Christmas, Again

Yes, the Christmas season has passed, but since I put up most of my decorations this year, I’m going to show the pictures.  Our kids swap out Thanksgiving and Christmas with each set of parents, so I only put up Christmas decorations every other year.   A very abbreviated version is out on the years we host Thanksgiving.

xmasuuIn the entry hall…

xmaskis the “Flight to Egypt” figurine.  This was bought at Walmart years ago.  I had started a collection of Lladros from Spain before I found these.  Although considerable cheaper and not as fine, I think this is well done.

xmaskkThe manager scene is also from Walmart.

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xmas1This Santa, made from an old quilt, was bought at a craft fair.

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xmas4Three small trees are decorated with a western theme.

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xmasvOrnaments reflect the historical and present Texas culture.

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xmas6Over the years I have collected all sorts of Santas.

xmas7They seemed to be enjoyed by the whole family.

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xmastSome are true collectibles, like Clothique Dream Santas.

xmasttHallmark was one of the retailers where they were/are available.  One of my sisters used to work there.  So several of my Santas were gifts from her.

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xmasaOthers were picked up at all kinds of stores and craft fairs.

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xmasbI also have a small collection of mangers.

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xmasccOn the left is a Jim Short nativity, and the one on the right came from Peru.

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xmasddThis Santa is animated with moving arms and head.

xmaseSome of my favorites are simple handmade mangers.  Most of the wooden decorations came craft fairs.

xmaseeThe paper mache Santa came from Germany.

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xmashhThe magi on camels, a folding metal cutout of Bethlehem, and an angel candelabra provides this table scene.

xmashGetting an snapshot of an overall view just didn’t work out.

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xmasiiThe cloth is a crazy quilt my mother made.  She used some ties that my Dad used to wear, like the blue with dots, along with other cloth scraps.

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xmasllThe picture was in a magazine about Debbie Mum and her artwork.

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xmasmmThe inside of this Santa is a piece of wood, about 5″ x 4″ x 2″.  This gives the support to sit him up.

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xmasqOn the windowsill above the kitchen sink.

xmasqqqThis is one of the first manger scenes I bought.  The people are made from corn husks.  Very creative.

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xmasrrElves behind Santa helping with the heavy bag.

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xmasuAnother animated Santa Claus with a lighted candle.

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xmaswwSanta faces painted on cinnamon sticks.

Although it took me a week to decorate, my husband offered to help me get it all put away today.  So everything is safely boxed in plastic crates and on the shelves in the barn.  Whew.  So happy for the help and heavy lifting.

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright.  The following quote is a good reminder to us all for the coming year.

“Never ignore a nudge or a whisper from God.”  unknown

Decorating Outside the Box

The 33rd Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes was held the second weekend in December in Weatherford, TX.  Eleven sites were open for a very reasonable ticket price.  These included homes, museums, a children’s home and a garden.

weatherforddecor7First, we bought our tickets at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.  I think it’s on the tour each year, but there is always a special exhibit.

weatherforddecorThis Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) in the entry area caught my eye because the branches are so tall.

weatherforddecor1Plus, the leaves and flowers are sparse.

crownofthornsThis is one I have at home.  Following advice online, I cut the top off when it reached about 10 inches tall.  Then it branched out.

weatherforddecor2And here is the inspiration for the name – Crown of Thorns.  And, of course, the reference to the one that was forced on Jesus at his trial.

weatherforddecor3Now to the special exhibit:  paintings of Homer Norris.  The ones that appealed to me the most were of children.

weatherforddecor4Homer was one of eleven children born to a brilliant yet poor Aledo welder during the bleak days of the Great Depression.  He was drawn to the romantic history of Parker County’s artifacts and relics and the stark beauty of the area.

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weatherforddecor6This pictures evoke strong emotions about childhood.

weatherforddecoryNow to the house that provided the title for this post.

weatherforddecor8Just stepping upon the porch, I had the sense that a creative woman lived here.  That may sound sexist, but usually, the lady of the house does the decorating.

weatherforddecor9Mercury glass ornaments hanging from the porch – what a simple, but attractive detail.

weatherforddecoraThe home owners made good use of old items, like these washtubs and blades from a windmill.

weatherforddecorbThe staircase ornaments looked old but probably weren’t.

