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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Extravaganza Open House!

 Welcome to our Christmas home! Come on in!
I had planned to blog all last week about many of the different photos in this post, but as most of you will agree, time has flown by faster than ever, and I just didn't get a chance to get any posts up. So this one is lengthy and photo rich. I just want to get this posted before Christmas Eve!
 I like every kind of Christmas style, from traditional, to vintage, to shabby-chic, to retro-kitschy, to farmhouse, to rusti, to Victorian... so just be sure to scroll on through the post, as I've tried to capture a little of each of these elements.
 Today we will actually be taking a little tour of two of my homes! First we will be taking a look at my Victorian "dream home" all decked out for the holidays. Then we will move on to our  real, cozy Christmas cottage.

You may have seen my dollhouse in my previous post...

I found the dollhouse at a yard sale in the summer of 2012. It is at least 50 years old. When I bought it I had no clue what I was going to do with it because it's not something I would display daily, and I don't have a vintage toy room (yet!) but for $30 I was not letting it go! Last year I realized it would make a perfect Christmas house, already the right colors. I added some felt snow cut outs for the roof and dormers, some vintage bottle brush wreaths to the windows, and sprayed the windows with fake snow. It's so much fun and I get an excuse to be a kid at Christmas!

All the children who visit are just enthralled with it and it makes me so happy to see their wonder and little imaginations as they peek in the windows.
Santa has just visited this sweet little one.
I found a vintage ceramic tree and light up fireplace at a rummage sale and they were the perfect size for the living room. A little dollar tree girl is watching the snow fall.

                                           A rusty old truck is returning from the Christmas tree farm.
I really like this picture, even though it isn't very clear, as you get a view of the whole buffet, the dollhouse, nutcrackers, and our 9 foot tree all decorated with favorite family ornaments and burlap garland, the lights in the window,  and a tiny train circling the tree really creates a magical Christmas feeling.
Most of our tree is traditional with no special theme for the ornaments. I have a mix of vintage, collectible and handmade ornaments and homemade craft ornaments that my boys have made in school. But of course I have to add some special junkin' finds, like these 1940's paper dolls dressed in beautiful winter clothes.

Moving on around the dining room, my corner cabinet is all decked out in Victorian and vintage shabby-Christmas goodness.

I just found several of these old Santa ornaments at an estate sale this weekend. I added him and the little Victorian tin to the vignette.

Such sweet things to me...
I really like my glass terrarium display, and it will last throughout winter. The cherub with the bulb is my favorite here.
My Victorian Santa is decorating the little Santa tree with 1920's tinsel.
Love that industrial, rusty-crusty metal stool he is standing on! Notice the tag, I had it in my booth and started driving home and had the "What am I thinking??" moment! No way was I letting that stool go!
I have decorated my little ivory tree with some very old ornaments, my old world Santas, and prim Santa hang tags, along with the antique tinsel.
 While I am showing you my shabby Victorian style decorations, I'll move on to the mantel. Last year I found this wonderful Putz style village that matched my doll house. Instead of changing the mantel every year, I have decided to keep the village as a traditional decoration.
 Last year I discovered that my vintage Napco figurines fit perfectly with the village!
Don't know what's up with the orangy-red here, I've tried editing but I can't get the true color, which is more burgundy-red. But you can still see the adorable details.
An evening picture shows a more true to life color.
Under the mantel in the fireplace is my vintage hoard of 1940-70's Santas and a big glass jar full of retro Christmas goodies. I've corralled my Santas in an old metal bicycle basket. Little vintage mittens are "drying" by the fireplace.
 I really love Santa, obviously.
 And yet another poor iphone photo, but you can see more of the room.
Here is the view into the dining room and the fireplace from our foyer.
I felt like the farm table only needed a few natural and rustic touches. I came up with the idea to use  a salvage piece of oak from our attic renovation, and lined it with repurposed chandelier globes as candles and greenery, pinecones and some wooden "candy canes." I used a simple burlap runner underneath.
I love the views coming downstairs....
This year I added the plaid garland and rusty bells to the banister. and I've decided to use this same look next year since it just works perfectly with tying all of the different Christmas styles together.
 Behind the door is our cozy little sitting room. Let's go in there for a bit...
In our sitting room I have created another antique-y Christmas "mantel" display using my big old Santa and giant retro bottlebrush tree as a focal point. Using lots of cool junk that was already on the shelf, I just added bits and baubles of antique ornaments, lead tinsel, old postcards etc. I am going to try to do another post about this room in more detail with better pictures tomorrow if I am feeling up to it.


