Thursday, December 23, 2010

No Place like Home for the Holidays

The husband and I drove through the night and got home for the holidays in the wee hours. Everyone had gone to bed and we snuck in the house and hurried our packages and bags up to our room. This morning I poked around the house and enjoyed seeing all the lovely things my mom and dad did to ready the house. We exchange gifts tonight with my immediate family so my mom, sis and I cooked all afternoon in the kitchen for our pre gift exchange feast: turkey breast stuffed with homemade cornmeal stuffing, apples and spices, citrus herbed green beans, cranberry port sauce with orange zest, corn pudding with Gruyere, nutmeg and chives and of course, mashed potatoes. There will be good eating tonight!

Holly jolly to all! And to all a good night!

xo xo

Monday, December 20, 2010

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String

Last night, I did a little gift exchange with a dear friend. Half the fun of swapping goodies is oogling over the lovely wrapped packages, don't you think?? Hers was no exception. Brown paper with some simple cream string and a beautiful feather ornament tucked in between - just my cup of tea. Of course the gifts inside were all browns and blues too... the inside matched in the outside. Love it. Thanks friend.
What about you? Received any beautifully wrapped gifts? Is there one waiting under the tree now with your name on it??

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Friday! Let's Bake!

(all images via we heart it)
A lot of you folks may have your holiday baking completed, right? Well, not me. Along with my holiday shopping and my holiday cleaning and my holiday laundry and my holiday crafting, my holiday baking still needs to take place. I may not get far, but I know that I need to make at least one batch of my shortbread cookies with dark chocolate and candied orange. These babies are time consuming and tedious but oh-so-worth the effort. So that's on my to-do list for today or tomorrow. Are you baking for the holidays? Any recipes you must make each year? Please share!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fern & Flora Wednesday: Final Holiday Boutique!

Last weekend concluded the last of my five handmade boutiques in which I participated. Phew.
It's been really, really fun and really, really busy. Loved every minute (well, almost every minute. Loading and unloading the car a million times get old fast). Glad that they're over. Here's a look at the truly fabulous show at the home of a friend who hosts a holiday bazaar every year. Tiffany (the hostess) makes spectacular and really affordable jewelry and her mom Pat, a life-long artist paints, makes jewelry, kiddo mittens and hats and a plethora of other lovely items...

Pat is sassy and ridiculously talented. Ceramics to sewing and painting to jewelry, she's a marvel.

Like mother like daughter. Tiffany has a great eye for putting stunning vintages pieces together to come up with something totally unique. Hello gorgeous.

Tiffany's table had lots of glitz and glam. She displays her pieces on mirrors which gives everything a splash of sparkle.

No boutique would be complete with out my friend Kara and her eternally charming note cards.
The "I'm dreaming of a pink Christmas" cards above are always a favorite of mine and have been used many a time...

Kara draws all the original illustrations by hand and packages them by hand as well. Count on her to find the perfect ribbon to embellish each package.

Her lovely robin's egg blue mittens have been selling like hot cakes this season! These mitten sticks are made for stirring your hot cider or cocoa. So cute. The great thing about this design - it's perfect for any cold night - not just the holidays.

Here's a snippet of a few Fern & Flora petite headbands. Apparently I had fuchsia on the brain...

Pins and hair clips are the latest addition to my creations.

And of course the headbands....

These earthy scarves come from Starlet, a local boutique in Denver. Kristy, the owner, has a great eye for finding stylish and affordable apparel and accessories. I had to help myself to a little something from the accessory corner...

More from Starlet. Loved those funky art prints. Loved those sassy ruffle clutches. Love. it. all.

Needless to say, it was a dandy of a show. There are so many creative women at this boutique and spending time with them is always a treat.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Spaces to Inspire: The Christmas Hearth

Are you one of the lucky ones with a really real fireplace that works AND gets used during the chilly months? It seems like lots of folks have a hearth of some sort but it's either gas (not the same as that lovely crackling coziness of real wood) or it's out of commission or in my case, you talked your fiance in to making a faux fireplace for the apartment you would share after you got married. I love that faux fireplace. I do. It's faux but what I can say? The man made it just for me.

I think there's nothing more holiday-ish than gathering around the fireplace to sing carols and share hot beverages together. When the husband and I buy a house, a fire place will top the list of house wishes.
(and truly, I would settle for gas. Beggars can't be choosers.)

Take a look at these beauties all decked out for the season:

(not really a true fireplace but aren't those stockings charming? Works for me.)

(sources: better home & gardens, we heart it,, domestic ease, the decorologist)

Are your stockings hung my the chimney with care? Do you enjoying the crackling of a cozy fire?
Do tell!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Etsy Love: Mojo Spa Style

Black chunky hats with pretty black flowers...

Gorgeous, rich tweed with goddess like powers....

Off white and earthy, all tied up with string....

These are a few of my favorite things!

For more perfectly lovely favorite things (ideal for Christmas!) check out the rest of the beautiful offerings at Mojo Spa Style.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fern & Flora Wednesday: Coming Up for Air

This week feels like that scene from Waiting for Guffman where the actors burst into song:
"working, building, never stopping, never sleeping, Working, making, some for selling, some for keeping..."

