It is the third day of the new year, and my Christmas decorations are still up and it is drizzling outside. Before I take them down, I want to spend a little time reflecting on the holiday season. Christmas time always inspires me to create and make. From homemade gifts, to holiday decorations, to cooking for friends and family, I always have too many ideas and too little time. There was just no time to share during December so here is a peek back at some of my holiday projects!
Natural Tree Decorations
I decided to change things up this year and only decorated my (yes - fake) tree with all natural ornaments. I dried oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes to make ornaments and then strung popcorn and cranberries for a garland.
I was so happy with how the dried citrus turned out. The lights shined through the dried fruit at night looks like stained glass and was just beautiful. I am curious to see how everything holds up in storage and what I can use for next year.
Watercolor Holiday Cards
I wanted to learn the process of painting a design and then digitizing, and finally printing it on paper. I used our holidays cards as perfect opportunity. I had seen some beautiful wreaths on Instagram and wanted to paint my own! I painted a few wreaths and went with the most colorful option. I took a photo and then worked with my sister to edit it photoshop. Let’s just say I still have a lot to learn when editing hand painted designs in photoshop. I added text and saved the whole design. I used the TinyPrints “upload your own design” holiday card option, which let me use my wreath design for front of the card and then I added a few photos to the back. It was exactly what I wanted! I was so pleased with how they turned out and we got them mailed by the 27th of Dec!
Block Print Wrapping Paper and Cards
Throughout the year I keep the kraft paper that Amazon and other retailers use as stuffing in their shipments. The quality of the paper is really nice and comes in large squares perfect for wrapping paper. In the past I have kept the paper plain and used a festive ribbons, or written holiday sayings on the paper with a calligraphy pen. This year I decided to block print my wrapping paper.
I started with carving a few holiday stamps - leaves, holly berries, and poinsettia flowers. Using just red and green for every pattern helped make all my wrapping paper cohesive and the less “holiday” stamps still look holiday-y. I just had fun playing around with the stamps and seeing what patterns I could create.
A few of my gifts were gift cards so I made a few block print cards to hold the gift cards. It was my first time block printing on cards. I have a few ideas for the future!
A lesson learned only after I started wrapping my presents with the block printed paper was that my patterns needed to be tighter together. With some of my small gifts you could not really see the block printed patterns! It is only now that I realized I did not take any photo of the presents packages wrapped up. :-(.
One a cozy Saturday night in December, when I was stringing popcorn and cranberries, I asked my husband if he wanted to run to the store to get some eggnog. I had just purchased whole nutmegs and I wanted to grate fresh nutmeg over eggnog - hmm yum. He was already in his PJs and said no, I was also in my PJs, so I looked online to see if I could make homemade eggnog. After reading a few recipes I realized it was really easy and we had all the ingredients -eggs, milk, sugar, bourbon, and nutmeg. 30 mins later I was curled up on the couch, sipping homemade eggnog wondering how I got this far in life without it. It was so much better than store bought and without tons of preservatives. This is the recipe I used. One tweak to the recipe was that I stirred in freshly grated nutmeg and grated nutmeg on top right before serving.
Semi-homemade Candle Mugs
I had a plan to make all homemade gifts this year - that was a beautiful and crazy idea. The one semi-homemade gift I did make was: candle mugs for my sisters and mom. I bought beautiful mugs from Anthropologie and then made them into candles. I use soy wax which is super easy to melt, waxed wicks. They can use the candle and then when it burned down they can can easily clean out any extra wax and use it as a mug, or I will gladly make it into another candle. I think it is a fun idea to “dress up a gift”.
Any projects that you loved creating this past holiday season? Any wintery decorations that still work in January and February? I am sad to take down the tree but I am excited to start working on Valentine's Day projects!