Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

This image is my own, from my bedroom.

Today is my Sweet Escape day. For those of you who are new here, every Friday I escape here on my blog into someplace magical, relaxing, fun or otherwise delightful. And as you know, I am all about my new motto in life, which is to have fun listed at the top of my to do list. And pretty much ignore everything else. But really, who am I kidding?! I still have things to do, even if I did feed the list to my shredder. So today I didn’t have time to prepare an escape into an exotic land or fairytale houses, but that is a good thing because I was busy dreaming of fun things I can really do and not getting carried away by things I can’t.

Sweet Escape: Holiday CraftinessSweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Now that we have established that we are only going to have fun this holiday and not go crazy with the Martha Crafts (just speaking for myself here, you do as you wish, but here were my thoughts if you missed them), I do have some holiday photos to share with you, just to get you in the holiday frame of mind for the weekend. I think if I focus on some easier ideas I can feel festive without having panic attacks. I know crafting can be fun if you keep it in perspective and within your ability talent and timewise.

Sweet Escape: Holiday CraftinessSweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

I found some very cute images of holiday garland that looks somewhat crafty but like something I could actually do without injury to myself or others in the room. Some of them are a bit on the cute side, maybe, but you could always change the things dangling from the garland to something more suited to your style of decorating.

Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

I know I say I am not crafty, and by comparison to most of you out there, this is true. But I do think the holidays can be a time to enjoy some crafts even for those of us who are normally challenged in this department. The thing I like about crafting for the holidays is that if you can pare down your holiday ideals and look at the crafts as something FUN to do, it can be a way to slow down with your kids or grandkids and create or bake together. I would even enjoy doing crafts with my husband for a date night, although I am pretty sure he wouldn’t like that idea.

I would much rather have a holiday baking or crafting day with my kids JUST FOR FUN, than to spend all day doing it myself in a rushed frenzy for a holiday party. That is what Costco is for in my opinion. I’d rather create ambience or happy memories and use Costco to fill in the gaps to make it all happen. I can’t do it all so I have to take shortcuts somewhere.

Here are a couple of garland ideas that we actually made here at my house. I’ve shown the cookie cutter one before, but that is the easiest one ever so I am showing it here again.

Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Sweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Both of these images (above) are my own, from my bedroom and kitchen.

I have some EXCITING things in the works coming up in the next couple of weeks. Including another giveaway courtesy of someone and someplace delightful! It is top secret right now, but all will be revealed soon. I can hardly wait for it myself! We are REALLY going to get in the holiday spirit and give you some great ideas too. Hooray! Happy weekend! Do something fun, dream big dreams and create the kind of life you want!

The Rodent Update: Just so you know, I have not step foot in my laundry room since the incident. My dear hubby put out the appropriate Thanksgiving meal for our new little intruder (which he says is clearly only a mouse, not a rat as I imagined after seeing the dropping) and he (the mouse) has partaken of what I hope was his last meal in our house. Do you think that Martha ever has rodents in her laundry room? I don’t see any. But then again, she has some fat cats living in her basement.

Sweet Escape: Holiday CraftinessSweet Escape: Holiday Craftiness

Images of Martha’s laundry from Martha Stewart online
Garland images not otherwise identified are all from Better Homes and Gardens online.


  1. Rhoda

    Hey, Melissa, so when do you start decorating for Christmas? I’m starting Thanksgiving weekend. Now, I love your ideas of paring down, taking the pressure off for the Holidays, but how do you get everything out, decorate & fluff without putting a little pressure on yourself. I haven’t figured out that one yet, but I’m not sure I’m going to try to put up as much this year…last year I did this…mantel decked out, Christmas village all lit up, buffet in the DR, Big tree, 2 little trees, garland on the stairs…where does one draw the line & still keep the sanity? That’s where I have the problem every year. Not to mention baking, buying gifts & all the parties & festivities.


  2. Christine

    Those garlands are soo festive! I love the wreath on your bed..very pretty.
    I’m sorry about your ‘visitor’! I live waay in the country and have gotten a few unwanted guests myself..yuck!!
    wish my laundry was like that!

