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merry A HANDMADE HOLIDAY GUIDE

DECEMBER 2014


merry A HANDMADE HOLIDAY GUIDE

ON THE COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Maya Visnyei www.mayavisnyei.com ART DIRECTION & STYLING: Melissa DiRenzo www.melissadirenzo.com click the photo on left to see cover project tutorials. 2


merry CONTENTS

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EAT DRINK & BE MERRY

THE MERRY TEAM 54

Holiday Party Invitations

D.I.Y. Wreaths

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Wine & Cheese Tray

A MERRY HOME

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D.I.Y. Holiday Mimosa Bar

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A Northern Fresh Start Home Tour

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White Cheddar & Dill Scones

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1 Mantle, 3 Ways

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Eggnog Dip

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House in the Trees Treehouse Tour

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Snowmen & Penguin Appetizers

MAKE IT MERRY

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Gingerbread Men Cookies

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Christmas Tree Meringues

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Mexican Hot Chocolate

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Homemade Baileys

MERRY WELCOME 6-13

32-43 D.I.Y. Holiday Art

A MERRY TABLE 44-51

Holiday Dining Inspiration

MERRY STYLE 68

4 Holiday Looks

GIFTS THAT MAKE YOU MERRY 80-83 Gift Wrapping Ideas 85

Etsy Gift Guide

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TEAM BIO’S

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MELISS AD IR E

O NZ

WEET ESC HE S AP �T E

EDITOR’S NOTE

the team

Wow, we made it! A few months ago, I had this little idea of putting together some kind of collective holiday magazine. As someone with experience in the retail market, I knew full well that I was already behind the eight ball as far as launching something for holiday in time, but thanks to my talented team of blog contributors (and an excessive amount of coffee) I am proud to present Merry: a guide full of inspiration to make your own merry handmade holiday. I was inspired to curate this magazine when I found myself reminiscing about holidays past. Family get-togethers, Secret Santa’s, Christmas crafting, late night baking sessions and cocktail…er…concocting. What happened to all that fun stuff? In this age of time-saving gadgets, and constant (virtual) contact, we’ve lost touch with some of the simple, best things about the holidays. I know I have.

M

NEL � OLE

A AND PALM ER

JERAN

ON CC

ND

Admittedly, I see the irony in having this guide live online, but it’s my hope that within these pages, you will find the inspiration to take life offline to enjoy making a project, a delicious recipe, decorating your home, or dreaming up plans for a party with some of your favourite people. Not the crafty type? It’s entirely possible that something among these pages will encourage you to try something new, or inspire you to support some of the independent makers you’ll find in our Etsy Gift Guide full of handmade pieces to be wrapped and unwrapped this season.

LYNN

TO LIVE

4

T AN W

melissa@thesweetescape.ca / twitter: @_the_sweetest

E LIFE YOU TH

Melissa

TON � DES WL IG O N

N

Merrily yours,

EK

So pour yourself a hot drink, sit down and be inspired. What you’ll find in these pages isn’t perfect and put together by a large production team or corporation it’s projects, inspiration and style made with love by real people who just can’t stop themselves from making and sharing.


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merry welcome There’s nothing that says a warm merry welcome like a wreath. Before your guests even enter your home, they are welcomed with a crafty smile. Your wreath is even like a warm “hello” and “Happy Holidays” to those just passing by. It’s like a hostess’ welcoming committee. Here’s some great handmade versions to welcome your guests this season.

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WREATHS TO WELCOME YOU

FELT & TWIG WREATH by Alex Katschilo Once the weather starts getting colder, that’s when I break out all of the felt fabric to use for Christmas and other winter crafts. This year I decided to try my hand at making a twig wreath with a little bit of a twist by adding some felt leaves to it. The result is a simple wreath with a big impact. click here to visit the full tutorial on Northstory 7


MARSHMALLOW WREATH by Melissa DiRenzo Even if you live somewhere that doesn’t have snow it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fluffy, white ‘snow’ covered wreath. Pairs well with a cup of hot chocolate and a cozy weekend. click here to visit the full tutorial on The Sweet Escape

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NATURAL GREENERY WREATH by Virginia Fynes Making your own traditional Christmas wreath is a fun and inexpensive way to add natural elements to your outdoor Christmas decorations. Incorporate other woodland elements like cedar, pine, holly, and pinecones or add a bit of holiday glam by adding some glitter. click here to visit the full tutorial on Fynes Designs 9


