Let’s Decorate!

Pumpkin Candlesticks

From Ladies Home Journal Oct. 2010

From Ladies Home Journal Oct. 2010

Loved this bright idea!

Remove the top of tiny pumpkins, hollow them out, then cut a smaller hole in the bottom, just large enough to fit over a dinner candle.

Pierce small holes in the sides of the pumpkin shell with a drill, then slide over top candle, light the wick, and let the light shine through!

No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating

Don’t want the mess of carving a pumpkin? Try this simple decorating idea. Using a hot glue gun, glue the tip of a ribbon just below the stem of the pumpkin, pull taut, glue the other ribbon end on the bottom of the pumpkin and trim. Use the ribs of the pumpkin as a guide so the ribbons are evenly distributed.

Pumpkin Trivia

Pumpkins  

Pumpkins are hard to miss in an autumn porch display and in the garden, they give the biggest bang for the buck!

  • Pumpkin ridges are called ribs.
  • Antarctica is the only continent pumpkins can’t grown in.
  • Pumpkins are loaded with vitamins A, B and potassium, and are 90% water.
  • The fun nickname, “munchkin”, is really a variety of pumpkin.

Yellow Trivia


Do different colours affect your mood? Studies show people lose their tempers more often and babies tend to cry more, in rooms painted yellow.

Sunny yellow improves concentration and speeds up metabolism.

In Egypt, yellow is the colour of mourning, while in Japan, yellow is associated with courage.

Attention-getting yellow also denotes friendship, as in giving yellow roses, peace, hope, remembrance and support, such as the hanging of yellow ribbons.

Festive Simplicity

Boughs, berries and pine cones announce the season, but cranberries add the simple touch of crimson holiday red.

  • Put fresh cranberries in the bottom of a vase and nestle in a glowing candle.
  • Cranberries in a vase of fresh flowers will hold the stems in place and give a festive flair.
  • String cranberries with popcorn for a homemade garland, and if you hang it on a tree outside, the birds will have a feast.
  • Freeze cranberries into ice cubes to keep your holiday punch cold.

Did you know?

  • Sunflower heads track the sun’s position in the sky. This behaviour is called heliotropism – they start the day facing east, and end the day facing west.
  • A single sunflower can have up to 2,000 seeds.
  • The tallest sunflower, 25′ 5.5″ tall, was grown in the Netherlands in 1986.
  • Many years ago, stems of sunflowers were used to insulate life jackets.
  • Every mature sunflower is able to yield 40% of its weight as oil.

Keep your table decor casual and relaxed by using simple everyday items and natural elements:

  • Use glass canning jars as votive holders to line the table, or add wire holders and hang from your patio umbrella.
  • Fashion napkin rings from hosta leaves simply tied or secured with a pin.
  • Drape a plain white bedsheet as a tablecloth accented by a colourful runner.
  • Recycle a collection of glass bottles into a pretty tabletop or mantel display by gathering interesting greenery from outdoors and placing a single stem in each bottle.

Let's Decorate

Spring and Easter Touches

Straw hat with easter EggsHere are a few simple ways to add springtime touches to your home:

  • It may be too early to wear your straw garden hat but it’s not too early to use it as a pretty Easter basket. Turn it upside down and fill it with softly coloured eggs, either real or artificial.
  • Add spring flowers and floral motifs throughout your home. Make colourful and fragrant floral arrangements in delicate vintage teacups or egg cups.
  • Bring the outdoors in – springtime motif items are a great way to do this. Group together birdhouses, birdcages, bird nests, and terra cotta pots filled with plants for a fun coffee table display or fireplace mantel.

 

Tip for pressed flower table settingPretty Pressed Flowers

Here’s a quick and easy way to enjoy nature’s beauty indoors:

1. Snip a few flower blooms, petals, and leaves.

2. Place between two clear glass plates to make an attractive place setting.

3. Beneath the glass plates use solid colour plates and linens to highlight the pretty flowers.

4. Pansies work great and are blooming right now!

Simple Easter Decor

Like to bring eternal spring into your home? Mother Nature provides us will all kinds of ideas. Celebrate Easter by setting a pretty table that echoes all that you love about spring:

  • Start with flowers, a true symbol of new life. Enjoy flower motifs on china, table linens, or enjoy the real deal with a fresh cut fragrant bouquet or arrangement.
  • Use wine glasses or goblets as tealite holders or as vases for a single stem flower. Line several down the centre of your table and sprinkle a few jelly beans or chocolate eggs. Add a magnetic butterfly to each glass! (see above)
  • Adorn a napkin at each place setting with a small bloom and leaf tied with a pastel ribbon.
  • Nest a few dyed eggs in Easter grass at each place setting. For an authentic robin’s egg look, use a tooth brush and brown craft paint to splatter delicate markings on blue dyed eggs.
  • Make a nest out of Spanish moss, wrap a single strand of florist wire around the outside edge to help keep it’s shape. Add some candy or foil wrapped chocolate eggs.

