Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wedding Wish Tree

The Wedding Wish Tree is a Dutch custom where the guests are given a piece of paper shaped in a leaf to write their wishes to the bride and groom and then hang on the tree.  This creates a gorgeous centerpiece and the tree is placed at the entrance to the reception to wow your guests upon their arrival.  It is a twist on the traditional guest book and it allows the bride and groom to turn those wishes into a keepsake for years to come.

I created my first Wedding Wish Tree in honor of my wonderful 'adopted' niece, Laura for her wedding shower this weekend.  The term 'adopted' is defined by Webster's as "to choose or take as one's own; make one's own by selection".  Our family has been blessed to be a part of a large extended family who adopted us shortly after we arrived in the US and we are the benefactors of 10 beautiful nieces and nephews as a result.  Laura is the first to be married.

I chose to design the tree in the wedding's color scheme of the cream and burlap with hints of green.  My jumping off point were fallen branches that provided a rustic theme that I knew the Groom-to-be, a landscape architect, would love.  I then headed off to Michaels and Joann Fabrics to make my ribbon, cardstock, rhinestone selections etc...just too many choices.

I then chose two glass containers.  I needed one vessel type vase for the tree itself and one to hold the cards for wishes.  I used a large selection of smooth stones to secure the branches in the vase to add to the rustic feel.  SO, here sit the arranged branches just waiting for my decisions.

While perusing Joann Fabrics aisles I stumbled upon these great handmade flowers. The ivory color and tiny rhinestones were just what the branches needed and better yet, they were on sale....I used my trusty hot glue gun to adhere them to the branches.

I then applied the layered green and burlap ribbons and monogram plates I created from cardstock and "L" stickers onto the vases using double sided tape.

The tags were my next can already see them in the photo above.  I layered the same green and cream cardstock and printed "Wishes for Laura and Ben".  I adhered a tiny rhinestone onto the 'i' and punched a hole for the burlap tie to complete the design. 

Now, this is when I should have taken the time to learn something about photography because these photos really do not do my first Wedding Wish Tree justice.

The beautiful bride, Laura with a few wedding wishes...

I also included a 'keepsake' box created from a scrapbooking archival storage box in the same design for her wedding wish tags, photos and cards...

My wish for Laura and Ben, 'a lifetime of love and laughter'....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wrapping YULE Love

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. 

Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

(Surprise, surprise...this isn't me wrapping presents!!!)
I can’t remember when I began to appreciate how a gift was wrapped.  I do remember my mother teaching me how to wrap a present, folding the paper's seam under on the bottom of the package and neatly turning in the ends to finish it off.   I remember how excited I was seeing the pretty packages with bows and ribbons sitting under the tree on Christmas morning.  My mother was Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart....
A beautifully wrapped present shows how much you care.  'Tis the season for taking a little extra time to wrap presents for the special people on your gift list.  Small personal touches make the wrapping as memorable as the gift inside.
I stumbled upon A Gift Wrapped Life  when I first started blogging and couldn't believe what blogger Sande Chase created with paper and ribbons.  Sande's blog is a must read for everyone who appreciates beautiful things.  "From the simple to the spectacular, I hope my world of gifting will inspire you to give beautifully." Sande Chase   And it does....

From craft paper tied up with multiple torn silk ribbons to a fluffy hair scrunchie tied up with velvet to reused Kate Spade and Tiffany boxes, Sande Chase gift wrapping style is amazing.  Here are just a few samples of her stunningly wrapped presents.


Unique DIY wrapping ideas can be found everywhere, from elegantly wrapped gifts to eco-friendly alternatives to ways to incorporate greenery, ornaments, vintage elements and luxurious ribbons into your designs.  Here are a few beautifully wrapped presents from around the internet to give you inspiration this holiday season.


Heather Bullard

Grapevines Invitations

Jenn Playford

The Happy Home Blog

This Old House

Crafty Stylish




JoMalone Regifted

Throughout the years, I have become more conscious of reycling and repurposing when wrapping and with that, more creative.  I recycle gift bags from year to year and I also like to make the gift a part of the wrapping by using tea and gift towels, scarfs and storage boxes.  It is an eco-friendly alternative that guarantees to be a one-of-a-kind gift under the tree. 

I continue to color-code my gift wrapping by assigning a color or design to each family member.  It makes it much easier to find gifts under the tree and somehow, Mom knows what Santa has wrapped each person's gifts in!!!  Using complementary colored wrapping creates an elegant look under your tree at least until Christmas morning....

Just remember, imagination is the key to creative gift wrapping and when beautifully wrapped, any gift can be so much more than the sum of its parts.

