Christmas is Coming and We are Getting Ready! (many pix)

kswl2November 24, 2012

We spent five days before Thanksgiving getting ready for Christmas, as our first holiday party is this week! We did a few different things this year, including alpine trees on the patio decorated with burlap ribbon and cotton bolls. Many relatives who came for Thanksgiving are cotton farmers who not only noticed, but LOVED those trees :-)

The nutcrackers were a big hit with the children, as always, and I replaced the living room stair garland this year with a fabulous hand made faux magnolia garland that looks so real everyone was feeling it.

Those who may remember the coaster thread a month or so ago will see that this place setting just uses the plain 'ole crystal and silver ones. Never did find any that looked better with the place setting. The rectangular plate on the top left is glass painted with a vintage Christmas card look, I am using these as bread plates this year. The salad plates are a different pattern of Limoges with green and gold around the rim.

Magnolia on the bottom iron and crystal chandelier in the living room:

Magnolia Garland and closeup:

In the library, nutcrackers on top of the bookcases:
some of the nutcrackers on the piano:
On the table in the library hall, small glass nutcracker ornaments on the tree and nutcrackers from the Wizard of Oz and the Nutcracker ballet:

Front of portico:
Near the circle drive at front:
Close up of pine garland over door; the white bows are a heavy embroidered ribbon and the streamers are a narrower, lighter silk.

From porch looking out to circle drive:

More later!

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Lovely ! Where did you get the magnolia garland ? We will be decorating the front for the annual Porch Tour. If you get a chance to come visit your DH's family let me know. Would love to see you . c

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Very pretty! The magnolia garland does look real!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:00PM
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I think we are coming for Christmas this year, MIL has stopped driving on the highway and can't come to us. Would love to make the porch tour this year!

Found the garland at a florist in our town, he had two 12-ft garlands and one 36" wreath and it was so lifelike I got it all. Will see if I kept any of the vendor tags, pretty sure he got it at the merchandise mart in Atlanta.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Here is the wreath on the screened porch. I had a burlap bow made for it but it was nicer without! There is an 8" x 4" x 4" deep plastic container wired behind the bottom rim (cannot see it for the leaves) that can hold two four inch pots or oasis and fresh flowers.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Just beautiful! But can I have your sofa? :)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Lol, Oakley, that red and green stripe is on two club chairs! In that room I also have a pink and green small check sofa and a green cut velvet sofa. I could do no decorating at all and still be ready for Christmas!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Just lovely kswl, am I remembering well that you could not decorate last year because of construction at your pace.
If it was you then you are really making up for it this year.
I love everything you have done.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:52PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Just lovely!

Very inspirational.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Your home looks welcoming and ready for holiday visitors.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:17PM
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Beautiful! Love the magnolia garland and all the nutcrackers.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:26PM
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So pretty. Clever idea for bread plates! I love magnolia, it always looks nice. I had an oversized real magnolia wreath and we got 3 xmas'es out of it.

Did I miss the burlap/cotton ball trees somewhere?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:02PM
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It looks so wonderful!

Would you come decorate my place next? :)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Gosh, catmom, anymore decorating and I would be a basket case!

Mtn, I bought those glass plates from that bakery supply place in Utah, they were on backorder an entire year and I finally got them about a month ago. I am going to use them at every opportunity this season!

Yes, the cotton trees! Here are some photos of the back. All the hanging baskets we lined with pine garland and then plopped in a 6" red poinsettia..,easy!

Here are the trees, not a very good picture (phone)

Over the summer I bought replacement cushions for the outdoor sectional sofa, and found the perfect Merry Christmas pillows so that it all looks good with the Constable exhibition banners:

I found this totally cute twig gate with lights and it was far too big to use where I had planned--- dimensions were way off--- so we put it across a small river rock bed (that used to be a hose drain) and massed the summer ferns behind it. When the frost gets them they'll be replaced with red poinsettias. The bow was actually made for the porch wreath:

The alstroemerias I had planted in these pots (and all other potted plants) were replaced with rosemary topiaries.

. There are seven or eight more of these, and they lend a nice, calm uniformity that plays well against the bright color and shapes of the poinsettias.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:08AM
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Everything looks grand! Love the magnolia garland. Being from Louisiana, I've always loved magnolias :)

Also like that you can use poinsettias outside. I have to use fakes since it's too cold here!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:01AM
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How lovely! I LOVE the magnolia garland! We are in the throes of decorating for Christmas here! We have a much simpler backdrop, though!!
That is a gorgeous home!


    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:27AM
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Beautiful! Love your nutcrackers. Funny I just bought a lovely faux magnolia wreath at a florist yesterday and it looks exactly like yours. I had to feel it to see if it was real. Love that you used cotton bolls somewhere, but I didn't see them either. I seriously thought about stopping on the side of the road and going to cut some this year, but thought better of it without stopping to ask permission. Love everything!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:39AM
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Thanks, outside! The cotton is on those outside trees in the bad photo, will take a better picture today. One of dh's uncles keeps cotton bolls in his truck and gives them out to show people how beautiful the plant really is. He has been on agricultural missions to other countries and trade organizations and boards for cotton---and his wife our aunt is the one who actually created Martha Stewart's cotton wreath for her in the 90's!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:50AM
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Everything looks just great! You did a wonderful job.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:07AM
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Just gorgeous; however, these pictures don't do justice to your home.

