Candles and Alternative Lighting

It’s no surprise to tell you how much I love candles, there is something lovely about lighting a candle, whether scented or not, that can add so much to any day.  I love how candles can create an ambience and atmosphere, create a cozy atmosphere on cold days, add a sense of occasion to any meal, fill the home with lovely scent, create an aura of intimacy, and add light to different areas.

But candles aren’t the only source of alternative lighting that is available for creating atmosphere and ambience and this blog post will show you some other forms of alternate lighting that I love.

First up is salt lamps.  I know there has been a lot of hype over the past year or so regarding their health benefits but for me I just really like the light that they give off when on.  I currently have 2 that I use regularly, one in my bedroom and one in my living room.  The light they give off is a soft, calming almost fire like tone which creates a lovely warming, cozy atmosphere.  It is a soft sort of light, really diffused and not overly bright, though I find I can read by the one in the bedroom which is perfect for me as having a light that is too bright can make me more awake than sleepy.

Next up is lamps.  Lamps are really good at adding directional light where you need it most, whether it’s a desk lamp, table lamp or floor lamp, they are great for brightening up certain areas or using to highlight certain aspects that you want people to notice.  I have several different types of lamp and use them for different things.  My anglepoise lamp is perfect for when I am working on something – usually an art project or when I’m at my laptop of an evening and working on my blog.  I like that you can direct the lamp in almost any way so that the light is in the right place for whatever you are working on.  I have my side lamp (the dinosaur one) which is on a timer because it gets quite dark here of an afternoon and sometimes I don’t really notice how dark it is if I’ve been absorbed in doing something.  I have the lamp behind my cuddle chair which I really only use for reading or if guests are round and its a bit dim in the room.  It creates a really nice cozy atmosphere and makes the cuddle chair even more appealing and comfy looking than normal (if that’s possible!)

And lastly, novelty lights.  All sorts of lights are in this category – fairy lights, word lights, a fish bubble lamp, this category is just about adding fun elements really rather than being proper light sources.  However, these lights can create a good atmosphere regardless of how they are used.

I have fairy lights in my bedroom around the alcove that my bed sits in, I don’t really use them (they are battery operated and eat batteries like no tomorrow) but they are nice to have on once in a while and create a really lovely, magical vibe.  I also have fairy lights in my garden, they are solar-powered and I use them to light the steps and handrail at night, there is something really lovely about sitting in the garden on a warm summers night and seeing the lights twinkling away, plus they are a safety feature too!

I have word lights, they spell the word JOY and, though they are supposed to be Christmas lights, I’m considering leaving them up for the year as I really like how sparkly and fun they are.  They add light to my shelving unit which in turn brings people’s attention to it and the items on it, and being a black unit, sometimes people don’t notice the things I have on display there.  Plus they always make me smile, even on the dullest day.

And lastly, the fish bubble lamp.  I can remember these being a bit “trendy” back in the 90’s and always wanting one but never being able to have one so when I saw one on sale locally I decided to buy it.  There is something really soothing about watching this lamp and I’m not sure if it’s the bubbles, watching the plastic fish bobbing up and down or the lights cycle through a spectrum of colour but it really does help me to calm down and relax!

 

How I Decorate My Table

Decorating the table for Christmas dinner is one of the last things I do decorating wise and today on the blog I’m going to share with you how I decorate my table for the day.

I took these photos a few days ago, Sam came round for Christmas dinner as he will be spending the day with his family and I will be with mine.  We decided to have our own Christmas dinner celebration before the day itself… our “Merry Not Christmas” celebration.

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This is the view of my dining table from the living room.

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As there were only 2 of us eating Christmas dinner I chose to seat us opposite each other, the big space between us would be utilised with dishes of veg and the condiments.

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I chose to decorate the table with my glittered deer ornaments, a cute little Christmas tree from Asda, pompom fairy lights, tiny baubles and these lovely vintage glass mushroom and pine cone decorations that were given to me by my Mum.

I used old beer bottles as candle holders either side of the deer and Christmas tree.

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The crockery and cutlery are from Asda and I really love how festive they look together.

