Simple kraft wrap and some leaves painted gold.
How it happened
Most Lovely Things featured in the December issue of BHG! A total pinch-me moment. Last December, the Deputy Editor reached out and asked if I would be up for doing a shoot in January for the December 2022 issue! Of course, I responded in about two seconds with a YES, even before I knew what it meant!
This post is a little about the experience but mostly about the simple projects featured in the BHG story “In her Nature.” The projects are a little rustic and lean into my favorite thing...foraging and using regular household items.
Most Lovely Things featured in the December issue of BHG!
About the BHG photoshoot
Once a date was set, fresh trees, wreaths, and garlands arrived a few days before the shoot. The stylist for the shoot, Jennifer Condon, came to the house and assessed what we would use and what we needed to buy or source. Jennifer went to the flower market for armloads of branches and fresh flowers. I put them into my large Anchor Hocking jars from the pantry.
We had two full days of shooting! They asked if the whole family could be at the house, so both kids came home for a few days from the city. It was so fun to have it all happening while we were around, and of course, they could work from home.
The photographer, Dane Tashima, and a second photographer had us all feeling pretty comfortable…at least by the second day. It was a blast to watch and see their work.
They were very accommodating. Patrick had an interview on Zoom, so they took photos of him by the firepit in case he couldn’t be out there when we did the family shoot. It turns out we were all able to do it simultaneously. Patrick said Dane asked him to hold his breath while he took photos! Yes, it was that cold! I mean, it was January in Connecticut.
So basically, it was a dream come true and an amazing experience for someone who has been an avid magazine reader for years! Here’s from the day we walked into McNally Jackson Books in SoHo to see if the magazine was out yet.
The Simple DIY projects that BHG highlighted – “In Her Nature.”
Clay Diffuser Tags and Ornaments
Kraft wrap, raffia ribbon, watercolor and clay tags
I’ve made these for a few years using terracotta, white, and cement gray-colored tags and ornaments. The air dry clay is easy to use, and clean-up is just as easy.
I divide each clay package into thirds to make it easier to work with. I roll it out on my marble kitchen countertops using a regular rolling pin. I like mine pretty thick, but that’s my personal preference. I would avoid making them too thin because keeping the shape when the clay starts to warm up is harder.
I use simple cookie cutters to cut circles or a knife to cut rectangles. You can draw using a sharp tool or a cookie stamp for a design. I prefer to use these simple letter stamps. Initials for everyone in the family or words like Peace, Joy, and Love.
More about how I make clay tags in this post.
After a windy day, I love to go for a walk in my neighborhood, picking up sticks and branches. I bring them home, sort and cut pencil size twigs to make stars. A glue gun helps this project move along quickly.
Supplies needed for star twigs: twigs & hot glue!
We add stars to every window.
I love to attach foraged berries or eucalyptus and hang them using jute twine. I hang them in the windows and on the tree and attach them to packages. Read more about how I use them in different sizes in this post.
Clear Bulbs with Baby’s Breath
Once I decided our tree was going all natural, I foraged almost everything. I bought a few bunches of baby’s breath and two types of eucalyptus at Trader Joe’s.
I found these clear bulbs, sprayed the tops gold, put in a sprig or two of baby’s breath, and attached a leather cord. I wasn’t sure how they would look once the baby’s breath dried, but I was very happy with it overall and the possibilities are endless!
Foraged Leaves Painted Gold
The second the leaves fall, I start gathering and pressing them between the pages of large, heavy books. I’ll even fill my large Le Creuset pot with collected beach rocks to rest on top and help with the “pressing” of the leaves. Then I’ll paint them with marbelized gold spray paint. It takes just a few seconds to paint. I try to wait for a calm day, but living by the water, that’s not very often! So I set up a makeshift paint booth with pieces of cardboard boxes in the back of the garage and got to work.
They add a little something special to every box! It’s the little things! You can read more in this post.
Dried Orange Slices and Mini Stars
This is nothing new, but it never gets old! I add dried orange slices to everything during the holidays, on the tree, wreaths, garlands, twig stars, and on packages.
The mini stars are easy to make with a star cookie cutter like this. They are great to add to potpourri jars or attach to a gift with a watercolor tag. The stripes on the tag use all shades of orange inspired by the various colors of dried oranges. Rust, orange, browns…so pretty! You can read more in this post.
Paper Bag Stars or Snowflakes
Paper bag snowflakes or stars are one of my favorite things to make starting at Thanksgiving! You can read how to make them in this post.
Here’s what you’ll need to make each star:
- 8 paper bags
- Hot glue (you can use regular glue, but it takes longer to dry)
- a good pair of scissors
- twine or something to hang them
Thank you for taking the time to read Most Lovely Things, featured in the December issue of BHG! – I hope it gave you some good ideas for a few crafts over the holidays with your friends and family!