Friday 13 November 2015

A Designer Christmas

   A Christmas filled with designer decor and accents and food from gourmet sources - it sounds extremely expensive, but I'm talking more small-time designer. You know: the good stuff. I'm talking Not On The High Street, I'm talking Yumbles, I'm talking things you won't find just anywhere and are all well-worth the money. It can accumulate to being quite an expensive thing but my goodness, if you could, would you not? The things you can find are amazing, be they local designers or national, your Christmas can be given a completely new edge by turning to such things, and it's my second favourite after high street Christmasses. And as an Etsy seller, Etsy buyer and general crafter, I do feel guilty saying that, but it's also a personal truth.
   So, as with my High Street Christmas post, I decided to gather up all of the wonderful things I've come across this year that I would buy for my own designer Christmas if I was ever so financially-inclined!

   The Christmas tree is so important because it has a massive impact on the decoration of the whole room. They're so big that they're an immediate statement whether they're bare or decorated, but they're fairly standard and quite expected. So what about making the tree itself stand out without the help of decoration?    Trees are so big and green - personally, I wouldn't change that - and you can get some pretty exciting trees that keep that element, such as this amazing dress mannequin tree from Carolina Bell Designs. It's loud and incredibly unique! But what has been catching my eye most this year is the birch tree look. Essentially, while I adore the coniferous side of Christmas, if you fancy a bit of minimalism or a decidedly neutral tone this year, try going deciduous. Miniature birch trees and similar are popping up everywhere, and I rather love them! But this pre-lit frosted twig tree is the best I've seen even without birch tree detail. I love its shape, its functionality and its dark colour!

   Despite how awesome minimalistic trees like those can look, I could never replace my big fluffy Christmas tree! And it would be a bad idea to because then I'd have no excuse for buying baubles! I'm a nightmare when it comes to this, I turn into such a 10 year old that I buy any bauble that catches my eye. I had to clear out the wardrobe yesterday because Christmas decorations overflowed into there from the loft last year and I'm only making the matter worse this year, so I've had to throw out old bauble sets I don't use anymore because there is simply not enough room to store them reasonably, let alone any room on the tree!
   So these baubles naturally caught my eye! A wonderful personalised North Pole sign post bauble with a 3D wooden sign post inside, a personalised Santa on a unicycle, of course, a mind-bogglingly hand painted deer bauble - I can't fathom how such a thing could be painted on a surface so definitively unflat - and a gorgeous set of alpine birdhouse baubles with white moose silhouettes that really appeals to my recently-discovered love of rustic Christmasses!

   Home decorations always draw me in the most. Trees are gorgeous and they really lay out the colour scheme of your Christmas design, but they can be a bit cluttered - not in a bad way necessarily, but rather because your eyes don't know where to look. Nothing catches the attention in particular on a Christmas tree - but home decorations can be centre pieces all on their own, fabulous details that are far harder to miss, even if they're no bigger than one of those very baubles on your tree.
   European styles have been having a bigger impact over Christmas every year, and these ceramic tea light houses are no exception. However, as they're Dutch houses, they catch my eye a little more because Seeg is Dutch. I've even had the pleasure of spending Sinterklaas with his family in the Netherlands - from my uneducated point of view, it's like a second Christmas on December 5th! So the sight of Dutch houses and similar things in Christmas decorations always make me feel...well, almost obligated to buy them!
   And as for these boot prints made by a Santa's footprint stencil, they bring back the memory of when I was about 9 years old and realised we didn't have a chimney on our house. Regardless that Father Christmas had made it in every year before, I gave him warning that year and told him to come through the letter box instead. Come Christmas morning there were gold fingerprints on the letterbox flap. My mum's idea, and that makes it even more special to me.

