 cents a piece at a thrift store in Little Falls--one a deep walnut stained wooden bowl and the other a shallow glass bowl. Both about the same size. With a trip to Michael's to gather the $3.99 grapevine wreaths, a handful of berries at $.49 a branch, and one tin of silver and white ornaments from Rite Aid, I was able to assemble an array of decorations. I should add that some of the ribbon I already had on hand, recycled from other projects.

I also cut out snowflakes while watching my TV on the internet one night and hung them mobile style from the dining room chandelier. These got a lot of attention at the party. Apparently most people haven't done these snowflakes since they were kids. I, uh, cut some every year. Something magical about making a few cuts on a cone shaped fold of simple copier paper and unfolding it to find an intricate pattern of lacy petals.

All told, with the tree lugged in by RJR, the lights, and the other crafty purchases, I spent just over $100 to get the house in shape. I am thinking that I love the simple festiveness of the plaid so much I will try to find a new wool plaid each year. By cutting pieces off and adding bits here and there, I have a constant theme throughout the house. Each year the plaid could emphasize a new color, red, blue, green, gold, ivory...


Patti said...

Yes, but there are snowflakes and there are snowflakes...mine never seem to come out quite as beautiful as yours. You did inspire me, though, and I am going to take a 2008 stab at it!

Anonymous said...

What about the tree-steadying contraption?