LIGHT BULB GLITTER WREATH by Renee Elliot This light bulb glitter wreath is the perfect way to add a touch of sparkle and a little quirkiness to your holiday decor! click here to visit the full tutorial on Re: Creative

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GUM DROP WREATH by Emily Arbour Christmas decor can be so sweet. Brighten up any front door or room with this playful treat of a wreath. It’s a great craft to do with the kids just make sure to account for some missing craft supplies and maybe wait until after your dinner to start. click here to visit the full tutorial on Hello Yellow 11


SOCK & FELT CANADIANA WREATH by Alex Katschilo This project all started when I found a mini wooden Merry Christmas sign at a thrift store. I instantly had this image of using it in a wreath that I would hang up in a cozy cabin in the winter. I don’t have a cabin but you get the idea. The result is a modern wreath with a touch of iconic Canadiana style. click here to visit the full tutorial on Northstory 12


FEATHER DUSTER REPOSED WREATH by Lucy Akins There are certain things one can refer to as ‘thinking outside the box’, and I believe this may qualify. I was browsing through the aisles of the Dollar Store and spotted a feather duster that had fallen on the ground. Being the good citizen that I am, I picked it up to place back on the shelf but instead jumped right out of the box and into crazy land as I thought: “wouldn’t these dusters not make the most beautiful and fluffiest Christmas wreaths ever? click here to visit the full tutorial on Craftberry Bush 13


a merry home

The holidays are a time when our house truly shines as a home. We fill it with festive decor and surround ourselves with the warmth of the season. Our home becomes our very own North Pole with our signature style. It’s the place where trees are decorated, cookies are baked, drinks and merriment are had, gifts are opened, hot chocolate is served, feet are put up to rest and we take in everything the holiday season has to offer.

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A Fresh Northern Start BY LIDY DIPERT Our family of five recently made the big move from sunny California up North to the big skies in Alberta, Canada. In our home, we love to decorate for the holidays! Every year we try to mix things up with new and old pieces for the season. Since it’s our first year in this home, we wanted to create an atmosphere that perpetuated happy memories for the future and a calm sense of welcoming for our guests. Naturally, our family room is where our family spends the most time together and where the kids play often. I aimed for casual, cozy and overall comfortable. The space needed to be very family-friendly, so we added a lot more playful pieces and pops of color. We brought out all those traditional Christmas pieces we’ve collected over the years with our kids. Since this is our first Christmas back in Canada, we plan on adding a real tree and starting a new tradition of going out to the mountains and cutting one down as a family. Nothing really beats the smell of a real tree, it’s truly the cherry on top.

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merry HOME

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merry HOME

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Click here to visit Hello Lidy for the full tour

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merry HOME

We brought in a lot of natural greenery to really set the foundation for the space with pops of red and gold in the dining area. We wanted it to be a little more playful, so we added a fun little pom-pom garland to hang naturally across the dining table. We kept the decor quite simple, as to not overwhelm the space.

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one mantle / 1,2,3 ways BY LIDY DIPERT

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Babes in Toyland Fun for the whole family, but especially for the kids! Bright pops of colors, fun textures and child-like appeal - a great place to read classic Christmas stories by the fire.

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merry HOME

SLEIGH RIDE

Bringing nature inside this season, this look is sure to make you feel warm and cozy! A perfect mix of greenery, pinecones, antlers and light wood, you almost feel like you are camping in your own living room. Grab a hot cup of cocoa by the warm fire and you’re good to go!

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YULETIDE BY THE FIRESIDE

A minimal look using basic white and blacks and dressing them up with pops of gold, silver and copper! A feminine and romantic look for the holidays.

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HOUSE IN THE TREES BY Lynne Knowlton Have you ever noticed that getting organized for Christmas is like herding cats? Wait for it. Wait for it. Then it happens. Christmas is suddenly here. It miraculously arrives that fast. The only way that I truly get through it enjoyably, is to try with all my might to keep it simple. A simple Christmas with soft lights and greenery, well, it just lights me up. Excuse the pun. Not the grand shenanigans of wildly plastic neon ornaments and bright flashing lights. Not change-the-world holiday goals. Just simple. How do I do it? Simply natural. We have an adult sized treehouse. The setting of a treehouse makes it pretty easy to decorate with natural greenery, twigs and pine cones. Believe me, you don’t need a treehouse to pull that kind of ho-ho-ho season off. You can do it too. Greenery can make you gasp, it can be THAT pretty. This style of Christmas is not only affordable but it feels good and as long as you feel good, the rest are just details.

