A Holiday Vignette with Heather Ross

This fall we interviewed Heather Ross about her new book out this spring, The Natural Eclectic, and so we felt it was only fitting to ask her to share a few holiday-styled photos and ask her about them.  Here's what she had to say:

Tell us about your pictures?
I like to approach the festive season in simple whimsical ways. As one who always looks to nature for inspiration, I like to incorporate natural elements into charming understated displays for the holiday season. I prefer a softer cooler wintery palette I describe as "an ethereal Noel'. One thing I love to collect and incorporate into my vignettes is vintage mercury glass ornaments, they bring the most charming festive touch of shine and sparkle to any arrangement. Motifs such as pinecones and birds are perfectly suited for branches and trees.

I find monochromatic palettes to be so peaceful and soothing and one year I even did a soft lavender toned tableau.

Last year I found vintage satin floss baubles in a soft pure white. while hanging them on fine white branches suddenly I had an idea to try dip dyeing them. Having worked as a textile designer years ago, I just mixed up some water based dyes and dipped the bottoms in, allowing the color to gently flow and spread up the fibres. The result was like a dreamy ombre effect. It was so easy to do and one could just use watered down paints or even food coloring with similar results.

While unwinding dried vines off of my winter garden I realized it created a wonderful fine wreath.
I simply tied some vintage satin ribbon around the top and hand sewed a feather weight vintage bauble to dangle from the center. The whole wreath is so light I just use a push pin to hang it on my french doors, allowing the extra swath of ribbon to drape over it so the pin is hidden.

What is one of your favourite holiday traditions?
Making sugar cookies. When my sister and I were young we loved to make sugar cookies and decorate them with gobs of royal icing and jujubes. Each year I still continue to make these sugar cookies from scratch (though perhaps decorated a little more elegantly! ) I find baking to be a very creative and satisfying task in the hectic holiday season, and it makes me feel so nostalgic. They are a simple delightful treat to share with those you love.

You can create a stained glass effect with cookies by simply making a small cut out in a cookie and filling it with crushed hard candies. When place on a lined cookie sheet and baked, the crushed candles melt into a glassy window, and remain like glass once cooled. They are as sweet to behold as to taste.

Do you have any go-to items that you might like to give this holiday?
 —If I was choosing from my shop I might present a hand knit alpaca throw ( or turkish towel), a funky locally made soy candle, and natural gemstone bracelets we are carrying that we had strung up in my favorite tones.

All photos by Heather Ross.

Thank you Heather!

Find Heather Ross online:
Instagram instagram.com/naturaleclectic
Website heatherross.ca
Blog heatherross.ca/blogs/news
Facebook heatherrossnaturaleclectic
Twitter naturaleclectic
Pinterest pinterest.com/naturaleclectic

Also visit Heather Ross' boutique here in Vancouver at 2170 Fir St., Vancouver, BC V6J 3B5
(6th & Fir, one block west of Granville) 

Jan Halvarson


Judy said...

I love the design of these vignettes. They are quiet, beautiful and so inspiring. The colors and composition bright forth a soft and calm feeling so much like the season of Christmas should be.

Judy said...

Heather, I forgot to mention my "go-to" holiday items. I love to shop locally, I live in a very small city. There is a shop in our small downtown area where the shopkeepers make a lovely and large collection of exquisite soaps, custom perfumes, an entire variety of bath products for men and women and the richest most lucious hand creams I've ever tried. In addition to their huge array of handmade items, they offer luxurious turkish towels and robes, gorgeous perfume decanters, diffusers and hand painted porcelain soap dishes.