Thursday, December 26, 2019

Our Merry Christmas Roundup

 Christmas 2019
Christmas morning arrived to a fairly quiet household.
The pups were ready to open their fur stockings filled with toys and bones.
Mr. Maison Decor and I lingered with Snickerdoodle coffee and Swedish coffee bread
until our youngest woke up and my mother in law came over for presents.
That gave us time to get a Christmas portrait with the dogs...
 Our Christmas was low key, but enjoyable.  My 90 year old Mother in law
 arrived with batter to make us all a breakfast of Swedish pancakes before we unwrapped gifts.
However because both my husband and myself were under the weather from head colds,
 our Christmas Eve party planned the night before was canceled.
However that didn't stop us!
 I felt a bit like we were in  Whoville after the Grinch tried to steal Christmas.
We celebrated together in style, dressing up anyways, and enjoying champagne
and a steak dinner together. This, our 15th Christmas together and that is worth celebrating!
Christmas Eve was always the dress up dinner party at my house growing up.
And hubs family had an equally big affair at his aunt's home with a big dinner and 
Santa arriving with a sack of gifts for him and his older brother.  They sang carols around
the piano long into the night.  We both have fond memories of our childhood Christmases.
The lead up to Christmas was strong this year.
 The early and often snowfalls really got me in the Christmas spirit quickly.
 Reeve and I made her first snowman, Olaf, after a good storm.
When I popped in the eyes and the carrot nose she cheered in delight!
 We also made Christmas cookies, which was a fun but messy undertaking.
I don't recall making cookies during my childhood Christmases, but I love the idea of
that tradition, and want to begin it with my granddaughter. 
 Another fun thing I did was to order a felted needlework kit made by Bucilla company,
featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas.  It was really enjoyable to sit and do some crafting.
I don't consider myself a crafty person at Christmas as I am more into the decorating at this time of year.  But this was so much fun!  It is kind of a throw back craft to the 60s and 70s, but they really are beautiful in a vintage kind of way. It will take months to finish this collection.
 Yes, lots of decorating, and I was in high gear for adding bits
 around the house including the kitchen.  I have this red Swedish candelabra
 that had me adding red velvet ribbons to my copper molds by the kitchen window. 
Lots of cooking and mess making, and it all felt so festive!
And then there is the three hour process of 
Swedish Coffee bread making!
Holidays always includes the family recipe for Swedish Coffee Bread,
someone I know from Sweden also calls it Cardamom Braid,
as it has Cardamom seeds and spice. Delicious!
 Greenery was sprinkled through out our house...
 The family Creche set that was made by my paternal grandmother 
was handed down to me this year as a gift from my 90 year old father. 
 I know he wants to see it continue down the family line,
 and I think I know who will receive it next.
 In the days leading up to Christmas, Reeve and I had such fun doing
 Christmassy things like making ornaments, cookies...
and those old fashioned paper rings for the tiny feather tree.
 I love making a book for Reeve capturing the moments of the year past.
And this is the third year I have made our family highlight book.
These are great for capturing and remembering all the big and small moments
throughout the year, and something I plan to do as long as I can.
Look how cute Reeve's Swedish dollhouse looks nestled under the tree.
The Seven Swans a swimming was the next ornament...
All sequined and hung on the tree! Only ten more to go....
Our big boy Colby...I think you can spot the Two turtle Doves
and Seven Swans ornaments on the  tree behind him. 
And suddenly it was December 24th.
 All those Christmassy moments led to our big night...
and even though our big party was dashed, 
we had a romantic and quiet party mostly to ourselves!
 A brief visit from son 
Brandon and daughter in law Mimi
and then we were back to our dinner. 
Son Justin and family were in Maine, 
and son Colin was in Thailand with his new fiance Rachel, 
and youngest son Scott was off to a party at his maternal grandmothers home.
We hope your Christmas was merry and bright, as was ours!
Lastly, one more tradition we have to share with you...
our Family Photo Christmas Card with dogs!!