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Our treehouse is built from reclaimed upcycled items and a recycled barn. Because it isn’t insulated, I mostly stare at it in the winter months. I swear it calls my name. This year, in the spirit of Merry I decorated it for the Merry holiday season!

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It’s soon to be the time of year when we’ll all be jones’n for eggnog and the sounds of Elvis Christmas songs. Be yourself. Have some fun. Keep Christmas simple. And remember, always be yourself unless you are a unicorn. Be a Unicorn if you are a unicorn.


merry HOME

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merry HOME

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merry HOME

click here to visit Lynne’s blog, Design the Life You Want to Live for more photos of this stunning house in the trees as well as her equally beautiful and serene family home, just a fisbee toss away.

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make it merry HOLIDAY ART FOR YOUR HOME

There’s plenty of seasonal decor to be purchased for you home but consider adding a handmade touch with your own holiday art this year instead. It could be a great new tradition to start with the family. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to say ‘I made it’ when your one-of-a-kind holiday decor gets noticed.

MERRY SIGN by Amy Kim If there’s only one time of the year to add glitz and gleam to your home, it’s definitely the holidays. I find myself craving more of the shiny and glittery things in life during this season, so with that inspiration I crafted these gold letters to achieve a bright, shiny look that’s similar to marquee signs, but without any complicated electrical wiring or power tools. These simple and glam gold letters are perfect for a mantel, party, or just any display area like mine that could use some holiday sparkle.

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click here to see the full tutorial on Homey Oh My!


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CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN


make it HOLIDAY ART

MODERN FELT ADVENT CALENDAR BY Melissa DiRenzo Who says you have to have kids to get excited about an advent calendar countdown of treats leading up to Christmas? Or if you do have a few mini-me’s running around there’s no reason that your advent calendar can’t look fabulous and stylish in your space. No big bellied bearded guys around here. Here’s a pretty simple DIY option with more of a modern & funky look with pockets to hide your daily treats. Click here to visit The Sweet Escape for the full tutorial. 35


BE JOLLY PRINTABLE ART BY Amy DelRosario Since I live in a small condo, I don’t really have a lot of horizontal spaces to decorate. I was always disappointed about not having a mantle or a fireplace but now that I have a long console table in the hallway, I have ample space to create some interesting vignettes as the seasons change. I decided to create simple text art using the words, “BE JOLLY”. It’s the last thing I see before I leave and the first thing I see when I get home – a perfect message for the holiday season. If you like it, download it. I’ve created my holiday art as a free printable! It’s available in 2 sizes: 8”x10” and 11.75”x11.75”. Photo is shown in 11.75” format, using a 20” square Ikea Ribba frame. Click here to visit Love on Sunday and download the free printable. 36


make it HOLIDAY ART

FELT GEOMETRIC WALL HANGING BY Jeran McConnel This is a modern, Scandinavian inspired piece for the black and white decor lover. It’s simple design isn’t necessarily Christmas specific so you can keep it up and enjoy throughout the winter. Click here to visit Oleander and Palm for the full tutorial

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COOL &BLUE

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make it HOLIDAY ART

MODERN WOOD CHRISTMAS TREE BY Alex Katschilo For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a wood Christmas tree to use as a seasonal decor piece around the house. This year thanks to our friends at Home Depot Canada and their great holiday decor selection, we finally built one. We hope this inspires you to build your own! My kids have already declared this “Princess Elsa’s” Christmas tree. click here to visit Northstory for the full tutorial

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make it HOLIDAY ART (left) HOLIDAY BAKING TRAY GALLERY BY Virginia Fynes Next to putting up my Christmas tree, creating a Christmas village is one of my favourite parts of holiday decorating. This year I thought I would give it a unique spin and incorporate it into my baking pan gallery wall. I created the bottle brush trees from various colors of yarn and simply attached the trees to the pans using double sided tape, and added a little dusting of snow. Click here to visit Fynes Designs for the full tutorial

