Sunday, December 7, 2014

I'd Like to Live There

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that it really is Christmas. Perhaps some snow would help. The weather has be mild, chilly but sunny. The garden looks  is dead and brown, as well it should be. Inside. Well, I am moving rather slowly toward the festiveness. I used to bake up a storm, decorate until there wasn't anyplace left to decorate. Shop until I dropped, with little energy left to wrap packages.

This year I just seem rather blaze` about the whole thing; however, I am working on decorating.  Would like to see what I have been doing?

I have a dear friend who changes her Christmas theme every year; she has 25 years of Christmas in her Christmas closet with each year carefully sorted theme by theme. She tweaks her themes each year by doing different color accents. She has the touch, the flare to decorate, and her home is always beautiful.

This year she won't be doing any of it. A month ago she tripped over the gas hose at the filling station, falling, and breaking 5 bones in her foot. She has spent the month at her daughter's house. A blessing in disguise really because they live nearly 3 hours away from each other and don't see each other all that often. So for her daughter to be her care-taker has been a very special time for them both. She is finally weight bearing, but will probably still have to some surgery to do some repair work. So she won't be decorating this year and she had such good plans.

Here, Christmas is traditional; it is about the memories, loving the old memories and making new ones and using the same decorations year after year after because I can relive all those years I as I put each piece in place.

Take a look to see what I mean:

I have decorated a pink tree for years. It is full of dolls and ballerinas, pink and gold balls, crystal snow flakes, golden glittered deer. The mosaic reflects the grandchildren, even though some of the ornaments do not reflect the pink theme: a pink ballerina for Lucy who dances, a goose for Elinore because she loves the geese that her other grandma buys in the spring; a sock monkey for Nathan, a snowman for Jacob, and a teddy bear for little Lily. 

You may notice that I don't have tree skirt to cover up the bottom of the tree. Good reason. Boone. He'd have it drug out and ripped to shreds before we could yell BOONE! The Santa has been under every tree since Heather's first Christmas, 40 years now. My mother made him for Heather's first Christmas in 1975. 

Sleeping in their storage box all year, the fairies, pretty dolls, and ballerinas always make me smile when I take the like off.

I collected these sweet angels a few years ago at Tuesday Morning. I think I finally bought all that the store had.

And sweet golden birds. The fancy one with the pink tail holds special memories. I purchased it from a little Christmas store in Stratford on Avon in 2006. The gold and bronze birds are Martha Stewart Home Depot, I think.

I adore this fairy ballerina tucked in the branches. She is a new this year: an ARC thrift store find.

Last year Hobby Lobby had the best Nutcracker ornaments. I only bought the Mouse King and Clara.

A pink tree filled with ballerinas would not be complete without the Nutcracker, now would it?

This dear fairy takes me back to Stratford on Avon. She is just so serene and peaceful. I was so lucky to get to England and these ornaments hold those precious memories.

Last year I used my Cricut to make this Christmas village out of paper. I love the putz houses, so that was the look that I was going for, but the poster board that I used didn't glitter very well.

None the less, I love the look in the dark.

I have added a it more, so later I'll take more photos for you.

Each year I find a new craft to make for little gifts. I showed you the little cars that I have been collecting to create little snowy vignettes in glass jars.This one I have given to Heather for her desk at work.  Let me tell you how I made them.

First, I scrounged around the house looking for all of the pretty glass containers I could find. I washed the with ammonia and dish soap to make them squeaky clean and sparkly in the light.  Hubby found this one for me when he was sorting through his aquarium stuff. It is an old Miracle Whip or peanut butter jar from back in the day before plastic. It does not have a lid, but it works.

A little owl ornament. I don't glue the trinkets down in the jar; instead, I used a goop that I use to anchor down things in the dollhouse. Non-oily. 

When I was a kid, my dad drove a 1946 Ford Panel truck like this one, so there is bit of a memory here. I use hot glue to attach the trees and other little figurines to the trucks. For my own jars that I plan to keep, I use the goop to hold them in place in the bottom of the jar. For those that I give away, I will hot glue the truck and trees to the jar. Then I sprinkle in the snow. This jar is lit with a string of lights powered by a nickel battery.

This year I kept the mantle simple. The Santa has been with us for years. I wanted him years ago and sweet hubby bought him from the high end florist where we were window shopping one evening. He paid too much for this birthday gift,  but that's what makes the memory so sweet today. The angel in the middle was a gift from my friend. She is fiber optic, so she literally glows at night. The last angel came from a crummy little hardware store out in Holyoke, CO years ago. We always visited our friends out there Thanksgiving weekend and Sherry would take me shopping. I found this angel who really looked like she had had better days, but I love her.

The lighted garland is new: Hobby Lobby. The bows are in year 3. I pack them carefully away.

I enjoy my decorations best late at night in the dark with the gas logs hot and glowing. It is very peaceful--a time when I can reflect on all of life's blessings.

One day next year I will do a blog on Thrift Shopping, but just let me say that this collection of houses was the find of the season. It is the Victorian Village Grandeur Noel 2002. In the box. Some minor breakage and a tree is missing. It was priced at $39.99. When I checked out, it rang up at 50% off. Oh my. Now that is thrift shopping at its best. (On ebay there is a set for  $189.00) I set it up here on the china hutch, but it just didn't work.

My Town Check out my post in 2012 to see the village piece by piece.

So this morning hubby added a shelf to the existing village that I wrote about last year. Oh. The last building on the shelf next to the merry-go-round is a Department 56 and so is the big ceramic tree on the shelf. I shopped an ACR in Denver yesterday with Heather only to discover an entire village. We bought 5 town buildings. I left 3 with her, kept one, and will give one to Jen. Department 56! 

