Christmas, Holiday, Home Improvement, Paint

A mini fireplace renovation and Christmas decor

I love the winter holiday season and all of the decorating that comes with it. I was extra excited to decorate our mantel this year because I just completed a mini fireplace reno.

Do you remember this gem of a fireplace that we started with when we moved in?

Before fireplace

This is how we changed our fireplace after we did our family room reno.

fireplace

The difference in the brightness alone is nuts! But something was still missing. The fireplace was outdated with the old metal doors. New doors are so expensive, so I decided to DIY the doors and the inside of the fireplace to complete the three-years-long reno.

Brass doors

To start, I removed the doors and cleaned out the fireplace. Then, I painted the inside of the fireplace black with heat-resistant paint.

Fireplace unpainted

I did two coats of paint on the inside to cover up the soot, and it turned out really nice! I actually contemplated not adding the doors back on, but Brian said he prefered doors to an open fireplace.

Fireplace Brick

Once that was dry, I started to work on the doors. At first, I sprayed the doors with heat-resistant black spray paint. I taped the glass, but didn’t cover all of the panes with newspaper. (Word to the wise — cover the glass! I had to later scrape off paint. Oops.)

Spray painted

The spray paint didn’t hold up so great, so I ended up painting the doors with the same paint I used for the inside of the fireplace. Once that dried, I was able to rehang the doors.

Ready for the big (small?) reveal?

TA DA! Oh, and Christmas decorations 🙂

fireplace3

Do you love the black doors? It’s taken me a while — I actually hated them at first — but I really like them. I’ll admit that I wish they were new and fancy and not spray painted, but considering we don’t use the fireplace and the doors are rarely opened, this little DIY will work just great for us. Buh-bye brass!

The only downside to the painted doors is the paint does scratch off if nicked in the right way. Other than that, I’m really happy with the new look. I don’t miss the old, dated color at all.

OK, enough reno talk. Check out my Christmas decor! I absolutely love my Christmas mantel.

fireplaceremmy

As you can see, Remmy loves it, too. Really, he just loves to sniff his stocking to see if there’s anything in it yet. Sometimes he cries because he can’t get it down. I think it is hilarious — does that make me a mean doggie mom?

santas

On my mantel I have my collection of Jim Shore Santas. We got one as a wedding gift, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. I can’t wait to see which new Santas I get this year as gifts.

Christmas is the one time of year we do seasonal decorating, so we take it pretty seriously. We have one real Christmas tree, a small fake tree I decorate with flamingo ornaments, a decorated mantel, a decorated TV shelf and a decorate console table. We even decorate by our bar. And, of course, we do lights outside.

How do you all decorate for Christmas? If you have a blog, I’d love to see what you’ve been up to this holiday season. And if you don’t have a blog, no worries… the rest of my house (outside of these photos) is messed up with wrapping paper shreds and stuff I had to move out of the picture frame. It isn’t quite as perfect as it may appear 🙂

Speaking of perfect, I have not been on the ball this year with holiday cards and gifts. I am looking to get holiday cards a.s.a.p. and I found the most adorable cards on Shutterfly that are in the cutest shapes (i.e. not just rectangles). Some have scalloped edges, some have rounded corners and some look like quatrefoils. They are such a fun twist on normal cards — now I just need a cute photo of me, B and Rem!

I also need to get a kickstart on my gifts. I’ve purchased quite a few things, but there are so many gifts I want to make that I haven’t even started on! Work, class and other life craziness has made this holiday season fly by so far. Where are my elves when I need them?! Luckily, I am fortunate enough to have time off before Christmas, so I’ll be my own elf and make my gifts then.

Are you making gifts this year or tackling any mini makeovers before your relatives come to town this holiday season? I’d love to see your holiday decor, renos and crafts! The holidays really do bring out the most creative and fun ideas.

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Christmas, Holiday

Wooden Reindeer

Today I have got to show you one of my favorite Christmas gifts of the year. Our neighbors made us a wooden reindeer!!

OMG SO STINKING CUTE! (Imagine giddy screams when you read that…)

Reindeer

1. Is this the cutest thing you have ever seen? It i officially one of my favorite Christmas decorations.

2. They made this themselves! So impressed.

3. What is even more impressive is that they made A TON of them. Yeah, we weren’t the only lucky ones to receive this gift this year! What a thoughtful gift.

Reindeer Pieces

Another perk of the reindeer — he disassembles into four easy-to-store pieces! #Winning

Thanks you, Allie & Chad. I love my, errrr our reindeer. But for real, he is mine. And I need to come up with an awesome name for him.

Happy Thursday! (Read: Is it Friday yet? Sheesh!)

Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday, Wine Crafts

Wine Cork Rudoplhs

wine rudy2

OMG OMG OMG OMG. A CRAFT POST.  A CHRISTMAS CRAFT POST!!!!!

Holy smokes, she’s back! Yup, this craft blogger has some crafts to show you! I mentioned a few posts back that I have ben focusing lately on getting healthy and losing weight — well, I am more than 30 lbs down (Thank goodness! Chubby me was tired of being chubby!) and feel like I have a much better grasp on the balance between eating, exercising and all other fun activities like CRAFTS!

Enter Rudolph the wine cork reindeer!

To make this freakin’ adorable ornament, first start with a cork. I like the corks that aren’t true corks. They have a layer of skin (almost) to them that makes this project easier than if you were to use a true cork.

Cork Rudolph_1

Drill through the cork — don’t go top to bottom, rather drill through the side of the cork, somewhat near the top. This will be the heigh of your antlers.

Cork Rudolph_2

Cut a long piece of malleable brown wire and fold it in half. Stick the wire through your drilled hole, sending the folded end through the cork first. I learned the hard way that it is much more difficult to get your wire through your cork if the sharp end leads the way.

Cork Rudolph_3Your cork should sit in the middle of your wire.

Next, it’s time to form your antlers. I folded the wire about 1.5 inches from the base and twisted the wire until it touched the cork. Then, with the extra wire I wrapped back up the twisted portion and did this again. I ended up with three-pronged antlers, with the extra wire wrapping down along the base of each. Do this on both sides.

Cork Rudolph_4

Once the antlers were on, I screwed an eye hook into the top of the cork to make this an ornament.

Cork Rudolph_5Time for the eyes and nose!

Here’s where your cork having “skin” is important. I took a nail and pressed it through the skin of the cork as an appropriate eye level for rudolph. It went in at one point and came out another — these entry/exit points are where the wire will enter and exit.

Cork Rudolph_6

Once you create your hole and feed your wire through, add see beads for eyes. Get them as close to the cork as possible, then wrap wire around the base of each eye to secure them to the cork.

Cork Rudolph_7

One eye!

Cork Rudolph_8

Two eyes!

I used this exact same process for the nose. I tried to make the entry and exit points closer together when feeding the nail through the cork since the nose didn’t need no be spaced far apart like the eyes. I used beads and bells on different ornaments, but each one needs to be secured to the cork by wrapping the wire around the base.

Cork Rudolph_9

The final step is to add a ribbon! Voila! Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wine Cork!

CORKRUDY

Cork Rudy is hanging on my mini tree in my office. Yes, I’ve started decorating already 🙂

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