(right) JEWELED CHRISTMAS TREE BY Daniela Duriavig Got a drawer full of old jewelry you don’t use? Why not repurpose it into a beautiful one-of-a-kind piece of Christmas art. This is a great way to reuse pieces that have some sentimental value, but you know you won’t wear. Use your imagination, and you’ll have a unique and beautiful piece of art to brighten your home this holiday season! Click here to visit lifeovereasy for the full tutorial

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make it HOLIDAY ART

tiny dancer CREPE PAPER BALLERINA ORNAMENTS BY Lucy Akins

There’s something so comforting about the shimmer of a Christmas tree and the crackle of a roaring fire as little snowflakes dance to ‘The Nutcracker’ playing in the distance. These little ballerinas are reminiscent of that, and they will dance the night away as they adorn your tree and dance to the rhythm of ‘The Sugar Plum Fairy’. Click here to visit Craftberry Bush for full tutorial

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a merry table

Whether it’s Christmas dinner with the family or an intimate holiday dinner with friends, it’s nice to set the festive scene in your home. There’s so many ways to embrace the season and add some handmade touches to your festive table.

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merry TABLE

WOODLAND CHRISTMAS TABLE SETTING BY Shannon Acheson Natural textures, classic colors and a little whimsy make for a cozy woodland Christmas dining room in this suburban home. Click here to visit AKA Design for the full tour

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in the woods

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a modern affair

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merry TABLE

ORGANIC GEOMETRIC CENTREPIECE BY Amy DelRosario This holiday season, I wanted to create a centrepiece that combined organic textures with geometric design. During a walk one afternoon, I picked up some branches which I thought were so beautiful. They were so worn out and weathered but the texture really caught my eye. I placed them in a glass vase and held them in place with some rocks. And since I love white, I decided to fold several origami gems (I used templates from minieco) and hung them from the branches. Since my table is a 6-seater, I’ve always had a difficult time trying to find the right centrepiece to fill the space. I love how large it is, it’s the perfect focal point for my dining room. click here to visit Love on Sunday for the full tutorial and to download the Minieco geometric template.

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merry TABLE

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(above)

FELT MINI-STOCKING BY Jennifer Flores The holidays can be busy so here’s a fun craft that’s easy, quick, and versatile! Each felt mini stocking only takes two minutes to make and you can use it in any number of ways: as a cutlery holder for your holiday table setting; as goodie bags for classmate treats; to hold a gift card; or string several on a line of twine to create an advent calendar. click here to visit Rambling Renovators for the full tutorial (left)

FRESH FLOWER HOLIDAY ARRANGEMENT BY Jeran McConnel Fresh florals for the Holidays can be easy and inexpensive. I filled my new favorite head vase with grocery store florals to create a festive and playful centerpiece. Freesia is probably the best smelling flower out there, it’s perfume fills a room. Freesia, ever green branches, pinecones, red berries and a few pom pom flowers painted metallic gold make up this simple DIY arrangement. click here to visit Oleander and Palm for the full post 51


eat drink, & be merry

As an adult we trade in our Wish Lists to Santa for party invitations to the season’s holiday shindigs. Whether you’re playing host or guest, it’s a time of year to indulge and enjoy good company and good eats.

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Winter SoirĂŠe Be Merry With Us!

PLUS!

10% OFF

for Merry readers with code SE10GUIDE exp. 12/12/2014

Festive Firs

Oh What Fun Tagged

Holiday Punch 54

Diner


EAT DRINK merry

Fat Pants

Party Pine Branches A Season For Stripes

We all love being plugged in and online but how much more special do we feel when we get a piece of snail mail? If you’re planning on hosting a holiday shindig this year make your guests feel really special with one of these beautifully designed, high quality personalized invitations from minted ready to greet them in their mail boxes. Set the festive mood before the party even begins! (click to order your favourite invitation)

Jingle All the Way

Gilded Botanicals

Party Pine Branches

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WINE + CHEESE BY Melissa DiRenzo

When it comes to entertaining there’s endless ideas but one constant go-to that you’ll find at almost any holiday event is a cheese tray, and some wine of course! A cheese tray is so great because you don’t have to be a chef to have some good eats to serve your guests and it’s the perfect snack for any event, large or small. Here’s a great winter cheese tray to keep you warm along with a glass (or two) of Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Click here to visit Kendall-Jackson’s blog for Melissa’s full post.

