hunt, gather and host: a christmas brunch


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!

CLICK HERE for the rest of the post after the jump!

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.

  1. Brandon says:

    So beautiful and creative. I love the pomegranate ornaments and the magnolia leaf strands. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Brandon

  2. kiki says:

    oh the ‘stumps’ on the table are so pretty!! how did you get the pitch off so the table didn’t get sticky?? love it!!

  3. Kimberley says:

    I am in love. With everything here, but most especially the crocheted glass ornaments. So perfect.

  4. Dominique says:

    looks terrific!
    I love the crochet bulbs :)
    The only thing I would have added is more fruit/yogurt/bacon to your brunch menu.

  5. Sera Marie says:

    Cannot tell you how much I adore your website!

    Thank you for being a beacon of creativity and joy!

    Greetings of the Season,
    Sera

    1. grace says:

      thanks so much sera!

      happy holidays!
      grace

  6. jamie says:

    Perfecto! I was just day dreaming of what cocktails to serve Christmas morning… now I’m on the hunt for pomegranate syrup!

  7. Maggie says:

    I have to send this to my Mom and sister.

    Mom’ll love it – especially the gin and grapefruit cocktail. Grapefruit is our traditional Christmas breakfast. Santa always brought tons of fruit to my parents’ house growing up, and I was never really huge into cinnamon rolls.

    My sister loves pomegranate, so this is right up her alley, too! Especially the pom syrup and seeds with the sparkle juice. So pretty and indubitably delicious.

  8. Sarah says:

    everything is beautiful! i have to get some pomagranates now-but i’ll pop then in the dehydrator to speed up the drying process-also-what size crochet hook and what stitch are you using on your bulbs??? i just LOVE then and must make some now! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. This is absolutely gorgeous but totally intimidating. I can’t get over those wired leaves and crocheted ornaments. While the brunch is lovely, I would have definitely have added fruit — it’s a little heavy on the starch!

  10. Martha says:

    Sewing meets leaves? That idea for the circle-magnolia leaf garland is bad ass. And I love the idea of drying pomegranates because they are so pretty – I will be doing that stat.

  11. This so beautiful! Thanks you for the wonderful holiday ideas.

  12. notsurebut says:

    This is so lovely and the cocktails will hopefully feature in my celebrations, could I ask where you get the stemless champagne flutes I love them

  13. susan says:

    I think this is so beautiful – as well as achievable! I can’t crochet (as far as I can tell) but the idea of wrapping the ornaments or candle holders would be pretty too and the other ideas seemed quite easy… thanks for bringing such a beautiful table forward!

  14. Emily says:

    I love the mis-matched wine glasses on the table.

  15. christina says:

    in this time of (over)abundance, i love the idea of serving
    delicate, small, almost modular bits of food for at least one meal:
    toast points, eggs, small pots of jam, scones. so pretty &
    delicious-looking! i will definitely do toast points at my next
    brunch…

  16. I love everything in this post!
    Congratulations!

  17. What a beautiful idea with the pomegranate ornaments! Might have to try that next year – I live in Florida and we often don’t have the type of greenery, flowers, or natural elements shown in posts…this one is a great! Thanks for always having such fabulous ideas to make life more designerly!

  18. everything is beautiful! i have to get some pomagranates now. This is so beautiful.
    Thank you ever so.

  19. Absolutely adore the magnolia leaf garlands! So creative!

  20. Yvette says:

    I love pomegranates! They were a huge inspiration for some
    of my festive recipes this year.
    http://muybuenocookbook.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/granadas-con-grandma/

  21. Stephanie says:

    absolutely gorgeous and amazing! i LOVE the magnolia
    garlands… at what stage did you punch the holes from the leaves?
    the details are wonderful!

  22. marta says:

    love the string crotched balls, will wrap stringaround
    balloon forms, pop the balloon and hang the remaining string ball.
    Beautiful post. Thanks much

  23. bbbcraft says:

    Hi Kiki,

    The bottom of the stumps that sit on the table were the bottoms of the trees, and they weren’t fresh cuts, so they weren’t oozing sap. They were really dirty, though, so we had to clean them off well!

    –bbbcraft sisters

  24. bbbcraft says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks! We used a mix of single, double and treble crochet stitches on the glass bulbs with a variety of crochet hooks, sizes 4.25mm, 5mm and 6mm. Have fun!

    –bbbcraft sisters

  25. don’t forget to make killer martinis out of those poms!!!! mmmmmm!

  26. Crisp white linen and Pomegranates WONDERFUL so elegant xxxxFay

  27. Anita says:

    I don’t know how to crochet, but I’m willing to learn.
    Please, please post instructions on how to make the crochet-glass
    ornaments. They’re wonderful!

  28. teresa says:

    So fabulous I just had to pin this! Happy Day

  29. marie says:

    I want this to be my xmas!

  30. Annette says:

    This is absolutely stunning ..so siple but so effective ..i love the punched leaved sewn together ..i am definately using that this christmas for gifts ….just lovely purely inspirational ..thank you for sharing x

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