Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Bohemian Meets Minimalist Christmas Tree

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This year marks the first in 7 years that I haven’t booked my ticket to Alt Summit. As a result, I’ve decorated for Christmas. And I’ve had fun doing it, too! I’ve been slowly growing my collection of decor items, and I’m at a happy place this year with a grown-up tree that’s dressed to my liking. 

I have a few personal hang-ups with holiday decor. One being that it’s impossible to store the other 12 months of the year and the other is that it takes up too much living space while out that everything feels cramped. 

I found our white, pre-lit, minimalist tree a couple of years ago at Walmart for $80. The closest I could find is this one. But I fell in love with the realistic texture of the branches and the tiny box footprint it takes up when in storage. The problem: it’s really sparse. So I got creative.

I don’t like the look of seeing the metallic pole down the center, so I bought a couple of feather boas and wrapped the center of the tree with them. The feathers added richness and weight to the tree that was lacking. 

Many of the ornaments I’ve had in the past are white and silver, but with the white tree, I felt like it’s too cold to have silver details. So I opted for warmer white and soft pink details with pops of green and dark browns. Since the tree is so obviously fake, I thought some realistic tree picks with flocked pine cones added a nice touch. And the flowers. The flowers really did it for me. 

Eco Flower sent me a wood flower bouquet for styling with my calligraphy work. As a quick shout-out, I wish they’d been around when Chris and I got married. They’re beautiful and last forever!

Chris helped me deconstruct the bouquet and add the beautiful blooms to our tree. Since they’re on wire stems, it was easy to wrap them around the branches and affix in place. In fact, most of the decor is firmly stuck to the tree so it’s quite kid-friendly. The only issue I’ve had with the decorations so far is that Junie likes to open up the presents when I’m not looking. She’s having fun and it’s no big deal to re-wrap those boxes.

In addition to the wood flowers, I got out the bunch of paper flowers I made months back out of coffee filters as a craft night with friends. The bigger, fluffier blossoms fill out the tree nicely, too. 

In lieu of a tree skirt, I got a basket from Tai Pan trading to fit the tree. I still have to cover the ugly stand with presents, but that’s a good excuse to get my gift-game on early to cover it all up. At some point, I hope to DIY a wooden stump into a stand. Maybe next year? There’s always next year. 

I’m just so thrilled with how it all turned out. I’m slowly figuring out my personal style when it comes to holiday decor, and I’m enjoying the process. 

RESOURCES: 

  • Wood flowers: Eco Flower c/0
  • 12 days of Christmas: Land of Nod c/o
  • Pink wrapping paper: Tiny Prints
  • Gold wrapping paper: Tai Pan Trading
  • Basket: Tai Pan Trading
  • Picks: Tai Pan Trading & Walmart
  • Paper flowers: handmade

 

Sponsored: Envelope Template Freebie with Tiny Prints

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This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. They provide excellent quality printing and amazing printing options to make your holiday cards stand out this year.

I love Tiny Prints. They make sending out Christmas cards a no-brainer. The designs are beautiful and already done for me (we used this one for ours). It’s wonderful to be able to simplify another thing about this time of year without sacrificing tradition. To help you simplify even more, below I’ve included a printable envelope template to help you address your holiday cards quickly. I’ve even included a fun, casual all-caps alphabet exemplar to use with the template.

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Do you have a Silhouette cutter? CLICK HERE to download the .DXF file for the envelope template. You may still want to scroll to the bottom so you can print out the alphabet exemplar as well.

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The family photos were totally chaotic, but Sam Pierson captured the energy and love of our family perfectly. And to be quite honest, I love the screaming photos. June was in the worst mood ever, she didn’t want to have anything to do with our photo session. I was worried that we wouldn’t have any good ones, but candid photos  just get me.

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CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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Use the envelope template for all-caps work with markers or pens (thicker pens work better, in my opinion), or use it in your regular handwriting! Just write the descenders last, after you take off the template.

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Shop ornaments here.

With the help of Tiny Prints, I’ve gotten grandparent, teacher, bus driver and friend gifts all taken care of. Their custom wrapping paper is beautiful and you can get it in large rolls to wrap bigger gifts.

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Shop gift wrap here.

A huge thanks to Tiny Prints for working with me this year! It’s the third year I’ve partnered with them and I’ve loved every single product I’ve ordered through them. If you have any questions about ordering, just ask!

The freebies in this post are free for personal use only. Alteration or distribution without written consent is prohibited.

Give Thanks this Christmas

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As promised the 2016 “Thank You” printable is here. It just had to stay under wraps until after Thanksgiving. This year I teamed up with Mormon.org to create a printable in-line with their #LIGHTtheWORLD campaign. Scroll to the bottom if you want to just download the freebie. I’m about to talk religion for a hot second.

I’m a Mormon. I keep it incognito most of the time, but I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We’re Christians, and this time of year I feel so much kinship with other Christian religions as we celebrate the core of our faith: Jesus Christ. This is one of the seasons of year where I readjust my focus and try to be just a little bit better. A little bit kinder. A little more Christ-like. Because, baby steps. right?

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I’m passionate about gratitude. I love writing out Thank You cards to friends and family. I love sending out snail mail!! It’s a favorite of mine. So I’ve created a printable Thank You suite for the whole family.

