Archive | December, 2012

Christmas wishes from Decorator’s Notebook x

25 Dec

vintage illustration Christmas party{via Jill Clark}

May your days be merry and bright!

All my love for a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2013

DN xxx

Free printable! 16 illustrated Christmas gift tags

17 Dec

It’s been brilliant having you all read my blog over the past year – it feels like last Christmas was only moments ago but so much has happened over the past year and 2013 is going to be the most exciting yet for Decorator’s Notebook. So to say thank you for reading I’ve been hard at work drawing a little present just for you!

free holiday gift tagsfree Christmas gift tagsdownloadable gift tags http://decoratorsnotebook.wordpress.com/{© Decorator’s Notebook / Photographs Joe John}

There are 16 different hand-drawn Christmas gift tag designs to print on any card you like. The PDF is free to download by clicking the link below… in return, please share an image and link via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest by hitting one of the buttons at the bottom of the post. If you have your own blog please feel free to share it there too, but please post a link to Decorator’s Notebook rather than the PDF itself.

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST THEN CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PDF

Possibly the world’s most beautiful baubles

15 Dec

There have been a lot of white and natural Christmas decorations round here recently, so I wanted to share some slightly different today. Bollywood Christmas sells colourful handpainted papier mache baubles made in Kashmir. Each spring local artisans leave their villages and gather to choose the design they want to paint, then return a few months later with their delicately painted wares.

Indian papier mache baubles

This year’s designs are selling out fast, but if you’re quick you’ve still got a couple of days to place an order before Christmas and add an extra splash of colour to your tree!

15-minute make: mulled wine syrup

14 Dec

perfect mulled wine recipe

Here’s an odd quirk of mine – I really dislike wine (red, white, rose, sparkling – everything) but I love mulled wine. I’m not sure what that says about my taste buds, but it makes perfect sense to me! So, today’s 15-minute make is a gently-spiced mulled wine recipe that just tastes like Christmas… and makes your house smell like it too. There’s a little more to it than the regular teabag-in-a-pan method, but you end up with a lovely syrup base that can be bottled and used on another occasion. A bottle of this mulled wine syrup would make a nice last-minute homemade Christmas present too.

mulled wine syrup recipe

Mulled Wine Syrup 

Makes 12 servings

1 orange
1 lemon, peel only
150g golden caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods, gently bashed
5 cloves
Pinch grated nutmeg
Splash of red wine
 
Add to…
2 bottles of fruity red wine
150ml ginger wine
Orange slices to garnish
 

1) Squeeze the juice from the orange and place in a large pan together with the orange shells, lemon peel, sugar and spices. Add a small glug of wine (just enough to cover the sugar) and heat gently  until the sugar has dissolved, stirring every now and again. Bring to the boil and bubble for 5-8 minutes until you have a thick syrup. At this stage you can leave the syrup to cool slightly then pour into a sterilised bottle. If you’re thirsty now, carry on…

2) Turn the heat down and add the red wine and ginger wine to the saucepan. Warm through gently, giving it a stir occasionally Have a taste and add a touch of sugar or lemon juice if you need it. Serve in heatproof glasses garnished with orange slices.

mulled wine ingredients{Photographs Hannah Queen / Recipe adapted from Felicity Cloake}

House tour: white and Christmassy Danish home

12 Dec

This wonderfully white home is from Danish Bo Bedre, so I’m afraid I can’t offer you much by way of a story to go with it. But then when a house is this simple and pretty, it can probably speak for itself!

white Scandinavian Christmas house

Christmas table flowers

Christmas dining table

Scandinavian home interior

Christmas gift wrap ideas

Danish home decor

Christmas tree white living room

paper heart tree decoration

white kitchen scrapwood wallpaper

Christmas holiday decorations

hall with bamboo wallpaper

simple Christmas decorations

metal bath tub

arts and crafts villa Denmark

{Bo Bedre}

I’ve been pondering the virtues of Piet van Eek scrapwood wallpaper quite a bit recently, and it looks great in this kitchen. I remember weaving little heart-shaped paper baskets for the Christmas tree at school and I like the idea of a grown-up version made with offcuts of wallpaper. It’s something I always seem to have rather a lot of! If you can’t remember how to make them, here’s an easy peasy paper heart decoration tutorial.

Possibly the best mug ever

10 Dec

I love Toot as in Foot. Not only does it have one of the best blog names ever, author Jo always makes me laugh with her quirky tales and apparently fathomless vintage knowledge. If you’ve never seen a human jumble sale or you don’t yet know the weird and wonderful tale of Resusci Annie, you need to add this blog to your reading list.

homemade pottery mugs Toot as in Foot{Jo Waterhouse / Toot as in Foot}

I also think that Jo shares my compulsion to have a stab at new crafts… while I’ve been trying out screenprinting, she’s been playing around on the potters wheel. These wonderfully wobbly mugs are the fruits of her endeavours and they’re all so lovely I hope she won’t mind me sharing them. The one on the bottom right is captioned ‘possibly the worst mug ever’… and it’s absolutely my favourite.

