Friday, December 31, 2010

Crochet Covered Smart Car

What do you get in Rome, when you cross a smart car with a crochet hook? Fabulous.

Happy New Year from 973 Third!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Vintage Christmas cards are great fun to share online. Click here for more vintage imagery. Click here for our favorite creative Christmas trees.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Creative and Green Gift Wrapping

Gift wrapping can be beautiful in its simplicity. Here are some ideas for inspiration from the goddess of good things, Martha Stewart. Above, brown craft paper tied with string works nicely with a fresh sprig of greens tucked in and a red bordered sticker label for a tag.

Recycling the drawings or doodles of your resident artist makes a cheerful and personal wrapping tied up with a bow.

A solid color paper or tissue looks elegant with a pretty bow and a little greenery attached.

Japanese style wrapping, furoshiki, with a piece of fabric or scarf self-tied as a carry-all is a thoughtful practice of the 3 Rs.

Natural materials as leaves and pods wrapped in rafia or grasses add an organic touch for your gifts.

Newspapers, maps, and strips of paper can be layered for an entirely recycled and creative wrapping.

Twist a sparkling or contrasting pipe cleaner into an initial or monogram to personalize your packaging.

Stamps and stickers, with a touch of red or green, make ideal tags for marking your gifts.

All images from here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Luminarias - Lighting for Christmas Eve

Make your own luminarias (lights) or farolitas* (small paper lanterns):

Gather a handful of brown lunch bags, a bucket of play sand, a trowel, white votive candles, and a candle lighter. Open bags, fold over the top edge to shorten the height, flatten the bottom, scoop in some sand to weight the bottom and double as a fire retardant and nestle a candle in the center. Lay out your filled bags to flank the outside entrance, or line a path to the door. When darkness falls (or at the appointed hour and before guests are expected) carefully light each votive with a long handled lighter.

Beautiful, festive and very easy!

Image for inspiration: Holiday Open House at Spruce Tree House, an ancient Anasazi cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park near Durango, Colorado

*Farolita is the diminutive form of farola, the Spanish word for streetlamp.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easy Peasy Holiday Decorations

These are frantic days at 973, as Christmas is less than 4 days away, and I am scrambling to finish putting on the holiday touches.

Still to be done: (admittedly last-minute) green, minimalist decorations

I consider this the antithesis of the NYT article in last week's Home" section, "Even the Tree Has a Stylist." If you missed the article and you are the type who can manage your own holiday decorations, don't fret. Consider yourself fortunate enough to have the creativity, vision and leadership to do what some others seeking to find beauty and comfort at home at Christmas must pay dearly for.

Images for inspiration: plain glass ornaments filled with simple compositions, from Country Living, burlap (or other recycled household textile) makes a charmingly provincial stocking, from Better Homes & Gardens.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Catching Up in Time for Christmas

After a series of real world distractions, it's nice to be back at 973. There is much to do this week and I need all the holiday short-cuts I can get!

Here's the minimalist to do list:
Trim the tree - check, Hang wreath on door - check, Send holiday cards - check, Holiday music on ipod - check, Party foods on hand for surprise guests - check, Party drinks - check, Gifts for family & friends - not finished yet! Easy decorations - to be done!

Easy decoration idea/inspiration #1: Take a white bowl and fill it with pretty red ornaments. Ta Da! This would be pretty with any monochromatic assortment of ornaments. Having something with a little white on it helps visually connect the bowl with its contents.

More to come, very soon!