Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Vintage Inspired Wreath 2011

There's no rest for the weary around here. The day after our Holiday Open House, the girls at Elizabeth & Co. got together to create a vintage inspired wreath for the Festival of Wreaths, a wonderful event that kicks off the holiday season in our community.

The Festival of Wreaths is sponsored by the Carroll County Arts Council. Over 200 decorated and themed wreaths are on display in a beautifully restored theatre in downtown Westminster. You can vote for your favorites and even bid on a wreath to take home. This was our entry last year. And guess what? We even won the award for best memories of Christmas past! You can check out the photos from last year's event here.

This year our inspiration began with a stocking created from a beautiful green and red ticking stripe fabric (tutorial coming in December). We attached the stocking to a plain green wreath, then hot glued greens, berries and ornaments on the wreath until it was nice and fluffy. It is so simple to embellish a plain wreath and make it special.

Burlap ribbon was woven through the wreath and used to attach the wreath to an old window frame. There is a cup hook on the top of the frame, so the wreath is removeable. I just love these rolls of burlap ribbon! If you are having trouble finding it at your local craft store, check the floral department. At our Michaels store, it is right next to the floral wire.

Glitter letters were glued to the burlap to spell one of our favorite holiday words ~ joy.

And finally, the entire wreath was sprayed with adhesive and sprinkled with glitter. There is a wonderful white crystal glitter in the kids craft section of Michaels. It works especially well on holiday crafts. It comes in a convenient and economical 12 oz shaker jar. And it sparkles like snow!

The Festival of Wreaths runs from November 30th through December 4th. The hours on Wednesday through Saturday are 10am to 8pm and Sunday noon to 4pm. You can check out the Carroll County Arts Council website for more details. They host a variety of wonderful events all through the year.

Wishing you joy this holiday season!
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The rock wall is complete, well almost!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend filled with family and friends. I hope you all had the same. And the weather was just spectacular! We got outside and prepped the gardens for winter, put up the Christmas garland, worked on a really cool furniture transformation (details coming soon) and I finally had a chance to take some pictures of our new rock wall. Yes you know the one, it's been months in the making. We're still hoping to put in lighting before the ground freezes and the rest of the planting will have to wait for spring. But for the most part, this project is finally complete. And we are just thrilled with the result!

Here's a reminder of where we started.

We had a slim timber wall that had served us well for over 20 years. The chipmunks just loved it, but it was crumbling before our eyes!

But the new wall would be made from rocks, really big rocks.

And now this is the entrance off of our driveway.

And an overview of the complete wall.

We have plenty of space for seating and dining on the patio, but loved the idea of creating another little seating area for right in the new garden.

It will be so cozy nestled in among the plants to come.

And the new wall has great curves. Yes I love curvy walls just like curvy furniture!

And some built-in seating for one.

Or more. And it's really comfortable too!

The pond was our very first rock project a few years ago. We were lucky enough to find a landscaper who loves rocks just as much as we do, maybe even more. As you can imagine, this was not a diy project.

A set of stone steps leads from the driveway to new garden.

And the path leads right across the top of the waterfall and right through the garden. Can't you just imagine perennials blooming everywhere?

The pond is home to Bubba and his friends.

Bubba had many more friends until a family of hawks moved into the neighborhood.

This is Bubba when he's hungry.

And Bubba when he's pouting. Who knew fish could have so much personaliity?

I love the sound of the water. It is so peaceful and relaxing. Kevin had to talk me into the pond, but he was so right!

The raised bed planter boxes are for vegetables - that would be Kevin's domain.

They are filled with rich organic soil and come complete with irrigation. Hopefully we'll have a bounty of vegetables next summer!

There are new natualized beds all around the yard with a variety of new shrubs and trees. And of course more boulders.

The rhododendron are already loaded with buds. They will be absolutely gorgeous in the spring!

But I think my favorite new plant is the birch tree. I love the peeling bark. Maybe it's a little like distressed furnitre - perfect in it's imperfection.

But I think this is going to be my favorite new spot! Smores anyone?

So there you have it, our new rock wall and gardens. Our backyard was pretty much a contruction site for the last four months or so. But we have the very best landscaper and crew and we appreciate every minute of blood, sweat and tears that went into this project. Thanks guys, you have definitely exceeded all expectations yet again!

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