  3. Mrs.E

    Very nice ideas! Thank you or sharing these. I especially love the wreath. It’s always fun to get together with the family and make crafts. In a way though, I’m glad this ocassion only rolls around once a year because wooh….talk about those to-do lists. I am scaling down as well. I think as long as each room of the house has a little touch of a holiday scene then that’s good with me :)

  4. Ruth Welter

    Love the mittens on the garland Melissa…also what you have done with your headboard, just beautiful. Of course, Martha’s chubby little happy cats are adorable too.

    Ok, I’ve got a mouse story for you that will raise every hair on your head. Years ago in our 1890’s victorian, I was cooking dinner for myself (hubby was away for the weekend ) I had a pot of sauce cooking on the stove. What do you think was standing on the very next burner??? YES< IT WAS A MOUSE!!! I screamed my head off and ran upstairs to safety quicker then you can blink an eye. I left my two little Shih Tzus (who couldn’t climb stairs) just standing there in shock, on the kitchen floor, wondering what happened that made mom scream like that. Anyway, when I finally decided I must suck it up and go downstairs to get the dogs, I saw the mouse again, right where he was before…I hate mice let me tell you, they terrify me but this poor little thing, I had another screaming fit and it had a look of absolute panic on its face. It then, ran away..I turned off my sauce , grabbed the dogs and the phone and got the heck up the stairs. I called my husband and asked when he was going to be home because I really didn’t know what to do and I sure wasn’t going in the kitchen again…maybe ever. Anyway, we set traps in our basement and it got rid of them but good lord, when I hear a mouse story, it reminds me what happened years ago. You are not alone.

    If you liked that one…I’ve got a good bat story to tell you sometime. : ) Another fabulous creature I really don’t want anything to do with, especially in my home!!!

  5. Terri

    You are so adorable! I love the Martha comments and they truly are fat cats. Your post is funny and charming and inspiring all at the same time. I like your new life philosophy and not sweating the details. Still, sister, you have one gorgeous house! I love the bedroom and kitchen photos – so heavenly and pretty and what talent! Gosh, that wreath at the foot of the bed is so pretty – I have been looking for something simple and green like that.
    I am just not into RED right now. :)

    Glad Monsieur Mouse has had Thanksgiving supper. Maybe he will meander with his full belly somewhere else. Poor little mice. My Mom lives in the country in a great old house and they sometimes get mice infestations. Recently she trapped 8 between her pantry and the basement over two weeks. Then she won’t have any for months until they return to eat her cookies.

    By the way, you should check out Linda’s post at Restyled Home. All about what holiday crafts she WON”T be making. It was so funny and in the same spirit as your recent posts, about keeping perspective on the holiday decor.

    Love to you and have a GREAT weekend!

  6. the feathered nest

    Glad it was only a mouse cause rats are ‘nother story! Love the garland ideas. Love the wreath on your bed with the hydrangeas!


  7. Vee

    Lots of splendid ideas…I’m particularly fond of the gingerbread garland and I know that I am going to attempt the cookie cutter garland this year, too.

  8. Sweet Remembrance

    I am so glad it was a mouse and not a rat! In my mind I was picturing a huge rat, like the ones they show on TV running through the city streets! Yuck…
    Anyway…hopefully little mouse has moved on!
    Thanks for all the garland inspirations…
    I needed this!

  9. martha

    Specially like the mitten garland. Where did you find this? I’d love to buy the book or magazine for my collection,

  10. Cottage Contessa

    OMG! This entire post has me swooning. I love it all, each and every photo! I’m all packed, when can I move in? I’ll even bring my cat to help out. lol
    Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

  11. Neutral Dwelling

    I like your wreath – Is that dried blue hydrangea?

  12. Mary

    First of all, if Martha had rodents in her laundry room, I’m sure she also has “people” to deal with it! I remember watching Martha cut up a chicken, and my young daughter asked me how the ckicken died. “Did Martha kill it?” “No, honey, Martha has people to do that.”

    I love all your garlands, especially the one with the ribbons and pine cones. Love the wreath on your bed, too!
    Have a wonderful, stress-free weekend!

  13. Dena

    What beautiful pictures! I love the garlands and that mouse story made me pull my feet up in my chair! Hope you have a great weekend.


