Showing posts with label Christmas Decorations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas Decorations. Show all posts

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Photographing Christmas in Historic St. Charles


One of my favorite Christmas outings is a walk down Main  Street in downtown St Charles, Missouri.  This charming town was built on the banks of the Missouri river.  I wrote about this town in a previous post World Wide Photo Walk
In that post you see the town decked out in their fall décor.

In this post I will give you a brief history of the town and then share my photos taken during early December.

A Brief History of St. Charles

Here is a few of the highlights of St. Charles history. If you'd like to know more, check out the link below.

  • Founded in 1769 by French-Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette
  •  In 1804 on the banks of the Missouri river, Lewis and Clark met here to begin their westward expedition.
  • In 1818 Saint Philippine Duchesne established first free girls school west of the Mississippi.
  • Between 1821-1826 St. Charles served as Missouri's first capital.
  • Today it is a destination for over one million visitors each year.
https://www.discoverstcharles.com/about/history/


Conservatory for Weddings


Before we started our walk  down Main Street we stopped by the Conservatory a greenhouse turned into a wedding venue.  It was my first visit and I found it a delightful setting for small weddings.  Below is a shot looking toward the front of the greenhouse.


Photos from our Walk down the Historic Streets

After visiting the Conservatory  we proceeded down Main Street to photograph the historic buildings in their Christmas décor.  I was especially drawn to the windows and doors as you can see in the photos below.






Zazzle Products from Main Street Photos




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, November 18, 2018

DIY or New Reusable Advent Calendars For a Treasured Family Keepsake

A Wooden, Cardboard, Cloth or DIY Advent Calendar

We've had a cloth advent calendar for Christmas for the past 20 years. Since the kids were little, the same advent calendar sees our family room annually. 

The nice thing about a cloth calendar with pockets is you can put treats inside for each of the 24 days.

Our family Advent Calendar is featured below.

Bring out your own Advent Calendar each year and make it standard part of family traditions.

However, if you're not into a store bought reusable Advent Calendar, you can make your own. Get the kids involved.

Five DIY Ideas on How to Make Your Own Advent Calendar:
Our Family Advent Calendar
by Funkthishouse.com
  1. Use 24 kiddie Christmas socks. Glue each sock to a painted cardboard or wooden backboard. Put treats in each sock for each day.
  2. Use 24 small boxes (ring size) glued to cardboard or backboard. Keep the lids on the boxes, and inside each box put treats. Decorate the boxes individually.
  3. Attach 24 small gift bags to a backboard or cardboard. Put treats in the gift bags.
  4. Use mini tree stockings. Put them all together on a piece of string with numbers on the front for each day. Put treats in each one.
  5. Use 24 empty toilet paper rolls. I know, that's weird right, but it works. Glue the rolls together in the shape of a Christmas Tree - 1 on the top for the star then, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, then 2 and 2 for the base of the tree. Glue them together then decorate each one. Place goodies inside each roll. 
Making your own Advent Calendar is a beautiful reminder during the kids growing years. When they're older, and no longer decorating with you, you'll pull out that calendar along with your past Christmas memories.

Time holds our treasures, and our treasures stop time. Think about the decorations your kids have made over the years, and what they mean to you. There isn't anything quite as precious.

Whether you use a pre-made Christmas Calendar or  DIY one makes no difference. Create memories during the little years to carry you through the big years.

When the time is right, take all the decorations your kids have made, wrap them up and pass them on. They can include them into their Christmas traditions along with your family stories.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Unconventional Christmas Decor to Serve Your Inner Wackiness

You're not conventional. Everybody knows that about you. So don't disappoint them, go ahead and add these three odd-ball Christmas décor items this holiday season.

Elf Leg Covers for Your Chairs or End Tables

If your goal is hearing your guests let out a belly laugh when they see what crazy décor idea you've come up with, then Elf Leg Covers should do the trick.

The set comes with four leg covers - enough to do one chair. However, they're not expensive so budget permitting, get enough to do several chairs.

