Thursday, December 31, 2009

Recycle a live Christmas Tree

Each year millions of used Christmas trees are relagated to the curb.  They look so sad don't they?  After reading an article in "This Old House" magazine I checked it out a little bit more and found out some interesting facts and ideas.

According to the Sierra club some 10 million Christmas trees end up in landfills that could have been recycled.

You can recycle it yourself by cutting off the branches and laying them in your garden to protect plants and flowers.  While the trunk can be cut up and used in an outdoor fireplace after it has been seasonsed or you can rent a chipper which will chop it up into mulch, be sure to wear personal safety protection if you do.  How about cutting the trunk into small slices and making a natural border for a flower bed or glue some cork to the back of the slices for some rustic looking coasters. Have a natural fish pond? Toss your used Christmas tree in to provide shelter and nutrients to fish.

Check with your local town many chip up the trees and use it for mulch in parks; others offer it back to residents for free.  Recycled trees have also been used to help prevent beach dune erosion.

For more information on the many uses for recycled Christmas trees click here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The last minute Christmas

This year holiday everything took a back seat.  Somehow, it turned out to be just fine and not just the decorating part.

Except for 15 paperwhites and a huge wreath on the house there was no decorating this year.   That all changed on Christmas Eve day when we decided to put up a small tree at least.  Both of us went out to do our holiday shopping. Neither of us mentioned getting flowers. My DB picked up some poinsettas.

I picked up two bunches of flowers.  That ended up together when I could not find one of my vases.
Surprising how nice they looked together.
Pottery barn had these birch vase wrappers on sale.
The paperwhites bloomed.
Our "little" 4ft. tree using some of our beachy decorations with a gold table cloth turned tree skirt, along with gold tulle from the fabric stash and a shell and starfish swag pulled off one of the windows wrapped around the base.  Our impromptu tree was complete just before midnight.
What ended up being special about waiting until the last minute was the amount of politeness and helpfulness we both encountered amidst our last minute rushing around. In these times of belt tightening it was a bright spot that cost nothing and we would have missed out enjoying had we done things sooner.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow covered beaches

Normally, our area gets less snow but, everyone in a while it seems like mother nature decides to make up for it. Next year when snow blowers are on sale in the spring we won’t “think about it.”

Snow cupcakes greeted us by the side door.

We took a jaunt to the beach. This boat was having a heck of a time.

Leaving the zoom lens at home meant trudging through snow drifts to take these.

I could not resist trying to capture the surf and powdered donut looking beaches.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beach house style gift wrap ribbon how to

Shells, starfish, tulle and twin are still favorites.  This is just another choice to decorate gift boxes, gift bags, vases or tie a few together and make a garland for your tree.  These will also be available in my Etsy Shop.
These are pretty DIY for beach weddings and bridal showers.

Beach style wedding gift wrap Beach House Living 12-09
Beach House Living beach cottage gift wrap beach wedding favors

Materials:  One yard of muslin or linen like I used here.  You can use more than a yard for longer ribbons.  An average size shirt box takes about a yard of ribbon. Ink stamp pads that can be used on fabric.  Rubber stamps such as shells and starfish.  Rubber stamps with deep impressions work best otherwise there is a little trial and error involved.
If you want to tea stain or dye your fabric do it now and let completely dry before cutting into strips.

Instructions are five (5) steps.

1) Lay out your fabric and cut into strips of approx 2.25 wide by one yard (36”) long.  Lay out your strip so the 2.25” width is facing you and cut a little snip lengthwise on each side.  Then pull length wise to get a nice frayed, torn edge look.
Beach House Living beach style gift wrap
2) Ink up your rubber stamp and stamp it on some plain paper to get an idea how much you ink you need to get a nice impression.  Then do the same thing on some scrap fabric.  Once you have an idea how much ink and pressure you need start stamping on your fabric strips.
You can overlap designs and try different colors of inks.   If your going to use the same stamp with a different colored ink wash and completely dry it first.
Copy of Stamped fabric ribbon 12-09 042  3.)  When your done stamping lay out your strip and let completely dry.  You may have to heat set the ink with an iron.
4.) Once your ink is dry scrunch up in your hands  for a softer look.  Use your stamped ribbon to wrap boxes, decorate gift bags, tie some around vases, bunches of flowers, door knobs, backs of chairs, or stacks of books.  You can cover a Styrofoam tree or wreath too….
5.)  Stand back and admire your crafty self.
Beach House Living beach theme gift wrap ribbon 12-09 003

Monday, December 14, 2009

In Memory of Lilly. Please adopt from an animal shelter or rescue group first

Lilly, Lil' more affectionally called Little Lilly passed away on December 10, 2009 at the age of  twelve (12).  Lilly lived the first six (6) years of her life in a Missouri puppy mill before she became part of our lives on November 11, 2003 with the help of special volunteer named Sue from Dachshund Rescue of North America.  For weeks and weeks as we looked to add to our family I kept stopping and going back to her page for some reason.  Her short description; Lil' Red, shy but sweet. 

