Friday, December 12, 2014

Slow Down and Enjoy the Season

Every Christmas I feel rushed -- I rush around buying this and that to decorate our house (on top of rushing around buying presents and stocking stuffers for my family).  By the time I'm done decorating, I'm DONE FOR! 

A few weeks ago, I was reading Bonny's blog at justsaying2u (BTW, Bonny is a great writer and her blog is full of interesting info and beautiful photos).  In that post, Bonny shared how to make dried orange ornaments. Below are Bonny's orange ornaments.  Aren't they sweet?


The directions on how to make these orange ornaments looked easy peasy.  I thought to myself "now that's something I can do and that project will help slow me down so I can actually enjoy PREPARING for Christmas."  A side bonus of this project would be that baking orange slices would fill the house with the warm and soft scent of oranges (I also decided to add a handful of cloves to my baking tray). 

Little did I know, I couldn't even "bake" orange wedges.  Bonny's orange wedges look beautiful ... and these are what mine looked like ... --> --> --> --> --> --> --> --> --> --> --> --> --> -->

Ha!, what a huge difference! (See, Bonny, I really CAN'T bake!).

But, throwing away usable things (no matter how little used) is not something I can do very easily (to my husband's chagrin).  

So here are what became of my shriveled up - albeit fragrant - orange wedges. 

Christmas Potpourri

I decided that my orange wedges would probably look fine if I mixed them with some dried pine cones, cinnamon sticks, and yarrow.

My next step was to figure out what containers to use.  I immediately remembered that I had saved a few little Martinelli's apple juice bottles because I thought they were adorable.  (I told you, I have a difficult time throwing away stuff that I MIGHT be able to use SOME DAY for SOME THING!  But in this case, even my skeptical family had to admit that these little bottles were PERFECT for the job!) 

Because they are small and round, these bottles are just the right size and shape.  And the most fun feature is the raised outline of leaves that wraps around the top of the bottle.  For some reason, this "collar" reminds me of a jester's outfit.  How fitting for the occasion, wouldn't you say?

I cut up the orange wedges into small enough pieces to pass through the bottle opening.  I mixed them with the little pine cones that I had collected last year from our cryptomeria (it's a beautiful evergreen; I will share some pictures in a later post), a teaspoon or so of cloves and a few dashes of frasier fir diffuser.  I tied a velvet ribbon (burgundy on one side and gold on the other) at the mouth of the bottle to hide the ridges and then I finished it with a casual arrangement of yarrow that I had dried this past summer.

And Voila!

Not too shabby, right? 

This success got me all excited.  I decided to make another aromatherapy arrangement, but I wanted it to be totally different from my jester bottle; I wanted something very simple.  I wanted a flat vase so I could display the orange wedges standing up.  And because I have vases of numerous shapes, sizes and colors, I found exactly what I needed.  Sometimes, the right container is all you need to make something interesting.

Here it is ... 

This vase captures and reflects the sunlight nicely so this little display takes on a different look throughout the day.  Very fun!

I still had a few more orange wedges (... and yes ... you guessed it ... I couldn't just throw them away!)...

For some reason, a plate of cookies came to mind.  OK, so since I can't make cookies (and definitely, not Christmas cookies), a plate of potpourri?  That doesn't sound very pleasing to the eye, does it?  But wait ... maybe I can change your mind.

The first requirement is an interesting plate.  How about this one?

I bought this for $3 two years ago (with no specific purpose in mind other than just because it was cool and cheap! - I can see my friend Audrey, who is a minimalist, shaking her head disapprovingly as she reads this!). I love how colors and patterns appear when the sun shines on it.

And here is my plate of goodies ...
(almost good enough to eat? ... maybe not!)

I can wrap it up, just like a plate of cookies, and take it to a Christmas open house.

I really enjoyed spending the whole day this past Sunday making these fragrant Christmas decorations.

Thank You Bonny

If you feel rushed these days, try to find something that can help you slow down so you don't let this beautiful and joyful season sneak past you.

Happy Holidays

I am linking with

Floral Friday Fotos
Weekend Reflections
Orange You Glad It's Friday
Today's Flowers
Shadow Shot Sunday 2
Mosaic Monday
Macro Monday 2
Our World Tuesday


  1. wow you made some lovely creations there.

