Fancy Antlers

Category: Holiday

Back in the saddle (again)….

My father-in-law lovingly refers to their cozy Missouri homestead as "The Roost." I always look forward to our relaxing Christmas's there, enjoying the peace and tranquility of a slower pace of life.

The Missouri homestead is lovingly nicknamed “The Roost.” I love our relaxing Christmases there, enjoying the peace and tranquility of a slower pace of life.

My husband and I spent the holidays in small town Missouri with a bustling houseful of relatives. This biennial holiday event affords us many pleasures that we miss out on in our day to day Silicon Valley life. We take the dog out (without a leash), feed the neighbor’s horses, chase our nieces through my father-in-laws 7.5 acre property, drink Folgers, spook guinea hens and at the end of a long day we lay in bed listening to the freight trains whistle through the night.  The lack of strong internet connection, traffic, stores, restaurants and entertainment transformed what can be a commercialized holiday into a true family occasion. It also meant that I got copious amounts of knitting done and ate vast quantities of homemade cookies. Here are just a few photos of the backdrop to our wonderful family Christmas…

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Landscape

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Wagon

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Holiday Gifts: Just give the man what he wants!

So I realize that I’ve been a bit MIA… However, I have been taking on that challenge that comes but once a year: finding my husband’s Christmas present. Tis the season for pouring yourself over catalogs and webpages, digging through your significant other’s internet bookmarks, and desperately trying to read his mind in an attempt to know exactly what he is hoping to unwrap this Christmas.

I am a poor gift giver. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses and my weakness is gift giving. This is only further perpetuated by the fact that I KNOW that I am a poor gift giver. I wish that I was blissfully unaware of this trait… I wish that I could prance around all season long handing out ugly sweaters, lava lamps, and gaudy ornaments to all my nearest and dearest while remaining completely ignorant to their best attempts at feigned gratitude. Sadly, this is not the case. And since I am aware, I put a bit of extra pressure on myself in the days before Christmas. I research, bookmark, and make list after list after list.

This year, I was especially vexed over what to get for my husband. I had a few ideas, but none of them seemed like a home run. I wanted a grand slam! Deep down, I know that the gift doesn’t matter, but who doesn’t want to see their spouse’s face light up with surprise and joy and Christmas morning?

Last week, I realized that I was in BIG trouble. My husband was on the phone talking with his parents, with whom we will be spending the holidays. He started asking about a package… “Did you get it….” “Were you able to bring it inside…?” Then he closed the door so that I couldn’t hear and I knew he must be talking about my gift. It was more that 15 days until Christmas! He obviously had planned ahead. My heart sank, this could mean only one thing…. clearly, he had done something thoughtful.

Suddenly, I knew that I needed to get down to business. I googled… I brainstormed… I even made my poor husband do some word association exercises (his patience wore off quickly). Finally, I decided to do us both a favor: I bought him what he had asked for. No more pouring myself over strange “man” blogs, performing web searches for “cool husband gifts” and spending hour upon hour perusing thefancy.com. Just give the man what he wants!

Now, so that all my hard work may not be in vain, I feel it necessary to share some of the spoils of my toils with you. In the end, these items were ruled out for my husband (too much like last years gift…. too predictable, too fussy, too expensive, or in some cases too “flannel-y”). However, they might be just right for somebody on your shopping list.MensGifts1. Old Calgary Whiskey Wallet

2. Autodromo Monoposto Silver Dial Watch

3. Lander Urquijo Gloves

4. Gentleman’s Survival Kit. Get tips for putting your own together via pscmpf

5. Dan and Dave Vintage Plaid Playing Cards

6. Campfire Cologne. Worth watching the humorous “how to” video if nothing else…

7. Lander Urquijo Wool Plaid Ties

8. Gotham & Son’s Mercer Speakers

All Christmas, all the time.

I came across a tumblr today that is nothing but page after page of festive Christmas images. Do YOU need a little holiday fire lit under your bum? Are ya feeling a little Grinchy? You’ll be shooting tinsel out your ears by the time you hit page three of this tumblr…

Enjoy a little preview below and be sure to visit the real thing: Merry Christmas!

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images from merrychristmaschristmas.tumblr

MerryChristmas1

images from merrychristmaschristmas.tumblr

Deck the Halls: Holiday decor in our small space.