For our dinner I cooked roast parsnips, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, mashed potato, sprouts, stuffing and a mediterranean nut roast which I served with gravy and mint sauce.  For dessert we had toffee pecan roulade.

How are you decorating your table for Christmas?

The Foolproof Tree Decorating Guide

In all the years I have been putting up my tree and decorations there is always something I have forgotten to do, whether it be to check the lights work or having to take all the decorations off because I havent added them to the tree, so today I’m going to share a guide on how to decorate the tree.  Unfortunately there are no pics as I was having too much fun and totally forgot about taking any…

  1. Choose where your tree will be placed, check that there is a power socket near by for the lights to run off or add an extension cable to the nearest socket and make sure that it reaches where your tree will be placed.
  2. Assemble the Christmas tree if you are using a fake tree or bring in the real one and make sure it is acclimatised to the indoors temperature and watered before starting.
  3. Get out all the decorations, lights, tinsel and bead strings you want to use, sort into piles – big baubles, small baubles, accent decorations, tinsel, bead strings, lights.
  4. Check that the lights work.
  5. Place lights on the tree, I find it easiest to work top down.  Plug lights in and switch on to check placement, it’s easier to move the lights around and spread them out evenly without other decorations getting in the way! Turn lights off before continuing to the next step.
  6. Add any tinsel or bead strings and check placement.
  7. Now to add baubles, start with the bigger, most plain ones and add to the bottom 2/3 of the tree.  Again check placement is fairly even and spread out.
  8. Add the smaller, more plain baubles to the top 2/3 of the tree, checking placement as you go.
  9. Now you can add the accent decorations, make sure these are evenly spread out with smaller ones to the top of the tree and larger ones to the bottom part.
  10. Pour your favorite tipple, gather around friends and family and hold a “Switch on event” then stand back and admire your hard work!

My Christmas Decorations

My style can be described as being bright, fun, non-traditionalist, hippy and boho, and my Christmas decorations really embrace my style.  I’m not a huge fan of tinsel or traditional Christmas decorations, though I do add elements of the traditional into my decor.

I have Christmas trees, fairy lights and stags,but not in traditional colourways, I prefer white or black trees, my stag decorations are bright pink and glittery, instead of tinsel I choose bead ropes, marabou feathers and pom-pom trim.  I have really bright baubles on my black tree and have chosen little dinosaurs to hang from my other, scroll down to see the photos that I have taken of my non-traditionalist, seasonal decor!

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I didn’t want to hang my wreath on the front door because, well, its Wales and it rains!  Not just that but I really didn’t want to get him all dirty either.  I hung  my wreath on the next available door – the door to my downstairs living room.

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Joy lights which I have placed on the shelving unit opposite the door to my living room.  This is the first thing people see when coming into my home.

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My small tree that I have decorated with multi-colour fairy lights, pom-pom trim, marabou feather trim and tiny plastic dinosaurs!

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Here’s a close up of the dinosaurs!

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My second tree which is decorated with beaded ropes and baubles.

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A close up of one of the decorations on my black Christmas tree – my initial!

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Pink stars, green stars and purple stars also adorn the tree.

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Skull and Crossbone upcycled tree which I’m thinking of having as my table piece for Christmas dinner.

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My pink glitter stags, my mini Christmas Tree and its pom-pom decorations (which are also lights!) on my back windowsill.

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Here’s a close up of one of the stags!  I’m really liking the effect the rain on the window has!

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And lastly, my santa card peg fairy light garland.

How have you decorated your house for christmas?  Do you have a theme or colour palette that you use?

Christmas Decorating Ideas

There are so many different Christmas decorations available now, from cute, retro funky baubles to minimalistic metallic ones.  With the array that is on sale its easy to get overwhelmed so I’m here today to give you some ideas with your Christmas decorations!

I think the easiest thing to do when deciding which decorations to choose is to first come up with a theme and colour palette before actually purchasing any decorations. Here are a few that I really love….

Traditional – Green, red, gold.

