Cure the Winter Blues with a FUN Snowflake Breakfast!

[As always, CLICK ON any photo to view it larger & in more detail]

With the holidays behind us (booooo), I tend to get a little down 😦 so I came up with a fun, new Winter tradition to pick up mine and my family’s spirits … The Snowflake Breakfast!

cuttersSTEP ONE – look for a metal, snowflake-shaped cookie cutter.  I just found a 4-pack at Wal-Mart for $2.88 that’s probably on sale now (woo-hoo!).  The reason you need a metal cutter is so it can withstand the heat of your frying pan or griddle.

STEP TWO – dust off your favorite recipe to whip up a batch of pancake batter.  Mine is chocolate chip!  🙂

STEP THREE – spray your frying pan or griddle AND the “inside” of a large snowflake cookie cutter with non-stick cooking spray.

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STEP FOUR – Spoon some pancake batter into the snowflake cutter, spreading it evenly into each arm of the snowflake.

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STEP FIVE – Brown the pancake on 1 side and use a spatula and the side of your pan to help you flip the pancake AND snowflake cutter (together) to begin browning the opposite side of the pancake.

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STEP SIX – While the opposite side of the pancake is browning, use a knife to begin loosening it from the side of the snowflake cutter.

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STEP SEVEN – Gently remove the snowflake cutter, and when done, remove the pancake from the pan.

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STEP EIGHT – Make an inexpensive snowflake tree to use as a centerpiece on your Snowflake Breakfast table!  Gather branches from outside and spray paint them white.  HINT:  Leave any berries or buds on the branches for added texture and detail.  Cut a piece of styrofoam to fit in the bottom of a vase you have on hand.  Arrange the painted & now dry branches in your vase to create a winter tree, using the styrofoam to hold them in place.  Disguise the styrofoam with inexpensive Epsom Salts to simulate fresh fallen snow.

branches in salt

STEP NINE – Hang snowflakes in any windows and on the branches of your new winter tree and place in the center of your breakfast table.

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STEP TEN – Years ago, I was lucky enough to find snowflake plates at J.C. Penny (on clearance.. whoo-hoo!) and snowflake glasses at Target, but you can use paper plates with a snowflake theme to duplicate this look on a budget.  I found the over-sized white snowflakes at a dollar store…. they make great place mats!  Finally, I recycled my snowflake pillows, lantern and snowflake candle (used in the family room at Christmas) to create more wintry ambiance on the  side table underneath my window of snowflakes.

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Check out the entire Snowflake Breakfast setting… it’s festive and happy and because it’s “the unexpected”, it will provide everyone in your home with the perfect prescription for the post-holiday, winter blues!!

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Enjoy the Creativity!

EILEEN

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2012 Christmas Holiday Home Tour Video

Our 2012 Holiday Home Musical Video is ready to provide you with some inspirational holiday spirit! 

Click below, to view:

If you’d like to watch it in HIGH DEFINITION QUALITY, click on the “GEAR” icon (this will appear in the black bar once you hit the PLAY button) and then, click on 720p.

Don’t forget to turn up your speakers, fix a cup of cocoa, put your feet up to…

Enjoy the Creativity!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Eileen

My sincerest thanks to the talented Production Staff at THEM FEELINGS MULTIMEDIA for creating our video each & every year, simply to support a small business!

CHRISTMAS 2012 – the year of the New Puppy!

[As always, click on any photo to enjoy a larger view]

Christmas decorating at The Seasonal Home had to go in a slightly different direction for 2012, thanks to the addition of a new family member.  Meet Miss Lilly Grace, who sometimes looks more like a Teddy Bear…

    

She’s a very sweet girl who didn’t mind posing for her holiday photo…

And just this week, those cute little puppy ears turned upward (to help her listen for Santa!) and I think she looks more like a fox…

Whatever our little girl turns out to be, because she can get into things (as most puppies do), I had to out-fox her by creating some clever holiday decor.  So, if you have a new, young one around this Christmas, whether on 2 or 4 legs, I hope my ideas help you out too!  Also in this blog post, you’ll find unique & budget-friendly decorating ideas as well as DIY tutorials, so make yourself a cup of cocoa and enjoy the creativity!

