Decorations at Christmas – Small spaces, small budgets, no problem!

I wanted to share some different creative decorating ideas with you, as you consider your decorations at Christmas.

Festive Branches

The simple idea that I want to share with you today is not only gorgeous, but it also comes in at ZERO cost = FREE!

Not only is is free, but it’s also a fun way to decorate your space throughout the whole year.

When considering the focal point of traditional Christmas decorations, the first thing that comes to mind, is the big… beautiful…fresh cut…evergreen Christmas tree. No matter how much you’d love to have the typical Christmas centerpiece, maybe you don’t have the room for it in your small space. Or, perhaps your budget won’t allow it. Maybe you or a family member has allergies to evergreens. If you’re like me, you might just be in the mood to try something new, or add to your growing line up of holiday decorations. Whatever situation you find yourself in, I want to help open your mind to the countless ways there are for you to decorate for the holidays!

You may even decide to keep this simple centerpiece up all year, and use it for every holiday, every celebration, and every season, no matter how much space you have, or what kind of budget you have to work with… remember we’re talking FREE here! (I have lots of ideas for this below!)

The idea begins with a simple tree branch, then expands into beauty that is only limited by your own imagination!

Before I explain further, take a peek at a few examples of how some people have already used this idea in their homes.
(click on any picture to see different sizes, or their other pictures)

Christmas branch

Charlie Brown branches

How to display the branch
– Hang over a table
– Put in a vase
– Stick into a flower pot
– Hang on wall

How to keep the branch sturdy in it’s container
– Sand
– Crumbled newspaper
– Fabric
– Beans
– Rice
– Rocks

Decorating the branch itself
– You could keep the branch natural
– Spray paint it white, gold, silver, light blue, pink, etc.
– You could sprinkle glitter on the branches while the paint is still wet
– Wrap each section in fabric
– Wrap with white or colored lights
– Wrap with ribbon

Christmas decoration ideas to hang from the branches
– Christmas ornaments
– Pictures
– Birds
– Mittens
– Mini stockings
– Pinecones
– Bird nests
– Buttons
– Bells
– Felt balls
– Keys
– Feathers
– Ribbons / bows
– Hearts
– Bead garlands
– Christmas cards
– Paper snowflakes
– Stars
– Tinsel
– Cookies / gingerbread men
– Anything you can imagine!

Idea: Dress it up even more!
When cutting things out of paper, think about using some sort of paper that will bring even more interest to the item that you are creating. Here’s an example of what I mean. Instead of white paper, you might want to consider; sheet music, wrapping paper, pretty napkins, cards, copies of old letters, scrapbook paper, construction paper, etc. You can find lots of pretty things to download online.

Theme Ideas

Have you ever wanted to add a theme tree to your decorations, but couldn’t bring yourself to leave out your traditional family tree? Well, this is the perfect way that you could have both! As a matter of fact, why not have 2 or 3 different displays around your house!

Many times a theme can be communicated through color or collection. In the “color” theme, you would decorate the whole display using different items, but all of the same color. When using a collection, everything can be different colors, but the same types of items. Example: all vintage mittens, vintage baby bonnets, all bells, all snowflakes, all miniatures, all birds, etc.

Look at these other beautiful examples

Christmas Vignette

Branch Tree

Christmas garland decor

Pretty little felt trees

Christmas branch

my tree full

Pastel Branches

Christmas tree decor

The twinkling tree

First Christmas decor

Red window with garden view

Where can I get a tree branch?
– Your backyard
– Your neighbor
– From a friend or family member’s backyard
– Curbside (other people’s yard debris, can be your gorgeous decor)
– A walk in the woods
– A logger

How big should my branch be?
– This is totally up to you! How big of a branch can your space handle, and what kind of look are you going for?

How else can I decorate my centerpiece throughout the year?
– Winter decor – birds, paper snowflakes, pom-pom snow balls, snowmen
– Valentines Day – hearts, candy, red/pink paper chains & flowers
– St. Patrick’s Day – paper clovers
– Spring – flowers, paper mushrooms, birds, nests
– Easter – blown out Easter eggs
– 4th of July – anything red, white, and blue
– Summer – pictures of vacations, paper butterflies/lady bugs, flowers
– Birthdays – yearly picture of birthday person, paper numbers
– Anniversaries – wedding pictures, hearts
– Autumn – dried leaves, acorns, moss, mini pumpkins
– Anything you can imagine!

Who knew that a simple tree branch could be so beautiful!

Happy Thanksgiving – Take Peace


I wanted wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and share a wonderful letter of encouragement that was written to a dear friend back in 1513.

Although it was written so long ago, the words still ring true for us today.

“I salute you. I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.

There is nothing I can give you which you have not got. But there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instance. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty . . . that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it, that is all!

And so I greet you, with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”

“Fra Giovanni, 1513

I want to encourage you today….
Take Peace
Take Joy
and Take Heaven

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Happy 4th of July

American Flag

Thank you to all of those who gave… and to those who gave it all…
for our FREEDOM!

Thank you God for giving us this beautiful country to live in, and for
the peace that we enjoy.

** This week… a brand new special post about hillside terrace gardening!

Easter Eggs – Elegant Ideas For Your Easter Eggs!

Have Some Fun With Your Easter Eggs This Year!

farm Easter eggs

I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s nothing like a pile of freshly boiled eggs and the smell of vinegar to bring back wonderful childhood memories of the day before Easter… around the table with my family!

And… because eggs are so inexpensive this time of year, you should take a few minutes around the kitchen table, to create some memories… and a masterpiece with your little ones!

The number of ways to decorate an egg are limitless, but I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you today.

