Baubles and bells, some new additions to my Christmas decorations

Recently I shared a look at some of the Homesense Christmas range, today I'm sharing some of my gloriously, pretty new baubles - all of which are from Homesense this year. It's a bit too early for me to have our tree up - I really am not that organised, and on a more practical level we still need to decide where it'll go, and clean that bit of the house!

But I am feeling more festive than I normally am - maybe it's the influx of mince pies, maybe it's our Advent calendar... But whatever it is, I dug out a metal card holder, which I rarely use as a card holder, and finally unboxed those new decorations.

decorated baubles that have an egg-shaped appeal
Standing back and admiring my decorating ability, I realised it needed something more, so I dived back into my box of decorations and emerged with the bell and gingham bow garland from last year. Homesense have some ideas (10 in fact) on how you can impress your guests for less.
bells, bows, stars and baubles

I'm liking how the stars and bells have curled themselves around these new highly decorative baubles, and how well the whole lot looks against the bamboo wallpaper in the background.

gingham bows and led lights alongside the new baubles

They really do have a feel of a Fabergé egg don't they?  Thankfully at nowhere near the price!

this metal card holder often doubles up as an impromptu tree

The decorations are creeping in - and up - but while it might feel festive here on my blog, I predict it won't be for a week or two before our tree goes up.  But no doubt, that will be here before we know it!

What do you think of my new baubles?

My handmade Advent calendar

A few weeks ago I shared my prototype box for what I hoped would be my advent calendar.  The good news is that it's finished, but a few days into December. In preparation I'd bought a new die for my die cutting machine from Tonic Studios. Initially I was looking for a pillow box, but when I saw the Marquee Box I realised its potential and my plans changed.

I sussed out how it could work using the prototype, which I cut from the header page of some Christmas scrapbook paper, and as a fan of patchwork and colour, liked how it came out so have kept that in the final design.

The prototype box

Twenty four boxes is quite a few though. Each box needed two cuts of the die, so after a small workout for my arm and forty eight cuts later I was ready to assemble my boxes. The sheer number of these put me off for a bit, despite the start of the month looming. But with some pre-folding and a tray in front of the TV I set about sticking.

I'd tasked MOH to buy contents for half of the boxes, and I set about buying contents for the other half. Somehow all of our boxes have ended up with chocolate fillings, but that's no bad thing.

It did feel like a bit of a production line, and on more than one occasion I did wonder why I'd started, and if perhaps doing something for the twelve days of Christmas instead. But I'd started...

A collection of boxes, assembled and filled

And so I finished. A few days in to December!

I was able to make use of lots of things I had too, which is always a winner for me. I had the scrapbook paper, I recycled tissue paper inside the boxes, the stars which I used for the numbers were from many years before - I'd previously used them as decorative touches on gifts, tags and cards, and the ribbon that I used to close the boxes were left over from an earlier craft project.

So apart from the die cut and the contents it turned into quite a thrifty project. 

Our handmade advent calendar assembled and in place
 
a few more of the twenty four boxes of our advent calendar

I considered hanging the boxes, and wanted to use the silver pegs - that I've had for ages, and would you believe it there were 24 - and some bakers twine, which I've several reels of. The weight of the boxes though didn't really work for hanging vertically as I planned, and as we don't hang things on our wall, I was after another solution.

In the end I kept it simple and strung them together placing them under our television - the other place I'd considered was on top of a radiator, but knowing the contents that wouldn't work!

Looking from above at our handmade advent calendar

But I'm pleased with how they turned out, and it looks as if we've a village of festive boxes. Although not all of the paper I used was Christmas paper, however it all works together, and you can see the prototype box taking pride of place in the photo below (day 6).

Not all the papers I used were Christmas papers, but they all work together

A longer project than I expected but one that will provide fun - and chocolate - throughout the month. 

I love it - and I even got MOH involved too, as well as buying some of the contents, he was also chief number sticker on, as I thought I'd remember what was in each box, and so would lose the randomness of the contents! 

What do you think - would you make your own?

Feathers, berries and glitz at Homesense

Back in August Homesense invited me along to take a look at some of their Christmas range. You might think it strange to immerse yourself in all things festive at that time of year - and it is - but the weather did its best to make it feel like winter, as it was on one of those days where it rained and rained, and rained... so we didn't need to stretch our imagination too far at all!

You only need to glimpse at these pictures to see there is much loveliness in the Homesense Christmas range, but choosing, now that's the difficult thing - but they've put together this fun quiz to help you identify which festive trend is the one for you.
A black feather wreath with a jewelled bird from HomeSense

I loved the black feather wreath above and the jewelled bird that adorned it.  You'd think something that rich would work best on a plain background but the almost William Morris-like wallpaper worked equally well.  In contrast the white and gold plate setting appealed just as much, I'm not quite sure what that quiz will make of me!

A gold place setting from HomeSense

I'm not one of these people that completely change their Christmas decorations each year, I much prefer to add to my collection each year and as in the rest of my life there's often quite a bit of colour. And I'm fine with that. These metal stars are something I'd happily add to my collection, I think they could be most versatile and used throughout our house. My trouble of course is convincing MOH we need more decorations, though he's often the first to say that our living room doesn't feel that Christmassy. Hmmmn.

Metal stars from HomeSense

The feathered bird wreaths were great though, and there's plenty of colourways to match your theme.

a bird in the wreath, surely there's a saying for that

This year I'm very tempted to go with more rustic and natural elements and eucalyptus leaves are high on my wishlist.  Whether I go for the natural or glittery sort, or home-glittered sort I'm not sure yet, I'll see how it goes.  I'm planning to use some greenery from the garden and this could be the first year I take some trimmings from the small Christmas tree.

Eucalyptus leaves are on my wishlist this winter

The pink glittery bird is clearly no fool, he (she?) has found a wreath that will see them through the festive season!

berries and birds on this festive wreath from HomeSense

These lights made an impression on me too. I think MOH would rather have the drinks trolley though if I'm honest. I'm fine with the drinks, but could happily skip the trolley element - I wonder in years or months to come if I'll prove myself wrong with that last statement?

Glitzy lights from HomeSense

So plenty of glitz and quite a few feathers and berries in the Homesense Christmas range, I think I may need to pop along just for another look, and maybe to see what pops into my basket.

Do you have a theme to your Christmas decorations, or like me make additions as you go?

* Thanks to Homesense for the invitation to view the Christmas range.

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