Holiday Edition

December 9, 2011

Hello friends, it’s me Leslie and I’m here today to bring you a very merry holiday edition of Color Me Pretty. For me, it’s all about apple green, red and aqua at the moment because it feels fresh and joyous. What do you think of this palette?

Holiday Edition

Here’s how my inspiration began. First, I got really inspired by an old photo I found of my aunt at the Calgary Stampede circa 1970. The pale minty aqua was in my head for days and then I picked up a notebook set by Rifle Papers (for Chronicle Books) at Anthropologie and figured I had a pretty color combination to work with. Here is what inspired my color selections…

Holiday Edition

Holiday Edition

I later realized that my chosen palette is very Martha Stewart Living circa December 2009. Oh well! Great colors are meant to be used again and again. Check out that back issue if you can though as it is loaded with inspiration from Martha’s expert team.

Holiday Edition

During the holiday season I always enjoy some kind of crafting project. These days I am obsessed with painting driftwood. I promise, living on the dark and rainy Vancouver Island has not made me totally bonkers (yet). I am just really inspired by the work I saw in the summer of Toronto artist Ginette Lapalme. I saw this photo in her flickr and this post on her Tumblr and thought what a great idea! I decided to make a holiday tree out of driftwood I collected off the beach as shown above. I painted some patterns on each piece using acrylic paint from Martha Stewart Crafts. I am thinking of mounting it to a framed board or I could also hang them on a wall. These small pieces of driftwood are very light and thus easy to hang.

Holiday Edition

Holiday parties do not have to be elaborate. Little gestures of unexpected color can make regular items seem festive. I plan on using more of these stripey straws from my friend Jessie’s shop Sweet Lulu. She also supplies the petite milk bottles I have been using and some great treat bags that I have stocked up on.

Holiday Edition

Stripey straws can also make cute cards! I couldn’t help but cut up a few in apple green to make another tree motif. Simple buttons glued to white cardstock with a hand drawn stitch border can also be cute to pin on your mood board or to use as a pretty gift tag.

Holiday Edition

Gift-wrapping is a paper fanatics dream job. I could wrap gifts for days if I get to use interesting papers! I combined ordinary school supply graph papers with fabric tapes and various pieces of patterned prettiness I had around. I also tried drawing some patterns on some kraft boxes to use for some little treasures I will be giving during the holidays. I used a basic white acrylic paint to prime the boxes and then used some Marvy markers to add a few colors. These simple patterns should look nice even after the holidays are over.

Holiday Edition

Lastly, never underestimate the power of a single bloom! Pop them into clear bottles and wrap the bottles with your favorite washi tape, masking tap or fabric. If you use several down the center of your table you have a very affordable yet lovely tabletop with little effort.

Well, that’s it from me folks. I hope you all got an idea or two to take with you. I look forward to seeing you back here in the new year. Have a wonderful holiday season, all my very best to you. — Leslie Shewring, A Creative Mint.

(photos/styling: leslie shewring)


  • Reply Eeli December 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Beautiful colors!

  • Reply kalanicut December 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Gorgeous Leslie. Gorgeous. Love the painted driftwood tree. I totally agree with you that I could wrap packages for a full-time job. Love using all the tapes, trims and baubles. I’m crazy for making gift tags out of paper scraps. Thank you for brightening this holiday season with another gorgeous Color Me Pretty!

  • Reply haniela December 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I just discovered you via a book I’m reading about blogging!
    I love stripey straw tree, so adorable.

  • Reply tinajo December 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Fantastic inspiration as always – and these colors are among my favourites all year around. :-)

  • Reply Francine December 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I am in love with these colours! I got a small white tree for my craft room, and now I know how I will decorate it! Plus I just might switch to white wrapping paper from my usual kraft after seeing your packages!

  • Reply Marina December 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    So beautiful! I love the way you use for inspiration.

