I am celebrating our anniversary. Our 20th anniversary. It is not a “silver” or “gold” one; yet, to me it matters. It is a big thing. Some days have been great and some not-so-great. We had great years and not-so-great years. We have even seen some “you-have-to-be-kidding-me!” years. However, I always try to celebrate it, even when I may not feel like it to begin with. Why? Because we both put in a lot of work here, alive and kicking, and working out life, marriage, and parenthood still. I believe that deserves celebrating, acknowledging. I believe it focuses me on what I do have, and increases my gratitude for the imperfect-yet-good guy I married who deals with imperfect me and my antics.
I was not impressed with V-Day, even early on. However, our anniversary arrives 2 weeks before, so I use the timing as an excuse to decorate in January (as soon as possible), and keep up “that loving feeling” clear through February. Now, it may just be one more thing to do, and a lot of extra “clutter” to some people, but I like the reason to celebrate and the excuse for some additional deep-winter brightness. I usually involve my children in the crafting and preparation because our Anniversary is important to them, too. We do not exchange gifts or go on trips, although those are lovely options for celebration; so, my decorating and trying to find little ways to spoil my husband and make the time special is important to me.
If you caught my post last year, some of this contains some repeat, but I think I’ve mixed things up in a fun way this time around. I should, after all this is 20 years we’re talking about. This year, I did the same thing I did for Christmas: I made an inspiration board on Pinterest (feel free to check it out here: http://pinterest.com/dragonflywingz/20th-anniversary/) and I compared what I found with what I have on-hand and what I may create.
Here is what I have going on so far: I saw some adorable burlap wreaths on Pinterest and wanted to make one for the center of my hearth. I used burlap left-over from my Christmas decor and some heavy gauge wire. The process was easy: I doubled a huge section of the wire and twisted it around itself. Then I grabbed one end of the burlap and “stitched” through it with the folded end of the wire, gathering it tightly so I could maximize the length of the burlap. This project could use burlap fabric, cut into strips, or burlap ribbon. If you opt for the ribbon, I suggest watching Hobby Lobby’s sales on wedding supplies and ribbon. If purchased at 50% off, a 15-yard costs $2.50 to $5.00 depending on the width and style. I spent somewhere between 30-60 minutes gathering the wreath while listening to a documentary with my children. Once I completed the length of the wire, I bent it into the heart shape with the wire connecting at the top and twisted the ends together. I did not think of it at the time, but you could dot the end with a glob of hot glue to make it less pokey. The last step was adding another loop of burlap as a hanger, which I finished off with another giant bow. [Free]
I liked it so well I decided to try another burlap wreath, this one wrapped instead of gathered:
I made this one with a heart-shaped metal wreath form (less than $2 at Hobby Lobby using their 40% off coupon). I began at the top and just wrapped the burlap. It took about five minutes. This one hangs by an assortment of silky ribbons and tulle. I topped of the wreath hanger with one of my glitter hearts. I like the combination of rustic burlap and soft, feminine ribbons. Totally girly! [About $2, using a coupon]
Most of my Mantel decor is the same as was on display at Christmas. I added some sheer “champagne” ribbon as a garland and mercury glass hearts, which are strung on a crushed, white ribbon. [Free] One of my favorite cast iron pieces is a small vase. I put it to work in the center to hold a glass glitter “20.”
Here are some close-ups:
I found the chalk I could not find at Christmas and scrolled “#20” on my chalkboard tray. [Free]
I found this “LOVE BUG” printable via Pinterest last year. The word, “Love,” was in red; however, my printer only does black, so I took a little time to bling it up a bit with some fine, crimson red glass glitter. The trick was working it into my frame without knocking off all the glitter once the glue dried. I made the print just below the “LOVE Bug” using WORDLE.COM. It features the lyrics to the song, Happy Together by the Turtles. When I finished with the Wordle, I printed it on photo paper, and both prints went into the same frames I used for the faux chalkboard art prints I had out during Christmas. I love versatile frames. [By the way, if you do not know the song, take it as a sign that you are young. Yea for you! However, it is so cute. Although it is WAY OLDER THAN I AM, I love it.] Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2qmiyzo9Ws&feature=player_detailpage [Both projects free]
I love candles. I treated my favorite candlesticks to some white ribbon (matching the one stringing my hearts along the mantel) and one of my glitter hearts. [Free]
I moved this ADORABLE “happily ever after” sign under our family portrait. Our tale is not over, but we’ve had a wild and crazy start, which always makes for the most awesome, dramatic fairy tale climaxes, don’t they? [I found this at Hobby Lobby on 1/2 off, so I was happy with its $5 price tag.]
I had so much fun with my gathering of mercury glass I did not want to put it away after Christmas. So, I switched out the sheet of moss for a scrap of left-over gold tulle, scattered in some broken bling (some earring jewels and pieces I will use for some upcycled jewelry eventually), and added a mini-garland “XO’. [A while back I purchased a set of letter disks by designer Wendy Addison-one of my favorites- and the disks are reusable, so I change them up to create garlands for any occasion. About $9.00, but you’ll see I used them in several places in other snapshots.
The left-side bookcase has a familiar setup. I replaced my JOY with a giant 20- again, I have not decided on a desired finish, so I left them plain. These were ordered through http://www.etsy.com/people/buildacrossjacob , who did a beautiful job. I just did not have the energy to cut them out of plywood this time; however, these are 2′ tall, smooth, and perfect. ($8.95 each, total under $30 with S&H- they are heavy.)
In this arangement: a picture of us, a family picture, and a print of the place we were married, the Jordan River Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; a print of a Dr. Suess quote, which says, “We are all a little weird, and Life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love;” a small, pewter bud vase; a cast iron “frog prince” statue; a wood sign, saying, “AS YOU WISH” (from the movie The Princess Bride); and, some glittery hearts.
I figured out a fix for the “my hearth dwarfs my arched mirror above it” dilemma. I found two, rectangular mirrors on clearance. The white color on the frames did not work with the arch’s taupe one and I wanted them to look built-in. So, I did some tricky measuring. Then I pulled out my white paint, applied a fresh coat to the area above the mantle, which was sort of a bold tan. I painted all three frams so they would be the same shade of white, and I hung them with anchors so they slightly overlapped. I am having so much fun with this upgrade. The white brightens up the wall, as does the additional reflective light from the mirrors.
The right-side bookcase is a work-in-progress still. The “MARRY ME” banner is from the same Wendy Addison disk set I used for the XO on the other side. I have yet to make my Prince Charming statue to go with the queen of hearts, but I will SOMEDAY. The “FOR LIKE EVER” is a humorous nod to my Southern California upbringing in the 80’s. [I know the grammar is off, but I laugh anyway.]
Another Pinterest find I am enjoying is this “We go together” printable. I framed it, and we have a dry erase marker next to it. I made a game out of it in an attempt to involve my husband in the celebrating. We alternate days. So far, we have used, “peanut butter and jelly,” “bread and butter,” biscuits and gravy,” and “peas and carrots.” We are not limited by food options. I want to use “Jodhaa & Akbar,” ‘Romeo& Juliet,” “Veer& Zaara,” “rubber&road,” needle&thread,” “paper&pen,” and many more. I wonder how long we can make it go. What should the prize for the last to contribute be, I wonder….hmmm.
I have other play going on elsewhere in the house, yet this new mantel arrangement is my favorite because I’m keeping it:
I will post again, as soon as I have more to share. Until then, if you would like more decorating inspiration, crafting and gifting ideas, or links to printables, check out my Pin Boards, especially http://pinterest.com/dragonflywingz/20th-anniversary/ and http://pinterest.com/dragonflywingz/Romance.