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HOLIDAY decorations


DIY Christmas Wreaths

DIY flowery wreath

yarn wreath

It is hard to beat the unique character of handmade Christmas wreaths. It is fun to see how people are still able to reinvent a Holiday decoration that have been around for ages. Have a look at three DIY wreaths that are beautifully rustic.

First, here an cosy idea from The Farm Chicks‘ Serena Thompson. It is one of the projects from her Christmas book, The Farm Chicks Christmas. This is a simple project that you can make a Saturday afternoon with your kids. And it might be a way for you to use leftover yarns.

recycled newspaper Laurel Leaf Wreath

Renate created a beautiful laurel leaf wreaths out of overdyed newspapers for the Rit blog. Visitors could read partial news or ads while they are waiting at the door.

DIY flowery wreath

Finally, have a look at the stylish silver and cream flowery wreath that I saw at Style at Home.

+ For Americans: The Farm Chicks Christmas book $18.45 USD at
+ For Canadians: The Farm Chicks Christmas book $21.28 CAD at
+ Eco Laurel Leaf Wreath at The Rit Blog – via Li’l Magoolie
+ DIY Flowery Wreath at Style at Home


5 Minute Martha: DIY Halloween Family-Friendly Decorations

diy tombstone halloween decor

diy tombstone halloween decor

I like the amusing side of these Halloween decorations. They perfectly illustrated how a simple design can make an impact. It is not too late to make yours. You could have your children to pitch in to create your own front yard Halloween decorations.

easy constructions

It does not require extreme skills or tools to make your own tombstones using plywood. The kids will have fun writing the epitaphs. It is a good opportunity for them to use their creativity.

homemade wood tombstone for halloween

As for the upside down men, you simply attached a pair of old pants to two sticks and topped the legs with rubber boots. Sewing patches to the pants add to the charm of the scene. I took these pictures from a family house in NDG (Notre-Dame de Grâce neighborhood in Montreal).


Entrance Decorations for Halloween

spellbinding style halloween decor

spellbinding style halloween decor

Illuminate to the exterior of your home by adding a lit twig gate to your porch and hanging a spider web on a window. Your trick or treat visitors will feel welcome and know where to enter. I like how they create a path by putting the crow luminary string lights on the floor instead of hanging them.

Lit twig spider web

I also like the caged crow string lights, but they are not out of stock. You could try to assemble something similar to regular string lights by inserting a few plastic crows into cheap bird cages that you painted black.

caged crow string lights for halloween

+ Lit Twig Gate on sale at $89.99 USD / $114.91 CAD – only through catalog or online
+ Lit Twig Spider Web on sale at $89.99 USD / $114.91 CAD – only through catalog or online
+ Crow Luminary String Lights on sale at $26.99 USD / $34.47 CAD – only through catalog or online


How to Blow Paint Your Easter Eggs

blow painted easter eggs

Blow Painting Easter eggs are easy, and the effect can be modern and spectacular. I learned that technique from my friend Robert Rutledge, who is a professor of astrophysics at McGill University and a renowned expert on poutine (a Quebec dish made of French fries topped with cheddar cheese curds and gravy). Bob had been interviewed by the New York Times and CNN about his quest for the ultimate poutine.

Bob did his blow painting technique last year at a friend’s Easter brunch. I was so impressed that I asked him to share with us how to do it.

  • Start with a solid color egg, either its natural white, or a previously dyed color.
  • Take a small plastic food coloring bottle, and place a half a drop on the egg.
  • Then, hold the egg with thumb and forefinger, cup your other hand around the back to minimize splatters, bring your lips very close to the egg surface, and blow, hard. This will push the food coloring around the egg in tiny fingers. You can do 1, 2 or three colors, letting the dye dry on the egg in between new colors.
  • After it dries completely, rub the egg with olive oil for a shiny finish.

It sounds and seems simple to do. Have fun make your own blow painted eggs this Easter.


DIY Paint Chip Easter Garland

diy paint chip garland mantle decoration easter

diy paint chip garland easter decoration

Sometimes the most impactful decorations are the simplest to create, as the site Modern Parents, Messy Kids proves with this DIY Easter Garland. I love how the two-tone shades give the effect of dip-dyed eggs.

