Joyful Christmas Greetings Cottage Friends!
This sweet "Joy" card pinned to the little magnetized board above my desk perfectly illustrates my mood as Dennis and I celebrate our first Christmas in our cottage.
Yes, thank you Lord for the joy we have in You first!
I've had this nativity scene for years and years. It doesn't feel like Christmas in our home until I have it set up.
Under the nativity is something that is not related to Christmas, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it just yet.
The little white pumpkins in the rustic basket.
I'm such a sucker for these. I'm sure this is some kind of seasonal decorating faux pas that could get me named Worst Home and Garden Blogger of 2015, but hey -- I'm okay with that. The pumpkins stay until they start to get mushy.
I wasn't sure where I was going this year with decorating. The last five years I've done very little, since most of the time we've been in housing transition and I've also given away a lot of stuff. (Translation: I didn't have much to work with.)
When I rummaged through our small box of decorations I found Mr. & Mrs. Christmas Bear, a whimsical gift from one of our kids last year. Their country attire gave me an idea for the mantel, so I started shopping our cottage. I thought my shabby Victorian birdhouse would work well with the bears.
Then there was the galvanized lantern Dennis bought recently at a yard sale, and the hand-painted holly plate I found at a thrift store last year.
I had some garland and lots of pine cones, some baby's breath and dried red carnations, and one of Dennis' watercolors of a local ranch in winter. (More about this scene later.)
I put it all together and voilà. . .
A Country Cottage Christmas
The only thing "new" here is the star, which I made with materials I had on hand.
I had fun creating the Christmas mantel. Dennis loves the country cottage theme, and I like it when my husband's happy.
Now here's something that really made me happy.
On Tuesday I received a gift in the mail from my blogging friend AnnMarie of Musings of a Vintage Junkie. You probably know her because AnnMarie is super friendly and nice and has a great blog. But just in case you haven't met her, hop over to her blog and get to know her. She's wonderful.
Anyway, she made this snow globe for me. I love it!
Yes, she made this. It's really cute with a plaid flannel top (which you can't really see here) and rusty jingle bells, and how great is it that it fits with my Country Cottage theme? It's as if AnnMarie already knew my plans before I did. (Thanks, again, AnnMarie!)
The snow globe deserves something pretty to sit on, so I whipped up a little patchwork rug for it.
So that was fun, too. Because, you know, I like to make things.
Speaking of making things, this came in the mail this week, too. It's a twining loom for making rag rugs. I can hardly wait to get started and, yes, I'll share the process with you. You know I will.
But back to Christmas decorating (sorry).
We bought a Christmas cactus and I used green plaid fabric I had on hand to cover the pot. I like the tattered edges and messy look of the fabric, so no hemming and no ironing. I just wrapped it and tied it with twine. Done and done.
Here's an amusing story about the front door wreath I decorated with natural elements leftover from my mantel. . .
I found the wired red burlap ribbon for the bow at Wal-Mart. You can tell it has white snowflakes printed on it, right? Cute. Very seasonal. Except when one looks at it from a distance the snowflakes look like polka dots. Yup! I have a polka dot bow on my Christmas wreath. (sigh)
But it's up. . .and it's staying. Welcome to our imperfect cottage. (Doesn't this make you feel so much better about your own decorating skills?)
Okay, before I go I promised to tell you more about the ranch scene Dennis painted.
This is Rocking OK ranch in the Wallowa Valley -- Northeast Oregon. Not far from where we live. It's the most photographed ranch in Oregon.
A little more trivia. . .
Do you remember this guy?
That's Walter Brennan (1894-1974) three time Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor (1936, 1938, 1940). He owned the Rocking OK ranch, where he raised his family far from Hollywood's influence. His son Mike owns the ranch now. The Brennans have done a lot for the community and are highly regarded in these parts.
I've got a few more things to tackle before I can call Christmas Decorating 2015 complete.
Such as a Christmas tree.
Whaddya think? Polka dot ornaments?