Baubles, Ban­gles & Beads

Long­time artist, de­signer and hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tor Aleta Breese adds zest to her decor by con­trast­ing her neu­tral pal­ette with col­or­ful ac­cents that lend sparkle day or night.

Country Sampler - Christmas Decorating - - INSIDE - Pho­tographed by Black­stoneEdge.com. Writ­ten and Styled by Donna Pizzi.

Long­time artist, de­signer and hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tor Aleta Breese adds zest to her Christ­mas decor by con­trast­ing her neu­tral pal­ette with col­or­ful ac­cents that lend sparkle day or night.

For artist and de­signer Aleta Breese of Port­land, Ore­gon, dec­o­rat­ing for Christ­mas is al­ways a la­bor of love. This year, how­ever, the hol­i­days ar­rived amid the re­model of the main floor of her fam­ily’s new, smaller home, which has such chal­leng­ing fea­tures for dec­o­rat­ing as loads of win­dows, lit­tle wall space and lower ceil­ings than her pre­vi­ous homes.

The best so­lu­tion, thought Aleta, was to keep her decor sim­pler than usual with bolder pat­terns, fewer “smalls,” and pops of red, white and sil­ver to brighten the cen­tral liv­ing area’s new gray fur­nish­ings and painted walls.

As an Alaskan na­tive, Aleta had long been “pin­ing” for an ar­ti­fi­cial noble fir tree to bring back mem­o­ries of the small and of­ten mis­shapen va­ri­ety she’d grown up with. To her great sur­prise, she found one on­line that was per­fect to place along­side the large fam­ily room’s cen­tral fire­place, where her color scheme ex­panded to in­clude lime green, aqua and, of course, red.

“When I took it out of the box, it looked more like a Char­lie Brown tree!” she says. “Once I got the lights on the tree and all the vin­tage and new or­na­ments with col­ors I re­call from when I was lit­tle, it had a real retro feel with a funky, whim­si­cal, mod­ern twist to it that I loved.”

Reusing some of her fa­vorite an­tiques in a new way is per­haps the most joy­ful el­e­ment that changes each year. “I’m drawn to weird things that oth­ers might think are yucky,” Aleta says. “But put them all to­gether, like the glass beads, red bells and old glass or­na­ments, and they are re­ally pretty won­der­ful!”

And nary a sea­son goes by with­out Aleta mak­ing her sig­na­ture plush bears, but this year, a new line was in­vented: A lit­tle Snow Bear made from a spe­cific type of mo­hair that sports her hand­made clay but­tons left over from a snow­man doll de­sign cre­ated years ago. Their win­try names are as adorable as their pert faces: “Burr It’sCold,” “Chilly Fin­kle­froster,” “I’mabit Chilly,” and her per­sonal fa­vorite, “Freeze Your­but­toff.”

ABOVE: Artist Aleta Breese puts the fin­ish­ing touches on her new Snow Bear line.

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