Christmas Time is Here…

I’m happy to be back home after spending most of the past week out of town.

One of the big things on my to-do list was to finish decorating our main Christmas tree.

We started a tradition of having a “Purple and Gold” themed tree a few years ago and I enjoy finding unique ways to add a few new ornaments to the tree each year.

This post features a few of the ornaments I added to our collection this year and some of my Christmas clearance & decorating tips.

Of all the ornaments I’ve purchased over the years, I was most impressed by these two from Matashi crystals.

In fact, the packaging was so nice, I included photos in this post. You can check them out below.  They would be perfect for gift giving and would equally impress any avid collector or general individual celebrating a special occasion around the Christmas holiday (Wedding, anniversary, baby’s 1st Christmas, etc.).
I purchased their hanging icicle ornament and a butterfly ornament. Both are 24k gold plated and adorned with precision cut Matashi® crystals.

Crystal Studded Icicle Hanging Ornament by Matashi

Butterfly in a Hoop Ornament by Matashi

3 Christmas Clearance & Decorating Tips

1. Plan ahead: As I already mentioned, I  know we’re going to do a purple and gold tree each year. At the end of the Christmas holiday, I go to the stores and look for purple and gold ornaments that have been marked down to my liking– The lower the better!

2. Don’t be afraid to mix it up: I mix up old and new ornaments as well as high and low end.  I like the look of a full tree, so I’ll use some bold, “statement piece” type ornaments alongside cheaper, dollar store, ornaments.

3. Check thrift stores! When we started with our Purple and Gold theme, I struggled to find purple ornaments that I  liked. One day, I went by a Goodwill store in another part of town and LITERALLY found a gold basket filled with purple and gold ornaments. It was JUST what I needed and they were gorgeous! Always be mindful of the item quality and sanitation, but don’t overlook thrift stores!

The dark purple and gold and the gold star ornaments are from my Goodwill find!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments.  I didn’t include product links in this initial post, but I’ll be adding them soon! (Post has been updated. Contains affiliated links.)

I have a few other ornaments that I’ll share later (to keep this post from getting any longer) and I’ll post a photo of the tree once it’s done!

If you’re up for more reading, here’s a link to one of my older posts with some step-by-step directions for making your own personalized ornaments!

Until next time, Happy Fixing! 😄

It’s Never too Early to Prepare for the Holidays

Confession:  I’m one of those people who begins planning for the Christmas holiday in June…. with the goal of being done with my Christmas shopping by the end of July.

I don’t always complete my shopping goals, but I do get a good chunk of my shopping done and most of this is accomplished by targeting deals (mainly online deals– I’m not a big fan of going to malls).

I begin my shopping early for two reasons:

  1. To find good deals (I mean, really? I am Frugal Fran 😉 )
  2. To find gifts that are personalized

For me, it’s not just about finding a cheap gift. I want to find a reasonably priced gift that is actually something that the intended recipient will value and appreciate.

Too often, we end up buying expensive, last-minute gifts because we are pressure prompted.  The worst thing about this is– these last minute purchases end up being items that the person doesn’t like.

When you buy something like a gift card, you end up spending $25 or $50 when you could have purchased an item for $10 from the person’s favorite store or given them an item that they had been saying they wanted/needed.

Even better– you can make your loved one something that they can actually use or will admire.  This type of gift giving requires that we develop relationships and pay attention to those we interact with.  I enjoy making holiday wreaths and ornaments for many of my friends and family members.

Here are a few shots of a wreath I made for my Grandmother for Mother’s Day, earlier this year.



I’ve been making wreaths since I was 6 years old in Children’s Church so it took me all of 30 minutes to make these. #TrueStory


Testing one of the wreaths


Round Glass Christmas Tree Baubles Spheres Ornaments are a great crafting item to have on hand. You can fill these with glitter or feathers or other decorative items.

The metal clip can be easily removed so that the heart can be filled with the item of your choosing.

One of my favorite memories is of my personalized ornament with one my baby photos. My mom had one of her coworkers make one using a baby photo of each of her daughters.

I recently made one for a couple at my church using their daughter’s first christmas photo (Sadly I could not find a copy of my photo of the ornament in time for this blog post 😦 ).

I used the following steps to create my ornament:

  1. I took the Christmas photo and rolled it in half (without damaging the image);
  2. Used tweezers to insert into the bulb;
  3. Allowed the photo to naturally unravel itself;
  4. Clipped several sections of curling ribbons (in complementing colors — red, gold, and green);
  5. Used tweezers to insert (and adjust) the curling ribbons around the photograph (This is a great way to fill in some of the empty space in the bulb without blocking the image).

When I make a gift like a wreath or an ornament for someone, it truly is a labor of love and I think it shows. For me it is both personal and meaningful and it comes straight from the heart.

I hope this inspires you to think a bit differently as the holiday season approaches. You have plenty of time ahead to start working on some personalized gifts.  Time to start fixing some things! 😀