Painted Eggs

To keep your eggs to use every year, blow the egg out, wash & dry, then paint with regular acrylic paints. You could paint them to say “spring” with birds, nests, trees, and flowers, so you could leave them up all season… not just for Easter. Look at these BEAUTIFUL examples!

painted Easter eggs

I love how these painted eggs were hung on a “blooming” apple branch!

painted eggs

Stick Ons

Decorate with stickers, stamps, or scrapbook notions.

Natural Dye

beautiful natural dye for eggs

This year, instead of purchasing a regular “same old, same old” egg dying kit, try using some of the food from your kitchen to color your eggs!

Spinach = Pale Green
Hibiscus tea = Green
Blackberries = Deep Purple
Red Cabbage = Robin’s egg Blue
Cranberries = Lavender
Beet Juice = Pale Pink
* The longer you leave the eggs in, the more the color changes

  • Decide what colors you would like to try
  • Depending on what color you’d like to try, add each item to it’s own small pot
  • Add enough water to cover eggs
  • Bring liquid to a low boil for approx. 10-20 minutes
  • Remove from heat & allow to cool slightly
  • Add 4 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • Gently add eggs and boil on low for 15 minutes
  • Turn off heat, cover, and leave eggs in dye bath until they reach desired color (can be 3 hours for deep shades)
  • Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place on rack to dry
  • You can use a paper towel dampened with a bit of vegetable oil to rub the eggs & give them a slight shine, but I love the natural finish 😉

  • Optional: If you would like patterns on your eggs… wet a leaf of your desired herb (or other pattern), apply to egg, carefully wrap egg in a piece of old pantyhose & secure with a twist tie before placing in the dye bath to keep your pattern secure. Then, carefully unwrap after you remove the egg (using the directions above), and remove the item used for your pattern to reveal your beautiful design.

    dark colored eggs

    These eggs were colored with purple cabbage.

    natural dye Easter eggs

    Yellow Onion Skins

    onion skin dye

    I love the natural red color that the onion skins give to these eggs!
    natural colored eggs

    Grandma’s Quilt Eggs

    Cut tissue paper into small squares – make sure to use lots of different bright colors. Dip the boiled egg in water to make sure that it’s wet – apply the pieces of tissue paper – allow to dry – peel off paper to reveal that the dye was left on the egg for a beautiful patchwork quilt effect!

    Kaleidoscope Eggs

    Pick out some of your favorite colored crayons & sharpen them. Save the shavings & lay them out on a plate. Boil your eggs. While they’re still hot, take them out of the water, then roll them into the wax bits. The wax melts & sticks to the egg, giving it a special kaleidoscope effect.

    Mosaic Art

    Keep those beautiful colored egg shells that you worked so hard on! As you’re peeling your Easter eggs, be sure to keep the shells in a bowl. On a thicker piece of card stock paper, glue the colored pieces of egg shells into a pattern. The picture will turn out looking like a tile mosaic. Now you will be able to admire all of that time spent coloring your eggs for many years to come! * The kids love this project!

    Also… you might like this article that I wrote called, how to boil the perfect egg.

    Merry Christmas and Joy to The World

    Merry Christmas to you all!

    I hope that today is filled with… family, friends, good food, and thankful hearts.

    May you remember the true reason for this wonderful season, the ultimate gift, our Lord Jesus come to earth… God with us. And most importantly… may your heart receive His precious gift of life personally!

    I thought I would share one of my favorite Christmas carols with you today, as it means so much to me personally.

    Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King! Let every heart, prepare Him room…

    Joy to The World

    Christmas Cupcakes – Decorated Christmas Art That You Can Eat

    Snow couple cupcakes

    Our family loves traditions! There are many things that we love to do every year, simply because we’ve always enjoyed doing them together. And yet, there are those few things that bring us enjoyment just because we like the surprise of not knowing what to expect… like our Christmas goodies!

    Some years we will make sheets & sheets of different kinds of cookies (truth be told… my husband loves to do alot of this!), and some years we will simply make a special dessert.

    I thought I would share a “sweet” idea that you may not have thought of for your Christmas gatherings… cupcakes!

    This year, at my son’s graduation party, we decided it would be easier to have individual cupcakes – instead of one big cake that had to be cut & served. We were amazed at how well the cupcakes were received! As a matter of fact, by the time everything was said & done, there wasen’t one left!

    Then, this fall we went to a friend’s wedding, where the mother of the bride made a beautiful multi-tiered cupcake tower. Not only did the cupcakes taste wonderful, but they were still being talked about weeks after the reception!

    I must say… cupcakes are not your everyday – run of the mill little pieces of cake these days 😉 Instead, they are being looked at as very chic little pieces of art… that are also delicious to eat!

    I wanted to spark your creative thinking, and thought these beautiful little cupcakes would give you some great ideas to start with.

    Please click on each individual cupcake to learn more about it & it’s baker! Now these are my kind of artists 😉

    Check out these next 5 beautiful cupcakes from Bakerella
    The fist picture is also from her collection.


    blue and white christmas cupcakes

    santa cupcake

    gift cupcake

    small cup cake

    The simple design and pale colors make these very chic!

    angel cupcake

    I love these Christmas tree cupcakes. The baker made the tops by baking the mix in waffle cones.

    christmas tree cupcakes

    You can make beautiful “jackets” for your cupcakes using pretty paper, or paper lace.


    snowman cupcakes

    And finally… who says Christmas art should only be shared on gingerbread? 🙂

    art cupcake

  • Here are some wonderful cupcake recipes from Martha’s website.
  • If you want to know more about how to actually make cupcakes, here is a great how-to website.