Easter Nest Table Setting

Mossy-Aged Garden Pots

Transform inexpensive clay pots into works of art with a simple technique that you can do at home. Great indoors and outdoors. Use for potting your favourite plants or herbs, or for storing decorative items and garden accessories.

Equipment needed:

  • Terra cotta clay pots
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • 2 cans of green spray paint — in natural green tones
  1. Gather inexpensive terra cotta clay pots.
  2. Mix a solution of water and dish soap in a plastic spray bottle.
  3. Generously spray the terra cotta clay pot with the solution of soapy water.
  4. Spray pot (while wet) with first can of green spray paint.
  5. While pot is still wet, spray with more soapy water.
  6. Spray pot again with second shade of green spray paint
  7. Let dry completely before filling.
  8. Once dry, fill with potting soil and plant your favourite flowers or herbs, or use to display some of your other favourite household or gardening items.
  9. Makes a great container for a summer hostess gift!

This project is also being featured in our store, so be sure to drop by and check out the final results!

Mossy Pots

Spring Home and Garden

Spring is traditionally the time of year when you start to think about freshening up your home and your garden.

Our homes are our castles, our havens, and we want to do everything we can to make them as relaxing and tranquil as possible, free from the anxieties and stresses of the outside world. There’s a new optimism in the air as spring approaches, the days grow longer and the sun shines higher in the sky!

Eco-Chic

Eco-chicEco-chic has replaced shabby-chic as one of the new trends in home decorating. Eco-chic puts the focus on environmental consciousness, natural decorating and comfort.
Going “green” has not taken anything away from style. Today the focus is on organic and natural, with design meeting stylish interpretation, proving that earth-friendly décor can be elegant, beautiful and “green”.

“Green” is the new black!

The Colour Marketing Group (CMG), an industry organization that forecasts colour trends, has cited environmentalism as a force in determining their 2009 colour palette. They’ve selected “yellow for energy” as their standout accent colour, and also highlight watery blues and sky blues, further reinforcing the trend of colour palettes taking their inspiration from nature. Grey is the new neutral that can be complemented with just about any accent colour. Grey and natural hues are perfect colours for your home and garden.

Autumn Centrepiece

Pumpkin Flower CentrepieceMake this stunning centrepiece by hollowing out a pumpkin, inserting a small vase or empty can filled with water, then arrange some beautiful seasonal flowers such as sunflowers and mums and add a few berries and twigs for the finishing touch.

Caught without a tablecloth either not large enough or the desired colour for your Thanksgiving repast? Try making a simple runner(s) out of burlap. Cut the burlap into strips of the desired width, then pull threads from the fabric’s raw edges to create a fringe.

Even simpler, how about using a throw or blanket, wide scarf or shawl as a runner?

Did you know? Acorns

  • Acorns, the nuts of oak trees, are rich in nutrients and while a vital source of food for squirrels, bears and deer, they can be toxic for horses.
  • Acorns appear only on adult trees, and thus are often a symbol of patience and the fruition of long, hard labor. Some cultures believe it is good luck to carry an acorn in one’s pocket.
  • The Canadian Parliament set aside Nov. 6 for annual Thanksgiving observances in 1879. In 1957 the date was shifted to an earlier day, to the second Monday in October.
  • Ever wonder where the term “pumpkin head” came from? Pumpkin halves were used as guides for haircuts in colonial times.

Fall decor — inspired by nature!

Fall Decorating IdeasAs the summer sun fades, add some warmth and spice to your decor in a natural way! Take your cue from the season, with simple natural items that add warmth to your home!

  • Consider dried hydrangeas in your fall planters. To keep their vibrant colour, place cut stems in a bucket with about 1″ of water, and let sit for 1 or 2 weeks until they dry out.
  • Dust the inside of your carved pumpkin with ground cinnamon and light a candle inside, to create a homemade pumpkin pie scent.
  • Create a festive door hanger by fanning colourful branches, wheat, bittersweet or berries. Tie with raffia for a natural greeting for guests!