  • Reply Chrys December 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Hey Holly!!!
    God, your site it’s such an inspiration I’m a fan!!! Congratz :)
    I’m from Brazil and I’m crazy to buy your book, unfortunately it’s unavailable yet :/ i tried amazon but it didn’t work…i’ll try again but…do you you know if the book will be sold here?
    take care!! xo

  • Reply Chrys December 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    BTW:D your post its amazing the “cold” colors with red well used *-* just fantastic :D
    And i loved the idea of painting driftwood! really different, its not common here! Congratz Leslie!!!!!
    xx take care!

  • Reply Ivy December 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Always Inspiring Leslie!!
    The photo of your Aunt is really neat. I love the story it tells.

    Happy Holidays~

  • Reply Laura {The Embellished Nest} December 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Gorgeous as always Leslie!

  • Reply Hailey December 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I LOVE your Blog! its amazing! I really like this colours and the pictures themselfs are also beautiful!!:)

  • Reply Jessie December 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I’m in love with your color palette! I was happily drooling over your gorgeous photos, and then I scrolled down and squealed when I spotted our products – you made my day!! xx

  • Reply Keia Mastrianni December 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Great inspiration, Leslie! I particularly love the shots of the ribbons in the cupcake holders (clever!) and the painted driftwood. The geometric patterns on them are my cuppa tea. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply andriana {lifelikes} December 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Really beautiful and very different from what we usually see around the Holiday season…

  • Reply Jamima December 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Gorgeous, I love the painted driftwood tree! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply Igor December 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Yet another amazing blog post by Leslie. Beautifully styled and shot. That driftwood Christmas tree is a knock-out!! Cheers, Igor xoxo

  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar December 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Leslie is what I call a superstar stylist! That driftwood tree is genius and so quirky. Lovely!

  • Reply cafenoHut December 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    These are wonderful. I want to look at each image over and over again.

  • Reply Lauren @ Polka Dots & Sprinkles December 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    What pretty colors! I adore the tree made out of the paper straws…so cute!

    Very inspirational!

  • Reply alison abbott December 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Once again your talented, creative mind shines thru. The painted driftwood is magical-inspired me for the collection I have. I also really appreciate the way you highlight your thought process.
    Thank you

  • Reply Linda Leyble December 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Hey Leslie – great colors – beautiful photos (as always). Love the straw as tree! Very creative!

    I was part of the last BYW e-class and I want to thank you so much for all your ideas, tips and creativity. I am now working on changing my blog – alot…plus migrating over to WordPress…and I am getting my first SLR camera for Christmas…so hopefully the New Year will bring a new look to my blog.

    Merry Christmas,


  • Reply Cathy December 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Oh Leslie – yet again you have created something so beautiful and inspiring. I particularly love your gift-wrapping and the use of cupcake wrappers. I love the colour combination of red and aqua (have used it in some of my Christmas stationery) but never thought to add apple-green. Love it! Wishing you a lovely Christmas too! Cathy

  • Reply Lisa December 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    The driftwood tree is so creative! I love the idea of using something from nature in holiday design. Thank you for the inspiring post.

  • Reply Theresa December 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Leslie, There is so much goodness here! As I embark on decorating the house for the holidays, you provided an abundance of amazing ideas. Yes, LOVE the drift wood. I just went on a Pinterest craze. Thank you!
    (And thank you, Holly, for gifting Leslie to us. ;)

  • Reply Marit December 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Leslie- I love that driftwood tree idea. SO beautiful! Can’t wait to see more of your work next year and through BYW 2.0 :)

  • Reply JT December 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Leslie, I love the idea of using school graph paper and fabric tape to wrap presents. As usual, you’ve got wonderful ideas:)

    I’ve also folded graph paper and stitched it into small notebooks. It’s perfect for messy writers like me.

    Happy Holidays

  • Reply VisualJill December 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Leslie (and Holly) — I always enjoy this column but the time — WOW! I can just picture you with tiny paint brushes painting your tiny perfect patterns on the driftwood. Amazing. I will be thinking about this post for a long while. Thank you!

  • Reply Nicola December 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Absolutely delicious, Leslie x

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy December 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I feel like these colors are so “right now”. I find myself gravitating toward them again and again. Love the post!

