Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Delicate Doilies from Martha Stewart Living

November 20, 2008

I’m always fascinated with end of November through New Year’s here in Germany… the winter activities are non-stop and most are outdoors which I think enhances the mood so much more than indoor festivals. Who wants to congregate indoors for a winter fest when you can stroll outside in the crisp winter air, twinkle lights and candles all around, hot mulled wine in hand (drinking alcohol on the streets is a-okay here, totally legal), bundled in your chunky knit scarf, shopping handmade crafts and toys from the locals. No one does it like the Europeans this time of year, especially here in Germany.

The Weihnachtsm?rkte begins on November 27th and lasts until mid December and it’s beauuuutiful. Imagine old villages, cobblestone streets lined with food and artisan carts, the smell of candied nuts, gingerbread, and nutella crepes in the air, indulging on fresh crispy pomme frites with mayonnaise. It’s heaven and definitely something I enjoy when I’m here. I’ve been watching the city set up everything for the past few days, anticipation is growing! I’ll try to take some photos for you and show them on decor8 in a few weeks if you’d like to see the winter fests. Tomorrow we are expecting snow – goody! Snow makes it all so much prettier and romantic. Thinking of snow, I always envision lace snowflakes (I have some that I like to hang in my windows all winter long) and white lacey doilies because they’re so delicate and magical. When I hear the word doily two words come to mind: Winter and Weddings. I see doilies as items you pull out to celebrate something. They line boxes filled with baked goods, they sit beneath some of the most gorgeous cakes, one cannot think of them without imagining a party of some kind. Most people do not like winter so I think that is why it’s so important to go all out and have beautiful wintery things in your home during the colder months so that you don’t start feeling too sorry for yourself. I get a little blue around February and that is when I usually entertain more and break out the tea and cake for girl’s day at home because seriously it gets me through. And of course where there is tea, there are doilies. :) See what I mean. They are so festive!

I was so happy when one of my contacts at MSLO sent me the December ’08 issue of Martha Stewart Living today. I’m not that fond of the cover but I really all of the fun projects inside… especially the gumdrop people (I want to make the mushrooms shown here and place them in cupcakes) and all of the beautiful doily projects on pages 150-157. The magazine is worth the $5 for those 7 pages alone, SWOON. It definitely put me over the edge as far as inspiration is concerned. Here are a few images to whet your appetite but I don’t want to give away all the good eye candy on my blog so you’ll need to buy the magazine for the full effect (and for the project instructions) or visit the MS Living website since some of them are posted there.

Other noteworthy clippings from the December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living include a spread on beautiful pink amaryllis (in case you’re not a poinsettia fan, I prefer the look of amaryllis myself), ways to use left over wrapping paper (on clothespins for instance), and adorable gumdrop characters (I’ll take the mushrooms, please).

Look for this issue on newsstands now, it’s a beauty despite the red and green cover which I really dislike because it reminds me of a 1980’s Woman’s Day or something… Sorry Martha (like she cares what I think, he he), I can’t love everything you do. The magazine just doesn’t look pretty on my coffee table and that’s how I measure whether or not I like a cover. Are you as fussy over magazines coordinating with your decor? I would have loved to see this issue with a lavender and white cover with touches of gold and a dash of red for instance… Less traditional and more fresh. Remember that December issue of Blueprint in pink? I really loved that.

MUST. HAVE. MORE. DOILIES. Interested in MORE doily products and projects? Don’t miss Doily Love! It’s a HUGE post featuring doilies galore that I wrote this time last year but it’s still totally current. You may also like this DIY project, a Wintery Snowflake Mobile.

(images taken by holly becker of a personal copy of martha stewart living magazine, december 2008)


  • Reply Kristan November 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Never been a doily girl myself — in part b/c when I think of them, I think of lacy girly stuff and weddings — but oh, those flowers are beautiful! Never heard of them, but I do like them more than poinsettias. Also, I’m assuming they won’t poison my dog. :P

    Kristans last blog post: Mad Libs Contest Giveaway Thingie

  • Reply sly_fox November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    hmmm, Holly….that decorative table cover – created from a grid of multiple doilies joined edge-to-edge – suggests other projects, like a bedspread perhaps ? I know you found a crocheted bed spread already – but if you found the right doilies (or coasters, or any other appropriately-scaled, cost-effective textile element avaialble in sufficient quantity) you could create a customized spread.

