2017 Christmas Tour

Once again, I based my Christmas theme on a Christmas Carol. But I believe this will be the most difficult theme to guess! I will only respond to guesses posted in the comments below because I’m ornery. (Sorry, Facebook doesn’t count!)

At the front door, a cardinal is sitting in a nest on my wreath. An angel presides over the bird and there are musical ornaments on the sides. I made it by wrapping garland around my grapevine wreath and then wrapped red bead garland and lace around it. The poinsettias on the top are two napkin holders! Under the angel is a red ribbon with a bell tied to it that jingles merrily when the door opens.

Cardinal Christmas Wreath "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

As you hang your coat on the hook in the entryway, you will see two lamps. One is a Tiffany lamp with a tea light and the other is a Victorian lamp.

Tiffany Lamp and Victorian Lamp "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

You will notice Cardinals on this Victorian lamp. I have now given you three clues.

Victorian Lamp "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

The Christmas Tree is the first thing you will see when you step into the living room. I am only showing you the top because I have several more ornaments to add. There are angels, instruments, wreaths with cardinals, beaded fruit, and homemade Victoria cones on it. (Someone didn’t get the Christmas boxes down until late Saturday night.)

We made the cones after Thanksgiving dinner, by unrolling some music scrolls. We rolled them into cones, taped them, and added lace and buttons with a hot glue gun, and filled them with multicolored lifesavers. We made the smaller ones from paper doilies. We painted the tips and around the top with gold paint. (Shout out to Melinda, Rachel, and Olivia for helping!)

We also painted the tips of large pine cones, but there was something on the cones that caused an allergic reaction. They are now in the garage. (Sorry, Rachel, I know you spent a long time painting them.)

Oh, yeah, Luke and Derek helped by pulling out my retractable clothesline and hanging the ornaments as we painted them. (They made sure to use the one in the walkway to give us gold highlights in our hair.)

Top of Christmas Tree "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

It was this quilted throw that confirmed my theme for this year.

Cardinals on a Quilt "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

I tried to include all the colors of the stockings in the swag on the window between the kitchen and the living room. I used the kissing ball a few years ago and just added lace to it. The beaded plums represent “sugar plums dancing in their heads.” (Shout out to Melinda who made the candy garland out of lifesavers my daughter left here months ago!)

I found the singing Cardinals at Goodwill. I used them in place of the glass block. There is a glass angel next to them.

Candy Garland and Stockings "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

I wired a wreath to the bottom of the swag light and decorated it with cobalt blue beads and ornaments. I tied burgundy bows to the beads at the points of the window valance and to the top of the light.

Decorated Swag Light "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

The centerpiece is a wreath on top of a plate. Inside is a gold angel and on the other side of the decorations are more cardinals.

Angel and Cardinals Centerpiece "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

As you walk down the hall, you will see the “JOY” candlesticks that I painted. Three years, well worth it!

Christmas JOY Candlestickes "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

In the bathroom are more cardinals and another angel. (Shout out to Laura who made the angel in Girl Scouts!) I picked up the white decorated towels on clearance last year and the red towels at a Black Friday sale. The decorated French horn is a brooch.

Cardinals on the Towels "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

The dining room is lit with my Christmas village and a lighted garland. I wrapped red beads around the garland and used it to hide the cords from the lights. The lights brighten the cake stand and punch bowl on the buffet. There are several baskets and other decorations mixed in on the bookshelf.

Christmas Village on the Bookshelf "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

I put three angels in the center of the table facing out. That way an angel is facing every direction. There are cardinals sitting around their feet.

Angles and Cardinals Centerpiece "2017 Christmas Tour" frugalfish.org

In case you missed them, the three clues are:

  1. Angels
  2. Cardinals
  3. Victorian

My frugalfish tip for this week is to pick a theme for next year now. You can pick up Christmas decor on clearance after Christmas and you can shop at consignment shops and garage sales for the items you want all year.

