Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Beautiful Sight

More Snow!!! We awoke yesterday to another snow storm. I think we got about 10-inches (maybe more) of snow. The flakes were so big and light and fluffy as they floated down fro the sky. They almost looked like tiny white marabou feathers! It is quite a beautiful scene. We only ventured out once to go to the post office to mail a card because I didn't get out to our mailbox before the mailman came. No after Christmas sales, no shopping, no fighting the crowds. We had thought of going to a movie, but decided to just stay home and catch up on all our old Christmas movies instead. It was a fun day.
Today we are venturing out to the country to my brother-in-law's house. I hope the roads will be clear and ice free. Enjoy your Sunday!
Signature w/rose

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Minute Shopping

I think I've completely lost my mind! This morning I went to Woodfield Mall - the busiest mall in the area! I've avoided it all season because of the crowds, but something drew me there today. Perhaps it was this. (I did stop in and pick up a few things.) The truth is, the crowds were bad at all. I think all the shoppers were in line to see the fellow above instead of in the stores shopping.
Santa is situated in front of a huge snow globe in the center of the mall surrounded by lots of sparkling Christmas trees.
I stopped by Macy's to see what kind or ornaments they had this year. It's not the same since they bought out Marshall Field's here. Below is one of their windows featuring a woodland creature theme.
And below is a cotton candy pink decorated tree featuring these adorable felt purse ornaments.
When I was young my parents would take us to downtown Chicago to have lunch by the Christmas tree in Marshall Field's Walnut Room. It was such a treat to sit by that beautifully decorated tree which stood in the middle of the rich walnut paneled restaurant. After lunch we would stand in line to see Santa to tell him our wish lists. And after that we would go outside to look at the store front Christmas windows decorated in the theme chosen for that particular year. I loved taking in the many details of what they had going on in each window scene. I think back then I secretly wanted to be a window dresser when I grew up.
The other evening I took some time out of the hustle bustle of preparing for Christmas to put together this kit I bought from Brandy. It's so sweet and I just love how it turned out.
Signature w/rose

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And it Just Keeps on Coming

More snow today. It looks very pretty and normally I would be thrilled to have a white Christmas. But it does put a damper on things when you still have shopping to do and errands to run. And they are predicting more of the same for tomorrow and the rest of the week. I wish I could just stay home and enjoy it from my window, but it seems like there is always something that you have to run out for at the last minute.

For those of you who don't have to go out and battle the snow, be sure to check out the Joli Paquet blog. Jenny Heid is going to post a sweet tutorial for you later today.
Signature w/rose

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Day!

Many of you are digging out from under a blanket of white today! We got snow too, but no more than usual for this time of year! Hot chocolate anyone?
Signature w/rose

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas in the Country

Call us crazy, but my DH and I decided to take a last minute quick getaway to the cottage this weekend. No, I am not all ready for Christmas. No, my house hasn't been cleaned for having the family over on both the 24th and 25th. No, my shopping isn't done and my presents are not wrapped. But it's kind of fun to put all that aside to spend time in the snow!
We ate dinner last night at a favorite restaurant and I had to take a photo of the tree in their waiting area. It reminded me so much of my Scandinavian grandparent's Christmas tree. They always had strings of Norweigan and Danish paper flags stretched across the boughs of the tree. I feel so fortunate that I still have some of those original flags.

I hope you all taking some time to enjoy this last weekend before Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Channeling Martha

After seeing Natalea's post here, I too decided to try out this craft project from Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I have birds. I have nests. I have pine cones. I have evergreen boughs. I have toilet paper roll tubes. I had all the supplies, so it was a $0 craft with nothing to loose. The fun part is that you can hide small gifts or treats inside the log. If you don't have Martha's magazine, you can see how to make it here.
I also made this chocolate pound cake with an orange glaze from a Canterbury Naturals mix I bought at Homegoods. We used to sell this brand at the store I used to manage. Yum!
I put together these table favors/placecards for our Christmas Eve dinner using children's mittens found at Target's Dollar Spot. We always have a snowman theme, because our Christmas plates have snowmen on them. I filled the mittens with candies, a snowflake cupcake topper and attached a wee glass snowman ornament with a name tag.

Cindy shows you how to make quick and easy Christmas decorations for your home today over on the Joli Paquet blog.

Photo by Cindy Gilstrap

And don't forget to sign up for the chance to win 1 of 5 giveaway prizes by leaving a comment here by midnight today.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beautiful Angels and a Giveaway!

