Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ARWB Handcrafted Ornament Exchange 2014

Growing up, I never understood why anyone would have a tree with matchy-matchy ornaments, color scheme, and white lights. It just didn't make sense.

Our tree was REAL and was decked out in homemade ornaments and memories...a LOT of memories.

Through the years, our family transitioned to an ARTIFICIAL tree, but we continued with the sentimental ornaments.

The hubs and I barely had enough ornaments to fill one side of the tree the first year we were married. We used a LOT of mesh, garland, and red, gold and silver BALLS. Yes, the ever-so-popular BALLS that would shatter if you even THOUGHT about dropping them. I'm glad the manufacturers of those blasted things have changed to a much more forgiving material.

When we moved into our new home and had a few more rooms to fill, I was totally grateful and excited to have been gifted a Christmas tree for our GREAT room. This was to be and IS my "decorative" tree. Don't tell anyone, but I hire someone to decorate it. Don't judge. This person is able to do in 2-3 hours what would take me WEEKS to do. I don't have a decorative bone in my body, and this allows me to enjoy my beautiful tree every day in the Month of December (and usually January)!
Just ask the hubs - I still have boxes out from my attempts to decorate mantles, buffets, etc. Then again, don't ask the hubs...

But, the tree that is near and dear to my heart is the tree in our FAMILY room. This tree is privileged to any and all colors, handmade ornaments by the littles, and ornaments gathered from near and far. There are few fillers and no mesh at all.

And THIS year, it was decorated by the three littles with ALMOST very little assistance.

They were proud.

Mama was proud, too.

I was also proud to add another ornament with special meaning. Oh, the anticipation...

This year's ornament was given to me by Monica. You can check out her blog at smalltownmojo.co  THANKS so much, Monica! The ornament made it in perfect condition!

I think it's rather snazzy and I greatly appreciate any and all efforts in the "handmaking" category.

I won't reveal the specifics of the fiascos (yes, as in MORE than one) I went through when trying to make my secret-blogging-buddy their ornament...but, let's just say it only confirmed to the MAX that I am NOT a crafter! (note to self: I will NEVER attempt to spray paint styrofoam again...)

BUT, I had fun, I enjoyed it, and THAT overrides pitiful (which is what many may interpret the looks of my handcrafted ornament).

I have enjoyed participating in the the ARWB ornament exchange for THREE years now. I just LOVE this community of awesome gals (and now we even have a few guys!)! If you have a blog or know someone who blogs, hop on over and check out Arkansas Women Bloggers. You are bound to learn something new and exciting. I know I learn fun stuff ALL the time!

Do you have any cool handcrafted ornament ideas? Please share them here. I need a heads-up for next year's exchange!

 A few ornaments from the tree...

My mom made these with the girls this year.

The girls LOVE this lobster that I got in Boston one year. It's claws move when you tug on the string.

Wha...? Where did the time go. This is Sugar when she was ONE.

HA! Who are those two crazy kids?



  1. Love your family tree, and oh my gracious, the girls have gotten so big, sniff-sniff.

    1. Thank ya, ma'am! Oh, goodness...I know. (tear)

  2. Christmas Pjs are the best! So many memories decorating the tree like that with my sister's.

    1. I have to agree! I'm going to try my best and continue the tradition. ..."decorate the family tree in Christmas PJs" Glad it gets a CHECK for this year! :)

  3. This post cracked me up. Your fingers look great - ha. I still have a hot glue gun burn on the back of my hand from the ornament I made. Ouch! Anywho, the ornament you received is adorable. I also like the twig and ribbon ornament that your mom made with your girls. Thanks for the laugh and ideas!

  4. Both trees are just gorgeous, Jodi!! I can't wait to see them on Saturday. :) Great post!