If you have the cash in your pocket, it is okay to splurge every once in a while. I found the quilted throw and Victorian Lamp on my trip to Virginia with my mom and sisters. My younger sister had to talk me into buying them, even though I had enough cash on me. My husband loves them. He’s a St. Louis Cardinals fan. (I’m not and that is not my theme!)

I am so convinced that no one will guess the theme this year, that I am going to wait 2 weeks to reveal it! Next week, I will show you a priceless Christmas gift to make for grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

2017 Thanksgiving Table

My inspiration for my 2017 Thanksgiving table was the runner that I used on my kitchen table. I love the black and red with sunflowers on the edges.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

I used a black tablecloth with a red runner to mimic the table runner’s background. My gold charger plates stood in for the sunflower petals.

Gold Charges as Sunflowers "2017 Thanksgiving Table" frugalfish.org

I set the table and folded black napkins into rosettes for the centers of my sunflowers. The centerpiece is simply artificial vegetables my sister, Michele, gave me. Oh, the Indian corn in the center is real – it was given to me by my children’s preschool teacher! (Shout out to Roger and Deb!) I can’t believe it lasted this long!

Napkins Folded into Rosettes Make Sunflower Centers "2017 Thanksgiving Table" frugalfish.org

My frugal tip for this week may not save you money, but it will save you time!

I learned this tip, (for those with a separate dining room), from flylady.net. She sets her table a few days before Thanksgiving and covers it with clean sheets or tablecloths. I used my white tablecloths as dust covers. I set my table 11 days before Thanksgiving. That is one less thing on my to-do list!Cover Set Table with Tablecloths or Sheets "2017 Thanksgiving Table" frugalfish.org

Next week, I will share something everyone needs on Black Friday!

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

 

“2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour”

When you walk to my front door, you will see my Thanksgiving wreath. I made it by wrapping a gilded leaf garland my sister gave me around a grapevine wreath. All I needed to add was a plaid bow!

Gilded Garland Wreath "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

Before you knock, you will see a Pilgrim Bear greeting you from the windowsill. He’ll leave the lights on for ya!

Pilgrim Bear "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

Stepping into the living room, the lights from my glass block will draw your eye. I filled it with river rock and copper cookie cutters. It brings out the copper wire on the lights wrapped around the glass block. Next to it is my humble coaster stand. The cork and wood fit in with the autumn decorations. I decorated it with an artificial leaf and twine that came wrapped around Angie’s wedding invitation. (Congratulations Angie and Brock!)

Copper Cookie Cutters in a Glass Block "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

On the couch is my new pillow cover that says, “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.” The braided burlap trim says, “Autumn” to me! I love how the black and white lettering plays off of my black and white music quilt.

New Pillow Cover with Throw "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

The centerpiece on the kitchen table inspired my scheme for this Thanksgiving. You may remember I used it on my dining room table two years ago. I folded it in thirds to make it the proper size for my kitchen table. On top are my turkey napkin holder, candlesticks, and salt and pepper shakers. (Yes, Rachel, I did fill them.)

Thanksgiving Centerpiece "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

There are various vegetables around the base of the turkey napkin holder. I decided to use vegetables in my decor. I put a pumpkin basket and a glass pumpkin in my china cabinet.

Pumpkins in a China Cabinet "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

Using the colors from the table runner, I layered towels in the bathroom. I kept the autumn print I got from a link at theinspiredroom.net on the wall and pinned a turkey pin on one towel. On top I put a turkey I made with washcloths.

Washcloth Turkey "2017 Thanksgiving Home Tour" frugalfish.org

My frugalfish tip for this week is…

“Buy Pillow Covers, Not Pillows!”

Last week the clocks turned back one hour. In the spirit of changing times, I am going to “fall back” 7 hours next week! I will publish my post at 5:00 p.m. CST instead of 10:00 a.m. Come back to see my Thanksgiving Table!

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

An Apple for the Teacher

Happy First Day of Autumn!

