Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Bloggy Friends!

I'm just about to fire up the grill in my outdoor kitchen, and take a dip in the spa.  That's how we roll for New Year's with 3 kiddos in the house!  Just wanted to wish all my sweet bloggy friends a wonderful New Year.  May all your dreams come true!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Burlap, Bling and Blue - Our Naturally Modern Christmas

Hi Everyone!
It's been forever and a day since I last posted.  This Christmas season has been one heck of a ride, but I've had an absolutely wonderful time!  Unfortunately, in all that activity, I've never been later getting my tree up!  I'm usually such an early bird...never later than a few days after Thanksgiving!  This year, I was mid December before it was all done, and even then I was tweaking, rearranging, and moving boxes from one room to another!  But, the end result was what I had envisioned, and we've been enjoying the fruits of my labour to the fullest this past week!  Needless to say I've eaten too much, went waaaay overboard with the gift giving, and mostly enjoyed spending quality time with my family.  Don't you just love Christmas!!

I'll stop yammering about my Christmas now, and just show you how Christmas in Done in the Avery household!  No holds barred!

Here is the centerpiece, our 12 foot monster of a tree!  And boy, do I have a hard time filling that sucker out!  It's beautiful, but expensive to fill up!  And, don't get me started about my "pre-lit" tree, that when set up this year, produced a measly 150 or so lights.  Sheer frustration was the result as I found myself meticulously re-stringing lights over pre-lit ones, while teetering on a ladder with a complete tangled and jumbled mess.  I really do feel for the guy "rigging up the lights" in that well know xmas song.  Sheesh.

But, I think is was worth it!

Also, by sheer accident, I ended up with my version of what I am calling my ice storm tree.  I painted a few branches robin's egg blue, not knowing exactly what I was going to do with them.  I had some leftover clear blingy garland, and voila...and accidental fortune.  It's one of my favorite centerpieces this year.

The fireplace also got an unconventional makeover.  I mixed a modern centerpiece of branches and bulbs, with natural elements like evergreen trees wrapped in burlap.  Throw in some lights, blingy garland, and homemade white burlap, and you have an updated traditional mantel.

Every Christmas, I pull out all the china, and love it so much I vow to use it year round.  Then, I never do!  Maybe this year will be the year.  I'm thinking of getting rid of the china display cabinet, leaving just the sideboard.  This should force the china into the cupboard where it will be used more frequently.  That's my story...ask me again next Christmas!  Here's the dining room:

Finally, a few snaps of the full living room and entryway.  I made a wreath for each family member this year, and hung them going up the stairs.  I was going to forgo the garland in lieu of just the wreaths.  However, the wreaths are not lit, and they didn't look substantial enough at night.  So in the end, I did a simple garland lit with lights and adorned with more burlap ribbon.

More of the ice storm tree:

A close up of the monogrammed wreath:

Live Rosemary trees give off the most beautiful holiday scent.  I tied a simply modern turquoise ribbon around the burlap base, and it made for a great piece in the entryway.  

So, I guess that's my Christmas tour.  Sorry about all the pics!  I got a new camera for my birthday, and it's kinda hard to take a really bad shot with it, so I had too many pics to choose from, and was too darn lazy to choose!  Hope you all enjoy the rest of your Christmas!  


Linking to:


No Minimalist Here

Savvy Southern Style

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blue Pumpkin Fall Mantel

I said a while back I would try to at least switch up my mantel with the changing of the seasons. Well, honestly, fall is the most chaotic time in my household. Since early August, I've had back to school, 2 house-guests at different times, 3 kids birthdays, and fall itself. Honestly, I'm EXHAUSTED! But, I love it. It's a good exhaustion (though I still wish at least one of my kids was born in the other 49 weeks of the year)!

Well, despite all that, I did manage to scrape together a fall mantel. Actually, I really enjoyed it, and it only took an hour or so to put it together. I bought a few new florals from Hobby Lobby, and some real blue and white pumpkins. The rest I had on hand from last year. I can't tell you how excited I was to walk into my local grocery store and see a sign for BLUE pumpkins....REAL blue pumpkins. I think I actually high fived my 1 year old! Though the color is more toward green, they are a beautiful shade nonetheless. I decided to build my mantel around them. One was too big to actually fit on the mantel, so I got to decorate my front entrance table as well.

Here is the final product!

Don't you just adore that blue pumpkin?  No spray paint or glitter involved.  Just Au Natural...the way it was supposed to be.  Sigh.  Don't get me wrong, I still love orange pumpkins, especially the fancy and gourd varieties.  But, I am not a lover of orange or red of any kind in my house.  I think I got red and gold'ed out in my last house 5 years ago, and I just can't seem to get past the trauma!  Give me soft blue and gray any day!  Which, brings me to my next entryway.

Exhibit B...and oh how I hate it!

That dresser has to go!  I saw one just like it in an entry in a beautiful Mediterranean house in Houston's Bellaire neighborhood a few years ago, and immediately I put mine in the entry too.  (It was a dresser in my bedroom, but we did not have room in this house).  But, I don't think it ever worked.  The scale is too large, the color wood is horrid, and it's too traditional for my taste.  

I do like what's on top of the table, but I despise the dresser, wall color, and tile on the floor.  I recently bought a paint sprayer, which I hope is going to do wonders for the diarrhea brown wall color and dresser!!  ;-)

Back to the mantel....more diarrhea brown (lots of painting soon at my house), but I do love the cream/latte and green/blue of the mantel decor.  It's fall-ish enough for me without being plastered in orange and rust.  It makes me happy, and gets me in the spirit of fall, even if it is still 98 degrees here in Houston.  Falling leaves will have to wait until December!

A few more pics:

A huge thank you to Dear Lillie for sharing this wonderful quote:

"By all these lovely tokens, September Days are here, with Summer's best of Weather, and Autumn's Best of Cheer"

I printed the quote on metallic robin's egg blue paper, and displayed in an old brown wood frame that I  spray painted cream.  This project took all of 30 minutes, and I love it.  Such nice words for September, especially Houston where it does remain warm through December.  You can find the link to print your own here.

That's it for now.  Enjoy the rest of your September, then we are on to Halloween!


I'm linking to the Lettered Cottage.

The Lettered Cottage