If the budget allows for only one set, then you could plan to use them on a hallway end-table or an end-table that's clearly visible in a room.

When a Full Blown Santa Suit isn't in the Cards, Greet Your
A Santa Sweatshirt for the Hostess
Guests Wearing a Santa Sweatshirt


If two of you are hosting a Christmas gathering or party, greet your guests wearing these festive borderline ugly sweaters. They don't qualify as full blown ugly because, after all, they do honor the big guy.

You won't have a problem finding your size, as they range from Small to Triple X.

This sweater is a standard pullover with a round neck and cotton liner. Also, there are two convenient pockets on the side. Double check the size chart because sometimes it's better to order a size up.

A Santa Sweatshirt also makes an excellent hostess gift. It's original, funny and best of all, useful for the season.

Decorate the Toilet - Show Off Your Goofy Side
Turn the Toilet into a Snowman

Why not? Go ahead. When else do you get to decorate the toilet? Go full-on-tacky with your washroom décor. Forget classy, go for the laugh.

This funny snowman toilet accessory is just what's needed when your guests open the washroom door to do their business - snowman eyes looking right at them. A relaxed bathroom-goer is a happy bathroom-goer.

Less tension, more smiles helps to ensure everything comes out ok.

The set comes as seen in the photo: With the mat, the toilet seat cover and the tank cover. It doesn't list washing instructions, but if it were me, after the party's over, I would wash on delicate and hang to dry.

Have fun, get silly for the season!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pull Up Christmas Tree for Time Saving and Small Places

Pre-Lit Pull Up Christmas Tree Here
More Design Reviews as Well
Christmas time is often a mad rush.

Finding a way to navigate our schedules during the month of December can be an exercise in creative thinking.

With so much to do, planning to put up our Christmas Tree or more than one Christmas Tree can take up as much as an afternoon, evening, or even multiple days.

Yet most of us look forward to this time and make family memories while doing it. Whether it's watching holiday specials, sipping on cocoa, or basking in the aroma of baking cookies while we do all the trimmings ... all of it is something we know we'll look back on as memorable life moments.

HOWEVER .... When Space & Time Get In the Way .... Here's the Solution:

Pull Up Pre-Lit Christmas Trees

Did you know you can get a pre-lit pull up Christmas Tree that's fully decorated and that folds down small enough to fit in a storage bag?

Not only that, they make them in various styles, sizes, colors and designs.

The best part of pre-lit pull up Christmas Tree is that it's a tree you'll have for almost a lifetime. It will grow and shrink with your lifestyle. When you need or want multiple trees in your home for Christmas, several pull-up trees offer a convenient solution.

When you're a little older and you need to downsize, just put up your pull-up tree and you're good to go! After-all, they're not only practical, they're perfect for smaller spaces.

Check out the various design options here!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, .... a good decorating experience.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Butterfly Christmas Tree Ornaments - A Beautiful Holiday Theme

butterfly ornaments christmas tree
Butterfly Christmas Ornament Photo by Louanne Cox
of  Lous Designs.com
Have you ever heard of butterfly Christmas tree ornaments? I had never thought of adding butterflies onto my Christmas tree until recently when I saw this tree (pictured) decorated in a local store with it's large silver butterfly ornaments on it.

This year we've been treated to record numbers of Caper White butterflies in our garden along with the usual Common Crow, Orchard Swallowtail and just a couple of Monarchs so I'm very pro-butterflies at the moment!

There's just something magical about butterflies and the way they flit around, there's also something magical about Christmas which means they're a perfect fit!

There are lots of different types of butterfly Xmas ornaments around so I've just selected a few that I like the look of to share with you and think about how to incorporate them on your Christmas tree.  Let's review some of the gorgeous ornaments I've found including glass ornaments, silver ornaments and bright ornaments....

Glass Butterfly Christmas Ornaments



I love this glass butterfly ornament for a couple of reasons (besides the fact that it's gorgeous that is!), one is that it can be personalized which means it can be used to commemorate an occasion/person or be used as a gift idea.

