Friday, December 6, 2013

Let every heart prepare Him room. A 2013 Holiday heart and home tour.

I have been hesitating to share our Christmas home for some reason and I think it has a lot to do with what I talked about in this post.   I sure like a pretty house, that can't be denied and I love getting inspiration here, there and everywhere and sharing some myself.  That's so fun.  I love creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort for every single person that passes through our front door... but I have been taking very intentional steps this holiday season to keep all of my priorities in the right order and I think I have hesitated because I want to keep that focus in my own heart.  It's a balance of course.  I want peace and calm in my heart as I whirl through this month, house bedecked or not.  You know the funny thing?  I've read more and more people talking about "wanting simplicity" or "keeping their decor simple" or "not going overboard" etc.  I wonder... do we all crave that?  I know that I do.  I wonder if it goes even deeper though, into our hearts.  I wonder if we outwardly crave simplicity because in holiday's past we've over spent, over ate, over indulged, over scheduled, over decorated, etc.  Maybe this desire for "simplicity" is actually a deep desire for the Peace that surpasses all understanding.  We know that Christmas is about something more... 

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3

I've sprinkled some of my favorite verses about Peace throughout this tour, as well as photos and information. For me, it's all connected and I'd love for you to join me.
 This is the hallway you immediately walk into when I open my front door.  To your left is the office/guest room but I've shown it so many times we'll skip past that today.  The only "fussy" decoration I invested my time in were the snowflakes and glass ornaments hanging from the hallway ceiling.  I'll be honest I'm still not sure I like them.  They feel like "too much"... but they are also kind of fun and the kiddos like them.  I used a chain stitch and a dish towel to embroider the cute hoop, and Joe cut some greenery outside that I hung on the top.  I attached gingham washi tape to the wood hoop edge and it turned out very sweet.

My favorite print.  It always makes me smile.  Which is my favorite. (You totally saw that one coming didn't you?) That said,  I have decided to close my shop a few days earlier than I originally planned, because I don't want to be stressing about packages and shipping timelines.  I close it all down on Monday night.  So if you want one of these or anything else, this is your last chance for now, but I'll be back in February.  (Click here for my shop.)

The antlers (that I love more than I can possibly say) in the glass container and wired onto the hallway wreath came from my sweet extended Montana family.  Best gift EVER.  They remind me of childhood.
 Tara's sign. Happy sigh.
We bought a fake tree this year and it's so small and slim that I only used one and a half of my Names of God garlands.  I painted clothespin ornaments red for some fun pop. (The color red and I broke up last year but we got back together. We have that kind of relationship.) Swathing His precious name around our tree and leaving reminders all through the house for the REASON we celebrate this season have added such a sweetness to our surroundings.  The basket is an old Target find, that I taped off and painted to look "dipped." 

 I cut a Target plaid throw blanket down the middle, folded it around a Euro sized pillow, and sewed the side seams.  Instant pillows for under $20.  (The deer pillow was a Pottery Barn splurge from the fall.  I had this baby pinned for the last year and a half and I finally got it.)  My hoodlums huge faces were a project I did ages ago- Ginormous Engineering blueprint copies from Staples Online, mounted onto canvases with spray adhesive.  (If you are planning this project, use wood or something that won't move with the humidity like a slab of wood.  Canvases move slightly and in the summer, we get bumps.  Hate that.  Someday I'll break down and get them as real canvases but these work beautifully for us right now and the price was right.)

