christmas ideas and a winner

I have to admit I feel totally behind the eight ball when it comes to Christmas decorating. I have two lovely white poinsettias in my living room and some gingerbread dough in the freezer and that is about it. As of today, I will be in full decorating mode around here (well, at least by this weekend). I've been collecting ideas over the past couple of weeks from my favorite blogs. When it comes to Christmas decorating I tend to favor the handmade and natural look over the glitz and the glamour (probably no surprise!) I love lots of fresh greenery, handmade paper crafts like snowflakes, loads of beautiful satiny and velvet ribbons, and outdoor woodsy elements like branches, pine cones and winter berries. The first thing that caught my eye was these pretty paper decorations that David Stark has made for West Elm.

While it would be easy to go and buy some of these I think it would be more fun to try my hand at making some. I especially like the paper garlands that could be used on the tree or across the mantel. I think what makes these decorations is the use of the recycled paper. I love seeing the printed words!

I'm also going to try my hand at making my own advent calendar. (I guess at this point it will mainly be for next year but at least I will have one ready to go). Two different versions have caught my eye. The first one I saw over at love nordic design (I love all the Christmas ideas on this blog!)

I think I might try something similar but using small cloth spice bags and ornaments to go inside each one. I'm still trying to figure out how to display all the bags. I'm not sure whether to go with a fabric wrapped board like this one or something different.

The other advent calendar I liked I saw just the other day over at Bodie and Fou.

This one would be much simpler to make but I think I'm leaning towards the top one. I think Henry would probably prefer opening up a small bag each day rather than sliding a ring up a branch.

As for our front door, I've ordered a lovely, foraged twig wreath from My Luscious Backyard.

I love the fact that it is slightly different than all the other wreaths you see. It's soft organic shape and simple nature will really set the tone as you enter our home.

Finally, it's time to announce the winner of the Scout & Catalogue giveaway. Congratulations Alyssa you are the owner of a lovely Navajo Print makeup bag. Bre will be in contact with you shortly. And a big thanks, to all who entered - this is the first time I have surpassed the 100+ comment mark! Incredible!

Photo credits
Image 1 and 2 - West Elm via decor8
Image 3 - The White Company via love nordic design
Image 4 - Annaleena via Bodie and Fou
Image 5 - My Luscious Backyard