Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Start of the Christmas Decorating

Well, we got the tree up last night.  And it wasn't horrible for once! (I exaggerate only slightly.) 

The last few years, it's been a total ordeal to get the tree in the house and in the stand fairly straight. And then there have been annoying, unanticipated light issues.  (I was lucky to find two strands of white lights two weeks before Christmas last year when we discovered the lights we'd previously been using were kaput.)

And while the decorated trees have ultimately been gorgeous, the process leading up?  Not so much...

But not this year...thank goodness. It was fun and done in one evening and we even listened to Celtic Christmas music.

I still need to get candy canes to hang on the tree, trim the top so the star isn't lop-sided, and take close-ups of some of my favorite ornaments, but our Fraser Fir is looking pretty good!


The other main decorating accomplished so far revolves around my latest obsession: glitter houses.

Robin at Happy at Home has a fabulous collection of glitter houses she's made herself, which I saw last year at Christmastime and immediately wanted.  Look at all this wonderful inspiration!

via Happy at Home
On her site, she also has this tutorial and this tutorial. Between the two of these, all the bases are covered for making your own glitter houses.  Highly recommend them!

Now, I haven't actually constructed any houses...yet...but instead started off with the chipboard/paper mache houses available at Hobby Lobby to get my glitter house village going.

Here's a shot of the burgeoning collection in the living room.  (The house second from the left was a gift from my mom.)  I'll be making this house next from to fill in the bare spot on the far right. 

The last house is my favorite with its sweet vintage color scheme.  The sparkle is just perfection. The insides of the windows of all the houses I made are lined with crinkled wax paper (to give the feel of frosted glass) and have battery-operated tea lights inside so they can glow at night. 

Making glitter houses is addictive and now I'm trying to figure out the color scheme for the next one.  Anybody have any ideas?  I have an 18-pack of Martha Stewart glitter so there are plenty of color choices!


Since there is no shortage of mason jars in this household, I also a jumped on the Anthro snow globe knock-off wagon. They are very simple to make and are cute as pie.  Here's just one of several I made last weekend.

And after much struggle, I managed to get a little bottle brush tree into a glass ornament.  It's cute but gawd was it a pain!  I won't share a photo of the other one I did--that poor little tree looks like it has scoliosis after all the unceremonious jamming it took to get it in there. And don't even get me started on the process of finally getting it to stand up straight! 

Is there any technique to these kinds of ornaments or am I just clueless about how to assemble them with ease? Because I couldn't find a single tutorial anywhere on Pinterest or in blog land. 


I still need to go clip some cedar branches and red berries from outside to add more natural elements to the house. And for some artificial elements, I'm dying to get the spray snow/frost to spray on some of the windows.

Hey, it's slow going around here but the decorating will get done eventually.  :)

Happy Decorating,


  1. Everything looks great. Your glitter houses are adorable. I want a tree in an ornament like yours, it is so cute:) Lovely!!

  2. Your holiday decorating looks so great. Especially love the snow globes and glitter houses.

  3. pretty erin! the tree is always an ordeal! why is that? ; )

  4. your tree looks fabulous, and i LOVE those houses! i have a few vintage ones, but i had no idea hobby lobby sold chipboard ones! oh i am in trouble now!!!

  5. Your tree is very pretty, Erin. The glitter houses are so cute and colourful!

  6. Love your tree. The glitter houses are just beautiful. Where do you get your bottle brush trees? They are wonderful ;-)

  7. PRETTY!!! I love all of it (especially the glitter houses). I have those snow globe ornaments in my Etsy shop and I just used extra long needle-nose pliers that my hubby had in his tool box. A dab of glue with my glue gun on the bottom of the tree and a quick insertion with the pliers and the little tree was in and straight. I think the pliers made all the difference. Yours looks super cute though, even if it was a struggle :) Happy holidays!

  8. Hi Erin, your tree is lovely~I can almost smell it! One good thing about being stuck in a hospital room is that I have all day to catch up on my favorite blogs! I loved your article in Alamance mag. on glitter houses~a published author my friend, what's next? :) Your house and decorations are beautiful and your candles are selling like crazy at the shop~I'll probably email another order to you today. Thanks! xoxo Heather@Nest

  9. Hello Erin,

    I was compelled to create some of those lovely little glass ball ornaments..I just love bottle brush trees!! I believe I've bought up every tiny tree within a 50 mile radius.

    Your glitter houses are so sweet, I think I will try to create a few of these for next year........OH more craft..thank you Erin!

    Janet xox

  10. it all looks so pretty! you did a great job on those houses...wowza!!
    i want to make some of those anthro tree globes too...can you believe how popular that are in blogland?! were you cursing while trying to shove that little tree into the ornament...LOL, i would have been! It looks super cute though...another thing i should try. where's the best place to get bottle brush trees and clear ornaments?

  11. p.s. i don't know why i called the anthro mason jars "tree globes"... ;)

  12. Live trees can be such a hassle. So glad to hear setting yours up this year was a good experience.

    I have been waiting for this post for so long in anticipation of seeing your glitter houses. I'm so glad I'm not the only one bitten by the glitter bug. You did a fabulous job, they look adorable. It's so fun isn't it!

  13. I am LOVING your decor!!!! Your tree is gorgeous! I love the glittery houses and the bottle brush tree in the glass ornament is genius!!!

  14. THe tree is GORGEOUS!, and HUGE! I bet that was soooo easy to get in the stand and standing up straight. I remember when my kids were little, and we got the tree, and they of course wanted immediate gratification, decorating and sugar plum fairies and lalalala. But FIRST, you have to saw off the base because you're divorced and all you have is a rusty saw the kids left outside on a tree stump somewhere that you have to FIND FIRST! then you have to wedge it in the stand which is basically impossible, then... it tips over and falls on you 50 times... and then you have to put on the lights first, and by then the kids would hate me, because at that point i was crazed from wrestling with a tree, and have branches in my hair, and sap on my hands... and have turned into the grinch, "DON'T TOUCH THAT FREAKIN TREE UNTIL THE LIGHTS ARE ON IT!" but, i'm sure it's not like that at your house at all...!
    ANYWAY... I LOVE LOVE the glitter houses, i would sooooo do one in pale pink...



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