Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dreaming of Christmas in the old house

 A dream I have had for years would be to build back the old house my great grandfather bought here as his summer place. My dad was born in and grew up in that beautiful old house.

Luckily, when my grandparents tore it down to make way for a new house, my grandfather carefully took out all the trim, doors, windows, etc., and carefully bundled and stored them where they sat untouched until Luis and I moved onto the family property. If you have ever visited here, you know that we are taking some of those things and adding them to our house little by little. 

I became fascinated with the Putz cardboard houses from Japan post WWII and tried to get some on ebay for my vintage Christmas, but kept getting outbid. Plus, they are pretty small at 4" high. I decided to make my own.

Then I thought why not make the old house? So, I gathered up some cardboard -- which in my case is easy as I recycle *everything* and usually have stacks of it. 

I started cutting and glueing and finally ended up with this...

My dad recognized it right away and told me I needed the bottle brush trees as my grandmother apparently had them. So I found some vintage ones on ebay. 

I thought the house needed a snowman out front.

I used tissue paper for the windows and Christmas lights for the inside. I dusted everything with "snow" and lots of glitter, which I was amazed to find these products "Made-in-USA." 

The old rock wall still stands around the new house my parents live in.

 I used a window from the house to showcase old photos of the house and my dad and his family here in Balsam. I made cardboard panels to fit behind each window which I covered with vintage pink-flowered paper from my parent's basement. I put some of the copied photos on sheet music or black poster board so they would stand out against the background. I then trimmed the edges with vintage lace from my grandmother's sewing room.

These photos include my dad, his brother, sister and my grandparents in front of the house. I wanted to add the photo of my children as it was taken in front of the little guest house that once stood behind the "big" house.

I decided to use this burlap runner I had made for my etsy shop then topped it with white pines in old vinegar bottles from the "store."

An antique family lamp along with my great aunt's handmade gown make every element in this vignette not only vintage, but part of my family. 

And that, for me, is one of the most important parts of Christmas -- family. 

I love taking trips back in time, and Christmas is such a wonderful time to remember. 

Thanks so much for stopping by:-)


I'll be joining:

Inspiration Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Countdown to Winter
Holiday Craft Link Party

A Homespun Christmas/Vignettes and Mantel Party


  1. Beautiful !

  2. Shenita @ Embellishments by SLRNovember 29, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Anita, this is such a wonderful post! Is there anything that you can't make?! Lol!! The replica of the house is beautiful! What a wonderful legacy you have maintained.

  3. ℳartina @ Northern NestingNovember 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Anita that house you made is beautiful, the whole vignette is gorgeous!!

  4. Carlene @ Organized ClutterNovember 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Wow. I thought about making a putz house too but I won't have time. Your replica is so perfect. The sideboard has family history trimmed out in lights and greenery. Love it.

  5. Anita, that house you made is amazing, as is everything you do! You are such a wonderful historian for your family. I love the idea of using an old window to display family photos. Lots of smiles all around, especially from your loved ones in Heaven! xo

  6. Hi Anita, I will post this gem on my FB wall. you are amazing and God has blessed you with so many beautiful talents and you graciously share with us. The houses and family member portrait project are stunning. I love your tribute, respect and honor you have given your heritage. I inherited clothing, linens I also display as you did so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your amazing home decor, history, stories. Praying you have a wonderful advent season. :)

  7. Gorgeous! You did a beautiful job making your own house. What a sweet tribute to your family's heritage. The whole vignette is gorgeous. Blessings,

  8. Just beautiful! Love the house, family photographs, the gown! Wonderful memories!

  9. Anita,
    I love your posts...I keep saying that. Sorry to sound like a broken record but when I notice you've posted something new on my sidebar, I can't wait to visit. I feel like I'm at an old friend's house. I love that you incorporate things that matter to you and not "what's hot in the blog world" That makes your blog unique to me. I hope to imitate that in my own writing. When I'm here I feel the "real you" and it's a nice place to visit during the day..thanks :)

  10. Anita, it's gorgeous!! I really don't know anything else to say except your grandparents and great grandparents would be so proud and I know they'd love it!
    Have a blessed day!

  11. Your Putz house is a price far above rubies! I hope you save it for generations to come as it is amazing and so full of you and the generations that came before you. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  12. What a fantastic heritage you have and what a beautiful tribute! It is just fantastic, you made your family proud! I love how you used all the items from the past. Blessings!

