Monday, December 8, 2014

thoughts on walls and Christmas decor in China...and temple prints too

As I mentioned yesterday, I've always been pretty particular about what we put on our walls of our home.  (THANK YOU, by the way, for all the great Christ-centered art many options to ponder over.  I really appreciate all the input.)

My usual particularity on wall decor made my friend and I laugh the other day when we finally got the chance to talk on the phone.  She was laughing that it was kind of unlike me to tape up a cardboard tree on my wall for Thanksgiving (back here), and she was right.  Now I must show off the beautiful paper wreath that I made with real leaves from our hedge outside taped onto it to finish off our mantle Christmas decorations:

Elle was laughing at me on that one.  Ha!  But I needed something to finish off operation-turning-on-the-Christmas-spirit-in-China before the kids got home from school and that's all I could think of at the moment.

And how about those red paper chains the kids helped me make to string on the walls?

You know it, we went for some all-out creativity here :)

I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

A few friends introduced me to the "flower market" deep on the other side of the city trying to find some Christmas goods and I fell head-over-heels in love with that place. There was isle after isle of fresh flowers and pine boughs.  It was like a Christmas wonderland and there's something about that that is good for the soul.  

I came home with my goods and got to work decorating.
(That hedge up there doesn't look worse for the wear after being cut into for adding to my paper wreath does it?  Ha!)

I'm telling you what, those kids' eyes shone like the top of the Chrysler building when they got home from school to find all this stuff.  They could't have cared less that there was paper stuck to our walls.  They just loved that it was CHRISTMAS.  And their eyes shone even brighter when Dave brought home a live Christmas tree the office had rounded up for us.  They helped spruce it up with a few decorations I bought at the flower market.

We got that thing all lit up and magical with the light strings my mom sent with Dave's business partner (thank you Mom!!).  And then the Chinese electricity shorted those suckers out.  (I was dumb not to realize that would happen.)

So today I rounded up some new lights but those are sure hard to come by here!  The choices were blue/white or knock-your-socks-off disco colorful.  I opted for the blue/white ones and they work just fine.  Hallelujah.

But I digress, (as I often do).  Back to walls and the paper chains we have strung up on them...
...when it comes down to it, it's the meaning of what we put on our walls that makes a difference.

It could be something beautifully crafted that cost a bundle or a small little momento (or some cardboard:), what's important to me is that I want what I put up to make us happy.

We have added maps of all the places we've visited on our wall by our table (I took this picture long ago, before I added Japan and before we got to November on those calendars...), and a map of Shanghai so we can recount the places we've been and things we've seen.  
And those things sure make us happy right alongside the paper Christmas decor.

On to "real" wall art though, on the topic of walls and with Christmas coming up, I just have to give a shout out to the sweetest blog reader who sent me such a kind gift before we left for China: prints of her beautiful temple illustrations.

I am in love with their simplicity and beauty.
I looked into her website HERE and she has some pretty unique and beautiful things.

I want to get this one to put in one of my teenager's rooms:

And I love this one...what little girl wouldn't always want to be kind if she saw this on the way out the door every day:

I need this reminder every single day:

So many of those things (all kinds of notecards and prints) would make such great Christmas gifts but I think they have to be ordered by December 10th, which is coming right up...craziness.

Yes, there are so many ways to decorate our homes.  I just hope we can fill our new one with the things that mean the most to us.


  1. You are such a sweet person, Shawni. I love this blog.

  2. So Fun!! I have noticed that Japan has crazy awesome "dollar stores" anything there. Do you have them in China? Ask around!! Also look up printables on google. There are so many thing you can print out of your computer and CHEAP!!

  3. These would be darling too!!!

  4. Cute too!!

  5. You can buy Christmas decorations in China.

    I think you are smart to focus on the more disposable kind so you aren't shipping back tons of stuff.

  6. Loved seeing my daughters talented artwork blessing your home! She is a young, at home mom and has found a beautiful way to spread sunshine across the world through her prints, paintings, and drawings. -Amy Call St George Utah :)

  7. So fun to see! Glad you got a picture of the lights before they blew! Love those excited faces! Two weeks!

  8. Shawni! This post made my whole day. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing my little shop. Wishing your family a very, merry Christmas and sending love from Utah! xoxo


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