Tree Week: The Trick to Using Glass Balls


It's tree week over here, and today we are looking at trees done in glass balls.
Although using glass balls may seem a bit traditional for some of us,
I'm thinking the real trick to making this modern is the way you use them.

In that gorgeous tree above,
Sarah Richardson has hung her ornaments in groups, 
making for more visual interest than if she spaced them all out evenly.

I"m with Sarah on loading up the tree, the more the better!
D. has resigned himself to the fact that our storage area is actually a Christmas depot :)
But you have to be careful about the weight you are placing on each branch - 
that tree looks a wee bit tipsy, LOL.

Here is a similar style in warm colors she placed in her country home.

Totally different effect when you switch from 
the more modern blue/green/clear palette to the red/silver/gold palette. 
The first tree is somewhat serene, and fresh 
in an analgous scheme that enhances the dark green of the tree.
The second has much more energy, 
due to the fact that red and green are complements.
This means each will intensify the other,
 and encourage your eye to move back and forth between the two.

If you prefer a more lighthearted approach,
I love this medley of color.
Again, they hung the ornaments in groups, I'm seeing a trend here :)

Speaking of multicolored decor..



What a difference when the ornaments are spread out evenly -
 such a formal feel.

I think I like the loosey-goosey-drunk-with-sparkle versions better :)



til next time..

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Tree Week: Tinsel Trees

With Christmas in just 26 days (ahh) tree season has arrived!

This week I am going to explore all the creative ways of using trees for the holidays.

We use a variety of trees around the house, but a new one last year was the addition of tinsel trees.

Now, these have always seemed a bit "Vegas" to me, lumped into the category reserved for flashing multi-coloured lights and trees covered in copious amounts of gold and red.

But last December, after venturing into the holiday section at Wal-Mart,
the kids came running, each with a different color of tinsel tree in their arms.


And so off we went, me eyeing the trees dubiously, the kids discussing (quite seriously)
how each of them was going to decorate their new tree.

They've always had their own small tree in their bedroom, you see, 
and I give no input as to how the lights/decorations/trim go on - 
it's their project, and the kids love it!

Sunday they got their trees up, and I thought you may like to see what they came up with :)

Natasha has gone for silver and white, with bits of turquoise peeking through.
It's a snow theme, I was told.

She created the pompom (snowball) garland this year, which I think is adorable.

This delicate fairy makes it up just about every year, despite the theme.

The girls figure skate, so of course the skate ornament (she bought at a craft sale) is up.

Many years back I made a bunch of sequined/beaded balls, so Natasha tried her hand at some.

Pretty, isn't it?

Coco's tree is, of course, pink.

Every year the girls and I attend The Nutcracker Ballet in Toronto,
and Chloe adores it.

The first years she asked for a ballerina decoration at the ballet, but last two she requested a Nutcracker.
And then saved her allowance and bought an entire set!

The blown glass flowers are part of a set from the year she wanted a "garden tree".

Cameron's tree is quite dark - green with red lights.
I couldn't get pics without the flash going, so sorry for the glare :)
Cam refuses to have a tree skirt - "boys don't wear skirts, Mum"
but I think one of the girls placed those Mardi Gras beads underneath!

One year the Christmas crackers had these little wooden ornaments inside.
When everyone saw how excited Cam was to have a decoration for his tree, they all gave him theirs!
There is also an elf he bought at a craft sale (see a trend here?!!)
a puppy ornament he has had since he was wee,
and of course, his beloved blue disco balls :)

This Nutcracker was part of Coco's set, she gave it to him because "everyone needs a nutcracker, Mum".

As a finishing touch, Cam removed this tinsel streamer from a ball, and popped it on top!

It's fun to watch these tree's evolve and change as the kids do.
They are so proud of their creations, and everyone who sets foot in our house this month
 will get pulled up the stairs to see them!

Don't know if I would put that much tinsel anywhere else in the house, LOL.

