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merry A HANDMADE HOLIDAY GUIDE

DECEMBER 2015


merry A HANDMADE HOLIDAY GUIDE

DECEMBER 2015

ON THE COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Maya Visnyei ART DIRECTION & STYLING: Melissa DiRenzo LASER CUTTING: Hot Pop Factory


merry CONTENTS 4

THE MERRY TEAM

TREE TRIMMINGS

6-13

D.I.Y. Ornaments

HOLIDAY IN THE MAKING

14-27 Holiday Craft Projects

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

28-33 Holiday Home Tour

A MERRY MANTEL

34-39 Mantel Decor Inspiration

MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT

40-47 Creative Gift Wrap Ideas

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MERRY HANDMADE GIFT GUIDE

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY

56-63 Holiday Entertaining Inspiration FESTIVE BITES 64-73 Holiday Sweets & Cocktail Recipes

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MELISS AD IR E

O NZ

WEET ESC HE S AP •T E

EDITOR’S NOTE A year ago I had this idea of getting a bunch of my blogger pals together to put out a magazine full of real handmade holiday projects to inspire people to get crafty. Here we are again, a year later, spreading the same holiday handmade cheer with a new talented bunch. I don’t know if it’s just my imagination but I feel like this year we’ve been completely overwhelmed by messages to buy buy buy. My reaction has been the opposite and I’m craving nights in to make make make. This issue of Merry is full of holiday inspiration to keep you busy this holiday without fighting the crowds at the mall. Whether you’re making gifts, wrapping gifts, entertaining friends, decking the halls or looking to support the maker community we have you covered. Pour yourself a nice warm mug of your favourite, sit back and take it all in. Then step back from the screen and make something Merry! Don’t forget to tag your creations with #MerryMag so we can see what you’ve been up to. Wishing you all a happy handmade holiday!

Melissa melissa@thesweetescape.ca

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WITH SPECIAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY: Ashley Rose, Sugar & Cloth Amy Anderson, DIY Candy Studio DIY A Beautiful Mess Alex Katschilo, Northstory Lucy Akins, Craftberry Bush Colleen Pastoor, Lemon Thistle Katie Alberter, Little House of Four Virgina Fynes, Fynes Designs Tara Mihalech, Suburble Nicole Phillips, Visual Heart Laurel Stavros, A Bubbly Life Ashlee Marie, Ashlee Marie Jeran McConnel, Oleander and Palm Christina Dennis, The DIY Mommy 5


tree trimmings The dawning of every Christmas season begins with the ritual of trimming the tree. Whether your tree dÊcor is carefully curated or simply a random assortment, there’s something about unwrapping and hanging each festive ornament that reminds us of moments from holidays past. Why not start your own collection of handmade ornaments to unwrap in years to come? Here are a few crafty ideas to get you started.

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CONFETTI DIPPED ORNAMENTS by Laurel Stavros We all love confetti but this is a way to have confetti for Christmas and NOT be messy! Awesome, right? So easy to make and perfect for an ornament craft party- so many colors and choices available! Click photo to find the full tutorial on A Bubbly Life 8


POM POM ORNAMENT by Alex Katschilo We make a lot of ornaments every year as the kids have their own Christmas tree that they go to town on and decorate however they want. It usually winds up looking like a giant ball of something two cats had a fight in, but they love it and it makes them happy so we do it. We had so many pom pom’s laying around and decided we needed to use them up and came up with colourful ornament that just makes you smile. Click photo to find the full tutorial on Northstory

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CLAY STRING LIGHT GARLAND by Kelly Smith One of my all time favorite Christmas memories is pulling up and seeing the big colorful lights neatly strung on the outside of my childhood home. Recreating the memory of those lights in this Christmas garland brought me so much joy! Here is how you can make your own. Click photo to find the full tutorial on Cloudy Day Grey 10


SILHOUETTE ORNAMENTS by Sara Albers Do you get as nostalgic as I do when you hang your ornaments on the tree each holiday? I love to see the ornaments that represent a particular year or memory. This year I made a simple ornament with my child’s profile in a silhouette. I used a round wood plain ornament from my local craft store. This would make a darling gift for the grandparents too! Click photo to find the full tutorial on Alice and Lois