  • Reply Sheri Shay Johnson December 9, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Love this gorgeous color combo. Your driftwood tree is fabulous , Leslie!
    Happy Holidays !

  • Reply Fenny setiawan December 10, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Leslie never fails to amazed me. Lovely! Love the colors too. Love the gift wrapping ideas that she shares.

  • Reply Susana@citrusandorange December 10, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Leslie is always so great, I really love her!! I hope I can meet her and you, Holly, in the BYW London! :) ?

  • Reply Lisa December 10, 2011 at 2:53 am

    I love the pic of your aunt. I’m not usually in love with mint even though my favorite color is green. However, you’re such a great photographer that I’d probably love anything you took a picture of. Having said that I do like the mint with the red, turquoise and against the wood. It looks more crisp next to those colors.

  • Reply shanon December 10, 2011 at 5:21 am

    This might be my favorite yet! So bright, cheerful, fresh, and airy– but more than all that. I can’t explain.
    Anyhow, happiest wishes to you and your family this December, Leslie! It was great meeting you in 2011 and I hope for tons of goodness for you in 2012. xoxo

  • Reply Lily from Birch + Bird December 10, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Gorgeous colour combination, Leslie! I love, love, love the painted driftwood tree too…thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply janis - pine cone camp December 10, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Great ideas Leslie! I’m a fan of driftwood too. Last year I made a wreath and a little tree which I will haul out again this weekend. I hope you’ve been enjoying the sunny weather lately ;)

  • Reply Inge December 10, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Leslie is a ultra talented girl with a great view… I love all her color me pretty posts! And the gift wrapping ideas are so cute!!! L.O.V.E it!
    Inge x

  • Reply Heather December 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I agree with Will. Leslie is a super stylist. And one of my super heroines! Thanks for continuing to give your gift of simple, colorful style to us here~ So excited to see more of you in future projects! Love how personal your inspiration is. I’ve often thought about how our natural setting influences our color choices.

  • Reply April San Pedro December 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    oh Leslie, I love your gift wrapping ideas…

  • Reply Jessica December 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I love the tree with painted driftwood! You really fused traditional and non-traditional holiday design beautifully.

  • Reply Katy @ Helena and Elena December 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I love the Christmas tree made of driftwood! Painting bright patterns on wood is a great way to make a rustic, yet very fun piece of decor for the house. I might consider turning the driftwood into a wall mounting that could stay up all year. Such a wonderful idea!

  • Reply Eileen December 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Just bought similar colours for my wrapping. Nice!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente December 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Oh god….just absolutely gorgeous hunnie! I LOVE hearing about how your inspiration comes about and I love this color palette. That driftwood tree you made is just genius, I absolutely adore it! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, it makes me feel very cosy & hoiday-ish and completely inspired!

  • Reply Tracey Fisher December 11, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Leslie – I love the colour palette and the photo that started it all. Brilliant.

  • Reply elisa December 11, 2011 at 10:49 am

    leslie, it’s ever so beautiful. i wonder if you see a japanese influence in your work? i just realised how much you remind me of several japanese artists i’ve known a long time, their attention to detail, and always balancing delicate beauty without falling into the perils of ‘cute’ – it is s so exquisite, like your work. xx

  • Reply Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark! December 12, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I really love this colour scheme! Gorgeous.

  • Reply Diane December 13, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Love this post Leslie. Your driftwood tree is amazing. Great colour palette!!

  • Reply Brooke H December 13, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Another beautiful palette. Great job Leslie! :)

  • Reply Jessica Nichols December 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Red and aqua are my signature colors, I used them for my packaging in my Etsy shop and I use them for my holiday decorating too. Shared a bit last December on my blog: http://www.sweeteventide.com/2010/12/scene-around-home-non-traditional.html

    Yay for red & aqua!

  • Reply designospire December 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Leslie, Truley love color me pretty posts. They are always very inspirational and I always look forward to read them.
    Keep the good work on!

  • Reply JoyHey December 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for the ideas :) Blogged here: http://blog.joyhey.com/2011/12/22/inspiration-colorful-christmas/

  • Leave a Reply

    Scroll Up