Holiday Décor

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I had a post two years ago about my holiday décor in my old apartment and I have moved since then so I have new things, mostly the same décor but in different spots. 

            This is not going to be a long post, it’s going to be some words but more photos than anything else. I am not including everything in my place because I have a lot of little bits and bobs all over, mostly stuffed animals, candles, and random small pieces of décor that I am not going to bore you with here. There are also a few things that I don’t have out that I had out in my old place but space is kind of limited in this place. 

            So I know it’s before Thanksgiving, I have been decorated for over a week now and I don’t regret it one little bit, I needed some happy in my apartment and putting up my Christmas decorations and my tree (which I will not be lighting until the day after Thanksgiving) made me really happy when I needed some joy. Is everything in the world fixed after slapping some lights and ornaments on a tree and putting on Christmas music? No but if I can get my own corner of happy I’m going to do it.

            My tree is the same, mostly all Hallmark but with a few new ornaments this year than in years past, I wrote a post on some of my favorites you can check that out if you want to. Here, unlike my old place, my tree is almost right inside the door instead of across the living room from it. I don’t know which I like better. 

            Also in my living room with my workout DVD’s and on my TV stand are some cute little mice that my grandmother had for a long time before I inherited them and some polar bears that I found in a box (honestly completely forgot I owned them). 

            Also in the box was my grandmother’s nativity set that my aunt painted, I knew that it was in the box but I didn’t know there were other things in the box with it. I made room or it this year because it’s been in a box for a few years now and I wanted it out this year. It took some time for me to get everything on top of the bookcase but I got it! 

            A few more things, these are in my bedroom, I made the large piece in the back a few years ago and the snow globes in like 2017, I think? I don’t actually remember, it was before I left Indiana so it’s been at least since Christmas 2017. I love the Grinch it’s one of my favorite Christmas movies, and yes I do mean any and all of the iterations of The Grinch.

            Next up is my dining room table, I do a different thing every year and this year I put up my rose gold reindeer and red chargers, I just like having something festive on my table this time of year. 

            I have a small tree with even smaller ornaments on the work table in the kitchen which is cute. 

            A Santa holding up another snow globe, my dad made the Santa, I made the snow globe. 

            Some penguins next to my mixer where the pumpkin was in my Halloween Décor post.

            The top of my comic book bookcase that has a penguin, a small candle, and a snowman candle holder. The rest of the stuff up there is up year round so nothing fancy.

            On my entry table this year is the stuff that was on my dining room table last year, I think that they will go back on the dining room table next year but I really don’t know yet because I just want to get through 2020 before I even start thinking about 2021. 

            In my office I have my small Christmas tree which I have had for three or four years now and I love so much. It doesn’t have a theme but if it did it would be plush things but also make it fashion because it’s just a cute tree. 

            I also have my third snow globe in my office next to a Boyd bear that I have had since I was a kid, this snow globe needs to be fixed because the deer and the tree have dislodged themselves from the floral foam so I think I just need to cut my losses and replace the foam. 

            Also a bonus: I made this arrangement for my mom and I absolutely love it, it’s at her house and I love arranging flowers but I haven’t done it in a few years.

            So that’s a lot of my bigger or more involved décor in the apartment and I am happy that I am decorated already. 

            I said this post wouldn’t be too long and I am trying to keep true to my word on that so I think that’s going to be it for this post, I hope if you celebrate American Thanksgiving that you all have a good, happy, and safe Thanksgiving even if we all have to celebrate it a little different this year. 

            I hope everyone has a good rest of the week and I will see y’all on Sunday with another post! 

            -MJ 

A Christmas Décor DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            This is probably the easiest Christmas DIY I have ever done and I have done a couple now. A while back I was looking in the dollar section at Target, you know at the front when you walk in with all the cute cheap things well it sucked me in and I found two things that gave me an idea, a chalkboard sled and a vinyl cut decal that said ‘dashing through the snow’ and it gave me a cute little idea. 

            I thought this was going to take me five minutes tops but I had to pull out all the little pieces in the cursive so it took me a little longer than expected but I did it! 

            So what do you need for a project like this, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same but for a cute little DIY that is something like this you are gonna need some things. 

            Materials:  

            A backdrop (you can use wood, a piece of glass or whatever that you want to put words on)

            Vinyl die cut words (you can usually buy individual letters at most craft stores or if you have a circuit like go crazy!)

            A quote you like (I bought one that was already done)

            A paint pen (I used a Sharpie paint pen)

            Some paint (because I couldn’t find another paint pen or if you don’t want to use a paint pen you can use this.)

            The actual DIY: 

1.  Okay with this one, first of course gather your materials, this one is a little different than my Halloween ones because it was a lot of premade materials. 