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The first (from left, see above) is a fold-over card for grown ups and longer sentiments. The middle is a guided card for younger writers, giving them only a little bit of space to write something. Even a couple of words. The third (which could be use for a short Thank You) is designed for emerging writers, encouraging a child to just make a mark. A picture or a scribble allows him/her to take ownership of the sentiment.

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Included in the Thank You set is a printable envelope. Print, cut and tape together. It’s pretty quick. If I have time, I’ll send the Silhouette Studio file here so you can cut it with your Silhouette machine.

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Last, but not least, I painted and lettered a phrase from D+C 59:7 (some of our modern scripture). I hope that if you’re not of my same faith, you might find this reminder encouraging to get on your knees and give thanks to Him.

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I hope you use this printable!! It’s a real pleasure to make these designs and publish them out to the world. I love seeing them in real-life situations, too. If you use it, tag me (@melissapher) so I can see how you’ve incorporated it into your Christmas.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Want more Thank You’s to print and download? See this list:

Artwork is free for personal use. Distribution and alteration of files without written consent is prohibited. Contact me if you have any questions of the terms of use.

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Calligraphy-Lover’s Gift Guide

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Happy Cyber Monday! Good grief the year is flying by so quickly. I’ve been meaning to write the reprise to my first gift guide for over a year now. Here it is. If you’ve got a calligraphy/letter lover in your family, hold on to your pants. My online class at Calligraphy.org is 10% off with code CYBER2016 from now until 11/30/2016. Discount available on gifts (hint: gift it to yourself, it’s always a good idea).

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If you yourself are a calligraphile, forward this to your family and friends. Clue them in to the hottest, awesomest stuff to gift this year. I’ve broken it up into 3 price tiers: budget-friendly, mid-range and SPLURGE! All tools are great for all experience levels. They’re tools that I have in my own studio (or ones that I’m lusting after myself). If you have any questions at all, give me a shout-out in the comments below. I’m happy to reply.

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BUDGET FRIENDLY

  • Ruler: This rolling ruler allows you to easily make parallel lines! It’s awesome. I use it constantly.
  • Gold watercolor inks: Add water and apply to the underside of the nib to make gold ink. These come in separate containers that are tiny and portable.
  • Adjustable oblique holder: Your loved one looking to graduate from the speedball universal? This is a fabulous holder that works with a wide range of nibs, even crowquills.
  • Zig twin brushes: These brushes have a foam cone, so they don’t fray or dull. They’re great for beginners, heavy-handed letterers or the busy mom & pop that have mischievous children.
  • Copic Gasenfude: It’s a nylon brush marker that has a springy touch and juicy ink that won’t quit.
  • Copperplate nib sampler: Give your calligrapher the option to explore nibs he/she hasn’t tried before.

 

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MID-RANGE

  • Sakura Koi watercolor set: It’s compact, comes with a fabulous water-brush. The pigments are brilliant and archival. Great for your artist on-the-go.
  • Calligraphy.org Gift Kit: I’m biased, but these kits include one-on-one coaching for brush and pointed pen calligraphy. So if your letter-lover has no idea what he/she is doing, we can help. Or we can push him/her farther with off-script challenges.
  • really nice brush for watercolor: I think everyone should have at least one sable brush in their supplies.
  • A leather blotter: it helps get finer, smoother hairlines to write with a blotter underneath your work. or you can customize it for a little extra splurge. Mike Ward makes the most beautiful signatures.

 

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SPLURGE

Printable: Vanilla Labels (Easy Neighbor Gift)

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I’ve had this brilliant idea since the beginning of September, but leave it to me to wait until the last minute to actually finish it off and post about it! EEP! This is quite possibly the easiest and most brilliant neighbor gift you can give this year (or next!).

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So, vanilla bean paste has become a staple in our home, so much so that we buy it in bulk. It’s mine and Chris’s favorite thing to add to our whipped cream (we have that “on tap” with our cream whipper
). The other thing I keep thinking about with holiday gift-giving is that there’s an overload of sweets that will spoil. Why not give the gift that’s gluten-free, vegan, won’t spoil and EVERY foodie will LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!

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Vanilla bean paste marries the convenience of vanilla extract and the potency of vanilla beans. Mr. FoodMadeByTom taught me the glories of this stuff way back when I took a class of his on making chocolate mousse, steak and veggies. But we didn’t use it for the steak and veggies. Although I’m sure there’s some universe where vanilla bean paste has been used in making a fancy-pants steak.

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I bought some small vials/jars from Specialty Bottle and a giant bottle of vanilla bean paste and filled each one. It’s just a sampling of vanilla bean paste, just enough for an extra potent recipe of vanilla whipped cream. Here’s the recipe for our whipped cream:

Ultra Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (pretty sure Chris puts a full tbsp) vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Put all ingredients in the cream whipper and charge. If you’re doing it the old fashioned way, put heavy cream into a chilled bowl and whip with a stand or hand mixer. Whip until firm peaks form, fold in sugar and vanilla.

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See below to download the vanilla labels. I’ve made two versions, one for home made extract the other for vanilla bean paste. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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