December 12, 2014

Christmas 2014 Open House Tour

Thank you, Sherry, of the "No Minimalist Here" blog for
 inviting me to join in with other bloggers for a
 Christmas Open House Blog Hop! 

We'll start the tour of my home (well, for this post it is the outside
decorations and the dining room...too many pictures for one post)
in the front yard.
Unsightly spot lights and cords are a necessary evil to light up the front of the house
 at night during Christmas-time.

Last year I made all new decorations for the outside going with
a festive red and bright green color scheme with a candy theme. 

I didn't get all of it back down from the attic this year but 
enough to make the yard and front of the house "merry and bright".

If you want to see a tutorial on how to make the candy decor,
click on the link Make Giant Candy Decorations

Last year's deco mesh garland did not make it out of the attic
but I did make some deco mesh and ribbon toppers for the lights.

They are really easy.  Using 21" deco mesh, cut several pieces
10" wide (your pieces will be 10" x 21").  Roll the pieces into
tubes. Pinch the tubes/rolls in the middle and secure them with 
a pipe cleaner. Then make a bow using wired ribbon
 Add some other decorative elements if you want to. 

Secure the mesh rolls onto the lantern with the pipe cleaner.
Tie the bow on next.  Add other decorative elements if desired.
I actually ended up using two sets of the deco mesh spiral bundles to make the topper full. 

Because I already had wreaths for each of the six windows 
across the front of the house, I made a burlap door hanging of
a Christmas tree for the front door.

I love making burlap door hangings because it allows you to
choose any object you want, any size you want, any color
you want to paint it. They take a little time, mainly for the 
paint to dry, but they are not hard to do.  Here is a tutorial:

Each of the windows has a deco mesh wreath.

These are also easy to make and give you a lot of bang for 
your buck.  Here's how they are made: Make A Christmas Wreath.

 Most of the lollipops by the mailbox are made differently 
than the ones by the front door. Although both types use the
 canned spray foam, most of the lollipops by the mailbox 
get their color from paint rather than from wrapping paper. 

All of them are covered with cellophane to mimick a candy
wrapper and to protect them from the weather. 

Here is the mailbox as the sun is setting and the lights are turned
on. The mailbox itself got a new "do" this year. If you want to
 see the tutorial for it, here it is: Deco Mesh Mailbox Topper.

Here is the front of the house at night...

So come on in the front door now.  This are is just an open area
that is a combo foyer and dining room.  When we moved into this
house ten years ago, we sheetrocked over an opening in the wall
behind the buffet.  This gave us a longer wall to put this large
piece of furniture on AND kept folks from seeing directly into 
the kitchen from the front door. 

I enjoy changing out the artwork in this frame seasonally. 

This angel was a very last-minute Christmas decoration a 
couple of years ago and I still love her. Here is her story...

On top of the buffet are candles and bottles brush trees in 
pottery from Hobby Lobby. 

The two candle holders were a splurge for me. I bought them from
accessorizing. Usually my shopping style is 40-50% off coupons.

The candles in the pottery are LED lights that won't burn the 
bottle brush trees. They also have a great feature of coming on
at the same time everyday for about four hours. Especially in the
winter it is nice to come home in the dark and candles are
"burning in the window" to welcome you home. 

The "snow" in the pottery is actually epsom salt. To keep from 
using so much epsom salt, a piece of cardboard was cut to fit the pottery and placed  on top of several upside-down glasses down
 inside the pottery.  Then the salt was added on top of the board. 

Looking to your right, you will see the dining room table.

Even though we almost never have snow on Christmas in Alabama,
I have been brainwashed by songs, etc. to think that Christmas
is better with snow. The miniature houses and little bottle brush
trees sit on serving plates covered in epsom salt to mimick snow.

The little houses are $1 each from Wal-Mart and Dollar Tree
that have been spray-painted white. Here's how they were made
and used in 2012 ...DIY Mini-Winter Wonderland.

This year I used more ornaments, less bottle brush trees and
less plates in the vignette. 

Glass Cake Stand

Serving Stand with Handle (in middle)

Silver Cake Stand

I lucked up on little cardboard houses WITH trees that have a
little light inside that you can switch off and on. 

Did you know that it is very easy and inexpensive to bleach 
bottle brush trees? Here's how: Bleached Bottle Brush Trees.

If you don't want to bleach your own trees you can find small
ones in stores already done. Hobby Lobby has some in the 
doll house section. These with balls already on them came
from World Market... the scrapbook section of Jo Ann's I found these...

The chalk-painted hutch also in the dining room usually has 
more bottle brush trees displayed but this year it got a
 pared-down look with older silver trees from the attic. 

In the background of the picture below, you can see into the
living room.  If you would like to see the living room and the 
fireplace mantle decorated click on  Open House Tour Part Two.

Thanks so much for visiting!
Be sure and go visit the other blogs that are in the "hop" today!

21 Rosemary Lane reveals her beautiful living room...

A Stroll Thru Life shares Part One of her home tour...

All About Vignettes shares her "other" mantle in her sunroom...


  1. Gayle your home looks so festive and beautiful inside and out! I LOVE LOVE the display on your table and your hutch is always a favorite of the display with the tall silver trees! So glad we got to party together:-)

  2. Everything looks so beautiful, Gayle! You really put a lot into making your home especially breathtaking! My favorite is the look of the tall trees in the hutch. Absolutely stunning!

  3. I love, love, love your lollypop outside decor. How fabulous is that. Such a unique and fun idea. I also think your village on the dining table is stunning. Wow, so gorgeous. Thanks also for the great shoutout. It has been so fun to be on the tours with you.
    God Bless and Merry Christmas.

  4. Oh my how pretty and festive your home is Gayle! Your little villages on cake stands are about the cutest thing I've seen in a long time! I also love the stunning look of the two bottle brush trees against the pretty blue of the hutch's interior. So simplistic yet so elegant. Wonderful job. It has been great getting to know your work Gayle on the blog hops. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    XO Barbara

  5. Gayle, The candy ornaments are adorable and what a pretty dining room. Thank you for joining the blog hop and Happy Holidays!

  6. The outside decorations, the bottle brush trees, the dining room table--it's all so lovely. I found your blog through Dixie Delights. Merry Christmas!

  7. Oh so beautiful! I love all of your mercury glass. I've just started collecting pieces in the last year and love the sparkle. :)

  8. I remember those from last year, Gayle. They are just as cute this year as they were then!

    Everything looks serenely beautiful in your home. Merry Christmas to you- I am so happy you were on the tour. xo Diana


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