Karen Appleton
Visit Larissa Hill "Wrap It Up" Pinterest for more creative gift wrapping ideas....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thrift Queens

Like most people who craft, repurpose, refinish, paint, recycle etc., I enjoy thrifting with friends.  Recently, Shari of  Swinging On A Star Creations and I headed out to Thrift King in Jeanette, Pa.  I first learned of Thrift King on a blog that I happened upon.   After reading the blog post, I needed to find out if we had one in our area.  Well, let’s just say that Shari and I went on a bit of a trip, with a few detours as true Thrift Queens always do.
So, after driving and stopping a few times, we finally arrived.  Unfortunately, Shari nor I are old enough to take advantage of the Senior Day savings!!!
There were aisles upon aisles of finds waiting to be discovered and they continually restock the shelves.  I was pleasantly surprised how clean and orderly the store was, and the staff was extremely helpful and pleasant.  Below are a couple of photos of the furniture section and check out areas...spotless!

Thrift King delivered on pricing for these two Thrift Queens as well.  Below are just a few of my finds that I am planning on refinishing and repurposing. 

Cost of a Day of Thrifting - $23.38
Thrifting with Shari - Priceless

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Etsy Inspiration & Giveaway - Abundant Haven

I am thrilled and thankful that Abundant Haven is participating in this week's Etsy Inspiration & Giveaway with a $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway.

I've fallen in love with everything at  Abundant Haven .  Designer and seamstress, Susan Reinhold truly creates 'Comforts for the home and soul' and she also has a generous heart. 

Pillows-with-a-Purpose, is a line of pillows that Susan has designed that benefits 911 First Responders.  A portion of the proceeds from these pillows will help support the on-going health concerns of these brave men and women. 

This line includes the USA Flag and the HONOR patriotic patch pillows.  

Pillows - America, New York, Twin Tower, 911, Burlap, Autumn, USA Flag, Fall, Home Decor, Memorial, Patriotic, Accent, Industrial 15" x 18"   

Abundant Haven selection of pillows is endless.  Susan's Vintage Christmas Postcard Greetings Suite sets are crafted from flecked hopsack cloth are decorated with frayed patches of seasonal greetings and vintage postcard transfers.

Christmas Pillows - Decorative, Accent, Novelty, Set Of Two  Christmas Pillows - Decorative, Accent, Novelty, Set Of Two

Perfect for a housewarming, wedding, birthday or anniversary gift....Abundant Haven's 
personalized patch pillows celebrate special occasions and milestones for your special recipient. Choose between a frayed edge or a hemmed edge on the nameplate patch as well as a selection of base fabrics: oatmeal hopsack, light cocoa burlap, white floursack or tan/cream pinstripe.

Custom Established Wedding, Anniversary, Housewarming Date Pillow Custom Established Wedding, Anniversary, Housewarming Date Pillow

Finally, Susan has created a lovely French-inspired line of black and white stockings for your French Country home!  The stocking has a white top collar combined with flecked oatmeal colored hopsack and gingham ribbon trim.  These stockings can be personalized with names or wording of your choice (love it!!!) or you can order from her selection of creative in-stock stockings.

Personalized MR and MRS Christmas Stockings, Custom Christmas Stocking, Holly Leaf - Set of Two Christmas Stocking 

So, you know what to do...visit Abundant Haven and pick out one, two or three of your favorites and then come back to Larissa Hill Designs and post a comment on your favorite designs.  Plan on spending some time in Susan's shop.....on top of everything else, you'll find ring bearer's pillows, Parisian themed designs, Batiks and so much more.

Remember, you must be a subscriber to Larissa Hill Designs to participate in the giveaway.
Lastly, attached to each Abundant Haven pillow is a vintage key charm....a reminder to "open every door" to peace and abundance in your home.  Such a lovely touch...

Pillow - Decorative Pillows, Accent Pillows, Burlap, Floursack 12" x 16"

Rosebud Lips Winner

And the winner of the $25 gift certificate from Rosebud Lips is.....

Tammy Cedar

Congratulations, Tammy!

Please come back tomorrow for my latest Etsy giveaway....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcome To Christmas

Pinning has become somewhat of an obsession with me lately and the majority of my boards are a celebration of the holidays.

I love driving through neighbourhoods during the holiday season and looking at the beautifully decorated entranceways.  So, my latest Pinterest board focuses on Christmas doorways.  Here are just a few that inspired me and I hope inspire you in your outdoor holiday decorating....

Festive Entry
Festive Entry via

Christmas Garland

Pine Cone Christmas

Magnolia Door
Southern Magnolia Door

Early American Colonial
Early American Colonial

Saying Grace
Saying Grace

Pinned Image
Simply Skates

Lastly, a wonderful collection of wreaths...

Pinned ImagePinned ImagePinned Image
Pinned ImagePinned ImagePinned Image

You can see more Outdoor Holiday decorating ideas at Larissa Hill Pinterest....

Lastly, my surgeon finally gave me the "A" ok to do whatever I want so I am off with my wonderful husband for a few days of vacation and so this is my last post for the week. 
Please remember to pariticipate in Rosebud Lips Giveaway and have a great week!