Decking the Halls – Week 2

A couple  nights ago my two year old had a rough bed time – we both did.  He was being plain old naughty and I was frustrated and tired.  It was an epic battle and after he finally gave in, he fell asleep holding my hand.  I decided to sit a few minutes to make sure he was good and asleep so I opened  instagram and started looking at the day’s feed.  Like I said I wasn’t in the best mood – frustrated and feeling a little down from how the night had ended, but as I skimmed IG, an account I had been following showed up in my feed.  The account is of a family who has 6 children with the last three being 20 month old triplets. Of those triplets one little boy had been battling cancer.  They thought they had beaten it into remission, but just 2 short weeks ago they found out it was back with a vengeance.  That night  the picture on their account was letting everyone know their little cancer warrior  had went to be with our Lord Jesus for Christmas.  I bawled, I ugly cried softly to myself.  My heart broke for this family I had never met, this little boy who looked so much like my little boy, at the picture of the mom’s hand holding her little baby boy’s hand as I held my little boy’s warm little hand in my own.  I was so sad.  And I was thankful.  Thankful for that little boy for not only touching the lives of those who loved him but for someone like me – a person he had never met.   Thankful for the reminder of how precious my kids are. How lucky I am to have them in my life even when they are a toddler who is driving me to the brink of insanity.  Yesterday morning one of my little boys had the flu.  I absolutely despise the flu – it always goes through are whole house when one of the kids gets it.  But this time all I could feel  was thankfulness – yes it’s hard to seem him in pain – but I knew that in a day or two he would be back to his old healthy self again.   Healthy kids – could I really ask for anything more at Christmas?  No.  It’s at  the top of every mom’s Christmas wish list and I’m not going to take it for granted this year.

You may ask why I am telling you all this when I am suppose to be telling you all about my next decorating project.  Well with this next project, what started as a fun little build I wanted to try, turned a lot more meaningful to me.   It all started when I saw this picture on Pinterest.

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I thought it was adorable and I wanted to try and make it.  I almost didn’t because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put on it but I thought if anything I could just wrap up some boxes like they had done to style.   So I went to work on it with these plans http://www.ana-white.com/2015/11/free_plans/tree-wall-shelf.  It looks easy but there are a lot of angles that you need to get just right for it all to line up.   I felt like I was playing twister using all my available limbs to hold it together as I secured it.

Its not perfect.  I decided to paint it a distressed white instead of just staining it.  I could say I did this because there is already a lot of dark wood items in the room where I hung it but another big reason is because it hides the imperfections better.    It was wonderful practice and I’m glad I did it but I still needed to figure out what to put on it. I was stumped.   I didn’t want to spend a lot of money and I didn’t want to start a collection of things just to fill up  a shelf.   Then I thought why not hang some ornaments on it – but what kind of ornaments?  I wanted it to be special – I wanted it to mean something.  I decided picture ornaments of my kid’s past winter and Christmas memories would be perfect.  That is part of what makes Christmas so special.  The warm and happy memories made with family.

So I set to work on making ornaments.  I found a branch and cut it into slices – easier than it sounds with a circular saw but my determination got me through it with all ten fingers still intact.   Next I baked the branch slices in the oven at 200 degrees for a little over an hour to kill any bugs that might be in it.  After that I printed off pictures  and cut them  in circles to match the branch slices.  Finally I brushed a layer of mod podge on the slices, set the pictures on the slices and put another layer of modge podge on top of the photos.  After they had dried I gave them one more coat.  I drilled holes at the top and added festive twine to hang them.  And there you have it,  I had inexpensive but completely special picture ornaments.    I used eye screws to hang them in my new shelf.  Here’s how she turned out.

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The pictures don’t really do it justice – its been so cloudy its hard to get the right picture taking lighting but I can tell you I love it.  I love looking at all the fun memories that my family has created and having a special place to display them.  This year I have a renewed sense of gratefulness for these memories thanks to one very special new  little angel.   I hope to make a couple new ornaments every year and transfer some to our big tree as the years go by – kind of a new tradition.  My sincere wish for all of you and your families  this winter is a happy and healthy Christmas.  I’ll be back next week with more projects to share as I continue to deck the halls.   LOL (lots of love!). Heather

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