Archive for the ‘Crafts and Decorating’ Category

Happy Poinsettia Day! How to Select and Care for a Poinsettia

December 12, 2013

A video look at the White House Chrismas decorations — with Bo!

December 17, 2012

Bo makes a final inspection of the 2012 White House Christmas decorations before 90,000 visitors come through the doors of the People’s House this holiday season. Find out more about the 2012 White House Holiday celebrations, including the special tributes to troops, veterans and military families at

Water your Christmas tree daily

December 3, 2012

It’s really important to keep your tree watered!  Water daily.

Christmas tree safety

November 24, 2012

Fairfax County Emergency Information

Posted at 12:07 p.m.

Many families use the Thanksgiving holiday to find the perfect holiday tree and put it up in the home.

Fire Safety and Your Tree - Fairfax County Fire and Rescue DepartmentOur Fire and Rescue Department crews distributed Christmas tree safety tags to holiday tree lot vendors before Thanksgiving. The green and white 5 x 8 inch tags provide valuable fire safety tips to remember when purchasing a tree. Vendors will provide the “Fire Safety and Your Tree” tags with every tree purchase while they last.

Here are the Christmas tree fire safety tips that are on the tag:

  • Keep tree base immersed in water.
  • Do not permit smoking near the tree.
  • Use only lights that are Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) approved.
  • Use flame retardant decorations and paper.
  • Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs, and defective sockets.
  • Unplug lights at night and when leaving the home.
  • Remove the tree soon after the holidays–before the needles dry out.


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How To Decorate Your Mantel for Christmas (Video)

December 6, 2011

In this how-to video, designer Eddie Ross reveals simple steps for decorating a fabulous Christmas fireplace mantel  with simple greenery, Christmas lights and glowing candles. The result is really lovely — I think I will try this at home!



How to put lights on your Christmas Tree

December 6, 2011

Here are some tips from the experts…

First, the lights. You will need 100 lights per foot of tree.

Secondly, those light strings contain lead.  So wear plastic gloves to protect your hands, and wash your hands afterwards and before eating anything, so you don’t accidentally contaminate yourself.

Now for the decorating…

From what I’ve observed on YouTube, you can approach this a number of ways.  Some people start by wrapping the trunk with a string of lights. Some people weave the lights up and down around the tree, and others wrap each individual branch, starting at the trunk and working outward.

Here are some videos that demonstrate those techniques…

Here’s the “wrap each branch” technique from Colonial Wiliamsburg…

And here’s the “weave around the tree” approach from Home Depot…

How do you put up your Christmas tree lights?

How to Decorate a Christmas Wreath (Video)

December 4, 2011

Kim Beck, one of the visual merchandisers at Christmas Town, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, demonstrates how to decorate a wreath for Christmas in this short video.

For more inspiration, visit

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree (with White House decorator Jim Marvin)

December 3, 2011

Before I watched this how-to video, I had no idea there were so many tricks to decorating a beautifully balanced Christmas tree!

Some of these tips include using florist wire to attach the ornaments to the tree, placing larger Christmas balls deep inside the branches for background, using clip on ornaments on the very tips of branches, and decorating sections of the tree at a time to create repeated patterns of design all over the tree.

A fascinating look if you are going for a designer effect this year.

How to select and care for a Poinsettia

November 28, 2011
Photo by Scott Bauer.

Image via Wikipedia

This is a good time of year to pick out a Poinsettia for you or for a friend.  Here’s how to pick out a good one: the center little yellow-green nubs are the flowers (the red “petals” are actually leaves).  These should be closed, they’ll open eventually.  Skip a plant that has curling, yellow, or dead leaves.

Don’t let the plant get cold on the way home and don’t overwater the plant.  Place near a sunny window away from direct heat.  Poinsettias are not poisonous, but they’re also not cat food, so if you have pets at home, you may want to purchase the convincing looking artificial ones.  Check out this video for more tips…

Cool Yule Bargain Alert: 1/2 Price Colorful Trees at Sam’s Farm

December 8, 2010

My new pink Christmas tree

I dropped by Sam’s Farm in Falls Church, Virginia on Leesburg Pike (address at the end of this post) and was impressed by the beautiful decorations and trees they had there, at very good prices, too.

Half-off all artificial Christmas trees and artificial garlands

Even though I have a lot of Christmas decorations, I could not resist this pink tree for my bedroom. My bedspread has pink dots on it (imagine a Barbie bedroom and you would not be far off) and this tree will be perfect. The price was perfect, too. All the artificial trees are marked down half-price. So I got to take home this $25 tree for only $12.50, plus tax. They had some beautiful shades, including silver, gold, platinum, white, pear and lime green, purple, and soft blue.

Poinsettias a very good value

Not on sale but a very good value were the most beautiful and healthy looking poinsettia plants I have ever seen. I have my eye on one that is a soft rose coral color. It was immense and only $19.99. They had a range of prices for the poinsettias (some larger, some smaller).

Wreaths, Greenery, and Real Trees

I was also impressed with the artistry of the decorated wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces. They were exquisite, with fresh greens bedecked with magnolia leaves, floral picks and ornanments, lights in some cases, and lots of ribbons. Gorgeous! They were not on sale, but for the work and detail in these items, I thought they were quite a good value. They would be just the thing if you are entertaining, or if you have an office or restaurant and want to really impress your visitors.

Stop by Sam’s Farm, and tell them “Cool Yule” sent you 🙂 From Route 7/Leesburg Pike (east bound from Tysons), it’s a quick right turn right before Shreve Road (where the McDonald’s is). It’s directly across the street from George Mason High School. Here is the address

Sam’s Farm

7129 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043

phone (703) 534-5292

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