Happy New Year!

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Hello, and Happy New Year!

The blog has been a bit quiet lately….certainly not planned that way, but the holiday season got a bit busier then expected. I hope you had a WONDERFUL Christmas and that the new year is off to a GREAT start!

I’ve been pondering the changes of the new year and what my intentions in the new year will be. As our kiddos get older, I find myself wanting to simplify.  I think de-cluttering and organizing will continue to persist, but I also will strive to live creatively everyday.  Either in trying a new recipe, crafting, exploring a new shop……just trying new things is a very enriching experience.

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This mini bundt cake is an example of simple, everyday creativity.  We had one last holiday party to attend this weekend, and we always do a small gift exchange of homemade items. I originally intended to bake cranberry biscotti to go with these teas, but ran out of time. I turned instead to a cranberry orange muffin recipe, but decided to dress it up a bit by forgoing the muffin pan and using a mini bundt pan instead. A drizzle of a simple sugar glaze, fresh cranberries and pearlized sprinkles added the finishing holiday touch. 🙂

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I LOVE packaging – its a great way to make even the simplest gift seem extra special.  I hope they all are enjoying their mini cake and tea. 🙂

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I’m excited to begin living creatively everyday, and appreciate the beauty of simplicity. Thank you for another year of following this blog and sharing your inspiration, I appreciate it so much! 🙂

Happy Creating,

Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Countdown Advent Tree

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Every year I create an advent “calendar” of some sort for the kids. Most years, it truly was a paper calendar that I would decorate and add candies to, as seen below.

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Last year, I filled an antique seed display with treats, and decorated with small ornaments.

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This year, I decided to decorate a 3′ tree.  I placed the tree in a wooden box, and fluffed angel hair at the base.

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Beaded garland, small red ornaments and candy canes add the additional decorative touches.

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And, to mark the days of this celebratory countdown, I created small treat pockets from tulle and linen. I simply cut rectangles from each fabric, stitched the bottom and sides and filled with very cutely wrapped holiday chocolates.

advent-tree-close-upThe foil-wrapped chocolates are so sweet, and decorative on their own that I wanted the packaging to be visible. Using a layer of tulle was the perfect solution! And, truly, this project came together fairly quickly. Each treat pocket is tied off with string and a ticket shows the date. An ornament hook at the back of the string allows these to be easily added to the tree.

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The tree looks festive and the kids are enjoying it! 🙂

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Happy Creating,

Michelle

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Glittered Sugar Plum Fairy Ornaments

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Hello!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I’m loving all of the signs of Christmas that are popping up around town. Love seeing cars and trucks with Christmas trees tied to the roof driving about. And, our neighborhoods are starting to twinkle with colorful lights.  Sigh….I just LOVE the spirit of this season!

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So, we had a funny story in setting up our Christmas tree this year. A few years ago we bought a new artificial tree. I love real trees, but an artificial one just seemed more convenient. Anyway, the entire middle of this pre-lit tree would not light up. We played with fuses, etc. and no luck.  As I also decorate with colored, big bulb lights, I was not too invested in the pre-lit feature. As such, it took 2.5 hours to cut them all out, but we no longer have a pre-lit tree! The kids will remember this as the year that we de-lit the pre-lit tree. 🙂

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This sweet ornament is crafted from a mini tart pan, and a vintage ballerina. A scrap of gold tinsel enhances her tutu and glass glitter adds even more sparkle. Can’t you just imagine this little ballerina twirling around the stage? A vintage plastic bell trimmed in glitter is an extra touch. I love how chippy this bell is!

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This ornament is on my tree, but I’ve put a few in the Etsy shop as well! You can find them HERE.  I hope your Christmas season is off to a festive start!

Happy Creating,

Michelle

 

 

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Vintage Felt Christmas Stockings

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“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.”

                                 -Clement C. Moore, The Night Before Christmas

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Every Christmas we hang our stockings with the anticipation of  Santa (or family members) filling them with small presents and candies.  I, for one, think that the stockings are the best part!  I was wondering though, how did this tradition come to be?

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According to Smithsonian magazine, the legend goes like this:

“A recently widowed man and father of three girls was having a tough time making ends meet. Even though his daughters were beautiful, he worried that their impoverished status would make it impossible for them to marry.

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St. Nicholas was wandering through the town where the man lived and heard villagers discussing that family’s plight. He wanted to help but knew  the man would refuse any kind of charity directly. Instead, one night, he slid down the chimney of the family’s house and filled the girls’ recently laundered stockings, which happened to be drying by the fire, with gold coins. And then he disappeared.

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The girls awoke in the morning, overjoyed upon discovering the bounty. Because of St. Nick’s generosity, the daughters were now eligible to wed and their father could rest easy that they wouldn’t fall into lonely despair.”

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Another theory is that Saint Nicholas actually filled the stockings with gold balls, and that oranges became a popular stocking stuffer to represent these gold balls.

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However they came to be, I’m glad they did, as they sure look cute hanging from the mantel or down a staircase!  No surprise, I especially love the vintage felt ones. The graphics of the stockings from the 40s and 50s are so bold, and the felted ones embellished with sequins from the late 50s and 60s are absolutely charming! I love the texture of the sparkly sequins against the felt.

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 felt-wreathWhether this is the true history of the Christmas stocking or not, it definitely is a fun tradition! These small, red felt stockings were trimmed out in vintage. Vintage ribbon, a small bell and ornament, glittered snow batting, and a vintage, sequined wreath were added to dress these simple red shapes to look like their vintage counterparts.

Sweet packaging for a small gift, or as a bit of Christmas decor. These embellished stockings are now in the store and can be found HERE.

Enjoy the rest of the week, and all of the upcoming Thanksgiving preparations. 🙂

Happy Creating,

Michelle

 

 

 

 

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Golden Books for Christmas

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Hello!
I hope you are having a great weekend! For the first time in over 200 days, Northern Colorado has finally gotten some snow. Not that I’m complaining about the longer than usual Fall, but the snow was helpful to flip the creative switch for the holidays! So, of course, out came the Golden Books!

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Golden Books really are unique in that several generations have fond memories of their favorite stories. Fairly inexpensive and easily accessible (they could be found even at the grocery store), Golden Books contain fun stories and beautiful illustrations. Many well- known artists and authors have contributed to Golden Books.

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These baskets are a way of bringing this Golden Book nostalgia into functional, seasonal home/party decor.  Perfect for a gift basket or fill it up with candies. 🙂

I’ve gathered these Golden Book baskets up and have them now listed in my Etsy store. You can find them HERE.

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I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Happy Creating,

Michelle

 

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