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Faux wax candle tapers create magic

Christmas time is always a magical time in my mind, and creating
that ambience for myself and my family is important.
The woodland theme is carried into my dining room, and whatever your
style, candles add the finishing touch that brings the magic!
I own faux candle pillars but recently have noticed some faux candle tapers,
and was excited to find an affordable high quality version as these can be very pricey.
 Searching online led me to Amazon where I found a brand that comes
in packages of different amounts of tapers.  I got a five pack for $25,
which is $5 a candle, and if you have ever shopped for these, you know that 
the major brand that sells these flickering tapers can cost 10 times that amount.
They fit a normal candle holder size, and they are real wax exteriors
with the flame attached to a removable battery pack.
 Here the unlit tapers sitting in a gilded antler candleholder which
I embellished with metallic floral candle rings.
 After seeing how awesome they were, I ordered another five pack as I have two candleabras 
that I wanted to use for the holidays. They are beautiful and give a flickering effect. 
The flame itself does not move, just the colors of the wax and the flame give a flickering effect.
The inside pulls out of the wax sleeve.  They are all wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in 
a sturdy styrofoam box, and come with a remote control as well as the batteries.
The remote lets you set it to flicker mode or solid light, and a timer setting.
This was the brand that I purchased.
When they arrived I couldn't wait for nighttime to see
how magical they would be....and they did not disappoint.
Also from Amazon were these adorable tree candles, much like one would
see during Victorian times or in Scandinavia and on Nordic Christmas trees.
These are wired in a group of 20, and attached to a battery pack, also with
a timer if desired.  I am loving the new lights, the dining room looks so pretty at night.
Trust me, it looks amazing!  I am not promoting this product
as a sponsor, just as an excited home decorator that is passing
along a good thing!! Happy Holidays, and get decorating!

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

European Woodland Lodge Decor

 I've been having a ton of fun with a bit of decorating, shifting the style from French Country
to what I call European Woodland Lodge.  Its a bunch of neutrals mixed together, with 
velvets, fur, burlap and linen textures in shades of beige and grey, with a hint of white.
After I slipcovered the lilac colored sofa to protect it from the dogs, the ball got rolling.
A bleached drop cloth in the biggest size was used to create the slipcover.  A German stencil
was used on some scraps to create a grain sack pillow accent for the European lodge look.
After I took down the mirror that has always been over the sofa, a deer mount took its place.
 A big grapevine wreath was made up from a rambling grapevine in the backyard.
I wanted to frame the deer and add some greenery for Thanksgiving.
 Wintery touches of trees and white lights were added on the tabletops.
 A Black Forest tree, the tall skinny trees with 
downswept branches, was added to the dining room.
 Gilded accessories are in the mix, and I love the overall effect of the gold 
with the natural colors and textures. Husband is a big fan, saying the house
has never looked better. Hahaha!! Code for no more French stuff please!
 For a long time I have hunted for a small coffee table and found 
this marble topped Eastlake antique in a local antique shop.
 At night the room sparkles and we love it.
 When the troops come home, there are candles and twinkle lights turned on in every room.
Its just magical!  I haven't put up our big tree yet, and this adding of decor, bit by bit has been
the most enjoyable process.
 After Thanksgiving, I added French Country bows in a silk check to either side of the large grapevine wreath and filled the branches with evergreens, and a strand of twinkle lights.
The deer got a dressy necklace of vintage mercury bead garland and a bobble garland
in green and gold that I used to sell at my old shop, Maison Decor.
 The mantle got a garland with grapevine branches sticking out and some new fur stockings
from Arhaus are for the three dogs, each fur to match their own.
We had a marvelous Thanksgiving at home, and got everyone to pose for a family portrait.
As always we include the dogs, which is the biggest challenge of all.
Now we are ready to enjoy the Christmas holidays, and hope you are finding the spirit of the season for your own families and yourselves. 
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