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MASON JAR LID ORNAMENT by Tara Mihalech If you hang out on Pinterest for even 30 seconds you’ll see mason jars being used in decor and I’m no stranger to the love of the mason jar. With jars being used alot as vases, it’s left me with a lot of orphan lids. Turns out they are the perfect thing to make ornaments from and a great way to use up any scrap material. Click photo to find the full tutorial on Suburble 12


GEOMETRIC PAPER ORNAMENTS by Melissa DiRenzo I decided to break free from the traditional red this year on my tree and instead go with more modern and colourful decor. I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money for new tree decor so I decided to make these modern geometric ornaments to add to the silver and gold ones I already have and give the tree an update without going broke. Click photo to find the full tutorial and template on The Sweet Escape 13


holiday in the making Crafters rejoice! Our favourite time of year has arrived. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more magical time to put all of your creative inspiration and DIY prowess to good use. Not a crafting pro? Not to worry! The holiday season means you’ll have plenty of time to relax, unwind and try your hand at a DIY project or two

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click photo for yarn tree DIY tutorial

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make it HOLIDAY DIY SEQUIN LETTER GARLAND BY Laura Gummerman, A Beautiful Mess When it comes to parties my go-to decor theme is usually sparkly or metallic, and I give myself double points if the item is both. I loved the feeling I got when I saw this sequin ampersand project, and it occurred to me that sequin trim would be the perfect supply to make a glittery phrase garland for upcoming holiday parties. Click photo for tutorial on A Beautiful Mess (opposite) MINI WOODEN CHRISTMAS TREES BY Ashley Rose Of all of the quirky ways we’ve come up with for celebrating the holidays on the go, these little guys are definitely a put-me-in-yourpocket-and-go type decor. Of course, a mantle will work too, whatever floats your snow globe! Click photo for tutorial on Sugar and Cloth

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make it HOLIDAY DIY MODERN WOOD CHRISTMAS TREE BY Amy Anderson I spotted these awesome wood tree surfaces at the craft store and couldn’t resist taking them home and giving them a makeover. I pictured some modern Christmas tree decor that I could leave out past the actual holiday – which is why I chose the colors that I did but you have complete creative license. Click the photo for full Ttutorial on DIY Candy

(opposite) HONEYCOMB CHRISTMAS TREE BY Studio DIY Click photo for full tutorial on Studio DIY

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LEATHER CHAIN GARLAND BY Stephanie Lee There’s nothing I like better than making my own holiday decorations. Not only does Christmas crafting get me into the festive spirit, it also allows me to experiment with different materials, patterns and colours that I otherwise wouldn’t find in stores! Which is exactly how this chain garland came about. I’ve always wanted to make a garland like this using something other than paper, and the earthy colour and texture of leather seemed like the perfect fit. Best of all, it’s pretty much as easy as putting together the paper version. Win!

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Click photo to visit Make and Tell for full tutorial


METALLIC DIPPED TAPER CANDLES

make it HOLIDAY DIY

BY Jeran McConnel Is it ok to coat, dip and cover everything in metallics? I’m thinking with the holidays, I can make everything just a little shiny and metallic. These DIY Metallic Dipped Candles take just five minutes and perfect for teacher and neighbor gifts. Click photo for full tutorial on Oleander + Palm

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make it HOLIDAY DIY HOLIDAY LYRICS WOOD SLICE BY Colleen Pastoor Turn your favourite holiday lyrics into a piece of art. A perfect project for the wood burning rookie and the perfect gift for that holiday lover on your list. Click photo for tutorial on Lemon Thistle (opposite) RUSTIC FELT CHRISTMAS TREES BY Katie Alberter I recently stumbled upon some felt trees on a big retailer’s website that I fell in love with and couldn’t resist trying to make them myself. These little rustic trees are SUPER easy to make and cost next to nothing, thanks to mother nature Click photo for tutorial on Little House of Four

