December 17, 2014

Post Card Christmas Tree Craft

We are currently living back and forth between two different homes. I have done some Christmas decorating at each place.. but with so much traveling and packing to go back and forth I've been horrible at photographing and sharing this years decorations. 

Today I am re-sharing one of my vintage posts of these DIY Christmas Trees made from Antique Postcards... I put these up each year since I've made them.


My mother used to collect vintage and antique postcards.  She gave me a box full of them about five years ago.  Most of the dates on them are from the early 1900's.  I always figured I would use them on some craft project eventually, I just didn't know what or when.  This week I decided to finally craft with them.  I came up with the idea for these adorable antique postcard Christmas trees.  After a little trial and error, I figured out how to make them and they were actually quite simple to do!  The best part is that they didn't cost me a cent...  I used items I already had around the house :)

I started by creating cones with some scrap-booking paper and packaging tape. I used two pieces of 12" x 12" paper and put them into a cone shape and then taped the edges.  I wanted the cones to be taller than a single piece of paper would make, so I shaped the first piece and taped it, and then put the second piece inside and shaped it to the first giving it extra height.  Then I added a cut piece to the open area that remained.  I cut the bottom level and then I made a second cone that was slightly shorter.

  
My cones aren't very pretty, in fact not at all, but they are just for the base so it didn't much matter what they looked like.  I ended up taping the entire exterior of each cone to give them extra strength.


I cut each of the old postcards into strips and then curled them around a pen to give them a curved look.  As I cut the cards I tried to keep stamps and postal markings in tact so they could be read when looking at the trees.


After they were curled I started from the bottom up, one row at a time...  I used packaging tape to tape each piece to the cone. 

Below is the first tree as I finished it.  Notice how you can see the stamps and postal marks.  There are dates from as early as 1905 to about 1915 on this tree.  All of the stamps were one cent back then.  


The second tree I decided to give a different look.  I folded each of the cut strips in half and stapled them.  This gave them some thickness.  Again I made sure to show the stamps and postal markings.  Row by row I attached them with the packaging tape.  I used packaging tape because it is much stronger and stickier than Scotch tape!  This second tree was the easiest to make.  It didn't need near as many rows to I made it in about 15 minutes.


In the next picture you can read some of the writing on the cards, and see the stamps up close and postal dates.  


The stars on top I cut out of postcards too.  I cut two sides for each and I glued them to the top of each tree.


I love how they both turned out.  I am not sure where I am going to display them in the house yet.  I'm thinking maybe the coffee table is best.  There is so much history on the 100 year old post cards that they make for a great conversation piece!


Until next time,
Happy Decorating!

Diana

December 4, 2014

Holiday Photo Wall - The Perfect Collage


How gorgeous is this Winter inspired Holiday photo wall. I love the contrast of the dark grey chalkboard like wall with the black and white photos and the pops of red! I wish I could take credit for it, but I found this beauty during a visit to Pottery Barn. It's so inspiring that I couldn't help but snap a few photos to share.


Happy holidays and happy decorating!

Blessings,

Diana








December 1, 2014

Come visit "The Vintage Marketplace" Starts Friday Dec. 5th

The Vintage Marketplace at the Oaks in Rainbow (Fallbrook, California) is being held this coming weekend... It will be from Friday, December 5th though Sunday, December 7th. See the flyer below for the address and full details.

There will be 60+ vendors selling vintage home and garden finds, re-purposed items, jewelry, art, clothing and more... I'm looking forward to seeing lots of pretties and getting some Christmas shopping done. Hope to see you there!





November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving



I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving table centerpiece was inspired by some stunning Fall leaves that my daughter found this morning as she and my husband were on a hike. 

Found items from nature make for perfect inspiration!

Blessings,

Diana


November 14, 2014

Cranberry Pear Recipe - Great for Holiday Entertaining

Our family has always loved cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. We used to just open a can, slice it and that was it. However, one year my mom made cranberry pears and we all loved it so much that now it makes a regular appearance each Thanksgiving!

There are two ways to make cranberry pears and I will share both of them with you. One version takes about 5 minutes of preparation (this is the way I used to make them) and the other (healthier version) takes 15 or 20 minutes to prep (depending on how fast you can peel pears).  Either way, most of the work is done by a slow cooker (Crock-Pot).


Last year I started eating Paleo which in short meant no more processed or refined food of any kind.  So for us I make a healthy, free of refined sugars (but still sweet) version of cranberry pears. 

Note: canned cranberry sauces main ingredient (depending on brand) is sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  So, using canned berries is not an option for our family... Fresh cranberries is what I choose to use.

The recipe I make is simple using only three ingredients:  Fresh cranberries, 100% pure maple syrup (from a tree, I like Grade B), and pears (I used fresh organic).  

Directions: (Healthy version)

Turn the crock pot on Low then add the following:

12 ounces of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
4 ripe pears (peeled, cored and cut into slices)

Stir and let simmer on low for three to four hours (sample taste at about two hours to see if more sweetener. Keep in mind that fresh cranberries can be quite tart depending on their ripeness, so you can add extra maple syrup if needed.  

As the cranberries cook they will soften and split open spreading their flavor throughout the pears. Depending on how many people you are feeding you can adjust the recipe size. We like to serve them warm but they can also be made in advance and served chilled. They taste excellent either way. You can substitute the maple syrup with agave, honey and/or a combination of the three. Whichever sweetener you prefer will work.  


Now for the super simple five minute version (3 minutes if you are fast with a can opener)...  

Directions:  (quick and easy)

Turn crock pot on low:

Open a can or two of pear halves (or slices), quickly drain them and pour them into crock pot,

Open a can of whole berry cranberry and pour/spoon it into crock pot...

Simmer on low for three hours.  

Yep, that's it.  Serve warm or chilled.  




It doesn't get any easier than that folks!  We made it the simple way for years... The pears absorb the cranberry flavor and taste amazing :)

Whichever way you choose, cranberry pears will be a hit with your family!

Blessings to you and yours,

Diana


More Crock Pot Thanksgiving Ideas