Christmas Stockings and Wreaths

Christmas stockings and wreaths are a unique and easy way to put a special stamp on your holiday decor.  By the fire is not the only place to hang a stocking, nor is the door the only place to hang a wreath.  Let your creative self run wild and hang a stocking from a door and a wreath from a mantle for a change.

The brilliant minds of artisans and crafters provide unlimited options and design ideas for the perfect stockings and wreaths to spruce things up for the holiday season.  If you’re tired of the same old red and white furry stocking, opt for an heirloom look this year or channel your inner craft diva and recycle your Sunday newspaper into a fab wreath like the one below.

Take a look at these homemade and retail options for great decorating and even gift ideas.

1.  I’m a huge fan of just about everything MacKenzie Childs.  The Woodland Stocking in a nature luxe style is made of crushed velvet in forest green and burgundy.  It’s decorated with appliqued velvet leaves, feathers and twigs, pinecones and other woodland finds.  The Holiday Jester Stockings in diamond and check are gorgeously cheerful.  Both are a silk blend with contrasting fabrics and lots of fabulousness.  They are also reversible with the other side being crushed velvet.  Gorgeous and available at mackenzie-childs.com, neimanmarcus.com and select retailers.

2.  Channel your inner craft diva and design your own version of this delightful wreath for a twist on tradition.  This idea is from one of my favorite holiday magazines, Country Living.  Visit countryliving.com for instructions on how to make this lovely newspaper wreath.

3.Frontgate’s Lollipop Lane stocking is delightfully sweet.  If you love all sorts of holiday decor be sure to stop by Frontgate.com for fabulous holiday decorating ideas.

4.  There’s a little bit of country in everyone when it comes to Christmas.  Country Living does it again with this striking wreath against the background of a bright blue door.  The strong impact and beautiful contrast is a welcome and festive statement throughout the Christmas season.

5. From Martha Stewart comes these homemade cozy sweater stockings.  Don’t throw those old sweaters away, recycle and reimagine something festive and perfect to stuff with comforting holiday treats.  For instructions on how to make these lovely and cozy stockings visit marthastewart.com.

6.  I love the idea of something as easy and unique as newspaper stockings.  Simple, recyclable, super budget friendly and really cute!  Visit twostorycottage.com for easy instructions on how to make these delightful newspaper stockings.

Happy Decorating!

ReindeerDreams

2011 Annual Ornaments

Christmas is one of the most highly anticipated times for ornament collectors.  Ornament designers large and small go to work far in advance of  the season on designs that will both dazzle and inspire additions to millions of households in the US and around the world.  I haven’t posted much about annual ornaments in the past but thought this year would be a great time to do so after discovering that nearly 50% of US households have ornament collections.  Ornamentcollectors.com tells us that collectors are likely to be between the ages of 35-64 and can discern real value.  Of course, real value is relative and I am a big fan of collecting ornaments you love regardless of the dollar value.

I personally have several collections of items that I love with ornaments being one of them.  I also like costume jewelry, fine china, and books, but that’s another story.  As far as ornaments go, I like collections ranging from authentic made in England Wedgwood to .95 cent faves from Crate and Barrel.  Many families collect ornaments made by their little ones and others that hold special meaning for them.  I’ve seen a Christmas tree decorated entirely in red birds which was a stunningly beautiful collection.

If you enjoy collecting ornaments, remember to collect what you love and most of all, have fun!  Ornament collections provide an opportunity to look back over the years and recall special memories attached to past holidays and events.

Happy Ornament Collecting! 2011

If you love collecting ornaments, here is just a sample of the many available for 2011.  Be sure to check back for Starbuck’s and more 2011 ornaments to come.

1.  Disney.com has lots of 2011 ornaments to choose from, but this one is exceptionally colorful and festive!

2.  The Swarovski annual ornament is one of the most anticipated by collectors worldwide, and the 2011 star does not disappoint.  These ornaments are crafted from fine Austrian Crystal and are Absolutely gorgeous!

3.  Thomas Blackshear designs such beautiful angel ornaments in delicate detail that they are sure to excite the most discerning collector.  This ornament is available at Amazon.com.

4.  Orrefors crystal angel ornaments are perfectly clear and stunning additions to any collection.  This year’s is the ‘Holly Heart Angel’ formed from a holly leaf.  Beautiful.

5.  I couldn’t resist including this ornament from the 2011 Hallmark Wizard of Oz collection called, ‘ It’s All in the Shoes.’ How perfect for kids of all ages from Amazon.com.

6.  Even though this post is about annual ornaments, I’m going to go out-of-bounds a little here with a special addition to the list.  The Tiffany Blue Box is a spectacular gift for the special ornament collector, male or female.  Plan to see this one hanging around all year.

7.  Lalique’s ‘Masque de Femme’ 2011 ornament is available in clear or red.  This is a special ornament for collectors who appreciate exquisite beauty.  Described by Lalique as vintage and avant-garde, this ornament reveals the face of an enigmatic woman with delicate features surrounded by aquatic fauna.  This design was created by Rene Lalique in 1935 to adorn a fountain and remains a very popular design for the company. Available at Neiman Marcus.

8.  Starbucks Logo Evolution four cup ornament set is adorable and costs only 11.95.  For coffee drinkers and ornaments collectors this is the perfect gift.  The set included the 2011 Holiday Red Cup which on it’s own is 4.95.  Hurry, these will sell quickly.