Thursday, January 1, 2015

DIY Nativity Stable for Willow Tree Nativiy

I've had my Willow Tree Nativity for a few years now. Each year I consider buying the Willow Tree Creche but I can't bring myself to spend $100+ on it. I like it but I don't love it because that's not how I envision the stable of the Holy family. I see it as an imperfect barn-like structure. Hobby Lobby had a few that I liked but they were a little small for the size of the Willow Tree so I passed on those. 

If you saw my Christmas Home Tour, you probably noticed the stable for my nativity scene. I ended up making one from my scraps of wood in my garage. Here is my scrap pile. Hubs wanted to throw it out a few months ago but I whined like a baby and PROMISED I'd make something from it. It takes up a lot of room in the garage but it's getting smaller with each project that I complete. 

Can you believe I built something so pretty out of this heap? I honestly think I may keep it up all year. I was hoping to have the plans for this on this post but I am still learning how to use SketchUp. It's a bit too complicated for me but I will get it eventually. So if you see a post for a nativity plan in July, that's why :)

Okay. Here are some close ups of the nativity. 
It lives on the stairs right now but will eventually be displayed on our entry table (still a work in progress).

The lighter color that you see on the inside is primed white quarter round moulding from a previous project. Stain doesn't penetrate primer so the quarter round doesn't have the same, rich walnut wood color. I could have sanded it but opted not to because I want the barn to look thrown together and imperfect. I left all of the nail holes unfilled for the same reason. The nail poking out of the roof, that was a mistake but I love how it looks.

For the building process I really didn't have a plan. 
I started this project by stacking a few scrap wood pieces and when I liked where it was going I used the air nailer to secure it. I initially made the structure too tall  so I had to cut the side pieces. I used my Willow Tree Nativity Joseph for scale since he was the tallest figure. 

Note: Engineer husbands and imperfect building structures don't mix. I knew the look I was going for but failed to convey that message to him when I asked his opinion about securing the roof. I WISH I HAD A CAMERA. I could tell it was bothering him because:

A. there was no plan "I don't know what you are doing so how am I supposed to know what to do with the roof?" Me: "I want it to go like this" ((motioning with my hand))
B. The roof was crooked. "The roof angle is off. You shouldn't have nailed it yet." Me: It's perfect. 
C. The white quarter round. "Are you going to sand that?" Me: "no"
D. The moulding in the corners were not flush.  "What is your plan for the corner gaps?" 

After that conversation he left me alone (ie I wanted until he went out of town to finish it). 

Opposites attract. Okay back to the project.

The side supports and roof are made from paint sticks. Apparently I'm a paint stick hoarder because I still have quite a few. Stay tuned :) 
Do it yourself Nativity Stable

Below you can see some nails that didn't make it all the way in. Those I fixed by tapping them in with a hammer and nail setter (one of my favorite tools).

To keep the backing secured, I nailed a paint stick vertically making sure to nail each horizontal piece to the vertical strip. Hubs made the vertical stick have a peak like the roof by cutting the top into a point.

I used Miniwax Wood Finish Stain in DARK WALNUT 2716. I used a microfiber cloth to wipe the stain onto the piece and used the clean side to wipe
 off any excess after a few minutes. I didn't use a wood conditioner prior to staining and I let some stain stay on longer 
than over areas to give it the "imperfect look."


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas // Christmas Cards 2014

Wishing you and your family the BEST Christmas and the Happiest New Year. 

This year I sent two cards because I couldn't decide on which design I loved the best. :) 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Weekend

My weekend really started on Wednesday last week. My husband went out of town Wednesday evening for his annual hunting trip. I met with my trainer and realized I can't squat after long runs. 

That evening I had a hair appointment. 10 inches and a few glasses of wine later, I had a new outlook on life. It was really starting to be a bit much with all of the running I am doing to train for my marathon. I don't wash my hair everyday, even after running, because it's not good for my scalp. Having shorter hair really keeps it cleaner and off my sweaty back during runs. Here is a little before and after for you.