A while ago, I participated in The Vintage Dragonfly's Angels We Have Heard on High Paper Doll Swap. You might remember this post where I shared my angel with you. Anyway, Danielle just posted a slide show of all the Angels from the swap and you can see it here.
Guess what? We've having a Giveaway on the Joli Paquet blog!!! Hurry on over to sign up! There's 5 prizes (one is pictured above) and the winners will be announced on Friday, 12/18.
Good Luck!
Signature w/rose

Friday, December 11, 2009

Inspiration is Everywhere

I took these photos at Anthropologie with my iPhone while at the mall a few weeks ago. I'd forgotten that I had taken them until I was updating my phone and they ended up on my computer. Thought I would post them before Christmas comes and goes. Anthropologie is famous for their grand displays which have led to lots of inspiration for those of us who shop there. For instance, Pam always says her coffee filter garland (shown below) got it's roots from an Anthropologie display she recalls seeing and tried to recreate herself.

Pam Garrison's Coffee Filter Garland

Believe it or not, those giant snowballs shown in the first photo are actually made out of folded, clear trash bags and lit from behind. Isn't that amazing? You would never know that unless you get up close and study the display.
Another display that I thought was neat was this woodland wonderland make from tree branches with stacks of frosty snowballs at their base. It looks like children have been stocking up their ammunition for an upcoming snowball fight, doesn't it?
The snowball's glistening appearance comes from what appears to be simple plastic wrap wound tightly, in many layers, over styrafoam balls. The build up of all those layers is what really makes them look so good. Actually they look like ice balls - so look out!

Melissa has a wonderful tutorial on Joli Paquet today in which she shows us how to make Felt Cone Christmas Trees.
Photo By Melissa M. Hubbell

Photo by Cerri Campbell

And I hope you didn't miss Cerri's beautiful Vintage Wall Hanging posted on Wednesday.

Well, it's time to get ready for the cookie exchange party I'm going to tonight. Enjoy your evening!
Signature w/rose

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yet Another Cookie Exchange

Yes, I'm going to another cookie exchange party. This one is not a virtual cookie exchange. It's being held at the home of one of my friends. We've all been getting together every year since 2003. I love it because I don't have to bake quite as many cookies to serve at Christmas. This year I decided to make Sheila's Sand Tart recipe because they look like snow balls, which goes with my packaging theme.
I found these adorable felt totes with snowflakes embroidered on the front of them at the Dollar Spot section of Target this year. As soon as I saw them I grabbed a bunch because I knew they would be perfect for the cookie exchange. Part of the fun is finding different ways to present the cookies. The box of tea is also from Target. It comes packaged in a variety box of 9. Tea and cookies - a perfect combination!
I think these glittery snowflake tags are also from Target, but I'm not positive. You could also just die cut your own snowflake and coat it with glitter. The tag looks a bit plain in this pic, so I added a paper rosette and button to dress them up a bit.
I put the cookies in a cute cellophane bag, tucked in the recipe card along with the box of tea and tied everything up with sparkly snowflake ribbon from Michael's. I can't believe I finished these 2 days before the party. Usually I am still tying the bows as I'm flying out the door!
Signature w/rose

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hungry Reindeer ?

More treats! I made Reindeer Chow yesterday. Sweet and salty - it's a great combination!
~ Reindeer Chow ~

4 cups salted peanuts
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup red and green M & M's
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Store in covered container.
Makes about 7 cups.

Actually the reason I made the Reindeer Chow was because I found these cute little paper bags during my trip to Hobby Lobby yesterday. Sometimes the packaging idea comes before you have something to put inside of it!
Signature w/rose

Monday, December 07, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

I made some of these over the weekend. These are the white chocolate pretzels. I made milk chocolate ones too. I like both kinds. To me, chocolate is chocolate no matter what the color is.
I packaged them in these cellophane bags from Hobby Lobby.
Now this has nothing to do with Christmas, unless you use this as an ornament and come to think of it, it would be quite nice hanging on the tree I put in my studio. I found this plain white shabby-chic birdcage also at Hobby Lobby and I thought it might look cute all "frou-frou'd" up with tulle, ribbon and satin roses. So that is exactly what I did!
The birdcage goes quite nicely with my flea-market-find pink angel. . .
I guess I really should get back to work preparing for Christmas - I get so easily side-tracked!
Signature w/rose

Friday, December 04, 2009

WOW! You all are awesome! Sales in the shop yesterday were more than I could imagine! My Joli Paquet Kits (both this years and the left over ones from last year) sold out! I think making something for your home or as a gift for someone else is always special because what you create today becomes the heirlooms of tomorrow. One of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas is unpacking the oraments and decorations from my childhood which my mother and grandmother lovingly saved and passed down to me to use in my home. When I see and touch them all those happy memories fill my heart up with so much joy. I think that is what makes Christmas special for me - remembering good times shared with people you love.

Since you were all so quick to snap up my Joli Paquet kits, I scurried around last night and put together a few more to add to my Etsy Shop today for those of you who missed out.

Signature w/rose
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