2. I had to pick apart all of the die cut letters which I thought would take me like seconds, it took like ten minutes so if you can I would get individual letters but that would also present challenges. The reason I found this so challenging was the cursive lettering and the little pieces you don’t need were really hard to get out because I didn’t want to rip the letters.

3. I drew a straight line in pencil on my sled where I wanted the letters to go and with the words that worked out great, the letter’s not so much but it looks okay.

4. Put on some snowflakes, I did mine in gold because that was the pen I had at the time and I did add the white and silver snowflakes later (I seriously had it up in my house for a few weeks and it wasn’t actually finished.

5. Display, I have mine sitting in my office but you could hang it on a wall (depending on what it is and your quote) or display it however you want, it’s your craft. 

            Guys, let’s be honest with ourselves I am not great at writing DIY posts, I was better at making small DIY videos but I don’t feel like doing that at the moment, but sometimes it’s just the simple things that can help you get inspiration for a DIY. The Target dollar section is really good at that around holiday times. 

            This post isn’t long and to be honest I have been sitting on this one for a while half-finished because I have been focusing on other things, like decorating my apartment, helping my parents decorate their house, and work so this has kind of been taking a back burner; a lot of DIY and craft ideas are at the moment and that is alright.

            So it’s a cute little craft when it’s finished, that I can say because I have been staring at mine for a few weeks now and it’s not hard to do just to have a simple DIY somewhere in your holiday décor. 

            I hope everyone has a great start to the week, we are off this week from school because it’s Thanksgiving Break so I plan on writing several posts but I will see y’all on Wednesday with my actual updating Holiday Décor post, fingers crossed. 

            Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

            -MJ 

Some of My Favorite Christmas Ornaments

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Alright it’s almost Thanksgiving and I am already decorated for Christmas, don’t even think about judging me… it’s been a year y’all and I just wanted to feel some happy from having my living space full of holiday cheer. I am not listening to Christmas music until at least late next week at the earliest and I am not going to light up my tree before Thanksgiving, I’m just getting all of it done so I don’t have to do it.

            Seriously I decorated my tree on Friday night while watching Star Wars Episode 4 and 5 because that was what I felt like doing on a Friday night, I live such a glamorous life because let’s be real that would have been pretty much my plans anyway even if we weren’t social distancing and quarantining, just mask up, wash your hands, and distance when possible. 

            But back to the reason for this post, some of my favorite ornaments. I will say this a lot of my ornaments that I had on my tree when I was a kid are packed up in my parents basement I only have a small number of my overall ornaments but most of them are from Hallmark because I am one of those people. 

This is the whole mess that goes on my regular Christmas tree, just so y’all have an idea of what I am working with.

            I have a lot of Marvel and Disney ornaments and if I did a post about all of them this would take you all of December to read and me most of November to write so I just picked a few ornaments and maybe next year I will do another post with a few more because most of the ornaments I am talking about aren’t available (Hallmark at least) anymore, I mean you could probably find them on the internet but they are not available in the stores. 

            So let’s get to it: 

            This ornament I made when I was still in Indiana with the first grade class that I worked with when I was getting my masters, they were making these cute little yarn stars and the teacher told me that I should make one, I still have it on my tree and it is displayed proudly because it reminds me of those kids who I later student taught when they were in third grade. 

            I got this one at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan. If you like Christmas it’s like the largest in the world and it’s like heaven. I’ve been there three times in my life and now I am many more miles away from it than I was in Indiana but if you like Christmas give their website a check. I have several ornaments from them, like you can spend several hundred dollars there without blinking. This is just a tiny penguin and it was made in Russia, it’s like a nesting doll but it’s all by itself and I love it so much.

            This balloon dog I got at Crystal Bridges which is an art museum in the city I live in now and they have a heart that was designed by the same artist, Jeff Koons and I still want a little balloon dog for my apartment but the one on the tree will have to do. I feel like every kid gets a balloon dog at some point during childhood and they are just fun. This is just a reminder of that fun as well as being a take on an artistic piece.

            These two came as a set also from Bronner’s and I just loved the idea of two marshmallows on my tree who are having very different days and some days I am the marshmallow on the left and some I am the one on the right but I always have them hanging together because they are just perfect and adorable. 

            Chip and Dale and this cartoon, I had a VHS tape as a kid that was a bunch of Disney cartoons, it was called A Walt Disney Christmas, this short was called Goofy’s Christmas Tree and I loved it as a little kid so when I saw that Hallmark was coming out with this ornament I had it on my wish list because I needed it on my tree. It’s just one of those cartoons that has stuck with me since I was little and I have seen it just a few times over the years but I still love it. 

