Sunday, 25 December 2011

Last-minute Christmas fix

Happy holidays everyone! Here are a few fool-safe tricks to get into Christmas spirit.
1) Bring in the outdoors. A single branch of spruce tree in a glass vase provides instant Christmas feeling.
2) At least one scented flower. Amaryllis, paperwhites or hyacinths will make your home smell of Christmas.
3) Include food of different colours on your holiday table. Missing something green? A few decorative leaves of lettuce or a sliced avocado will do the trick.

And here's the ultimate party enhancer: candles! There is nothing more efficient for raising the holiday spirit. Enjoy!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Holiday knick knacks

A birds-only Christmas tree at Holiday Comforts.
Definitely unique and quite effective with its purely 
white and red colour scheme.
With one hour to kill in this final week before Christmas, I find myself in the Northgate Shopping Centre checking out last minute details and inspiration. The Mall is buzzling with people, lights and activity, exactly what one would expect for this time of the year. What I didn't expect though was to be greeted by chattering feathered friends in some of the Malls' Christmas trees. Take a look for yourself; these pieces are sure to  make your holiday home sing!

There is also a landing spot for multicoloured 
birds at Holiday Comforts, like this sparkling 
green friend

Glass objects, like these sculptural candleholders 
from Holiday Comforts, feel festive and reflect 
light around the room.

More glass, this time on glass plates. The plates'
fluted surface gives them an extra sparkle (see 
below). Added bonus: they are on sale at 

These shiny moose napkin rings are
one of my absolute favourites. So cute 
and what a great gift they make!
Accents by Design.
Imagine this bowl with bright, orange 
mandarines. Definitely festive! Holiday 
The wine will taste even better when served
from this glass decanter. Holiday Comforts.
For a rustic, genuine style, try Maxwell Pottery'
handmade pieces on your Christmas table. The 
colour is so right!
Golden apples in a wooden bowl. Deep and rich
festive tones. Accents by Design.
These white-and-red porcelain balls will give the 
Christmas tree a beautifully simple and old-fashioned 
look. Holiday Comforts. If you prefer more colour,
you might want to go with these mini balls from 
Accents by Design (below).

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas vignettes

Homesense's take on a Christmas vignette.
Check out their store in Sudbury for more ideas!
Create groupings of Christmas decorations this season! A vignette, or grouping of objects, is often more impactful than placing decorations throughout the house. Why? Because many pieces together make a bigger statement. How to get it right is often a matter of trial and error.

Start with a completely empty space. It can be a sidetable, your fireplace mantel or a bookshelf. Take out your Christmas treasures and start experimenting. It helps if you mix pieces of different materials, shapes and heights. Colourwise, you can go with complementary colours, or one single colour.

Remember to stand back every so often to see how it looks.

A vignette is the perfect way
to show off your personality 
and objects you love, whatever 
your style is.
You can also follow what TV hosts Steven and Chris call the "triangle theory". Here's their step-by-step guide for decorating a fireplace mantel:

Step 1: Centre your largest piece, such as an oversized mirror, on the mantel.

Step 2: Layer smaller pieces in front of the mirror.

Step 3: On the left side, add an object with movement. Sculptural, tall candle holders are a good option.

Step 4: Include something that shows off your personality; souvenirs from your travels, books you love, etc.

Step 5: On the right side, incorporate an element with visual weight. A vase filled with tall branches, for example, looks great.

Step 6: Finish off with accessories that vary in height. Try boxes and books.

VoilĂ ! You have created your own, personalized vignette! What do you think, will you try it for Christmas?

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Your throw will steal the show

This afghan in cool colours is part of Universal 
Yarn's afghan kit collection. The kit includes yarns 
and instructions and costs $99. Stix & Stones can 
also create kits specific to what you're looking for 
in cotton, silk, mohair or any other yarn. Start 
envisioning your perfect throw! 
Enhance your living room with a cozy throw this winter. Not only does a throw keep you warm and toasty. It's also great for pulling the colours of a room together, and for introducing an accent colour that will make your space come alive. If you can't find that perfect throw in the stores, think about making it yourself. With North Bay's Stix & Stones around it has never been easier! This downtown knitters' paradise has everything you need for the project: needles and hooks, afghan kit collections, beautiful yarns and an enthusiastic knitting community to support you in your efforts. A visit to Stix & Stones is sure to get your creative juices flowing. And if you're hesitating about taking on yet another project, you have the option to buy one of the fantastic throws displayed in the store. Just take a look at these:

This throw is knit as a square and comes
in a range of beautiful hand-died variegated 
wool yarns. You need two skeins at $16 each,
thick needles and one very bad movie night to 
complete it. The result: a gorgeous, highly 
personalized afghan. Tempting! 

Let yourself be inspired by Universal
Yarn's afghan knit collection.
This amazingly colourful afghan is 
made by Dianne Giroux and is for
sale at Stix & Stones. If you prefer 
a calmer colour scheme, the throw 
below by the same knitter could be 
an option. $295 each.

This baby blanket is also knit as a square and should
be a piece of cake (says the time optimist). It is made
out of wool yarn and requires four skeins at $9 each.
Whether it's a throw or a quilt, who doesn't want
to see our little ones warmly wrapped up and
happy? In a future blog, I'll show inspiring quilt photos
and beautiful quilts available in our local stores.