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REPURPOSED LIGHT FIXTURE HOLIDAY DECOR BY Melissa DiRenzo It’s amazing what a little imagination can do to transform an old and dated light fixture that I found at the thrift shop for lest than $5. By removing the guts and filling it with some fun festive pieces it’s transformed into a adorable piece of holiday decor and the best part is that it’s one less item to make it to the landfill. Click photo to visit The Sweet Escape for the full tutorial (opposite) SANTA BEARD CROCHET PATTERN BY Ashlee Marie It’s time to test your crochet skills with this festive Santa pattern. You’ll have a million little Santa’s running around in no time. Click photo to visit Marie for the full tutorial

BEFORE

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make it HOLIDAY DIY

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make it HOLIDAY DIY HOLIDAY TEA BAGS BY Alex Katschilo Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that are the biggest hit. I created similar custom tea bags for my kids teachers on Valentines’ Day and they were such a big hit that I decided to do a holiday version. Super easy and super sweet as the perfect little holiday gift. Click photo for tutorial on Northstory (opposite) NATURAL HANDMADE HOLIDAY WREATH BY Sara Albers I was so inspired while browsing through my local flower mart. I picked up a huge bunch of bay leaf branches and dried berries to create this one of a kind holiday wreath. You could use any kind of greenery, branches, herbs and dried flowers to create your wreath. This DIY wreath project would make the perfect craft night with some girlfriends this holiday season. Click photo for tutorial on Alice & Lois

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home for the holidays There’s something extra special about the way our home feels during the holidays. The rooms are a little brighter, the air smells a little sweeter, and the mood feels a little warmer. Making your home merrier can mean adding a few festive touches or transforming it into a winter wonderland, but it doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the mall. Creating your own handmade décor is a great way to add a personal touch and get your friends and family asking, “Where did you get that?”

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SIMPLE HOLIDAY CHARM BY SARA SYRETT

As Christmas approaches, I wanted to give you a tour of my family room. It’s been a true labour of love. This year I wanted an atmosphere reminiscent of driving down an old dirt road blanketed with snow, Holiday music on the radio, and a tree strapped to the top of the car. This is a time of giving and joy. Christmas is also a time to make memories and what a better place to create those memories than in an atmosphere like this. I wanted to simplify my decor this year. As I sat in my garage, going through all my decorations, I found so many distractions. I chose to edit down and create a woodland farmhouse style Click photos to see more of this story on Twelve and Main

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merry HOME

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merry HOME

“As I sat in my garage, going through all my decorations, I found so many distractions and decided I wanted to simplify my decor this year.�

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a merry mantel If there’s one time of year your mantle can take center stage, it’s the holidays. It’s the first thing that the big guy in red will see when he comes to visit so give him something fabulous to look at while he’s having his snack. Here are some beautiful ways to brighten up your mantle this season.

COLOURFUL MANTEL BY Bree Johnson My mantle this year was based off the colourful bottle brush trees that I created last year. They were just way too fun not make front and center again. I decided to take the colour and just run with it. I was able to create custom colour and personalized stockings thanks to Shutterfly and stuck with solid paper and solid satin ribbon for the gifts for a timeless yet modern feeling. The whole look is anchored down with this fabulous paper deer head that just required a little DIY assembly. The finished look is bound to make you smile. Click photo for more of this mantel look and product resources 34


merry HOME

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DIY GOLD MANTEL SIGN BY Ruth Garner While I tend to steer clear of traditional holiday hues like green and red, I absolutely love gold and white, and this fits in perfectly with my minimal, scandi-influenced home and holiday mantel. I added a bit of holiday sparkle with this simple craft. The result is a bright and modern decoration which will bring life and sparkle to any console or mantel. You could celebrate the upcoming holidays, by trying it yourself and spelling out any festive word you choose. Click photo for tutorial on Gathered Cheer 36


NATURAL GREEN MANTEL BY Lucy Akins

merry HOME

Click photo to see Lucy’s whole holiday home tour on Craftberry Bush

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NEUTRAL & NATURAL WINTER WONDERLAND MANTEL BY Christina Dennis Click photo to see Christina’s whole holiday home tour on The DIY Mommy

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FREE DOWNLOAD!


merry HOME

BLACK, WHITE & GOLD MANTEL BY Hallman & Ashley

MAKE IT!

