It's official. Winter is here. I actually worked from home yesterday because the roads were so crazy. It was like we'd never experienced snow before in Ohio. The trucks couldn't keep up with the roads and it was just really dangerous to be out. So I hunkered down at home and enjoyed being able to work while keeping Harvey company.
By lunchtime there was already about 4 inches of snow and no signs of stopping. Harvey experienced a little bit of snow last year but it was like he'd never seen it before. He was running around eating it while I kept yelling "Harvey, it's cold! Go to th the bathroom already!" I don't think he really cared what I had to say. He was enjoying himself too much.
There's just something about snow that makes the holidays even better. It makes cuddling up with a movie even more special. Today we're hoping to take Harvey on his first sledding expedition. That should be interesting...
Any snow in your area? What are your plans for the weekend?
Especially for those of us who grew up in the suburbs and headed out for the adventure of the city, apartment life can seem impossible for holiday decorations. Not only do you do not have room for a picture postcard holiday tree, we renters often lack the storage for the full 12 days-of-Christmas style knickknacks that ring in the season. If you're sharing space with roommates, you may also have to worry about whose side of the hall we’re decking. However, there are a number of ways to make it feel like the most wonderful time of the year even in the tiniest of spaces (and budgets):
Miniature Trees. Maybe it was because they were made fun of in an old Charlie Brown special or something, but mini Christmas trees have been given a bad rap. However, whether it’s a live miniature tree or an artificial set-up, a little tree can totally transform the mood of a room without feeling desperate. The secret is to decorate small trees sparingly: don’t try to pack all of the bells and whistles you might with a full size tree, lest you create a feeling of busy holiday chaos, not cheer. For an edgier tree, think about decorating less traditional flora, such as bonsai trees or even bare branches from the streets.
Holiday Balcony. Even when it’s not a holiday, extending your decor onto even the tiniest balcony can visually expand the sense of space in your apartment, adding a seasonal touch creates an especially warm outside glow that brings the interior space alive (For this effect, even fire escapes are perfect). Decorating railings with holiday lights, pine boughs, and even tinsel imparts a festive ambiance, which you can spruce up with an array of votives and patterned lanterns. If you celebrate Christmas, your balcony can be a great place to transplant the kind of outdoor displays usually reserved for front lawns, such as model nativity scenes.
Tabletop Fireplace. There may be nothing more holiday-invoking and cozy that a roaring fireplace — or more of a deal breaker in an apartment situation. After all, it’s hard to roast chestnuts over an open space heater.
However, many vendors now offer a selection of practical, self-contained area fireplaces that provide the heat (not to mention the visual warmth) of a real fireplace in a non-hazardous way.
Mock Mantels. Half of the charm of a seasonal fireplace is having a mantelpiece, so consider giving a makeover to a hallway coat rack or wall shelf to bring on the same effect. A little lace, a few sprigs of holly, and a few cherubs or menorah can go on top, with stockings hung in place of coats below.
Spice Up Your Bookshelves. In a limited space, it’s likely that you don’t have room to set up a special holiday display unit. However, not only do bookshelves provide lots of opportunities for draping laurels, tinsel, and ribbons, but they are also great places to spread out seasonal chotchkies like figurines, collectors’ plates, music boxes, nutcrackers and more. As all apartment denizens know, the secret with decorating in any season is to take advantage of spaces not being used and to re-purpose familiar settings and accessories. Furthermore, since atmosphere is everything, fill the air with the sounds and aromas of the season for maximum effect: a few pine-scented candles and a Tony Bennett holiday record will transport us back to those idyllic winters of childhood in no time.
This post was written by Uma Campbell. She is a writer from Southern California and currently writes for Soothing Company. If you would like to be a Crafted Love contributing writer, email me at allison[at]craftedlove.com
I honestly can't believe how fast time has flown this year! With Thanksgiving being so late, it seems like Christmas has just snuck up on me. This time, last year, I already had all my gifts purchased, wrapped, and nicely sitting under the tree. Let's just say this year hasn't gone so smoothly. And presents definitely won't be sitting under the tree this year thanks to a mischievous pup named Harvey.
On Black Friday I had the bright idea to head out around 1:00pm to Best Buy to see if I could get some of our items purchased. I got all the way to the turn into the shopping center, saw how long the left turn lane was, and turned right back around to head home. Yep -- I chickened out. This year we've been trying to get as many presents purchased early (and online) as we can. One of my favorite things, holiday season or not, is saving money. This year we've been trying to find as many deals as possible and I thought I'd share my top three favorite Groupon deals for the season!
16"x20" Canvas Print for $19.99
Picnova is offering an awesome deal on printed canvases. You really can't beat that price. Whether it's for a family photo or your own artwork print, I think a couple of these hanging on a wall would be awesome for a Christmas present.
Save $80 on Beats By Dr. Dre Headphones
I work a lot with video at my job and am constantly wearing headphones. I currently use a crappy pair of ear-buds which are not fun for long projects so these noise-cancelling headphones would be pretty awesome.
iHome iPad Bluetooth Keyboard
While I currently don't have an iPad, if I did, I would totally have one of these to go with it. I love how you can travel with ease with an iPad, yet still that most of the functionality of a laptop. Plus it's made by iHome so you know it's good.
on Friday, November 22, 2013
Want to knock the stockings off your friends and family before they even open your holiday cards this year? I've added a few sets of holiday envelopes to my shop that will do just that! These puppies were handmade by yours truly in various holiday patterns. They fit both 4x6 and 5x7 cards (just choose the size before checkout) and are a fun way to get in the holiday spirit.
There are a limited quantity so if you want to snag a set, head over to my shop and grab some!
on Thursday, November 21, 2013
Labels: Graphic Design
I've barely blogged over the past few weeks. And it's not for lack of posts -- I have a whole slew of blog posts waiting to be formatted and published. I've just been busy! And what, exactly, have I been busy with? Well, I'll show you!
I have been hard at work designing and developing a new and improved Crafted Love website! I have always wanted to take the Crafted Love blog and turn it into something more than a blog and this is a first step! Currently, the site is hosted at www.allisonaffourtit.com and is still in the works. I have several pages I'm still working on and even hope to add a shop section. But for now, it links to this blog and a contact page. It's responsive, fabulous on mobile, and I love it!
Eventually I plan to migrate this blog so that instead of linking to this site, which is hosted on Blogger, the blog link will stay in the general site. I hope it's a smooth transition and I don't lose any readers along the way. When I switched from www.craftedlove.blogspot.com to www.craftedlove.com it was a bit of a pain to migrate all of my Bloglovin' followers. Here's hoping this time is easier. Hopefully by 2014 it will take on www.craftedlove.com and the blog will be hosted at www.craftedlove.com/blog.
I'm so excited about all this. You have no idea. I feel like a little kid at Christmas making all the edits and changes. You know you're a design nerd when....
So if you would like to hop over and check it out while it's still in the "beta" phases, be sure to let me know your thoughts! Constructive criticism is always appreciated as well.