In this room I usually just tweak and add to everyday displays to create a genuine vintage Christmas feeling. I've added so much more even since taking this picture. I just can't stop decorating for Christmas.
Moving back to the dining room...
Next to the fireplace I have even more, more, more and more vintage Christmas! I think this is my favorite little vintage collection.
I have been trying to find some of the mercury glass icicles forever and just lucked into some at an estate sale about a month ago.
Poor picture quality but you can see how I have this corner set up. I love creating Christmas corners with different themes and I tweak and change all the way through Christmas.
I know you vintage Christmas lovers will appreciate the fact that I found a real putz village ornament set for only $2!
Several vintage boxes tied up with my oldest lead tinsel under the little decorative tree...maybe Santa will leave more under the real tree for me!
I have so much vintage Christmas to show that I could have a post that would go on for days, so I've had to just pick a few pictures to highlight my collections. This year my son and I decided to cage up these pesky pixies to keep them from getting into mischief!
Looks like one escaped!
In the background you can see a little bit of the tops of my cabinets so we will move into the kitchen now.
Cookies and milk anyone? The Santa cookie container was a $5 flea market summer find. Love him!
I really try to pay attention to detail to create a vintage, homespun Christmas feel. Here you can see my old-time cranberry and popcorn garland. After two hours and several self-inflicted wounds, I was still happy to have made it.I found these peppermint lights at a primitive store. The picture doesn't really show but the lights are silicone dipped to look like peppermint and they smell so good too!
I found this peppermint oil in the cabinets of a very old house during and estate sale. I knew it would be great in Christmas vignettes.
I have put my Coke village out for 15 years now and I sort of base my Christmas displays around the Coke theme. 
I love my retro Christmas, but I also have to have a lot of rustic and farmhouse elements to make Christmas feel right. I have struggled with getting lighting to look right above these cabinets because the ledge is small, and I hate the look of cord showing. I found these white twig branch lights and with a little faux pine added in the look is perfect for Christmas and winter.
So far you have seen my shabby, Victorian and retro kitschy Christmas, but now I will show you my favorite Christmas corner which is mostly farmhouse style.
 Blurry here, so let's move in closer and look at some daytime pictures.
Here you can get a better idea of how our dining room flows into the kitchen, and you can see the plates and lights from the previous picture in the background.
I created this corner last year using the old chippy screen door to define the space.
Something about this corner with all of that ironstone and primitive touches just feels like Christmas.
This is my favorite part of  "The Cozy Cottage"
It gives me a place to add my primitive Christmas touches which are so homey and warm. Old-world colonial, clove-studded oranges, cinnamon and peppermint sticks...smells so wonderful here.
I love the alpine tree decked with grungy candy canes, warm scented spice lights and homemade cinnamon applesauce ornaments. And this corner is where most of my ironstone collection is displayed which makes me so happy anyway!
When I found this picture at an estate sale, I knew he would become "Santa relaxing" in my farmhouse Christmas corner.
I found the old local milk crate this summer at the flea market. I have had it outside but decided to use it for Christmas. I have left some "fresh milk" and cookies on the little table for Santa here.
And I know he will be stopping here very soon!
I really hope you have enjoyed stopping by today. If you are like me and you still celebrate the holidays throughout New Year's, stop by back later in the week. I am going to do my best to show you a little more of our sitting room. Until then,  I wish you all a very merry, cozy, Christmas!
 Christmas Parties!: