Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Slow Lane

First, I want to say

thank you

For all of the kind,
encouraging and just
darn nice comments
that you left for me
on my last post.

Several readers wrote
to me, asking if I would
please spill the beans on
how to create some of the
fun things that were part
of my daughter's party.

Of course, since I
love to share, here are
links to the resources
that we used.  

Felt flowers
Better Homes & Gardens
December 2011*

Rolled paper flowers
Jones Design Co.

Cutting the marshmallows into squares

Homemade marshmallows
If you've never had them, 
they're amazing.
Smitten Kitchen

The BEST frosting
{Really, you have to try it!}
Tasty Kitchen

Slowly but surely, it's
beginning to look a lot like
 Christmas at our house.

I'm not the pull out all of 
the boxes on one day and
it's done sort of a girl.

No, no, no.

First I have to clear the
decks so things are a
bit spartan, then 


start to pull things out and
begin the process of making
our home feel merry.

Speaking of which, I fell
in love with a picture in the
holiday Pottery Barn catalog. 
The part I liked, metal letters
hanging off a big antler over
a TV, was not for sale.  

{They didn't use the letters 
on their website, but here's 
the basic idea.}

Inspired by their look,
I decided to create
my own.

Not having access to a moose
or caribou antler, I asked a
woodsy friend if she could find
me a birch branch, which 
she did. 

Next, I found metal letters on to spell out my message.

I used temporary hooks  
to hold the whole she-bang 
in place.

What do you think?

I also wanted to bring in
more nature to my dining room,
so the same friend brought me
lacy birch and popular branches,
which we perched on top of
the chandelier.

I'm hoping to find tiny 
snowflakes or crystals to hang
among the branches, but even
plain, I love this look!

The fresh promise of spring
bulbs potted in all sorts of
containers around the house
brings a smile to my face.  I
think I may have started a bit
too late, but it doesn't matter.  
These sweet blooms will be
 a special present whenever
they decide to make an

Are you a fast, out of the gate
Christmas decorator, or are
you a slow-bird, taking your
time and savoring the process?

If you are the former, you most
likely have all your shopping 
done and wrapped, mailed your
cards, finished baking and are 
spending your free time watching 
Christmas movies or reading books 
with a cup of tea near the glow of
the tree, which is my goal 

Hasn't happened, yet.

This year, instead of expecting
this old dog to learn new tricks,
I'm going to let her go gently
into this Christmas season, at
her own pace, soaking it all in
instead of sprinting to the finish.

This weekend I'll be adding 
a few more decorations to our 
Christmas tree and start writing
and addressing the cards.

Red Lion Amaryllis bulb.
I'm optimistic that if I quiet
the Christmas din that 
threatens to swallow us up at
this time of year, I'll have a
moment or two to share with
you on Monday : )

Have a wonderful weekend.

{Be merry!}


PS:  The winner of the software

Life is What You Make Of It

Congratulations : )

*If you don't have
access to BH&G, write
me and I'll send you
the step by steps.

Linking to these
fine folks:




Kathysue said...

I am just like you I go slowly and enjoy the process. I never decorate just to get it done. If I feel like that I don't enjoy it at all. I enjoy the creative process and like to see it all unfold organically. It is always amazing how the process goes and what the end result is. Tonight I worked on my angel table and I really love it. It was a lesson in restraint. Only certain elements looked good together. I am pleased with the sparkly and serenity of it. Love love your branches in the chandelier!! The metal letters are perfect. I used Christmas words on my mantel this year too!!! Enjoy the process and Falalaing♪♫♪♫♪
Merry Christmas
xo Kathysue♥

michele said...

i'm a slow bird so the tree is still bare, but i enjoy the process sooooooo it's great to take it slow. i'm not a throw up the same tinsel from last year gal either. i like fresh ideas.

LOVE LOVE LOVE what you did to the mantel and the chandelier. esp the chandelier! i wanna try that too!

holy marshmallows, suzanne. so yummy!

and if it's ok i'll just keep rambling cuz you've got colby caillat singing a christmas song, and i love that voice and know every lyric to the coco album and sing my guts out with her.



Karena said...

Suzanne this is so great, I think Isabella and I will make homemade marshmallows this weekend!

Still many surprises coming up in our amazing 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!! The French Basketeer has a lovely offering right now!


Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh...I LOVE the branches on your chandelier! I bet PB has that on their front cover next year. :)

It's looking a lot like Christmas around here but I go about it slowly. I want it to evolve and be part of the season, not a must do in one day. Bake a little, decorate a little... :)

I hope your holiday season has been beautiful so far...thank you for the gift of your friendship this year. xo

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Hello, friend! I am so like you. I'm a one box and one room at a time decorator. Slow and steady until I get things just the way I like them. With frequent crafting breaks, of course! your home is gorgeous, you are talented beyond belief! Happy decorating!

Kathleen PS Don't miss my giveaway, girlfriend!

June said...

I'm a s-l-o-w decorator too Suzanne. I have to really be struck with the urge to do a little of this and a little of that. Since the children are gone except for Landon, I don't do a ton, but what I do takes me weeks, because I never decorate the same every year. I have to 'feel' it.
Your mantle is beautiful!!! And I haven't even started the gift buying or wrapping yet :(
hugs from here...

doodles n daydreams said...

I always plan to have all things Christmas done in plenty of time and then have time to relax before Christmas proper sets in, but alas, this year I am once again fitting things in where I can. But that is okay too, because I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the rushing around, it never stresses me so maybe I am just lucky. Everything is always done in time and we always enjoy the family times and that is what counts. Happy decorating, I will be interested to see your bulbs when they come out.

Anonymous said...

I have a 'Cinderella' red and white amaryllis this year... hoping for a bloom! Don't you just love them!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

it's all so YOU! love the twigs in the chandie.

i've been really stressed and complainy. sometimes it takes an eye opener to see it though. my eyes have been opened. no more whining! time to be MERRY:)

Marie said...

Love, Love your decor Suzanne. I am a minimalist myself, but Todd likes the whole shooting match. I usually end up with a compromise somewhere in between!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I usually have it all done before Dec. 1, we decorate on the weekend after Thanksgiving. It's like whirlwind over here. This year, not so much. We're going away. I'm enjoying seeing everyone else's decorations and love everything you did!
Every year I think I will make marshmallows but for some reason I don't. We love them. Perhaps this year :)

paige said...

what do we think?
are you kidding...gorgeous!!
& thank you for so many wonderful links
you're the best sweet suzanne

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Great ideas, Suzanne. I'm giving some thought to lots of them. My decoration has taken several days and I'm not through. Thanks for gining me permission to take my time. xo Jenny

Biz said...

1. I am a get all my Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving kinda girl! I love white Christmas lights and I hate that they ever have to come down, so the sooner I can get them up the happier I am!
2. I'm not done Christmas shopping, my cards haven't gone out yet (I'm waiting on Bitsy's onesie so we can take the picture!)!!! I need to make 3 dozen cookies for a Christmas party on Tuesday! I'm feeling a bit behind these days...I guess having a nearly 10 week old little girl is a good excuse if I'm going to have any excuse at all right!
3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your branch and letter concept. It's are the branches in your chandelier.
You are so crafty :)
4. My beautiful teal fiestaware mug is getting tons of use as the cold weather moves in :D I think of you each time I see it!!
Miss you tons,

lisaroyhandbags said...

Your decorations look lovely - the branch and letters over your mantel are great! I've got my Christmas vignette and that's about it this year. Usually I take my time decorating to savour the process - it's always so much more fun putting them up than it is taking them all down! have a wonderful weekend xo

Olive Cooper said...

Suzanne, the chandelier is gorgeous just as it is and your merry creation is quite merry. I am fast out of the gate and then I enjoy it all, after the exhaustion. Happy Christmas from Olive&Joe

Frizzy said...

Thank you for sharing your links. Love those ideas. Wish I had time to do each of them. Maybe for a certain little girl's birthday party this summer...

I hope to join you on MOnday again. I have maxed my photo storage on my blog so I'm in a bit of a pickle!

Whosyergurl said...

Love your merry message. Love bringing the outside, in. I often gather pine cones and branches- whatever I fancy to bring in. I love tossing pinecones into the fire. They are great firestarters and smell good.
I'm slow coming to the game. Have my tree up and just ironed the Christmas tablecloth last night.
I'll get there, truly I will!
xo, Cheryl

Deborah said...

Suzanne I love the slow process too..enjoying it all and letting it last...
Love what your Christmas looks like so far.
Tonight I trimmed the tree and then sat near it and watched a Christmas movie with my hot apple cider and puppy in arms.
Loving every moment of December!
Love to you!

Deborah xoxoxoxo

Linda said...

