A gaggle of helium-filled jack-o'-lantern balloons hovers near the refreshment table. The simple features are drawn onto the inflated balloons with permanent marker. Choose an assortment of geometric shapes that are easy to create freehand.
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Unlike Narnia, where it's always winter and Christmas never comes, this land of ice and snow welcomes festivities (sound track: Louis Armstrong's "Cool Yule"). A combination of vintage and contemporary vessels holds white spider mums as well as seeded eucalyptus (available at florists) and blue Atlas cedar branches lightly frosted with silver floral spray paint. For a change of scene, line up containers across a mantel, along a windowsill, or down the middle of a table.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
To dry leaves, lay down a sheet of newsprint, followed by paper towels. Arrange leaves on paper towels, then place a second layer of paper towels and a sheet of newsprint on top. Set stack in a phone book, and place in a dry, ventilated spot for several days. To make place cards, use a gel-ink pen -- ours had white ink, but metallic shades will also work well -- to add guests' names.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October 2006
Fold a piece of tissue paper in half three times, forming eight layers. Using a heart-shaped craft punch, cut out hearts. Cover the surface of an ironing board with paper towels; place a sheet of waxed paper on top. Arrange hearts on waxed paper, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Cover with more paper towels. Run an iron, set to medium heat, lightly over the layers to set.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
Who's game for this challenging treat? Cut gingerbread while it's warm; after it cools, decorate with royal icing. Wrap pieces with a note: "Don't cheat: Solve the puzzle before you eat!"
SourceMartha Stewart Kids, 2004
Anyone with a Christmas tree should have this trick up her sleeve. Instead of hanging a fragile or antique ornament from a hook (far too easy for curious children or pets to knock loose), secure it with a length of 28-gauge wire.
Thread wire through hanging loop, wrap around a branch, and twist ends. Your ornament won't go anywhere. The best part is you can hang each decoration at exactly the height you desire.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, December 2010
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