holidays

Center of Attention

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Even though the holidays have come to an end it is never to late to jazz up your table this time of year. My roommates and I had a Christmas party and I put together this piece as a Piece de Resistance for the party, but I am finding that I quite enjoy it.- A little too much to get rid right afterwards. I think I may have to find a way to re-purpose it for the upcoming holiday of love (stay tuned for a Valentine’s day update!)

Full holiday table decor

I came across these beautiful red sticks when I went home to my parents for thanksgiving and I had to have them. Fortunately for me they were free in the ravine behind my house, so it just cost me a little bit of manual labor and some time out in the Minnesota cold. My hands were numb by the time I collected everything, but I’m always in favor of finding things free!  If you aren’t that lucky, I have seen similar style sticks for sale in any garden store and some fancy-shmancy grocery stores. As I began to plan out my thoughts, things were looking a little bland. I decided to spray-paint half of the sticks white to add a bit of contrast.  Black or gold would also have worked but I like the bright white against our dark wood trim. It takes about 3 coats of spray paint to cover the sticks completely. Also- side note- choose a day to spray paint when it isn’t -15 degrees outside.  APPARENTLY Minnesota winter turns spray paint into a gelatinous mess.  I was forced to retreat to the bathroom and stink up the apartment with fumes- sorry roomies!

Holiday Table Decor

There is no real way to describe how I arranged the sticks- I mainly just balanced white and red. Its good to take a step back to make sure that it doesn’t look one sided or awkwardly one color or the other. For the Christmas party I added some ornaments by the recommendation of my roommate. I think it added a little sparkle and really looked FABULOUS. And to add a little extra ambiance I put wine corks and cranberries in glass jars I found at a thrift shop.  I think I spent less than $10 on the whole project and it really livened up the look in our dining room.  Definitely doable on a small budget. …If you’re willing to risk a minor case of frost bite 🙂

Oranges and Cloves Holiday Decor

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Oranges and Cloves Holiday Decor

Right after the fresh scent of pine from the Christmas tree I think  the smell of oranges and cloves is my number 2 scent that reminds me of Christmas.  Thats why when thinking of a way to decorate my apartment for the holidays I decide to incorporate both into a piece of Christmas decor.

Since I live the life of a out-of-college 20 something I’m not into frivolously spending the money I don’t have, so I found a way to do this without breaking the bank…. aka not spending over $10.

Cloves and oranges Holiday Decor

To start, I got a bag of about 10 navel oranges and 1 0z of whole cloves.  To pre-puncture a hole in the orange, I just used a nail. It prevents the cloves from breaking (’cause, you know, I’m poor and I don’t want to waste them…) This is when you can just have fun, there is no pattern the cloves can really go anywhere. Just have fun with it. The best part is that the room will just fill with citrus bliss.

Now, if you want, you can place the oranges in a decorative bowl and call it a day, but i’m gonna go one step farther.

Oranges and Cloves in a Bowl

I got a collection of pine tree branches and vines that I used in a combo with the oranges. I then layered them all together. First, putting down the pine branches and then oranges and going every other after that.  The idea is to find a good mix of oranges and pines to create the best mix of scents. I find that stepping back and taking a look helps finding the perfect mix. I had to move everything around a couple times, but I eventually found the balanced I liked.

Vase of Oranges Cloves and Pine