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hunt, gather and host: a christmas brunch

by The BBB Craft Sisters

Hello D*S readers! We bbbcraft sisters are so excited to start sharing our entertaining ideas! The three of us grew up between the Pacific Northwest and northern Michigan and found ourselves constantly foraging for beautiful things out-of-doors, bringing them inside to decorate and adorn our craft projects and parties. Although we live in cities now, we still like to create festive celebrations using natural materials. For today’s entertaining column, we will use nature as our inspiration and the changing seasons as a reason to throw get-togethers, casual dinners, winter teas and holiday brunches. — bbbcraft sisters

The Theme: We love pomegranates! When we were little, these fruits were a rare and special treat that our mom (the original BBB) let us have on occasion around the holidays. We wanted them to be the accent of the whole party, used on the table, the tree and in the drinks.

The Tree: December might be our favorite month of the year based solely on the fact that it’s totally acceptable to put an enormous, full-sized tree in the middle of your living room — something we all kind of wish we could do the rest of the year!

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We wanted to make pomegranate ornaments for the tree and for the place settings for our guests to take home. Because you have to do a little advance work to dry them, this was the first thing we did. While the pomegranates are fresh, thread a needle with thread and loop through the top; we used gold embroidery thread. Set all of them out to dry on a drying rack (having air circulate around them helps to keep their red color) and wait for them to dry. Initially, they’re quite heavy, but as the seeds dry out, they become much lighter.

There was a massive magnolia tree in front of the house where we grew up, and no Christmas would be quite right without their leaves. We spray painted them gold, attached a wire to the base to create a new, longer “stem” and wrapped the stems with ripped up muslin before attaching to the tree.

We crocheted around glass bulbs of different shapes and sizes to create these ornaments, but you could just as easily wrap pieces of yarn or string around bulbs for an equally cool effect.

The Favor

Along with the pomegranate ornament, we wrapped up a crocheted bulb for everyone to take home. Continuing with the magnolia leaf element, we punched out circles from the leaves and stitched them together on our sewing machine to make a garland to wrap around the packages. Each guest goes home with a pomegranate, a crocheted ornament and a magnolia leaf garland — each of the three elements on our tree!

The Table

Our mom’s backyard used to be full of firs, cedar, holly and more, and we’re envious of anyone who can walk out their front door and clip branches and pretty leaves! We pulled together incense cedar, pine, fir and red berries to create a deconstructed swag down the center of the table. We used the same technique as with the gold magnolia leaves, wrapping wire around a single branch and then covering with muslin. This way you can easily move them around, or add the greens to various places throughout the party.

For each place setting, we wrote the guest’s name and “peace” in different languages.

Check out your local tree lot or Home Depot to see if their stumps are up for grabs — we love them as centerpieces, and they make the whole room smell fresh and wintery.

The Food and Drink

This time of year can be overwhelming, and we wanted to enjoy putting this whole party together, so we kept the brunch simple and classic. Hard and soft boiled eggs with toast points, potatoes on the side, scones from scratch, and a plate of donut holes (that we picked up at the nearest bakery!).

For cocktails, we were at the ready with grapefruit juice and Hendricks gin, screwdrivers and our pomegranate sparklers. A glass of sparkling champagne is so festive topped with a handful of bright red seeds. We took it a step further with this drink, which uses a few splashes of pomegranate syrup (available at specialty grocery stores) to add sweetness and a pretty, dark red color at the base.

Peace, love and happy hosting this holiday season! — the bbbcraft sisters

Photos by David Robert Jones and Anna H. Blessing. Crafting and design by bbbcraft.

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