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.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter In The Cottage

People, it's winter. I have a love of winter, with my endearments to all things white and wooly. I love the idea of winter. It's beautiful peacefulness after the rush of the holidays. Snuggling under thick blankets with hot tea while snow falls gently. No traffic noise outside, no school in the morning. Warm hearty soups. Icicles glistening like chandelier prisms. I love it all. Except...when it hits us like it has this winter! Subzero temperatures, broken water lines, the inflammation of my joints and muscles as a result of the cold. My child having cabin fever from almost a month of no school. My older son in college calling to tell me it's so cold in his dorm he can't relax. NO, those things I don't like. But I am not one to start thinking of spring immediately after Christmas, because there are truly so many winter wonders. (If you love winter, be sure to check out my "Winter Wonders" board on Pinterest, and if you especially love white, shabby and farmhouse, be sure to click on  last year's winter post, where I was only Dreaming Of A White Winter.)

We recently got our first real snow in several years. Someone commented on facebook that our home looks like Narnia in the snow. I do have to agree it's magical...

 Even if you hate winter, I hope you will enjoy some of my winter touches. There is nothing we can do to change the fact that spring is still months away. Why not celebrate the beautiful landscapes God has created through snow, ice and frost, while waiting for the first crocuses to break through?

Ok, perhaps I  should have titled this post, In Defense Of Winter.

Moving on to the decorating...

This year I did some simple tweaking after removing all of my holiday décor and kept a woodsy winter theme for my mantel and some shabby-chic touches on my buffet and shelves. As usual I also have a few little primitive items to add to the coziness and homespun feeling I like to create. I used lots of ivories, creams, and whites of course, and layered fabrics, wherever possible. I especially like my shabby chair right now, displaying that fabulous old blanket (love those stripes!), antique lace pillow, and a lovely knitted scarf, a favorite Christmas gift from my sister. This chair just works well year round with simple textile changes.

I started my transition from Christmas to winter with a wintry chalkboard. I traced my little boy's hands and drew some little mittens and snowflakes for a simple design.

In front of my chalkboard is a wonderful big ironstone tureen with a winter scene. I bought this at the flea market in July, always thinking ahead. I topped it with a simple snowman cloche.

Next I created a woodsy-winter mantel using a deer that I rescued from someone's abandoned garden at an estate sale as my focal point. I layered some realistic faux juniper sprigs and pine cones, with small primitive silicone dipped lights. I needed something to balance out the sides. I usually don't go for symmetry, but I got a set of lanterns for Christmas and I thought they would work nicely. I originally used candles in them, but then I found a stack of vintage snow photos in my hoards and decided to tuck a picture of snowy trees in each. For some junky-chic shabby touches, I added the ironstone and silverplate platters to the background and "framed" my deer in an antique frame.

On my buffet I worked in some shabby touches that will transition easily to Valentine's day. I used my favorite garden cherub and a snowy tree in my terrarium with a few silvery-green bulbs and lined the terrarium with moss. I'll simply add some lace and red and pink bulbs in February.

I love these little vintage mittens. I displayed them "drying" by the fireplace at Christmas time. The little saucer features a sweet old-fashioned winter scene. I tucked these treasures in a small orphaned drawer that I shabbied up a bit with white paint.

Here is my "Snow Wishes" jar. I made it last year using a vintage jar, Epsom salts, a bottle brush tree, a large vintage marble and a little girl from Graphics Fairy. I think I can stop making snow wishes now, with another dangerous storm moving in next week! I surrounded the jar with some pretty icy treasures. The antique chandelier prisms reminded me of icicles.

I use lots of silver plate for winter displays. Actually, I use it year round. LOVE IT. Oh and check out that antique seltzer bottle with the chain mesh! I just found it recently at the antique mall where I have a booth.

I really need to stop taking photos in my red robe. My reflection always shows up in the glass and bulbs.

I used more vintage silver plate on my corner cabinet and just added a few little winter things.

One of my favorite displays is  the Christmas card my mom sent this year, actually more of a winter scene than Christmas.

I topped the corner cabinet with my basket display featuring Grace, my vintage jewelry bust. She is wearing a Scottish plaid scarf and antique aviator cap. I used a winter pine tree, some pine cones, some shabby wooden spindles and a vintage book with a woodsy photo on the cover.

Moving on through the house, right as you come through the door I created this winter welcome. I wish you could smell through the computer screen! This lovely preserved juniper just has the softest evergreen scent. I love the small blue berries. I bought two boughs to display after Christmas because I didn't want to keep out a lot of pine and have too much of a Christmas look. The juniper is preserved in glycerin and if wrapped and packed carefully will retain it's fragrance for several years.

