Home(made) for the Holidays

by brookefiore

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For years and years I adamantly denied my creativity. I wouldn’t dare go as far to say I was the least bit artistic. I liked simplicity, clean edges, neat lines. Decorations meant clutter and clutter meat dust collector as far as I was concerned. Was this my true belief or was I trying to deny my very artsy childhood?

There was a time that I’ve discussed in previous posts where I was Miss HGTV, decoupaging the day away. I made friendship bracelets and I owned a sewing machine. I attended clay-making and painting classes. Art was a class I looked forward to. It remains a complete mystery to me where all of this creative energy went. All I know is that one day I suddenly had priorities in which art was no where to be found. My creativity had expired. Or so I thought.

Be it a place or person, something you read or something you hear, an idea in which you so choose to adopt into your daily life can come out of the blue. Suddenly I started to view crafts and design with a new pair of eyes, a pair in which anything was possible, it got me thinking “I could make that myself.” And so I did.

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I have mixed feelings on gift-giving. I am always drawn to the practical gifts and I try to find items that the receiver would not splurge on for him or herself. But a handmade gift is always personal and meaningful. This feeling has me dragging out my craft basket more and more this time of year. As I eased back into the creativity last year I began with greeting cards. Besides baking, it’s the only other time I allow myself to create a real mess.

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Ironically, while Christmas shopping at the Mystic Seaport Store this past weekend – one of my favorite gift shops in the world – I stopped to notice the wreath along the entrance way. There I was thinking I could make this using the knotting lessons I had learned so many years ago at summer camp. With a wreath from the grocery store and some rope, I was able to have a nautical inspired wreath all my very own.

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Another thing about holidays that makes me a little crazy are the copious amounts of magazines we receive almost daily. I have to say L.L. Bean, Pottery Barn, and Land’s End are the worst offenders in our household. In order to keep the piles at bay, I made a rule: recycle any duplicates and keep only one magazine from each store. Do we really need the Land’s End home, outdoor, and winter edition? I think not, especially when everything is online. Side note, this magazine recycling efforts works out well until you have a super storm in October and are left without power (and internet) for a week and decide that this is the perfect opportunity to get a jumpstart of holiday shopping.

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That being said, my mother came across a basket centerpiece – coastal evergreen it was named. It looked nice and festive while tying in the shore-inspired theme that works its way into every corner of our home. It was also fifty-five dollars. Can’t you make this? My mother asked me. Of course I could I replied before allowing any self-doubt to creep in. It wasn’t going to cost more than five dollars and a trip down to the local nature path to clip some evergreen. Not such a bad way to spend the morning if you ask me.

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With tote and clippers in hand I set out among the dog walkers and fitness enthusiasts to fill my tote with greenery. I purchased a wet foam base to place inside one of the many baskets we had in our house and used an old terra cotta saucer for the foam base. I have to admit, I have never taken a class in floral arrangements and this basket was completely trial and error. I picked out some sea-inspired adornments from my collection and just placed them throughout the juniper, cedar, and holly. I suppose I could hot-glue them into place but for now they seem to be nestled in just fine.

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I hope this post provides you with some inspiration for incorporating a little homemade into your own holiday season!

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