Last year, we used more traditional red and green decor. This year we wanted to go in a different direction and use black and white as the base of our holiday theme to create a fresh and modern look. We love the simplicity of black and white stripes and polka dots mixed with boxwood and touches of gold. We had so much fun putting together this holiday decor and we hope it will inspire you to add a few stripes or polka dots to your own decor this year! Click photo for more of this look and ornament countdown tutorial on Jane Can

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making spirits bright Whether you’re gifting a host, a coworker, or your pickiest friend, we know it’s what’s inside that counts but it’s always nice when their face lights up even before opening it . One way to make your gifts more personal is to swap the store-bought gift bag for your own handmade wrapping. With a bit of tape, a few ribbons and some imagination, you can turn an ordinary gift into something memorable. Cheers to that!

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Photo by Bree Johnson

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Too Pretty to Drink

BY Corinna vanGerwen

There’s always occasion for wine during the holidays. Not only is it great for drinking, it’s also good for giving, whether a basic bottle for a hostess gift or a special vintage as a Christmas present. All you have to do is wrap it pretty! Here are some festive ways to dress up that bottle, from a simple bow and tag, to a DIY paper pinwheel. Most of these ideas should take you less than 10 minutes to do, so there’s no excuse for leaving that bottle in a paper bag anymore! Click photo for full tutorials on Corinna Wraps

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merry GIFTING

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PERSONALIZED SANTA SACK BY Virginia Fynes Before you know it, Santa will be on the chimney eager to deliver all his special gifts. What a better way to receive a Christmas package than in a very special personalized Santa Sack? This project uses flocked velvet heat transfer material and a cutting machine, and I have to say it is possibly my new favourite crafting addition. Click photo for full tutorial and free download on Fynes Designs

PERSONALIZED COOKIE TAKEOUT BOX GIFT BY Melissa DiRenzo It’s become a tradition for me to whip up batches of my homemade biscotti for the holidays. I like to give them to friends or bring as hostess gifts. This year I thought I would get creative and use plain takeout food boxes and thanks to Shutterfly was also able to personalize with some fun stickers. A sweet treat that anyone will be happy to open. Click photo biscotti recipe and Shutterfly resources on The Sweet Escape

FREE DOWNLOAD!

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EAT merry DRINK GIFTING merry

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EAT merry DRINK GIFTING merry

finishing touches NATURAL DIY GIFT TAGS BY Lucy Akins Be inspired by nature to create some of your own unique and charming gift tags to top off your already special gifts. Click photo for more gift tag ideas on Craftberry Bush

(opposite) FREE BLACK & GOLD PRINTABLE GIFT TAGS BY Nicole Phillips I thought I’d make your life a little easier by providing free printable Christmas gift tags. They’re the perfect little addition to gifts for friends and family. These will not only save you time, but they’ll also save you money, while making your gifts extra pretty. Click photo for free gift tag printables on Visual Heart 47


We all know the holidays are about giving, and there’s certainly no shortage of gift ideas to go around. But sometimes the best holiday gifts are not just the trendy ones lining store shelves. Thanks to a flurry of local maker marketplaces the term ’handmade’ is no longer synonymous with your kindergarten macaroni necklace (although we’re sure your mom loved that too). Here’s our pick of handmade favourites for everyone on your list.

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merry

handmade gift guide

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merry

GIFT GUIDE

Lip Balm DIY Kit by Leona Made, $40 Rubber Stamp Kit, $30

Succulent Needle Felting Kit, $60

for the

do it yourselfer Colour Block Scarf Knitting Kit, $37

Cross Stitch Leather Cuff Kit, $39

Wall Art Weaving Kit, $75 * prices in USD

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DIY Electric Guitar Kit, $199