It is a peaceful little village reflecting life at the turn of the 20th century, a place where I would like to live. I'll link to my post on it from 2012 year. ( I think it was one of my best written blogs) I thought I wrote a nostalgic post, but some odd reader (not one my regulars) took exception to my nostalgia and left a very mean spirited comment. I contemplated deleting it, but I left it. She does have a right to speak her mind. 

I love the fantasy of magic of Christmas, a time of year when there is joy in the air everywhere. In my home I want to remember my childhood memories and the 40 years of memories with my children and I want to keep making beautiful Christmas memories for my grandchildren.

Perhaps this week while the weather is still mild, I hope to get some decorating done outside. Lights on some of the trees, bows on the fence. Nothing fancy, just some Christmas spirit for the neighbors to enjoy.

Well, dear friends, now back to reality. Laundry and dishes. I am linking with Lavender Cottage so make sure that you stop by to see all of the other beautiful mosaics.

Have a great week. Thanks for taking time to visit. 


  1. Hi Ann, I enjoyed seeing your Christmas decor. I like seeing the old things come out of the boxes each year, too. Your dolls and ballerinas are really lovely, and I'm partial to the glass bird ornaments.

  2. A lovely post Ann, sharing your Christmas pretties and crafted gifts. Your village is adorable, even a little train. The Cricut scene is a work of art and does look nice lit up at night.
    Only once have I had a negative comment and I deleted it. It was a post on our 40th wedding anniversary and I wish I had left the "who cares" there for others to see the author.
    After the music concert at our church this weekend, I'm really getting into the magic of Christmas.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  3. Oh my! I love everything! I'll go back to the beginning of the post and look at it all again! LOVE the pretty dolls and ballerinas and the beautiful village you made. I want to make some of the jars with little things inside. (I have lots of vintage things from the thrift store that I can use) And it's nice to have the ornaments they you've kept all these years...good memories! Holiday hugs, Diane

  4. Our tree isn't up yet! I have some sewing to do first ( bunting). I like all your pretty ornaments!

  5. Amazing how much of detail you put into your Christmas decorations! I wonder if it is the little Christmas Shop opposite Shakespeare's house in Stratford where you went to buy the bird? I love those birds :-). EG likes these wee lit houses, we started with the first now...We never put our tree up before 24th, most people here do and we always end up with the last tree to get. I wished we could go in a place and chop our tree ourselves. Enjoy it all and best wishes from Belgium.

  6. Enjoyed reading this post very much. My house is also full of memories and I like to sit and look around at all the little treasures, mostly presents from children, parents and friends.
    Your ballerinas are so cute, must be beautiful to have a tree full of angels, birds and ballerinas.
    In our country decorating for Christmas starts only after ´Sinterklaas´, 5th of December. This week I will start slowly, first cleaning the house. The tree comes in a few days before Christmas. Interesting to read all the differences all over the world.

  7. What a lovely Christmas post, the decorations and tree are beautiful. I love the jars, what a cute idea.. Wonderful post, have a happy new week!

  8. You have many lovelies here...those beautiful fanciful fairies etc. were so much fun to see! :)

  9. How charming your tree adornments. The fireplace looks inviting too~

  10.'s always so much fun unpacking Christmas decorations!

    Happy Monday!

  11. Lovely post, Ann. Three cheers for Nostalgia! I love your pink tree and all the figures. This time of year is magical ... with old memories and new ones to be made. I enjoyed seeing your jars and hearing about the village(s). So much fun!

  12. Cold here but no snow now....I love the pink tree and how the ornaments sparkle in color...and what great decorations especially the mantle.

  13. Glad you enjoyed my blog Ann. You certainly have been busy decorating for Christmas. I love your mantel and the Cricut village in particular!
    Have a happy Christmas!
    Evee x

    from Evee's blog -

  14. Hi Lynn, Oh I think your Christmas tree is just beautiful!! So is your mosaic! I had to laugh about the absence of a tree skirt; that would certainly be the case here, as well. Those wild puppies. :-D

    I love that box of beautiful angel ornaments, and I really love the Nutcracker ornaments. I would love to find some of those. The ballerinas, sock monkey, goose, and teddy bear are wonderful. Yours is a memory tree, not a theme tree. Ours is a memory tree, too, and I love to remember when I decorate the tree every Christmas.

    I like your village, Ann, and I remember your post last year because I left a comment. I understand completely what you mean about the nostalgia; there is always someone out there just waiting to give us a lecture on our blog posts. I start to think they must have too much time on their hands.

    Thanks for your visit today, and I hope you have a lovely week!

    Warm hugs,


  15. You have decorated your home beautifully Ann - such a great Christmassy atmosphere. Your village is delightful too - I think I will come and live with you in it.

  16. You have some lovely decorations Ann. It's so much fun to see all the different trees and decorated homes on the blogs. Yours looks beautiful!

    Madelief x

  17. You have such lovely Christmas decorations. I also like all your creations. Many years ago when we moved to Georgia there was a robbery in our house and they took two large boxes where we had all our Christmas ornaments – I was so sad to have lost them – they had so many memories.

  18. Such a shame your friend fell and broke bones in her foot but it sounds like a mixed blessing. I wish her speedy healing. I am in awe of your Christmas decorations. Everything looks gorgeous!

  19. I have been admiring your Christmas tree and your little town for a fairly long time now; it's time to try to write a comment. :)
    They are so beautiful, so full of magic!
    I also read your wonderful post from December 2012. The pictures and the text are something to be proud of. I have bookmarked the post and will come back to read it again in these days before and during Christmas.
    Your friend too sounds like a person I would love to know! I wish her a speedy recovery.


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