OH I love your "MERRY" project, Suzanne....really wonderful! I am really taking my time decorating this year...not stressed, but rather enjoying each thing I do. Its a lot of fun this way!

Jemsmom said...

I am slow in decorating this year but have had most of my shopping done for a month now! I have taken pictures of the neighbor kids for Christmas but not Jemma's so we may be looking at Happy New Year cards! My stepbrother was diagnosed with cancer last week and passed away on Tuesday so this hasn't been a happy week for me. It has made me realize that if I don't get all the decorating done this year... it is o.k because I am going to hug my baby girl and husband and just be with them. Life is too short and during the crazy time of Christmas I need to step back and just enjoy it.

pve design said...

Your words and your images make me merry and bright!
I too love this time of year and the JOY it brings. We have our tree up and the garland and greenery on the mantle.
I am loving white this year and want to find some white ornaments....

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good heavens, I am terribly late here, but you know my wild school days! Dearest, I cannot wait to see you, to hear about your vision, your dreams for the new year. 50th and FRANCE IT IS!!! And I too have been bit by the NATURE BUG for d├ęcor this year. Though I neither have access to moose or deer antlers, I have chosen to use twigs atop my cornice that covers our TV. It looks like a fireplace mantel and with special birds attached to the branches, it has the feel of which you speak. BUT I DO KNOW of an antique store on XERXES and 50th that DOES SELL ANTLERS! Maybe we can go in? LOVE YOUR IDEAS! LOVE TO YOU this fine Saturday in Minn. Anita

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Suzanne, your branch Merry sign and touches of Christmas in your home are just perfect. I love that you take your time too. I like the process and using lots of touches from nature....our house is ever-so-slowly starting to shine for the season. Hoping you enjoy it all unfold and thanks so much for sharing your sources from Elizabeth's party - I MUST make those marshmallows! xoLisa

"Create Beauty" said...

Oh Suzanne, HOW GORGEOUS!!!!

Love the branches ideas, and on the chandelier, oh wow!!!!
My daughter gave me a 'tree' she made of tree branches, painted white and glittered that she made for a party but then had no room for at her house. It's now in my dining room window with gold balls hanging from it (a photo is on my blog)

You are creating a beautiful Christmas palace in your home : )

I was going to start early this year but am just now almost done, I too have to clean and make it all sparse before I begin... and as for the shopping, the cards, well, whats the rush? (I'm hyperventilating now that I've said that...)

Blessings on you and yours this beautiful Christmas season,
~ Violet

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Suzanne, I've not decorated at all yet. Your tree is lovely and your daughter's party obviously another hit. Such fun to see the girls have a simple gathering filled with friendship, food, and crafting. My kinda party! Loved the post on your brother too. My brother turned 44 last month and is not married. I wonder if he ever will. He's such a gentle giant. I hate to think of him alone all the time. Happy holidays to you and yours, Tammy

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Everything is so pretty! Love the branch with the hanging tree. I love to do a little at a time as well, it's fun that way.
You are so sweet to have all the girls over to just be girls, crafting, movies, food, fun, brings back some of mh HS memories :) They are lucky to have you!

Sylvia said...

I embrace the idea of going gently into this Christmas season and soaking it all in ; I think I am good at it :) I love your seasonal touches and I also have bulbs of white Hadeco in a container . Green is so refreshing ! I checked all the links you share and oh , they are such a creative wave of energy . Thank you ! Enjoy the Slow line and I am looking forward to your Monday moment .

Tiffini Kilgore said...

so much to say
I am a do it all at one time as far as tree etc goes
I love Celtic music too:)
I am going to make those marshmellows! so glad you shared all of this goodness
the fox reminds me of Becky
and you do like to share that is one thing I love about you
and I laugh because we planted some paper whites last weekend and they are growing but not as much as most everyone else's but as you say they will bloom when ready and oh what a treat! love ya and happy weekend..
I know you are decorating..

Tiffini Kilgore said...

oh and I LOVE your branch letter hanger..brilliant

Stitchfork said...

Ah Suzanne, I'm with you - love the slow process of bringing holiday things out and enjoying the memories asscoiated with them all! You are looking very merry!
xo Cathy

Lulu and Co. said...

Everything looks so festive and beautiful! This year I'm going slow and steady because of our house damage...taking my time is letting me create a winter theme that can last for a while!
Thanks for the links, they are all wonderful.