All it takes to string together this colourful garland is a stack of paint chips (chances are you already have a few kicking around your home) and a template in the shape of an egg.

Just trace the shape on the back of the paint chip, cut it out, hole punch the top and thread them on a piece of twine or ribbon. This is a wonderful project the whole family can work on together – from little hands to old souls.

diy paint chip garland mantle decoration easter

If your decor is mostly neutral, this garland will be a the perfect hit of spring colour and the uncomplicated styling makes it work with other seasonal decorations. Best of all, this project re-purposes materials that may otherwise be headed for the trash – a great way to honour Earth Day too.

+ DIY Paint Chip Easter Garland Instructions
+ Photos from Modern Parents, Messy Kids


4 Easy Easter Egg Decorating Ideas

easter eggs sweet paul spring decoration

easter eggs sweet paul spring decoration

A symbol of the spring season and, of course, Easter, decorated eggs are one of the most affordable ways to add a touch of spring to your home. Think of eggs as a blank canvas begging for a little customization and colour.

With so many innovative craft supplies available, we rounded-up a few of the freshest (and easiest!) ideas to modernize this annual tradition. It’s a fun project the whole family can get into – kids will love creating and adults will be reminded of Easter celebrations gone by.

If you love a pretty spring palette, choose two or three hues to decorate all of your eggs as Sweet Paul did for Good Housekeeping magazine. Use painter’s tape and elastic bands to mask off stripes of different sizes while dyeing, then add artful scrapbooking stickers to embellish eggs.

For a more natural look, use blue food colouring to create a true-to-life shade of robin’s egg blue and steep tea bags for a sepia tone. Dip an old toothbrush into brown craft paint and dab on egg shells to create a speckled effect. This variation would look wonderful as part of a rustic table setting.

easter eggs martha stewart chalkboard monogram

Keep things contemporary with graphic patterns and bold colours, as shown on The trick here is to pair unlikely shades and layer them on the same egg.

More proof that it will be some time before chalkboard paint has overstayed its welcome: chalkboard easter eggs. These would be wonderful as place cards at a casual Easter brunch, especially at the kid’s table.

Check out the “Sourcing” section for instructions on how to re-create these (super easy) techniques. Plus, stay tuned as we share more Easter ideas in the coming weeks!

+ Speckled Eggs from Southern Living
+ Pretty Purple Eggs from Good Housekeeeping
+ Scrambled Lines and Letters Eggs from Martha Stewart
+ Chalkboard Eggs from Style At Home


Easy Bunuelo Christmas Tree Ornaments

easy bunuelo christmas tree ornaments

easy bunuelo christmas tree ornaments

Edible tree ornaments are on old tradition. I found some that do not require any decorations to look great. Bunuelos is a sweet Mexican treat made with fried masa sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Chef Marcela found a shortcut that makes it easy to prepare. Marcela suggests to use uncooked flour tortillas instead.

Her Bunuelo Christmas Tree Ornaments are super easy to make. You only need 4 ingredients: 10 uncooked flour tortillas, vegetable oil for frying them in the oven, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Get the entire recipe on Chef Marcela’s Web site.

If you are looking for more delicious and simple to make Mexican recipe, read what I had to say about Chef Marcela’s book titled Fresh in Mexico.

+  Easy Bunuelo Christmas Tree Ornaments by Chef Marcela
+ For Americans: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid $14.24 USD
+ For Canadians: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid $16.29 CAD


The Making Of the Store Window of Lorena Rossi

christmas window of lorena rossi store

christmas window of lorena rossi store

Two weeks ago, I passed a few hours with Lorena Rossi making her store front window of her nice gift store. This was the first time I designed a store front window. It was fun to display products in an unusual way to create something that, hopefully will catch the eye of pedestrians. For example, I used body spray boxes, bracelets, bows and gift tags as Christmas ornaments.

making a christmas store front window

The color palette emerged from the first product I selected: the beautiful Holiday cup and saucer set. It’s a funny thing that I created a red and green scheme since I am not a fan of the traditional Christmas palette. So, we can never say never since I pleased of the results. I feel that the lighter green gives it a modern twist.

making a christmas store window

It was a lot a fun to work with Lorena Rossi. She is an inspiring woman. I needed her help with my growing belly. In fact, I took this opportunity to share pictures where you see me pregnant.

lorena rossi (right ) with kim vallee

If you live in Montreal, I encourage you to stop by Lorena Rossi boutique in Little Italy. She carries a nice selection of gifts for kids and adults. Plus if you host a kid birthday or a baby shower, know that she sells the cute and so practical Meri Meri cupcake decorating kits.

