Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday, December 30, 2013

An Update From the Farmhouse

If you don't follow me on Facebook, you're probably wondering if I've expired. This post will attempt to update you on what I've been up to.

We have a rental house (which is actually the first house hubby and I lived in after we were married) and in November our tenants informed us they were moving at the end of the month. *sad face* We have done very little to the house since we moved out and have allowed tenants to paint if they wish. This time, however, we decided that WE would paint (I've discovered that not everyone knows HOW to paint) and while we were at it, do a few other 'updates'.  Most of the light fixtures were the same ones we bought the house with and honestly, I can't believe I lived with them for over 2 years. They were U.G.L.Y. 80's style lights. Also, the bedroom carpets have needed replaced for a long time. We finally felt like we were at a place financially to do it so they got replaced. It is a 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath and the half bath had carpet. YEEE-UCK! We had them lay vinyl in there and it's so. much. nicer. In addition to new flooring, I replaced 5 light fixtures. I changed a bunch of 2-prong outlets to 3-prong ones. I patched holes in walls. I painted trim and walls. I installed trim in the half-bath and replaced a leaking faucet in there. Hubby replaced both toilets (we discovered one had been leaking!) and we raised the rent! :) All of this work took up most of 3 weeks, not counting the 3 days I had the flu :(, and just last week, I handed the keys over to our new tenants.

So that pretty much shot the month of December and Christmas was upon me before I had time to prepare. We had traveled to Maryland over Thanksgiving and had Christmas with my family then. Christmas Day was spent with hubby's family and trying to dodge the flu bug that was going around. Thankfully, only 1 son got it. I did zero decorating for Christmas and 2 days after Christmas, it dawned on me that I still had some fall decor up. It's been bare basics around here and I'm looking forward to having more time in January to focus on things around here and do a few projects before we start our next 'big' project.

Recently, we had an amazing opportunity to buy a house and property (separate pieces) for a super price. The house is small and needs curb appeal but the inside of the house doesn't need much. It is a 3 bedroom/1 bath and the bedrooms are very small. To make it more re-salable, we are looking into making it into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath. But first we have to get rid of the squatter. :( We were told at closing that the tenant was moved out but we never went and made sure this was the case. Lesson learned. We closed for the house on December 9 but were so busy with the rental that we didn't have time to go check out the other place. On Christmas Day, we took our key and went (with some of hubby's family) to check it out. We had a not nice surprise in the form of the door screwed shut and a note saying the premises were still occupied by ___________ and if we entered without his permission, he would press charges for breaking and entering. (Pretty sure he can't do that since he is there illegally!) Anyway, our key did not let us in and now we have to go through the eviction process of removing him since he obviously doesn't plan to move on his own. :( That will be at least a month so in that waiting time, I'm hoping to work on some things around here. Hubby mostly has my 'new' shop ready to move into so I want to start on that this week.

Hopefully this gives you an idea what I've been up to and why I've sorely neglected my blog the last month. I'll leave you with our 'Christmas' picture and wishes for a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

from the farmhouse,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas/ Winter Mantle {Evergreens and Hydrangea}

As I mentioned on my facebook page, I didn't get around to showing you my Christmas mantle before Christmas. A few of you said you would still like to see it and since I'm planning to leave it up all of the month of January yet too, I thought I'd oblige you. 

With the bathroom remodel going in full swing, taking time to decorate for the holidays was kind of a hard thing to do. Don't get me wrong, I love to decorate for the holidays but I felt like all available work time should be spent in the bathroom. As Christmas drew nearer, I saw I wasn't going to get done the bathroom by Christmas anyway so I took an afternoon and decorated the mantle in my bedroom. This was the extent of the Christmas decor this year but I'm hoping to compensate next year. hehe

I knew I wanted to keep it fairly "natural" and incorporate blue and red. 
When I saw this cute J O Y letters on Pinterest,
VIA Stubbornly Crafty
I knew where I was going with my theme. 
Peace/ Joy/ Love

The Peace dove was found at Meijer (I snagged it for 50% off because it's missing a bell)
The window was already hanging there so I just put a tack in and hung the 'sign'. Easy Peasy. 

The wooden J and Y letters I ordered from  this Etsy shop. I probably could have made them but time was of the essence and I wanted to support a home business so I let her make them for me. :) I spray painted them and mod podged some scrapbook paper on top. I will have to say, this part of the mantle I am not very thrilled about. I couldn't find scrapbook paper in the shade I wanted and I couldn't find a bell large enough to look right. I want to keep looking for one and hopefully change it up next year. 

My favorite part of the mantle was also one of the easiest. It literally took
less than 10 minutes and I think has such a big impact.
 My evergreen and hydrangea wreath.

I started with a live evergreen wreath
and just added hydrangeas. You may remember the hydrangeas; they were already on the mantle in a granite bucket. I didn't glue them or fasten them in any way. I just started tucking them in around the wreath.
I liked the look when I was finished but it needed something to ease the transition from the evergreens to the poufy hydrangeas. I grabbed some twigs with tiny red berries and tucked them in at an angle behind the hydrangea. They were pretty secure and I didn't feel like I needed to glue them. I think they added the perfect touch. I don't know that I've ever seen the combination of evergreens and hydrangeas but I'm loving it!
I love the contrast of the hydrangeas and evergreens with the chippy white picket fence!

For my frame, I took sheet music for Joy to the World that I found online and edited it
with the words Joy to the World on top. Added a burlap looking background
 and a few snowflakes and here it is.

The candle was a thrift store find. I just wrapped burlap and twine around it to dress it up.
The potted evergreens are fake. They were an after Christmas clearance find and added later.

And here is the whole view: Peace on earth, Joy to the World, and Love.

Thank you for letting me belatedly share my Christmas/ Winter mantle!
If you want to see what it looked like before, go {here}.

From the Farmhouse