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Monday, December 05, 2011

urns: the ones on your porch, not your mantle.

the year we moved into our home i went bananas when it came to decorating. fresh flowers in almost every room, the gardens done to the nines and christmas crap everywhere during the holidays, my favourite project being the urns outside. i worked away like a cracked out martha stewart, fingers chilled to the bone and a nose full of frozen snot i was just happier than a pig in shit. then one day paul said he wanted to move and i stopped doing anything in the house that helped make it feel like home. plans to paint the top floor and design a vegetable garden in the backyard went out the window-it's all or nothing with me. five years later, we're still living in our lovely home in the ghetto, and i need to enjoy it to its fullest. just because i am not going to live here for the rest of my life, doesn't mean i can't love it while it's mine.

this weekend i dusted off my clippers, packed the boy and the pooch in the car and spent a few hours in short hills collecting pine and dogwood branches. i did all the dirty work as paul entertained india (typical) and stood on the lookout for anyone on the trail who heaven forbid saw him with this crazy broad tits deep in the bush. apparently my foraging embarrassed him (also typical). 

paul: "can't we just buy all this crap somewhere like normal people?" 
me: "um no. i would much rather embarrass the hell out of you".

if india had opposable thumbs i would have had her drive my ass to collect twigs. she doesn't get embarrassed about these things. 
plus she is just the cutest thing and apparently thinks she is the "queen of the forest".
by the end of our hike, i left with a garbage bag full of foliage we i had collected, a photo shoot with india on my camera and was ready to destroy my freshly done manicure. i knew i didn't have enough greens to do all three of my urns, so i grabbed a few bunches of cedar and a couple huge ass pine cones from the grocery store on the way home.
how we do: christmas urns
i like to make sure i have everything i need before i start working away. nothing makes me crazier than having to go inside for something--and i'll hold a pee for hours if i have to. i knew i wanted gold accents, so i spray painted the dogwood i had clipped and the pine cones i had purchased with a metallic gold spray paint, and made sure my pots were full of fresh clean, moist soil. the moisture will help hold the branches as you put them in, and everything will freeze in place if it ever gets friggen' cold enough (it was 12 degrees yesterday by the way).
i started by layering my greens, alternating the cedar and pine, until i created a shape that was full and looked natural. shove your branches in as far as you can so they don't come loose and fall out, and will be able to handle wind and the weight of snow. once you have them greened up, you can start adding your accoutrements. the dogwood helped give the urns some height and interest, the pine cones were nice too, but as i stood back to check things out, i decided they were not "me enough". i wanted to pull a little of the inside of our home outside, and remembered i had some gold picture frames in the basement that were used at our wedding. a little craft wire and swearing later, and i am in love with the end result. they are clean and simple, christmassy and have the vintage flavour i was craving. paul no longer can call me a slacker and i even got a high five out of the deal.

now all i have to do is say a little prayer that the rednecks in my neighbourhood don't steal these bad boys right off my porch, and i'm a happy girl. and don't think they won't. my terra cotta pots were punked this summer and i could have set the entire block on fire.


  1. These are too damn cute ... I really love them and love even more all the time spent making them with LOVE.
    And by love I mean dragging paul out and embarrassing his ass- LOL This is something I would soooooo do to Chris no doubt "hunny you just wait on the lookout!" and he'd be thinking in his head "did I seriously marry this nut?!?!?"

  2. Oh and I totally know what you mean about the frames ... they really do add that extra pizaaazz to your masterpieces. I'll keep my fingers and tossed crossed no one jacks them from your door step!

  3. Nice work Amanda!! I love foraging for house decorations in the bush. Your front entry look amazing now, without all the tacky red & green plastic crap everyone else likes to think is festive at this time of year. I have a massive pot that needs filling with dirt, just got to get to the local park sometime lol..

  4. 1. you are crazy
    2. i love that u used the word "accoutrements'
    3. i love u


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