Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas!

If you have two minutes laying around, my roommate and I would love nothing more than to wish you a very Merry Christmas the best way we know how...

Merry Christmas and may God bless you and yours in the New Year!

With the warmest, merriest love you can find,
Lucy & Elizabeth

Video edited by yours truly
Music by Kay Starr :: "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" (Stuhr Remix)
Starring Elizabeth Savage & Lucy Holloway, Roommates Extraordinaire

Friday, December 14, 2012

DIY Christmas: Poinsettia Centerpieces

Since I really dropped the ball on a fall or Thanksgiving-themed tablescape, I decided to finally get around to sprucing up our dining room table with something festive in time for Christmas. A trip to Joann's coupled with the discovery that all their Christmas decor was on sale left me with armfuls of glittered foliage and other tidbits for upcoming projects.

It's no secret around these parts that I have a deathly brown thumb, but I opted for real poinsettias over fake ones and am counting my lucky stars that I can keep them alive for the remainder of the season. So far so good, and in fact the only casualty of this project was the loss of one tiny gold ring I bought on Etsy months ago and wear every single day (what?!) and we're not happy about it. Maybe it's in the soil?

These were easy! I started with two silver containers I found at Goodwill a few weeks ago (I had no idea what I'd do with them when I bought them, but that's usually how that happens), broke up the poinsettia between the two and then stuffed them with the glittered goods I bought at Joann's.

Once finished, I laid a spare piece of fabric as a runner and placed my new centerpieces along with these DIY candle holders scattered around to create what I like to think is a darling little Christmas display. I even took some of my beloved heart bokeh photos, of which I really can never get enough.

Used the bonus third section of poinsetta to fill this cookie jar (literally, this was the only equivalent of a vase/planter I could find in our apartment that wasn't already filled with something else), which now resides in the kitchen, keeping things merry and bright.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I want to go to there: Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerpen-Centraal Railway Station

When my friend Marc suggested a day trip to Belgium, I immediately listed three things in my mind and deemed them Belgian mandatories: chocolate, waffles and beer (in what I thought was my order of interest and importance).

Let me tell you this: the chocolate was not disappointing (yum!), the beer was, well, beer to me (but maybe slightly more exciting being served in a pretty glass?), but the waffles - OH THE WAFFLES. There's not enough I can say about authentic Belgian waffles, or "Liege" waffles as I was told by the Internet upon my return and after a frantic Googling episode of "authentic Belgian waffle recipes." Make these I must! The difference from the American version of a Belgian waffle is that these come from a thicker, dough-like batter, as they are made using yeast and something called pearl sugar that sounds as beautiful as it tastes. I'll absolutely be making these sometime over the holidays.

In the six or so hours I was in Antwerp, I made the mistake of not immediately trying waffles until the last hour of my trip, in which I consumed no less than two waffles (one with chocolate!) in a span on five minutes and then spent the remainder of the trip feeling like waffles were seeping from my pores, which I'm told is how things like that work.

Other than my newly-found love for waffles, I learned that Antwerp is home to the world's largest diamond district and saw how incredibly beautiful the city is - starting with the train station and ending with a cathedral that was constructed starting in the early 1300s, and remarkably home to several original (and breathtakingly beautiful) paintings of Christ by Peter Paul Rubens.

Monday, December 10, 2012


I'm a little late here, but since I wasn't in town for real the actual holiday, my small group (ahem, second family) threw a Fakesgiving celebration the week after Thanksgiving when I returned. All the great food aside (green bean casserole! stuffing! corn bread! Oreo bites!), it was such an incredible evening. I feel beyond blessed that I have such a great group of girls to share the holiday with and am ever so thankful for each of them, our church and the countless other blessings in my life.

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 
Matthew 8:20

Friday, December 7, 2012

DIY Christmas: Gold Sequined Tree Skirt

Our Christmas tree growing up donned a tree skirt handmade by my mother. I'm fairly certain it incorporated all the quintessential Christmas-season patterns and fabrics from the early 80s like plaids, quilting, lace lining and perhaps some acid wash denim (ok, that one's not true).

When we put up our tree this year, my roommate and I realized we didn't own a tree skirt. Naturally, as with all things in this apartment, handmade typically seems the route we tend to go (like mother, like daughter!).

