Tag Archives: Elizabeth Copeland

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Feature Interview: Elizabeth Copeland of Water Rolls Uphill

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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.

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 totalled 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!

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Elegant Christmas Party Must-Haves: A Feature Post by Elizabeth Copeland

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Earlier this year, we asked our fans to share how they prepare a perfectly elegant Christmas party for their friends and family in our Balsam Hill Blog Contest. Elizabeth Copeland responded with not only wonderful decor ideas, but also recipes for delicious party treats that will be a hit with your guests. Reposted from her blog, Water Rolls Uphill, read on to find out just how this mother of three throws a simple, pitch perfect Christmas gathering that is a feast for both the spirit and the senses.

Elegant Christmas Party Must-Haves
by Elizabeth Copeland of Water Rolls Uphill

Last year, my Christmas tree fell three times. Sad, isn’t it? Imagine my despair as I stood surrounded by pine needles and shattered ornaments (three times!), and I’m sure that you will agree that my last thought was how to have the perfect Christmas soiree.  However, as  I sit relaxing and enjoying company, I am reflecting on how to share a wonderful Christmas evening with friends and family.  I also threw my hat in the ring to win an extravagant $10,000 shopping spree at Balsam Hill (you can enter on their Facebook page). [Editor's note: This sweepstakes ended on December 12, 2012.]

My parents have a very pretty, stable Christmas tree with a lifetime of cherished heirloom ornaments on it. I unfortunately, do not, but that won’t stop me from finding and creating new memories with the help of my family this year. My tree decorations might be sparse, but I’m full of great ideas for celebrating the season!

My parents’ Christmas tree, as I don’t have one up yet.


The simply Elegant DIY Christmas Party:

  1. Invite plenty of people you love and enjoy.
  2. Beautiful decorations – you can find some great wreaths and garlands at Balsam Hillglitter pillar candles, a beautiful ruffled tree skirt (use a circle skirt pattern and sew strips together to achieve the required lengths necessary, leave one side seam open to add ties to for ease of opening/closing), a Jesse tree.
  3. Tasty treats: spinach artichoke dipsausage balls, bruschetta, hollowed cucumber cups with hummus or tzatziki dip, mini quiches, smoked salmon with baguettes, cheese tray, Honey Baked Ham and yeast rolls, broccoli salad, and a fruit bouquet (these are easy to make with floral foam and bamboo skewers).
  4. A great finale: Chocolate cake with peppermint bark frosting with vanilla ice cream on the side (butter cream frosting with a bit of peppermint oil and broken up peppermint bark.
  5. Pretty things for the hostess: Boogie Woogie cocktail dress and black stilettos.
  6. Something pretty to share with your guests: simple glitter ornaments, layer a cursive initial for the guest’s last name over the silver glitter with a second color.

Elizabeth also kindly agreed to participate in an email interview with us, which will be published on Christmas Eve. In it, you can learn how her family is celebrating Christmas this year. You can also find out more about Elizabeth on her blog, Water Rolls Uphill.