Merry Christmas!

We hope all of you had the very merriest of holidays today!
May the rest of this year be filled with great memories and moments of reflection!
—Always, Jenni and Brian

O Christmas Tree

It might be a little late to post this… but, I wanted to get it out here.
So, if you like it bookmark it for next year’s holiday decorating!
But, before I begin with this year’s Christmas tree I wanted to let you in on the Christmas Trees of Jenni’s past. I love the idea of a perfectly trimmed Christmas tree. My first year as a married lady I went all out with our tree and decorated everything in pretty golds and reds. We had a plastic tree then and I spent a fortune getting pretty garlands and ornaments to decorate the house for the holiday.
It was a beautiful holiday. *Sigh*
Six months later when planning our move to Oregon
we decided to get rid of the tree (among other things). So, we got to buy my very first REAL TREE!
We got it for a steal because we always wait til Dec. 13 to put up the tree. I was so very excited picking out the tree and dreaming of all the pretty things I was going to do with it. My husband on the other hand did not enjoy the process near as much. I drew a picture for you so you can see what he went through.
Brian didn’t like putting the tree on the car. He also wasn’t very happy when we discovered that we bought a tree that was six feet around and nine feet tall… real trimming of the tree was needed.
And, while he enjoyed the tree while it was up he really didn’t like it when it was time to take to get recycled. Needless to say he nixed the real tree idea for the following years.
The next two years we decided to not have a tree at all…. we instead decorated the house using items we already had and put up a couple of “little” trees.
It looked something like this (including the sad faces missing the tree):
It was slightly prettier in real life though:
So, to avoid sad faces, real trees or plastic trees that take up space year round… 
I needed a new idea for this year.
That is when I saw this at a local Anthropologie:
And, of course I had to try it!
So, while I didn’t take photos of each step I did want to put up a small tutorial on how to make your own fabric Christmas tree.
—Chicken Wire (we got 9 feet of it but could have used a little more probably)
—Lots and Lots of fabric cut into 2 inch by 12 inch strips (I ended up using about 10 yards)
—A large stick and a bucket to use as a base for the tree. Fill the bucket with heavy items like rocks and tape the stick in place. I think you could also use other items to serve as the base of the tree…. the chicken wire does a lot of standing up on its own. We used a small trash can and the cardboard roll from a large spool of fabric. 
Step One:
Create a cone like shape out of your chicken wire. This is not an easy process. It takes some time and you might get scratched. Sorry.

Step Two:
Tie fabric strips onto chicken wire skipping some of the holes so that the fabric lays nicely.

 Keep going…
Step Three:
Wrap lights around tree and add fun ornaments. I added fabric flowers. :)
 The Final Product:
 I think the tree looks slightly like something out of a Dr. Seuss book! 
Close up:

Party Dress!

Inspired by the party dresses I posted a while ago, the lack of money in my bank and two blogs I just discovered I decided to make my dress this year for my birthday/holidays. And, because I didn’t take photos of the process I decided to draw you some pictures of the entire crazy process.

Not feeling my best I spent my morning surfing the blogosphere and searching for affordable dresses on-line. While searching I came across “Yours Mine Ours: Sharing our Freepiled Home and Wardrobe” and  “Chic Steals“— Two fantastic blogs that cover all kinds of fun ideas for re-purposing clothing. I literally spent all morning looking at these sites and getting ideas for my own dress.
So, I then took the time to measure myself and draw out some design ideas.
Notice my “Math Face” as I try to figure out how to make my measurements into a pattern.
I actually did take a picture of this part of the process. I then had to figure out what fabric to use. I looked through all my fabric and was becoming disappointed when I remembered a thin tablecloth I had made for some previous parties that I couldn’t use anymore because of the wine stain on it. 
I figured I could cut around the wine stain and it would make a pretty dress.
Next, I cut the pieces out!
Then came the sewing… this party included ruffles and creating 27 hand rolled roses. 
It took FOREVER! But, I really liked the end product. 
I plan to not do ruffles again for awhile now… they turned out cute but sewing them on to the dress ended up really challenging my sewing ability.

Hand rolled flowers (and one really bad seam just so you know it was made by hand)

More hand rolled flowers

The whole dress
Happy Holidays from me and my hubby!

It’s My Birthday!

It’s my favorite day of the year…. :)
I hope everyone has a wonderful day today… I am!

