The Star on Martin Road

Christmas in our family has always been a magical experience. Growing up on a farm and spending the holidays with my grandparents in the big city of Houston was like a dream come true. My grandparents  did their best to spoil us, stocking their house with what seemed like endless Dr. Pepper, Blue Bell ice cream and fresh donuts from the Shipleys store down the street.

Their cul-de-sac was transformed during the month of December as each house lined their yard with large strands of lights covered with red solo cups creating rows and rows of little red gum drops. At the entrance to each house’s sidewalk stood walk-under silver star wrapped in a strand of large red lights and sliver tinsel garland. This star was the gathering place for many family photos and yearly Christmas memories and just happens to be the inspiration for my last Christmas project of 2012.

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I started with a small star made out of popsicle sticks and then moved on to the lights.

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I found these bulb shaped ornaments at Hobby Lobby half off last week and I knew they would be perfect for this project.

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I filled each one with a small amount of red craft paint. . .

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. . .and swirled it around until they were all coated.

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I then grabbed my trusty globe vase (which I commandeered from my grandparents house) and set to work filling the bottom with Epsom salt and intertwining the light bulbs with silver tinsel garland.

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The star got a quick coat of silver spray paint and I called it good.

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I know a lot of you have been wondering about the original star on Martin Road so over the holidays I dug up a few old photos. Here are a few of our traditional star photo from 96 or 97, enjoy!

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Faux Mantle

In our family, we’ve gone through a lot of change over the past few years when it comes to holiday traditions. Some were forced upon us such as this year when we lost our beloved Grandad which means that for the first time in nearly 3 decades, we won’t be having Christmas in Houston. Others are just a part of growing older and entering into new ages and stages of life but one holiday tradition that remains the same are our stockings. We always have stockings. Every year. Even this year, at the ripe old age of 25 I’ll get a stocking filled with special treats from my mom. And I love it. And I never want it to change.

As you well know by now, if you give a mouse a cookie he’s going to want something to drink. So if you ask me to host Christmas, I’m going have to come up with a festive display for the stockings. Since we haven’t rebuilt our fireplace yet I knew I wanted to create a unique display area thus the idea for a faux mantle was born.

I chose the bar area next to our new eat-in kitchen and set out to create some art that would hang above the half wall. I began with a few skinny twins from our overgrown back yard and set to work.
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Twigs are great but we all know that twigs and glitter are better so I whipped up a concoction of  Elmer’s glue and glitter.

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I used a simple foam brush to liberally apply my glitter glue, can you tell the difference below? The ones on the right are glitter-ized and the ones on the left aren’t. Yet.

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I then grabbed some fishing line and clear thumb tacks from my stash and began to string them up. Can you spot the thumb tack?

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After I hung the first one I was beginning to doubt my plan. This lonely twig doesn’t exactly say Happy Holidays!

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However after I hung a few more and added some pinecones I was beginning to fall in love.

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Now that the top part of the faux mantle was complete, I need to work on how to hang the stockings! I have 2 silver stocking hangers that I got on clearance at Target a few years ago so I decided to put them on a bar and place a small dowel rod between them.

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I did sand down the ends of the dowel so it would fit easily into the hook and then after a few coats of paint, I was left with this beauty.

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I hung a strand of vintage garland that I had and I was nearly done!

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Isn’t it lovely! The only thing I’m missing are the stockings themselves. . . which will come with my mom at Christmas. . . so you’ll have to stay tuned for the final reveal!

For now I’ll leave you with my vintage Elf on the Shelf saying, what holiday tradition do you cherish the most?

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