Have you mastered any new skills during 2012 and what would you like to try in 2013?

15-minute make: ribbon star tree decoration

7 Dec

So, here begins a new little mini series I’ll be visiting on Decorator’s Notebook from time to time. I love settling down to a day of solid crafting with only a box of materials, cake and tea for company as much as the next girl. But in reality, we all know that finding the time to be creative is hard. So in this post I’ll be collecting together stylish craft ideas that you can reasonably start and finish in the time it takes to drink a mug of earl grey.

homemade star Christmas decoration

{Crafts & Creativity}

To make this ribbon wrapped star Christmas decoration, simply bend a strip of wire into a basic star shape with a hook at the top, wrap with a length of ribbon and tie the loose ends in a bow. Visit Craft & Creativity blog for step-by-step instructions. Try Jane Means for a beautiful selection of seasonal ribbons or try it with jute string or striped baker’s twine for a more relaxed look. Your local hardware shop is the place to buy thick wire (pick up a pair of pliers at the same time to make it easier to bend into shape).

Let me know if you have a go at this and share a photo via Twitter @DecoratorsNotes or my brand new Facebook page.

Have a lovely weekend!

Put another log on the fire for me

5 Dec

Brrrrrrr, it’s getting nippy out!

rooms with open fires

{via Bonytt / Planete Deco / Devon Fires / Living Agency}

Every house I grew up in had a roaring open fire, so when the weather turns, central heating just doesn’t do it for me. Nothing feels cosier than gathering around the hearth on a chilly evening and to my mind, living rooms just don’t have a natural focal point without one.

fireplaces

{via HK Living / Keltainen Talo Rannalla / Oh, Pioneer / Bo Bedre}

Looking at these welcoming open fires makes me feel that a working fireplace has to be on the ‘must haves’ list for my next home. In the meantime, I’ll have to make the most of the woodburner at my parent’s house while I’m home for Christmas… if I can wrestle the dog out of prime position on the rug that is!

Stay warm peeps xxx

Yes, it’s true…

4 Dec

Decorator's Notebook Facebook

At present I only have family members and a handful of spammers for followers so please come and like Decorator’s Notebook’s Facebook page so I don’t feel like a complete social media recluse. In return, I’ll be posting freebies, giveaways and exciting snippets of news so come and join my gang!

Don’t forget, you can still follow my posts, tweets and pins too.

5 best simple Christmas centrepiece ideas

3 Dec

Decorating the table is one of my favourite Christmas day traditions, and my Mum and I always join forces to get it looking really special. This year I’ve been on the lookout for easy Christmas centrepiece ideas that have something a little bit different about them – here’s a selection of my favourites.

Christmas table centrepiece jar with floating candle{Better Homes & Gardens}

The great thing about this floating candle centrepiece is that you probably have all the things you need to make it at home already. Simply fill a Kilner jar two-thirds with water, wedge some offcuts of foliage into the bottom (this is a good use for those Christmas tree trimmings), add a handful of cranberries and finish with a floating candle. This would look even lovelier if you made up several different sized jars and dotted them down the centre of a long table, or along the mantlepiece.

white Christmas table ideas{Stylizimo}

Here’s another festive centrepiece that would work very nicely with a natural theme. Take a large shallow dish (this Moroccan metal bowl of mine would be ideal) and fill with compost, three hyacinth bulbs, moss and pinecones. After lunch is over, move it to the coffee table and enjoy the heady scent of hyacinths well into the new year.

Paper balls over Christmas table{The White Company}

If space is short, you’re better off making the most the space above the table and leaving room for all those serving dishes. Just hang tissue paper decorations and baubles from the ceiling using pretty ribbons. Try Papermash for a good selection of honeycomb decorations in Christmassy colours.

pine cone centrepiece Christmas{Nina Holst}

Here’s another easy idea from that clever Nina Holst. Grab a chunky pillar candle, wrap a strip of thick card around the base then attach pinecones using a glue gun. This is another centrepiece that’s going to work better with a collection of candles in different heights. Gather into a group if you have a round table or scatter down the length of a long table.

cookie star Christmas tree{Cox & Cox}

You’ll need to plan ahead a bit to bake this cookie Christmas tree, but you’ll end up with a centrepiece with major wow factor… and you can eat it afterwards! Lakeland sells the star shaped cookie cutters you need, along with a step-by-step instruction video and recipe.

Which of these appeals most to you?

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