I remember your slide show a few years back during your Christmas tour. Wow!! I went through them several times for inspiration.

Please post more.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Where did you find the trees that your cotton bolls are in? I have been looking for something like that for my small den.

Love the tree theme! We went to the beach a few weeks ago in SC and saw acre after acre of cotton fields. They were beautiful! I wanted so badly to stop and pick a boll, but DH wouldn't stop the car. :( OK, it would have been stealing...I get that.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Gorgeous!!! So charming and elegant!!

FYI for folks who love the cotton items: There are crafters on Etsy that do work with cotton -- including wreaths, etc. -- I do LOVE your trees! :)

And the magnolia is wonderful! :)

Honestly -- your home is so magazine-cover-story pretty! :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Oh, but you do such an awesome job! :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Perfect combination of extravagance and restraint, of natural and shiny, and so welcoming from every angle.

I do so miss my thirty foot magnolia tree at this time of year! You've done a beautiful job.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Thank you all! Newhomebuilder, I bought those alpine trees (trunk is real bark) at a store called Southern Hospitality in Plant City, Fl back in the mid 1990s. Two of the trees are 5 ft and one is 5.5 ft., I think. One of the three is more of a fir type and the others a sort of scrub pine. I've seen that type of tree around lately, so they are very likely still available.

Dee, I mislaid my camera and have been taking pictures with my phone--- it's a poor substitute for a real camera, and these pictures are the worst!

Lyban,, you are 100% right, last Christmas we were still doing construction on the front! We also had a sealant put on the patio that I absolutely hated, and had it chemically treated to get the sealant off (which took weeks). There were no decorations and we all missed them. The tour was four years ago, it was an exhausting but wonderful experience!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Lol, Bronwynsmom, "extravagance and restraint," love that description! I would dearly love a real magnolia and have been thinking of putting in some of the Little Gem variety that don't get so large. There is something magical about those leaves and the fragrance of the flowers. When i was growing up we spray painted a bunch of them gold every year, I think the 11th commandment in Atlanta was Thou shalt decorate with gold magnolia leaves at Christmas !

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Do you still have the old slide show that Dee was talking about? I need inspiration desperately! For the first time in my life I'm not in the holiday spirit for some reason. I've done one little crafty project so far. I really think it has to do with this unsually warm weather we're having and the continued drought.

I know what you mean about your house being Christmasy all year because I decorate in the same colors. I think that's why I consider my house to be calming and cheery at the same time.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Here is a link to the slide tour, Oakley. If there is a password still required, it is: Christmas.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 3:25PM
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That was fun! I got to go on a Christmas House Tour while I drank my tea. Your home looked beautiful! No wonder it takes you days to decorate. It would be a sin not to do a lot of entertaining over the holidays after doing all that work. How do you manage to keep your paperwhites so straight? Mine tend to go plop when they reach that height. I'm also coveting your red table runner with Santa. I hope you won't mind if I ask you where you found that. I love it!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Not at all, Chickadee, it is from Williams Sonoma. I have used it a lot over the years!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

kswl, thanks for posting the link to the house tour. Just have so much stuff and such great ideas....did you have to start decorating in July????

Your home is just beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Beautiful as always, thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:33PM
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Here are mine. Finished up on Sunday, but there's much less to do in an urban environment--not that I didn't end up spending $400 on crap at the nursery, which still doesn't include the $650 fake (but very convincing) tree.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:27PM
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Your garlands are beautiful, Kevin!And you have the best red, white and blue tree I have ever seen, usually those colors give a patriotic, non-Christmassy look to a tree, but yours looks very seasonal and festive. Nice job!

We did the white wood trees, sleigh and reindeer on top of an armoire in the blue bedroom this year. Those tags around the reindeers' necks belonged to dogs we owned over the years who are now gone.

Close ups of the blue room tree: .

Brass bowl on the entry table filled with 50 shades of green glass ornaments, lol!

Vase in the LR--- filled with tall holly and big branches with pinecones
dusted with "snow," and hung two metal holly leaves around it's neck gives this a whole new look:

The Irish tree in DS2's room:

More to come, if you can stand it!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:26PM
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I should be mad at you, as I was diligently ignoring all Christmas posts, trying to remain in an Autumn frame of mind for another week or two . . . but once I took a peek at your beautifully decorated home, Kswl, I was lost(LOL)!You've managed to create such a lovely, festive and still very fresh feel throughout your home. I enjoyed every pic, including all of the 2008 home tour. You have a restrained touch when it comes to decorating that really allows your decorations to be showcased beautifully. I loved the photo of your little Lucy, too. Many thanks for short-circuiting my plans to ignore Christmas for two more weeks (LOL)!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:19AM
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