No one does winter quite like the Scandinavians. The intricate winter designs and bright, festive colours used on their seasonal textiles, wallpapers and stationery is indicative of a culture that knows how to celebrate winter with whimsy. I've always loved Scandinavian design. My grandmother (who is English, not Scandinavian) had a beautiful red and white blanket on her reading chair made of soft wool with snowflake and filigree designs. It always seemed to beckon with a quiet invitation to wrap myself up and drift into a nap for awhile.
The designers at Martha Stewart Living seem to understand the appeal of Scandinavian pattern and design, too. There is an entire line of Scandinavian-themed holiday craft products by Martha Stewart Crafts and EK Success (available at Michael's, select retailers and online) that I can't seem to stop thinking about. Even gathering the images for this post prompted me to make an actual list of items I want for this year's gift-giving season. Below I've highlighted a few.Pretty patterns and bold, festive colours adorn these packages of 12 sheets of tissue paper. (My favourite is the red.)I am lost at Christmas without a good set of pretty labels that I can quickly adhere to a package or present, envelope or pouch. This set contains 90 labels in all!Speaking of labels, these die-cut stickers make ideal embellishments to a parcel. I find stickers to be the perfect solution for dressing up an otherwise bland package being sent to a loved one by mail. These ones would definitely herald the arrival of something special.This set of 13 stickers is a tad more elaborate. They are layered to be three-dimensional and are made of felt with pretty sequins and sparkles for a bit of glitz. They would be fun in a holiday scrapbook.I only recently discovered paper tape and it is my new true love. I have always been at odds with traditional ribbon and there is something so blissfully simple about 'taping' your pretty ribbon to the parcel you are wrapping. I love the festive designs on this set of four rolls.I have quite a collection of stamps: wooden stamps, that is. I may soon be adding these Scandinavian holiday stamp sets to my collection. The 16-piece set is my preference, but the snowflake stamps come with two glittered-ink pads. Kind of enticing!This 12x12 pad of 24 sheets of decorative holiday paper can be used in scrapbooks, for party favours, invitations and cards.Scrapbookers will love this mat pad of 18 sheets of decorative paper, containing five festive patterns. Perfect for creating a photo gallery or chronicling a holiday event.For the punch collectors out there (and I know there are a few!) be sure to add this delicate snowflake punch to your collection. The punch leaves a lovely area on the paper itself while also creating a tiny paper snowflake that you can use elsewhere by adhering it to another project with glue.I mean, come on! Look at these cakes! Those perfectly pretty patterns were achieved with a simple dusting of icing sugar or cocoa powder over an intricately carved stencil by Martha Stewart Crafts. Doesn't get much simpler or more beautiful than that!Smaller stencils were used on these cookies and cupcakes: simply striking!Remember to package your homemade treats in festive wrappings and boxes. A set of 48 treat wrappers with a lovely snowflake design will make your goodies seem even more irresistible.Cuteness overload! This set of six poinsettia treat boxes and six treat bags will make presenting your baked goods a cinch: not to mention adorable.These reindeer cello treat bags come in a set of eight. They are shown here filled with snow-white meringues. They would look equally lovely filled with homemade marshmallows, or even a bouquet of candy canes!A package of six treat boxes made up in candy-cane trim is the simplest and most attractive way of presenting your cupcakes, cookies, brittles and truffles to friends and family.An alternate set contains four inserts per box to help keep treats safely snug during transport. The lids of each box contain a cellophane window to make opening the box even more alluring.Finish off any parcel or package with festive baker's twine. This set of six spools (three red, three green, three brown) would be perfect for attaching gift tags to presents.