  14. Penny, Mosaic Artist

    As always, I love your ideas! And I am glad it is just a mouse, not a rat!
    p.s. thank you for saying such nice things about my mosaic tea cart!

  15. JO

    That wreath on your bed is gorgeous… you have such fabulous ideas…looking foward to the “can’t tell you yet but its exciting” ….ewwwww about the mouse…rats…bats…possum… racoons… they all give me creeeeps.



  16. Jenn and Jacqui

    Hi Melissa, really love your kitchen and bedroom decor, just beautiful :) Pests like rats,possums, bats and even mice, yuk, they give us the chills! Hope you had a lovely Sweet Escape day, wish we could have one of those, sound bliss! Have a gorgeous weekend :) Jenn and Jacqui

  17. naturegirl

    It is my first time here and what inspiration!! I adore your bed frame and those tiles on your backsplash! I am not a crafty person but a gardener and nature lover so if you are interested pop by! I am currently having a..
    (((GIVEAWAY))) open until Sunday midnight!
    I shall visit again as it has been such a pleasure!:)NG

  18. Paris Parfait

    Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. What gorgeous photos of your home! And those creative crafts of yourss make me think I should get busy and do something about decorating our apartment for the holidays. Lately we’ve had so many guests, I haven’t had a moment to consider it. I’ll be back to visit your lovely blog again soon. Tara @ Paris Parfait.

  19. jean

    While I haven’t allowed myself to “get into” Christmas yet…I MUST hold off until the day after Thanksgiving (I am having dinner for 17 that day so I have to channel all my energies into that meal), I can hardly wait to start the decorating! I think I’ll try making the cookie cutters garland…it is soooo cute and I can see it in my kitchen! Any special instructions??

  20. Julie

    Well I’m glad the rodent issue is over! Get a cat!!

    Anyway, the pictures are gorgeous and I’m already stressing over how my house will never be that organized, that pretty or that tasteful. AAAAAHHH!!


  21. Alexandra

    Beautiful photos. So funny and not about the mouse. I do not blame you for not wanting to go in there. The garlands are lovely.

  22. le petit cabinet de curiosites

    I can’t wait to see your christmas decoration. The laudry roomp of Martha Steward is wonderful . i love her cats

  23. Pat

    Good morning, Melissa! I am so happy I came by here this morning. I love the photos and your ideas are great!

    I’ll start decorating the weekend of Thanksgiving, this year, since last year I began in September, because of the tour. We plan to be in NC, for Biltmore Estate, Christmas week, so I will not do as much as last year. We had 18 trees of all sizes last year. I do plan to try a copy of Mary Carol Garrity’s living room tree. I have the round table and the tree..it’s just figuring out how to present everything!

    I really like your bedroom! It’s beautiful and looks like a wonderful place to escape!


  24. ginny

    This is my first visit to your blog and I was lost in it. Your home looks lovely, inviting and wonderful.
    Love the low key yet festive decorations.

  25. Alicia P.

    Hello my beautiful friend,
    What gorgeous photos. I want to take a nap there.
    I can’t get my regular emails to go to you and I’ don’t know why. But I am thinking of you and have some time to breathe and drink coffee next week? Want to? Love, alicia

  26. Elzie

    I just love the garlands you shown us. The ones with the gingerbread figures are so cute. And you know; the more you do a thing, the more you learn LOL. I mean, if you begin with something you would love to learn, the more you can do it after a while. It’s much practice in this too.
    Maybe she hasn’t had rats in her laundry LOL. I once had a small rat in our basement. The poor thing was scared half to death when I came down the stairs!!
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Love Elzie

  27. Jennifer Grey

    My first visit to your blog, and it’s darling. I especially adored those gingerbread men and gorgeous wreath.

    By the way, please visit my blog..I’m having a Holiday Decorating Contest on my website!


  28. Cre8Tiva

    oh wowareyou decorated for Christmas already…say it ain’t so…i still have halloween up…this post reminded me to scrub the witch is in off my foyer mirror…i should be ashamed, but,alasi am not…i have so much to do to get ready for my party…hugs…blessings, rebecca

  29. Elaine L.

    I’m new to your site and love the ideas you have posted.
    I especially like the photos of your home.

