xmas in july :: giveaway winner

The winner to the $25 gift certificate from Tiny Prints is #4!  Congrats!  I will send the winner an email. And with that, the Christmas in July series is complete.... Until next year! 


xmas in july :: ornament storage

After all the gifts are opened and the guests have left, the next holiday season job is the decoration take-down. A big job!  (Doesn't it always seem like much more work to take it all down than it is to put it up?) Here are a few brilliant ideas to help with your ornament storage.

(image and how-to via Design a la Mod)

(image via Martha Stewart)

(image via Re-Nest via Pinterest)


xmas in july :: christmas cakes

These are a couple of holiday cakes I've done in the past (and previously posted), but I couldn't do a Christmas series and not have any holiday goodies, right?! 


xmas in july :: wine bottle wrapping

A bottle of wine is a very traditional hostess gift. During the holidays, why not make it a little more festive with jingle bells. Simply tie a bow from any wide holiday ribbon to your bottle of wine.  Next, tie jingle bells cascading down onto a very thin wire ribbon.  Wrap and tie the bell ribbon in front of the bow.  Viola!


xmas in july :: sponsor preview + giveaway

My sponsor, Tiny Prints, emailed after seeing my Christmas in July series and wanted to get in on the action! It is never too early to start thinking about your Christmas cards. So, they wanted to share this holiday preview with you. There are some pretty cute designs this year! What's your favorite?

Now, for the giveaway... Tiny Prints is giving one lucky reader a $25 gift certificate!  Sweet, right!? I will keep this contest simple. To enter, simply go check out the link above, come back and leave a comment here telling me which design is your favorite. I will use Random.org to select the winner. Make sure to include your email so I can get a hold of you if you're the winner.  

The winner will be chosen and announced on Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 12:00pm.  Good luck! 


xmas in july :: wants and wishes

In last year's series, I did a list of personal wants and wishes on the 25th (exactly 5 months out from Christmas!) Guess what!? It worked. My mom went back and looked at that post and sent us one of the gifts from my list. So sweet! So, I'm going to try again this year! :) Just kidding, my main reason for sharing is maybe you will find some gift inspiration for those on your list as well.

Keurig, please!  I'm a wee-bit addicted to my iced coffee's.  

For the whimsical! You have to check out this etsy shop. Amazing little jewelry creations (some of which are hilarious).  I figured I needed the one with the piping bag!  

I was so happy when I stumbled upon this product.  It made me feel better to know that others are as overwhelmed as I am when it comes to remembering all those passwords, log-ins, and usernames.  
Password Log by See Jane Work 

Ahhhh, any designers dream... a full set of Pantone markers.  (I think my heart just skipped a beat.) 

I'm tired.  I'm tired of writing my address. (Yes, I know, pretty lazy.)  I want one of these address stamps from Paperwink.
And finally, a guilty pleasure.  I know I don't need another cake stand, but why not, it's Christmas, right!? Wait, BLACK!?!  I take that back, I do NEED a new cake stand.  Martha's collection via Macy's.


xmas in july :: homemade gifts

Every year I make a few homemade gifts for neighbors, friends and others that help me throughout the year.  I started looking for ideas for this year's gifts and thought I'd share some of the gems I found.

Homemade Granola
(image and recipe via Country Living)

Homemade Salt Scrub
(image and recipe via Sunset)

Homemade Flavored Sugars
(image and recipe via Style Me Pretty)
(you can also use other flavors like vanilla, peppermint, etc.)

And for the kids...
Snowman in a Box
(image and how-to via Make it Do)


xmas in july :: eco-friendly holiday cards

This idea is from December 2010 Martha Stewart. I tore it out because I thought it was such a great idea. You use one piece of paper for the card/letter and then fold it into the envelope.  Not only is it one less piece for the sender to purchase, but the environment will thank you, too.
(image and how-to via Martha Stewart)


xmas in july :: advent calendars

Kids love Christmas.  The countdown until the 25th is like torture for them.  How about making it a little easier with some of these creative (and adorable) advent calendars.

(image, tutorial and free printables via Just Something I Made)

(image and how-to via Homework)

(knitting pattern available for purchase here)


xmas in july :: creative wrapping

It's been said a million times before, but definitely deserves to be said a million more times.  The presentation of a gift can be as important as the gift itself.  The way it is wrapped can build even more anticipation of what lies beneath the paper. The recipient will appreciate, and feel special, for the extra effort.  Here are a few examples/ideas of taking your gifts to the next level.

(images via goodhousekeeping.com)


xmas in july :: christmas card

My husband and I design our Christmas cards every year. (And every year I say "why do we do this to ourselves?!") We are usually up until wee hours of the morning designing, printing, trimming, embellishing, etc. for several nights trying to get them out the door.  Last year I came so close to ending the annual tradition of making our own. Especially after I saw this simple, but funny card on etsy.

(image source)

Oh and for any new readers, if you're interested, you can check out a few of our past cards here, here, here and here.


xmas in july :: decorating with ribbons

Almost all of my Christmas trees have ribbon incorporated as part of their overall decoration. I wrap wide ribbon, thin ribbon, even curly wrapping ribbon around and around for depth and more color. They are all wrapped horizontally around the tree starting from the top all the way to the bottom. Until now! In last year's Grandin Road Christmas catalog, I torn out this picture. The vertically oriented ribbons give a whole new look. I love it! As you can see from my scribbles, I also love the feather plum topper.  


xmas in july :: ornament display

In last year's series, I shared a space-saving ornament display that I had seen at the National Stationery Show. At this year's show, I spotted a similar idea, yet even simpler, at the MoMA booth. It's ideal for apartment dwellers who are tight on space, yet still want to decorate. Also, look at those beautiful ornaments! I lust after them every year in MoMA catalog. So bright and cheery!


xmas in july :: pink tree inspiration

I have a decorated tree in every room of my house - each with it's own theme.  Some are big and some are small.  After Christmas last year, I found a pink 6' tree for $8! Not that I needed another tree, but it was only $8! How could I pass it up!? And it was pink! You should have seen the look I got from my hubby! I still don't know which he was more upset at - the fact that it was pink or that we don't need yet another tree. :)

So, since this will be the first year I'm putting it up, I'm on the hunt for inspiration.  I gathered a few ideas.  Which one do you like best?

A)  Iridescent and Glass Ornaments
(image source)

B)  Candy/Sweets
(image source)

C)  Pink Ornaments
(image source)

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