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EAT DRINK merry

ANATOMY OF A WINTER CHEESE TRAY

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$100

Expressions Vinyl

GIVEAWAY! Click for details

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EAT DRINK merry

SELF-SERVE MIMOSA BAR BY Melissa DiRenzo Being a great hostess is important but sometimes there’s just too much going on and you just want your guests to make their own darn drinks. That’s when you create a self-serve mimosa bar with lots of custom holiday touches. The star of this project is definitely the gold adhesive vinyl from Expressions Vinyl. This is the first time I’ve used vinyl since getting my cutting machine and I’m hooked. I want to put gold vinyl decals on everything in sight. Good thing I don’t have any pets. Make your own decals to create a sign and for your glass pitchers then fill them with your fruit juices of choice, put some bubbly on ice and you’r ready to pour yourself a glass of peace, love and joy. click here to visit The Sweet Escape for the full tutorial

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WHITE CHEDDAR DILL SCONES BY Jeran McConnel Scones never disappoint a crowd. Sharp cheddar and a hint of dill give these scones a unique flavor. They are tender and buttery, perfect for Christmas morning or served with dinner. While yeast rolls may be the traditional choice for the holidays, these scones take under 10 minutes to prep and then just another 15 minutes. to bake. Click here to visit Oleander and Palm for the full recipe

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EGGNOG DIP BY Jesseca Hallows

EAT DRINK merry

Eggnog and gingerbread. Those two flavors have been a favorite combination for a few years now. They pair so nicely and it only seemed fitting to create this fun dip to serve at parties this holiday season! Even eggnog haters will be coming back for seconds. Click here to visit One Sweet Appetite for the full recipe

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SNOWMEN & PENGUIN APPETIZERS

EAT DRINK merry

BY Melissa DiRenzo This is an exception to the ‘don’t play with your food’ rule. Lighten up your appetizer tray this holiday with some of these guys. They can’t help but make you smile. They’re almost too cute to eat. Almost. Click here to visit The Sweet Escape for the full tutorial

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GINGERBREAD MEN COOKIES BY Jesseca Hallows There is no better way to welcome the holidays then baking a dozen of these fragrant gingerbread cookies. It’s become a family tradition to spend an evening decorating these fun treats and delivering our creations to friends and family! The slightly crunchy exterior and soft chewy center make these irresistible! Click here to visit One Sweet Appetite for the full recipe 64


EAT DRINK merry CHRISTMAS TREE MERINGUES BY Daniela Duriavig This just might be the “sweetest” dessert you make this holiday season! These little trees look adorable clustered together on a pretty plate, and they’re an fun way to add a festive touch to your holiday table. Click here to visit lifeovereasy for the full recipe

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MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE BY Jesseca Hallows Nothing warms your belly on a cold winter day like a nice cup of hot chocolate. This more sophisticated version adds a little spice for the ultimate comfort drink. Top with some fresh whipped cream and a little cinnamon and sugar for a drink that’s not for sharing. Click here to visit One Sweet Appetite for the full recipe

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EAT DRINK merry

THE BEST HOMEMADE BAILEYS EVER BY Lynne Knowlton I wish I may, I wish I might … drink homemade Baileys tonight. Here’s the thing. You are going to have a whole new reason for loving this holiday season and it’s homemade Baileys. It’s the best homemade baileys recipe in the history of ever. It’s holiday season. We drink. We wrap. We bake. We eat raw cookie dough. Brace yourself. This is good stuff. It is so good, It will make you feel MERRY. Click here to visit Design the Life You Want to Live for the full recipe

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merry style There’s so many reasons to get dressed up for the holidays. It’s such a fun time of year to flaunt your style, wear that party dress hiding at the back of the closest or rock a bright red lip. However, not all festive occasion calls for the same outfit. Our resident style expert, Kaylee Giffin will show you 4 great looks to help you through 4 totally different holiday events.