While I'm not generally a fan of Hancock Fabrics in Atlanta, it was my only option late on a Monday afternoon because, let's be real here, once I decide to do something, it's decided and happening whether it makes sense at the time or not. I wasn't totally sure what I was looking for upon entering Hancock, but once I saw the section of completely sequined fabric, I had a vision of a beautiful gold tree skirt. I knew like you know about a good melon.

Fortunately for me, there was an incredibly helpful sales person cutting fabric who walked me through the entire process of making this skirt and made me rethink my dislike of Hancock. I learned that the trick with sequined fabric is that it's just that: tricky and incredibly difficult to work with. Cutting it makes a mess (sequins everywhere!), sewing machine needles break left and right, and if you fold so that the sequined sides touch each other, it gets tangled.

What you'll need:
-1 5/8 yards of sequined fabric (60" cut) and the same of a fabric for the back - I used a satin fabric
-3 packs of hem tape
-thread to match the hem tape
-needle OR a sewing machine with very thick needles
-pencil and long piece of string
-lots of pins
-paper plate and marker

1. Fold your fabric edge to edge to make a perfect square, then fold again to make a triangle. Tie a piece of string the length of the short side to a pencil and pin at the bottom. What you're basically doing here is making a compass. Note: I used zero measurements and have no idea what size my skirt turned out to be.

2. Draw a curve across both edges and cut along that line. You should have a perfect circle, the operative word here being "should." I wasn't as careful as I could have been, so I ended up with scalloped edges - which was a pleasant surprise and I ended up cutting them down even more to make them more defined. I love the scalloped look.

3. Place the circle/scalloped circle you just cut onto the back of the sequined fabric, making sure both fabrics are totally flat. From here, you have several options. I found it easier to pin the fabrics together and somewhat messily cut them together, but you can also trace and cut out an identical shape.

4. If you didn't pin in step 3, do so now. I sewed a baste stitch around the outside edge to keep everything together before adding the hem tape.

5. Fold the skirt in half (keep the sequined sides out so they don't get caught), trace half a circle (I used a paper plate) and cut it out. You don't want it too large, just enough to go around the trunk of your tree.

6. From the circle, cut a straight line down the middle (this is for the opening) and pin. Once finished, begin pinning your hem tape to the edges.

7. I did hem tape on the outside and inside circles, but not down the opening in the back. Once finished pinning, you're ready to sew!

I was able to sew the inside circle with the machine, but about a foot into the outside circle, I broke two needles for some reason. I ended up hand sewing the entire outside circle, which wasn't a terrible undertaking, but is a little messier looking up close.

As for the closure, I left it open instead and fold it over in the back of the tree. With a real tree, since we have to water so much, it's just easier to not have to undo any buttons or clips or clasps.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Christmas: Holiday Snow Globes

Let's go ahead and set the record straight: these are not really snow globes. I only call them that because Anthropologie calls them that and to call them "terrariums" instead felt wrong since there's nothing living inside. Whatever the case, I saw them a few weeks ago when Anthro put out all their holiday goods, coincidentally at the same time that my roommate and I were on our bimonthly trip to peruse and feel inspired.

As you can imagine, I love holiday crafts. This is my favorite time of year not only because of the reason for the season, but selfishly because I love the decorations! I have a lot of crafts working simultaneously right now and plan to be DIY-ing right up until Christmas. (I'll be sharing everything here, too!)

These were very easy to make and really the sky's the limit with what you can put inside: pinecones, mini trees, teeny Christmas balls, mini ornaments, fake snow. Plus, the more glitter the merrier is what I always say.

What you'll need:
-mini jars, mason jars - anything with a lid, really (I found mine at Goodwill for about $1 each)
-garland, pine cones, pine needles, glitter, etc.
-wire cutters
-hot glue gun

In total, this project cost me under $8 and took maybe 30 minutes to complete all three. I think it'd be fun to find some pinecones and spray paint/glitter them as well - but I really couldn't be bothered with that this time around.

I cut down the garland pieces with the wire cutters and just shaped them until they fit into the lid. I had to keep checking the height of everything to ensure they'd fit in the jars (harder than it looks!). I also used twine in some places to tie together pieces of garland. Everything is hot glued to the lid and then the lid is just twisted on (in case I want to make changes later).