THE FRONT PORCH

Because I created such a large display last year (click HERE to review), I chose to keep things simple outside, utilizing my trusty footed urns (you’ve seen these before! lol) again to hold natural, preserved wreaths, with a large red ornament in the middle of each.  The berry garland is actually 3 separate (4-foot) pieces.  HELPFUL HINT: attaching several smaller (less expensive) lengths together is easier than trying to find one, (expensive) long berry garland:

I found myself in a “Holly and Berries” mood, this year and it began with my outdoor bench.  HELPFUL HINTS:  Don’t hesitate to decorate outdoor furniture with garland (adding lights too!)  because it welcomes your guests with the “unexpected”.  And the mossy gift (on the bench seat) is simply a white box that I covered in moss, using glue… easy!

I love my Goat Cart!  And it turned out to be a great investment because it holds larger decorations, for every season!  Also, I’ve used it in my garden, yard and now, on my front porch.  How versatile is that?!! 🙂

The final front porch touch is an old sled I display every year (found years ago, at a local yard sale… in FLORIDA, no less! lol).  I usually add a “PLEASE SNOW” sign to it, but I think I’ve finally given up on that dream and added holly, berries and a skate to it instead.  In Florida, we CAN do ice! 😉

THE FOYER

The Holly and Berries snuck right in the front door and laid out beautifully in the Foyer also…. welcoming Christmas, with a little help from Santa, of course!

And here’s where the “clever” part comes in, for the first time.  Anyone who’s been a fan of The Seasonal Home for a while is probably familiar with the 2-tiered table that is usually in the foyer.  Knowing that a puppy (or child) could easily AND quickly clear off a shelf of easy-to-reach decorations, my idea was to temporarily shuffle some of my accent tables to new locations (in the home) for the season.  Check out how nicely a cabinet from the kitchen also fits under the mirror in the foyer!

THE LIVING ROOM

The Living Room is where the first tree went in The Seasonal Home.  I knew any tree I displayed would need to be elevated (out-of-the-way) to keep our little pup safe, so the unique & inexpensive idea I came up with is a Drum Stand tree base!  The total cost to make this was around $20 and here’s the DIY instructions:

CLICK on photo to better view the instruction details

I chose a color theme of black & gold along with frosty and musical (under the stars) accents.  If you look closely (at the tree below), you’ll see that I recycled the black branches from Halloween 2012, adding them into the tree for texture.  I also reused 2 silver drums from Christmas 2010 by cutting & adding a length of the black & gold reindeer gift wrap (used on the drum tree stand) and gold cord (to hide the gift wrap edge) so they coordinate, when added to the tree.

It’s so hard to find large, quality glass ornaments in black! Check out Seasons on the Web link (right hand column of this blog) to check out their huge ornament inventory!

And here’s the rest of the room!

HELPFUL HINT: boxes, gift wrapped in coordinating paper & ribbon make an inexpensive room accent for the holidays!

THE FAMILY ROOM

In the Family Room, I couldn’t place too many decorations or snow on The Seasonal Home hearth because of our new pup and her thieving ways.  And because she thinks she can carry away just about ANYTHING in her tiny mouth, I had to be sure I used something too large for her to consider… these lighted, faux gifts appear to be just perfect… so far!  (lol)

And here’s the rest of the Family Room

I’m starting to notice a “puppy” theme in this room (LOL)

And I simply can’t let a Christmas go by without highlighting a series of my ornaments, like these (Hallmark Windows Series) that feature children peeking into shop windows at Christmas time.  A cabinet or sideboard (with shelves) is the perfect place to display a collection.  HELPFUL HINT:  If you also have a collection of ornaments, consider trying something new by displaying them together (for maximum impact) instead of spreading them around the tree… it’s incredibly fun!

