Each year I try to post a preview of my Christmas decorations before the rush of the holiday season begins- and then a full followup and a few tutorials during the relative quiet season of the weeks following the new year.

While I’m still working on a few new decorating projects for Christmas 2014, here’s a sneak peek of what’s up so far:

 

outdoor christmas decorations featuring equestrian english saddle, wrapped gifts, chalkboard, wreaths, silver bells, and snaffle bit
My favorite display, though still a work in progress, features an ever so trendy wreath + chalkboard element, and a unique take on equestrian themed outdoor Christmas decorations:  and old huntseat saddle on modified stool with large red bow, and DIY outdoor presents decorated with greenery, pinecones, jingle bells, and a silver snaffle bit.
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Emily of Emily Anne Photography styled some of my favorite winter-themed props in front of the double dutch doors to the stable in order to do some winter family portraits. I nabbed the opportunity to get some christmas-y shots of my gelding Hemingway.
chicken coop decorated for christmas
Even the coop got a bit festive this year, with the addition of a tiny boxwood wreath sized just right for the door to the coop.

 

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Some of my favorite Christmas decorations- that are just generically wintry enough to use as decoration on the porch all winter: ice skates, lantern, galvanized buckets of pine cones, and faux wool throws that I made a tutorial for a while back.

 

One “trick” to using old or vintage elements outdoors (and not having to trash them at the end of the season!) is to spend a bit of time investing/restoring your items before you put them away for the season. For example, after 2 or 4 months outdoors, my vintage sleds get the wood oiled and waxed and the runners oiled before being stored high and dry for the summer, the saddle gets a scrub annually and, once dry, sprayed with olive oil to condition the leather and prevent cracking, the leather ice skates get oiled and then polished, etc. A few minutes restoring what the sun and weather does to your decorations can mean they’ll last for years longer. (Personally, I avoid preservatives like lacquer or polyurethane)

 

 

INDOORS

I will confess to not changing my tree up much from year to year. I love my handmade decorations and am usually so short of time by the time the tree goes up that remaking decorations seems like a fantasy at best!

handmade ginger-bread shaped paper dolls used as christmas tree garland

Just noticed my tree topper star is completely askew!

handmade ginger-bread shaped paper dolls used as christmas tree garland

 

christmas - ornaments in trophy cups
White trophy cups on mantle filled with ornaments

 

And an obligatory horse photo! We had an early snow this year – Nov 16 – and I couldn’t resist a quick shot of this boy in the snow.

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