Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...

Merry Christmas to all! My hope is that all of you enjoyed a beautiful day with family, friends and special people in your lives. 
I know so many are throwing out trees and "un-decorating" but we like to enjoy Christmas a little longer. So Christmas music is still playing and we will probably pop in another Christmas DVD later tonight. 
Although it's raining today, we did get a little snow last week so I wanted to show you the porch. 

My grandmother always gathered these boughs of greenery with a red bow, and I do the same.

I traded the white lights for big, colored bulbs outside this year and we love it. There's nothing that says vintage more than big, colored bulbs! 

The sign from the old house, antique railroad lanterns, my grandfather's sled, vintage iron skillets and an antique bed frame take me back to a simpler time...

Thanks so much for stopping by our little cottage in the woods:-)
Merry Christmas to all of you!


Please come join me for conversation over on my facebook page!

I'll be joining:

Wow Us Wednesdays
Inspiration Friday
Feathered Nest Friday

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Country Christmas Kitchen

Welcome to our country Christmas kitchen! My hope is that you stop by for a cup of coffee and conversation then leave with a renewed desire to make the world a better place. 

This is the place where our family gathers every day to eat and talk about whatever is going on in our lives. It's not fancy, and it doesn't have granite countertops, or 42 inch cabinets, but we love it, and I have given it a lot of vintage charm with things I made or found around the property. You can see the difference I have made by looking at last year's kitchen HERE.

I made a new shade with the leftover fabric from the pillows I made this summer. A vintage Jewel Brite angel tree topper sparkles in the greenery. An old lantern from the smokehouse hangs in the window. 

On the window sill are my grandmother's vintage Holt Howard porcelain angels and a Commodore candy cane all from Japan post WWII. 

 The handmade wool rug is part of a collection from a family relative on loan to me from my mother. I used tea towels to hang as cafe curtains. 

I also made another sink skirt, this time without so many ruffles. I created the illusion of a farmhouse sink with trim salvaged from the old house. I took off the fake drawers then cut this piece to fit over the whole front. I love the look it gives. 

I added some Christmas cheer with greenery, cinnamon sticks and the Royal China "Currier and Ives" dinnerware that my mother gave me last winter. 

I love the blue of my grandmother's tole tray over the stove. Her rolling pin is grouped with some bamboo utensils, my other grandmother's potato masher along with my mom's enamel coffee pot. My dad made the tray in high school. 

My grandmother made the little sachet bag from feedsacks and filled it with Balsam needles, which still smell so heavenly. The slab of marble came from the old store. 

J & G Meakin "Romantic England" coffee cups hang over a Johnson Brothers "Old Britain Castles" platter, and a tray of old silver. 

The little notepad was my grandfather's and still has some of his surveying notes inside:-)

Companies used to give him notepads, calendars, etc., as promotional items. 

Iron skillets and an old colander hang humbly from screws attached to an old piece of trim on the island. I saw this in a photo of an English cottage and loved the unpretentious look of it.  Of course citrus has always been a big part of a country Christmas, and I keep it ready in this truly vintage farm basket from the smokehouse. 

I hang cutting boards on this side from cabinet pulls I attached to the old trim. A little burlap stocking I made holds greenery from the woods. 

The dwarf Alberta Spruce will be planted in the spring. 

Apples, oranges and grapefruit are ready to grab for a quick Christmas snack. The wooden candlestick stood on the parlor mantel in the old house. 

On the other side, I just added greenery and lights to the tops of the cabinets and a ceramic tree from 1971. 

I added a stocking to the old screen door.

My dad made the sign. He used to ride Indian Motorcycles in the 1950s. 

So that is the tour of the kitchen. I'm getting ready to pop a spiral-sliced ham into the oven that my mom just brought over, then the kitchen will be filled with the scent of cooking ham. I'll also be baking an apple pound cake today for my 13-year-old to take to school tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm doing laundry:-)

 Thanks so very much for stopping by. It has been difficult for me to get back in the swing of things after the horrific events of last week. I continue to keep in my prayers those affected not only in Connecticut, but also around the world who are dealing with so much darkness. My Christmas prayer is that we all make a difference in our own families and communities by showing the love of Christ to every person equally. 


I'll be joining:

Wow Us Wednesdays
Inspiration Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Tabletop Tuesday

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Dining

Hi everyone!
I wanted to share my Christmas dining area with you. 

