Because my son’s now fiancé was joining us for the first time over the holidays, I wanted to pull out all the stops with my Christmas decorations and table settings. So I updated the nutcracker theme tablescape, adding the painted glasses and napkin rings. You can see the restyled tablescape at the end of this post.
When I went to Dollar Tree to pick up the clear goblets, I discovered they had a lot of nutcracker theme items for Christmas. That gave me the idea of using nutcracker tree ornaments to make simple napkin rings.
Inspired, I quickly got to work painting the images of three different color/styles of nutcracker faces on six goblets. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to share how I painted the glasses or put together the napkin rings last year.
Both projects are very inexpensive to create, and the napkin rings are super fast and easy to make.
I’ve conjured up a Halloween centerpiece replicating a witch’s collection of oddities for casting spells, hexes and curses.
It’s one of 21 seasonal settings included in this year’s Halloween Tablescape Hop hosted by my blogger friend, Rita of Panoply.
To set the tablescape scene, I’ve styled four theme elements; a spellbound Halloween centerpiece, place settings with holiday tableware, black napkins folded into the shape of a witch’s hat, and the chandelier decorated as an enchanted owl nest.
Most of the Halloween decor pieces — and all of the tableware —came out of attic, basement and kitchen cabinet storage. Additionally, I spent under $16 in total at Michaels and Dollar Tree for a few items to fill in the Halloween centerpiece and embellish the light fixture.
Creating the witch’s vignette was lots of fun, but time consuming! It took awhile (and many trips up and down the stairs) to gather everything together. Then I arranged and rearranged until styling the centerpiece into the finished look I envisioned. Join me for a spell!
Today, I’m taking you to urban Philadelphia, to see my youngest son’s back deck and rooftop garden. D purchased the 1920 rowhouse nearly two years ago, during the pandemic.
Prior to the move, he rented a third-floor, walkup in an 1800’s building that had been converted from a carriage house and stable to condos. During the pandemic, his one-bedroom unit did double duty as an office. And, there was no balcony for fresh air or to grow plants. Feeling confined to the apartment, he went on a search for a home with more living areas, room for a dedicated office, big kitchen, outdoor space, and the ability to have a dog.
However, D also loved the walkable and vibrant Fairmont District neighborhood. So when he finally spotted the listing for a 100-year-old rowhouse — just blocks from the carriage house — he jumped at the opportunity to be a homeowner!
Over the next year, D created a little backyard oasis and rooftop deck on the third floor of the rowhouse. In both areas, he enjoys spending time outdoors, playing with the dog, tending plants, barbequing, and entertaining family and friends. An accomplished cook, D also created an urban rooftop garden where he grows herbs and vegetables to incorporate into fresh, healthy meals.
Taking you up on the roof to see my son’s’ urban garden on the wraparound terrace of his Manhattan penthouse in New York City.
I had planned to share this last year, but the summer got away from me! For happy reasons. First, I was training Whiskey, my Energetic & Playful Scottie Puppy. And, instead of sitting inside at the computer editing photos and composing posts, hubby and I were enthusiastically out and about.
We spent late May and early June visiting family and friends in Philadelphia. That included a Memorial Day gathering where we experienced how Using a Smoker Grill Enhances BBQ. Mom came back to Pittsburgh with us for the rest of month. Then, over an extended July 4th holiday visit with our sons , we enjoyed a baseball game, amusement park, dining out, and fireworks.
Come August, we headed to Washington D.C. There we went to an old-fashioned county fair, the Warf Marina, and an ABBA tribute concert at Wolf Trap National Park. Finally on Labor Day, we flew to California, exploring Sequoia National Park,Kings Canyon, and Yosemite.
Now with a broken finger and after prolonged period of Covid isolation, I’ve found the time to show off my eldest’s vegetable and herb urban garden. Come up on the rooftop for a bird’s eye view!
Hubby and I recently took a glass pulling class together, where we learned the basics of making sculpted flowers.
For Christmas, my son’s girl gave us a gift certificate to attend a hands-on (so to speak lol!) learning session at the Pittsburgh GlassCenter. We waited until after the omicron wave had receded before scheduling. Attendees had to be vaccinated, but the center recently dropped the mask mandate.
Classes are limited in size and fill-up quickly! There’s a wide variety of offerings. Families and friends can book their own private session. In fact, a family of four was in our class to celebrate their teen’s birthday.
There was a wide diversity among the total attendees in our session, which also included a young couple on their wedding anniversary, and a single woman who had received the class as a gift.
No one had tried glass making before, and we were all excited — although a tad nervous. In the end, everyone seemed to enjoy the glass pulling class, and were looking forward to taking home their sculpted flowers.
Dashing to send off a post today as I continue to deck the halls, craft, bake and prepare to celebrate the holidays. Happily, the shopping, wrapping and cards are finished. How about you?
When I first began collecting large Christmas cookie cutters, the plan was to decorate whimsical cookies — wrapped in cellophane bags — as table favors. Instead, for several consecutive years, I gave duplicates as Christmas gifts to family and friends. I imagined they (or one day I) would bake giant cutouts for a cookie decorating activity with kids or grandkids.
Fast forward, and I’ve finally gotten to a decorating idea that’s been in my noggin for several years — hanging the oversized holiday cookie cutters on my upper kitchen cabinets.
Not that it was a difficult project to do. But, it did mean finding extra time to get organized and put them together. Last year, I was wearing a giant boot and getting around on crutches, so there was no climbing on a stepstool to hang them!
Let me show you my Christmas cookie cutter collection, and how festive they look decorating the kitchen.
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Hi! I'm Debbee, a maker of all manner of things, who likes to incorporate themes into craft projects, holiday and seasonal decor, table settings, and parties. My friends call me, the Queen of Theme lol!
Home is the suburbs of Pittsburgh, but I also enjoy exploring the world with my husband. We raised two wonderful sons and are now early retirees.
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Meet Glenfiddich "Whiskey," a brindle coat Scottie and full of vim and vigor!