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weatherforddecordAlthough this would be a great mantel vignette, it is on top of a bookcase.

weatherforddecoreIn a small hallway, simple hanging ornaments on one side keeps it interesting.

weatherforddecorfOn the opposite wall these small boxes hold a variety of items.  A few Christmassy things have been added, like the jar of floating cranberries.

weatherforddecorgMost of the older homes we saw used several small Christmas trees scattered throughout the house, rather than a large one that takes up lots of space.

weatherforddecorhNow this, I could make next year.

weatherforddecoriA bedside table with unusual items.

weatherforddecorjDon’t you love how old factory thread spools and a cotton carder can be highlighted with some seasonal candy?

weatherforddecorkOld homes have character, but they also have drawbacks with small bathrooms.  Plus, most only had one bathroom.  So some renovation is necessary to provide modern conveniences.

weatherforddecorlYou’ll see a theme.  This lady likes old window frames.

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weatherforddecornA candy dish filled with old door handles.  The small details really added to this home.

weatherforddecoroThis old store display rack for cards stands in one corner of the living area.

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weatherforddecorqWhat a lovely table setting.

weatherforddecorsThe kitchen was updated or added on.

The homeowner made these wreathes from one old Methodist hymnal.  I looked closely at them.  They appear to be pages from the hymn book cut into squares, probably about 3 or 4 inches.  Then each square is gathered up from the center, twisted, and stuck into a styrofoam wreath with a pin.

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weatherforddecoruAll of her antique (or at least, old) finds were displayed creatively.  This hanging cabinet was made from scrap lumber and old reclaimed doors.

weatherforddecorwAs we left the house, this tree along the street hung over the fence.

weatherforddecorxI don’t know what it is, but it was full of these small berries.

weatherforddecorvA carriage ride was included in the tour ticket.  This one was waiting outside this home, so we hopped on for a short spin.

Wherever you live, it’s fun to take in events in the area.  I recommend giving them a try.

The next post will finish up this particular tour.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.  May your lives be filled with the joy of Christmas all year long.

“The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

Granbury, TX, Tour, part 2

The last post about the Granbury Candlelight Tour of Homes showed houses near the town center.  After hosting these home tours for over 30 years, it must be a struggle for these small towns to come up with historical homes each year.

So they also choose some homes with interesting features, but not necessarily old.

grandburystourIn a new section of town is this home built in the Victorian style with Queen Anne style towers.

grandburystour1Notice the bobbing tassel on the volunteer’s hat.

grandburystour2The large interior is modern and comfortable.

grandburystour3These rounded shrubs on the back balcony are artificial.

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grandburystour5The dining room table sits at the back of the house in the open kitchen area.

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grandburystour7Nice outfit.

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grandburystour9This Greek Revival style clapboard church was built in 1889.

grandburystouraNativities are displayed inside.

grandburystourbOver 900 creches belong to one woman.

grandburystourcTwo long tables in the center of the room were filled on both sides.

grandburystourdTables along the walls were also full.

grandburystoureMany of the mangers came from overseas.  If you’ve ever started a collection, you know that people often bring that item to you from their trips or just from a great find.

grandburystourfMy mother’s collection of camels grew into the hundreds because people enjoyed adding to it.

grandburystourgWork on this house began in 1940 when construction materials were scarce.  The “peanut brittle” or random pattern limestone stone exterior was done by a mason from a neighboring town.

grandburystourhThe front part of the house had these impressive wood floors.  The wood strips are 2 x 4’s laid with the small side facing up.  No nails were needed because the deep wood planks stood firmly up.  Can you imagine what a solid floor that is.

grandburystouriThe last stop was the First Presbyterian Church which was built in 1896.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get a picture of its beautiful exterior.