Just a simple change on the dress from from a plaid Christmas scarf and Santa hat to this soft ivory scarf and antique leather winter aviator cap.

On the little mantel in our sitting room I kept this book from my Christmas vignette, since the children are making snowballs. I am so glad I discovered the joy of using things I already have to create seasonal displays. It's always a treasure hunt around my own house and it takes a little creativity but that's the fun part.

Well there's about 10 minutes left until February and I did it! I got a January post finished! As most of my followers know, I  am very sick with Lyme Disease and other autoimmune illnesses and I just really struggle to keep up with blogging when symptoms are bad as they have been for a while. But at least I am getting one post in in January. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

 Tomorrow, health permitting, I will start changing out some things for Valentine's day, but winter is far from over according to the extended forecast. Eastern KY is predicted to have 10-12 inches next weekend! I love beautiful snow but I think I'm ready to start working on some spring and Easter crafts to combat cabin fever!

Stay warm and cozy everyone. Sip some hot cocoa, coffee or tea. Enjoy the beauty of winter...spring will arrive eventually,  it always does!
I was featured on:
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  1. It all looks lovely, Amber! I don't usually like to rush the seasons, but this has been one heck of a Winter! We have a forecast here in Ohio of a "major storm" coming Tuesday {evening, night?} but they are not committing to how major. Rumor has it up to 20 inches! Love your snowman tureen cloche. I think that's a great idea. Those little mittens are so cute!

  2. Hi Amber. Beautiful post and even more beautiful displays! We are edging into Spring down here in Louisiana, but you gave me some great ideas. Have strength and happiness! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  3. It seems as though many parts of the world are experiencing an unusual winter, here too on Canada's east coast. Your decor is heartwarming. Stay safe and cozy.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  4. Just beautiful! Just my style and I can feel the coziness through the pictures! So much creativeness and work for your weary body....I sympathize with you with joint issues and fibromyalgia myself. I cannot NOT decorate or surround myself with beautiful things so we must just keep plugging on, right?!

  5. I really like your blog and I'm following! Also following on Pinterest!


  6. Love all of the winter décor and am truly coveting that chamber pot!

  7. Very pretty, I especially like the snowman inside the cloche, it makes such a pretty display for this time of year.
    Hugs, Lynnie

  8. Love your "winter" vignettes, everything is so fun and interesting. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party that will be live this afternoon. Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty

  9. My snowmen went to live in the attic for next few months - we got our Southern snow and now ready for spring. I love how creatively you use your "junk". My favorites are the gloves and mittens hanging around.

  10. Amber I love all your winter decor. I started a new Pinterest board so I could pin some of these great ideas! Thanks for sharing at TTF!

  11. I love it all and I adore the mantel. Such a pretty room and so inviting. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, marty

  12. Amber, you have so many wonderful treasures! I have loved that deer from day one. Wish I could find one to rescue. lol! Cute idea to frame it. The white mittens are so sweet and I adore the tureen! It all is just magically wonderful. As is Winter. Although Spring is my favorite season, I love the serenity and beauty of Winter. Wouldn't want to miss out on it. Besides, it's what brings beauty to our gardens later on. Thanks for sharing with SYC. I will be featuring you later today.

  13. Winter on the coast of southern California could not be more different than your winter.

    But, I love seeing how you make your home cozy through the cold.

    Beautiful vignettes and decor!

  14. Love all your wonderful warm touches to your winter decor, that chair is perfection, and I'm in love with your little deer friend on your mantel. Everything is cozy and comfortable. Hope Spring isn't far away, I know how the weather effects your health, xoxo

  15. Amber, this is all just beautiful! I will feature it tomorrow at Home Sweet Home!
    Stay warm!

  16. So much vintage charm! Love your winter cottage, your vignettes are so pretty and I especially love the one with mittens. You're being featured, so hop back over! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  17. Hello Amber, your home is absolutely beautiful - I showed my daughter the photo of your garden in the snow and she said it did look like Narnia - I am delighted to share that your post will be featured in this week's A Return to Loveliness,

  18. Absolutely beautiful post, Amber! I do appreciate you sharing with A Return to Loveliness,

  19. Lovely post. A charming visit. I have been embracing winter myself, in 'it you can't beat it, join it' spirit. I tell myself, "Well now that I'm sort of shut in I'll organize cabinets and closets." Hah. Here I sit at the PC! Winter blessing to you, and wishes for dry days to sooth those achy joints.


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