Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Designing my Swedish Christmas

  Photos by Michael Partenio

Last winter was my 17th year designing a Holiday Christmas story for Good Housekeeping magazine's December issue.

(In the world of magazines, Christmas is usually produced a year in advance).
The process started with my submitting multiple themes, sketches and ideas to the GH Staff. After working with wonderful creative editors Sarah Lyle and Laura Eckstein,we picked our favorite story and I set off to fine tune the designs.
Our pick for this year was A Swedish Christmas, an easy inspiration for me since my Dad was Swedish.

Next came the crafting, making, shopping, propping, styling, and in the end,....finding the perfect location to set it all up . We spent three days on location. ( we all know how long it takes to trim a tree).
Michael Partenio, our photographer did an amazing job shooting the projects,

Inspired by the traditional use of wheat platting in Scandinavian decorations.  I looked  for easy but pretty ways to work with wheat that does not take any  serious crafting ability or time!.
Splay wheat on each plate tied with ribbon

The table comes together nicely using one bunch of wheat  tied with ribbon, each in a glass hurricane . A untraditional but sophisticated centerpiece. Sit each in a white plate and surround with nuts .

I loved working with the palette of red and white and bringing in the natural tones with the wheat, wood and the brown paper. 
The stockings are made from recycled sweaters I picked up at a local consignment shop.

The tree is full of DIY ornaments I designed  that are all easy and quick.
You can find more ideas in the Dec Issue of Good Housekeeping.  A stylish DIY deer head that's easy to make using corugated cardboard, and some iron on sampler ornaments that will make you look like a serious needleworker!


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  2. I love the red and white paper garland on the tree. did you make it? I know it's been a long while since this was first posted but if made do you happen to remember the hole punch used to make the garland? Thanks!


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