my Journal

2014 Holiday House Walk | Our Sugar Plum Christmas

Holiday Housewalk

Welcome to our holiday house walk and our Sugar Plum Christmas!

Once we’ve done visiting, you must stop in to visit these other blogger’s beautiful homes, you’ll be amazed by the creativity you see there.

Well, let’s get started shall we?

I thought you might like a quick peak at the setting where we live. In our city, we have a constant cycle of weeks with heavy snow, then warm Chinook winds blow in from the Rocky Mountains, creating deep puddles and slush. The day we took this photo it was – 35° C and we had to run in and out of the house to warm up our fingers and toes. But this week it has warmed up to + 8° C! This is the view from our house, doesn’t it look like a Christmas post card?

Snowscape

Every Christmas I am thankful and know that the greatest of gifts are our family and friends.

We are so blessed to have each other, our health..  and our loving, one year old puppy, Bella, who is the baby in our family.

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.”
Alexander Smith

Family Photo 2014 ChristmasThankfully this past week it warmed up enough that I was able to get outside and add fresh cedar, spruce, twigs and branches to the pots that are on either side of our garage.

Christmas Tip:  Just add florists foam to two of those black 10×11″ round plastic buckets that you can often get with your plants in the spring. Cut the greens a bit shorter (about 4-6″ off the stem) and push them into the bucket going from the center out. I always push the branches straight down as the weight of the branch will make them bend over. Add some twigs and a couple of birch branches, perhaps a few faux winter white berries.

Then loop two strands of Christmas lights around between the ceramic planter and the black bucket. Finally, make sure to fill the buckets with water. Where we live, they will quickly freeze into place, if not, you can just top up the water regularly.

I can’t wait to see them lit up from underneath tonight!

Winter Planters 2A

BI decided to add these little trees to add sparkle to our front step. This vintage silvery swag is new { if you’d like to craft your own just click here. }

Front Entryway A

Front Chair

I love these wooden folk art angel wings.

Angel Wings 2

Here are two photos from Christmas last year.. just look at all that snow! This was Bella’s first Christmas, hasn’t she grown?!

Bella Front Step 2

Front Entryway 18

Amaryllis are one of my favourite Christmas flowers, so I moved this arrangement to the front hallway. And we always have candles here as well.

When we have guests, I love lighting the lanterns that line our front steps.. and candles everywhere inside. Lights are dimmed and music is on as laughter and conversation takes over.

Front Entrance

Amaryllis

Step into our living room, have a seat and I’ll make you a homemade Gingerbread Latte, would you like yours topped with whipped cream and drizzled with maple molasses syrup?

*Sigh*.. if you really were here I would.. we’d set it down on that coffee table while we chat.

Homemade Gingerbread Latté 5

Our family room/great room is adjacent to the kitchen. I rearrange the furniture in the spring so that we can open the double doors and sip wine on our front patio. We are still in the process of selecting the perfect rug and a leaning mirror to place on the wall where the Christmas tree is.

Mid-winter.. I always bring out lots of extra pillows and throws to make things cozier. There’s always an icy chill that sneaks past the window panes and reminds us how fortunate we are to have a warm home and roof over our heads. This next weekend our family will be filling backpacks for the Mustard Seed.

Of course, little Bella loves the fur throw, I think it reminds her of her mom;)

Great Room

DLiving Room 2

G

E

You’ve already heard my story of how we bought a new tree this year if you’ve read this post. We love the snowy look of our flocked tree.

This year our theme is a Nutcracker Sugar Plum Christmas, so we have pink, gold and silver everywhere.

Living Room 2

Here is our tree lit up.. it’s soft light is so calming in the morning or at night when we’re hanging out together.
Wouldn’t a mirror behind it add so much sparkle and light?

Bella loves to sleep under the glow of the branches, aaand she tries to nibble on those branches, a big no-no!

Pink and Silver Christmas Tree

Pink Silver & Gold Christmas Tree 2Pink Silver & Gold Christmas Tree 3

Christmas Tip: Sort your ornaments by colour and store them in inexpensive clear plastic bins. That makes it easy to decide what colors you’d like to use each year. I pulled out my silver and white bins and just had to add a few pink ornaments as an accent color.