    The thing that stresses me the most about decorating for the Holidays, is having to move things around or out to leave room for the Holiday items. That’s why I liked the idea of the wreath hanging from the bed, you were able to add it, without having to remove something and then store it.


  30. Esther Sunday

    Thanks for the rat update. I absently drank several extra cups of coffee this morning wondering what was happening with that situation. I just don’t do rodents, so I was worried. ;>O I am totally destressing about the holidays this year. I am gonna whip out the little 2 footer tree this year and be done with it. Love the pics, your garlands look wonderful. And, I really would like to take a nap on your bed. Love ya, Esther

  31. Tam

    Wow, I’m so glad you stopped by my blog this week because it helped me in turn to stumble onto yours! I love it! I even made my hubby come and look at the photo of the craft half of the MS laundry room because I MUST have something like that to hold my ribbon collection!


    ::running off to add you to my blogroll…::

  32. Lynn

    Melissa, Loved reading your fun post and seeing the Christmas decor. And I love your white bed. It’s so pretty. It seems we always get a mouse or two in the house every fall. They are field mice looking for a warm place. So far this fall that hasn’t happened, thank goodness. :) Come on over and visit. I am having a give-away. Lynn

  33. Rhonda

    Love the garlands and wreath. Also love your pretty iron bed:)

    Hope you are having a nice weekend.


  34. ellie

    Those are some pretty big Rats I mean Cats in Martha’s laundry…I saw her on a recent episode with some big cockaroaches she didn’t seem to like those guys too much!

  35. mary

    Wow your Christmas decorations are beautiful, the garland on the bed is gorgeous!

  36. Cathy

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have a beautiful web site. The Christmas decs are gorgeous and I love your iron bed!

    Off to read more of your posts.

  37. kKathleen Grace

    Thanks for a glimpse into your home, beautiful bedroom! I especially love the picture with all the red & white by the stairs, my favorite colors! It is so fu to see what everyone does for the holidays:>)

  38. tongue in cheek

    I love the photos you find and share with us. Who needs a magazine when their are clever blogs like yours that show us the best out there.

  39. Daisy Cottage

    Beautiful images and inspiration and my favorites are the ones from your home! More, more! Pretty please? Just gorgeous! But then again, everything always is over here….


  40. Sweet Cottage Dreams

    Hi there Melissa!!! I have to laugh at your rodent story!!! Poor thing, being so scared to not want to go down there. I can just see you…taking each step on your tippy toes and with a bat in your hand!!! ha!

    Ok, I have to wonder if Martha REALLY allows her furry friends to actually hang out in her PERFECTly appointed laundry room! Common now! I do believe that that was mearly for a photo shoot. Can you imagine all of the hair that would get on her CLEAN laundry! I don’t believe that she would care for that very much.

    I am loving all of the garlands that you shared. The mittens and buttons are up my “cute” alley. Very sweet!! Your bedroom is so pretty all done in white and creams. It looks like a wonderful retreat to go to!!

    You have a good week and stop by for a visit. I am having a little giveaway that ends on Saturday.


    Becky and Doogs

  41. Brenda Eason

    now I really feel guilty for laying in bed this eve.

  42. Joy

    Ohmigosh, the photos of your bedroom and kicthen are DROP DEAD GORGEOUS.


  43. Lady N

    Your bedroom picture is gorgeous! I want to copy that for my guest bedroom!

  44. katiedid

    I love that laundry room! I want it.

  45. {this is glamorous}

    Melissa! The wreath on your bed looks gorgeous! I love your holiday decorating and that you’ve started already. I’ve started as well, but only a little–hoping to make some time to go all out this weekend! Thanks so much for the trip well-wishes–you’re lovely. I have some great photos that I was hoping to post for tomorrow, but didn’t have the time. Hopefully soon! And please don’t feel obligated to do that craft–or, if you do decide to do it, you could also try covering the vases with real birch bark instead?

  46. frenchgardenhouse

    Beautiful images, and what a wonderful reminder of taking it easy for the holidays. What our loved ones want is a relaxed, joyful wife, mom, and friend, not a frazzled girl with a perfect home!
    xo Lidy


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