I love decorating for the holidays in a understated way, mixing sentimental old nostalgic treasures with natural elements. Some of my most cherished treasures are so simple, perhaps a little faded, not quite perfect, yet bring such joy when I behold them. They bring up the childhood memories, they speak to innocence, have a quaintness to them that I just adore. They seem to hold a resonance for all the hopes of holidays past and dreams of special moments still to be created…
I love the ooh ahh feeling of opening up papery boxes to reveal precious gems from seasons past. Vintage mercury glass ornaments are my absolute favorite and I have collected them for many years. I love their fragile delicate patina and their charming shapes.
Years ago one fall I was untwining an old vine that had clung to an arbor. I wound it off round and round my arm with the intention of tossing it with my garden clippings. Yet without intention, I had created a perfect delicate wreath!
So a few month later I tied some wide satin vintage ribbon at the top, and with a few gentle little hand stitches attached an old mercury glass ornament to the ribbon so that it was perfectly framed by the vine. The whole thing is featherlight, and I can secure to a door with just a pushpin!
Of course I am inspired by nature so love to bring in natural elements foraged from my own back yard, old berry branches, boughs, cones that have fallen on our patio.
I’ve always preferred just pure white or green florals in any setting, they are just so elegant. Fragrant greenery like flat seeded eucalyptus is lovely for the holidays and paper white narcissus are a favorite of mine. Each year I hope to force some bulbs in advance but never seem to do it in time so end up picking some potted ones. This year I have them displayed in simple burlap covered vases. White flowers, candlelight & the heady perfume of flowers set such a soothing tone any time of the year.
Ornaments of natural forms are so fitting for a tree too, though many years we have not had a tree at all and I have just displayed them in bowls or on branches, which is great for a small space. As you can see I even use birds nests & natural sea forms as containers for my treasures.
Soft homespun materials like wool felt are so inviting for the winter season. I love these wool felt spheres I found for my shop this year, they are in my favorite ethereal palette of blues and greens.
Antlers are such a wonderful natural form too, I search for ones that have naturally fallen from the deer in their seasonal shedding. with their undulating forms they are beautiful incorporated into a vignette any time of the year but especially fitting around the holidays.
When I say search for them most times I pick them up from antique dealers and collectors, but my dream would be to find some naturally fallen on a forest floor! I mix them with silvery mercury glass & hand crocheted garlands for that eclectic look I love of earthy mixed with a bit of metallic. I love their driftwood tones & each antler is like a unique sculpture.
Most importantly, wether you just light a candle, feast with friends, go all out with sparkle & lights for the holidays, it’s the feeling you create and the symbolic time you spend celebrating and connecting with whatever this season means to you and your loved ones that matters most.
I wish you all peace, joy, abundance, inspiration and love for the season and the new year ~ Heather
all images copyright Heather Ross 2012