Wednesday, January 1, 2014

banners and bulbs for the new year

Are you like me and both love taking down the Christmas decorations to have the clean slate of your home back but also miss the festivity of the lights and accessories?
My mom used to hang pink fairy lights on our very oversized houseplants through February. After all, it would still get dark pretty early in the evening and the extra lights help keep the winter blues at bay.

Besides keeping Christmas/fairy lights up longer, here are two of my projects this winter: forced bulbs and small banners.

Forced Bulbs
Forcing bulbs is nothing new and there are lots of forced amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs that start showing up in December. Indeed, I think they make a good addition to traditional Christmas decor- the fresh green shoots are a nice contrast to all the pine trees and holly. But, I also think it is lovely to carry the look into the new year- does anything symbolize the hope and optimism of a new year like the fresh sprouts of a plant?

There are lots of online sources for how to force bulbs. I put some bulbs right at the rim of the jar and others at the base- to give it a terrarium look. I used whatever pickle, jam and olive jars I had around and washed up some rocks from the back yard.

A good friend of mine showed me how to do forced bulbs a few years back. In truth, there may be a little difficulty finding the bulbs this far into winter (I found mine in the clearance bin at the local gardening store- the low price being an extra bonus). The bulbs I am forcing include amaryllis, narcissus, and grape hyacinth. The small bulbs of the grape hyacinth in particular are shooting up seemingly right before my eyes. This is a very easy project and one I think even kids would like.

Small Banners
I love to live with printed words around me- my house is filled with stacks of books and quotes on post-it notes stuck to edges of picture frames. I created this oversized chalkboard for capturing menu's and quotes- really any written inspiration.

A few weeks back, I put together a couple of banners on a Saturday- the one pictured below has a favorite Mary Oliver poem written across the note cards. It is pretty basic- just some yarn and note cards. It would be fun to dress up with ribbon and maybe customize the paper with watercolors. I like that you can go as simple or as involved as you please.

For placement, I draped this banner across the frame of the entry way mirror, but it could just as easily be tacked up on a wall or pinned up on a bookcase/dresser.

As far as content, poems (some of my favorites are in the 2013 blog archives), quotes collected from books (or pinterest), or even new year goals and resolutions are all sources I thought about for this project.

I would love to hear the ways you keep the the house cheery through the winter!

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