+ Lorena Rossi gift store
+ Photos by Julia C Vona


DIY Holiday-card Wreath

pinup wreath to display holiday cards

pinup wreath to display holiday cards

Stuffed between sale flyers and credit card bills, holiday cards are a bright spot in mailboxes all season long. Charming and colorful as they may be, it can be a challenge to display cards in a creative, stylish and clutter-free way.

Which is why this clever DIY pinup wreath from Martha Stewart is at the top of my holiday must-make list. Constructed from a wooden embroidery hoop, mini clothespins and a generous length of ribbon, it does double-duty by forming a colorful decoration and keeping cards collected. After the holidays, use it as an inspiration board or for children’s art.

Watch for more ideas on how to display your holiday cards in the coming weeks.

+ DIY Pinup Wreath from Martha Stewart
+ 14 1/2-inch Wood Embroidery Hoop $2.69 CAD at [affiliate link]


Christmas Tree Alternatives | Etsy Finds

Christmas Tree Alternative

Christmas Tree Alternative

Kim’s cardboard tree post last week got me thinking about alternatives to a traditional tannenbaum – like this modern, Scandinavian-inspired tree. Handmade in Australia from solid red cedar, this tabletop tree is perfect for those who live in small spaces but crave a bit of the season. I love that it can be dressed up or down and that it’s easy to change mid-way through the holidays.

If you plan to leave your tree unattended, make sure to use flameless tea lights.

+ Tabletop Timber Christmas Tree by Red Zebra Designs $145 USD on Etsy


Holiday Decorating: Mixing Metals

Metallic silver and gold holiday tabletop

Metallic silver and gold holiday tabletop

Once a style faux pas, wearing jewelery accessories in multiple metallic shades is a relatively recent trend. Cruise your favorite shop this season and you won’t have trouble finding layered necklaces, cuff bracelets and bold cocktail rings that pair gold, platinum, pewter and bronze tones for a luxe look.

The mixed metal trend works just as well when it comes to holiday decor. Metals marry well because they’re essentially neutral shades. They help to add the drama, sparkle and elegance of the season – just think of them as the “jewelery” of your Christmas decorating scheme.

For an over-the-top, opulent look, pair gold and silver together, as seen in this tabletop by Hostess with the Mostess. Dress up everyday white china by layering inexpensive gold chargers and chunky metallic napkin rings. Use garland and simple glass balls in matte and reflective shades to add texture to the table.

silver and gold holiday decorations for your tree and stairway

On a smaller scale, one could imagine this gorgeous gold garland as a statement necklace; instead it makes a statement in this entryway spotted on Style At Home. The neutral decor is the perfect canvas to layer sparkling silver accents both on and under the tree.

Silver topiary Christmas tree

This simple white tabletop topiary offers multiple branches to mix metallic ornaments for a contemporary version of the traditional tree. It looks modern on its own and when matched with other metallic accents on a mantle.

Metallic Creatures

If you’re opting for a more natural holiday theme, you can still add a bit of glitz with warm bronze tones. This Metallic Leaf Garland from Crate & Barrel can be dressed up or down with gold and silver tabletop accents. Something tells me these sequined creatures would be right at home tucked amongst the leaves.

How will you mix metallic finishes in your holiday decor?

+ Gold and Silver Shimmer Tabletop Tutorial from Hostess with the Mostess
+ Silver and Gold Stairway from Style At Home
+ David Stark Twig Topiary $39 USD at West Elm
+ Metallic Leaf Garland $39.99 at Crate & Barrel
+ Sequin Animals $25 at West Elm