Indigo Textile & Ink Kit, $30


merry

GIFT GUIDE

Retro Illustrated Fruit & Vegtable Calendar, $16

Paper Cut Desk Calendar, Star Wars Series, $18

Folk Art Floral Wall Calendar, $21.69

for the

do it organizer yourselfer Pretty Pots Illustrated Calendar, $18

Pastel Coloured Yearly Calendar, $12.91

Citrus Wall Calendar, $18

Mid Century Modern Wall Calendar, $39 51


merry

GIFT GUIDE Hanging Modern Hex Wine Rack, $179 Set of 10 Large Bath Bombs, $23

Handknit Wool Slippers, $35

for the

homebody Organic Soap & Handknit Washcloth kit, $16.95

Vintage Ceramic Mugs, $21 Etta + Billie Lavender Body Lotion, $29

Herbal Tea Gift Set, $18 52

Merino Wool Throw, $155


merry Magna Necklace, $32

GIFT GUIDE

Hand Dyed Ombre Tights, $39 each 18” x 18” Handcrafted Pillow Cover, $60

for the

colour lover iPhone Wood Print Case, $19 Neon Mini Bowls, Set of 3, $24

Party Straws Print, $20 Marble Print Scarf, $94

Screen Printed Tea Towel, $12 53


merry

GIFT GUIDE

Handcrafted Duffel Bag, $206

Personalized Wood Luggage Tags, $30

for the

wanderer Brooklyn Map Watch, $39

Brown Leather Nomad Camera Strap, $79

Personalized Embossed Leather Passport Cover, $25 54

* PrIces in USD

Travel Quote Printable Poster, $5.30


merry

GIFT GUIDE

Crochet Fingerless Gloves, $15

for the

winter warrior

Handknit Hat With Upcycled Detachable Fur Pom Pom, $80

Hand Knit Merino Blanket, $477.14

Crochet Shawl Scarf, $22.50

Oversized Crochet Cowl, $38.25

DIY Handknit Women’s Leg Warmers, Pattern only, $4 55


eat drink, & be merry T’is the season of indulgence and we’re here to make sure you don’t skimp on the gluttony. Holiday soirees are the perfect excuse to add a little swank to your table settings. Whether you’re hosting a casual cocktail hour or a traditional seated dinner, we’ve rounded up the best ways to add a festive and personal touch to your event.

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hug it out BY Melissa DiRenzo

It’s that time of year to swap the mimosa bar for a something more warm and cozy like a hot cocoa bar. Wrapping your hands around that warm mug full of chocolately goodness and topped with something sweet really is like a hug. I wanted to make people light up when they saw my hot cocoa bar, literally. I combined two popular DIY projects - marquee lights and chalkboards to make a lit up chalk baord sign using battery operated LED lights and a few other supplies from Home Depot and channeled my inner artist. The result is an extra special piece that can be used in so many ways or just as a piece of holiday art. Click photo for full project tutorial on The Sweet Escape

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MAKE IT!

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EAT DRINK merry

WINTER WHITE DINING BY Dannyelle Nicolle-Ramijst This rustic snowy table is the perfect spot for a winter party. The room is warmed up with fur throws, and lots of candles. The centre piece is a beautiful 100 year old hemlock plank, slightly raised and surrounded by snow. It’s covered with a few pieces of wispy pine, fresh snowberries, and lots of candles in gold votives, vintage glasses, and geometric holders. The place settings are simple white dishes, gold cutlery, and pretty glasses. Everyone’s place is subtly marked on their own Christmas cloche, put together with a wooden coaster, pretty glass cover written on with a temporary white marker, and filled with a simple winter scene of snow, tree, and deer. Click photo for more on Life is a Party

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HOLIDAY TABLE SETTINGS BY Ashley & Hallman Setting the table is an easy way to make your home festive for the holidays. A beautifully set table creates ambiance and contributes to the mood of a special meal. Whether your style is traditional or modern, formal or casual, a few well chosen details can make a big impact on your table and your guests. Click photo for more holiday table setting tips from Jane Can

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merry

Customizable Cocktail Nakpins, Set of 50, $30

Serving Tray, $55

Walnut Salt & Spice Cellar, $28

handmade love for your host

Stars & Dots Towels, $28

Holiday soirees are the perfect excuse to add a little swank to your table settings. Whether you’re hosting a casual cocktail hour or a traditional seated dinner, we’ve rounded up the best ways to add a festive and personal touch to your table. Or, if your plan is to just be a guest this season, consider these great send-ahead gifts for your favourite holiday host. Porcelain Bryce Bowl, $95

Striped Coasters, Set of 4, $30

Black Stoneware Tea Light Candle Holder, $24 63


festive bites

Okay, we’ll admit it: our favourite part of the holidays is feasting! There’s something about this time of year that draws us to the kitchen, and around a table with friends and family. Whether you like sweet treats, savoury snacks, or something in between, here are a few ideas to keep your taste buds happy this season.

