Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Deck the stairs

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First of all, let me say my heart is FULL. I really can’t express how grateful I am for your sweet words and prayers. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have “met” you all through this blog. Our family is lucky to have you. I haven’t shown my husband quite yet, because I know he’ll be overcome by all of your support. I will show him very soon though, when the time is right. For now, I continue to be very thankful.

Sniff. OK, I must move on, there’s no crying in blogging!! (Name that movie.)

I’ve been raiding the Dollar Store like mad this year for Christmas decor, but otherwise, I’m trying really hard to watch how much new stuff I buy. Stop laughing at me, I’m totally serious. (About the trying hard part.)

So instead, if there is something I wasn’t nuts about in past years, I am trying to rework it with what I have (like our mantel) or at least be cheap about the redo. Today I worked on our staircase.

Let me preface this by saying I kick myself in the pants EVERY year at Christmas because one of the choices I made when we built our house. My husband wanted our staircase and loft wall to all be railings. I, on the other hand, was hyperventilating at the thought of spending more money and assured him the walls would be just fine.

Pushaw. I am SO annoyed with myself that we didn’t do the railings. Especially at Christmas – I adore staircases with beautiful garland weaved in an out of all of those gorg railings. Sigh.

But, just because I don’t have them doesn’t mean I can’t make ours look beautiful too! In years past, I’ve wrapped garland with lights around the hand rail:

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I really did love it, but I had a little issue with the fact that it was hard to hold onto the railings with this on there. That always bothered me quite a bit. Especially with my tendency to fall down stairs. ;)

And, I’ll just admit it – I was lazy this year. The wrapping takes eons. So this year I tried to simplify it a bit by just hanging the garland at each end of the railing and swag it up in the middle.

Problem was, when I did that, all the sudden the garland was wimpy, wimpy, wimpy! Ugh, I cannot stand wimpy garland. Gives me hives. I took some simple greenery I bought at Michael's back in September uhhhh, just last week, (sure) and wrapped it around a couple times to add some fluff:

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Quiz time! See the two garlands above? One is from the dollar store (15 feet), one is from Michael’s (18 feet). Can you tell the difference? The one on the right is from Michael's, but the difference is sooooo small, I say save the four bucks and go for the dollar stuff!

I had already added the plastic bulbs to the greenery years ago, so I just adjusted them so they peeked out again. To swag it in the middle, I used floral wire and covered it with a few pieces of greenery:

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I had little swags I used to put on my doorknobs in the past, but in my effort to simplify a bit this year, I wasn’t going to use them. So I just added them to the ends of the garland, then added one of my dollar store reindeer ornaments for some glitter:

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The ornaments were actually two for a buck, and I just love them. :)

The lights are plugged in at the top of the stairs – I just wrap the cord around at the landing, then plug them in with an extension cord at the top:

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I KNOW. Cords. Blech. I’m taking care of that tomorrow, mark. my. words.

I’m really pleased with the final result:

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A little simpler, a whole bunch more fluff and it was much easier to hang this year. Just because you don’t have a beautiful staircase with gorg railings doesn’t mean you can’t make it look festive and pretty. Same with mantels – use a shelf, a ledge or an armoire and treat it as your “mantel.”

I have a massive project coming up with this staircase. I am so excited I can barely stand it. I was soooo hoping to have it done before the holidays, but it’s going to be the biggest project I’ve ever done so I want to give it plenty of time. I cannot WAIT to get started!!

For now, I’m happy. I’ll leave you with my standard nighttime shot. ;)

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Thank you all so much again.

P.S. I believe “railings” were mentioned about 56 times.

P.P.S. Happy birthday to my LOVE, my best friend, my hubby!!!

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