Category Archives: For the Nest

For the Love of Branches: Spring Update

There is finally something Spring-ish up on the branches in our dining room.  With the help of my eldest daughter Izzy we added some life. She kept telling me the branches needed color and I quite agreed. We rummaged through my craft bin and ended up with a whimsical bird theme of sorts so without further ado: Spring Above the Wilson Table. 

  
  
I would still love to see how you use tree branches inside your home so send some snaps! 

Happy Spring Branching!

For the Love of Branches 

My love of tree branches has not waned but increased since living in Texas. Dallas is not known for its trees although there are two particular varieties I have fallen in love with. We don’t have crepe myrtles at home, nor do you see live oaks with the same gorgeously gnarly, branches.  

  

As I mentioned in 50 Ways to Upcycle Tree Branches and Logs, when we moved from Kansas to Texas I was told the tree branches that had hung in our bedroom had to remain behind. It was a sad day parting with them but I knew I could find new ones. 

Over a year and a half ago I updated you with a picture of their Texas replacement. Since then we have moved apartments again but the branches got to come along this time … And they seem to be multiplying.

Not only do I love branches but I also have this ‘fear of the void’ problem, to pull out one of my rusty art history phrases. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to figure out that ‘fear of the void’ or horror vacui which in Latin is ‘fear of empty space’ or kenophobia from the Greek ‘fear of the empty’ is about where I fit when I look at our home. Just think  Adolf Wolfli, Jean Debuffet, Edward Gorey or the Where’s Waldo book series. In our case my ‘fear of the void’ is far less than the technical definition as our walls do not look like something out of an I Spy book, but I cannot have blank wall space and each room must have something on the ceiling. 

Just before Christmas my dad brought me two glorious branches that had fallen, via a storm, from the old sycamore tree at home. It is one of my favorite trees. My brother and I could never climb it growing up because where it branched out was probably twenty feet up, but it is a magnificent tree. 

Right now the sycamore branches are above our dining room table and I think that will be their permanent home. At Christmas Izzy and I filled them with greenery, gilded magnolia leaves and ice cycles. For Valentines Day we hung hearts from them. Right now they are bare and awaiting some sort of cheering for spring. They have become a fun vehicle for seasonal decorating, but even when bare they remind me of home and the glorious creativity of the Lord and His trees. 

Do you have branches in your home? I would sure love to see them. If not give bringing some nature inside a whirl and check out the link earlier in the article about upcycling. What fun and often inexpensive projects! 

Happy Tree Branching!

Rain Drops on Roses & Whiskers on Kittens

“… These are a few of my favorite things.” My daughter Izzy loves The Sound of Music and we listen to the soundtrack often. As I was humming the “these are a few of my favorite things” tune today it made me think of my favorite Christmas finds. There are certain things that whenever I see them or smell them, or taste them, they make me think of Christmas. I though a festive gift idea list might be a nice break from ice cream experimentation, and might help those struggling to find simple, unique, and elegant gifts that won’t break the bank.

So without further ado … A gift list inspired by one of my daughters favorite songs. 

Thymes Frasier Fir Home Collection $13-$50. My absolute favorite hand soap, antibacterial cleaner and room fragrance. The scent is a luxurious combination of Siberian Fir needles, cedar wood, and relaxing sandalwood. It smells just like a Christmas tree. Everything is stunningly packaged. Their reed diffusers, lotions, candles and soaps are also wonderful. You can’t go wrong. Isn’t that an extraordinary feeling!  

  

    Mo’s Bacon Bar by Vosges Chocolate $3-8. Where do I even start!? This chocolate bar is the perfect stocking stuffer. It’s so amazing you may want to stuff your own stocking this year. Do you love salty and sweet? Do you love bacon? Do you love extraordinary chocolate? If not I’m not sure we can be friends. Just kidding. For some, the idea of bacon and chocolate is off-putting, but trust me, you will be thankful you met. The Vosges collection is extensive so if for some reason bacon is not your thing (I’ll get over it eventually), try something with citrus, fruit or caramel. They have both snack-size and full-sized bars for your experimental and settled pleasure.  