I like to move into the season a bit more slowly than most. I don’t pull out the pumpkins until October. Usually, I start with apple decorations and save the yellow, orange, and brown decorations for later. Last year, it was all about fruit, see here.

My granddaughter, Olivia, started first grade this year and as I decorated, I thought about what you would see in a classroom. I had David pull out the apple decorations from my Rustic Christmas Decorations box. I used them on my wreath with a flag from the July 4th box, two pencils, and a yellow ribbon.

School Wreath "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.org

You may recognize the globe in my kitchen from my Christmas decorating last year. It represents geography in my decorating this month. The paints and crayons are for art and the apples are salt and pepper shakers!

Globe, Crayons, and Paint in kitchen "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.org

Apples fill the trifle dish and another bowl in my china cabinet.

Apples in the China Cabinet "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.org

There is more art downstairs in my dining room. I framed four more pieces of priceless art my children made in school. I used the frames from pictures I bought at Goodwill.

Framed Children's Artwork "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.org

The theme for the dining room table downstairs is music. As you can tell, I collect small rhythm instruments.

Music in the Dining Room "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.org

I was not sure how to decorate my glass block until I remembered most elementary classrooms have a fish or other small animal. I made it a fake fishbowl with a fish-shaped candle resting in a sea of blue glass marbles. Every fake fish needs fake fish food. I just turned the carton of popcorn salt around. The Liberty Bell from my July 4th box represents history.Fake Fish Tank "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.org

My son offered to loan me his calculator to represent math but that is a class most people want to forget! I didn’t accept his offer.

I used primary colored towels in the bathroom and pinned a bicycle pin on them. Above it is a printable saying I saw from theinspiredroom.net. She has a link to get a free one!

Fall Printable "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.org

My Frugalfish tip for this week is to personalize your printable sayings. I used markers on mine to match my decor. (I think I will use watercolors on a spring printable.) I got the frame at Goodwill for less than $3.00!

Personalized Fall Printable "An Apple for the Teacher" frugalfish.orgNext week I will show you how I store produce now that works better than just using Green Bags.

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JOY Candlesticks

I bought these candlesticks at Goodwill.
Unpainted Christmas Candlesticks, "Christmas Projects" frugalfish.org

I love painting figurines and decided to paint them.

JOY Christmas Candlesticks "Christmas Projects" frugalfish.org

It took three years! (This is why the stores have Christmas Craft projects in July. These things take time!) Now I have one-of-a-kind Christmas Candlesticks painted in colors that match my decor.

Take advantage of the Labor Day weekend to look through your projects. Your favorite, new Christmas decoration may already be there! (Yes, I have my Christmas decorating theme already!)

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Ocean in the Middle of Iowa

“This post brought to you by Derek!”

Derek got out the boxes of summer decorations and cobalt blue glassware that the doctor ordered me not to move! One was on the bottom of a stack of boxes.

Decorating this month reminded me of two things:

  1. Buying out of season makes it feel like Christmas all year-long, and
  2. I’m an Iowa girl.

Last week, I shared my inspiration for my August decorating. I talked about the “whale lights” I purchased earlier. Only, they aren’t whales, they’re dolphins! I also bought a glass dolphin, not a glass whale!

I unpacked my box of summer decorations and found a candle embedded with shells! Surprise! I purchased it last fall on a clearance rack and packed it in my summer box right away. Finding it was like opening a Christmas present!

