The Christmas Rebellion

I am sitting here in my cozy cocoon of an “office” (my kids’ playroom with a desk and bulletin board for me in the corner), inhaling the scent of a Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle from Bath & Body Works and editing Christmas cards…and I can’t decide if I’m already in a Christmas frame of mind or if I’m still savoring the sweet, lovely days of Fall and the coming of a snug Thanksgiving weekend.

I refuse to write another rant about the skipping over of Thanksgiving in the commercial frenzy to get to Christmas…there are enough articles and blog posts written to that effect, and I get it.  We live in a culture that moves on to the next thing before the present one has even begun.  However, I just started some Christmas shopping today and I don’t want to be a hypocrite.  On that matter, anyway.

I just wanted to mention that although the stores are already decked out beautifully for Christmas, I do see a lot of “rebellion” this year against rushing ahead to December.  And I kind of like that.  Most of our neighborhood has deliberate harvest or Thanksgiving-themed decor on their doorstep.  My son’s preschool created Thanksgiving artwork for their school fundraiser, rather than Christmas-themed art (see pic below).  I ordered a garden flag with his design because a) I’m a sucker, and b) I like taking some time to decorate for Thanksgiving, too!

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And I’ve noticed a trend on Etsy for shops to offer harvest or Thanksgiving decor and products, with beautiful tones of creams, whites, and pumpkins…I feel so warm and full just thinking about it!  I had my sister create this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind wreath in those very colors because I was so inspired by the artisans in the Etsy marketplace.  Isn’t she talented?

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Although I have had Christmas card designs posted in my shop for quite some time (some people get an early start on things, after all), I have also posted some lovely Thanksgiving greeting cards and dinner invitations, in an effort to remind myself and our culture that it’s worth taking time to savor the moment.  I think America is catching on–we’re excited about Christmas, but we like the Fall, too.

So, I guess this post is inaccurately named.  It’s not really a “Christmas Rebellion” I’m noticing or taking part in–after all, I think most of us love this time of year, and it’s especially significant to those who celebrate the Incarnation.  I guess it’s more of a “Rush Through Everything Without Taking Time to Really Enjoy the Present Rebellion.”  And I’m happy about that.

Thanksgiving “Indian” Garland

I was planning to be productive around the house today (check out the load of laundry I need to fold),

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but after my three-year old threw an incredible, ungodly, humiliating tantrum at the park at the end of his preschool class play-date today, I decided to indulge myself and spend some time creating cards and posting about my latest craft project, instead.  It’s “me time,” folks.  #justgladI’mnotdrinking

My mom recently put her own Etsy business on hold (she makes GORGEOUS, handmade baby bedding) and she had quite a few fabric scraps that she gifted to me.  I loved this line from Sarah Watson for Art Gallery fabrics–it’s called “Indian Summer,” and it plays on some beautiful hues as well as the super-hot trend of woodland and native prints.  I am sadly short on Thanksgiving decor, and thought that this fabric would make a lovely addition to my (very small) collection.

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So yesterday morning, while my baby bean took his (quickly fading away) morning nap, my bean sprout sat with me on the bed while I cut this lovely fabric into bands about one-inch thick.  He desperately wanted to know what the project would be (would it include dripping glue and cutting paper into tiny bits???  Please, oh please, would it?).  Later in the evening, we sat side by side while he cut paper into tiny bits and sloppily glued them to my not-cheap computer paper (but he was having FUUUUUN!) and I completed my Thanksgiving Indian garland.

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Here’s how to do it (all craft projects completed in my home take under an hour and cost very little money, as we have two small children who are eating us out of house and home)

You will need:
5-6 varieties of coordinating fabric (about a half yard each)
a length of jute twine (mine was about 4 feet long, I think)
scissors
a window with ugly blinds that you want to somewhat cover

To do:
cut fabric into strips about one inch wide and six to ten inches long
cut twine to desired length and knot ends (or create loops for hanging)
take 2-3 pieces of the same print fabric, and lay the “wrong” sides together (the patterns should be facing outward)

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tie them in a knot on the twine, then pinch the knot together and slide the fabric toward one end of the jute twine
repeat, until the length of twine is filled
hang garland!

Craft Party

I am OBSESSED with this blog I just discovered…I have been scouring the pages of it for inspiration!  Here, she gives great tips on how to throw a lovely craft party with your girlfriends (bonus: I love the craft idea!)

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http://creaturecomfortsblog.com/

I want to either a) host a party like this or, even better (no set up or clean up) b) be invited to one!  Here’s the Craft Party invitation she inspired:

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It’s Time…

…to start thinking about Christmas cards!  I’ve added some new, super-modern, fun, and festive designs to the shop, so check them out!  Also, I am very excited to now offer printing arrangements through a third-party professional printer.  They do an excellent job for a lower cost than I could do myself, so I am happy to arrange that for folks that would like to do one-stop shopping for their cards.  I will have them ship directly to you!

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Modern Cookie Exchange

Cookie exchange parties are a staple of the holiday season.  I have always loved them–who wouldn’t want to swap two dozen of the same cookie for a heap of interesting varieties?  The only problem with cookie exchanges?  I could never quite find an invitation that set the tone for a sophisticated party.

The hunt for inspiration began, and then I saw this blog entry from Williams-Sonoma…at last!  A lovely exchange party that was modern, elegant, super-chic.  Here’s the invitation it inspired, as well as a link to the great party tips from Williams-Sonoma:

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http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/not-your-moms-cookie-exchange/

Harvest Color Paths

I am obviously obsessed with color.  I don’t know how it started (Crayola’s bajillion pack of crayons, maybe?), but from the time I was young I remember mentally naming colors I saw in print, in nature, on clothing…somebody please diagnose me with something!  (I won’t even get into the fact that I learned to type by mentally typing sentences that my friends and family would say aloud…)

But I digress.  My shop has a lovely color palette to choose from when clients are customizing their invitations and announcements.  However, it is certainly not exhaustive, and I am excited to now offer additional colorways that I will create seasonally, inspired by beautiful photos found on my travels around the Internet Superhighway (try not to envy my globetrotting ways).

My first three palettes are taken from some clean, beautiful Autumn hues.  Feel free to use these palettes to customize anything you find in the BeanPress shop, or in your own digital projects!

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Apple Dip
inspired by the lovely photo found here:

Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip Recipe on twopeasandtheirpod.com Only 3 ingredients needed to make this healthy dip!

Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip

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Fallen Leaves

inspired by this gorgeous photo:

{crunch}

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And Harvest Hearth, whose muse is this photo:

White pumpkin.  Love tart tins for tea lights.

http://savedbythesouthernbelle.tumblr.com/

Warm and Spicy

Ok, so at the risk of being hypocritical (remember my post last week about jumping ahead to the next holiday??), today I had the urge to dream a little about Thanksgiving.  It’s such a warm, cozy, yummy holiday…I have great memories of time with family, football in the background (or in the foreground, for my husband), and some crisp air (yes, that’s about the first of it we get in Central Florida).  So I ran with a theme–this is my ideal Thanksgiving palette:

Creamy Autumn