Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sweet memories, a manger, and the new bird tree...

I have such sweet memories of my Nana, whose china I proudly display on my dining room hutch.

(click any photos to enlarge)

I so enjoy decorating the hutch at Christmastime, and I like to think that she's right here with me as I unwrap each delicate nativity figurine that will go into the manger...

That's a photo of my nana when she was a young woman, in the center of the plate rack hanging above the hutch (between the two empty vases donning lampshades that may someday come in handy for lamps that I don't yet own!)

The manger/nativity takes center stage on the hutch every year. The oversized white figurines were found years ago at a Salvation Army for a song... Then I found the oversized manger several years ago at Target and couldn't believe my luck - it was the perfect size!

The candles I'm about to show you are very special to me. After my mom passed away in 1996, my dad didn't have the heart to decorate for Christmas. But a couple of years ago, he changed his mind so we went through all the old boxes of Mom's decorations and ornaments (Mom loved decorating for Christmas!) Dad only wanted to put up a tree and nothing else, so I got a lot of Mom's old decorations for my house. These are the things I grew up with as a kid and they bring back such sweet memories...

This tall glass encrusted candle, in its own little stand, is titled A Home in the Country, and it features a beautiful, snowy New England style scene that wraps around the whole candle. My mom purchased these in the early sixties. That's a baby photo of my mom next to it...

I wish my photos captured the beauty of these encrusted images...

On the other side of the shelf is the companion candle titled The Skating Pond. Mom used to put these on the fireplace mantel every year. And that's my baby picture next to it...

Here's a closeup of one of the skaters... I'm sure these would be beautiful if they were illuminated from within by burning the candles, but my mom used them strictly as decoration, so that's what I will do, too.

Every year I decorate my "bird tree," which up until this year was the little white one in my dining room bay window. But my bird collection outgrew that tiny tree.

Luckily I had this skinny tree stashed downstairs from about 15 years ago (sometimes it pays to be a packrat!). It was the perfect size to squeeze in next to the hutch, and it allowed me to hang all my bird ornaments in one place.

The tree is also decorated with a silver jingle bell garland, white berries, frosted sprigs, and white lights. The most sentimental part is the tree topper...

... which isn't really a tree topper at all. Again, it's one of the decorations my mom used to put out every year at Christmas time... just a little glass candle with glass ornamentsand silver foil leaves on a little round stand. There used to be two of them and I hope to find the other one in dad's basement some day!

The tree is actually sitting on a stack of magazines to give it some height, so I hid those with a vintage embroidered table topper and then placed a nest at the base of the tree.

These are just some closeups of the many bird ornaments on the tree. My mom's favorite bird, the cardinal, is so special...

And you might recognize the pastel bluebird I got in Concord at the end of October, at the top left of the photo...

Here's a hummingbird (with a broken wing), a reminder of summer spent on the deck watching them at our feeder... And the Carolina wrens who make their home in the birdhouse by our front gate each year. And everyone needs a little bluebird of happiness in their tree, right?

The beautiful white glittery bird right under the silver sparkle bird at the top right is a gift from my friend Jill (who I am trying to convince to start a blog!) She has incredible taste... She's the one who also gave me the Christmas lamb that I just posted about!

There's Mr. Bluejuay that I picked up in Concord (the same day I got the bluebird ornament)... He is very happy to be living in the bird tree, and he reminds me of all my bluejay friends who come to the door for peanuts..

There are Baltimore Orioles, a robin, chickadees, finches, nuthatches and so many more birds, all enjoying the Christmas season in our dining room... How lucky am I?

So this is where the bird ornaments will spend their Christmases from this point on. (I am sooo glad I hung onto this tiny tree!! It just fits!)

And the glow from the lights at night is just magical!

Tomorrow we'll head back into the living room and I'll show you closeups of the fireplace (of course our little cottage is soooo tiny, you can see it from here!!)
Till then, wishing you all a wonderful weekend!



Diva Kreszl said...

thank you for sharing all these beautiful all looks so beautiful!

makeyourhomesing said...

Yeah, but I love the closeups because then you can see the details better.

You have such a pretty home! I love all the white. I think if I asked for white slipcovers my hubby would faint. But I was thinking maybe if you could bleach them, then you wouldn't have to worry about stains.

I know I don't comment much but I really do love your blog.

~ Nan

stefanie said...

everything is sooooo beautiful, and it's even better because you have such sweet memories...have a wonderful day.

La Petite Gallery said...

The last photo is just so nice All white it is so charming,
and warm.
Seasons greetings

Brenda Pruitt said...

I adore your little cottage. To me it is the perfect size. Sweet and cozy. I am so in love with your bird tree! I am going to have to find bird ornaments for next year. Your decorating is just perfection to me.

GwendolynKay said...

I am totaly enchanted with all your pictures. Everything is so lovely and charming... the candles .... the bird tree is someting I have never seen that. I especially love your white nativity scene. Blessings!

Donna said...

I love seeing all of your beautiful decorations! We're not decorating this year, so I am living vicariously through you, LOL! The tree decked out with tweeters is wonderful!

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

How special to have your mom's decorations. I think her candles are beautiful and she is smiling down watching you display them.

Claudia said...

I love your bird tree, Donna, it is so you! I know how much you love birds, as do I, but what a wonderful idea to have a separate tree for all the bird ornaments. It looks lovely. And your hutch with your Grandmother's china and your Mom's priceless candles is just wonderful. How you must treasure them.

I love the way you decorate your home, Donna!


Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Donna!

Your house looks absolutely enchanting all decked out such love & personality! Just beautiful!!

Christmas hugs, Sherry

Lady Pamela said...

Thank you, Donna for sharing your lovely cottage with us. I have gotten a few great ideas I will want to use here (next year) I was feeling sorry for myself because we also have a tiny cottage, your use of space has greatly encouraged me. Bless you.

Elaine said...

Your mom's candles are gorgeous. You will always have such sweet memories of her with her decorations.

The cottage looks so pretty. I am still working on cleaning and decorating and having a party next weekend. I am frazzled!

The nativity scene is beautiful. I love it all in white, it's so pure.

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hi Donna~ ~Your little cottage looks so lovely decked out for the holidays. All shimmery & glittery just the way I like it. I feel right at home there.

Betsy said...

I enjoyed hearing about your Nana, very sweet memories. You have a lovely home, a feast for the eyes.
Beautiful Nativity. I will put mine on the China cabinet, thanks for the idea.
The pictures on the candles are so pretty. I wish I could find some pretty ones like that. I doubt anything like that is sold anywhere anymore.
Beautiful post.