Christmas House Tour 2014.
The Outside.

Have a look here for my Christmas House Tour Inside.

Christmas is a time for giving.  We all know that.  It’s also, of course,  a time for receiving.  I myself have already received 2 burns, multiple scratches and a paper cut that is completely unimpressive for the amount of pain it is giving me.  At least with a real gash or compound fracture you have something to show off. HEY look at this.  Look at the bone sticking through my skin.  It really hurts!  That’s the kind of thing that gets you sympathy, or if you’re really lucky gagging from whoever you’re showing it off too.

At best a paper cut gets a sideways glance and maybe a nodding of the head in acknowledgement.

Here is a list of the injuries and/or indignities I endured while putting up my outdoor Christmas decorations this year.

1.  Cut the tip of my finger in a cedar pruning miscalculation.

2.  Smashed my knee on a cast iron planter jumping down from the table my pizza oven sits on.  It was the kind of pain where you immediately throw up in your throat then run inside to roll around on the ground.

3.  My tripod fell apart in my hands.  My brand new $300 tripod.  Yup.  The leg fell right off of it.

4.  Decided to change all my outdoor lights from multi coloured to white.  Decided since all the lights worked that would be a waste of money and I’d wait until a year they started acting up.  Hung all the outdoor lights.  They all acted up. Spent gross amount of time hanging out of windows and standing on railings wiggling bulb after bulb.

5.  Cursed out loud at the lights acting up while a small child walked past.  Small child looked at me alarmed.  Pretended it was my hydrangea bush that was swearing.  Stupid bush. Hydrangeas are well known for their short tempers.

6.  Jumped off of porch railing after fixing lights in super-cool style only to land partly on porch swing and half wiping out and half keep myself upright.  Because I’m super-cool. As all the neighbours observed.

Like with the inside, I simplified the outside.  Fewer lights, fewer accessories and more cedar.

Please enjoy the efforts of my embarrassment.







Yes. That is indeed me in the middle of a blinding snowstorm (a few flurries) taking pictures outside. That was another thing I endured.  Frozen hands. Which are nearly as annoying as the song.








The best accessory for anyone around Christmastime is snow.  And piles and piles of wood.










Having an enormous amount of wood I took a bunch of pieces and fitted them into my square planters.  All I had to do was add a few boughs of cedar and the planters look holiday perfect.  Once I set them on fire they’ll be even more eye grabbing.





I tried to coax the chickens out for a shot but they refused.  I’m being polite. They did more than refuse, they squatted down, did a big poo, and then laughed at my paper cut.

Have a great weekend.



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  1. Dominic says:

    A little bit of all three…

  2. Dominic says:

    I’d really like to see your house/yard from across the street. Not so I can drive to Canananananada & stalk you, but to figure out how you do it. Your space seems HUGE, but I realize it’s not that big. I love the ideas, but I can’t figure out how you do it. Of course, I have 6 acres south of Buffalo, so I can just toss stuff out in the yard & call it done.

    • Karen says:

      What do you mean how I do it? Physically? Mentally? Or where the hell I put everything when it isn’t in use, lol? ~ karen!

  3. Jasmine says:

    Karen, your house looks very festive, welcoming and tastefully decorated. Thanks for showing off. Here’s a question for you-when do you take it down? I do my decorating early in December so that I can take it down right after Christmas. I have been known to furtively pack a few things up on Boxing Day, but the rest of the family gets irritated by this (???) so I try and wait until the 27th or 28th AT THE LATEST. I like to start the new year with a sparkling clean house with no crap laying around. This year we left to head to AZ and won’t be back until after New Year’s so it’s all waiting for me. I can’t help but feel it’s bad karma. I hope the whole year isn’t ruined now.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jasmine! Not to worry. I, personally, don’t take everything down until January 1st because I like the house to still feel like it’s in “holiday” mode on New Year’s Eve. On the first it all goes away and the house is a clean slate for the upcoming year. Also leaving the decorations up from Christmas to New Years gives me the feeling that it’s still vacation/holiday time and I like that. :) ~ karen!

  4. Sharman says:

    With all this talk of hot buttered rum I’m wondering if you have a secret recipe for it. Oops, I forgot you don’t drink but maybe you or Betty have heard of a dependable recipe.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sharman – If you go back a couple of posts you’ll find the recipe. ;) I posted it last Wednesday I think. ~ karen!

    • Sharman says:

      Uh oh! Forgive me for not reading the prior posts ….. it’s been a trying week for me taking care of a husband who just had back surgery. As soon as possible I will be concocting one of those delicious sounding libations …. and damn the calories! Thanks!

  5. Haley says:

    Your house is so beautiful! The snow is the perfect touch, good thinking. ;)

    Do you know the paint color on your wall by the back door? Our brick is very similar and I love the brick, wall color and black accents on your house. Classic.

  6. MelissaM says:

    I love the way you are able to make your place look totally solitary, like a cozy farm miles from civilization (at least from the back yard.) Plus, where did you get all that snow, and how do I get some to enhance my holidays???

