December 2, 2010

A Very Merry Living Room

This is our first Christmas as homeowners.  When I was growing up, I tried to redecorate my mom's Christmas tree in a less shall-we-say tacky way.  She used to get so mad!! haha  She would say, "Rachel, when you get your own house you can decorate it however you want.  Until then, we're doing things my way!".  Needless to say, as soon as I was able, I decorated however I wanted. :)  

We set up our larger tree in the living room right by the fireplace.  I love waking up, turning on the fire, plugging in the lights to the Christmas tree and cuddling up with Emma before breakfast.  It makes the cold of winter almost worth it.

I have lots to do to finish up with my tree, but I'm thinking that will probably happen next year.  A tree topper is at the very top of the list, but I'd also like to make a sweater-like skirt and a few more ornaments.  Next year, Rachel.  Next year.
So, this is the felt garland I have been pining for.  I first saw it at West Elm and thought "Sixteen dollars for six feet of garland?!  I could totally make that."  So I ordered 4lbs of natural sheep's wool from Pennsylvania, looked up how to roll felt balls on youtube, and got to work.  What I didn't realize is that it takes approximately fifteen minutes to roll one ball.  Yes, one ball.  So, I went back to the internet and noticed it was possible to roll them in pantyhose and stick them in the washing machine.  So I bought a bunch of pantyhose and rolled about 75 balls.  I was so excited at this point for finally cracking the code.  Only when they came out of the washing machine, they were cracked and mis-shapen.  FAIL.  I tried recovering, reshaping, etc.  I ended up with a total of a little more than 50 small balls in a total of 12 hours of work.  I estimated that I needed about 800.  That ended up being a gross underestimation.

I cried.  Andrew saw me cry.  Andrew bought me nine strands of felt garland from West Elm.  Fin.

The other two ornaments on the bottom?  I actually made those as well as about 50 others for the tree.  You can read about them here and here.

The rest of the living room area was decorated very simply.  I've had the pillows for a few years.  Got them at Pier 1 Imports I think.

Next year, I'll do something more elaborate with the mantel, but I had to at least show you our cute-as-a-button stockings.  

I'd love to hear from you! Have you done anything crazy fun for decorations this year?  Show me, show me!


  1. Hey Rachel!
    I love all your Christmas decorating. It's very pretty in a non-traditional yet traditional way. Not quite sure how you do that but you do! We are definitely of the "tacky" Christmas decorating style. It's just sort of evolved that way. Our tree gets loaded down w/ handmade kids ornaments, stuff from ornament swaps and b/c our house is filled with nothing but boys...matchbox cars! We also decorate our house outside with lights galore...
    You can see this years picture on my facebook and pics of our tree from last year there too. But trust me...I highly doubt you'll be saving any of those pictures in a "inspiration" file! :)

  2. I like how the stockings are not in the center of the mantle but on the left instead to give the room a nice balance. very nice rachel!

  3. Aw Dawn, your Christmas tree is adorable! I love the story you told me at Firebirds of how the tree sags from the amount of ornaments you have. That is ONE LOVED TREE!

    Thanks Courtney! Hope you're having a great holiday season!


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