Cozy Up With Some Autumn Trivia

  • Fall colours are best when the late summer is dry & autumn has bright sunny days and cool nights below 40°F — looks like this might be a good year for fall colours in southern Ontario!
  • September is apple season in Ontario. The average Canadian eats 7.2 kg of apples per year, according to Statistics Canada.
  • There are over 1,200 pumpkin patches in Ontario!
  • One quarter of all Canadian weddings take place in the fall!
  • The distinct colours of autumn foliage can only be found in eastern North America and western Asia, where hardwood forests contain significant numbers of maple species.

Decorate your home for the fall!

Let nature be your guide as you decorate your home for the fall!

  • Decorative tea towels in autumn colours do double-duty as eco-friendly serviettes.
  • Use food as art. Place seasonal fruit and vegetables in a wooden bowl or on a serving stand; accent with leaves, branches, nuts and cones, add candles of varying heights for a festive glow.
  • Make rustic woodsy chargers from a tree log.
  • Carve out a hole in a gourd and place a tealite inside.
  • Fill an oversized vase with pinecones, mini gourds, pumpkins and squash.

Fall Decorating and Table Setting Ideas

Thanksgiving Trivia

  • Pumpkins can grow on every continent except Antarctica.
  • McIntosh apples were discovered on a single mutated plant in the late 1700’s by John McIntosh of Dundela, Ontario.
  • Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkin, dried them and then used the dried strips to make mats.
  • In 1879 the Canadian Parliament declared November 6th a national holiday — Thanksgiving.
  • On January 31, 1957 Parliament changed the official date of Thanksgiving to the second Monday of October, calling for “a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”.
  • There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples.

Magic of Mirrors!

Mirrors first appeared around 3000 B.C. in Egypt and were often made of polished bronze, were slightly convex, and the size of a modern handheld mirror. Mirrors are timeless and bring style, increase brightness, and expand the space in any decor from traditional to contemporary.

Add some sparkle and light in your home this holiday season:

    • A large mirror hung over the fireplace is a design statement, why not overhang a be-ribboned wreath.
    • Use bevelled edge rectangular mirrors as placemats, beneath a centrepiece or serving dishes.
    • Place a grouping of lit candles in front of a mirror which will create the illusion of twice as many candles and double the glow.
    • According to the principles of Feng Shui, a mirror hung in a front entrance will confuse any “evil spirts” attempting to enter your home.

Bevelled Mirrors in various sizes – $7.99 to $24.99

Mirrors and Candles

It’s easy to add some holiday cheer to your dining room by dressing up your chandelier:

  • Start with fresh greenery draped through the “arms” of the chandelier, boxwood as used here, or fragrant cedar or pine boughs would work well too. You may need to wire the boughs onto the arms depending on the length and ease of manipulation of the boughs.
  • Tuck in a few berry sprigs such as holly, ilex or even faux berries for a pop of colour.
  • Add some sparkle by using a festive ribbon to tie on coloured ornament balls on each light. Voila!

Dress up your Chandelier

Sharing some Holiday Trivia

  • Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895 and were the “bright” idea of American, Ralph E. Morris.
  • Nova Scotia leads the world in the export of lobster, wild blueberries and Christmas trees!
  • For every real Christmas tree harvested, 2 to 3 seedlings are planted in its place.
  • Popular poinsettia flowers were originally grown in Mexico where it was known as the “Flower of the Holy Night” and was brought to America in 1829.
  • Earliest collection of English Christmas carols was published in 1521.

Festive Touches!

Door OranamentLittle touches make all the difference when decorating your home for the holidays. Consider using items that you already have on hand — just in new, festive ways!

  • Dress up a door knob or dining room chair with a pretty festive ribbon, ornament and some greenery.
  • Add some glamour to your mantel by displaying glass vases of varying heights, filled with glass balls, and then interspersing with greenery and candle holders.
  • Let ornaments shine by hanging them from a chandelier or in a window to catch the winter light.

Holiday Trivia

  • The first commercial Christmas card was created in England in 1842.
  • In 2006 there were 2,461 Christmas tree farms in Canada, with more than 2 million Christmas trees exported into the United States.
  • According to a recent British survey, 7 out of 10 dog owners buy their dogs Christmas gifts.
  • Ukrainian Christmas trees often include artificial spiders and webs as part of their decor. A spider web found on Christmas morning is said to bring good luck!
  • Before Dickens settled on the name “Tiny Tim” for his character in A Christmas Carol, he is said to have considered the names Little Larry, Puny Pete and Small Sam.
  • Candy canes began as straight white sticks of sugar candy that were used to decorate trees. A choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral decided to bend the ends to depict a shepherd’s crook.