Winter Solstice. Determination. Beauty.

On this shortest day of the year, the room has been full of Ella Fitzgerald “Wishing You a Merry Christmas” and Dean Martin singing “A Marshmallow World” just a few of the classics to make the spirits bright as the Christmas decorations get pulled together. The mission has been set. The mission will be complete. Determination will prevail. Repeated over and over again to solidify that hard work and a good dose of stick-to-it glue will help the mission succeed.


The junker in me headed to our local junk stop known as Community Treasures last Thursday. Figured I would be safe with no money in my pocket and the money card no where to be found, so I thought.

Santa displays and a huge pile of greenery caught my designin’ eye. One small 4 foot fake pine tree had been stuck in the center of a patio table where the umbrella would normally go. Check. I need that. There is a very good reason for that little tree to be here! Ideas will come to me. They usually do given enough time.  One of the great things about the brain, it will always help you come up with the solution to any of your problems. Problem: A little tree that wants to be upcycled in someway. Answer: Brain comes up with swags. Problem: How do I put swags together out of Christmas trees? Answer: Think outside the metal stand, or “outside the box”, break it down. Voila! Perfect!

Insert a big boost of confidence right here   (             confidence boost              )

If you want head over to any of our social media profiles and look for this greenery picture for the quick video of how the swags went together. By the way, this was my first attempt at making a video on Vine!


With that can-do attitude the solution to my new found problem that actually was an old hidden desire resurfaced so that I could finally have the answer that I have been looking for. Thanks brain!! So I am weird and have always wanted swags.

Wreaths being tossed in the trash bin. What!!? There is so much potential in them there wreaths! What’s goin’ on!!? Had to ask. Well the answer came to me as I held open a trash bag so the nice lady could load them up for me to take home. FREE! The whole lot made it home even though 5 of them turned into magical pieces of beauty! The little tree was loaded up along with another Christmas tree that consisted of just the limbs, one broken chandelier, a menagerie of pearl beaded necklaces and a really ugly bunch of red poinsettias. Dumper diving that day cost me only 10 dollars and a van full of greenery. After wanderin’ for a half an hour I checked out with one grand idea in mind.

Talk about energy boost like no other!
My brain started spinning out of control!
This needs to happen right now, passion kicked in!!


All the treasures were headed to work with me where the swag idea could take shape. There in a clients front yard our Swaggin’ Merry Christmas came together. The newest problem: The mission would have to wait for a few days before really getting my hands dirty on the swaggin’ idea. Answer: Patience. Ugh.

Yesterday, Winter Solstice Eve, the best friend and I headed to the thrift store. (Different then the junk store) where to my surprise we stumble upon a trashed college-dorm-left-behind Ficus tree a couple of huge bunches of silk ivy and a brown paper bag of fruit! (The fruit is for another story) As soon as that Ficus got home it was severely pruned to the sticks and the ivy was clipped to long strands. Piled all over the dining room and living room floors were color coded tree limbs, pearl strands, every Christmas “thing” I could ever need, and my C. O. R. E.

C = Confidence. The ability to provide a grand beautiful successful result.
O = Optimisim. Saturated with the attitude that the best outcome will be my thought about desire.
R = Relaxation. Being in a relaxed state provides calmness, quietness and spontenaity.
E = Enthusiasm. That ahhhh inspiring moments that inspires great accomplishments. Excitement.


So for the entire weekend my tools of choice were a pair of scissors, wire cutters that are also needle nose pliers, and a roll of thin gauge wire. Oh and we can’t forget the baubles, the ribbons and the mound of greens!! Starting out with piles of greens can be daunting. Problem: Where to start? Answer: With the first one. With each swag my confidence grew and they started going together easier and because there was great music in the back ground the creativity juices flowed and a bit of dancin’ and spinnin’ occured in the kitchen. Shhhh … don’t tell.

Structurally, the front half of our house has been transformed into a Swaggin’ forest! The 9 ft. front windows are graced with big green bushy eye brows. The dining room windows look exactly the same on top but the three windows in which the swags adorn are now dripping with three wreaths. Each wreath has a gold cross dangling from a wide striped purple ribbon. Gold and Purple the perfect colors for royalty.

Our house is absolutely the most beautiful display of Holiday Splendor inside and out. Our decorations are fit for any small town mall. Tis the season to be jolly and damn it I am deckin’ my walls and halls! Baubles of red, brown, gold, and glitter sparkle just a little brighter when the happiness warms the heart over a project well completed.


Can someone have to much Christmas? Well, I think I have reached the overdose point, but for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home and I hate the mall. So we get the best of both worlds.

As for this bein’ the shortest day of the year and the darkest day without a moon tonight I will sit and ponder what the next year will hold and enjoy the roar of a campfire, snuggle up with the boyfriend, and the black boys will warm my toes. How Normal Rockwell of us!

Happy Winter Solstice everyone!
May you confidently trust that the days from here on out will only get longer and longer and may those longer hours  bring quiet moments of relaxation, enthusiasm over fabulous Christmas decorations and optimisim for garden dreams come true.


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