  2. Oh I think you did beautifully Christa, you have inspired me. I bought a big bag of oranges two days ago and I was wondering if I was going to be able to use them all. Now I know :) Thank you for your sweet comment and Merry Christmas!

  3. Your composition are very creative ; I like the opposition between the texture of the pot-pourri, and the smooth of the beautiful vase you find to put on display your artcarft...

  4. Great reflection shots. This is a beautiful festive posts. Have a lovely weekend.

  5. Chista, I'm so sorry that your oranges didn't turn out as you'd wanted them to, but I think you've saved the day with a wonderfully inventive potpourri solution. I love the dried yarrow in the mixture. Your various arrangements look amazing, and you've solved my dilemma as to what I should do with my oranges once the tree comes down after Christmas ... . All the best, Bonny

  6. Oranges are such a wonderful item to decorate with for Christmas. Of course red and green are perennial favorites, but a small splach of orange is wonderful. Most of us need to slow down for sure. Merry Christmas. Tom The Backroads Traveller

    Loved going through your troubles and tribulations with the oranges and then turn it into something so wonderfully quirky.
    Thank you for spreading the christmas spirit in such an uplifting way.

  8. It appears as if you had a lot of fun in the end, resulting in beautiful creations! :)

  9. Christa, you are so resourceful! I love the aromatherapy alternatives, in all their sweet and pretty forms!

    Happy weekend!


  10. I love your potpourri arrangements. They're very pretty and I bet the fragrance is wonderful.

  11. All beautiful photos and great ideas too!

  12. Great use of the over baked oranges. I think your potpourri arrangements are wonderful. I spent a couple of hours this afternoon baking cookies, not worrying about other things to do but just being in the moment. It makes life so much more enjoyable!

  13. Your potpourri arrangements are very pretty and all your own ideas. I love that. You even inspired me for ideas, I´ll go and try to bake oranges too, I am already worried about the result, haha.....
    Anyway, the fragrance will be delightful.

  14. Your finished product looks very nice! Great job!

  15. O how creative...the scents of Christmas... beautiful.

  16. Excellent photos, beautiful ornaments with dried orange, wonderful treats his plate full of delicacy and beautiful light!

  17. Christa, your finished products look wonderful. I would love to smell the aroma.. Well done, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week!

  18. Nort only did you create a fragrant potpourri but some nice ways to display it. The plate would definitely be a welcome hostess gift here.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  19. Great post with fun ideas. I love oranges on the tree and your "baked" orange potpourri is a great idea. Wish we had scratch and sniff!

  20. These orange wedges look great and I am sure the potpourri you made is heavenly....I love the look of it.

  21. That is really neat! I have never seen orange slices used in such a way. I think it is really neat to make stuff like this....pretty wholesome and rewarding feeling. The ribbons and the oranges in that first photo really pop with color!

  22. So many lovely photos! And I hink it all went and looked well in the end. Have a nice week.

  23. Nice job on photographing the project.

  24. Nice photos, I love, especially collages end!

  25. That is so funny, but I love your Potpourri! Good thinking. I would have thrown it all out in disgust.

  26. These are beautiful! Thanks for joining OYGIF. One of your photos will be featured this weekend. Hope you could drop by.

  27. light and artwork in all of them. Beautiful and probably tasteful as well.

    You are welcome if you like to my memes: = NF Catching light and NF Blo-Ma = Digitan Art meme DAM

  28. Great idea that would certainly brighten up Christmas. Lovely photos.
    Many thanks for your kind participation in this week's Floral Friday Fotos, look forward to your next offering!

  29. Beautiful shots~
    Please come share at

  30. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.

  31. Dear Christa,
    Wishing you a very Happy Christmas!
    Lots of love,
    xoxo Ingrid

  32. Wonderful post !
    Merry Christmas !


  34. Wishing you a Happy New Year!
    xoxo Ingrid

  35. I wish you a Happy New Year !

  36. I love the way the orange wedges look and I know they smell wonderful too. Love the way you used the yarrow as well. I used to grow and dry yarrow for use in ornaments. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and happy new year!

  37. Hi,Crista,
    Wish you and your family the best for 2015!

  38. It looks like things worked out well with the orange slices after all! The fragrance must have been lovely.