posts filed under the 'christmas' category :
December 18th, 2011

Christmas Crafts and Decor

Time is limited folks! I am smack in the middle of pre-Christmas-Sunday-Family-Holiday-Programming!!! But I wanted to share some of my Christmas Crafts and Decor with you!!!grape vine star

I was going to do this with driftwood, but I didn’t get a chance to scour the beaches yet for my driftwood stockpile, so I used some dried grape vine I had from an old arrangement. Jeff claims it’s a little Blair-Witchy, but I say Christmas Star all the way!

Next, I found THIS on pinterest, and had to give it a go. People always scoff when I say I save my corks to someday make a project, but to all those scoffers: how do ya like ‘dem wreathes!?cork wreath

I was going to document making this as a buoy bird craft, but the camera settings were all wonky and even after photoshop lightening the pics were STILL this dark!

cork wreath suppliesstringing corks

Eh, no biggie, instructions here! :)

Next was one of my favorite 2011 decorations. I found the most BEAUTIFUL hand cut paper snowflakes that my ridiculously talented friend Joanna made me a few years back, and I always wanted a special way to display them.

joanna's snow flakes

These babies deserved to be in a giant frame (found roadside in ol’ TO years ago)!

Some 1/2 off flowers for a cheery Christmas arrangement, a Tree, and I dare say we are ready for Christmas around these parts!

Christmas FlowersChristmas Tree 2011

Or at the very least, the Christmas Party we had this past Friday! Stay tuned to see how that turned out!

christmas elf 2011

Merry Hoho Everyone!

ps: MUCH love to my sweet boyfriend for making my blog “snow” yet again this Holiday season :) xo

December 9th, 2011

Christmas, Christmas time is here…

Oh Happy Day! I loves me some Christmas!

Jeff and I went and found our tree on Sunday, and started our first Christmas tradition since arriving back in NS! We found the perfect u-pick/u-cut farm a few communities over, and made a day out of driving through the coastal country-side on our way there. On the way home we stopped in the beautiful town of Chester, where we had a warm dinner and great beers in Nova Scotia’s oldest rural pub, The Fo’c’sle Tavern.

jeff and vikki's tree hunttree loveManly manfo c'sleYou may recall me bragging in the past about my supurb Christmas Tree  pickin’ skills. Actually, words weren’t spoken in the past, but isn’t a photo worth a thousand words? Well, this year I’m saying it: I pick a mean Christmas Tree!

Tree 2011We’re calling it a Chew-Humphrey Hybrid. A Humphrey Tree is historically known as one that is almost as fat around as it is tall. Mr. Chew happens to come from a home where the perfect “A” shaped tree is favored. I think we found a nice middle ground. :)

Our star from trees of years past has never been my favorite thing, and seeing as I come from a family where there is much love and tradition surrounding the Christmas Tree Star, I just knew I had to create something that could stay with us for years to come that would compliment our own tradition and style. So…..

christmas starI made it myself: you like??? :) Well, I glued lights to a pre-made grape-vine star, but it is just perfect for what is going to be the best country-coastal tree you ever did see!

And isn’t it truly a Christmas home once you have your lights on the tree? There is nothing like sitting in the living room with all lights off except a glowing Christmas Tree. I’m especially thrilled that we get to show off our tree in our big picture window: you can literally see it when you come around the bend up the road, and it gives me the feeling that I am truly coming home to OUR home. *sigh*

lit treeMerry Christmas Everyone! I hope your holiday season is starting off as happily as ours is!

Stay tuned for complete tree decorating; I’m making some fun changes this year! :) xo

***oh my, just realize it’s “Christmas, Christmas time is NEAR”, not here… which in the blog post’s case is actually more appropriate!

December 1st, 2011

anchor wreath update!

Ya know when something isn’t quite right? Well, the tiny little red bow on that anchor wreath just hasn’t been sitting right with me, sooo…

new bow…I *jujjed* it up a bit. :) Off to continue decking the halls! xo

December 1st, 2011

our anchor wreath

It’s December 1st, meaning… IT’S CHIRSTMAS!!!! :D

Now of course I know it’s not accctually Christmas, but the Advent calenders are out and Jeff is consuming that awful Advent calender-chocolate, so that mean I can say, “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!”

It was serendipitous that I happened to not be working on December 1st, as it’s allowed me to jump right into my Holiday crafting/decorating/over-indulging. And keeping with the trend of turning our little sea-side cottage into a nautical extravaganza, I figured I’d bring the holidays and the sea-theme together, and I came up with this:

anchor wreath

Move over simple, round Christmas wreath, you’ve been replaced by the new kid in town.