Man am I tired. My other job has been incredibly busy and tiring this week. I'm so grateful for work but when it coincides with a holiday party at my house, mountains of laundry and dishes, a handmade boutique amidst a flurry of other things, one begins to feel a tad overwhelmed. Talk about hustle and bustle.

From what I gather, I'm not only one gasping for air this week. Am I right? Let's all take a deep breath and say a little prayer. Maybe we could all sing "Silent Night"? I'm wishing for a little "all is calm, all is bright" right now...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Spaces to Inspire: The Glorious Wrapping Station

Oh wrapping station,
Oh wrapping station
how lovely is thy shelving

Oh wrapping station,
Oh wrapping station,
How lovely are thy cubbies

I'm sure you'd agree that having a neatly organized, pretty and stylish, easily accessible
wrapping station come the holidays is virtually every woman's dream. It's mine for sure.

(sources: ballard designs, better homes & gardens, country living)

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Friday! Time for Another Holiday Boutique

Find Fern & Flora along with who else but Kara Rosenberry Co at the Good Shepherd School tomorrow from 9 - 2 for a charming and cozy holiday boutique. Tasty treats and hot drinks will be available as well as children's crafts and goods from 25 vendors! Hope to see you if you're in the area!

And a happy Friday to all!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Etsy Love: Lonkoosh

This holiday season say no to the malls and the big chain stores and say yes to Etsy and supporting small businesses. There's no need to battle the throngs of rabid shoppers when you can sit at home all comfy with a hot cup of your favorite beverage and shop online in peace and quiet.  If you like to get out to shop - find local one-of-a-kind shops and take your business there. And while you shop - ditch those plastic bags and carry your goods out with your own two hands or use a cloth bag. That concludes my holiday rant.

Now - take a look at these uber feminine pieces by Lonkoosh. Just beautiful.

Would this not be stunning worn with a simple black dress, hair swept up with a little gold clutch?
Hello New Years Eve.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Gingerbread!

What could be more holly jolly than gingerbread ("not my gum drop buttons!)? My friend Kara had the brilliant idea of making them for our holiday boutique two Saturdays ago. I found a recipe for thick and chewy gingerbread which is the only way to go when making cookies in my opinion. My focus when buying the molasses was to find the unsulphured kind, so I didn't pay much attention to the giant "blackstrap" label on the bottle I bought. It made the cookies extra dark but the flavor was still mighty delish.

We served the gingerbread along side sweet and spicy candied pecans, spritz cookies and a cranberry citrus punch. Whip up some of your own this season, why don't ya? Find the recipe right here.

Oh and one more thing! The 15% off Cyber Monday sale has been extended through Friday! Just enter CYBERMONDAY when you check out to receive your discount!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Sale!!

That's right folks! Seeing that today is Cyber Monday and a big day to begin your online holiday shopping, Fern & Flora is celebrating with a double whammy - 15% off and FREE SHIPPING on any order from my Etsy boutique! The 15% off discount is one day only so don't delay! Just enter the coupon code CYBERMONDAY to recieve the discount when checking out.

Here's a peek at some of the fresh items in my shop:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Wishes

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I hope you were able to feast with family and friends while remembering all the good gifts and blessings in your life. I have so much for which to be grateful:

The biggies:

 My kind, loving, fun and supportive best friend/husband
 My mom, dad and sisters who mean the world to me
My dear, sweet friends
My faith and my church
 My darling and brilliant nephews
My health
My home

The not-so-biggies:

estates sales
thrift stores

to name a few...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Blues

I'm going to be annoying and have a little pity party. Just got word that my mom is sick and my parents won't be coming out for Thanksgiving. Noooooooo! Well, my Dad might come with my aunt and uncle tomorrow - which would be lovely but I want them BOTH to come - and stay in the guest room that's all ready for them. And have coffee and the orange cranberry bread (that's baking in the oven as I type) with us for breakfast tomorrow. Plus, my mom is so good at conversation and drawing people out. She always begins the "what are you thankful for this year" sharing time that generally ends up with most of the family in tears.  Maybe she'll miraculously feel better and make the trip after all and then I'll really have something for which I can be most grateful. In the mean time, I will proceed with the pumpkin pie baking...

Will you be with your loved one this Thanksgiving? If so, enjoy every moment.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Table Tops to Inspire

Good Monday to you. How was your weekend? Are you thinking about Thanksgiving like me?
My family is coming out to celebrate with us this year which is a change considering that we always go home. Even my dear 85 year old grandma will be making the journey, so it's extra special.

So I'm thinking about table decor and how to make the occasion festive. Who better to visit in times like these than Martha. Martha knows. Here are a few images that offer inspiration for a lovely Thanksgiving gathering...

Little white pumpkins with taper candles sitting inside. Oh Martha. You're so good.

I'm liking the bounteous and rustic look of the masses of grapes.

This is so simple yet brilliant. Maybe I will buy a bag of oranges and go to town...

Little glass votives wrapped in dried corn husks seems rather appropriate since the family will all be coming from the land of the Cornhuskers. I'm liking this too... I wonder where I can find some dried corn husks??

How about you? What's your plan for the Thanksgiving table?
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