Posts Categorized: christmas

christmas + Life / Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013

Merry Christmas, love the Jepsens

A very merry Christmas to you! Enjoy the holidays!

A special thank you to Ciara Richardson of Ciara Richardson Photography and Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral for inviting us to be their models for their Flower of the Month oversized floral wreath based on an illustrated Christmas card. We call it a “live Christmas card.” This was such a stellar idea. If you ever need a self-esteem boost, have Ciara take your photos. Furreals. These two are pure magic. And thank you to Paul for letting us take his picture–his favorite thing. NOT.

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christmas + Design + DIY + holiday + Life + My Scandinavian Christmas + Scandinavia / Monday, 23 Dec 2013

Celebrating Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia (pronounced Loo-CEE-uh in Scandinavia…what is it here???) ) is December 13th and to celebrate I teamed up with the magical forces of photograph Ciara Richardson and floral designer Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral, the ladies with whom I did the Midsummer shoot. These ladies are pure joy to work with and soak in their beautiful aura. 
The holiday celebrates the darkest time of the year with a light festival (December 13th was traditionally thought to be the longest night of the year). In the Scandinavian countries, a procession of girls carry candles and treats wearing white and a red sash. The lead girl wears a crown of candles. We simplified ours with a beautiful bay leaf crown made by me and Ashley (I describe how to make it below).
Read how to make the crown and some behind the scene photos by click below: 

I looked everywhere for a pre-made crown form online and alas, they were all sold out. You can find some pretty over the top forms like this or this but they’re not as available as they are in Scandinavia. SO, I had to create my own. Not so much a problem when you’re a DIY blog. First, I tried a styrofoam wreath form like this one and I just stuck the candles directly in it and it worked like a charm. BUT, it was too clunky for the garland wrapped around so I had to come up with an alternative.
What I ended up with was using an embroidery hoop, wire, and floral tape. With the wire, I created a spiral slightly smaller than the bottom of the candle then I wired it A LOT to the embroidery hoop over and over and over. You don’t want to have flimsy candle holders. If you really want to be safe, add metal cups into the bottom of the spirals. After I placed all four around the hoop, I secured them with white floral tape (again, A LOT) for extra measure. The candles were very secure in the end.
Then Ashley worked her magic and used bay leaves in small clumps wired to the hoop. So pretty huh?! 

Thank you to Jenny Bradley for being such a beautiful model. You are magic. And Jessica Peterson for your gorgeous studio. And Audrey Ellsworth for helping last minute!

And of course, Ashley and Ciara. I don’t know how you do it.

Happy (belated) Santa Lucia! 

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christmas + Design / Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013

Chandelier Christmas tree

Let me tell you about my friend Mary. She’s been kind enough to allow me into her home on numerous occasions where I’ve plundered her place for props for this and that. I even shot the West Elm dinner table in her studio (remember?). And, she might might be the most clever and creative person I’ve met. 
She has a way of thinking that takes an ordinary object into something magical. Like this here Christmas tree. Of course, it’s not a tree, but multiple chandeliers piled on top of each other and bedazzled with greenery and brassy objects from around the house. Like lobsters and mushrooms and taxidermy and baby Jesus. 
She posted a picture of this tree on Instagram and I had to come see it for myself. I brought along Trisha to take some pictures.

Chandeliers! Greenery! Baby Jesus! You guys, the level of cleverness just amazes me. Thank you Mary for letting me show off your creation. If I could be half as clever…

photography by Trisha Zemp

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christmas + DIY + gift wrapping + Projects / Thursday, 12 Dec 2013

Candycane wrapping

I’ve been dying to share this story with you, dear readers, for a few months. Audrey Ellsworth is my star intern who’s become a good friend. She puts up with a lot and I can count on her to provide brilliant ideas and practicality. It’s a fantastic mix. Her birthday was a few months ago and I was antsy to give her a print I had bought ages ago by Jenny Vorwaller called “Sitting pretty” because, well, look! 
I gave her the print and then a few hours later she sent me the photo on the right. She had recreated the painting. Spitting image, non?! This anecdote relates to candy cane gift wrap how, you ask?
Well, I needed some last minute gift wrap to put around the cardboard tube I gave her and decided to paint it candy cane stripes, of course. I thought it’d be a fun Christmas idea, especially if you need to send a care package for Christmas or if you’re giving an art print. I’m sending a mini candy cane package out to someone tomorrow, in fact (look for it on Instagram). It’s easy and fun and I bet you already have everything you need to do it.
So, what do you need exactly? This: 
I’m not even going to verbalize the directions because I think you can see how easy it is.

Fun and easy. My two favorite words.

photography by Trisha Zemp

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christmas + collaborations + DIY + gift wrapping + holiday + paper + Party + Projects / Thursday, 21 Nov 2013

5 gift topper ideas

photography by Trisha Zemp

I’ve been wanting to collaborate with my talented friend Kate Zaremba for while now (I wrote about her work ages ago–she did textile designs for Rachel Antonoff)–and finally the time is here! Kate recently launched her illustration company where she does adorable prints, wallpaper, gift wrap, cards and custom illustrations. She was kind enough to supply me with some of her brand new gift wrap and I made 5 simple gift toppers for them with all the instructions below. PLUS, we’re doing an Instagram contest where she’ll make an original design based off of YOUR inspiration. Just post a pic of your inspiration, tag it with #giftwrapinspirationcontest and follow @kathrynzaremba. The winner will be selected, Kate will design some gift wrap, and you’ll receive it as a gift. FUN huh?! Head on over to instagram for more info. Contest ends Monday, November 25th.

In the mean time, let’s make some gift toppers for her gift wrap! I made 5 of them: a perfect bow (based one one I’ve been spotting around blog town lately but can’t seem to find an original source for), holly and berries, paper pom, the pendant, the forest. Aren’t they cute? They’re so simple to make and would be easy for any holiday gift. 
For some really lame drawings that I did to show how to make them all, read full instructions below. 

I hope these drawings are sufficient. It’s more of an experiment. I can’t draw super well with my tablet so they are super childish, but hopefully they do the job. 
One thing for the bow, I sprayed two pieces of her gift wrap together so that it would be firmer. 
With the pendant, I sprayed two pieces of her paper front to back so that it would be firmer.

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