  7. Stephbo says:

    Who needs the mafia when you can take out your own kneecaps? Lol! All of your mishaps were worth it because your house is stunning! Mine? If you consider mud and copious amounts of dog poop decorative, then mine is highly decorated as well.

  8. Mindy says:

    Laughed out loud enough times to make my husband look over to see what in the hell I was reading.

  9. Connie S. says:

    Karen, Your house looks gorgeous and festive and so welcoming! Makes you want to leave it all up until March at least;)
    For me , my house (inside and out) always looks so barren when i take it all down . I Luv decorating for the holidays. It’s alot of work but i think it is so worth it! so i’ll keep doing it as long as i can. It just wouldn’t be christmas without it. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Karen . Luv your blog and looking forward to seeing it and the changes in the New Year. Happy 2015!!!
    I too cut my fingertip cutting greenery last year. It was late at night (and i was tired and rushing as usual) and didn’t want to spend hours in ER to get it stitched up.( probably only need 1-2 stiches) So i cleaned it really well and used NUskin, which is like a medical superglue you can by OTC. Hubby put of couple of drops of glue on it and i pressed it together , it held together and worked like a charm! Hope your’s heals well too :)

  10. Dea says:

    Beautiful… just beautiful! Here in Houston, the only snow we see is in a cone and colored purple. I take that back, three or four years ago we had three snowflakes fall inside the city limits and drivers all over Houston went absolutely crazy. Tire stores actually sold out of chains! I really like the cedar decorations, and don’t you just love the scent of freshly cut cedar? We have to travel about 100 miles north of here to get cedar in the field; you can buy it at the garden stores, but it’s not very fresh. I don’t wish to live with snow, but it would be nice to visit once in a while. Unless I had to shovel it. Definitely not into shoveling! But if you had ordered the snow on purpose for decorating at Christmastime, you couldn’t have done better. Merry Christmas!

  11. judy says:

    Strangely what really tugged at my heart was the view of your neighbors house from your lovely porch. It made me think of all the great old house in lovely tree lined neighborhoods, sometime with wide streets and even medians with plants and flowers. Before everything became about money and efficiency and not esthetics. At least some of it is being preserved. We are in our late seventies so hark back to another age and time. Love the look of the snow-not living with it.. Icy dangerous driving. I’m the grey haired woman you pass at 15 miles over the speed limit clutching the steering wheel and hoping to get home in one piece. Don’t hate me-you too will be old one day.

  12. chris says:

    Funny. I pictured you as a die-hard old timey big bulb Christmas light gal. My hubs came home with a massively expensive 12′ pre-lit artificial tree (I despise fake, but our toddler from hell made it necessary) and the Light Keeper Pro. It’s this nifty little gunish thing that tests your bulbs when they’re acting hinky (and get this) can send a little zap of electricity through the offender and fix it. After hubs put the tree together, of course there was a whole section of unlit lights (cuz when they say “strand stays lit even with a bad bulb” they really mean it). In less time than it took baby satan to climb up the ladder behind Dada, he had identified the culprit and shocked it into submission. Bear in mind that he had already bought, assembled, disassembled, wrestled back into ridiculously too small box and returned another tree for the same exact reason. I hate that tree, but I really love that little gun.

  13. Deb says:

    I LOVE IT! I stopped decorating with a tree and tree baubles after my kids grew up and moved out and had their own kids and decided to do all of that…and I gave them all of the tree, hearth, table, etc, etc, decorations for the past 20+ years (and the ones from when I was a kid–I’m now, ahem, 60). I loved passing them on and I love looking at them from various respective houses. I still love decorating for Christmas, though. Simple touches, a wreath I’ve made, pine cones hung on red burlap on the front door, small white lights in an amazing vase with bare branches from the yard, couch pillows recovered with old cableknit sweaters. I need to go out and cut cedar boughs. Unfortunately, I did that last year and the tree got a tad bit lopsided. The snow/rain storm we had (here in Western Oregon) decided to lay the cedar tree flat on the ground. ::::sigh::::

    Regarding the paper cut, that’s pretty funny. My little brother’s phobia is a paper cut to the eye (who knew). That’s how we would retaliate against him, grab a sheet of plain copy paper and chase him around the house. (ok, so we are an odd, peculiar family).

  14. Jody says:

    Just lovely. Do you ever bundle up and sit on your front porch and watch the world go by with a cup of hot buttered rum?

  15. Sheryl says:

    That big beautiful empty urn you have by the huge wood piles? I found THREE at my local Goodwill which is probably even better than dollarama but I’m just guessing. Anyway, they were $5 each and guess what? I am a complete idiot and only bought ONE. Couldn’t think of a use for them except repotting my ficus tree. Well now that Christmas is here I am drooling over what I could have done with those other two urns. Filled with Christmas balls, pine cones, evergreen sprays, etc. etc. NEVER pass up a good thing even if you have NO use for it. This is why we are moving to a bigger house, Ha.

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