Style by: Kaylee Giffin, The Blondielocks Photographed by: Raelene Giffin Photography 68


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merry STYLE

OFFICE COCKTAIL PARTY

An office cocktail party is a time to show that you are more than just the boss lady in a suit. Your outfit should reflect that you are still in charge, but are able to let loose (but not too much). A jumpsuit in a crimson hue is the perfect choice for an office party because it exudes the perfect combination of power, sex appeal, and the color is festive. A skinny leopard belt and pumps will also add a playful element. Finally long earrings and a bold clutch will show that you can accessorize like nobody’s business. 70


Faux Gemstone Tassel Earrings, Forever 21, $5.90

Leopard Skinny Belt, Of Mercer, $50

GET THE LOOK OFFICE COCKTAIL PARTY

Point Toe Pump, Nine West, $94.99

Plunge Bandeau Jumpsuit, Nordstrom, $137.03 71


merry STYLE

A FORMAL AFFAIR

A formal Christmas event is the best excuse to dress to the nines. But “going all out” with your outfit doesn’t mean wearing all of your best jewelry and your biggest ball gown. Sometimes less is more, so allow yourself to shine, and choose one key element that really stands out. A dress like this one by Elle X RW and Co. has so many details like a plunging neckline, textured fabric with metallic silver flecks, and a flouncy hemline. Keep everything else in your outfit simple with plain black panty hose, black pumps and simple accessories, and you will be the belle of the ball in no time.

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Faux Stone Strech Bracelet, Forever 21, $11.80

Addison Wallet, French Connection, $65

Textured Dress with Plunging Neckline, ELLE by RW&Co, $169.90

GET THE LOOK A FORMAL AFFAIR

Microfibre Strappy Pointy Toe Pump, Le Chateau, $49.99

Faux Gemstone Tassel Earrings, Forever 21, $5.90

Black Tights 2-pack, H&M, $6.95 73


merry STYLE

PLAYING HOSTESS

Playing hostess is a lot of work in itself, so planning your outfit shouldn’t be. Think about the things you will be doing that day. For example, will you be running back and fourth a lot, or are you having your party catered? This will dictate if you should wear heels or flats. Clothing wise, choose something that shows you want to have a good time with your guests. A tea length skirt is festive and fun, and will be an unexpected choice when paired with a casual graphic sweater. A bold cocktail ring is also a great way to add a little bit of sparkle and cheer into your look. 74


Black Tights 2-pack, H&M, $6.95

Paris Sweat Top, Scotch & Soda, â‚Ź79.95

GET THE LOOK PLAYING HOSTESS

Angelique Heels, Kate Spade New York, $350

Light Graphite Lady Length Skirt, Party Skirts by Skot, $245

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merry STYLE

MEETING THE PARENTS

Meeting your significant others parents for the first time can be intimidating, especially around the holidays, when emotions are running high. When planning what to wear, you want to find the perfect balance between festive, stylish and conservative. Impressing parents with the latest fashion trends shouldn’t be the main goal, as you want your amazing personality to shine. Opt for an outfit that mixes festive colors, and a fun pattern, like these hounds tooth pants. A statement necklace will also keep the look from being too stuffy. Black pumps always look great, but if the event is more casual go for flats or ankle boots.

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Fluffy Jumper by Boutique, Topshop UK, €50

Candie’s Flower Ribbon Bib Statement Necklace, Kohl’s, $19.60

GET THE LOOK MEETING THE PARENTS

Microfibre Strappy Pointy Toe Pump, Le Chateau, $49.99

Petite Dogtooth Cigarette Trousers, Top Shop UK, €42

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gifts that make you merry There’s two parts to giving gifts, the buying or making and then the wrapping. Once your checklist is complete comes the fun part, wrapping it in a beautiful package. Whether you’re planning on making something handmade for the people on your list or support local makers and purchase a handmade gift, don’t forget to put plenty of love into wrapping it as well. Here you’ll find some fun gifting and wrapping ideas.

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GOLD & GLITTER GIFTING IDEAS BY Renee Elliot A gift should be just as amazing on the outside as it is on the inside so I like to spend a little time making my gifts look extra special. I realize my craft closet might not be the norm but I tried using items that most would have kicking around and taking them up a few notches. It’s all about using items in new and fun ways! Click here to visit Re: Creative for more gold and glitter gifting details

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GIFTS TO MAKE YOU

Smile!

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BY Melissa DiRenzo There’s definitely some elaborate gift wrapping ideas out there and they may not be for everyone but I have a great idea that anyone can do with the help of BLACKS Photo to make their gifts super duper special. Try using photos to decorate your gifts! It’s so great because not only is it fun to relive snapshots but the photo also becomes part of the gift. With the BLACKS App you can send and order prints right from Instgram so it’s really easy. Visit the BLACKS Inspiration blog to see Melissa’s full post.