   Like I said in my High Street Christmas post, food is a big part of Christmas and I just love to dress it up with pretty crockery and serving ware! So while putting together this post, such things were near the top of my list - in fact, now I think about it, this whole post has been prioritised!
   So I've chosen these Emma Bridgewater half-pint Christmas mugs for my hot chocolate, this gorgeously simply 'Santa yule love this' plate from OH NO Rachio! for Father Christmas's biscuits - you really have to make the effort because so many kids don't think he's real anymore and he's starting to lose weight! Then there is this rather special stag serving bowl and plate set, and finally some monogrammed dinner plates so you can do away with place cards!

   I said in my last post how much I love to wrap my gifts as nicely as I can, but that I burn out quite quickly and often end up wrapping most of the less exciting gifts in store-bought wrap. Well, I think I just met somewhere in the middle with these finds.
   First the cards: I love this box of cards from Stephanie Davies, the illustrations are so elegant, and somehow she's managed to keep the traditional biscuit tin style without the cluttered backgrounds that so often come with it! And for the special individuals the personalisable wood slice keepsake card would have a nice impact as well as a little tree decoration!
   But as for the paper, I'm quite excited about these! Chalkboard paper! For writing on in chalk! Chalkboard walls have been a thing for a while, and then the application of that paint in general crafting and, for one or two, even slapping over their cars, but chalkboard wrapping paper is actually quite clever! No need for tags and you can apply any kind of design you want! It's very clever and, depending on how you use it, can be loud or really quite muted. And, yes, you could always just draw on kraft paper, but the simple fact that the paper is something more is half of the fun here! And as for the penguin paper doll paper...well, I bought it last year and I absolutely loved it. I even bought a few of the cards! Unwrap the gift carefully (the paper is thicker than standard wrapping paper) and they can cut out the accessories and cut out the sturdier penguin from the gift tag and dress it up! I used to have a large Victorian paper doll when I was little and I absolutely loved it, I still wonder where it went, but a baby penguin in a Christmas jumper? Aww.

   Food gifts are great at Christmas - it's one of the few times of the year you can feed someone and call it a present. But as someone who doesn't exactly relish the particularly British Christmas foods like mince pies, Christmas pudding and fruit cake, I find myself disinclined to force it onto others. So I look for either unusual food gifts, or luxurious ones. And these are some of my favourites!
   The Biscuiteers have created a fabulous 'The Nutcracker' biscuit selection and tin - 9 hand-iced spiced biscuits and a gorgeous specially-designed biscuit tin. I know I'd be happy to receive it! And how about adding a little sparkle to the bubbly with this clever little matchbox! The Strike Gold In A Matchbox set comprises of a sheet of edible 24 carat gold leaf, four small bottles of gold lemon sugar, sea salt, sprinkles and marigold petals, as well as a little collector's card and a leaflet of golden recipe ideas. In a matchbox. Awesome stocking filler, anyone?
   I first saw this chocolate igloo in Lakeland and I fell in love with it! Chocolate On Chocolate (best idea ever) have made this white chocolate igloo with a little penguin at the doorway - crack the igloo open and there are 10 milk chocolate penguins inside! I love it!! I would be a wonderful gift or a little treat for your Christmas gatherings!
   Looking for something a little more childish? Chocolate sprouts. Silly and deceptive. I love it!
   Or maybe something a little more grown up like these salted caramel and chocolate yule slices - and they're gluten- and dairy-free so perfect for people with intolerances!
   And maybe there's a small someone in need of an unusual treat, or you like to act like you're 5 years old and don't care who knows it. I'm with you. And so is this paint-your-own biscuit. Yes, paint your own biscuit. Entirely edible except for the brush itself, just wet the paint brush and dip it in the food colouring 'palette' and paint the biscuit - try to keep it in the lines! Then scoff the lot. It's one of the best things I've seen this year!

This would be my ideal designer Christmas.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

1 comment:

  1. I love the simplicity of your Christmas decor. Pinning! I'm still enjoying Thanksgiving decorations at my house but thinking about Christmas:)


I do read every single comment, and I will try to respond where I can. If you have an important question about my blog or my shop, however, then you might be better off contacting me directly by email. Thanks so much for reading my blog!