The second reason is that it's clear so you can use it with any color scheme on your tree and it will reflect the other decorations beautifully. This ornament is definitely on my short list for adding these gorgeous creatures to my tree for the holidays.

I also like the idea of getting a set of butterfly Christmas ornaments and I thought this next set of three was absolutely gorgeous.   My daughter would have found them very pretty when she was younger (as a teen I'm not sure what her thoughts would be now!)

glass butterfly christmas ornaments


Set of 3 Colorful Glass Butterfly Christmas OrnamentsSet of 3 Colorful Glass Butterfly Christmas Ornaments
Each of these gorgeous ornaments has hand painted detail on them and also come with a silver cord for hanging.

Reading through the reviews it sounds as though these ornaments are a nice weight for hanging on the tree which is really good. I definitely think these make my short list for butterfly Christmas ornaments, now I just have to convince my hubby that I need even more ornaments for our trees.

One of the happy customers also mentioned adding this set of butterflies to a set of hummingbird Christmas ornaments to pop on their tree which has me thinking 'ooh hummingbirds'! I do think that these ornaments would look great with any bird ornaments, but they would also look good as a change from the 'standard' bauble style ornament as well.


Silver Butterfly Christmas Ornaments


Adding Sparkle to Your Holidays!

As it was a silver looking (although not genuine silver) ornament that first made me aware of butterfly Christmas tree ornaments I just had to include some here and there are certainly a lot to choose from starting with this following set found on Amazon.....

set of silver butterfly Christmas ornaments
Set of silver butterfly Christmas ornaments

It doesn't tell me what these ornaments are made of, but looking at them I think they look very lightweight and certainly not a really high quality ornament (although I could be wrong),  I do like this set of 6 though because it looks very similar to the large ornament I saw in the store I mentioned.

I could see these ornaments shining on my white Christmas tree with my 'vintage colors' bauble style ornaments that I purchased earlier in the year.   These are dusky muted pinks, muted golds, very pale blue colored ball ornaments.  They are remarkably similar in color to the other ornaments used on the tree I featured in the introduction image.

Another idea of silver butterfly ornaments are the range of filigree ones that are available like this in loving memory one -



So do you think you'll be hanging a few butterflies on your Christmas tree this year?  I'm hooked on the idea, I just have to get it past hubby as he does think I have too many Christmas ornaments (I didn't realize that too many existed!)


How to Showcase Your Butterfly Christmas Ornaments

The best way to showcase your butterfly ornaments really depends on which ornament you choose and how many.   Since I've been looking for some of these ornaments I've come across a few different images including a tree that was heavily laden with butterfly ornaments (and no other type) in lots of bright colors.

A combination of butterfly and floral ornaments on your tree will help to give a feel of spring to your Christmas tree which will make it unique.

Although I'm thinking of adding any I buy to a white tree, I do think a green tree would best suit butterfly ornaments.   Having said that silver butterflies on a black tree would look very dramatic.

Let me know how you think butterfly ornaments should be showcased on a Christmas tree.

Before we go though let me share a few gorgeous butterfly ornaments that I've found on Etsy (I do love that site, but my savings account doesn't!)



Oh, I so NEED a third Christmas tree!  You can find me indulging in my love of Christmas ornaments at Christmas Tree Ideas.

Butterfly Christmas tree ornaments




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Relax and Enjoy a Special Event for the Holidays

Sometimes during the holiday season we can get so busy with all of our Christmas planning, decorating, shopping and baking that we forget to take the time to stop and enjoy the season.  I like to do something different each year that helps me to relax and enjoy the season.  On this page I will review the activity for this year, a "Photo Walk" on a popular historic street all decorated for Christmas.  For our walk, I met with four other photographers in the historic area of St. Charles, Missouri.  We met at the old train depot on the riverfront.

St.  Charles is located on the Missouri river on the eastern side of the state of Missouri.  It is just west of the St. Louis area.  St. Charles served as the first capitol of the state of Missouri from 1821-1826.  Today the  main street area is a popular tourist attraction with lots of shops and restaurants.  They go all out for Christmas with lots of decoration throughout the historic area.