Here’s some close-ups so you can see how much fun adding small details (like snow & trees) can create!

THE KITCHEN

Another Christmas tree to be elevated!  And, of course, it should also make sense with the theme I chose –  Snowmen and Holiday Sweets to create the Frosty Sweet Shop!

I was inspired by a $500 Cupcake (themed) tree stand I saw at my holiday wholesaler.  Although it was beautiful, the cost to make mine was only $10.

Here’s the directions:

Once you place the Cupcake liner around your basket, it’s time to add frosting.  Lightly spray-paint polyester fiber fill (comes in a plastic bag at craft & discount box stores) and shape like frosting dripping over the edge of the Cupcake liner.  I used a light pink color of spray paint.  Finally, add small (matte or glitter-finish) ornaments to the fiber fill to create a look of candy sprinkles on the frosting.  I found a pick of several glittered ornaments at Target for only $2.00 and because each one was already on a piece of wire, it was easy to slip them into the fiber fill batting, individually.

And here’s the finished look –

The rest of the room –

HELPFUL HINT: Large foam snowflakes (Dollar Tree) make great winter-theme placemats!

HELPFUL HINT: the 6″ plastic snowflakes I found at the Dollar Tree this year fit perfectly into the chandelier to create instant ice-bling!

Light and motion collectible house by Department 56

KIRKLAND’S has wonderful holiday art… this one lights up!

HELPFUL HINT: Use holiday cards to help you decorate inexpensively! I used 3 inside the openings of this photo display & coordinated a little scene below them.

You’ll find even more details and decorations in this year’s HOLIDAY TOUR on YouTube… here’s the link:

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Spooky Halloween Fireplace

Here’s an idea for creating a spooky Halloween fireplace.  And while showing you “how” I created it, I’m also going to cover a few of the “steps” behind my design style.

In Spring 2011, I used a green bird cage as the focal point of a bird-themed design.  [By the way, the bird cage was a collectibles display that a Hallmark store was done using and decided to sell, so I picked it up for only a few dollars.  This happens often in gift shops, so you should always express your interest and leave your name & number with the manager if a unique display catches your eye.]  When I’m decorating, my first step is to find inspiration and this bird cage provided my first bit of inspiration for this spooky Halloween fireplace design.

My second step is to look for things to re-purpose, to save money.  I knew the bird cage would look very different if I simply painted it, so I covered the mirror on the back wall (to protect it) and used a can of black spray paint to give it more of a Halloween look and viola’… a bat cage was born! 

Look for decorations that provide big bang for your dollar, like this large, removable “Flying Bats” window cling.

Re-purpose, before you purchase!  I wanted to place the window cling on a mirror above my fireplace, but there was one problem – I had no mirror above my fireplace! LOL  So, I looked around and moved a mirror from another wall (this one was over a chest in my living room), leaning it up against the wall, above the fireplace.  This not only solved the problem, but once again, without spending any money.  By the way, this would also be a look you could easily create over a tabletop, in a foyer, etc.

Create stories and add “action” to make decorations more interesting.  This draws in visitors who see your seasonal decor and adds whimsy too – who doesn’t love whimsy, especially during the holidays? ;-).  Positioning the (newly painted) bird cage next to the mirror and adding a few of the window cling bats (to the mirror INside the cage) makes it look as though the bats have escaped through the open door of the bat cage.  Adding a small skeleton (inside the cage) created a little whimsy because you find yourself wondering if he was somehow helpful in unlocking the cage door, so the bats could fly free.

Include lighting (lamps, candles, etc.) in your decorations.  I absolutely LOOOOOVE these new Spider candles, so I chose them to add that eerie glow to my mantel scene.  These are some of the best battery-operated candles because they’re lightweight plastic, won’t melt, and not only does the faux wick light up, but also the silver, glittery spider on the front (creating some BONUS lighting).

