And Now We Wait – Update

The bulbs we planted in November looked great this spring!  The daffodils came up in 2 phases and the tulips bloomed over about 3 weeks.  It added great spring color to the backyard.  I hope those daffodils come back again next year!  This may be the only year for tulips though since you have to dig them up and replant each year.

Back in November, we spent most of a cold Saturday planting around 100 tulips & 175 daffodils in the backyard.  Liam even got in on the work.  He “helped” rake & plant the bulbs & wore ear protection just like Kevin.  Here’s the pine straw island of the backyard that we hope will be covered in pretty flowers come Spring.

Kevin rented a one-man auger to dig the holes since it seemed easier than manual digging.  He was very sore for the next 2 days because that thing is a beast to use because it vibrates constantly and jerks hard when you hit a root.  He had loads of fun digging the almost 200 holes needed with this thing.

We lined the island with 2 rows of tulips and put randomly placed daffodils in the middle.  Liam and I fertilized & planted the bulbs after the holes were dug.

Hey!  This picture actually makes it look like Kevin was having fun with that thing!  HAHA!

Liam kept just throwing the bulbs in the holes so I made sure they were right side up so that all this work would be worth it.

And now we wait and hope the squirrels don’t chow down on too many of these before Spring.  The frustrating part about this much work is the lack of instant gratification…the “after” picture looks just like the “before”.

Oops! I didn’t take an “after” picture because I was feeding Liam lunch so the “before” will have to do.

Christmas Ornament Garland

I decided that our staircase needed something pretty for Christmas.  I started researching greenery garland & figured out that the nice faux stuff was really expensive.  As I was looking for alternatives, I saw some pretty pictures of ornament garland here and here and decided go for it on a grand scale.  Since I planned to do the entire staircase, I went with a single color with multiple sizes and textures (shiny, matte & glitter) because I was afraid that multi-color would be too busy.  I found the SHATTERPROOF ornaments at IKEA in boxes of 50 for a pretty good price and bought a couple of boxes just to try it out.  I was happy with the first strand so I watched the stock on IKEA’s website for a few days until they got a new shipment & I pounced.  One of the worker’s told me not to hog them all because they weren’t getting another shipment, so I bought an extra couple of boxes just in case :-).  All in I got 22 boxes – 20 red and 2 silver.  This is what they looked like in the back of the SUV.  That’s what 1000 ornaments look like.

So as you can see I have my work cut out for me.  I found that 100 ornaments made a 4.5 foot long swag.  I need 9 swags for my staircase so that came out to around 900 ornaments.  IMPORTANT NOTE: These are SHATTERPROOF ornaments (e.g. plastic).  This is important for all sorts or reasons including safety for young kids (Liam is already enjoying playing with the garland as he goes by), storage and general sanity.

The other supplies needed for this project are 1/4″ ribbon – about 3 yards/100 ornaments, scissors, scotch tape, a towel & bows of your choosing.

First layout all the ornaments on a towel on the floor where you want to work.  Pick a comfortable place in front of the TV because each swag takes about 30 minutes to string.

Cut a piece of ribbon about 3 yards long and wrap one end in scotch tape to make the stringing easier.

Tie the other end of the ribbon to something (I used a table) and leave at least 12″ of ribbon slack at that end for hanging.

Start stringing.  I didn’t have a pattern but tried to space out the textures and sizes throughout the string with the largest ornaments in the middle.  Push the ends together as you are stringing to make sure you get a nice snug fit.  The ends of these ornaments were securely fastened so I didn’t need to worry about them popping off like the older glass ornaments will do – so if you are using those then you may want to use some glue to secure before you string.

Keep stringing.  In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the towel is to keep my carpet from getting covered in red glitter.

At the end of the 2 boxes I ended up with a 54″ swag of ornament garland.

Isn’t that pretty!

Next I used the excess ribbon on each end to tie the strand to the banister.  For the ends next to the walls – I screwed a tiny little eye hook into the banister to tie on the ribbon because those strands kept slipping down the rail to the nearest baluster.

I made a few simple burlap bows from wired burlap ribbon with a little red sparkle & added those to the end posts.

In the end, I used around 925 ornaments and 28 yards of ribbon since I made one strand a little longer than the rest since the railing was too long for the 54″ strand but not long enough to need 2 swags.   The whole project took me 5-6 hours spread out over 3 weeks and cost $200 (Garland from Pottery Barn would’ve been at least twice the cost on sale).   The time & money investment isn’t too bad since I plan to use this next year and the next & the next & the next forever.

Ready for the big reveal….

DIY: Ornament Garland for Staircase