Friday, January 29, 2016

A bit more winter decorating ...

This year's winter hutch
I haven't done a lot of winter decorating this year, but thought I would share just a few more things.  Busy day ahead and lots to try and schedule into the day, so I will just do some quick photos and captions.  Enjoy!
Winter ribbon board in the front hallway
A tag I made a few years back
Upper shelf on the hutch.  My friend J. made the "snow" card; my daughter sent me the sparkly "Winter Wishes" one.  Love that lamp with its snowballs and the hanging snowflakes.
My glittery houses, a snowy cross-stitch, and a few simple figurines
Family heirloom ironstone; my silver baby cup; sparkly red snowflakes
And the hutch in its entirety.  The mugs on the top shelf were handmade Christmas presents from a granddaughter.
Hope this simple post has been fun to read (even though there are precious few actual words in it)!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Warming up winter ~ it takes a village

Today I thought I would share what took the place of the Christmas tree, which we finally managed to take out on Saturday!  I have a small collection of lighted houses, which we often circle around the base of the Christmas tree.  We most often put the Christmas tree in front of this picture window, moving the blanket chest to do so.  Then, when the tree comes down, we move the chest back and arrange some of the houses on it in a little village.  We still need light and sparkle here in northern New England!  The little houses look so warm and welcoming with light spilling from their windows on a cold night.

Here are a few more views:
It's always amazing to me how the houses magically turn into a village when you add trees and people.
The church at left is actually a school building.  It makes a great church however, and I found the church sign at Walmart a few years ago.  The building at right is the dog bone bakery, and on the hill in back is the library.
A little bit better view of the library.
Here are a few more photos, these from years gone by.  The first two are "villages" from previous years, then we have a closer look at some of the buildings.  Lastly, a couple photos of winter decorating on my hutch, with a couple of other lighted buildings.    I have a few others which I don't always bring out, including a truly wonderful lighthouse!

The needlework and quilt shop
The saw mill is in the center of the photo
A better look at the library
The crockery shop
Can't forget this glittery lighted church on the bottom shelf.

The little Currier & Ives house is also a lighted building.
Hope you've enjoyed this look at a few of my lighted houses!  I'm sharing today with Sandi's No Place Like Home at Rose Chintz Cottage.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My very favorite after-Christmas buy!

I actually wish I had bought more of these lanterns.  They aren't too fancy looking, but they were only $2.50.  I bought this the day after Christmas and of course all my decor was still in place, so I brought this in and placed it on a chest next to our manger scene.  You can just see the edge of the wooden stable at right in the photo above.

The next photo shows the lantern and creche more clearly, though the picture is somewhat fuzzy.

Below is our manger scene as it looked last year.  The wooden stable was made by my dad many years ago.   I got the idea of placing a New Testament, open to Luke 2, in front of it after seeing something similar that Sandi, at Rose Chintz Cottage, had done.  I liked the idea and the look very much, but felt it needed something to set it off.  Evergreens with entwined white lights would have done the trick, but there is no outlet anywhere near that chest, nor any place to hide an extension cord.  I don't care for battery operated light strings because in my experience the batteries die much too quickly.

So when I got this lantern home, I decided to try it by the creche.  There's a place inside the lantern for a candle.  I first tried a votive.  Bad idea.  It ended up melting all over the candle cup.  Tea lights work much better.  Of course, a battery operated tea light or flameless candle would be better still.

Still, a little something was needed and I had the spray of cedar and glittery red berries in my stash.  I put the stems behind the stable and sort of curved the berries around the lantern.  Much better!

