A Christmas Party!

Just recently, I discovered Thrifty Decor Chick’s blog… she’s a gal after my own heart; crafty and thrifty.  I’m sure she’ll be staying in my reader for a long time...  Today she is hosting a Christmas Tree party, and I’m linking up!

When I lived in a house, I had more than one tree, and MANY more decorations than I own now.  But we live in a 1,000 s.f. condo, so we have narrow, artificial, pre-lit tree that stands 7 feet tall–in front of our balcony door:

You can see one of the stockings I made hanging on the mantle there.  My hubby described it over the phone to his mom as “it’s one of those skinny, fake trees, that comes with lights on it; and then Doris adds about 500 ornaments to it.”  He’s probably not that far off.  There are at least five dozen silver glass icicles hanging on the insides of the branches, seven or eight dozen frosted glass balls from Target in purples, greens, turquoise, pinks, blues, magentas, reds–all bright colors.  Then there are the special ornaments we’ve picked out together each year, all German glass ornaments:

The Viola, the black cat, the moon, the dove with the real feather tail…

the House for the year we made our home together, and for 2011, my favorite, a nosegay of roses that looks just like my bridal bouquet from this Spring!

There are some other special ornaments on there, bought from etsy sellers, made by friends or family, given by someone special… but truly the ones we cherish are the ornaments we have picked out in our six years together.  It was the first tradition we decided to start as a couple.

Underneath the tree (you can barely see it in the top photo) sits the nativity from my childhood, in a stable made by my Mom from an orange crate.  I spruced it up with a straw roof and twigs on sides.  I think the figurines are German also, which is where my great-grandparents came from. The angel is one my family gave to my Grandma in the 1980s, when the entire family bought her a new artificial tree and a collection of special ornaments.  When she could no longer stay in her home, each family received their ornaments back, and I got her angel.  I love see Grandma’s angel looking down from the top of our tree.

So, go check out the rest of the party… have fun!

Come back soon, I should have a finished quilt to show you…only four or five years in the making!


Blogtoberfest Day XVII–My Holiday Haunt

My sweetie and I both have an affinity for vintage Halloween decorations, and even though we get no trick-or-treaters, don’t host our own costume party (we go to someone else’s party), and receive very few visitors during the month of October–we go all out decorating our 1,000 square foot condo for Halloween (the only holiday besides Christmas that I decorate for)!  Above is a little baker’s rack shelf in our kitchen, the crepe-paper pumpkin is from sweetie’s childhood home.  The ghost and vampire are Jim Shore figurines that have been given to me as gifts.  I love these die-cut cats from the 1960s (they originally belonged to my Gramma B):

Our mantle is fun to decorate (though impossible to get a decent photograph of!)–the plastic jack-o-lanterns are also from my sweetie’s childhood home:

I spray-painted a branch last year to make a Halloween tree with one of his plastic jack-o-lantern buckets as a base:

It’s not complete without some macabre flowers, cobwebs and spiders–and a raven, just for good measure…

Next to the fireplace wall is my wall of Notre Dame and Paris etchings & photographs, with these 1940s jack-o-lantern die-cuts, also from my mother-in-law:

And this little punkin-head, we bought last year, because he reminds us both of a friend’s little boy who we spent some quality time with that summer:
He greets us in our entryway and brings a smile to my face everytime I see him!  BTW, the framed artwork in the background is (the bottom edge of) one of my drawings from university.  I need to show you my artwork here someday…

This week’s giveaway includes an American Jane pattern, a spool of Nature’s Rainbow thread, and 5 fat quarters of Lizzy Dish fabric from Andover.  To qualify, comment on any of my Blogtoberfest posts (you can qualify more than once, and followers of my blog automatically get an extra entry):

Happy Halloween and an Awesome October!

Gharish and Ghoulish Garlands

Thanks to all of you that left kind words and sent emails in response to my last post. I try to keep this blog a light and fun space, life isn’t always, light and fun, that is, but I could not let the chance to say something pass by…and after reading the reactions to it, I am SO glad I did say something.
I did manage to have a little Halloween gathering at my home last week… I didn’t get all the handmade items completed for it that I wanted to, but it was fun and wonderful just the same. I put together that Halloween tree with a branch I cut while on a walk at a nearby trail and a vintage jack-o-lantern candy pail.

My sweetie’s Mom gave us some vintage Halloween decorations that she used to decorate with when she first got married in the 1950s(!). I spruced up the mantle with these items:My favorite is the cardboard cut-out garland of jack-o-lanterns…pretty awesome, huh?My sweetie has told me, on more than one occasion, about these pumpkins that his Mom always hung on the mantle for Halloween, and how cool he thought they were. We were both thrilled to find out they were still around!

I found some other nifty, and crafty, Autumn and Halloween garlands/banners out there…check these out:

Stephanie’s super cute wool Halloween Garland….

Rawbone Studios’ awesome Dios Los Muertos garland in black and orange….

aprilfoss’ too-cute-for-words Owl Garlands…seriously, check out the cuteness in this girl’s shop!

And, I’ve resisted the urge to jump into paper crafting, I figure I have one pricey hobby, and that should be enough. But how much would I like to craft (or at least, have) a Boo Garland like Genevieve’s?

There is some seriously spooky inspiration out there…. As always, send me a link or leave a comment if you have come across any great Halloween decorations!


Over the last two weeks, in between sewing projects, I’ve been working on re-upholstering my sweetie’s Grandmother’s rocking chair. It used to live in the family lake house on Lake Mille Lacs in central Minnesota. Her sons used to push her around the ice covered lake in this chair in the winter–doesn’t that paint an interesting picture?!

These are the before photos (above) showing the chair in what it was recovered in in the late 1970s/early 1980s (I’m guessing by the fabric that was used). My sweetie’s Mom recovered it at the time, and it lived a few decades in her family room before be passed down to her son last year.

So we tore it apart, down to the skeleton…

Love this “fix” his Mom added, that is lawn chair webbing strips used to hold in the styrofoam that was used to form the back….

And, then sweetie and I went shopping for fabric…revealing just how different our tastes in decorating are (it’s dangerous to find a guy who actually has an “opinion” on these matters…sometimes it’s best if they just don’t care!). I wanted to recover it in a traditional-contemporary print, something like this sofa…or this… But he wanted it to look more like it did when Grandma had it (a dark royal blue “suede-y” fabric. Yikes!). Well, she was his grandmother… so this is the compromise we came up…

It’s not exactly Anna Maria Horner or Amy Butler home dec…but it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb and blends in with the rest of what I have…

The stripe is a dark blue (so he’s happy) and also has greens and golds in it (so I’m happy).

It’s trimmed in a gold braiding that really sets off the stripe…

And…it’s a million times better than the “before” model…. ;->