Happy HoliDIYS

 

Sometimes, when I am traveling for LTD 7, I get lost in window displays and store themes. I can spend hours looking at all the beautiful and clever ways retail owners come up with to display their wares and beckon customers to come in. Do you ever do the same? Do you sometimes wish you could copy an idea you see in a store window as you pass by?

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My hope for all of you this week, as the season gets into full swing is that you can find a quiet evening or weekend afternoon to tap into your creative side. I can picture you as you enter the room, sit down at the table, wearing fresh pjs, a warm drink of choice beside you, as you get ready to spend a few quiet hours listening to holiday music and making a few handmade items for your special friends and family. It might be a baking session, a time to frame small pictures of the year just past for the tree, or working on mantel decorations…whatever relaxes you and brings out your love of vintage, handmade and gifts made with love.

For those of you who are running around feeling like a chicken with your head cut off, too busy to even think, I have come up with a few simple do-it-yourself ideas that might get the creative juices flowing. Have a look:

An Advent Calendar:

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Glistening Candles on the Mantel:

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No Sew Homemade Felt Stockings:

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Pinecone Projects:

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Monogrammed Gift Tags:

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Typewritten Gift Tags:

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Citrus Ornaments:

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There is no need for directions on any of these, because your mind will take you to the ideas of things you can use to create some of these or similar ideas. It only takes a few hours of time to make your house a home for the holidays.

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Special thanks to the many of you who came out today to our Open House at the Rowe LTD 7 location and to those of you who joined us in support of our Benefit Shopping for Jake Bailey last evening. It does my heart good to give back to such a deserving family. Let’s all continue to keep Jake and his mom, Renae, and their entire family in our thoughts and prayers.

I hope you have had some time to swing by LTD 7 downtown to see our window displays that we entered in the SDDA Store Window Contest and while there, stopped in to say hello and check off a few items on your gift lists.

We still have many holiday events planned. Here are the many ways to stay in touch with us:

Visit our website www.ltd7.net for more information and shop online.

Join our Loyalty Page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LTD7VA

 

I will see you soon. Have a terrific week creating something special and enjoying the special sights and sounds of the season. Be grateful, everyone and hug those loved ones a little tighter tonight.

Living the Dream,

Lynne

Project designs from http://www.marthastewart.com/856465/easy-christmas-crafts/@center/1009041/christmas-crafts-projects

 

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GO BIG OR GO HOME

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Has it hit you—the holiday madness? Have you started buying your gifts? Is the tree up? Are the lights on the house? How many more sprigs do you need to fill out last year’s wreath that got smashed in the Rubbermaid bin?

Is your end of year calendar full of class parties, sports banquets, recitals, choir practices (plural) and holiday parties and guests that will arrive in no time flat? Do you want me to stop reminding you of all the things left to do in the shortened holiday season?

Ok, I will. I will stop right now, because I have a plan. It’s called “go big or go home.” Read on.

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I’m closing my eyes tight these days, because if I blink it’s going to be the New Year way before I’m ready. If it makes you feel any better, my tree is not up, my wreath is being replaced by one from LTD 7 and my gingerbread house will look something like this:

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I think it’s common for the cobbler’s kids to have no shoes. LTD 7 may be beautiful and stocked and ready for the season, but I’m just like you: I feel the shortened season and am behind (or so I thought) with my own personal holiday goals.

My inbox is full again. I have to share. As the title suggests, some of you ARE ready and massively admired by the rest of us. For those of you, the Internet has wonderful compilations of hundreds of ideas to spark your passions and get those crafty hands working. Large groups of bloggers put together their top ideas and all together you can come up with a host of holiday ideas. I can only DREAM of doing these projects. If you have a chance to try any of them, do share them with us at LTD 7. We would love to see them!

For the rest of us, the HOLIDAY TO DO LIST has fast become “triaged.” We have to quickly pick the things we must do, like mail out-of-town gifts and cards and buy for the kiddos and the squeeze and leave the decorating like the magazines do, for next year. Believe me, I get it.

And it’s O-K! Read that sentence three times a day. Rinse and repeat.

It is absolutely O-K. Maybe, just maybe, at least for me, what needs to change is the list. Maybe what I need to do, sometimes, instead of “going big” is GO HOME, as the title of this blog suggests.

I saw this amazing list on the Internet and it totally resonated with me. Maybe you have seen it, too. After I saved it, I thought about it—a lot—and all of a sudden it made me feel OK about the holidays. I have a copy on my fridge to see and remind myself—every day.

Going big might just mean what it says: go home. Home is where the heart is and sometimes when we become frenetic and the pace is sure to beat us down, the absolute best place to be is HOME. So, go big and go home. Rest and relax and know that your best is absolutely that: your best and that is ENOUGH.

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Isn’t this list just totally perfect? It makes me feel OK. It makes me feel better than okay; it makes me feel that my heart is in the right place and I really do have more under control than I think I do. It makes me joyous again. It makes me charitable. It makes me thankful. It makes the holidays meaningful. Isn’t that exactly what it is supposed to do?

So, when the going gets tough over the next few weeks, think about this list. Reflect upon it and relax. You and I are exactly where we need to be doing exactly what we need to be doing. We can pack the anxiety and the not done items away in the empty holiday bins and enjoy the season.

DECORATE COOKIES WITH US! THIS SATURDAY. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

If the kiddos can’t wait…if they are anxious and under foot this season, I do have a plan for them too. LTD 7 is hosting a DECORATE A COOKIE event next Saturday & Shhh, don’t tell the kids but Rudolph will be making an appearance from 10-1 too.  It has always been a huge success! I would encourage you to reserve a spot today. We need to have ample supplies, so we need to know if you are coming and how many little ones you are bringing. Call the store for reservations. Just think: You can shop while they decorate and you can use the cookie…if they don’t eat it…for a tree decoration. We clean the mess; we have the supplies and all you need to do is bring the decorators.