            This Tangled themed mouse hat is from Disneyland, my best friend got it for me last Christmas or the Christmas before and I don’t really remember but Tangled is my one of my favorite Disney films. I get the Tangled Hallmark ornament every year that they have one so that’s fun. 

            Last is just my office Christmas tree, it’s just really aesthetically pleasing and it makes me happy every time I look over at it while I am working on anything at my desk. It’s not themed but it is pretty neutral for the most part. I don’t want to say too much about it because I am doing a new holiday décor post because I moved last year but I do really like the look of this tree if I do say so myself. 

            Alright, I think that’s enough. I just wanted to give y’all a taste of my ornaments and you can all see from the cover photo for this one that I have a lot that I didn’t talk about and that’s okay, my Eeyore collection, my Marvel ornaments, and several other series that I have on my tree. I know it’s early but I’m done decorating and my apartment just feels more festive and I want to feel festive this year.

            I will see y’all later in the week with a new post, I hope everyone has a good start to the week and be safe out there.

            -MJ 

Halloween/Autumn Décor

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            It’s October, how, how is it already October? My brain is still in March so there’s that but there is no way to stop the passage of time so here we are in the spookiest of months and I am excited. It’s the opening of the holiday season and Halloween is one of my favorites and I have been decorated for the holiday since early September because I wanted to feel some sense of normalcy and having a decorated apartment helps with that. The one problem with October is my fall cold, like clockwork I get a cold in the fall and in the spring when the weather starts to shift so writing this post was not at the top of my priority list which isn’t great but here we are none the less. 

            My Halloween plans this year are pretty much the same plans I have every year, sit on my couch with some candy or maybe some popcorn and watch a cute Halloween movie or two because I don’t like scary things. I don’t do the scary Halloween stuff, personal MJ story I was in 4H as a kid; it’s what you did in the corn fields of Indiana, I did girl scouts and 4H and quit both in middle school because I got tired of it, I think my mom got tired of it too but there’s that. So for 4H one weekend when I was in third or fourth grade we went to a corn maze and we were on the bus for hours, or it felt like hours to an seven or eight year old but the corn maze was fun and then at night there was a haunted maze and we had to go into it. My friend and I went into the corn maze and I don’t think I stopped screaming from the moment we walked in until we left. One of the performers who was probably in high school who jumped out at us as a zombie football player had to take his helmet off se we could see that he was just a person. Thanks dude you made my night a little better but to this day I can’t do scary things. I am pretty skittish, I jump at loud noises so in high school when all of my friends were going to haunted houses and telling me about them I avoided them like the plague. 

            None of that has to do with my decorations but I wanted to give y’all a glimpse into me because I feel like I don’t do that but the rest of the post is going to be about my décor, some of it I bought and some I made so bear with me. 

            The top of my bookcase in my office is full of pictures and stuff but for Halloween I added my cute little shadowbox DIY that was my last post and as someone who has devil horns I had to put them on my Vermont Teddy Bear that usually sports my Minnie mouse years but he gets my devil horns for the holiday unless I am wearing them. I am going to have a post about all of the fall candles I have amassed over the years but that is a post for later this month.

            Also in my office on my lower shelf I have some of my Halloween stuffed animals that I have had since I was a kid so of course they get to sit in here and hang out. 

            In my bedroom I have a tall vase full of small pumpkins and lights that I made a few years ago, I don’t remember if I ever talked about it when I was still making YouTube videos, I may go back to that someday but that day is not today, it was really simple to make and I got the idea from a magazine because they were selling something like that for a lot of money. I don’t really decorate my bedroom, don’t ask me why but I think it’s because that’s where I sleep and that’s really the only time I spend in there, I have some Christmas decorations that will go in there but I normally don’t have a lot of stuff in my bedroom.

            My living room is a different story, my table is full of things (that’s the feature picture!) and most of them are decorations, the pumpkin in the center was a DIY I did in 2017 for a video and I will eventually add more flowers to it, I did that to the one I gave my mom which is smaller but it has so many flowers on it and it looks super dope. The autumnal dachshunds I got from Target and I had to sew one of their legs back up because it was split and all of the ones they had in the store were but I love Target for holiday décor it’s always amazing. The little ‘Autumn’ metal sign should be on a wall but I don’t have anywhere to hang it so on the table it went. In front is one fake pumpkin (the maroon one) and on the left is a candle that I have never burned because I like the holder too much. 

            I also like arranging flowers, it’s a hobby of mine, at least it was for a long time and I want to get back into it but fake flowers are expensive, I mean they last for pretty much forever and I did this arrangement for my grandmother when she lived in the nursing home and she had it for a year in her room before she passed away. So it has a proud place in the fall on my kitchen counter but my kitchen is a mess and I don’t want people to see that so you get to see it atop something else. 