Combine similar things to add layers to your look.  I got lucky and found this large, gorgeous, silver, glittered crow at a warehouse sale, for only $3.00, and couldn’t resist perching him on top of the bat cage to create even more action.

Accessorize to fill up empty spots!  I added a few small pumpkins, black twig garland (Michael’s Crafts), preserved moss and a length of wide ribbon to fill in the empty spots.

Carry the look all the way to the floor.  I placed larger pumpkins, branches (I gathered outside, spray painted black & added a couple of orange spiders to) and 3 lanterns in the fireplace opening & around the hearth. 

Again, add lighting!  To create a lit look (inside the lanterns), I took one strand of orange lights and fed a few of the lights inside each of the lanterns to give them a warm, autumn glow.

And here’s the complete look… it’s one of my favorites I’ve ever come up with… I hope you like it too!

HAPPY  HALLOWEEN… enjoy the creativity!

Eileen

P.S.  I have a limited number of a few of the items above in my SHOP, while supplies last.

FALL, in the foyer

This Fall, I’m definitely into pumpkins and the warmth of falling leaves and I think the foyer is the perfect place to display a family-representative pumpkin as well as one that says…

  “WELCOME HOME”!

             

And I wish I could shrink myself down to spend time in this sweet Craft Shop and attend the Scarecrow Festival! 😉

House – Scarecrow Harvest Festival by Dept. 56

Placing decorations on top of risers (like candlesticks and cake plates) gives them more prominence and are easier to dust around during the season.

And if you want to display a wreath in the center of a mirror or artwork and cannot hang it from ribbon, try a heavy duty (clear) suction cup!

This is another design that would also look great over a mantel.

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Art Sale Alert!

When I find a nice product at a great price, I like to share…

Summer is the longest season of all and it’s the time when I take a break from seasonal decorating.  During these 4 months, I display simple, happy, cozy and/or functional things on my mantels and save up my creativity for the holidays ahead.

For several months, I’ve been considering an art purchase as something simple to hang above my family room fireplace mantel.  Specifically, I’ve been eying a print at Pier 1, titled “Happy Tree” because it is the perfect complement to my area rug.  This print already had a budget-friendly price, but once I noticed it on sale, I was off to Pier 1 immediately!  I love it when they have a sale because I love their merchandise.  As a matter of fact, it’s a good thing that I don’t work there because I would never take my paycheck home ;-).Their “Happy Tree” print measures 24″ x 24″ and is available in 4 different background colors, so you could also choose 3 or all to display together, vertically or horizontally.  The original price was $29.99 and now, it’s only $19.99.   To compare  – on-line, the cost to purchase a BLANK 24″ x 24″ canvas ranges from $33 – $39, so this is a great deal if you like the print and the price works with your budget.   Another thing I liked about this print – if some of the colors (on the tree branches) don’t work perfectly for you, but the background color does, simply grab some acrylic paint, a brush and change them (LOL)!  Here’s how it looks in my family room ….

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Birdhouse Wreath


This idea is a wonderful wreath design for someone who is a bird lover because its centerpiece is a birdhouse.    Check out the closeup view to see the tiny bird and eggs I added (with glue) to the bird house porch area, as the perfect accent to the birdhouse.

The base is a grapevine wreath, covered in silk ivy, fern, berries, preserved moss (found in plastic bags @ craft stores) & flowers.   You can either wire your birdhouse inside the wreath (securing it from the the top & bottom, inside the wreath) or you can hang the birdhouse and wreath on separate nails, measuring the appropriate distance to ensure the birdhouse displays inside the wreath when both are hung.

I love to shop inexpensive home stores, like Old Time Pottery or Hobby Lobby for reasonably-priced bird houses.  If you don’t have these stores near you, try www.PlowAndHearth.com or www.JacksonAndPerkins.com.

 

Birdhouse Wreath (full view) - Design/Image/Idea copyrighted by Creative Family Traditions. All rights reserved.

All photos/images/design ideas are the copyrighted property of Creative Families, LLC

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