Personal Wishlist

While searching for items for Holiday Gift Guide I found several items that belonged on my personal wish list. So, I figured I’d share… and if anyone (Brian, I’m looking at you) happened to get the hint it might make a girl smile. :)
Honestly, anything on the “Hot Hostess” or “Closet Crafter” lists would be on my wishlist. I’m a little bit of a party and craftaholic. Craft items and little appetizer plates would make wonderful stuffing for a stocking. And man would a silhouette look pretty under my tree.
So, other than sugar plums here are the items I’m dreaming about this holiday. (And, well, year round.)

  • Any and all Martha Stewart craft gear is very welcome in my stocking like the scallop circle punch, large circle cutter, marker set and GLITTER!
  • All warm weather gear is needed for the Portland winter. I love these fingerless gloves with mitten tops from Target. I also really like all the really LONG fingerless gloves around now.
  • Accessories are the way to my heart! I love jewelry. I don’t like spending a lot of money on it because I switch between favorite pieces so very often. Which is why I love the fun costume jewelry found at Forever21.
  • It might seem slightly odd but I would love to find a stocking full of envelopes, papers, stamps and other basic stationery goodies. The Paper-Source is one of my favorite places to find paper.
  • Etsy is another place to find a plethora of Jenni loved items. I really like this headband from Love Stitched and this beautiful stocking.

  • I try to buy a new coat/jacket every year (you need them in this rainy city) and I have fallen head over heels for this ruffled coat from Ruche.
  • Shabby Apple makes the most amazingly beautiful dresses that don’t show a ton of skin. I’m particularly fond of the Red Fox number and black and white dress called Ingrid. (Sigh…)
  • This sparkly dress from Ruche is already taking first place for New Year’s dresses.
  • Books are always the way to go with me and I happen to like craft centered ones. Right now I am really into sewing so Sew U and Sew Liberated are at the top of my list.
  • I’m really, really into ruffles right now. I want a ruffled bedspread, skirt and this amazing shower curtain from Urban Outfitters.
  • Shoes make pretty awesome presents because they don’t vary in size quite as much as women clothing. I am really into these canvas wedges from Ruche. (Can you tell I like this site!?!)
  • Oh, and the fabric!?! I really just would like to have some more fun fabrics to choose from when having fun creating stuff. Possibly in 3-5 yard bundles. (Image)

Happy Holiday’s everyone… I hope you are having fun putting together your own personal wish lists, as well as trying to come up with great gifts for those you love. 
While there is quite a bit on my list, I do find it very important to remember that while it is fun to give and get it isn’t always about buying stuff. 
This year my husband and I are trying to make as many gifts as possible or to help put the final touches on gifts we are buying people. So, consider this my last post about purchasing and look forward to posts about DIY gifts, decorations and wrappings!

    Well Crafted Holiday Gift Guide

    As promised… here is a Holiday Gift Guide 
    put together with different people in mind.
    Hopefully this gives everyone some fun ideas for the 
    upcoming holiday!
    Sources: 1. Passport Travel Set, 2. Small Camcorder, 3. World Traveler Necklace 4. Travel Log
    5. Mustache Glasses Holder, 6. IPhone Docking Station
    Sources: 1. Retro Block IPod Speaker, 2. Drumstick Pencils, 
    3. 12-Month Tee Club (Video Game Tee), 4. Pop Camera

    Sources: 1. Bag of Holding Messenger Bag (It’s Bigger on the Inside!), 2. Pencil Pouch, 
    3. Know it All Pencils 4. Personal Library Kit, 5. Retro Block Thumb drive

    Well, I hope this helped you with your holiday shopping! 

    Please let me know what your favorite item was/is! Also, if you see something out there that would fit into one of these categories but I didn’t list please let me know.
    Check out the blog in the upcoming days as I put up my personal wish list as well. 

    ~Always, Jenni

    My Crazy Life

    So, I have a lot of fantastic ideas for posts and have been working on them all… not to mention the 3000 other things I have to do this December. :)

    I was so incredibly inspired by this post from Love Stitched. I mean… If the writer of a blog and company that I admire so much really does have a house and to-do list that look like mine then I might not be as crazy as I think I am.

    So, what I’ve been doing…
    I designed and made a dress out of an old table cloth for my upcoming birthday. I’m REALLY happy with how it came out, but certainly under-estimated the amount of time it’d take.
    Pictures and possibly a tutorial to come soon!
    I made a Christmas Tree out of chicken wire and cloth.
    Yet another project that took much more time than I originally planned… but, it is so ADORABLE.
    More pics and a tutorial to come soon!
     I bought a dresser after living here for 4  years… you have no idea how happy this purchase made me! This photo was taken during the marathon session of trying to get this and a few other objects together. Now to cleaning and re-organizing our house.
    Stayed out of the kitchen because my husband was bottling his second batch of homemade beer.
    He made this one for me! (A Cranberry Hefeweizen for the holidays!)
    If you (or someone you know) is interested in home brewing then check out his Blog, Bost Beer.