            All over my apartment I have pumpkins that my dad made, he likes to work with wood and has a full shop at their house and now that he’s retired he has a lot more time to actually make things for fun. I have all of them but one and the patterns are from Miesel’s if you know someone who likes to work with wood and wants to take time to make something super cute for funzies. 

            I have a bookcase in my living room that serves as a bar top as well (for someone who doesn’t drink I have bottles that I never touch and it’s…it’s a look) I have my sign board up with a cute little fall phrase and some candles because I love candles I really do and they make good décor. 

            I have pumpkins that I DIYed in my living room as well, I have one on my TV stand that says ‘One Bad Witch’ it was punny and I enjoyed it though if I could I would strip it all off and do it again because I messed up the first time.

            Next door to that I have one that I covered in rhinestones and oh my goodness I burned all of my fingers doing that and I would never do it again even though it’s so cute and I got the Maleficent dragon in a Funko Disney Treasures box when they still had control over it, man I miss those days. The squirrel next to it is something my dad made that I helped design because I made the joke of ‘desktop squirrels’, there is a bakery that has a tall one too that I helped design because sometimes we make a good team. 

            On top of the bookcase where I keep all of my trade paperback comic books (this should surprise no one) I have a little steampunk skull candle holder that I got at Yankee Candle a while back and the eyes look like they could glow in the dark, they do not which is disappointing. 

            One last place is my  entry table, I got the big pumpkin at HomeGoods last year because I wanted a big pumpkin for this table specifically. The ghost pumpkin lights up also but I normally never have batteries in them because I am terrible about even having batteries in my house let along the sheer volume I would have to have for all of my holiday décor, I got that at a little local place when I was in Indiana, and of course another pumpkin my dad made. Also because it is my entry table it also holds my house keys and one of my many masks because mask up for safety.

            There are other little bits around the apartment but nothing major and if I put in every little thing this post would be a lot longer and I think it’s long enough already. I love this time of year I love the leaves changing color and that sigh of relief that comes through the wind when the temperatures start to drop.

            I might do an updated Christmas décor when it gets to that time, which will probably be able Black Friday for me because I itch to put up my Christmas tree, though I just have a feeling that this year is going to be different. 

            Either way I will see y’all later in the week with another post! Have a good start to the week!

            -MJ  

A Fun Little Halloween Decor DIY

            Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

So we are now in this time of year where decorating your house is a revolving door and I love it so much. I love Halloween and fall so here I am telling you about a little DIY I decided to do recently. I have no idea if it’s already been done, it may not be super original but it’s here anyway. I was trying to figure something out and I was rearranging my closet and I found a shadow box that matches a Christmas one I did a few years ago and thought, hmm, I have the perfect idea for it. So I got to work finding all of the items I needed.

            So what do you need for this project, I have never written a DIY out before so bear with me. 

            What you need:

A shadow box, I found this at Michaels awhile back and I had put the words on it before I took the picture so if you buy one like this it will be plain black.

Paint pen (I used an oil based sharpie paint pen which works really well)

Spider web (I used some I found at Home Depot)

Fake spiders (I used ones from Target and I love them)

Hot glue gun and hot glue

The steps you take!

  1. I did all of my writing with the paint pen first and I found a quote I liked and put it on the front of the shadow box frame and put some little accents around it because it was a little plain with just the words, I also put another phrase on top because it seemed like I needed it there.

2. Take the back of the shadow box off and pull out the insert, I kept the pins because I used them to secure the spider web in, it has worked really well so far so if you have pins in the frame keep them, if not get a few pins to put in because it will keep the webbing in place.

3. Stretch out your web, I had to cut mine off the rest of the length of the webbing I bought because a little goes a long way when you are stretching it, use less if you want a more wispy web use more if you want a more full web. 

4, Pin the web in so it stays put.

5. Now arrange your spiders, I tried to just put them in but they were too heavy to be supported by the web alone so I had to hot glue them. 

6. I put a spot of hot glue underneath the web and underneath the spider so they had a good anchor to hang onto on the back of the shadow box frame. Let the glue dry and put the back of the shadow box back in and there you have it. A cute little décor DIY for this spookiest of seasons. 

I am hoping to do another DIY later in the spooky season but I don’t know yet because getting Halloween decorations right now is a little difficult, I know I was in Hobby Lobby and they told me that they got no Halloween decorations which shocked me so I had to search high and low for the decorations that I needed to make this. 

Any fun DIY ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Have a good week and I will see y’all later with another post! 

      -MJ