Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Table DIY Candy Cane Style

If you are looking for a red and white theme for your holiday table, these ideas might grab your fancy.

When designing DIY projects, quick and easy along with the pretty, clever and fun is always in front of my mind.

One idea - make place card pipe cleaners that take no time to create!

Twist 1 red and 1 white pipe cleaner together, form into a letter for each place setting.

A fun party favor, and hostess gift, is the Christmas Cheer with candy canes and candies in glass.

Purchase assorted glasses from the salvage shop, and fill with a mixture of yummy peppermint candies.

A large Hammond candy cane with a large bow always is a nice touch on the back of your dining room chairs.

How to make a Snowflake!

Designs by Karin Lidbeck, Christmas Ideas magazine 2010
Photo by Michael Partenio

The materials for making a large snowflake start with 6 paint sticks. For smaller snowflakes you use Popsicle sticks, along with a combination of assorted wood craft sticks, squares and shapes all found at craft stores in bags of multiple sizes and shapes.

Using a sheet of brown paper and a ruler, draw out a template to follow, like the one below.

Lay the sticks down over the template as shown. Doing this allows you to make sure your snowflake pattern is always symmetrical.

Use a permanent glue of your choice for adhering the pieces together. Lay your base first, adding the additional layers to create your final design.

The final step is to spray the snowflake well with a glossy white Krylon spray paint.

This project appeared in Christmas Ideas magazine 2010  
Designs by Karin Lidbeck
Photos by Michael Partenio

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dreaming of a White Christmas: Amazing DIY Snowflakes

Not long ago I was given the assignment to design and style a holiday feature with a snowflake theme for Christmas Ideas magazine.

Snowflakes arrive in many decorative shapes and styles during the holidays, which inspired me to create my own versions in wood.

One of the projects I came up with were these DIY snowflakes using paint sticks, old-fashioned popsicle sticks along with small wood shapes from the craft store.  I loved creating this wintry wall of snow behind the headboard and creating the lacy patterns on the staircase!

Instructions on how to make your own Snowflake coming tomorrow.

Photos by Michael Partenio

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh, My Christmas Trees

This tree, I created for the cover of Country Living Magazine 2007
The magazine's best selling Dec Issue ever.
Photo by Tria Giovan

In my business, the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for me. My associate Cynthia Bogart, Editor of The Daily Basics, asked me if I would feature some of the Christmas trees I have designed over the years for an article on their site. To read more, click here.

A few of my favorite designs.

Better Homes and Gardens 2005

Christmas Ideas Magazine 2008
Photo by Michael Partenio

Christmas Ideas Magazine 2010 
Photo by Michael Partenio 

Christmas Ideas Magazine 2007
Photo by Michael Partenio 

Good Housekeeping magazine 2006

 Good Housekeeping magazine 2010
  Photo by Michael Partenio

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Looking Glass Holiday Centerpiece

Art director Scott Johnson of Better Homes and Gardens magazine asked me to create a garden inspired holiday decorative centerpiece for their BHG 2011 December issue.  The looking glass globe of birds on snow is a favorite of mine!

Photograph by Michael Partenio 

The Looking Glass centerpiece vase is so easy to make yourself! Use a glass container, any glass container, even a round fish bowl! Place artificial snow ( or salt ) at bottom for the base. Add some greenery from the outdoors with the artificial birds and nest from a craft store or garden shop.

Place on plate, and you now have your very own Looking Glass centerpiece.

Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Country Living Magazine Christmas Feature

This past summer, my sister told me about a fabulous house affectionately named Cabin Fever by its owners Leslie Bacon and her husband. I adored how they have filled their home with artistic collections, plaid vintage baskets, textiles, and rustic yet sophisticated furnishings with such balance.

Upon arriving, I knew immediately this would be an ideal setting for a magazine.

After showing Country Living magazine, Style Director, Natalie Warady my preliminary shots of this house, she too thought this would be an ideal 2011 Country Living magazine Christmas feature! 

Natalie and I set off to Vermont to produce the feature with photographer James Merrill.  Here it is! 
Gorgeous Sorcha Blankets of Hingham, MA drape the chairs

Dining table and wood bowl from Monique Shay Antiques, Woodbury, CT

 Now onto the Christmas tree pictured below. This tree - must tell you, I cut this tree down myself, and took to the Cabin Fever house!

Inspired by Leslie's fabulous collection of plaid vintage picnic baskets,  I made the DIY embroidery hoops filled with plaid fabrics to complement my choice of Cody Foster tree ornaments of birds, woodland animals and snowflakes! 

Tree ornaments From Cody Foster
Gorgeous blankets from Sorcha, Hingham, MA
  Dining table and wood bowl from Monique Shay Antiques, Woodbury, Ct
Check out the 2011 December Country Living magazine issue for the whole story.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Regal Amaryllis

Holidays are soon approaching, and so are the regal Amaryllis! 

Last year, Ann Blevins editor of Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine asked me to design and style seven Amaryllis projects for the upcoming 2011 Christmas ideas magazine.

One traditional Victorian holiday decoration inspired me to replicate, only to find this DIY easy to do!

Sugared Amaryllis and fruit centerpiece

Lightly brush egg whites mix ever so gently upon fruit and flowers blooms. Sprinkle super-fine sugar partially on both fruit and flower. Place upon cake plate with some greens!  Flower is cut short and placed in silver votive. A centerpiece appreciated by many!

My holiday centerpiece favorite! 

Amaryllis Pineapple Centerpiece
I am often asked to design holiday tables. This centerpiece is a favorite. This will add a hit of elegance to your table with hardly any effort.  Slice off the top of the pineapple. Scoop out the delicious contents. Place amaryllis flowers in center.  Add eucalyptus, or any natural green around the amaryllis. Surround your centerpiece with cranberries, and you have a great holiday centerpiece! Don't forget to put water in this natural vase!

You can buy cut amaryllis at the florist or buy the flower bulb in the pot. 

PS. Cut stem of the amaryllis flower will last up to two weeks, maybe longer provided you keep cutting the cut stem back every few days. 
Look for more of my Amaryllis ideas in the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine!

Photographs by Michael Partenio