My Christmas decorations are very special to me. Almost every piece has a history... Special people who gave it to me. Pieces I made myself. People made it for me. I rarely take much thought of my memories as I put up the decorations. I am in a desperate hurry to get them up and move on. As I take them down, though, I remember. So if you don't want to take a trip down memory lane, STOP NOW! (BTW, if you click on the picture, you'll be able to see the details on many of these pictures.)
It takes me a couple of days to take Christmas down. The tree is down so you are spared that group of memories, but now I have started on everything else. The following is part of my living room wall. Look at those stockings. They were made by my sister-in-law, Julie, she is an expert at applique and it shows on these pieces. The hanging bells were made by my MIL with the tops of cans that have been painted or antiqued somehow. They are gorgeous. The wreath was done by me with deeply discounted berries and stars. Don't look too closely. I'm not particularly good at berry (flower) arranging or tying bows.
This was a tole painting project I did with a ward member, Dorothy, who was teaching tole. I love this nativity. I even love that the clear acrylic that I applied has yellowed and antiqued the pieces.
Continuing on with the nativity theme, this piece was picked up for me in Ecuador by my son. The coloring is very subdued, but it is part of the charm for me. Look around the outside. It has many traditional instruments.
This nativity was handmade by my sister. If you could see each piece close up, you would see such detail, even eyelashes. I sometimes send my nativities to displays at my church, but this one is never sent, I can't risk it being lost or broken. It is absolutely irreplaceable. It represents the love my sister has for me. If you look to the left, you'll see a Christmas ball on a stand with the nativity pictured on it. This was given to me by my good friend, Laura.
From what I understand, these bread dough pieces are traditional nativities available from Ecuador. It is unbelievable that such detail can be seen on these pieces that are at the most 1" tall. My son brought this home to me also.
These Santas from all over the world were a present to my MIL. I bought it at Smitty's. I quite often shopped there during the holidays because their selection of toys and decor were good and I got them at an excellent price. When my MIL moved to a smaller home, she gave the Santas back to me. I loved them when I gave them to her and I still love them. BTW, ignore the view through the window.
See the moose. They were given to me by my most recent Visiting Teaching partner, Brenda. The tree in back was a homemaking project.
This santa also came from my MIL. Nothing special to me, but my grandchildren insist that it be put on display. They love that the Santa moves, the lamp lights and the radio plays a constant medley of Christmas songs.
The soldier is made from clay pots and is gorgeous. My MIL had a friend paint the face and she did all the details. I love this fellow.
This cute little snowman couple was made for me by Mary. She worked with me years ago and was in her 70's. I have always loved the work that went into these pieces.
Another gift from my MIL, it was very out of style not long ago, but it is coming back. I've always loved it. When you look closely you'll see that each letter is stitched on with a tiny blanket stitch. Each sequin and bead is hand sewn on. WOW!
This is my tole-painting wall. Tole painting is no longer in style, but I loved doing it and one wall features the pieces I love.
This bear and candy cane are the first tole painting project I every made. Many thanks to Karen who took the time in our Homemaking meeting to teach me how to do tole painting. It began an interest that lasts still.
This guy was one of my first projects that I made in a class that I took after realizing that I really like tole painting. He is the result of the first set of lessons that I took. He is an example of what tole-painting projects should look like. My friend, Debbie, still has the perfection in all of her projects that this deer represents. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of one of the projects she has done for me.
These trees were a gift from our Primary President, Heidi, many years ago. They are simple but I have appreciated them since I received them. She made a lot of them for the people who were working in Primary.
This reindeer is no masterpiece, but it does represent my daughter's hands and feet when she was 5 years old. I made one for each of her grandparents and got them back when those same grandparents passed away.
That same daughter tole painted one of these guys for herself and I liked it so much I had to have one too and did one for myself.
This is a representation, but just a small one of the decorations I have. Some are in style, some not, but it doesn't matter to me. They each remind me of people, situations, and projects that I love reminiscing about. For those of you who lasted for the whole post, I can't believe you stayed with it. Thanks! You are wonderful.