Lilly the day I picked her up 11-11-03.  She didn't want to get in the car . 
Lilly simply accepted her fate without fan fare.

When she was handed to me for the first time I simply could not get over the color of her beautiful golden eyes. As beautiful as they were there was no sadness, timidness, or glimmer of hope in them. Lilly's eyes were void of anything.  It was as if she had no soul at all.

Lilly reminded us to stop and smell the flowers.  May, 2004

As a result of her puppy mill beginnings Lilly wasn't very bright. She didn't really ever learn commands except for sit, and come and sometimes forgot those as well. This was very okay by us because what she did have was the sweetest most accepting disposition of any creature we have ever known. Little children loved petting her ears, and Lilly really liked that. 

Being a good sport on the boat.  September, 2005

It took Lilly almost two (2) years to completely come out of her shell.  We delighted in each step of her progress.  All of our affection never truly healed Lilly. Even though years had gone by we still told her often she would never, never go back to the place she came from.  Lilly would still have setbacks once in awhile that we never could figure what brought them on. 

Holiday card 2008 left to right Noelle, Lilly and newest member Molly since July, 2008.
As you can imagine, getting this photo took some time. 

We may have given Lilly a home but, she gave us so much more. Everyone and every other dog she met, even cats at the vet gravited to Lilly first. It was as if they all knew how special she was.

Lilly November 23, 2009
Little Lilly part of lives November 11, 2003.  In heaven December 10, 2009.

Please, if you are considering adding a dog companion to your family please check your local shelters and rescue groups first. Please do not adopt from a pet store. All of our companions have been rescues in one way or another and we wouldn't trade any of them.  May you be as blessed as we were to find a companion as sweet as Lilly.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

25 beach house holiday gifts at 20% off until December 15th, 2009

We have compiled a list of 25 coastal, beach house holiday gifts...including a few practical ones to wash out those holiday food spills.  20% discount offer ends December 15th, 2009.

Porcelain urchin salt and pepper shakers $32.00

Mother of Pearl frames 4 x 6 $19.50 and 5 x7 $24.00

Porcelain tea lights and bowls $16-$49

Shell scoop - ice scoop $20.00

Large sachet pillows approx 9" x 9" 
Embossed sea life wine cooler with natural shell bottle stopper.
Nice for cooking utensils too $34.00

Aroma Floria foot spa goodies
USDA certified organic $11.00
mini pedi set $15.00
Set of six shell soaps in a seaside motif gift box $20.00
Bowl not included.

Kevlar and micro suede purse $56.00
Available in black and silver

Starfish bottle topper $14.00
Set of starfish guest soaps and linen hand towels $26.00

Palm tree and shell soaps basket

Silver jeweled votive holder $10.00

Pearl ornaments set of 4 $10.00

Shell pillar holder light gold wash glass $24.00

Oka-B shoes in salt.  Ribbon is changeable $28.00
Ultra comfortable, pop in top rack of dishwasher to clean.
Available in turquoise, pink, lime, navy,chocolate and black.

Set of 6 shells in an organza bag $27.00
Sprinkle a set around your table candles.
Adorable bloem box "originals" $17.00

Urchin candles unscented set of 6 $14.00
measure approx 2" x 1.50" each

Resin coral in silver $19.00

 Kevlar tote - shopping bag $85.00
For the traveler Laundress Crease Release 2 oz $6.50
Available in wool and cashmere wash, stain solution, fabric fresh spray, whites and darks wash

Laundress Wash and Stain bars $6.50

Laundress delicate wash 16 ounces $19.50

For the dogs, Beach Scent shampoo, conditioner and stinky dog spray $14.95 - $18.95

All of these are available at our shop Beach and Bauble Note some items may not be listed yet.  To order and receive your 20% discount simply visit our website and go to the contact form at the bottom of the page to list item description and quantities.