Although taking these tours might appeal more to females, it’s amazing how many men also attend.  Especially those who live in the community who want to see the inside of houses they drive by often.

“Get on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.”  unknown

Granbury, TX, Tour of Homes

Several decades ago, Granbury began to transform itself from a sleepy little town into a tourist destination.  Being about an hour from Ft. Worth makes it attractive to city folk for a day or a week-end jaunt.  Now, gift shops, restaurants, bed and breakfast homes, and special events like the Candlelight Tour of Homes this past weekend have provided a healthy economy for the area.

grandburytourMost of the homes on the tour were within walking distance of the courthouse square.  The first home we visited from the list provided with our ticket purchase was the above house built in the early ’60’s.  The most recent homeowner has decorated with as much retro furniture and accessories as she could find.

grandburytour1This nook is just off the main hallway leading to the two bedrooms.  It’s obviously Santa’s office.

grandburytour2There is a collection of angels inherited from the owner’s mother plus some that she has bought.

grandburytour3grandburytour4The dining room table placed to one side of the living room is set with dishes from her mother.

grandburytour5In the galley kitchen is a breakfast table also set with period pieces obtained from several different places.  For those of us who lived through that time, the orange and turquoise bring back memories.

I regretfully did not get an overall picture of any of the rooms.  In my defense, it was difficult with groups of people touring and the small size of the rooms.

grandburytour6The back porch had been enclosed.  Period chairs, a sofa, and small end tables make for a cozy retreat.  The angel wings were made by a local artist.

grandburytour7I tend to focus on small decorative items.

grandburytour8The next house was built in the late 1880’s.

grandburytour9To the right of the main house and set back is a new addition which had a large master bedroom and bath upstairs and a den living area downstairs.

The kitchen had also been renovated.  The homeowner answered my questions how many changes could be allowed and still have a state historical site designation.  Her answer:  inside renovations are not a major concern but outside changes are carefully monitored.  The original house must be evident from the outside.  So even if the addition was constructed to match, there must be enough different details to show it to be new.  Also, any additions must follow the original roof line.  Each step of the process required copious paperwork and approvals.

grandburytouraCute santa decoration.

grandburytourbDocents were dressed in period costumes.

grandburytourcThe next house was built in the 1880’s by the town pharmacist on 100 acres purchased at that time.

I did not take pictures inside.   Only the downstairs was open and the rooms were too small and dark.

grandburytourlOn the square across from the courthouse is Granbury Live, which is a theater where musicals are performed.  The building has served different functions in the past:  stores, offices, etc.

Several years ago we attended many productions at Granbury Live, but never noticed a separate entrance to an upstairs apartment.  In fact, the man who started the theater lived there with his wife.

grandburytourdIt is a 5,000 sq. feet home that was totally renovated by him.  He did the iron work throughout the place.

grandburytoureThe metal ladder led to a cozy sleeping area for their grandchildren.

The corrugated tin ceilings are not the underside of the actual roof, but an aesthetic western touch.

grandburytourgThe theater owner constructed the shiny metal kitchen island.

grandburytourfStars are welded on top in several places.

The kitchen was a mirror image with two of everything.  Starting at the center sink of the cabinets, each side of the kitchen were the same with dual appliances ending with a refrigerator on each side of the kitchen.  No explanation was given for this.

grandburytourhAll of the bathrooms except the master one had the same decor.  In some of them. the floors were raised because the baths had been added and needed plumbing space.

grandburytouriThe man who created all this died in a motorcycle accident around 2007.  His widow no longer lives here.  Currently, offices for a company occupy the space.

grandburytourjOne side of the large master bathroom.

grandburytourkArt decor lights along the hallways.

grandburytourmAs we left the apartment, I noticed these clever snowmen just outside a shop.  This store and many others all around the square are just examples of why tourists flood this town each weekend.

grandburytournOne wispy Gregg’s Blue Mist Flower hanging on.  I think the darker reddish plant is a potato vine.

On my next blog, I’ll finish the tour.

“If you have a garden and a library, then you have everything you need.” Cicero