Our group spent a couple of hours wandering through the area with our cameras and stopping to take photos of anything we found interesting.  We then stopped at a restaurant to enjoy some time together reviewing our morning and discussing photography.  It was a great way to relax and meet new friends.

I was interested in all of the beautiful wreaths hanging on the storefronts.  I photographed many of them and made the collage below of the different wreaths.

Christmas Wreaths Poster
Christmas Wreaths Poster by mbgphoto
Shop for Christmas wreaths Posters online at Zazzle.com
An interesting building we stopped at just off Main street was a reproduction of the first church in St. Charles.  The first church was a Catholic church built in 1791 called San Carlos Borromeo.  The reproduction was done using the same type tools as  the original.  
I took nearly 200 photos during the morning.  Here are a few of my favorites.
Shops  along Main Street.  I love the cobblestone streets and walks.
An old sleigh, decorated and sitting on a door stoop.
A wreath on a brick wall.

An old building along Main Street.

Christmas Wreaths Greeting Card
Christmas Wreaths Greeting Card by mbgphoto
Look at other Christmas wreaths Cards at zazzle.com
May you enjoy your preparations for the Christmas season and take some time to unwind as we prepare to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Make a Personalized Ornament or Decorative Tile to Honor or Remember a Much Loved Pet

Wouldn't you like an ornament of your pet hanging on your Christmas tree?


Eldon the Cat Yawning, © B. Radisavljevic
Eldon the Cat Yawning, © B. Radisavljevic
Pets are an important part of the family, but unlike your children, they can't make special ornaments to hang on the tree.  They can, however, have their pictures displayed on customized ornaments you can create at Zazzle. You know your cat or dog (or rabbit or bird or turtle or whatever pet you have) is full of personality. You probably have a memorable picture of your pet on your computer right now, just waiting to be made into an ornament or decorative tile. 

The process is simple Just follow my links to Zazzle and use my easy directions to customize. I used a former neighbor's cat, Eldon, as my model, since I don't have any pets at this time. Eldon has already crossed the Rainbow Bridge. An ornament is a great way  to memorialize him,  as you might want to do for a pet who is no longer with you. During the holidays, we miss those who are gone the most. That certainly includes our pets.


Sarah the Cat Sitting, © B. Radisavljevic
Sarah the Cat Sitting, © B. Radisavljevic
And don't forget your friends. Maybe you have a pet sitter who would like an ornament or decorative tile with your pet's picture for Christmas. Maybe your children who have moved away from home and left the family pet behind would appreciate a decorative tile or trivet to remember them all year. Or maybe you have a great shot of a friend's pet that friend would appreciate as an ornament or decorative tile. Just use your imagination and you will soon know what to give those people who won't really tell you what they want, but they really do love their pets. These ornaments don't even have to hang on a tree. They can  hang anywhere you can attach them so you enjoy them all year. 

How to Customize an Ornament for Your Pet Keepsake

You met Eldon above. Now let's see him on a premium square ornament. There are many shapes you can choose, but because Eldon has a long tail, I had to make a square ornament to squeeze it all in. Square is one of the easiest ornament shapes to work with. 

Just click the ornament images to get to  them on Zazzle.

When you click on Eldon's ornament, it will take you to its product page. I'm now going to change Eldon's ornament into one to memorialize Sarah, my neighbor's cat who visited me daily and hung out on my porch, always there to greet me when I came home, always hoping for the cat treat she knew she'd get from me. She died this year and we miss her. Read about my relationship with and see more pictures of Sarah here. 

This is how you can change the ornament for Eldon to one in honor of your pet, as I did to make mine in honor of Sarah.   