  • Reply Luphia November 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    the wreath in the first photo is so beautiful, i’m determined to find a beautiful white wreath this year & this one is so perfect!

    Luphias last blog post: Gorgeous Rooms

  • Reply lisa November 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Nutella crepes? YUM. :)

    (Never heard of nutella crepes before, but I am a HUGE nutella fan! I always get the Euro version though because it doesn’t have high fructose partially hydrogenated icky stuff in it.)

    Thanks for sharing the MSL, too.

    lisas last blog post: Desktop wallpaper

  • Reply Amanda Elizabeth November 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    this was a super post, thanks so so so much for sharing about germany in the winter, it sounds *amazing!!!* I also got the Martha issue and its completely dogeared and post-it noted up :)

  • Reply Shanon November 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I insanely loved that wreath when I got this magazine in the mail! And I so love so much of what is inside… the colors, etc. are all very me at the moment. I didn’t really dislike the cover. The cookies looked too yummy. But it was disjointed from the rest of the magazine for sure.

    Also, she did a lot of olive greens, which I love! And not only cause that’s what I’m doing this year too. =)

    Shanons last blog post: Beachy

  • Reply decor8 November 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Shanon you’re right – totally disjointed. It was like I was expecting this big red and green over the top holiday issue and I opened it to baby blue, pink, olive green, beige.

  • Reply Summer November 20, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Oh yes, doilies! I just love them and cannot get enough! Thank you for the eye candy and the links!

    Summers last blog post: A little walk outside. (part 2) (or…A fungus among us.)

  • Reply Krista November 20, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    I loved being in Berlin and Vienna in November last year! Those little villages they set up and drinking mulled wine as you walked around looking at handmade pottery, bound books and sausages everywhere was wonderful. I also enjoyed the rum punch in a mug you pay a euro deposit for – I found it a cheap souvenier! Your post makes me feel like I should be anxious for snow and even more frigid temperatures – quite the feat here in Minnesota!

  • Reply fabframes November 20, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Wow, I love the way the doilies look in all these photos! Martha knows what she’s doing. I’m not really a fan of such fussiness, but this all looks lacy and airy, not grandma. It’s lovely!

    fabframess last blog post: We?re Dog Crazy at Fab Frames!

  • Reply Katie N. November 20, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    First of all, thanks for the post. I don’t always get MSL but I am for sure getting this one! And I can picture that Blueprint cover so easily in my mind. The other day I saw a pink tree and was tempted to purchase it just because of that lingering picture. But I really prefer a “real” tree and I think my husband and two sons would not enjoy so much pink :-) On another holiday crafting note, I began making some felt acorns today, with the real caps glued on. I’ve seen them on etsy lately and they are so easy and super cute to replicate. I’m thinking of mixing in the brightly colored felt ones with the real ones in a glass pillar. So all you crafty girls get out the glue guns. . .

    Katie N.s last blog post:

  • Reply Courtney November 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    “Imagine old villages, cobblestone streets lined with food and artisan carts, the smell of candied nuts, gingerbread, and nutella crepes in the air”


    I love lace doilies too, and I now can’t wait to check out the December issue of MS Living.

  • Reply Katie N. November 20, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Oh, I just commented, but the pink tree thing has me wondering. . . how many of you do a “themed” tree, perhaps changing the theme each year and how many just stick with the traditional tree with all of your collected, mismatched ornaments? Do you do multiple trees? I’m just curious. . .

    Katie N.s last blog post:

  • Reply samantha hahn November 20, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    oh I love this post…..doilies are so dreamy. I used to collect them when I was a kid. I thought they were really precious and could only be found in restaurants. My parent’s let me go on thinking that for quite a while. I still think they’re so lovely.

  • Reply Andy Mathis November 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    not much on the doilies, but have to say I love amaryllis (s) (es)? for Christmas. Big ones, potted on a sideboard. I ordered some bulbs and they arrived 2 days ago.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: I’m featured on Handmade Fuzion blog.

