Monday, December 28, 2015

Putting Away Christmas

I was late getting Christmas up this year, even though I started early November. We had a lot of old Christmas decor stored in our attic over the garage that we were determined to downsize this year. Not going back up matter what.
More lights, less stuff this year. I didn't even put up the Christmas tree. Instead we decorated the top of the cabinets, especially in the kitchen. 
The 12 foot ceilings come in handy for displaying tall objects. I like to keep big baskets up there for storing seldom used items and that's probably where part of the Christmas stuff will go when it finally gets taken down.

Long ago my grandparents left Gresham Nebraska, during the depression, for a better life in Northern California. A relative let them store some oak furniture in his barn since they planned to return for it after they got settled. 

Over 40 years later, around 1976, the Nebraska barn was being torn down and a relative notified my father that it was now or Dad drove to Nebraska and picked up some of the old family pieces.
I like to recreate that barn scene up above this side of the kitchen with the old wood framed mirror, pumpkins and chickens mixed together. That's how I imagine that furniture must have looked in that old barn after all those years!
My father passed his furniture pieces from the barn to me. He had chosen his grandmother's dresser and mirror from when she was a child. He also brought the family's old dining room table and chairs for his sister Ruth and Aunt Fran got another piece she requested.

This picture is from Thanksgiving morning 1978, when dad visited me in Illinois after having a lung removed. I'd have combed everyone's hair better if I had known I would be publishing it on the internet this many years later. I moved back to California a few months later and he gave me the dresser and mirror a little after that.

My father and his two sisters were the last members of their large family. My father died first in 1994, his sister Fran a few years later, and Aunt Ruth lived until 2013. 

I'm not sure if Ruth's daughters still have the dining room set, but I cherish my great-grandmother's little dresser and mirror. Even after 45 plus years sitting in a barn, and then another 35-plus years with me, the beveled mirror is still perfectly clear. I plan to feature the set early next year in another post about my grandparents, Harry and Sabra.

Thanks for listening to me ramble tonight. I guess the holidays lead us to remember the people who raised us and shared our childhood holidays with us so long ago. I appreciate all of you who take time out of your busy day to stop by, leave comments, and I love when you share your memories too.

Thanks SO MUCH for dropping by!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas At Carol's Shop 2015

Before the 2015 Christmas season passes, I have to share this year's decorations at Carol's Interior Home Store in our town.
Carol's store is always decorated from the front porch all the way through the store. I look forward every year to seeing how she creates a welcoming entryway. 

Every year, the two pots on either side of the door are different from the year before...and just as lovely!
A close up of these two pots shows the faux deer heads used to add a little rustic charm this year.
The festive red door surrounded, always, by that wonderful old white trim work always gets a second, and even a third, look from me.
I love the black and cream painted cement on her walkway. The two colors go with all the different seasonal decor used throughout the year.

This year, Carol even had a magical little Christmas Cottage built inside her store. I was fascinated by it and especially love the red door with its old fashion trim...
 Due to this year's vow to reduce my Christmas decorations to only what I really cherish and can store inside the house, I limited myself to just a few strands of a lightweight greenery for our dining chandelier. 
I love this type of greenery and added these new strands to some of the ones I bought last year. It was hard to limit myself to only a few. There was so much inspiration all around Carol's shop and it got me into a decorating high! 

Here's a redbird chandelier all decorated up by the staff. That's a wreath placed on the top of the chandy and tattered ribbon gives it a rustic, festive air.
Seeing the ornaments hung on shutters, chandeliers and shelves helps shoppers visualize the options of adding decor in unusual ways.
I plan to finally finish an old chair this year that I've had a good while. I often come look at this lovely little settee for inspiration. Wild Bill is not crazy about the "unfinished" look, but of course I adore it.

The shop is divided up into room settings to help shoppers visualize how the furniture would look at home in their own rooms. I always want to go home and paint a spectacular color on my walls after a trip to Carol's store.
I may not get brave enough to be as colorful as this, but this year (for sure) our trim is going to be painted a creamy white like the trim in the room above.

Behind the checkout counter, the shelves are animated with Santas and elves running wild.

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Front Room Decorated

If your TV is over the fireplace, you have to decorate around it. I got a little carried away with lights the other night, trying to distract from the black hole of the TV on the wall. 
We've been looking for a tall TV cabinet with shelves for several years now. Almost bought one recently, but it was too deep and lacked shelves for storage. When is the furniture industry going to realize TVs are now mostly flat?