  • On the ornament, you will see the  "Customize it!" button. Click it. The photo will change to a design view with some red boundary lines. 
  • Look to your right under "Customize it!" Scroll past the blue icons. 
  • Look for Eldon with "Change Image" on his right. 
  • To put your pet's picture in, just click to change.
  • Upload a picture from your computer. The picture you upload should be at least 2" square, 300 pixels resolution, and in png format. 
  • Use the buttons over where you changed the photo, to increase or decrease the size of the photo in the frame to fit or fill it. you can also use buttons to move the image up and down, left and right. Just play with it. You want to keep the image within the inner red box to keep it from being cropped. Test by clicking the button underneath to change to art view. That shows you how your finished product will look. 
  • Above where I changed the image, you can change the text to match your pet's name and date, to remove any text, or to change the text to whatever you want to say. While the square is still around your text, you can drag it wherever in the product you want it to be. 
  • As you scroll down the right side, you can change the background color or the ornament's shape and style.   I normally pick my style first and then fiddle with the images and text, either of which you can change from this screen.

If your image doesn't look quite right, you can use the "arrange" or "edit" drop down menus, or you can mouse over the icons to see what they do and use them to make your picture large enough to fill all the space or smaller to  fit better. You can play with them until your ornament looks the way you want it to. The previews where you choose your shapes shows you how  your photo will look in those other shapes. When your ornament is just right, use the big blue/orange button near the top right to "Add to Cart." (It's blue until the mouse turns it orange.)

Here's how Sarah's ornament turned out. Notice that I dragged the text to a location where it would show better.



Now Let's Look at Some Other Ornament Styles



First, meet Nicki. She was the shiest of one neighbor's cats and she didn't like to pose. I was lucky to get her at all. I have put her on a premium round ornament, and her photo had to be 2.13" x 1.25," resolution 300, png format. Larger pictures will also work, but they shouldn't be any smaller. The important thing to remember about round ornaments is that the subject should be easy to center. Before you choose a shape, be sure your photo can conform to it. 



Let's Look at the Ceramic Ornaments You Can Make from Your Pet's Pictures


Let's meet Pumpkin, the most docile of my previous neighbor's cats. She's a sweetheart, but I had to get candid shots. I have her on a ceramic round ornament. You can use the customize button to switch pictures and text. Your picture should be about 1150 pixels in diameter, 300 resolution, and png format. 
See how easy it was to get her centered? 

Ceramic ornaments have two sides you can fill and you have a lot of design flexibility. Be sure to customize both sides by clicking under the ornament to choose the front or back to work with. I put the date on the  back side, leaving the front for just the photo. You can also make both sides identical. 







Zazzle is playing around with their image links and in some cases below you will see the design, not the actual ornament. If you click the title link of the ornament, it will take you to how the design will look on the ornament, and you will also have the option of choosing the design in a different shape.

Here are some other appealing kitty ornaments you might get ideas from. This one has a frame. Just click through and put your cat into the frame.


The heart-shape ornament is also very popular. Here are some of my favorites.
This ornament is two sided. It features two photos of the same cat. I show you the back side here. One could also choose to put a picture of two  different pets on the two different sides -- maybe even a cat and a dog. 

And, lest you think I'm anti-dog, here is an ornament featuring a canine pet.


Some photos will do well on the oval shape. I like this one.

Puppy Kitten Snow Cabin Christmas Ornament

I think the star is the most complicated shape to fit a photo into, but here's one that worked well. 

If You'd Like a Pet Keepsake Larger than an Ornament to Display All Year, Make a Decorative Tile or Trivet


For a tile such as the one below, use a 4.25" x 4.25" picture, 300 resolution, png format. If you want some wiggle room, you might make your picture a bit larger to make sure it will fill the space. You can, of course, also add words. When you click through to the product page, you can customize with your own picture and words, but you will also have the option of adding a frame to make this a trivet or a box, for which this would be a decorative top. One tile gives you three different options. Here are what some others have done.

Are You Inspired to Make an Ornament or Tile to Honor Your Pet Yet?

I hope I've given you some inspiration and some practical help on how to do it. Please use the comment section for feedback, questions I've not answered, more ideas for using pet ornaments, or just to let me know you were here.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner