Finding rusty old junk is fun! Nevertheless, I have found that no matter how much "stuff" I find and collect, only God can fully satisfy my heart. Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Farewell Christmas, Welcome 2012!

 Christmas may be over, but traditionally speaking, "Happy Holidays," is a plural term to describe both Christmas and New Year's celebrations. I grew up watching the Times Square ball drop by the light of our Christmas tree with family and friends, and I could never understand why anyone would  want to take down holiday decor the day after Christmas, being that the holiday season had not yet ended. The holidays come and go so quickly, so our family chooses to make them last a bit longer by holding off on the trashing of the greens. After all, my son is home from college for the holidays and my husband, younger son and I are all on break from work and school and that is worth celebrating so why not keep the house festive? I will be taking most of it down on New Year's Day (sniffs) since I will be starting a new job on Monday, but I guess I can always come visit my Christmas blog posts anytime. (sighs)

For my last post of 2011 I will begin by highlighting favorites from my mom's house and then I will finish up with one last look at favorites at our house this year.

My mom is crazy about vintage junk too and she has tons of Christmas decorations. I never know exactly what kind of trees she will be using but I always know I will love whatever she uses!
A Santa collection on a very old white tree

My mom has been so busy that she was decorating right up until Christmas too. When I visited her last week she had not yet put up her vintage Santa tree. I was ecstatic on Christmas night when I got up to her back door and saw these blow molds through the window.

I am on the quest to find one of these these blow mold Santas sitting on a fireplace starting right now!
I NEED this Santa for my creepy Santa collection!

She found these cute vintage reproduction signs at an estate sale that I had been to the day before. Somehow I missed them.Grrrr.

 I fell in love with this old ceramic Santa bank, another of her estate sale finds.

She used a pretty vintage deer planter filled with berries for her centerpiece.
I learned to create eclectic vignettes from my mom. Here she mixed both vintage and primitive Christmas pieces to make a sweet display.

My mom and I are always on the lookout for the same sorts of things, and she even beat me to this large creepy vintage Santa at the consignment store near my house. I had contemplated getting him but decided to wait until after Christmas to see if he would be marked down. She had no idea I was going to buy him since I hadn't mentioned him. I was just a wee bit envious but excited to find him in her family room.  If someone else is going to own him, I am glad its my mom!
So ugly, its not even cute...but sooo vintage!

Although she didn't give the large Santa to me as a Christmas gift, I was thrilled when she gave me this knee hugger ornament. Thanks Mom for the ornament, and for giving me the love of Christmas and vintage junk!

I decided while I was photographing my ornament to go ahead and take some more pictures of my decorations so I could mess around with my new camera.

I am going to have fun with this camera. The Shiny Brites are much shinier and brighter than in my previous pictures.

The cheapest find of summer yard sale treasure hunts was this hand-sewn Santa for a nickel.

My small ivory tree holds ornaments from the 1920's and 30's, as well as other vintage and handmade ornaments. I made the collage picture to right a few years ago using old cards, wrapping paper, vintage book pages and scrapbooking materials decoupaged over top a painting. The Santa head plaque in the middle was a second-hand find.

I handmade some ornaments for gifts this year. I loved this one where I used a piece of a white feather as its hanger.

In the kitchen I have a white tree filled with ornaments that were on my grandparent's first tree 55 years ago.  
In the guest room is a slim alpine tree filled with all of my childhood ornaments, as well as some of my childhood Christmas knick-knacks on the nightstand. I am so blessed to have a mother and grandmother who saved everything for me.

 Dear Mom: I know you know how much I appreciate your passion for hoarding collecting. It is wonderful to still have the star from my first tree in 1975 because you knew I would want it some day. You are the greatest!

 More vintage elf mischief...

This one obviously had a little too much Christmas Ale...

Some friendlier elves. My son calls them "brownies," because they look like the brownie elves in his favorite Christmas book.
The 2011 Christmas tablescape

Yard Sale finds.
Christmas Eve. My husband getting ready for Santa in the kitchen and avoiding the camera.

My favorite primitive Santa

The living room tree had a Victorian Santa theme this year and burlap garland
I love the primitive handmade ornaments

Christmas dinner. My husband took this picture and forgot to take the foil off the turkey...

Getting ready for Santa

Santa filled the family room!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Home For The Holidays at Grammy and Poppy's!

This Christmas I had an opportunity to play interior designer for my in-laws, (Grammy and Poppy) in their new home! The charming 1940's cottage is quite a downsize from their previous home, but its just perfect for the two of them now that all the children are grown. 

Around Thanksgiving I began to notice that Grammy didn't seem to have much holiday spirit and wasn't as excited about decorating as I figured she would be. After talking with her I realized she was feeling a bit overwhelmed about how to incorporate her old decorations in the new place.When she and Poppy moved into the cottage they updated their decorating style, so most of their country/primitive Christmas decor just wasn't going to work  anymore. Unfortunately, they had even sold their Christmas trees in their moving sale because they did not think they would have room for more than a small tabletop tree.

 Nevertheless I wanted to do something extra special to help them celebrate their first Christmas in their very own home and to provide them with a warm and beautiful place for family and friends to gather during the holidays. My husband and I had installed a faux fireplace for them back in the summer which is the focal point of the room, so it gave me an easy place to start creating Christmas magic.
If you can't find the perfect spot for one Christmas tree, use two!  Each tree is filled with various reindeer ornaments and  traditional red garland and green bulbs. I made some faux burlap sacks out of linen placemats to wrap the bases of each tree in lieu of tree skirts. The adorable shabby-prim screen door was a $4 yard sale find. The gorgeous faux fireplace deserved to be all decked out for the holidays.

 I decided that a very traditional Christmas look was the best choice and would really make them feel like they were finally home for the holidays.  I also wanted to give them some ideas of ways to start new decorating traditions to use year after year. Using lots of reds, greens, golds, and plaids, the whole living room took on a much larger and grander feel and really created a beautiful Christmas setting.
Boughs of holly, poinsettias, tartan ribbon, shimmering pinecones, golden beads and ornaments, a large Santa and sleigh with lots of tiny, glittering reindeer-----its definitely Christmas at Grammy and Poppy's!

I love that my mother-in-law trusts me enough to play around with her things and will just leave the room and let me get to work. This was one of the most enjoyable decorating challenges I have ever had because it was a 100% "use what you have," or should I say, "use what we had" FREE project. I had no idea what decorations she had kept or what things she had already started decorating with. I only knew that she wanted a more elegant look than what she was coming up with. She had some good ideas and cute decorations for me to work with however, and luckily I am enough of a Christmas hoarder collector that I had several boxes of leftover decorations in storage to put together a whole room for them and to add to what they had. When she gave me the go ahead to come on over and decorate, I loaded up a large tote full of Christmas odds and ends and went straight over and got to work. I think I finished in about two hours and I feel they were pleased with the end result. 

      I found this awesome Santa in the corner behind the front door and decided that he needed to be the focal point of the mantel and started building from there.

  The mantel turned out looking as if it cost a fortune by using just whatever was lying around!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with extra care! I hung a stocking each for my son and niece, and hung an ornament frame with their baby pictures on each of them so that Grammy and Poppy can fill them with special Christmas treasures year after year!
Love the bronze reindeer ornaments. They tie in perfectly with the bronze tile
embellishments Poppy added to the fireplace.

Did I say use two trees in small spaces to make a big impact? Why not use three??? The third tree in the corner pays homage to a "Clan Ferguson" Christmas! Poppy decorated his tree with his collection of  Celtic inspired Christmas ornaments. The Scottish nuctrcracker was a gift from my husband and I last year.
Being that I am of Scottish heritage by birth and marriage and a collector of  Celtic things myself, I just love Poppy's tree!
These Belsnickel-style Santa ornaments were some of my favorite finds as I went scavenging through their house looking for decorations. I also found some vintage books to use, and I especially loved, "The Friendly Hour." It just seemed like a fitting title for such a friendly little trio!

Although duck is still sometimes served in a traditional Christmas dinner, this amazing guy is just for admiring. Grammy began collecting primitive style ducks upon moving into the new house so I wanted to incorporate the ducks in some way. I created a dining room table centerpiece using this large wooden duck and dressed him with pine cones, pine branches and lots of white bittersweet garland. He is nestled in a large burlap coffee sack. A primitive-style woodsy tree provides a perfect backdrop.

Smaller wooden duck with a red apple wreath and Christmasy!

   After working on this post I am getting excited to visit on Christmas Eve. The house feels cozy and welcoming and the grandkids absolutely love visiting too!

 Merry Christmas Grammy and Poppy!!!!  May your first Christmas in your new house be the merriest ever and may you have many more happy Christmases there for years to come!!!