 My fun and fluffy Anthro knock off wreath.  So glad I made this.
 See that artwork on the fridge?  It's not Christmas to me until that thing hangs.  My mama had a copy made of the one she has always hung on her fridge, and gave it to me a few years ago.  Might be one of the best gifts she ever gave me.  Now all I need is one of those ceramic Christmas trees with the light up bulbs and I'll be set for the childhood memory connection.  Ha!
The sunshine was streaming in as I took most of these photos, and the kids were at school so the house was quiet and peaceful.  (And clean.)  As I was resizing these for my post, I was reminded of this sweet promise that we easily forget during the hustle and bustle of the shopping, the cleaning, the decorating, and the planning;  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

(I had my watercolor deer art printed on a canvas but the prints, gift tags and post cards are still available here until Monday.)
 My girls on Instagram (@Urbanfarmgirl and @Mapleandmagnolia) shared these little advent bags and I was thrilled to get a package of them.  We've been reading an advent bible reading schedule each night as the kiddos pop candies into their mouths.  I said to them- they get a "sweet" for their hearts... and a "sweet" for their mouths.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

I re-hung my big chalkboard above the homework desk area.  I love it so much.  I made it many mother's day's ago, for myself from a piece of wood, some chalkboard paint and an almost-free-frame.  I used 3M hangers for my old Ikea wreath, and the wee little deer head was a fun find on a day out with a blog buddy. 

 I just added this nutcracker yesterday.  I've had him for years and decided to give him a new paint job in all white.  I adore him but my kids feel like I killed him.  Nothing is sacred in this house if it can be painted. 

 The hot cocoa station is ready... and it's been in the freezing temps lately, so we've been using it a ton.  I love that. I believe that no matter what, it's always going to be about the memories made and the gifts of time given- not the decor.  There are many moments of giggles and laughter over a mug of steaming cocoa after some outside playtime.  (Until they get wild and crazy from the sugar.  Just keeping it real.) Ha!

A scrubbed pickle jar with a spray painted lid, sugar and a bottle brush tree. 
 Ava has the cutest tree by far, and though I wasn't going to share more, I couldn't help myself.  It's white and pink and has all of her ornaments from one set of grandparents on it.  (Both kids have little trees with these ornaments on them.  They always love hanging the new one up each year.) Her room is full of happy.  I was going to snap a picture of Joe's cute tree too but though his room is darling it's so much darker than Ava's and can be frustrating to photograph.  Trust me, it's cute.  He has a tinsel tree.  I want to steal it.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting.  I don't know if you were inspired as you walked through our home... but I pray that you were blessed and that peace and calm has wrapped itself around your heart these past few minutes, whatever you may be facing over the next few weeks.  Let our hearts prepare Him room. 

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13


Gena said...

LOVE your house and simple Christmas decor! Merry Christmas!

Thirkellgirl said...

I love your house. Of all the houses in blogland, yours is the one that is the most like how I like mine to look. (Your floor might be cleaner....) It really IS peaceful. :)

Janie Fox said...

Love it all! Oh, and I so want one if those light up ceramic trees. I'm not even kidding.

Denise @ frazzled JOY said...

I have seen a lot of this same sentiment as well. I feel that way too. Seeking Him this season. Peace and blessings to you!

Lynne and Nick said...

your home looks peaceful and beautiful. My parents did ceramics when I was a kid, so I was fortunate to inherit a light up tree and Nativity set....they are precious to us!

Lorraine and Jessica said...

Beautful Sasha!! Your heart amd home are ALWAYS a blessing to me!!

Arriving said...

I love that your house reflects you so well.

slowpoke said...

Ahhhh, yesssss. What open, clean space to relax or work in, and lovely places to please the eye. It looks like you can breathe there. I like how intentional each zone is; everything visible has a purpose or reason for being places where it is. So many thoughtful, creative, and eye-pleasing details! I am new to your blog and Instagram feed just this week, and it has been a feast! I appreciate your honesty and the way you express your enthusiasm and your heart.

Not so fast on that hot chocolate station...let's go back to that for a moment. I love it--every detail: the happiness/marshmallows sign, the basket, the glass canisters for marshmallows and cocoa powder, the stripey paper straws, and most especially the white, bumpy-glass canister with baker's twine wrapped around and a sprig of pine. Do you mind sharing where you found the basket and the white vase? They are perfect! I'd love to give a hot chocolate station to my best friend for her December birthday!

slowpoke said...

