Monday, December 21, 2009

Can You Find The Julbock? - Mosaic Monday

We trimmed the tree with ornaments homemade and store bought.  Some shiny and new, some childhood toys.  Each one special.

Wanna play  "Where's Waldo" with the tree decorations?  We used to play this game when the kids were little.   Can you find the origami piranha?  The papoose?  Where is the Venetian Santa in the gondola?  Point to the glass church.  And the Toucan with the big bill.  I spy with my little eye a tiny felt bear with jointed limbs.   Where is the blue bell made from an egg carton?    Can you find the Julbock?   (You don't know what that is?  He's the Swedish Christmas goat, made from straw.)

 For several years we have played a hide and seek game with the tree.  We hide green pickles and red peppers (ornaments, not the real thing)  in the tree on Christmas day  and then let our kids search for them.  They are hard to find when there are lots of other ornaments all over the tree.  We give out one last present after they are found.

Thank you Mary at Little Red House for hosting Mosaic Monday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The real reason why we bake, decorate, wrap and give

Sometimes we need to stop the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation and remember the real reason why we bake, decorate, wrap and give.   I play carols on the CD player, listen to daily advent homilies and keep a nativity scene in just about every room of the house. 

This presepio was made of clay by a Brazilian folk artist and has been in my family for many years.

My mother made this "story of the nativity" book from felt and other fabrics in the late 60's/early 70's following a pattern she found in a magazine.  (Anyone else out there make one from the same pattern?)

My best friend gave me this snowglobe  a year or two ago.

My mother-in-law passed this Mexican nacimiento on to me a couple of years ago.  (She loved it so much she displayed it all year.  So I do too.)

My husband and I purchased this creche not long after we were married.

In sweet jubilation, now sing and be joyous!
Our heart’s joy lies in a manger
and shines like the sun in his mother’s lap.
                               - transl. Latin carol 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Mail

Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!  Season's Greetings!  One of my favorite things about Christmas is receiving Christmas cards in the mail and being wished the joy of the season!   This vintage Santa mail bag hangs in my hallway and collects all my holiday mail.
  I love all  the beautiful and creative cards sent by family and friends.  It is always wonderful to hear the latest news and see how children and grandchildren have grown.   I also appreciate wishes sent via e-mail and facebook, but don't think they will ever replace that special feeling of finding an envelope in the mailbox and ripping into it to find a handwritten note from a special friend.
So,  I'm curious, how many of you send cards each year?  I posted nearly 100.   (I should add that I have a  large extended family and have moved a few times, so my list gets big pretty quickly.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stained Glass Windows- Mosaic Monday

Stained glass windows in St. John's Church, Creighton University.

Mosaic Monday is hosted by Mary at Little Red House.  Please visit her blog to see all the other mosaic posts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh Christmas tree!

"Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

White Christmas- Mosaic Monday

First attempt at a mosaic! We don't have any snow yet, but here is my version of White Christmas.
Mosaic Monday is hosted by Mary at Little Red House. Visit her blog to see more than 80 other creative mosaics.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New kitties

A couple of weeks ago our cat, Willie, passed away and we buried him in the back garden. 

Rest in peace, sweet Willie.

We were really sad.  Mr. Garden said that the house just didn't feel right without a cat in it.

So a few days later we went to the local shelter and found not one, but two new furry friends:




Natasha, the black kitten, is 5 months old and quite the pouncy little rascal! I have caught her climbing up in the Christmas tree twice. Katerina is 3 years old, has a magnificent purr and loves to cuddle. They get along great together.

We still miss our old yellow boy, but the new kitties are helping to heal our hearts.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Candles

Once upon a time I found a tiny little deer candle online and gave it to my sister as a gift. I liked it so much I ended up buying a few more for myself. Now what does one do with several little deer candles? Well, one buys several little tree candles, enough to make a forest, and then one displays them at Christmas.

The candles reminded me of something I had seen in the past, so the next time I was at my Mom's house, I went on a search through the Christmas decoration boxes. And viola! I found what I was looking for... Christmas nativity candles. They were by the same maker: Gurley. Mom didn't use them anymore, so I brought them home and put them on a shelf. I didn't mind if they were semi-melted.

Now, when one has a nativity scene with no angel, one looks for an angel on e-bay. After a a bit of searching and bidding online, several angels joined the household.

And if while looking for angels, one finds carolers...what Christmas is complete without a little bit of caroling?

Gurley (and Tavern) made so many wonderful little figurine candles! They used the parafin that was a byproduct of the oil industry. I only have Christmas candles, but Gurley also made candles for Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving. They used to sell for just a few pennies at stores like Woolworths, but now you have to look for them at vintage/antique shops or on e-bay.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vintage Felt And Sequin Christmas Trees

This vintage felt tree hangs in my front hallway every Christmas. I just love it! It's actually an advent calendar. If you turn the ornaments over, they are numbered 1-25. It's yet another one of my Mom's marvelous Church Christmas Bazaar finds from the late 60's/early 70's.

I mentioned in the previous post that  Mr. Garden's Grandmother M. made a whole bunch of felt and sequin Christmas trees. Grandmother M. apparently loved making crafts and she often got her grandchildren involved in the process. Sadly, she passed away when Mr. Garden was quite young, so I never had the chance to meet her. I think I would have liked her a lot.
She used green, red and white felt to make the trees. Here are pics of the green and red versions. The smaller size green trees were discovered a couple of years ago in a box at a vintage/antique store by my Mom and she knew I would give them a good home.