  13. Anita, you must be so proud of your family! What a treat to read a story like this one about your heritage, and to make something as exquisite as that little house! Wow! I love your displays so much. I especially like what you've done with the beautiful antique buffet. I'm so glad you truly treasure these things of your family's!
    Christmas Blessings,

  14. Anita- I think is probably the most special thing I have seen in all of blog land this year. You have put your heart and soul into making a family heirloom and it is beautiful. I hope you can hand it down through the generations along with the window that accompanies it. It is so, so special. Blessings-xo Diana
    ps. Pop by if you get a chance and wish my little SweetCheeks a Happy Birthday- she is going to read all the comments.

  15. Hi Anita! Oh, your replica of your grandparents house is just amazing! I love it. I starting making little putz houses in the summer. I fell in love with them last year and stared gathering things to start. I will have a post up soon on mine. Now you've got my tiny brain thinking I should make a putz of my house! ;)
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  16. Beautiful! What a great job you did...I love the homey feel of it all.

    Amy Jo

  17. It's always fun to visit your blog and hear your family stories, and see the stuff you have inherited. Good for you for taking care of everything for future generations!! Sally

  18. Oh Anita! This is absolutely amazing. Beautifully done!!! I LOVE how you incorporate your family treasures in your home. I will come back to see thi again and again. I just love it. Oh, BTW, when my husband and I built our last home he made a cardboard model of it for me so I could "see" it. Each fllor was seperate and the roof came off. It was fabulous and our builder wrecked it. I wish I still had it. XO, Pinky

  19. Beautiful House! Great job!

  20. What a wonderful tribute and what a great heritage. I would be ecstatic if my kids did the same. You would make me so proud as I'm sure your grandfather is. Thx for sharing!

  21. I swear, everytime I read your blog, it is like a hug from a kindred spirit! Love your Putz house and the meaning behind your vignette. Great job as always Anita!

  22. I love the little house you made, that is so fun!

  23. Gee Singh NewbanksNovember 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    I so luv our family stories and history... What a warm and luving tribute to the family and time gone by.
    Very sweet..
    Cheers, Gee

  24. At The Picket FenceNovember 29, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Oh my goodness!!! Anita this is absolutely one of the most special and beautiful things I have seen in a long time. You, my friend, are incredibly talented and my mouth totally dropped open when I saw the first photo of your creation. What an absolute treasure! Thank you so much for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  25. Oh how beautiful! Simply amazing.
    My favorite
    decorating includes

  26. Karen Mary ButterflyNovember 30, 2012 at 4:44 AM

    That's just amazing, Anita. I am sure your dad was touched and proud. This is just so special and personal. Better than anything you could bid on. Beautiful post.

  27. How wonderful! This is one of the nicest Christmas displays I have seen. Love everything you did from the do it yourself house to using the pictures, window frames and pieces of old lace, you are very fortunate to have such nice memories and such a talet as to showcase them. Thanks for sharing, absolutely love it!

  28. Your house is just perfect! I really thought you bought it somewhere! I love the way you bring your family into your home - not just during the holidays, but all the time!

  29. This is so wonderful. I pinned this, it's amazing!!

  30. The Quintessential MagpieNovember 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Love this, ANita! I absolutely love it!



  31. The Quintessential MagpieNovember 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Sorry. I think I made a typo. I hit pubish instead of preview. Sorry, Anita.

  32. Yvonne @ StoneGableNovember 30, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Anita, This is just the most amazing Christmas decoration! What a true treasure!!!! I am ... speachless to describe how wonderful and special and sentimental your cardboard home and display is!!!! You did the most perfect job! I'm sure everyone will enjoy this darling replica so much!

  33. You've blown me away with your house! I noticed it in the first photo and then when you said you had made it yourself I got all misty eyed. I think it is so amazing that you are keeping the old house and history alive for your children.

  34. ❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁December 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Wow! I bet your dad was so proud of your efforts to recreate the old house. How very precious and what a great gift to share with your family.

  35. Cindy (Applestone Cottage)December 2, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    I am so incredibly impressed by the replica home you made!
    Really and truly special and you are quite the artist as well!

  36. Absolutely incredible, Anita!

  37. What a lovely replica you have created!

  38. That is really incredible. You did an amazing job. I can't get over how much it looks like the photo. Visiting from Centsational Girl's party.

  39. I love the little house. Beautiful job ! ..... Candy

  40. Hi! I am new to your blog. I am so glad I found it. Your home and decor is so gorgeous. I love how you did the house. You are so talented. I had to pin some pictures. I am in awe of your creativity.
    Thank you for sharing all this beauty.