Jingling Jewelry for the Holidays

If you're looking for something sparkly for your someone special (or yourself) this holiday season, be sure to stop by Rappaccini's Garden on Etsy...

There's still time to get a pretty piece shipped before Christmas, and be sure to stop by the Rappaccini's Garden facebook page for a special 15% off coupon code!


Stockings Hung with Care

Our apartment is sans fireplace, which means that Santa's going to have to find an alternate point of entry, and I had to make do without a mantle. I hung our stockings with fleur de lis picture nails on a bare wall in our living room. They were shimmery and festive, but something was missing...

They needed a personal touch, but I'm not handy enough with needles and thread to take on embroidery. Instead I drew out petite banners on black paper and scribbled in all of the WarLock family names...

Now it's perfectly clear where all the coal should go!

We're sharing with the kitties, so most of the stocking stuffers will be catnip treats. Matilda loves unwrapping her own presents (last year she even retrieved them from under the tree), and we figure that Phinney will be thrilled to have paper to shred and new toys to play fetch with. There will be a few presents for Adam and I as well, and since I'm doing the shopping, I already know I love them!

We're looking forward to two more sets of thoroughly stuffed stockings when we go home to Washington for the holidays. Adam has a large family, and this year each person is responsible for contributing some goodies to three other stockings. Everyone will end up with a fun assortment! My family saves the stockings until very last, to be emptied and giggled over as we finish our coffee. 

Are stockings part of your Christmas tradition?


What Do YOU Want for Christmas?

All I want for Christmas is $100 to spend at mydeco boutique... so I entered a moodboard in the mydeco + Rue Magazine "All I Want for Christmas" contest!

My moodboard entry, A Curious Christmas is a room full of dare-to-dream items (like a beaded chandelier and the rug that would look marvelous in my living room). Of course, if I were to win that $100, maybe one of these dreams could become a reality!

Have you entered yet?


How to Make Perfect Paper Snowflakes


Being a Flake...

You were promised a snowflake tutorial today, but the weather simply didn't cooperate... yesterday was rainy and my photos turned out equally dreary! I staged a re-shoot today and I'll post the full how-to first thing tomorrow morning.

It's dry today in Berkeley, but tomorrow's forecast calls for snow!


Adding Holiday Sparkle

Remember the acrylic crystals that I used to accessorize my tree? They're adding sparkle to the rest of the apartment as well! I strung crystals of different sizes on fishing line (using cheap sparkly beads to hide the knot) and hung them wherever they'd catch the light.

It's always important to me to make my little apartment look as sophisticated as possible, and that can be tricky with all of the kitschy holiday red and green out there. I limit my color scheme, because too many colors in a small space can be a visual assault. I scatter matching pieces so that each room refers to the others. By using a few recurring themes, like these crystals, even Christmas decor can look polished!

There is one crafty winter tradition that I insist upon: paper snowflakes. Each year I make a flurry of them for my windows and keep them up through January. And, this year I'd like to share them with you- I'll be posting a paper snowflake tutorial this Thursday, so have your scissors ready!


Our First Christmas Tree!

After 5 Christmases spent moving, traveling, in tiny apartments, or in separate states, Adam and I finally got to bring home our very own tree. We chose a noble fir that's just my size. Really- just over 5 feet tall! We tucked it into a formerly dark corner of our kitchen & dining room, where it can be appreciated from all over the apartment. Doesn't it sparkle?

We haven't yet acquired any sentimental ornaments, but luckily I had a stash of simple bulbs purchased at post-holiday sales- small and gold, vibrant chartreuse, and huge crackled silver. Instead of hanging them with wire, I used little snippets of green and lavender ribbon to add more color to the tree. Sprigs of glittery leaves catch the light, and acrylic crystals are a glamorous (yet cat-safe!) adornment. I topped off our tree with a curious pair of wintry owls.

I might shop for a few collectible ornaments to add as we get closer to Christmas, but for now the tree is decorated entirely in things I already owned. Affordable, easy, and a perfect fit for my existing color palette!


Here & Now: Our Living Room

I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but energy levels are pretty low here today.

I find myself in the mid-holiday doldrums, and since we polished off the last bits of Ferdinand last night, I can't blame it on the tryptophan! After a lively weekend with my family, I'm downright exhausted. But, before I add a shot of espresso to my hot chocolate and start lighting this place up for Christmas, I thought I'd give you a few peeks at our living room.

I used my family's visit as an excuse to shuffle the furniture, and I'm pleased with how it turned out! As you might remember from my Where We Blog From pictures, my desk used to be situated by the window, an arrangement that wasn't terribly welcoming to guests. I switched the positions of my workspace and our petite sofa, and finally the living room looks just right. My desk is now nestled into a corner with our bookcases, creating a snug home office. The settee now has a better angle on the television and the perfect vantage point for our busy street view. There's more floor space for Phinney's antics and more wall space for art!

If you're an astute observer, you'll notice I've got new art on the walls. The large piece is actually...

My beloved feather placemats, aka my blog header! Daily use had caused them to molt heavily, and they were looking pretty pitiful on my table. The frame and matting was a freebie from an old job, and I'd never found artwork that was a good fit- but I loved the antiqued gold edge on the frame, and it was the perfect focal point for my new gallery wall above the couch. So, I simply layered in the placemats for an abstract look that compliments my soft neutral color scheme!

I'm using a neutral palette for my holiday decor as well, with lots of silver and gold. Adam and I are getting our very first Christmas tree tonight, and I can't wait to show it off!