  • Reply Lisa Tilse November 20, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    This time of year in Germany sounds like an absolute fairytale… please do share some photos Holly! I would love to spend a few weeks around Christmas time in Europe with all those wonderful Christmas traditions. Here in Australia the holiday season is about long warm days, the beach and salads and seafood BBQs. Which is great, but it’s not such a romantic fairytale image is it?!

    Lisa Tilses last blog post: Kat Mcleod on The Design Files

  • Reply collette November 20, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about Weihnachtsfest. I absolutely love everything Germany has to offer during Christmas. My most treasured ornaments and other handmade goodies all hail from the fine artisans of the area. Walking cobblestone streets is a bit like being in the middle of a fairytale winter wonderland. It simply is magic.
    Can I say it’s so hard to adjust to Christmas being in the dead of summer here in Australia. I just cling to wintery, “Christmasy” feelings because it’s what we all associate with Christmas. I crave some wintery goodness right about now. Next year I am going to have to do the Christmas In July thing.
    I love Martha. I just might have to break down and pay the overpriced cover here. I always want to make just about every single thing in that magazine. It’s so chock full of goodness. Those gumdrops are precious. I think I can come up with some jellies we have and create something similar. And the doilies and clothes pegs. Definitley must-do’s.
    I’m excited about that link you provided from last year.
    Thanks again for all the time and effort you put forth for the discount offers. I’ve found a few places I’m very interested and excited about. yay!

    collettes last blog post: Christmas Pattern Downloads

  • Reply Kristan November 20, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Irony of ironies! I just won an amaryllis bulb from work!

    Kristans last blog post: Mad Libs Contest Giveaway Thingie

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente November 20, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Oh boy! I love, love, love that wreath and cannot wait to check out this issue!
    I would LOVE to see photos of the winterfest, it sounds absolutely heavenly.
    *sigh* Hope you are having a wonderful time in the snow!

  • Reply Linda November 20, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    The discussion of doilies is a great one! I love them and have them scattered all throughout my home.
    I’m so fortunate that my mother has crocheted all of my doilies so I also look at them as heirlooms/keepsakes.
    I have them in the usual white and beige but also have christmas colored solid red and a few pastel. :)

  • Reply Carla November 21, 2008 at 1:08 am

    I love the doily wreath idea, and have been plotting to do one myself for a week now- the only thing is the plastic bouquet holders are almost a dollar each, and the kit is $80! So much for inexpensive holiday ideas.

  • Reply Jennifer November 21, 2008 at 2:42 am

    just got my ms living yesterday – always a happy day around here. i’m still savoring it.

    Jennifers last blog post: 2 New Prints + 1 Big Sale

  • Reply gypsy November 21, 2008 at 3:32 am

    You are so fortunate to be in Germany at this time of year! I just had a cup of Gluhwein this afternoon trying to recreate the experience, but it wasn’t quite the same. Must have been because it wasn’t accompanied by the smell of roasting chestnuts.

    gypsys last blog post: Show and Tell

  • Reply Jeska November 21, 2008 at 4:12 am

    So many lovely projects here. I can’t decide which ones to try! Your winter in Germany sounds magical.

    Jeskas last blog post: Sad day

  • Reply Bettina November 21, 2008 at 5:16 am

    Holly, thanks for reminding me of all the wintery goodness that is Christmas time in Germany. You take it all for granted until someone with fresh eyes comes along and rekindles the ‘oh yay, winter’s coming’ buzz. How about an excursion to the Finnish village on the Weihnachtsmarkt? Gl?gi and Flamlachs, is all I say.

  • Reply mer November 21, 2008 at 5:24 am

    I’m all over the covered clothes pins!

    mers last blog post: [a Christmas…]

  • Reply a fanciful twist November 21, 2008 at 10:06 am

    When I received my issue a few weeks ago, my breath was taken away at that very wreath!! And all the hanging doilies. Swwwwoooon! I have been raving about his issue to everyone I know!!! I have a doily obsession ;) Love it !

    a fanciful twists last blog post: Sparkly, Happy, No Sew, Christmas Stocking…

  • Reply Laura November 21, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I never knew doilies could be so lovely. Love that wreath!