It became the centerpiece for my kitchen table. I put my clear glass dolphin on one side of it and my new cobalt blue, glass dolphin in a vase on the other side. I didn’t have a cobalt blue table runner and pulled a scarf from my closet to use instead.Glass Dolphins and Seashell Candle "Ocean in the Middle of Iowa" frugalfish.orgOverturned vases are the platforms for my glass fish and a crystal oyster. My china cabinet is on a side wall. I try to have two layers of decorations in it because you are not looking at it from the front. I put a large starfish in front of my cobalt blue plate for that reason. The plate with a beach scene was a gift from Aunt Lesta! The candle in front of the plate is fish-shaped.Glass Fish and Crystal Oyster in China Cabinet "Ocean in the Middle of Iowa" frugalfish.orgI hung “dolphin lights” in my front window and put my three largest shells on the windowsill. I used shells everywhere!Dolphin Lights in Window "Ocean in the Middle of Iowa" frugalfish.orgShells fill my blue vases and I put a layer of small shells in the bottom of my glass block. On top, I put cobalt blue marbles and a few blue glass stones.Shells, Marbles, and Glass Rocks in Glass Block "Ocean in the Middle of Iowa" frugalfish.orgEven my wreath has shells on it. I opened up the blue bandana bow and wrapped it around the base of my wreath as an ocean. I added two white bandanas for the sea-foam on each side. I reused the material I used on last year’s wreath for the sky, see here. The rest of my seashells are in a net that I tied and wired to the bottom of the wreath.Ocean Themed Wreath "Ocean in the Middle of Iowa" frugalfish.org

The best way to shop is at the end of the season or in the opposite season. I buy summer clothes in July and winter clothes in January. The stores are trying to make room for fall clothes in July and drastically mark the spring and summer clothes down.

My next shopping trip I will be looking for patriotic and beach decor. I will pack them up and surprise myself again next summer. Of course, that means I have to pass on the items I no longer love to make room. It’s how you survive living in a small house.

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Towel Animals, Not Just For Cruises

When I took this picture, I thought it would be a sneak peek to my summer decorating. But then I helped my husband move a china cabinet and when he told me to let go – I didn’t. :(

China Cabinet: 1,  Frugalfish: 0

The doctor told me not to exercise for 3 weeks and to limit physical activity for 6 weeks. (Wait. Exercise isn’t physical activity?) He was trying to tell me to take it easy. I figure moving boxes of decorations and dishes would be considered physical activity.

$ $ $ $ $ $ $

Participating in a “Coffee and Canvas” with my mother and sisters inspired my August decorating theme. When they gave us the paint I thought, “I would never put those colors together!” But the beach scene turned out better than I expected – after I painted over the mossy green in the ocean. ;)

In my summer decorations box, there is a glass dolphin, crystal oyster (complete with a pearl), and a cobalt blue, glass fish. I decided to pull out my cobalt blue dishes and use them in my summer decorating.

I found some cobalt blue whale lights at “Joanne’s” and a cobalt blue, glass whale at “Hobby Lobby.” I had my theme and colors chosen. (Then I moved the china cabinet.)

Looking at suggested pins from Pinterest while eating breakfast one morning, I saw directions to make a swan out of hand towels. I folded two white hand towels into a swan and secured the two towels together with white, bead head pins. I found two black, bead head pins and used them for eyes. They also keep the head of my swan at the correct angle.

Layering several shades of blue towels on a towel rack, I placed the swan on top. The fish pin is now swimming underneath the swan on the blue towels. I added the picture I painted at the “Coffee and Canvas” to the wall.

Towel animals are not just for cruise ships!

Swan Made out of Towels "Towlel Animals, Not Just For Cruise Ships" frugalfish.org

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Same Bandannas, Different Wreath

Last year, I shared my version of a patriotic, bandanna wreath. This year I used the same bandanna pieces on my new grapevine wreath. When I made the first wreath, I cut the blue bandanna in half but didn’t cut both halves again. I used the uncut half to make a ribbon. I just folded it into a bow and tied it with a matching thin ribbon.

Patriotic Bandanna Grapevine Wreath, "Same Bandannas, Different Wreath" frugalfish.org

The lighted glass block has red glass stones and blue glass marbles. I wrapped the copper lights around the base to reflect through the red stones. Instead of adding something white on top, I stuck silver stars on the outside of the block. (I found the revolutionary war soldiers at the Bargain Box.)

Patriotic Glass Block, "Same Bandannas, Different Wreath" frugalfish.org

I made the centerpiece for my table with items from at the Dollar Store. The star-shaped, flameless, votive candles fit nicely in the star-shaped dishes. I found three of them at Goodwill a few months ago.