Oh, and I really like your garland of snowflakes and clear glass ornaments. It's a nice, whimsical touch. The pillows you made out of a plaid blanket look SO good!

SaraJk said...

Love it! I have begun practicing the same thing, just because I have A MILLION Decorations, doesn't mean they all have to go out ever year. Looking forward to my print being delivered from you soon!!!!

Tammy said...

Hi Sasha -
You have a very precious home and very, sweet heart. So glad we have Jesus in common!

Michelle Helsel said...

Hi Sasha-
I was totally inspired. Your home is adorable.I really love the Joyous-Noel hoop art and all of your other art of course. For months I have been trying to come up with an idea for an advent calendar.... bingo I just found one. My boys are 20 and 14 and look forward to doing all of our family traditions. I use to buy their advent calendars but this year I wanted to make one. I currently have their favorite candy in an old lidded jar with an old chalk board for the count down. Yours is perfect. I have the ladder now all I need are the bags. I'm pinning this for next year. Thank you for sharing your home. It really is beautiful.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful and very peaceful. I l really love the snowflakes and clear glass ornaments, I want snowflakes for my front hall now. I am inspired! :)

Melodee said...

just beautiful! totally beautiful!

Dana said...


Tiffany said...

so so so pretty - simple and elegant and full of meaning!


slowpoke said...

Thank you for the info on where you found the basket and vase! Great setup. :)

At the risk of being a pain, how did you hang the snowflakes and glass ornaments so invisibly? Dental floss? Attached how?

I definitely want to make that fluffy, white wreath! Thanks for all the ideas. :)

Msmoozys Open House said...

Love it all hun, that nutcracker really came out great! :-)

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

Blessed to be inspired some more. By you...your heart:)

LittleMuses said...

Hi Sasha, I discovered your blog a few months ago, and just love it. All your posts are great, but today's really struck a chord with me so I had to post a comment! I have so many bins of Christmas decorations...I pulled them out and started placing things around our house but then took down half of them and put them back in the bins! I, too, am taking a more peaceful & spare approach to my decorating this year. Your home is lovely...thank you so much for sharing it. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! P.S. I am SO making your Anthro knock-off wreath! Wow, it is gorgeous. Also, my daughter flipped over that adorable deer in your daughter's room! If you have a chance, I would love to know where you got it. Thank you! :)

Sally Kelly said...

I always love a tour. Yes. It looks peaceful. Hope you are feeling that as well, my friend. xo ~Sally

Holly said...

LOVE your home. It is warm and inviting and I am sure that everyone that comes to visit feels the warmth of Christ all over them. I think the nutcracker is just sublime! I have a tendency to paint anything that is not living, so my kids can sympathize with your kids. ha

brockey said...

Beautiful !!! Love the peace and beauty !One little suggestion for your tv stand to hide the cords, put beautiful fabric behind it so it will hide the cords. May you family have a very peaceful Christmas :)
I hope you don't mind I share the Romans 15:13

paige said...

sasha girl. i love your home. i love the antler dude on the chalkboard. and i love that you & red are back together again. i love your kitchen table...and ava's room. just cuteness and cheer!

Susan Jeffries said...

I want to come and live in your house - it is perfect! You have such a knack and have inspired me to keep things simple in the future(: Susan

Jeannie S said...

Everything is sweet and peaceful, thank you for sharing the bible timely. God bless.

Barb said...

Very simple, beautiful, and serene. What a gentle touch you have with your words, your world, and all of us ... thank you!

Jennifer said...

Your home is lovely and so peace-full. I love the "she believed" print in your daughter's room. Do you sell that in your shop or can you tell me where to find it for my own sweet girl? Thank you!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Thank you so much! That sign came from the wonderful Tiffini at the House of Belonging blog. I can't recommend her highly enough. She is a sweetheart and Ava loves her pretty sign. :)

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

That is maybe the nicest compliment anyone has ever given me. Thank you so much. You blessed me.