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unwrap

GIFT

GUIDE 85


unwrap

Screen Printed Black Infinity Scarf with Gold Snakeskin, $150

GIFT GUIDE Cut out leather handbag, $240

Gold Dipped Leather Feather Earrings, $44.38

Minimal Pink Feather Statement Necklace, $70.07

Quartz Pendant Necklace, $80.58

her Fetled Wool Slippers, $103.94

* NOTE: all prices in Canadian dollars 86

Canvas Floral Clutch, $53.72

Chunky Crochet Infinity Scarf, $70.07


unwrap

GIFT GUIDE 15” Genuine Leather Messenger Bag, $337.50

Portable Mint Tin MP3 Amp with Speaker, 10x Gain, $34.45

Snock™, Mens Fleece Lined Cowl Scarf, $56.83

him

Handmade Leather “Tuareg-3” Watch, $192.69

The Grit Vegan Soap Bar, $7.59

30 Chemical Compound Herb & Spice Jar Labels, $12.84

Wooden Sunglasses, $75.90

Hand Printed Monogram Cardigan, $52.55 87


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GIFT GUIDE

Personalized Screen-Printed Christmas Berlap Sack, $23.34

Custom Personalized Plush Family, $115.61

Eco-Friendly Fox Baby Shoes, $18.69

tots

Cardigan and Bow Tie Set, $43.21

Handmade Knit Crown, $15

Scandinavian Softie Rabbit, $32.70

Christmas Crochet Finger Puppets, $64.23

* NOTE: all prices in Canadian dollars 88


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GIFT GUIDE

Fantastic Fox Tablet Case, $42.04

Handmade Knit Slouchy Hat, $36.75 Heart Fingerless Gloves, $37.37

teens Monogram Letter Prints, Letters A-Z, $14.01

Personalized Holiday iPhone Case, $18.69

Wood Colour Block 4 GB USB Stick, $23.99

Waxed Linen & Leather Cross Body Bag, $45.54 Hand Knit Lou Leg Warmers, $25.69

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Ceramic Planter, $41

GIFT GUIDE

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate Kit, $8.16

Walnut Serving Board, $90

hostess

Gold Foil Stamped Coasters, Set of 10, $15.18

Ceramic Cheese Markets Gift Set, $17.52

Silver Deer Pillow, $25.69

Christmas Scented Soy Candle, Campy, $16.22

Cotten Christmas Tea Towels, $9.93 * NOTE: all prices in Canadian dollars 90


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GIFT GUIDE

Love Poster (frame not included), $13.43 You Are Loved Mug, $21.02

Love Print, various sizes, $8.17 - $52.55

the other half

Personalized Gold Pink Druzy Necklace, $34.45

Personalized Gold Letter Necklace, $38.54

His & Hers PIllow Cases, $29.20 Love Mug, $15.18

Printable Love Quote Art, $5 91


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GIFT GUIDE

Braided Lightening Cable USB Charger, $11.68 Multi-Colour Keyboard Decals, $12.83

Personalized Christmas Stocking, Set of 6, $240

stocking stuffers

Felt Smart Phone Wool Sleeve, $18.87

Metallic Gold Temporary Tattoos, $11.62 2015 Desk Calendar, $23.36

Beeswax Lip Balm Gift Set, $22.19

Statement Mug, $18.69 92

* NOTE: all prices in Canadian dollars

You Got This iPhone Case, $25.49


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merry

A LITTLE ABOUT OUR TEAM

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MELISSA DIRENZO EDITOR & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Melissa’s an experienced Art Director, Graphic Designer and all ‘round creative gal. She has a deep-seated passion for home decor, a gift for styling, a dabbling foodie and huge sucker for D.I.Y. projects She loves anything vintage and colourful and likes to give her readers a Sweet Escape from the every day. TheSweetEscape.ca

LIDY DIPERT Lidy is passionate about creating and cultivating unique spaces through her blog, Hello Lidy: a husband and wife team that focus on integrating original handmade and vintage pieces, while keeping up on current trends and designs. hellolidy.com

JESSECA HALLOWS Jesseca’s cooking adventures started with a horrible batch of cookies for her future husband and has bloomed into true passion in the kitchen. She’s also the mom of a rambunctious five year old boy and the wife to an amazing man that eats all of her wacky recipe creations. OneSweetAppetite.com

