Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Two-Part Invention

Yay! Christmas is slowly coming to my house, and my halls are gradually being decked. 

As usual, I'm in a mood to mix things up, to swap around my usual decorations, and thereby create some new Yuletide energy.

Thankfully, my second-born has been lending her opinions and imagination to the process and together, we tag-teamed this new look for the family room fireplace.

^ Please note my pets taking their cozy naps on the couches. Ranger is on the left, and that little lump of black on the far right is my tuxedo cat, Sirius. I love how his sweet white paw pops out from the shadows.

^ Here's our yin-and-yang collaboration. I brainstormed the top half of the arrangement, and my daughter inspired the sparkly swag down below.

Our creative energies started to flow one day at Target.

It's a well-known fact that my daughters and I spend a lot of time at Target. But we don't really buy a whole lot, other than groceries. What we like to do is browse around the whole store, examining colors, textures, the way things are put together. And we talk about what we see - imagining new uses for things, pondering how we might create our own versions at home, and basically putting our creative energies to work. Monet had his water lilies, Edison has his laboratory, Warhol had the canned soup aisle; we get our inventive jam on at Target.

So we were wandering around the Christmas decor section when my daughter spied these bright and bold baubles on sale. Kind of in love with their variety of texture and color, she suggested I get them.

Hmm. Okay. I love garlands, though I usually make mine out of paper.

Any thoughts on how they might be used?

In a snap, she grabbed a pack of the white fluffy garland and a box of white lights. Oooh, I get it. Very 1960s white tree energy. And for somewhere around ten dollars, my snazzy new swag was born.

That evening, during an episode of Supernatural Season 8, I swooped it into place as Sam and Dean killed zombies. I was overcome with holiday spirit.

Clearly, the mantel needed a fresh new look as well. Other than the mirror, I downloaded all the usual occupants of the space to the garage. As I dusted and cleaned the space, an inspiration hit me.


I love the way the metallic shine and shimmering textures of the candles tie together with the sparkly swag, and yet bring a traditional and timeless balance to the retro vibe.

I am happy to use my treasured trove of candlesticks and holders. None of them are expensive or valuable, but these old friends have served me well over many a Christmas season and I'm happy to put them to use in a whole new way.

And I'm really pleased that this new holiday vignette is such a perfect mash-up of my ideas, my daughter's influences, and the happy synergy that comes from a two-part invention. 

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Read more about my getting-ready-for-Christmas adventures:

And to see my family room in full detail, as well as the rest of my home, go to:

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