These twinkle stars are hung from ribbons every year to make our “starry starry night”, but this little Nutcracker is new this year. I’ll be adding a few little chocolate mice to this tablescape soon.. stay tuned!

Mouse King: Today king of mice, tonight king of dolls. Tomorrow.. king of everything!”

Hanging Star Mercury Christmas Ornaments

Starry Night

Nutcracker

This year I decided to create a little “village” on my fireplace mantel, I fell in love with these little cardboard houses because they are just like the tiny ones my Gran used to hang on her Christmas tree. They look so pretty next to the mercury glass I already had. I love moving things around and making new combinations every Christmas!

When we were small, every Christmas our family made the trip to her small town to spend the holiday season with her. I can still remember the splendid holiday light display on hill on the way into town that meant “we’re here!”

Christmas Mantel 1

If you’d like to make your own little feather tree, just click here.

Feather TreeI think the Sugar Plum Fairy sprinkled fairy dust in my kitchen this year.. glass apothecary jars, vintage scale, sweets and wee ornaments are grouped together to make a candy and bakery shop. I had to choose candies I don’t like.. or those jars would be empty;)
The pretty little macarons came from “Ohh La La Patisserie”!

Clara: I could never live off lemonade and candy.”

Christmas Island

These ornaments you see below are so precious to me. Most have lost their clasps and hooks, because they used to hang on my Gran’s Christmas tree. They must be about 50 years old or so.

I think the real beauty in holiday celebrations are the memories that linger..

long after loved ones are no longer with us.

Christmas In My Kitchen 10

Christmas In My Kitchen 1MacaronsChristmas In My Kitchen 5Christmas In My Kitchen 6Macaron 2Christmas In My Kitchen 9

This afternoon the bakery will be a flurry of activity. I’m baking a gingerbread layer cake topped with a cream cheese frosting and sugared cranberries. I’m contemplating a glazed bundt cake topped with crushed candy canes as well. Come back for a slice, won’t you?

Just off our kitchen, we have a formal dining room as well. It is quite a bit darker so when the lights are dimmed and candles lit it has a cozy atmosphere.

Our family is so large at Christmas we always have to spread out between two tables.. a “Kids” Table and an “Adult” Table, but lately it’s been a challenge to figure out who those “Kids” are.. everyone has grown up!!

Christmas DIning Room Tablescape 6

If we’re having guests, I like to print out the menu as a keepsake. At Christmas there’s no need, because we always prepare the same dishes every single time.

Christmas DIning Room Tablescape 7Christmas DIning Room Tablescape 8Christmas DIning Room Tablescape 9

We always pull “Christmas Crackers” at the end of our dinner, I must have dozens of black and white and polaroid photos of our family wearing crazy paper hats from long ago.

Dining Room 6

My husband calls these my “Charlie Brown” branches, I’ve had them for years and just add little ornaments to them for a little sparkle in the corner.

Charlie Brown Tree

Dining Room 5Up a few stairs and you’re in my studio. This is “holiday central” where I gift wrap and tag presents. It looks so peaceful and serene in here, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because I cleaned up right before you came to visit:)

This is where I sew, craft and do most of my photography because the light is so great in here. It’s also where I’ve started painting again.

Studio Christmas Tree

This room is a little more feminine and has an odd assortment of pieces I’ve picked up over the years.. but somehow it all goes together. The woman in the picture frame is my great grandmother.. my mother’s grandma.

Studio 3

Studio 2

Studio 1

“Christmas… is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.” Freya Stark

Thanks so much for stopping by, if you stay I may just put you to work wrapping a few presents!

Please make sure to visit the rest of the holiday homes tours.. just click here,  or go to http://www.jenniferrizzo.com. You’ll be amazed by the talent you’ll find! Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s someone who needs a little cuddling!

Narrator: It is Christmas Eve. In just a few hours, the clock will chime midnight – a time of magic, and of dreams.”

BellaLove, Smidge Bluebird

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