Still using the box, I just added some aqua and green Shiny Brite ornaments to the pink ones I already had in it.

I'm using Mikasa "Italian Countryside" service plates, J & G Meakin "Romantic England" dinner plates, and Johnson Brothers "Old Britain Castles" salad plates all on a silver plated charger. 

Fostoria pink "Moonstone" goblets with Fostoria "Argus" cordials in green compliment the pink and green in the plates. 

Taffeta napkins that I made are in mother of pearl napkin rings. Antique sterling silver, "Louvre" by Wallace and Sons.

My dad and I cut the little Hemlock from the woods, which I placed in an antique galvanized bucket. The redwood bench was my grandmother's and went with her outdoor picnic table. 

I made little snowflakes and paper fans from old music to hang on the delicate branches. A star Cristian made last year at school tops off my country tree.

I tied up boxwood, balsam and cedar branches with pink tulle for the back of each chair and in the chandelier.

So that is our dining area for this Christmas! I used lots of things I had and plenty of natural, outdoor elements. As always, I so appreciate your stopping by:-)

I'll be joining:

Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch
Inspiration Friday At the Picket Fence
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Christmas Tree Party at Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Christmas Church

Hi everyone! Church has always been the most important part of Christmas for our family. Being a musician also meant that so much of Christmas has been centered around the beautiful carols of Christmas. To honor that tradition, I searched for a vintage (not made in China:-) ceramic Christmas church this fall. When I found one in my price range, $9, I was lucky enough to win the bid. However, when it arrived it was broken into several pieces. Never fear, because I am great with Elmers, and I glued it back together:-)

Oh how I love this one made in 1965 right here in the USA. I created a very simple setting on the piano placing it on a burlap and lace runner I made for my etsy shop, surrounded by little Christmas trees and candles. 

I filled this wash tub with arborvitae branches because they are so fragrant. 

I placed my grandmother's red Church Hymnal here along with a photo of her holding my mom in 1943 when my grandfather was away in Europe during WWII. She was the music leader in her church for many, many years. It had not really dawned on me until I created this vignette, that I have followed in her footsteps. 

These pine cone candleholders are from the 1960s...

It's a nice place to gather, or for one of us to be practicing something on the piano. 

Thanks so very much for stopping by:-)


I'll be joining
Wow Us Wednesdays

Thursday, December 6, 2012

O Holy Night

Hi everyone! I wanted to share this live version of "O Holy Night" from a TV show I did with my mom last week. I hope you are blessed:-)


I'll be linking up to Inspiration Friday

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Christmas Tree

Hi everyone! First let me say thank you for all the sweet and encouraging comments you have left here. I am always blown away and only wish I could return each and every one of them. There are just not enough hours in the day on this end for sure, but please know how much they are treasured. Because I am so appreciative of all of you, I am offering a great giveaway from Lifetime Brands/Mikasa, so be sure to enter. Details are below and on the sidebar.

But first, I wanted to share my Christmas tree.

I had so much fun this year with a new (old) color scheme.

I brought out the old Shiny Brites, restrung my great grandmother's glass beads, and added everything old I could find here plus some new paper snowflakes Luis and I made with the children.  I used American made as much as possible with a few post-WWII Japan and European ornaments. 

Vintage tinsel had never been out of the package and was very fragile. We had these Jewel Brite angels when I was a child. I always loved how they are nestled on the cloud of cotton. I found more of these on ebay. 

This house is part of a Hansel and Gretel set I bought in Germany. Of course there are icicles dripping on the tree. 

I was so lucky to be summoned to my mom's attic, where I found this angel in a box marked with my grandmother's handwriting, "Mother's Angel." Made in Japan, post WWII, she is a Christmas treasure for me.  

As I have said before, Christmas is so much about family for me, and all these things really make the season not only a little brighter, but bring back so many fond memories.

I decided against placing the tree in the middle of the windows as I have in the past because it blocks so much light, and the children love to sit on the chaise to read or play games. I love where it ended up.

We are really enjoying the new colors and old, antique furniture in this room, but most importantly, we enjoy just hanging out here watching DVDs of old Christmas classics or talking about our day. I love so much about Christmas:-)

Thank you so very much for stopping by! I'll be sharing more Christmas vignettes over the next few weeks all including lots of vintage and family treasures. 


I'll be joining:

Wow Us Wednesdays
Inspiration Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Christmas Tree Party