     

      Pickwick & Co. Candles $22. These are incredible candles with long lasting burn time. Unlike some, you will actually smell this candle throughout your home when it’s lit. Pickwick & Co. candles are stunningly packaged and their exquisite holiday scent collection makes them the perfect gift. Try ‘O Christmas Tree,’ ‘Frasier Fir,’ ‘Holiday Spruce,’ or ‘Dickens.’ They aren’t sold via their website and can be tricky to find due to sell out, but they have a wonderful contact page to find which shops in your area carry them. Right now the ‘Holiday’ and ‘Frasier Fir’ scents are available at SocialManor.com.  

       

      Home Decor Throw Pillow from Mussy & Birds $38. Need a beautiful Christmas gift for that person who loves throw pillows, geometric print, and is full of Christmas spirit? This pillow is perfect and it comes from my precious mum! She specializes in pillows, lavender aromatherapy sachets, and fabulous market totes and bags. You won’t be disappointed. Her attention to detail, umptuous fabrics and stunning packaging will leave you with very little to do and a very happy recipient.  
        

        The Vanilla Bean Noel Collection from Bath & Body Works $5-$65. This scent is available from approximately Thanksgiving to New Years and often sells out in stores fast. Online shopping is your easiest bet as the quantities desired are consistently available. With notes of fresh vanilla bean, warm caramel, whipped cream, musk and sugar cookie, this scent is as festive as it gets. This years packaging design took a vintage que and is at its best!   

         

        Emile Henry Pie Plate $40-$45. When I think of Christmas dinner I think of my dad grilling steaks from his friend Dale’s farm. I think of mums homemade applesauce. I think about her perfectly roasted green beans. I think about my mother in law’s cheesy potatoes. You get the picture, but the amazing doesn’t stop with dinner. You always know dessert is coming. At home growing up and still to this day there will be my mums pies. I get excited just thinking about her Kalhua Pecan and her tart Apple Cherry pies. If you have a food and dessert enthusiast on your list this year think about an Emile Henry earthenware pie plate. It bakes pies beautifully and evenly, and gently keeps them warm. It’s so lovely it gets used for way more than pie. I love the crisp white but there are a number of colors to fit whomever you are shopping for.   

         

        Christopher Elbow Artisan Chocolate $10-$75. Because I am a chocolate lover I’ll give you a couple chocolate ideas this Christmas. A few years back my husband and I had the opportunity to visit Christopher Elbow’s storefront in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s not far from our hometown and is an absolute treat. The store itself is simple and stunning to fit the chocolate produced. Beautiful flavors like champagne, citrus, rosemary, and fleur de sel are incorporated into artisan chocolate. They have assorted holiday boxes, drinking chocolate and more. If you are ever in Kansas City make sure you try the ice cream too. It just might change your life. Yeah, it’s that good. Glacé Artisan Ice Cream.  

        Thank you for stopping by. I hope this slightly chocolate heavy list of some of my favorite things helps make shopping for those you treasure easier this year. Blessings and Merry Christmas! 

        What are a few of your favorite things? 


        All images subject to copyright

          50 Ways to Upcycle Tree Branches and Logs

          So … one thing I didn’t mention in my ‘about’ tab is my obsession with tree branches. My husband would just laugh if he were in the room. He doesn’t have anything against my tree branch fetish but isn’t strongly attached to it. Over two years ago when I came home and announced that I was going to hang tree branches over our bed he looked at me like I had two heads. When we moved from Kansas to Texas I was told the tree branches had to remain behind. It was a sad day parting with them but I knew I could find new ones. Well folks it took me almost a year but we have good ‘ol Texas branches hanging from the ceiling over our bed (Pictured above). It’s still a work in progress but I wanted to share this blog article I found last month from Living Vintage. There are some beautiful ideas here and the blog itself is quite lovely. I have finally found a kindred tree branch spirit. Enjoy! http://livingvintageco.com/2013/08/50-ways-to-upcycle-tree-branches-and-logs/