Gingerbread houses

Want to sweeten your holiday decor? Learn how to create your own traditional gingerbread house using pre-baked shapes during a workshop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. A professional chef instructor will guide you through the steps, from assembly to finishing flourishes. The workshop, suitable for ages 8 and up, will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. Cost is $99 ($84 for members) or $129 for pairs working on one house ($114 for members), which includes all materials and decorating supplies, plus sample gingerbread (so you won't feel tempted to eat your house). Register at

Kim Palmer

Cozy up decor for winter

With the weather bringing cool days and chilly nights, it may be time to transition your decor. While "seasonless" decor stands the test of time, here are some ways to cozy up your home:

Cozy colors. When we think of winter, colors such as whites and cool blues may come to mind. But warmer tones can add visual warmth to your home. Think chocolate browns, deep oranges, rich reds, mustard yellows and even strong greens.

Warm accents. Now is the time of year to pull out those cozy throws, fuzzy pillows and textured rugs. In medieval times, home dwellers would use rugs on walls and floors of castles and drafty homes to help insulate a space. Don't forget faux fur or interesting uses of traditional materials, such as wool or cotton. Also consider placing candles in groupings on a tray, in candle wall sconces or oversized lanterns.

CATHY HOBBS, Tribune News Service