I have been brain-storming about this one for a few weeks now, and although I originally thought it was going to require a mess of chicken wire as a frame, I soon found out that chicken wire ain’t cheap in old NS, and I wasn’t shelling out 16 bucks when I only needed 2 feet. Plan B: Coat hangers.

shape coat hanger

I started by shaping my coat hanger into one side of the anchor. One coat hanger did one “side”, and I replicated the shape so I was left with 4 curvy bits of hanger. Four coat hangers = FREE from my friendly neighbourhood dry cleaner!

coat hanger template

I knew I wanted to double up my coat hangered-garland, so I had two coat hangers per side.

coat hangers doubled up

Next, I attached evergreen garland ($6 for 3 bunches) to each individual coat hanger shape with zip ties. I found really tiny zip ties so that they would be easily hidden when all was said and done.

garlandmini zip tagsattach garland to hanger

The garland was wired and it took to the shape of the coat hangers pretty well, so I just attached with the zip ties every few inches. And I know that some of you might be thinking, “What’s the point of the hangers if the garland is wired?” Well, the garland isn’t THAT strong, and it would definitely droop and not hold its shape, so in this case the coat hangers are the strong, sturdy base. And doesn’t every good project being with good bones?

Once I had two of the coat hangers covered in garland, I laid ’em out to see the basic gist of where my anchor wreath was going. And just as I suspected, only one layer of garland looked skinny and sparse.

thin wimpy wreath

I doubled that bad boy up and now I had the beginnings of a nice beefy anchor wreath.

big beefy wreath

I continued on to my third coat hanger, and once completed I realized that if I added a fourth, the middle shaft of my anchor was going to be MUCH beefier than the rest. So instead, I just added extra small pieces of garland to the bottom and top sections of the third hanger.

three separate garland hangers

Put it together and:

starting to look like an anchor

Ta-da! Dense foliage all over!

Next I had to figure out what I was going to use as the circle at the top of my wreath (I later realized I could have use an *actual* small wreath for this, but my way was more fun ;) ).

lobster trap opening

Any guesses as to what that is? No, I did not make it myself… No, we have not found Blair Witch-like crafts hanging in our back woods…

It’s the opening of an OLD lobster trap! I picked a couple of them up from my new friend when I got these, and they happened to come in handy sooner than I expected! It’s amazing that all this stuff use to be made by hand. Fishermen of days gone by: you have my respect.

So I covered my round lobster trap opening in garland, the same as the hangers…

round anchor top

And took a step back to eye-ball where I was heading.

lookin good


Next I had to attach the whole kit and kaboodle, so using bigger zip ties, I connected all my pieces.

bigger zip tagsattach all the pieces

I gave all the zip ties a trim…

trim zip ties

And Voila! Evergreen anchor!

evergreen anchor

A red bow ($1 for two!) for some flair…

pretty red bow

And there you have it! A nautical take on a Holiday classic.

anchor wreath hung

Of course the final step of calling your boyfriend outside to justify your crazy craft is optional. ;)

my Christmas elf

Happy December Everyone! xo

UPDATE!!! Anchor Wreath got an upgrade later that day! Check it out HERE! :) 

Post *linked up* to Sally Lee by the Sea’s Holiday Link Party!


December 25th, 2010

Merry Christmas from Buoy Bird!!!

From my amazing family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!! Tree 2010(ps: sorry for the being AWOL: Christmas in Nova Scotia is not exactly about the internet ;) Be back soon though, promise promise!)

December 15th, 2010

reface: buoy bird christmas style

Soooo, ya know how Facebook’s new layout shows tagged photos of you along the top of your profile? Well, I kind of pimped out my profile now that I switched over…FB Screen Shot Hey, if the real estate is there, why not use it! :)

December 12th, 2010

mappy birthmas 2010!!!

Thank you all so much for the lovely feedback on my post on Matt and Kim! Trust me, it was my pleasure. :)

So are you curious? What is this Mappy Birthmas I speak of? Well, it’s the best of Christmas and a Christmas-time Birthday all rolled into one! We have been hosting our annual 406 Holiday Party for four years now, and last year my SPECTACULAR friends decided that since they never get to celebrate my birthday with me (as I’m a Boxing Day baby, and always in Nova Scotia for the holidays), they would bring my birthday to our holiday party! And yes, it does mean that we party that much harder!PB Balls

Last year the gals had a cake made for me that was simply to die for: a Pug cake by SuGaR, complete with hand-painted paw prints and individually rolled pieces of fondant dog food in the pug’s food bowl. A-mazing. Also, a beautiful Anthropologie apron (which I’m coincidentally wearing as I pen this post!).Kyla's CookiesWillow's Tres Leche Cake

This year I was just as spoiled, with a good many bottles of wine, a gorgeous door hook from Umbra (which went to good use when the coat rack fell to pieces), and the bloggers’ best friend: a Laptop Desk Pillow. My only issue is keeping it away from the web designer boyfriend (give it back!).Candy Canes