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I did find a couple more ideas for simple at home crafts and easy plans for you to enjoy over the next few weeks. Come on…you know you still wanna decorate and make something. (wink) And, if the kids can hardly wait, here are a few sweet craft ideas for the special kiddos who wrote their list ten months ago and absolutely cannot wait for school to be out and the cousins to arrive on December 25th.

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Check them out:

This is fun for all ages. Buy a few ornaments at the Dollar Store and some inexpensive white paint and have a wonderful craft right at “hand.”

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Decorate white gift bags with old ribbon scraps and old holiday cards cut to fit. It is a perfect touch and a wonderful projrct for the older “children.” I want to make a few of these myself.

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Do you have some spare scarves in your closet? Do you have too many scarves to wear all at once? Maybe you have bought a few too many at LTD 7 this year…impossible, I know. How about tying some of your old ones around items in your home to festive things up? That’s a quick and easy touch that is sure to please.

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Quick and easy gifts to set out for the unexpected guest, or the teacher or friend who loves candy apples. Buy a bag of apples and a couple bags of caramel from the grocer and knock out a few of these delectable treats. So yummy! So easy!

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One simple sprig…just look at its effect in the next picture. One simple lovely yard sprig and an ornament left over from the painted project above and you have instant “holiday.” I LOVE this!

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Do you have a container in the basement? A wooden box? Add a few candles and sprigs and a couple ornaments tossed in and voila, a wonderful table decoration or centerpiece. Honestly, these are a few of my favorite things and ones that don’t take forever to create.

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Remember our sprig wreaths from Halloween? Change them out. Simple and beautiful!

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Have you visited Santa? How did that go? Do you know that sometimes the best laid plans go amuck? Do you also know that you are never too old to sit on Santa’s lap and ask for what brings your heart JOY? Sometimes the tired child ( in all of us) who is overrun with excitement and needs a nap, makes for the most wonderful pictures…ones that the family will enjoy for years to come. Trust me, I know! Don’t beat yourself up if the photo session is not all you wanted it to be. I could just eat these babies right up they are so sweet!

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Make your list. Mail it. Trust in it. Know that you are in control this season. Believe that you have done enough.

Make time to dream…for isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Revive those dreams you have and picture your wonderful self standing in line at the mailbox waiting to post them. Make this season a wonderful time. If you can dream it, you can do it. I promise. Now close those eyes and start dreaming.

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Living the Dream,

Lynne

Put a Lid on it!

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Yard got leaves? Oranges overripe? Need a reason to gather up the pinecones? Have an extra lime you need to use up? Have you bought fresh cranberries yet? Do you have any spices in the back of the pantry that you want to use up? Feel like taking a walk in the woods for some berries before the weather gets frightful?

Does any of this sound inviting? Well, then, have we got a “scent-sational” craft for you this week. I am talking about oil-infused Mason jar candles. Mason jars make lovely containers for sugar-scrub gifts and fresh jams but this week I want to focus on candles.

I am planning to make a few for Sparkles and Sweets, at LTD 7 this Friday night, time permitting. If I run out of time, then I will definitely find time to make them for my Thanksgiving table.

I have Mason jars at LTD 7 if you need to purchase any.

Materials You Will Need

Mason Jars: LTD 7 is stocked.

Hammer and Large Screwdriver, or Drill with 3/8 inch bit

Fiberglass Wicks (craft stores) or recycled white tee shirt material, double thickness

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Nipples (yep…they call it that), (2) 1/8 inch couplings and (2) 3/8 inch washers…for each candle you plan to make.

You can find nipples in the lighting department of Lowes in the spare light parts. You can buy your washers and couplings in packs or indivudually.

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You will need oil: citronella oil, peanut oil (anyone deep frying their turkey?),lamp oil, canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil…etc. Any oil works and you just might have some on hand. Oil burns slower than candle wax, so this type of candle is a money-saver, too!r Lowe’s with all the spare lighting parts.

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I love the freedom and experimentation with scents and color and design that these candles allow. You can even add food coloring to your oil to match your color palette.

What’s Hard about this Project?

I think really the only difficult (if you can call it that) part is getting the hole drilled for the wick. Most sites online recommend fiberglass wicks and I think I’m going to spring for some at Lowes. But you can use recycled cotton tee shirts.

The nipple is inserted in the jar to hold the wick in place. It is attached by the couplings and washers on the top and bottom. If you are like me and fear the drill, you can use a large screwdriver and a hammer to make a 3/8 inch hole to fit the coupling. If you drill, use a wood board underneath and make a screwdriver dent to give the drill a path to follow in the center of the lid.

 Once the nipple is in the opening, keep it there by placing the washer and coupling. You want the top to be flush with the lid.

Add your wick and the ingredients you have chosen and then the oil. You will want to allow the oil to infuse into the wick before lighting otherwise the wick will burn up.

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Look at some of the gorgeous things you can add to your jar. Do you see the seashells? I LOVE this!

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If you need more guidance or additional ideas, the Internet is laced with design ideas for these Mason jar oil infused candles. Special thanks to putalidonit, Pinterest and Dawn for their expertise with this project.

This Friday Night! Look What’s in Store at LTD 7:

Now that you have made something that S*P*A*R*K*L*E*S…why not join us Friday night for Sparkles and Sweets, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm downtown. Baby, it will be very cooooooold outside, so bundle up.

We will have warm drinks, scrumptious sweets, special surprise guests and…

WE WILL BE GIVING AWAY MONEY ALL NIGHT!

You don’t want to miss it! This Friday from 6 to 9 pm!

Hope to see you there.

Living the Dream,

Lynne