2012 Christmas Cards

The turkey has been roasted, the sweet potatoes mashed, and have finally recovered from Black Friday shopping, sooo, it must be Christmas time!!!!! This year’s first major project: Bring on the Christmas cards!

I used leftover charcoal cardstock and cut each 8.5" x 11" sheet down to fit my envelopes.

I used leftover charcoal cardstock and cut each 8.5″ x 11″ sheet into quarters. While trimming by hand is a bit more labor intensive then buying pre-cut cards, it is much cheaper. Each 8.5″ x 11″ sheet yields four cards that fit into a standard A7 envelope.

The front of each card is stamped with a snow covered winter tree. I used a metallic white ink pad and a great stamp from Paper Source.

The front of each card is stamped with a winter tree. I used a metallic white ink pad for contrast on the charcoal background. Tree stamp from Paper Source.

Using a red paint pen I added dots to resemble ornaments on each tree.

Using a red paint pen I added dots to resemble ornaments on each tree.

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For some extra Christmas flair… I bedazzled. I’m not typically the bedazzling sort, however, around the holidays I proudly wield my glitter and rhinestones. Self adhesive rhinestones: Michaels Arts and Crafts

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Silver pen to write our well wishes on the back of each card.

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You know your husband is a designer when you ask how the Christmas card looks and he says, “It needs something at the bottom to anchor it.” Wouldn’t most husbands either grunt or just smile and nod? Oh well, I married the designer and in this case, I think he was right. These glittery present stickers were $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. I cut off the bow and put them on the bottom so that the tree would look as if it had been planted in a festive pot.

The final product!

The final product! Simple but festive. Red envelopes: Paper Source.

My card wound up being pretty playful, which is okay with me. However, looking back on the first image of the tree before the ornaments, rhinestones and glitter pot, I think that this stamp could be used again in a whole new way. The stamped image alone is very elegant and peaceful. Perhaps next year it would be fun to use again as a tone on tone sort of thing. Maybe orange-red and embossed on a burgundy background? Also, since it isn’t the typical coniferous Christmas tree, I could use it for spring or fall… oh the endless options!

Ode to the Coziness

1. Pale Pumpkins, via Fleaing France
2. Glass bottles with wood stoppers, by West Elm
3. Knit Koozies, via Fleaing France
4. Quiet Autumn inspiration board, via Very Sarie

Autumn Wonder: Hues of Pumpkin

 

1. Inviting Autumn Entry, via Fleaing France
2. Shadow Plaid Throw, by West Elm
3. Copper Leaf Gourds, by Martha Stewart
4. Autumn Orange Cable Knit iPhone Sleeve, by Kare Knits on Etsy
5. Frame Leaf Art, via Pepper Design Blog

Can we get a little love for Thanksgiving?

Just a few weeks ago there were spiders, goblins, and witches as far as the eye could see. Then, almost overnight, everything is all holly and mistletoe. Everywhere I look there are Christmas commercials, Christmas decorations, and just today I heard that my local mall is having their Christmas tree lighting this weekend. Now lets just ho-ho-hold on.

Can we PLEASE get a little love for Thanksgiving?!

The fact of the matter is that I am a real life “Tinselhead.” Admittedly, I have a pretty hard time not indulging in early-Christmafocity, so with all this additional peer pressure I’ve almost caved into full blown pre-mature fa-la-looneyness. Yesterday, I let my Christmas Carol Pandora station play for a full 3 minutes before I realized the error of my ways. (Full disclosure: I had a short relapse this morning… one “Feliz Navidad” and half a “What Child is This” later I hung up my Jingle Bells and switched back to Easy Listening Radio)

Anyways. I am enacting a new personal policy to try, (key word try), to focus on Thanksgiving for the month of November. This means that despite the crafty call of consumerism, I will try to keep my candy canes in their holsters from Oct 31st – Thanksgiving Day. After all, isn’t it a fitting exercise to focus on being thankful for what we already have prior to a season in which we rarely hesitate to ask for what we want?

For whatever reason, this has been specifically hard for me this year, somehow my brain has just skipped ahead… therefore, I am seeking out some full blown Thanksgiving inspiration. Over the next few days I will be on the look out for all things Autumnal. Watch out pumpkins, move over harvest moon, straighten up birch bark…. I’m comin for ya!