JAREN MCCONNEL A former elementary school teacher, Jeran loves helping people find attainable beauty in the lives they live. Her creativity and industriousness were honed through years of living in third world countries, that challenged her to find novel solutions for creating livable spaces. Now a mother of three, settled in sunny California, her skills and styles are evolving in exciting new ways. OleanderandPalm.com

VIRGINA FYNES Virginia hails from the east coast of Canada where she lives in a small rural town with her hubby and two small children. She enjoys all avenues of being creative, and can’t wait to discover her next crafty adventure. Join Virginia at Fynes Designs where she shares ideas, tips and tutorials for everyday creative living. FynesDesigns.com

LUCY AKINS Lucy grew up in a family of musicians and artists, surrounded by canvases, brushes and paints. Craftberry Bush has evolved to become not only a virtual diary for her family, but an outlet to share her passion for art and more. CraftberryBush.com

Kaylee Giffin founded The Blondielocks blog after graduating from fashion school in Toronto. Through her own personal journey, Kaylee’s mission is to inspire others to “curate a life that is just right”. With a passion for food, fashion, home and DIY, Kaylee truly wants readers to discover how, they too, can add a bit more sparkle into their everyday lives. TheBlondielocks.com

LYNNE KNOWLTON Lynne is a blogger, designer, exercise avoider, DIYer and lightweight. After two drinks, she starts licking faces. She’s the teller of a good stories and oversharing her personal life to make a difference in your life story and inspire you to truly design the life you want to live. LynneKnowlton.com


EMILY ARBOUR Emily Arbour has had an unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit. Twenty years after opening her first roadside lemonade stand, she opened her very own retail gift shop in Almonte, Ontario. Now in her midthirties, Arbour is a shop owner, craft show organizer and mother of two who has never strayed from her enterprising roots or her love of a good DIY. hello-yellow.ca

ALEX KATSCHILO Alex from northstory started her blog to maintain her love of creative storytelling. It has since evolved into a haven of DIY projects, seasonal crafts and notes about daily life. She spends way too much time at thrift stores, has an affinity for upcycling projects and always has time for a good beer with friends. Northstory.ca

SHANNON ACHESON Shannon is a Canadian writer, graphic designer, interior designer, artist, wife and homeschooling momma. She is the writer and one half of the creative duo behind the DIY and lifestyle blog, AKA Design. Shannon lives in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario with her husband and three kids. AKADesign.ca

AMY KIM Amy is the creator of Homey Oh My!, where she blogs about DIY decor, crafts, and style inspiration for a modern and chic home. She’s all about keeping things simple and has a penchant for anything gold, black and white, or all of the above. HomeyOhMy.com

RENEE ELLIOTT Renee is the blogger and stylist behind Re: Creative. She is a self proclaimed fashion addict, food junkie and arts & craft nerd who specializes in event & prop styling along with boutique window displays & merchandising. recreativeworks.com

AMY DELROSARIO Amy is the designer and editor behind Love On Sunday. She is also a fulltime graphic designer for Joe Fresh and a regular contributor to Emma Reddington’s popular design blog, The Marion House Book. LoveOnSunday.com

DANIELA DURIAVIG Dani is an engineer who has the most fun when she’s engineering great times with her family. She writes all about home decor, DIY, food, and other fun stuff. Being creative is what really gets her fired up, and Dani will always hit the brakes for a great curbside find. lifeovereasy.com

JENNIFER FLORES Jennifer is a community builder, DIYer, photography enthusiast who dreams of running away to Paris. She is the creator of the blog Rambling Renovators and founder of BlogPodium, Canada’s Conference for Design and Lifestyle Bloggers. RamblingRenovators.com 95


thank you

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YOU MAKE US VERY MERRY


97


merry WISHING YOU A

HANDMADE HOLIDAY!

All the work found in this publication belongs to the stated creators and may not be used without proper credit and a link to the original content. QUESTIONS / COMMENTS / MEDIA ENQUIRIES : Melissa DiRenzo, melissa@thesweetescape.ca

Merry - A Handmade Holiday Guide  

A magazine full of original handmade holiday inspiration including home decor, DIY art projects, entertaining, gifting & style by 16 of your...

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