Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It has been a busy time in our house with all the construction and getting ready for Christmas.  Things are looking better around the house and I will share pictures with you after the holidays.  For now, I just wanted to wish you a merry and blessed Christmas.  We start our festivities on Christmas eve with a nice dinner followed by church.  We had the pleasure of a friend joining us for the service followed by cocoa and cookies and games when we got home.  And as is our tradition, my girls exchanged their gifts to one another when we got home from church.

Sorry for the red eyes.  Not sure how to edit that out on my new computer.

So from all of us to all of you - "Merry, Merry Christmas!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa and Other Vintage Goodies

Despite the crazy chaos of remodeling our kitchen, I have managed to carve out a Christmas zone in the living room, the only room mostly untouched by the chaos.  Usually the whole house sports festive and fun decorations, but it just can't happen this year.  We will enjoy the living room, though, as our happy Christmas refuge.  Here is a peek at the couple displays.

Here is my mantle all decked out Santa style, all vintage except the trees.

The Santa snoozing in the chair was in rough shape when I found him.  He sports lots of restoration work by me, but it was worth it.

There is a shelf unit next to the fireplace that showcases the vintage reindeer collection along with a couple other vintage trinkets.

The little tree came from my grandmother.  It is a small celluloid tree that you "build" each year by stacking the branches and separators on a center pole.  The tips of the branches have tiny hooks on them from which to hang these tiny glass ornaments.  My mother had it for a while and just passed it on to me this year.  Thank you, Mommy.  I had the original packaging for the tree prior to receiving it, saved because it had fun graphics.  It dates to the 50's.  I really like it.

Speaking of graphics, I love the graphics on vintage packages.  Here is a small display of some of my fun vintage Christmas packaging.  Most still have their contents inside.  Above, on either side of the little tree are also vintage packages of mica 'snow.'  One of which also came from Grandma's house, used sparingly over many years with still some in for me.

I close with a picture of my favorite Santa (and actually my favorite decoration in the house).  He is a clear reminder of the reason for the season.  It's not about Santa and gifts and hustle and bustle and stress.  It is taking the time to pause and remember that our Lord God so loved the world that He came to earth as PEACE in the form of the infant, Jesus,  so that we who accept His open invitation to know, love and serve Him, can experience His peace here on earth and one day know that peace in an everlasting form with Him in eternity.

Hope those of you who celebrate this happy season, are digging in, pausing often and enjoying some special times.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Progress on the home front has been a shaky start to the week.  Heidi has been sick since Friday and we have been trying to minimize germs and keep Heidi comfortable in our disheveled plastic encased world of remodeling.  Today, I had her out to see the doctor and hang out in the car with books and a pillow and blanket while I had my own appointment.  We returned home this afternoon to a new wall!  I have never been so excited to see a wall.  It means progress!  Of course it also has set my brain to spinning with ideas for down the road decorating and questions for the contractor for details surrounding this project.  Maisy, my older Golden, seemed stymied by the appearance of a wall.  She just parked herself in front of it and stared for 20 minutes straight, working her eyebrows up and down as if trying to process the new fixture.  Honey, on the other hand, was quick to sniff and dismiss it and then explore a new cupboard with Heidi.

She is still asking questions.  Yes, Maisy, the wall is here to stay.  Yeah!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Special Order Spool of Thread

Back at the October Market, I was telling a woman about an idea I had for making a giant spool of thread decoration for my sewing space in the studio.  She was intrigued and thought it sounded like a nice gift for a friend of hers who loves to sew.  I had enough materials to make two spools, so I took a special order and made one for her to give to her friend for Christmas.  I am very pleased with how nice it turned out.

I had picked up this vintage industrial size spool from an old textile mill at Brimfield this past summer.  Look at how big it is compared to a large spool of standard thread.

Here is the finished product followed by a couple of detail closeups.  To make it, I wrapped it with quilt batting to give it the appearance of bulk and then wound a great butter colored vintage string I have around and around (and around and around.....) to look like wound thread.  A large yarn needle threaded with some more string looks like a sewing project just waiting to happen.  For the top, I punched out a large scalloped edge circle from vintage paper and inked it to make it look old, as well as added little stitch lines around the perimeter.  I attached that as well as some vintage millinery flowers and a section of vintage measuring tape.

I will make up the other spool for myself and use in the sewing space of my studio as a fun decoration.  Hopefully, I'll be fortunate enough to find some more of these giant spools again.  Now that I see how nice they turn out, I'd like to make more to take to the Cooperage.  Here's hope'n.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sparkly Skates

I had a beat up pair of women's figure skates I picked up from one place of another this past year.  Last winter, I tied a pair together, tucked in some winter greens and added a bow and sold them like that.  I have also tied a single skate along with jinggle bells and a bow on a wreath in the past for a festive winter decoration.  This year, I was inspired to do something a little different. 

I started with the old skate and painted on glossy finish Modge Podge and immediately sprinkling the wet, gluey surface with German glass glitter (in clear).

I should also mention that I stuffed bubble wrap into the boot to help it hold a nice filled out shape.

Then I spray painted hydraangea blossoms that had turned a carmel color and dried out on my hydrangea tree.  I didn't paint the entire flower head, but rather sprized on some white paint to make them appear snow kissed but with the carmel color showing through.  While the paint was wet and sticky, I sprinkled on some more glass glitter.

I bunched up some strips of burlap with wire to make little burlap rossettes.  I gathered some fresh greenery and a vintage tin cookie cutter and then put it all together with a rustic bow.

Because of the lighting, it is hard to see the glittery effect, but it is there and so pretty.  I made two, and off they went to the Cooperage where one sold the very first day!  Yeah!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter Greenery

I had a fun time decorating the porch with evergreens this year.  With the addition of my birthday cubby unit by the door, I had new spaces to green up for the winter gray season.  I am pleased with how it turned out. 

The empty window boxes always need a winter green up, too.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let the madness begin!!

My kitchen remodel project started yeasterday. Oy!!  It has turned crazy here!  I am a person who thrives on order and organization.  There currently is nothing even close to order and organization here; only partially controlled chaos.  Well, I can handle anything for three weeks, right?  Let's hope so.

Before pictures, although messy.  I had already started taking things down and putting it on the counters when I remembered to take my "Before" pictures.

It has been a very small kitchen to do LOTS of cooking in over the last 15 years.

Now we are officially under remodeling construction.

Keep an eye out for progress pictures.

Getting the Christmas Tree

Our family has always had the tradition of going for the tree (the Christmas tree) the Friday after Thanksgiving.  We returned home from the cottage Friday morning and headed out after lunch to the tree farm we have been going to for the last 15 years.  They have acres of beautiful treed land with carefully groomed trees just waiting for a family to come lay claim. 

Off we go up the hill in search of the perfect tree.

VOILA.  The girls found a good one!

It's Fritz's dad-job to cut it down.

Loaded in the truck and ready to journey home.

A second tradition we have had for the last 10 years is to have our friend Britney (almost a third daughter- she was my mother's helper for years when the girls were young, and we have stayed close all these years) over on the Saturday morning after the tree is up and lit, to help decorate the tree.  Christmas music is playing and hot cocoa and a yummy baked treat are at the ready.  It is a very special day for us.

So pretty, and we get to enjoy it for the coming month.