    So, that has been my month so far… what have you been up to?

    Friday Finds: Gift Guide

    I’ve been SO very inspired by the many gift guides out there and wanted to throw together my own little gift guide for you, my lovely readers. 
    But, first let me show you the gift guides I’ve been enjoying this week!
    **Look for my own gift guide as a special post over the weekend!**  
    UPDATE: Look for the gift guide post on TUESDAY! :)

    I love this gift guide! The contributors did a fantastic job compiling items for different types of people for whom you might be shopping. I really LOVED the pages for Cupcake Lovers (as I am one), 
    Beauty Queens (as I wish I was one!), and all the kiddie pages… so cute! 
    Beauty Queen page from TomKat Studio’s Holiday Gift Guide Compiled by Becki of Whipping Cake
    Pizzazzerie Gift Guide

    I loved this page! From Pizzazzerie.Com

    Adorable items for many on your list. I especially like the lovely Christmas card ideas!

    Great ideas for gifts that don’t leave a large footprint on the environment. And, bonus, they have ideas for SEVERAL different types of people on MY Christmas list: 
    Green Geek, Pop-Culture Fan, Design Junkie… etc.
    Etsy Gift Guides
    Etsy has a LOT of different ways to find fabulous gifts. 
    You can check out their Gift Guides Showcase (pictured above), gift guides others have put together (see below for my favs), use their treasury option OR use their FACEBOOK app
    I love the facebook app it looks for specific people based on their likes.
    (Many of the items on MY list were quite accurate!)  
    As for the lists that are featured on Etsy Here is one I really liked:
     PoppyTalk’s Gift Guide

    Well, Happy Friday all! I hope you enjoyed today’s finds as much as I did finding them!

    ~Always, Jenni

    Weekend Question: 
    What type of person are you having trouble shopping for this Holiday season?
    (Answer and you might just see a section for them in my Holiday Gift Guide post!)

    Dressed to Party: Holiday Parties!

    I’ve been playing on again! This time I was looking for festive outfits for holiday parties. These sets are ideal for a Christmas Cocktail Party, Holiday Open House, Work Party and New Years Eve Bash. Oh, and there might be one in there that inspires me for my Birthday! 😉

    Holiday Cocktail Party
    Couldn’t you just swoon over these dresses. And shoes. And accessories. Ahhh… it just makes me look forward to the holiday cocktail dresses. Let me know which is your favorite because I am certainly having trouble deciding mine!
    Holiday Open House
    I think sweater dresses or skirts with sweaters make fantastic outfits for something like an Open House. Make it pop with a little bit of holiday cheer with the accessories. (Don’t go cheesy with the Christmas tree bling, but rather check out the sweater bracelets and the adorable jingle bell ring.)
    Work Holiday Party
    I love how both these outfits are stylish and work appropriate with just a touch of holiday cheer.


    New Year’s Eve Bash
    Blush, You Sparkle!
    I love this set. It is one of the most expensive sets I’ve put together but I fell head over heals for that dress. Swoon. I think this set would be beautiful at a cocktail party, birthday celebration or a New Years Eve event.

    Dressed to Party: Thanksgiving Outfit Update

    Okay, I posted a few days ago about my Thanksgiving outfit inspiration. I thought it only fair to show you what I came out of the inspirational photos.

    I think it ended up taking most of my inspiration from this Polyvore set:

    Best Foot Forward Thanksgiving

    I ended up buying only one thing that wasn’t in my closet and making a couple of accessories to dress it all up. I paired my dark wash skinny jean, brown “cow hand” boots and brown velvet top with a cardigan from H&M. (One just opened in Portland recently and I am a little obsessed with the affordable finds.) I then added a feather headband and fabric rose bracelet. 
    P.S.I’m thinking about adding a fabric rose tutorial… 
    let me know if that is something you’d be interested in!
    Fabric Rose Bracelet
    Fabric Rose and Feather Headband
    *Me* on Thanksgiving
    Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing the actual results from the inspiration post.
    I really enjoy hearing your thoughts and I often get ideas from your comments for future posts!
    Always, Jenni
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