Dollar Store Patriotic Tablescape "Same Bandannas, Different Wreath" frugalfish.org

I put a fourth star-shaped dish in the china cabinet behind a resin cardinal that I picked up at Dollar General. I found another cobalt vase at Goodwill and used it to provide symmetry on my vignette.

Patriotic Cardinal and Strawberry Candles "Same Bandannas, Different Wreath" fruglafish.org

Happy Independence Day!

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Displaying Precious Artwork

“The clock that’s hung in our kitchen for 15 years, that our daughter crafted at kinder when she was three, has finally been taken down and relegated to the garage.

It was such an imperfect clock with childish numbers misaligned and it was never easy to tell the time. I loved it.”

outanabout.com

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

I read this post from Outanabout.com, (Melbourne, Australia), and realized I had relegated my children’s artwork to the shelf on the stairway. She proudly displayed her daughter’s clock for 15 years! I received most of the clay artwork as gifts on Mother’s Day. This year, my decorating features the artwork from my children’s school years.

It started when I made my wreath. I wanted to put the nest with three eggs on the wreath and the only way I could attach it was with brown yarn. I used 2 paper flowers my daughter made when she was young to hide the yarn.

Mother's Day Wreath "Displaying Priceless Artwrok" frugalfish.org

Not all of my Mother’s Day gifts were homemade. I received this plaque last year from my daughter and displayed it in the hall with a gray whale my youngest son made.

Plaque and Clay Whale "Displaying Precious Artwork" frugalfish.org

My daughter’s softball statues found a home in the china cabinet behind two tea cups and saucers. All three of my children made clay bowls displayed here and on the tables.

Clay Art in China Cabinet "Displaying Precious Artwork" frugalfish.org

I balanced the big clay bowl with a teapot made by my oldest son and a heart made by my daughter. I used two tart pans painted with roses as the centerpiece for my tables. This one has a black bowl filled with roses. Our youngest son made the marble plaque.

Clay Bowl, Teapot, Heart, and Marble Plaque with Roses Bouquet "Displaying Precious Artwork" frugalfish.org

Upstairs in the kitchen, I used a green, glass bowl filled with pink, rose-shaped candles. This green bowl always reminded me of my mother because she had green vases, pitchers, and glasses. On each side are homemade clay bowls.

Bowl of Roses with Clay Pots "Displaying Precious Artwork" frugalfish.org

I think of my Grandmother when I look at the glass block, cat, and kittens. The cat and kittens were a gift from my grandmother on my 8th birthday. The package to the right was given to me by my daughter with instructions to never open it because it contains all her love. I filled the glass block with three ingredients found in my rose potpourri and pink, glass rocks.

Cats and Mother's Day Glass Block "Displaying Precious Artwork" frugalfish.org

I even included a reminder of something I made when I put a pin on my roses towels. Those footprints are the size of a baby’s feet at 12 weeks after conception. Yes, my greatest blessings do call me Mom.

Roses Towels with Baby Feet Pin "Displaying Precious Artwork" frugalfish.org

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Artwork Repair

I recently read of a lady who kept her Easter decorations up until “Ascension Day” 40 days later. She must not decorate with any Easter Eggs. I won’t leave mine up that long but I decided to show you something before it all goes back in the box.

Easter Vignette "Lilac Easter" frugalfish.org

At the end of the hall, I had a vignette with a picture of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane in the center. I even posted a photo of it. What you don’t see is the damage. It is an antique picture mounted on a slab of wood. There are tears in a few spots and a chunk was missing.

 

 

I almost gave it away a few years ago but kept it because I liked it. I got out my package of 100 markers and found shades that closely matched the damaged areas. I just colored the exposed wood with the marker. You can see the damage in this closeup photo.

Damaged Picture, "Artwork Repair" frugalfish.org

No one noticed the repair, even when they had to look behind it for an egg in my “Easter Egg Treasure Hunt!”

Related Post – Repairing Bleach Spots

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