Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Wishes to You!



                                                          Wishing all of you a prosperous




                          Happy New Year in 2012!





                                         Sierra Nevada Mountains

                                                                                                                                             (photo taken as we flew over the Sierras on our way to Vegas)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Vintage Photo Christmas Vignette




I knew that I wanted to use my bulb tray as the centerpiece for this Christmas vignette in the great room. My thought was to us an old photograph of two children from the early 1900’s as my starting point. I imagined that these two young siblings came from a well-to-do family living in a brownstone house on a cobblestone street in the city.



Just look at the sweet, innocent faces on these two children. I’m taking the young boy to be about five years old and his sister as being around two. Sailor collars were quite popular back in this era- you can see that both of their outfits feature that style.



Toys in that era were not fancy. A toy soldier, a ball, and some blocks were all that many children needed to fuel their imaginations.  Here, a wooden solder waves his arm at you. I’m imagining that these leather shoes were worn by the young girl before she got her high tops.  Hand-me-downs were not common in this family, so I believe the children’s mother is allowing this pair to go home with the children’s nurse, so that someone in her family can wear them.  The toy soldier is just one of many in the young boy’s army.



In addition to their stacking capabilities, these wooden blocks probably helped the children learn the alphabet.



books and dominoes

A set of dominoes could help the children with number recognition, too.  Do you think their parents thought of them as learning aids, in addition to being toys?  I’m guessing that the looking glasses were borrowed from father so that the children could spy out the playroom window onto the street below.




Every child in a well-to-do home must have had a train set to play with.  I would guess that these children had many happy times as they moved these Christmas bears along the tracks.



And they most certainly hung their Christmas stockings on the mantel in the parlor on Christmas Eve, in anticipation of Santa Claus filling them with goodies.  What child could possibly have been “naughty” at that age?  I’m sure their stockings were filled to the brim with toys and sweets on Christmas morning! 



                       And what about you? Were you good this year?  I hope you have been and that Santa brings you what you’ve asked for!  


        Sending Merry Christmas Wishes to everyone! Enjoy the day with your families.


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Welcoming Entryway





I was warmed by this sight as I walked through the foyer tonight. The brown and gold tree was gleaming brightly and the buffet and staircase were both highlighted and shadowed by the lighting from the lamp and chandelier. Today’s weather was rainy, dreary, and dark, so I turned the lights on earlier this morning. I simply I forgot about them and didn’t turn them off when I left the house. The tree lights came on with a timer, so the hall was certainly bright  when I arrived home.






The buffet looks very similar to what it looked like last Christmas. Once again, my ceramic angel was set on top of some old books.






filled ornaments

At the base of the books are three glass ball ornaments that I glued to some small mirrors and filled with greenery and berries. This, too, is an almost identical look to last year. Funny, I was looking through the Better Homes and Gardens website last week and I saw that this very idea had been used by one of their designers. 






glove mold 2

The glove mold was a purchase at this year’s French Hen fall barn sale. Love that I can write messages on it with chalk.




acorn and snow

A small silver tray holds more fresh greenery, a glittered glass acorn, and some faux snow.




angel child

The glittery angel child was a French Hen purchase from last year.




I found a great local source for boxwood wreaths back in the spring when some of the Ohio bloggers met for shopping and lunch in Tipp City. The seller, Wendy Lavy, was at the farmers market a few weeks ago and I brought three of them to hang off of the bannister.  She had some beautiful magnolia wreaths for sale and I think I’ll be buying at least one for next Christmas. If you are local to the Dayton area, pay a visit to her website.

I have one more vignette I hope to share with you before Christmas.  It’s in the great room and I think it is just so sweet. Stay tuned for that soon!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Vignette for the Dining Room


Why is it that we never use the dining room except for holidays and special occasions?  Most of the time, ours is used to spread out paperwork and projects! But come Christmas time, it gets special treatment and some pretty coverings. This year, the table got a little bling by way of mercury glass and some other silver touches.  Add in some cream with tablecloths and some lace, and I think we’ve got ourselves a pretty holiday table.


xmas table 1

Using my mounded moss urns helped fill the expanse of the table and add some greenery to an otherwise neutral tabletop.  I simply bunched some chiffon fabric and nestled in some candlesticks, a silver tray and coffee pot, and a silver painted reindeer.


dining room table

Although the fabric is gold and cream, I think it’s a nice contrast to the silver that is so predominant everywhere else.


silver tray

One of my thrifted silver trays was used to hold a large mercury glass pinecone ornament, three votive cups, some rolled up pieces of lace, and a few glass balls. Although you can’t see much of it here, there is a little wire tree with sparkly snowflakes in the background.


snowflake tree

Here’s the tree and the silver reindeer standing guard behind it.



lace and glass

I got the idea for rolling up the bits and pieces of lace when I was in shopping at the White Cottage in Newark, OH earlier this fall.