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Image source https://christmas.365greetings.com/christmas-decoration/beautiful-christmas-trees.html

Minimalistic – Metallic silver and one colour.

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Image from https://www.christmastreeworld.co.uk/blog/

Bright – Pink, blue, yellow, orange, lime green.

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My Bright Themed Christmas Tree

Pastel – Baby pink, baby blue, lemon and soft green.

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Image from http://godfatherstyle.com/22-pastel-christmas-decor-ideas-to-add-glamour-to-your-home-decorations/

Jewel – Red, gold, green, blue, purple.

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My Jewel Theme Christmas Tree

Galaxy – Metallic blue, green, purple and pink.

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Image from https://secretgram.me/black-christmas-decorations-36-super-elegant-black-and-gold-christmas-decor-ideas/38-black-christmas-tree-decorations-ideas-decoration-love-black-christmas-decorations/

Retro – Bronze, gold and metallic brown.

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Image from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/294634000619291224/

Elegant – Black, white and silver.

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Image from https://www.lushome.com/black-white-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/128351

Once you have chosen your theme and colour palette you can then choose the colour of your tree, and with so many different colours and styles to choose from sometimes it can be hard to know which colour to go for.  Here are some ideas for you…

Traditional – a green tree like this one from B&Q

Minimalistic – a black tree like this one from Argos

Bright – a white tree like this one from B&M

Pastel – a flocked tree like this one from The Range

Jewel  – a green tree like this one from Studio

Galaxy – a black tree like this one from Christmas Tree World

Retro – a green tree like this one from Homebase

Elegant – a white tree like this one from B&Q

Once you have decided on the best tree for your theme the next thing to decide upon is the lights for your tree.  There are 4 main ones to choose from – coloured, cool white, warm white and bright white.  Coloured are the more traditional sort of fairy lights with bulb colours of red, green, blue and yellow, cool white give off a blue tinged light, warm white lights are yellow toned and bright white lights give off a brilliant white light.

I would choose Coloured lights (like these) for the Bright and Retro Theme

Cool White lights (like theses) work well with the Pastel and Galaxy Theme

Warm White lights (like these) work well with the Traditional Theme

Bright White lights (like these) work well with the Minimalistic, Jewel and Elegant Themes.

Now that you have chosen your theme, tree and lights we can now look at the fun stuff – all the shiny baubles and other decorations to hang on the tree!!!!  First though, you should decide whether you want tinsel on the tree or not?  I personally dislike tinsel, having Aspergers means I can be hyper-sensitive to certain smells and tinsel is one of those things that I don’t do well with smell wise so I choose not to use it at all.  However, there are alternatives to tinsel including beaded ropes (like these) which come in many different colours, marabou feather trim, ribbons and other haberdashery trims works well too and you can buy that in many fabric or craft shops.  Whatever you decide on pick out one colour from your colour palette so as not to overwhelm the other decorations.

Choose big baubles in one colour from your palette and add smaller ones in either the same colour or another from your colour scheme, mix up finishes to add interest (choose shiny ones, matte ones, glitter finish, dimpled etc) and if you want, mix up the shapes of the baubles – tear drop ones work really well for the bottom of the tree where as I find round ones work well for the middle.

Select smaller baubles in differing colours (that match the colour palette of your chosen theme), again you can choose different finishes and textures.  Smaller baubles work well for the middle of the tree and top. Most of the large and small baubles can be bought in multi packs and are fairly cheap to buy so you can add as many or as few as you wish to your tree!

Now for the extra fun bit, choosing the eye-catching elements!  These elements are things like bows, shaped baubles, clear baubles, and baubles with special finishes (like these iridescent ones)  Most of this type of decoration are the ones that are sold as single decorations (and are a bit more expensive than the regular baubles) and are designed so that you only add one or 2 of the same one to the tree, this means that the eye will be drawn to them, add a fun element and are a way to really personalise your theme.  Most places that sell trees will sell this type of decoration, I have found Asda and B&Q to be good places to have a look as they carry a good range!  Whatever you choose, have fun with these decorations and add as many or as few as you wish!

What sort of theme are you choosing for your decorations?