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DIY Gingerbread Village

 


I love a gingerbread village at Christmas time. Someday I want to have a collection of beautiful realistic looking faux gingerbread homes to display at Christmas.





Since those gorgeous fake gingerbread homes are currently not in my budget, I thought I would try my luck with a creating a budget friendly gingerbread village.





Last year after Christmas I picked up a few ready made gingerbread houses at the grocery store. They were discounted to around a couple of dollars.




I pulled them out this year and they were still in perfect condition, and ready to be decorated!

Instead of using royal icing, or the icing that the kit came with, I decided to use a spackling compound.




I did not want to use royal icing because I found it too delicate and it breaks so easily. I did use the pastry bags and tips provided in the gingerbread kit to pipe the compound on. The spackling compound is the exact consistency of buttercream frosting and I was able to use food dye with it. I dyed half of my icing pink.



Once that was finished, I went to work on creating the details on my houses. I googled pictures of gingerbread houses to get an idea of how I wanted mine to look like.




They are definitely not perfect, but did create the Christmas atmosphere that I was looking for.







I used two cake stands stacked one top of each other to create some height for my vignette.





Each gingerbread house received a dusting of sparkling snow.






I think they turned out pretty well. 






They are the perfect addition to my kitchen table for the holidays, and extremely budget friendly!







Thank you for visiting! 

-Larissa 

Shabby Chic Christmas Cookies

 Hello! Well we are just a few days from Christmas, and today I want to share with you my sugar cookie recipe. I have been making these sugar cookies EVERY Christmas since I was 14 years old, so.....20 years now! lol


I found this recipe in a Taste of Home Magazine and its been my "go to" recipe ever since. You can see the recipe on their website here.


When I was younger, I always decorated my cookies in red and green icing, but in the last 5 years or so, I've changed it up to shabby chic style! Here are my cookies from last year all decorated!






Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour










  • Frosting:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons 2% milk

  • Food coloring, optional


Step 1:


In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat flour into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, 2 hours.


Step 2:


Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake until set (do not brown), 10-12 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Step 3:

  • For frosting, in a bowl, beat butter, shortening and vanilla until blended. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and enough milk to reach spreading consistency; beat until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. If desired, beat in food coloring. Frost cookies. (Keep frosting covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.)







These cookies are definitely a labor of love. When I was younger, I would make these each year for Easter and Halloween, but lately I just bake them for Christmas. Have fun with your decorating and get creative! I usually use pastry bags and different icing tips to decorate my cookies and the decorating goes fairly quickly!



Also do not over bake your cookies! You do not want them to be brown! That will make them crunchy and they won't be soft. I always make a double batch of the frosting because if you want to do a lot of different colors and details, you will need the extra icing.



The below photos are just cell phone photos from the last several years, nothing fancy, but I just wanted to share how the cookies have looked over the years.








They make my heart smile when they are all decorated! The wreaths are my favorites!










Hopefully next Christmas I can do a step by step with photos! I hope you give these a try! 


Thank you for visiting!

Merry Christmas!

-Larissa 

French Country Christmas in the Foyer

 

The foyer is decorated for Christmas.




This year I draped the bannisters with garlands of cedar and eucalyptus tied up with simple blush pink ribbons





I've had these lanterns for ages and decided to pull them down from the attic this Christmas season.





Simply tied bows and candlelight with suffice this year. The ornaments on the staircase will be moved, they are only for the photos.





I decided to turn my dress form into an angel this Christmas.




I've had the wings for several years and have never displayed them until now.





The soft fur cloak is vintage and was purchased at an estate sale over the summer.





Christmas decorations create a pretty atmosphere.




 Gold trumpets are also tucked in here and there throughout the bannister garland.




The small trumpets are vintage, but the large ones are new.




A eucalyptus garland dresses up my antique pier mirror. 




I had another pair of angel wings in storage so I decided to add them to the mirror for an unexpected whimsical vibe.





This sweet Santa was a thrifted find, just added a pink ribbon and he fits right in.




I am so thankful that we restored the upper banister earlier this year. I can finally decorate it for Christmas and actually share it with you!




Jeffery has been my little helper while I decorated. He's my sweetie.




I hope you enjoyed this tour! 


-Larissa 

Simple Ballet Inspired Christmas

 

I've always loved an "old world" Christmas. 




The dining room here at Welch House is the perfect space to create that feeling.





A simply dressed Christmas tree with twinkling lights gives off that cozy Christmas glow.






This year I wanted to give a nod to the Nutcracker Ballet. I swapped out the mirror over the piano for this gorgeous Degas print of ballerinas.






The dining table is dressed with fresh greenery clippings gathered from the yard, and simple embellishments.











Three sweet vintage ballerina prints grace the mantel. They were a gift from my sister last year at Christmas. I absolutely love them.






A lighted garland dripping with pearls and ribbons is the perfect touch.







I love the soft, subtle elegance of the mantel decorations.






The dining room feels so magical and cozy.






The Christmas tree lends a very European feel.  I love way the branches lay with simply tied ribbons on their ends.





Soft vintage pink Christmas bulbs are my very favorites and were gifted to me by a wonderful IG friend.  They are so very special to me.






A new bust sits up top a bed of tulle and fresh greenery on the french buffet.







I gave her a sweet crown and crystal beads to dress her up for the holiday season.






Its a very simple look. 






I am on a budget more than ever this year, so I am only using what I already have.







Next year I would like to add to my "ballet" themed Christmas, but this is what I've got for this year, and I'm choosing to be grateful for it.








I hope you enjoyed my tour and thank you so much for visiting.







-Larissa



Marie Antoinette Halloween

 


Welcome to my Marie Antoinette Halloween! My library seemed like the perfect backdrop for my Marie Antoinette skeleton. I came up with this idea randomly when I came across an old Marie Antoinette wig from years past. I plopped it on my skeleton... and Ooh La La  you have a perfect french queen!




Now I know that Marie Antoinette loved her sweets, especially cake. I was super excited that I kept my faux wedding cake from last years Halloween, it would be perfect! I decide to top it with florals, ostrich feathers, and a porcelain venetian lady figurine.





    I also had a faux cupcake from last year, and this rat decided to take a bite.






The rats have totally taken over Marie's cake table.






I found this sweet antique doll over the summer. I decided to set her out because some may find her a bit spooky, although I don't.





She is missing her eyes, but it still think she's sweet.




Marie is busy relaxing in her golden throne chair.






She is enjoying a sip of tea.







I decided to create her a pair of shoes.






I spray painted them gold, and added lace trims and ribbons.





I think she approves.




Yep, she's smiling.




I think she's very comfortable in her French apartment.





A crow has decided to land on her  cobweb covered candelabra.





She's too busy to notice, because she has cake to eat.






Happy Halloween!


I will be back in the next few weeks with Christmas decor.


-Larissa