silver reindeer

This wooden reindeer was originally stained, but I sprayed him silver and then fly-specked him.  The candleholders were purchased at Marshall’s last year.


silver coffee pot

While shopping at a recent church bazaar, I came upon this shiny silver coffeepot. It had a broken hinge on the lid, so I put it down and started walking away. The woman at the desk told me it just needed to be soldered, but I didn’t think I could justify the price of having it fixed. Before I could tell her I really wasn’t interested, she just blurted out that she’d let me have it for a dollar because she knew no one would go to the expense of getting it fixed. Well, for a dollar, I figured it would make a great vase.  Sold!  So here it is in all of its glory- filled with fresh greenery and some silver berry sprays.


dining tabletop





dining room buffet

The buffet is very simply adorned; some greenery, a silver wreath, and some brown and cream candles were the only decorations added.


candles and snow

I mixed up a batch of faux snow and placed it on top of the greens.


snow close-up

It looks very wet and realistic, doesn’t it?


dining table


 Can’t believe we only have just a few more days left until Christmas Day. I’m so glad to finally have all the decorating done and I’m enjoying it so much when all the lights get turned on in the evening.  I still have a few things to wrap (or rather, put into gift bags- I don’t technically “wrap” anymore!)so I can place them under the tree. 

And here’s a first-  I’m not eating any sweets!   But before you go congratulating me on my will-power, I have to let the cat out of the bag……  There are no sweets to be had in this house.  I ate them all already!!  Yes, every box of candy and every tin of cookies is now gone!   Self control? What is that?  Somebody better rein me in when we go to Christmas Eve dinner with the relatives! I know there will be mountains of cookies and sweets there. Before I start waddling on Sunday, I’ll be back soon to share two more vignettes with you. 

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Christmas Wreaths At Arlington- A Re-post


I originally posted this in December of 2009 but felt it warranted publication again. This sight at our National Cemetery is so wondrous; and the act, itself, is selfless.



Can you possibly imagine imagine seeing and experiencing this awesome sight?  Just think of the many rows of white headstones accented by the brilliant green color of evergreen wreaths and red bows. It makes you stop and think about all the American lives that have been lost over the years….

The laying of Christmas wreaths is an annual event that was begun by Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester in 1992. Volunteers from all over the U.S. and from all walks of life  turn out to help lay the wreaths. I found this these pictures and article after someone sent me an e-mail about this event. The article below was written by Senior Airman J.G. Buzanowski for the Air Force Print News on December 19, 2005. 

Volunteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery - PHOTO

Christmas wreaths adorn head stones at Arlington National Cemetery. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery. More than 5,000 donated wreaths were placed by volunteers this year. (2005)


Volunteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery - PHOTO

Hundreds of volunteers gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to place more than 5,000 donated Christmas wreaths on head stones. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery.

Despite the cold, wind and snow, about 75 people gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on December 15, 2005, to lay more than 5,000 wreaths on gravesites, including four at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Since 1992, members of the armed forces, civil air patrol, veterans of foreign wars and several civilians have gathered to take part in the project, a brainchild of Maine resident Morrill Worcester.

Mr. Worcester owns and operates a holiday decoration company. Thirteen years ago he had a holiday wreath surplus and thought back to his youth. At age 12, he’d won a trip to Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery was one of the most memorable places he visited. His first thought was to bring the extra 4,000 wreaths there.

“We couldn’t do anything in this country if it wasn’t for the people who gave their lives to protect us,” Mr. Worcester said. “It’s a great honor to be able to come here and pay our respects.”  In 1993, rather than bring leftover wreaths, he planned for the event. Since then, he’s driven to Arlington every year with volunteers and a truck full of decorations. Word got around to other agencies, such as the civil air patrol and the National Reconnaissance Office, and several people wanted to help.

“That first year, there were just a few of us, and it took us five or six hours to get them placed,” Mr. Worcester said. “This year, we had extra help and got done in about an hour.” This was the fourth year Tech. Sgt. Lisa Rodier helped honor those buried at Arlington. She described the event as “very emotional” and something everyone should do at least once. “You get a feeling you can’t get from anything else,” Sergeant Rodier said. “These people sacrificed their lives for me and my children, so why can’t I sacrifice a little time for them?”


Volunteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery PHOTO
Tech. Sgt. Scott Glassic places a wreath on a headstone. He was one of hundreds of volunteers who gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to place more than 5,000 donated Christmas wreaths. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery.


Vounteers Place Wreaths At Arlington National Cemetery  - PHOTO
An Arlington Honor Guardsman walks his post past the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb was one of more than 5,000 headstones decorated by volunteers. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood
dream of doing something to honor those laid to rest in the national cemetery.

(All photos by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi)

Posted: 20 December 2005