The next day I had the hair cut regret. I tried styling it because I didn't LOVE it straight. MY HAIR WOULDN'T HOLD ANY NEW STYLE. I was so frustrated. I went out and purchased three new hair tools in an effort to get my desired style. NOTHING. I didn't think to wash out the products from the initial salon style. Duh Lura. After I washed it out, my hair styled effortlessly. And yall, I'm in LOVE!  I ended up returning the three styling tools and followed this tutorial using my existing curling iron. Kate is fantastic at explaining everything. Who knew the keep the ends out? Not me! Life changed! 

Thursday I worked on a few projects in the garage and finished staining my stable for my nativity scene. I'm sharing how I made it in the next post. 

Friday I napped a little longer than I wanted to but apparently I needed it. I also met with a friend to discuss my future in nursing. That was really helpful because I'd been contemplating another career change. We discussed pros and cons and everything kept coming back to nursing. I'd also considered becoming a physician's assistant but that career isn't recognized globally like nursing. IF we ever decide to move out of the country (Hubs is in the oil and gas industry so it's always a possibility) I'd hate to have to start over yet again. So nursing it is. 

I trained the pups.

A video posted by Lura Lumsden (@domest1cability) on

That night I watched WAY too many episodes of True Blood (I just started the series and I'm loving it) and went to bed around 4 am. 

Saturday was graduation day for my classmates left in the nursing program. I actually wore makeup for the first time in forever. It was so nice to see all of my friends graduate after working their asses off for eleven months! Getting a BSN in eleven months is no joke and they did it!  Here are a few photos. They all graduated with honors and with jobs! Congrats to everyone. I will see you tonight in your tacky sweaters and booze in hand. 

Blessy graduated with her forth degree! This lady is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. 

Congrats to this gorgeous lady! Love you! 

One last Wolf Pack pic! Congrats guys! 

And to my kindred spirit.  Congrats! I am proud to call you my wifey! You are going to do amazing things!  LOVE YOU! 

On Sunday Hubs came home and brought the pups some presents. 

Little giblet even took hers to bed with her. 

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lura's List

I can't believe it's Friday. Where has the week gone? What better way to start the weekend than with a few things I think you should know about. 

1. How cute is the little boy in this video? And why didn't I think to make a UPS truck that size for Toby's Halloween costume??  

2. I still need to send our Christmas cards. I have most of the addresses and half are done but then my printer decided to stop working. This year I am sending out two different cards. Does this task overwhelm anyone else or is it just me?

3. There are exactly 30 days until my first marathon. I'm freaking out a bit because my last long run (18 miles went horribly). After I got home from my run,  And after speaking with my trainer we both concluded that I didn't eat enough and didn't start to carb load early enough. I went to Pinterest and started reading to find stuff that helped other people. 

I started a new board for running. You can find it below. 

4. Tomorrow I would have been graduating with my BSN had I not failed Pharmacology by 4 points. I am attending graduation tomorrow because I am so PROUD of my classmates. Mostly it's for the closure I need. 2015 will be my year I think. I plan on going back to school in January for my CNA and work my way through school. The nursing schools that I am considering in the future will NOT be accelerated as I feel that those programs only teach you how to pass the NCLEX. Just my opinion from my limited experience. 

5. I need new running shoes. I HAVE to get them this weekend so I have time to break them in before the marathon. Since this weekend is a step down training week (my training alternates between long and short training runs each week).It's the perfect time. I'm thinking THESE from Brooks. I'm normally an Asics girl but I've heard only good things about Brooks. Any recommendations? 

2014 Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Decorations

Today I am honored to be part of a wonderful group of people that are opening up their homes and sharing what Christmas looks like for their family. I will link to them at the bottom of this post. Make sure you visit their sites; there are some GREAT homes and awesome ideas. 

I am so excited to share our Christmas home tour with all of you today. It's a little intimidating around Christmas time in the blogger world. Many lovely homes have a HUGE budget and sometimes hire people to do the decorating for them. While it's absolutely gorgeous and totally magazine worthy, it's like realistic for our home. 

