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Entries in holiday (58)


how to: create a string lights tree

indoor string lights
lightweight ornaments
pencil and painter’s tape
hanging hardware, we used about 9 nails

1. Using a pencil and painter’s tape as needed, mark out a tall triangle for the position of the tree, and a rectangle for the tree base.

2. Secure hanging hardware for the light strands—we used one nail at the top, a row of 6 along the bottom, and 2 for the base.

3. Test the light strand then weave it around the hardware—the simpler the better.

4. Hang a mix of lightweight ornaments on light sockets—or with ornament hooks—as desired.

1. Use the longest strand of lights available to avoid a bulky plug connection—also, avoid direct contact between the light bulbs and paper ornaments.
2. Use hanging hardware best suited for your wall—for best advice, check with your local hardware store.
3. Start a few inches off the floor—safely away from low objects or carpeting.

Thanks to marcus, prop stylist on this CB2 catalog shoot.

file under: DIY, alternative tree


how to: create a frame tree

The basic geometric shapes of a Christmas tree is an elongated triangle for the tree, and a smaller rectangle for the tree trunk.

Keeping this in mind, look for visual elements that work well together and that can fill both spaces. Whether it’s framed art, pages pulled from favorite magazines or typography from a computer printer—anything goes, even holiday greeting cards friends and family.

Supplies from top to bottom, left to right:
float frame 7x9”
float frame square 11.5”
format acrylic cube
float frame 7x9”
hi-gloss white cube
float frame 7x9”
shiny frame 4x6”
float frame 7x9”
gallery frame narrow 4x6”
walnut box frame 5x8”

hint: Notice multiples of the float frame in the 7x9” size? This repetition gives structure to the tree while allowing individual elements to stand out in the crowd. Also, substitute a format clear cube for the hi-gloss white cube since it’s no longer available.

Thanks to marcus, prop stylist on this CB2 catalog shoot.

file under: DIY, alternative tree


how to: create a chalkboard tree

Perhaps the easiest, most eco-friendly and versatile tree is one that’s sketched with chalk on a wall painted with chalkboard paint.

hint: think outside the box and embrace the holiday spirit by sketching a new tree every day…or, instead of an ornament party, host a design challenge and offer all types and colors of chalk to guests then vote for the favorite…or build a virtual tree adding elements on each of the 12 days of Christmas—the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Thanks to marcus, prop stylist on this CB2 catalog shoot.

file under: DIY, alternative tree


labor day, 2011

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!


how we spent summer, 2011

Marta…went for an inspirational walk on the High Line in NY in June…cooked with 8 friends every night for one week in July on Lake Michigan…spent a week with my husband in Zihuatanejo in August…tequila and sun.

Sandy…spent a week in a small resort on a private beach in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, WI. We also spent a lot of time at our local Lake Michigan beach—perfect on sweltering summer days.

Ryan…went to work, then went home to put my baby girl to bed…every…day.

Sandra…wore as much white as I possibly could…spent hours on my new front deck with friends, family, neighbors…and did some family history research in Warsaw in preparation for my 87-year-old parent’s first trip to Poland.

Todd…spent it in the backyard with our dogs Rocky and Juliet. We have a wood picnic table that we painted bright red there is lots of candlelight everywhere. We grill fish and maybe corn. When the meal is done, we pull some chairs over to the fire pit and drink beer and tequila until the firewood is gone.

Adam…visited Connecticut and Boston…rented a Fiat 500 for drives there and toured The Phillip Johnson glass house. Visited Traverse City, MI and had a water balloon fight with nieces and nephews…came home to Chicago for Cubs games and Ravinia Music Festival.

Jake…of course had to come back to Chicago to visit friends and go to Market Days—my favorite street festival off all time. I also went to Houston to visit friends and explore the city—the highlight was the Menil Collection which has everything from frescos from the 1300’s to a modern light exhibit by Dan Flavin. It’s a really cool mix of modern and ancient.

Ali…moved into a bigger place and got a baby’s room ready!

Sara…went to my parent’s cabin in the UP of Michigan…chilled out at home in Chicago…went to the Foster St. beach on Lake Michigan…ran every errand on my bike…cooked all kinds of delicious Mexican food at Joyce and Jimmy’s—that is, Jimmy cooked and Joyce and I enjoyed cocktails.

Anna…went car shopping…visited WI and KS…went home for the county fair and to visit friends.

Megan…ate outside at foodtruckfests…went boating on Lake Michigan with friends…brewed beer for my wedding!

Curtis…went to NYC and saw the Alexander McQueen show…and some great works at the MCA in Chicago…discovered a new like—not quite love yet—of running along the lakefront…started taking tennis lessons which I do love.

April…soaked up the salty air and sand dunes in South Carolina with family.

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