Because today is the 1st of December, I feel I can now safely launch into full-on Christmas mode. I recently made these cute little glitter acorns – I think it’s the mixture of the natural, rough cap and the soft shine of the glitter that appeals to me.
I started by taking the dog for a walk in the woods and foraging through the leaves for acorns. Like anything that you pick off the ground, acorns need to be washed and dried to make sure that no little crawling things skitter out on your mantel. I spread them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 200 degrees for a couple of hours.
When they cooled I found that a lot of caps had fallen off the nuts so I glued all the caps back on with a glue gun. Then all I had to do was brush the glitter glue on and roll around in a tiny bowl of glitter. And… done! I’m off intense colour at Christmas this year, so I chose a soft silver from Martha Stewart, but any glitter would do.
So far these little beauties have moved around from the mantel, to a wreath, to a cloche. I could even hang them on the tree – or better yet – make a mini tree covered with them.
Advent is the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, one candle is lit the first week and one more each Sunday after that. The first week is the candle of hope, the second is the candle of love, the third is the candle of joy and the fourth the candle of peace. For 2014 Advent runs from Sunday November 30th to Sunday December 21st. I grew up in a house where the Advent wreath was on the dinner table every night and I think it’s a lovely simple tradition that isn’t about the lists, gifts and scramble.
I grew up with the traditional form of an advent wreath, evergreens, three purple and one pink candle but I really wanted to come up with some alternative “wreaths” that would work in my house.
The first option is a row of four 79 cent terra cotta pots from the garden centre that I distressed using spray-on stone paint, some left over wall paint and sandpaper. The tags are cardboard and painted with blackboard paint and attached with a ribbon from the dollar store. Four white candles and a bag of moss finishes off the first option.
This second version is a slab of wood that I had bought at the garden centre last year, some of the pinecones that I bleached last week, cute little glitter acorns that I made and four pillar candles of varying heights and thicknesses.
This last option is a cream bowl from Williams Sonoma (no longer available), three Christmas Ferns, two English Ivies, the glitter acorns and the bleached pinecones. Please use these in an area where you can keep an eye on them or substitute with battery candles.
I would be happy to include any one of these arrangements on my table for dinner and pause for a moment in all the Christmas rush.