    Lauras last blog post: Vintage Camera Love.

  • Reply Ann November 21, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I am in love with that wreath in the first photo and that flower arrangement on that table!

    Ever since my hubby proposed to me in October with a gorgeous diamond engagement ring from we are having a Christmas day wedding.

    Thanks for the tip to look at the martha stewart magazine for more decorating tips, because we are going winter DIY with our wedding!

  • Reply Hazel November 21, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Please please share your pictures of the Christkindlmarkts.

    Re the doily thing – I imagine if it’s not well done it would run the risk of looking pretty dated – like the ugliest pillow contest I saw somewhere yesterday.

    Hazels last blog post: Swiss Christmas

  • Reply Its_Lily November 21, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I’m completely with you on the snow and winter weather. I love it! I’m envious of the cobblestone streets as the best I can get in my city is the red brick. Your holiday over there sounds so cozy. Need to look up those Nutella crepes since Nutella is a favorite food group in our house.

    Its_Lilys last blog post: 4th Generation

  • Reply Sabina November 21, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Beautiful post filled with so many wonderful creative things!!

    Sabinas last blog post: Friday’s Photos – Thanksgiving

  • Reply casey November 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    i seriously did not think that doilies – DOILIES – could look so sophisticated and beautiful. well done.

  • Reply decor8 November 21, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Ah yes, Nutella crepes. Well to be honest there’s no magic in making them. You basically make a crepe in a medium size pan and once it’s firm, you use a spatula and smear Nutella on it, fold it over, and viola! You can add powdered sugar to the top, that’s how they are served here. They also put alcohol in some and wow, those are NICE. :)

  • Reply leslie November 21, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    I guess I’ll have to pick up my issue today! ;)
    The cookies are so pretty and delicate looking. yum.

    leslies last blog post: Craft Fairs and an Auction by Design

  • Reply Nancy November 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Mmmmm? I love all things lacy too! I have quite a few paintings that are lace-inspired.
    Here’s a link to a lacy-painting in my Etsy shop!

    Thanks for your wonderful blog, it’s fun to read and so pretty to look at.
    Warm wishes!

  • Reply Petra :-) November 21, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    …the winter fairy tale just started in Hannover *yippie* it?s snowing like crazy….:-) let?s build a snowman this weekend :-) :-)

  • Reply decor8 November 21, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Petra it’s beautiful isn’t it? I’m going to the flohmarkt in Altstadt in the morning will you and Shimshake be there?

  • Reply Condo Blues November 21, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I got the Holiday Ideas Martha Stewart Crafts/Michael’s ad booklet in the mail today. I must resist the urge to buy out Michael’s tomorrow because I’m tempted to do Martha’s projects, which won’t work wtih the Danish Christmas decor projects that I’ve already planned to do for this year.

    Condo Bluess last blog post: Three Easy, Natural, and Free Fall Centerpieces

  • Reply Oorbee Roy November 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I can’t stop looking at that wreath, it’s so ethereal.

    Oorbee Roys last blog post: Sammelan Line Pictures

  • Reply Stockton November 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Oh I am going to have to get that issue of MSL … I broke out my copy of the MS Cookies book last week in anticipation of holiday baking … and Weihnachtsfest sounds great!

  • Reply Jette November 23, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    It’s called Weihnachtsmarkt, not Weihnachtsfest. Weihnachtsfest would be Heiligabend and the two days thereafter – not just in northern Germany.

  • Reply Clare November 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Being a huge doily and snowflake fan (my whole Christmas tree is decorated with snowflakes) I am very much looking forward to browsing this issue. Shame we have to wait a few more days before it manages to reach Australian shores! Thanks for the sneak preview.

    Clares last blog post: tags galore…

  • Reply yen November 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post.

    I have been trawling the internet for christmas decor inspiration and the doily wreath is IT.

    i was sure of two things during my search: that it should not be red and green, and that it should not look too american/european. no offense meant but i do live in the philippines and so i wanted that culture reflected in my christmas decor.

    the white doily wreath meets my simple needs without looking simple.

    bravo to you! and to martha stewart of course, whose design sensibilities i LOVE.

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