Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Feature Interview: Elizabeth Copeland of Water Rolls Uphill

Throwing an elegant Christmas get-together may seem daunting, especially with the costs involved in making the party truly an affair to remember. The winner of the Balsam Hill Blog Contest, Elizabeth Copeland of the Water Rolls Uphill blog gives us pointers on how we can pull off an elegant gathering without spending an exorbitant amount of money on expensive decorations and fancy hors d’oeuvres. Since Elizabeth started blogging in 2008, she has been sharing family recipes and organization and homeschooling tips with her readers. Learn more about how this stay-at-home mom keeps her home sophisticated and chic without stretching her budget.

You seem to love cooking! What’s your favorite homemade holiday dish?

I do really enjoy cooking, and sharing my best recipes.  This year, we are going to attempt a yule log cake (buche de noel), previously we’ve only done sponge cake, rolled and filled with home-canned jams.  The children are really looking forward to making the meringue mushrooms and iced holly designs.  I’m a bit worried, to be honest!  A few years ago, I shared my new favorite sweet potato and butternut squash pies that were a big hit with the extended family.

Having three young children at home seems challenging. How do you keep your space organized and sophisticated yet still kid-friendly?

I keep my home clean and organized by creating a designated place for items and making sure to regularly go through our belongings to cull items that are outgrown, unloved, or would be of a greater benefit to others.  The children help to keep all of their belongings in their designated homes.  Our home isn’t ultra-minimal, but we don’t have a lot of clutter so that helps.

Christmas is probably one of the busiest times of the year. Do your kids help you with decorating? If so, is there a particular project you especially enjoy doing with them?

My children love to help decorate the tree and mantle, write messages and draw pictures in our holiday cards, and really enjoy being in charge of the Christmas lights.  We are all looking forward to creating beautiful new ornaments every year going forward, to slowly replenish the destroyed ornaments from last year’s tree falling mishap.

Can you share a fun holiday DIY project you’ve made in the past few years?

This year I sewed matching Christmas pajamas for the three kids.  For the first time, we made a gingerbread house and then ate it that night for dessert.  In addition, we had a lot of fun making Jesse tree ornaments together for an ornament swap with families from our homeschooling group.

Do you frequently make decorations for your home? Are there any tips you’d like to share on how you can make elegant DIY décor?

The children have a large painting that I framed and stretched canvas on from scratch featured in the dining room, as well as some nice paintings in the living room.

stockings hanging by the fireplace decorated by Elizabeth Copeland

Photo by Elizabeth Copeland

The children helped to pick out the nativity and we were gifted the bugle and Christmas stockings. Everything on the mantel together was around $80, gifted items excluded. There are lots of tutorials out there on how to create beautiful objects, and while I can recreate some of the really lovely things, I find that sometimes it’s just less stressful and less expensive to splurge on a piece that I love. Picking one splurge item, like the nativity, and then designing around it (everything else totaled was $25) helped to create a pretty look without breaking the budget.

Do you have any elegant Christmas party stories to tell or Christmas decorating tips to share? Post your comments below and let us know!

About the Author
Inspired by my passion for the visual arts and my years of experience in the field of design, I enjoy a life of style and artistry. I am a devoted follower of minimalism and I believe in the marriage of form and function. I try to live by these principles, from my subtle but classic fashion sense when it comes to clothes and jewelry, to the various projects I manage and work on in my professional career Influenced by the refined grace of Coco Chanel, the timeless beauty of my favorite city, Stockholm, and the new ideas and trends I read from design books, I try to infuse my life with elegance and sophistication. Join me on Balsam Hill’s blog to get my tips and advice on home design and personal style.

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