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PINK PEPPERMINT EGGNOG DONUT BY Andrea Ament This is one decadent donut with a baked eggnog cake base, frosted with pink peppermint icing, then topped with chunks of pink peppermint bark and candy cane sprinkles! Make them instead of cookies to leave out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, or bake some for breakfast for Christmas morning. Click photo for this recipe and 24 more delicious donut recipes from Legal Miss Sunshine

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EGGNOG CAKE WITH SALTED CARAMEL GLAZE

merry FESTIVE BITES

BY Melissa DiRenzo A sure sign of the holidays is that creamy, delicious mixture known as eggnog. Yum! And what better way to have it than in cake form. The fresh nutmeg really brings out the eggnog flavour and the salty & sweet caramel glaze just puts it over the top. Click photo for the recipe on The Sweet Escape

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REINDEER & MELTED SNOWMEN SUGAR COOKIES

merry FESTIVE BITES

BY Jesseca Hallows These cookies are too cute for words and big crowd pleasers. It’s the best way to play with your food and get in the holiday spirit. Click photo for the recipes on One Sweet Appetite

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SANTA HAT MARTINI BY Susan Boroch I think one of my greatest joys is throwing a good party but it’s alot of work. That’s why I simplify holiday celebrations with a signature cocktail like this Santa Hat Martini! Santa’s upside down hat is perfect for any holiday soiree to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party; it will have guests Ho Ho Ho-ing for more than one! Cheers! Click photo for the recipe on Oh My Creative

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HOLIDAY MIMOSA BY Jesseca Hallows

merry FESTIVE BITES

This mimosa inspired drink is the perfect way to spread a little cheer for the holidays. With just three simple ingredients you can have your cocktails ready in a snap. Freeze cranberries to use as ice before hand for a fun and festive touch. Click photo for the recipes on One Sweet Appetite

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The best gift I ever gave or received is... ...My husband gave me ballet lessons one year and wrapped the voucher in a pointe shoe, along with leg warmers and bobby pins (for my “ballet bun�).

I was given a beautiful bracelet by my husband (fiance at the time), with a little note about our upcoming wedding, and how now I had something new to wear on the day. Probably one of the most romantic gifts I’ve ever received!

Corinna

...It has to be our children. Best gifts we have ever given and received.

Ruth

Sara & Me lissa

...My sister and I made a photo album (with real, printed photos!) for our dad that included everything from childhood pictures to our graduation shots. He cried a little when he opened it, so we considered it a success. ...or will ever receive, is the gift of a liver for my daughter when she was six weeks old and fighting for her life. The gift of her laughter, of her love, and of the opportunity to watch her grow is priceless

Kelly

Amanda ...The best gift I have ever received would by far have to be my home. We put our blood, sweat, and tears in to our home and moved in one week before Christmas. We have created so many memories and I am grateful every day that we were able to build it ourselves.

Sara 72


..Best gift I ever received for Christmas were Front row tickets to Beauty and The Beast for New Years Eve. I felt like we never did anything fun on new years and was always a little bummed. Husband bought us tickets to Beauty and the Beast for New Years and I was so excited to dress up and Have a night on the town.

...Last year we gave each other the same gold cuff from J.Crew. No wonder we are business partners!

Bree

Ashley & Hallman

..For my 40th birthday I went away for the weekend and my husband transformed his old study into my new office as a surprise.

Dannye lle

...The small, thoughtful surprise gifts are the ones I love best - like the time my husband bought me pot plants and seeds because he knew I love gardening, or the time he got me Ugg boots from New Zealand (that I still wear today!) because I always get cold.

Stephanie ...pricey golf shoes and golf bag form my hustband. It’s not about the gift but the fact that he remembered that I needed new ones four months after casually mentioning them in a conversation. That was a gift I loved!

Susan 73


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

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