We did find a new love seat, chair and ottoman. I only have a few weeks to get rid of some furniture. I'm keeping this old wing chair though (sorry Bill) as Miss Mustard Seed recently did a great 4-part tutorial on making a slip cover, which I'm dying to try to do next year.
Between Santas, pillows and lights, there was no room left for the Christmas tree in this room. The red Santa stands on the bookcase behind the couch. 
I temporarily put the bookcase back there to hide the light cords that go around the black chalkboard.  
We have 12 foot ceilings and it's hard to keep the walls from looking stark. Fill them up is all I can think to do.
That pillow on the right is looking a little wonky. I think I stepped on it when I was putting the Santa back on the shelf.

To put color in the room, I chose to go with red this year. Lots and lots of red. 

The plaid throws were purchased at Old Navy last January for less than $5 each. This year, I noticed Old Navy has several different colors and styles of plaid throws for the same price again. There's enough material in one throw to make a couple of pillows, if you're so inclined.

 The bird pillow I bought at TJ Maxx. It has the same print on each side. All the rest of the pillows are from Pottery Barn, except the black and white one. It's made from an old Christmas sweater. 

Here's my traditional Christmas Chicken nesting in an old dough bowl. She gets around the room quite often and seems to like staring at the lights in the lantern next to the chair. Some of you like Elf On A Shelf...I prefer a Christmas Chicken.
This chalkboard has a Merry Christmas banner I bought for $9 down in McKinney. It seems like it would be easy to make, but so cheap I bought it right away. Better than waiting a year or two to get 'round to' making one. Yeah...T'is better to know thyself!
I stuck a little CD player on the top shelf in the bookcase. Wild Bill and I had a ceremony and got rid of "The World's Oldest/Biggest CD Player" last Sunday. It was a sad day for me.
My relationship with that "10-CD" player was special. I've had it since 1992 or so, when I bought it as a broke single mom. When we put it in the garbage can last Sunday, I actually cried. I text my three daughters a picture of it in the garbage and my ugly-cry face. Youngest daughter replied back that she couldn't believe I was still using CD's when I have an IPod and phone and such! I answered back that I still played all my old cassette tapes on it too until the tape player finally gave out a few months ago. I so loved that machine!

OK, back to Christmas...I like a little rustic look at Christmas time. These Santas fit the bill for rustic.

Here's a final look. You get points for staying with me if you made it this far.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Davey Crockett's Cabin

Quite unexpectedly, we passed a small roadside sign pointing to the birthplace of Davy Crockett when we were on our road trip a few months ago in October.
 Lots of times at parks we find 're-creations', but this honestly looked like the real thing. Wild Bill pointed out that you can still see all the ax marks where this wood was chopped by hand. Davy Crockett was born here in 1786.

 We might have missed out on this wonderful little park had we been in more of a hurry. In fact, we passed the sign before it registered with us that Davy Crockett's childhood home was just down the road for us to see.
Luckily we had time because, when we take a road trip, we like to wander with only a simple plan. The plan for this road trip was drive through the southern part of Tennessee, then down through North Carolina and across the northern part of Georgia. 
As we wandered around Davy Crockett's little cabin and the park, we wondered why in the world Davy would leave this peaceful setting to come die in our home state of Texas back in 1836? 
There was a little part of  a river running by the cabin and people were there catching fish. Surely in Davy's day, there must have been an abundance of fish. If you look through the trees, you can see the little river...

If we stopped walking and were quiet, we could hear the squirrel and deer all around us in the wooded areas.
There was plenty of information to read. Several groups have placed new markers, but thankfully they left the old ones. It was fun to see the old ones even if we could barely read them. The original marker was placed way back in 1890!

Right by the cabin, Davy's family grew vegetables to go with all the fish and animals they caught.
It was getting late in the afternoon, so we got back on the road we had been on to Jonesborough TN, which was right down the road "ah ways" to quote Wild Bill.
This was a charming little historical town. I loved it. We learned that Davy's area of Tennessee tried every which way they could to stay out of the Civil War. They were early abolitionists and sided with the Union states.
Thanks for staying with me on this trip. If you're ever in the Greene County TN area, be sure to stop by Davy Crockett's little cabin in the woods. 

Thanks for dropping by!