I love hosting this party each year. Having my friends (and their friends) all under one roof, around our tree, enjoying plenty of food and drink and laughter… it’s probably my favorite moment of any given year. I am always surprised by how many people we manage to squeeze into our one bedroom apartment, but it just makes things all the more cozy. The fact that the real party always migrates into the kitchen truly makes me feel like I’m down home.Ol Saint NickSkates

As usual, the night flew by, with me running around saying hello, tending to empty trays, and visiting Jeff at his station behind the kitchen island. I always feel like I blink and it’s over. I found myself pouting when guests started leaving, only to realize that it was past 2 am. I think the door officially shut somewhere after 4.Christmas Cups

Amongst my busy-ness, I didn’t have much of a chance to take many photos this year, but not to fear! My very great friends Kyla and Ace came to the rescue (along with Ky’s yummy SLR camera), and took all these shots for me so that we could look back on our special night together! Thank you SO much girls!!!Festive Feets

So that was Mappy Birthmas 2010 in a nutshell! It brought all the warmth and cheer that I anticipated it would (as it has in years past), and I couldn’t help but smile when my guests told me in the days following that it truly got them in the Christmas Spirit. That, my friends, is the greatest gift you could ever give me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! xo

all images by Kyla Tingley and Ace Hicks (*mwah* ladies!)

December 3rd, 2010

deep in prep…

Hello my Holiday Angels! My apologies if things are a little scarce this week; 406 is hosting its annual Christmas Party this weekend(complete with a Cookie Off; photos to follow) and we are in FULL STEAM AHEAD!

To hold you over, I thought I would share a special Cape Breton treat with you…

ENJOY!!! xo

November 29th, 2010

be an angel baker

A call to all my baker friends out there: GIVE GIVE GIVE!bags of cookies

This weekend I had the opportunity to donate some of my baked goods to a great cause, and it felt very nice to start off the holiday season with some giving. I had never really thought of it before, but it’s such a great idea to bake an extra batch or two of whatever you’re making for the holidays and to donate it to a local food bank, shelter, or charity bake sale. Good stuff people!lady with her cookies

Lady was of the opinion that she was in need of shortbreads (seriously, the cats love all the butter in them), but in the end she was willing to share.broken shortbreads

This is the only kind of broken heart that should be allowed at Christmas time. Help heal a heart of your own by finding a local shelter (human OR animal!) or charity in your area and give in your own special way. The world will thank you.

For a list of shelters in Toronto, click here, or for information on helping a four-legged friend this holiday season, check out the Humane Society. AND PLEASE!!! Give daily by donating nothing more than a minute of your time to the The Animal Rescue Site; each click helps feed shelter animals, and it’s as simple as being reminded via email every day! Happy Holidays everyone!!!

November 28th, 2010

having a ball

It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas! La la la la la!

Yah yah, I know, it’s still weeks away (four to be exact), but things always get started early for me. I always like to have my shopping, baking, and decorating done so that Jeff and I get to enjoy a little Christmas of our own here in Toronto before we head home to NS to be with the fam. And so with all of that excitement surrounding me, it only makes sense that I get a little merrier, a little more jolly just a *tad* too early.

And really, there is nothing wrong with that, as my merriment signals one thing in specific: PEANUT BUTTER BALLS!!!pre-dip

These PB Balls are a family recipe, coveted by many, but made by few. My mom use to be the only provider: I can’t imagine how she kept up with the raging crowds and PB ball demand-ers! Then my sister started carrying the torch, and I’ll be the first to say that my sis makes a good want it?you can't have it.

So when Jeff and I started hosting our annual Christmas party here in Toronto, I figured I’d have a go at these perfect holiday treats. Well! They may look like a simple mix of chocolate and peanut butter, but you’d only be kidding yourself if you assumed there was not tole and trouble behind these babies.

That is one of the many reasons you are not getting the recipe so easily: it must be earned. (That, and Jeff came running in the room screaming, “Don’t give it away!”)pot of chocolate

Seriously, “Mom’s Peanut Butter Balls” take TIME. Simple to “whip up”; an art to execute. Jeff was allotted nine balls all to himself of the original batch, only to garner a few more due to too much chocolate, too little chocolate, or a ball simply falling apart. My occasional ball failure is his peanut butter-y bliss.fridge of balls

As perverted as it may sound, the 406 Holiday Party is known for its balls. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but people literally start confirming in October that there will be plenty of my peanut butter balls, as well as Jeff’s famous meat balls. They get into sweats, worrying that if they show up late, they may miss out on the treats. We have never asked people to choose their favorite balls (PB or meat), but I guess that would be like comparing apples and oranges.lone peanut butter ball

So I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity about how delicious these culinary delights could possibly be. Let’s put it this way: the head chef at the restaurant I work at demands every year that I bring her a fair offering of balls. That, and I go through most of my painter’s tape trying to get the message across to Jeff that HE ONLY GETS NINE!!!GET OUT!

Have a secret family recipe??? I’d love to hear about it (even if it is under lock and key ;) ).