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Absolutely loved your comment. Thank you and I am doing the same- in fact I've got a box ready for the consignment store soon! (The deer was a find from a local boutique)

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

I used clear thread (like fishing line) and thumb tacks. (We plan to repaint our ceilings this spring so that was no biggie for us but if we weren't I would have tried to come up with a different solution like 3 m hangers or something?)

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Welcome! Thank you for the sweetness. The basket was something I found at TJ Maxx or marshall's this summer and the milk glass vase was a birthday gift from friends- I believe they found it in a local boutique. What a sweet idea to give as a gift. I bet your friend will LOVE it.

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Haha, my floor isn't cleaner today. Goodness... somebody needs to tell "the maid" to get back to work. LOL

Farmgirl Paints said...

Love the pops of red. The teeny tree is perfect. Not too big. Not too small. Just right. Like you.

Lea said...

Every things about your home is warm, inviting and peaceful. I so enjoyed seeing all of your peaceful decor that just adds to the beauty of your home. Christmas blessings to you and your sweet family!

emily martin said...

Simple and sweet. May I ask where you got your little tree in the galvanized pail? I have been looking high and low for a sparse tree like that.

Jackie at Roots and Wings said...

Love it all! Just the right touches throughout. Simple is so good! :)

mamakt said...

super duper cute!!! love it!!! everything! Godbless! keep it up sasha...everything you do. you bring glory to His name!

mamakt said...

oh my i just realized your post from nov 30 has your kitchen totally diff frm this post! you are the rearranger extraordinaire!!! and my kids, too, tease that if you arent' breathing in this house, you might get painted white!!! =)

Barbara said...

Very cheery and bright Merry Christmas.

Kerri said...

Everything is perfect! What I can never get over is how clean your floors are! You have the cleanest floors in America! And I love how every little detail is so well thought out! The deer, the pillows, the Anthro wreath, Ava's tree, your advent calendar and so much more! We are all so blessed to have your beautiful blog my friend!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Hahahaha "cleanest floors in America." Oh man... good one. It's seriously just the most amazing pergo flooring that always looks clean and I PROMISE that it's NOT.

Laura Madalene said...

What a marvelous idea of the sharing. You did a great job for us. Thanks for the sharing. Living Room Decor Ideas

Tonya said...

so beautiful , yet so simple and elegant!

amber said...

I love!

and the words at the start about priorities and intention-- yeS!! that's my heart too and you encouraged me in that focus. : )

blessings this Christmas season~

Mindy Whipple said...

I felt the peace as I viewed your house and read the Scripture. Everything looks so cute and I love the hot chocolate station - already thinking up ways to have my own. Thanks for the inspiration : )

Juli said...

Your home is just beautiful. I really like all of the personal, meaningful touches you have added. I do hope when your shop opens you will have garland, like the one on your tree for sale.

Juli said...

Your home is just beautiful. I really like all of the personal, meaningful touches you have added. I do hope when your shop opens you will have garland, like the one on your tree for sale.

Clotee S said...

You have beautiful house. It's feel like I'm visiting your house right now.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
Bring you Good wishes of happiness.

Sorry for greeting you earlier,, just don't want miss saying this.
By the way, I'm Clotee. It's my first time visiting your blog. I am blogger too, and now try my best luck to open an e-shop. Nice to know you.


Tiffini said...

better late than never right? finally over a big hurdle and can begin to put visiting in my week again. it is funny how you can miss people that you have never "met".
praying you are enjoying this time of peace with your kids. i didn't sleep all night and when this happens..even though it is is so quiet and i talk and God and i was so moved by how fragile our lives are. how fast they can be over. just like that. and how i want to really be present this year with the family. i want some sort of study just not sure what yet. it has been awhile for a study. ok...that is all:) giving you a hug.....always ALWAYS love your home xo

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