Finding up-cycled objects and reclaimed items is a passion for Beth Bryan, the creative genius behind the blog Unskinny Boppy. It is no surprise then that even her Christmas tree is filled with trinkets reminiscent of her travels and her love for her family.
Beth shares how each Christmas ornament tells a story in this exclusive interview with Balsam Hill. Whether it’s a gold leaf inspired by her love for her grandmother or a little chevron Alabama ornament on her new Balsam Hill Christmas tree, every piece speaks of a cherished memory.
BH: What inspired you to start blogging?
Beth: After sharing my home with other newlyweds in a home and decorating forum on thenest.com, I decided to move to my own blog in 2006. Since that time, it’s evolved from a personal blog to a mommy blog to a DIY/ decorating blog. It’s my happy place to share all the things I love.
BH: Do you have a signature ornament you use on your tree year after year?
Beth: I began collecting gold leaf ornaments on various vacations to Canada and New England over the years. My grandmother had a necklace that was a leaf dipped in gold that I inherited, so I’ve always had a soft spot for golden leaves in any way, shape, or form. I have so many leaf-shaped ornaments, and now I’ve branched out into wooden, ceramic, and glittered leaf ornaments. They show up every year on my Christmas trees, and the vacation memories that are attached to each ornament always make me smile.
BH: When you decorate for the holidays, are there any guidelines you try to follow?
Beth: I wish I could say that I had a set of guidelines, but most of the time it just looks like a Christmas bomb exploded all over my house for a few weeks while I get all of the decorations out and figure out how I’m going to arrange everything. I always say around early November that I will get all of my fall decor put away before I pull out the Christmas decor, but that never happens. Everything jumbles together for a while until I can get it all put away.
BH: What’s your favorite spot in the home to decorate for the holidays?
Beth: Our sunroom! Every year, the tree goes up in there first. It’s perfect because it’s out of the main traffic path, but it’s still visible from the living room. We can enjoy the tree and the lights without tripping over any wires.
BH: Who’s your favorite holiday designer?
Beth: It’s a tossup between Matthew Mead, Sweet Paul, and Jennifer Carroll from Celebrating Everyday Life Magazine.
BH: Any gift-wrapping tips?
Beth: This year, I got invited to a gift-wrapping party at a friend’s house. The invite instructed us to bring our gifts and wrapping essentials and enjoy a girls’ night out while we got all the gifts wrapped. That sounds like much more fun than locking myself in the bedroom and doing it all alone. I think I’ll give it a whirl!
BH: What do you look forward to the most during the holiday season?
Beth: I collect Christmas ornaments from vacations and special events in our lives, so I always look forward to turning on Christmas music and reminiscing about all of the ornaments as we unbox them and hang them on the Christmas tree. Every year around the holidays, I get to take a walk down ‘memory lane’ as we unwrap each ornament and decorate the tree. I take a Sharpie and write the date and event on the back of each new ornament that I’ve bought that year so I can remember when and where it was purchased. It’s so much fun adding to the collection each year.