Would you?

til next time..

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The Weekend Projects

If you are lucky, some weekends find you in a place like this,
with a book, and some spare time..

In reality, most weekends are spent like this..

 painting a shelf for Cam's Hockey and baseball trophies to live on.

 making birthday party invites for Coco's gingerbread-house-making party
 (first one, not sure whatI've gotten myself into here!)
and baking a trial version.

 making one of these

created on: 01/07/09

for over the dining room table.

 the classic white is simply beautiful, but I was considering jute twine,
 or maybe cobalt blue for a different twist -

 I'd love your opinions..

Found great instructions from Jen at Made by Girl
 and she was even kind enough to email me all the extra electrical and mounting instructions
 ( of which there is a scary amount :)

If those all get done today, the kids are determined to get one of our trees up tomorrow, 
so that will be Sunday.
What are you up to this weekend?

til next time..
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Destination Friday: Escape to Majorca

Okay, this Villa isn't for rent, it's for sale,
but a girl can dream, can't she?

I travelled to Majorca several years ago as a stop on a Mediterranean cruise.
 A majestic island tucked neatly below Spain, 
with mountainous terrain making for spectacular cliffside homes at every turn.

I think the greatest luxury a home can have is space, 
and am so impressed with the restraint practiced here. 
Instead of filling these rooms, they remain airy and spacious -
a place to breathe.

A far cry from the holiday madness upon us, yes?

til next time..
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Foo Dog Fabulous

It's American Thanksgiving, and before I get into these chic little dogs,
 I'm sending out a big thank you to all of you.

I started this blog because I felt every business should have one,
but it's become a very personal thing.
I didn't expect to meet so many "kindred souls".
So today I'm thankful for all of you, for your comments and support.
And I'm thankful for your blogs, which continue to inspire me and warm my heart :) daily.

Was cruising through the lighthearted boutique Ada and Darcy 
the other day and spotted these Foo Dogs.

Such intense color and quirky appeal.

Love to see those in a room, I thought!

Ask and you shall receive...

This room is a perfect example of how a neutral-based palette does not have to be boring!
Using neutrals for the furnishings and surfaces allows you to bring in 
whichever color you are currently fancying with accessories.

I'm fancying a pair of those tasty pups.
Anybody else?

As for the melting popsicle sculpture, I'll let you know if I find a source for that one :)

til next time..

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Color Post: How You Can Create Flow With Color, part 1

Last week I had a client ask me a common question:

"How can I use color to make my house flow?"

It's something I discuss on every consultation I do, because each time you change a room in your home, you need to be mindful of what is happening in the rest of the space.

Of of the most important things to consider is the purity of your color.

Primary, secondary and tertiary colors are pure, that is, they have not been muted by adding color from other parts of the color wheel (other than those adjacent to them) or grey.

These are the "cleanest" hues.
They can be lightened by adding white, and therefore become tints.
Or they can be darkened by adding black, and therefore become shades.

If you use a pure hue in one space, then move on to a "dirty" tone in the next,
 your home will not have good flow.

Look at the difference in these Benjamin Moore yellows.

You do NOT have to use the exact same palette all through your home to create flow.
You do, however, have to choose between clean and dirty hues
 if you are using different hues throughout.
Generally clean hues pair best with cool neutrals and dirty with warm,
 as dirty hues almost always have some brown in them.

One of the best examples of how freeing this is to color in design
 is shown in Victoria Webster's home,
designed by Sloan Mauran
as seen in House and Home.

I think this house is genius!
Obviously color is just one part of this design, and everything is done to perfection.

There are other well-considered color elements here as well, like saturation -
but the clean hues, paired with cool grey, cool white and black are the main factor.

Spectacular, isn't that?
Makes you want to head straight out to the paint store for a gallon of that tangerine!

When I post part two I'll show you a home where dirty color reigns - lovelier than it sounds, promise :)

til next time..
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