 As I mentioned at the beginning, I do wish I had bought several of these lanterns.  The nice thing is that they are not specifically Christmasy, so they would work in any season.  If we happen to find any more next time we visit that store, I will snap them up!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Adding warmth and charm to your home with needlework

Country Baking sampler "framed" with a dish towel
I so enjoy displaying needlework in my home, whether it is a project I have done or something someone else has made.  Today I thought I would share a few of my needlework treasures with you all.  I'll just put captions under the photos and call it good.  Busy day today!
Colossians 4:6 sampler
Embroidered tea towels always add a nice touch -- I made these for someone else.
Simple fall stitchery
Sorry for bad quality of photo -- I made this Hummel stitchery for my grandmother years ago.
My sampler wall in a narrow hallway -- the tall sampler is Isaiah 1:18.
I saw this saying in a catalog and made the wall hanging for a gift.
Sampler of Luke 6:38
Philippians 1:11
Psalm 73:24 -- made for a grandchild's room.
"His eye is on the sparrow" -- made these pillowcases for a gift.  Pillowcases are another nice use of stitchery in the home.
My friend Les stitched this for my strawberry themed kitchen!
Tea-time trivet made for my daughter.
Crewel wall hanging stitched for my son
2 Timothy 1:7 sampler
"Love is a shared umbrella" -- crewel design stitched for my parents years ago.
"My Mother's Garden" -- stitched for my mother
Hand-hooked picture made by my great-aunt
Schoolhouse cross-stitch by another great-aunt
Psalm 118:24 by my friend Marilyn.  What a great attitude adjuster each morning~
Hope you've enjoyed this look at some of my favorite needlework projects.  What type of handcrafts do you display in your own home?

Linking up today with Sandi's No Place Like Home at Rose Chintz Cottage.  I'm also linking to Bernideen’s Tea Time, Cottage and Garden Blog Party.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My word for 2016

I've struggled with a word for 2016.  I really thought about choosing "renewal" again this year because I really feel that I need it.  Another word I seriously considered was "hope".  I've been struggling somewhat with my circumstances of life, eldercare responsibilities in particular.  I was thinking of Romans 15:13: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."  I love that verse!  But my word found me this weekend.  I've been working on a Bible study which has really encouraged me, and on Sunday I looked at these verses and began to review them:

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
"They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness."  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

The study also suggested reading over the words of the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness", so I pulled out a hymnal and did just that.  What a blessing!

This beautiful graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings.
And I began to get the feeling that "faithfulness" would be my word for 2016.  But there was more!

During the morning message, our speaker noted that every trial is an opportunity to prove ourselves faithful to God.  He added that the more difficult the trial, the greater the opportunity to honor God by being faithful to Him.

So -- another aspect to "faithfulness".  Not only God's faithfulness to me, which is unfailing.  But my faithfulness to God.  Not only in trials, but in what may be even more challenging -- faithfulness in the everyday  and sometimes discouraging tasks He has given me to do.   This faithfulness is something I need to work at in every area of my life when I so often feel like giving up.  This word for the year is better than a multitude of resolutions,  and -- although I still hope to formulate some goals for the new year -- faithfulness must govern the carrying out of those goals.

So I will be blessed and encouraged as I consider God's faithfulness to me every day.

And I will be challenged to live each day in faithfulness to Him and the things He has called me to do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winter centerpieces

These frosty candles were brushed with glue or Mod Podge and rolled in Epsom salt.  That's vintage plastic greenery!
 Today I thought I would show a few winter centerpieces that I've used for my dining room table in the past.  Inspiration is always good! (In fact, I could use some myself right now!)  I'll just put in a few photos and captions.
Winter centerpiece used last year with a wintry tablecloth and glittery house and tree under a small cake dome.
A closer look at the same centerpiece, which I had also used during the Christmas season with a Christmas tablecloth.
I've had this glass dish for some time.  It looks carved of ice.  I added these dimensional vintage-y snowflakes (they are stiffened, glittery cream felt with tinsel balls at the center) and a red and white jingle bell.
After seeing another blogger find inspiration from this source, I got this idea from a winter scene on a Marjolein Bastin card.  Faux apples, real pine cones and silk ivy.

Hope you've enjoyed these simple ideas.  I'm linking up with Sandi's No Place Like Home at Rose Chintz Cottage.