This year I made it a personal goal to spend as little as possible. I found a Christmas tree on Craigslist for free (score), reused what I had and pulled a few elements from nature (the dogs loved going into the many new smells) to help create our 2014 Christmas decor. 

Our entry is a little our of sorts right now. I sold our old entry table before I had time to finish our new one (See the new one here). When it's done it will live just below the monogram. Our monogram is from League of Letters on Etsy
Half Tree
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I made the snowflakes by channeling my kindergarten skills and glued a bunch of popsicle sticks together (very detailed tutorial). I'm happy to say that I've upgraded to a glue gun since kindergarten. Glue sticks wouldn't work obviously. To secure them to the wall I used an assortment of double-sided garment tape and glue dots.

This year we decided to secure our tree to the wall to prevent any dogsasters with the puppy. Our entry is very narrow so I decided it was best to only use half of the tree. I will share how I did that a little later. 

Here is our tree at night. There is something so magical about how it sparkles at night. I love it so much! I also love how clean our floor looks (definitely not the case with two shedding monsters).

 Here is an assortment of ornaments on our tree. Most of them are handmade and sentimental. For example, the Aruba ornament is filled with sand from our honeymoon.
christmas decor
 I loved making Christmas ornaments two years ago. The sparkle on is my absolute favorite. The flower garland is old and from West Elm.

The star is from Homegoods. I really liked it when I saw it. I realized that it was a hanging votive holder but I bought it anyway. I used pliers and cut off the hanging hardware and now I have a tree topper. :)

This is our first year having Christmas crackers. When we celebrate Christmas with our UK family and friends from England, Christmas crackers are essential. I hope that having these will remind my husband of Christmas with his family in Scotland.
 Since photographing this, Kate has eaten two crackers from the tree. I found her chewing on the yoyo and shoe horn trinkets.

I fell in love with this raccoon pillow from Garden Ridge so I had to have a few. I've also placed a few faux poinsettias throughout the house. Let's be real here. I can't keep anything alive.

I have every Christmas card that we've received since we were married. I made an album which houses them all (tutorial here). It makes the PERFECT coffee table book during the holidays.

 And here is the mantle. We all know I hate our mantle. One day it will get a makeover but for now it stays ugly. This will be Kate's first Christmas so of course she had to have a stocking. I kept the mantle decor minimal. I'm not a fan of ugly cluttered mantles.
Simple Christmas Mantle
I spray painted some twigs gold and used some to display our Christmas cards this year.
Twig Card Holder

To weigh down the vase I used soil covering rocks I had left from a project. Without the rocks, the vase would topple because the branches make the narrow vase lean.
How cute are these tiny clothespins?!?! Also...WHY HAVE WE ONLY GOTTEN THREE CHIRSTMAS CARDS SO FAR? Is everyone else as behind as me?!

 And because I'm so indecisive, I chose two types of branches from the woods. Some with little ball things and some without. I spray painted both and because I didn't want to throw them away, I put them into our cork vase in our dining room. I added a bow around the vase to hide the ends of the twigs.

Twig Christmas Decor

At the opening of our dining room I hung our mistletoe, crystal ornament from my dear blogger, IRL (in real life..for the nonbloggers) friend Darby

Our nativity scene has a new home this year since our entry table isn't finished. I like it here but I don't love it. I like the idea of having the true meaning of Christmas as one of the first things our guests see when they enter our home. It's likely to go unseen in its current location.

 If you follow me on Instagram (@Domest1cability) , you know that I made the stable for the nativity scene. I plan to do a separate post about it with more photos for those interested in making their own.

 Toby had his "room" decorated before Thanksgiving and insisted that I take photos to share with you all today.

Dog Bed

The rug and little pillow are from the Dollar Spot at Target.

Outfits NOT Toby approved but this is what happens to pups who eat the fence in the backyard.
Festive bell collars.
Christmas Dog Collars

 I hope you enjoyed our home tour. Please don't forget to visit the other lovelies sharing their homes.

Friday December 12th
Saturday December 13th
Create and Babble
Down to Earth Style
Sunday December 14th
Monday December 15th
Niki Knows


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