I'm in the Scandinavian Christmas spirit, Cottage Friends. No, I'm not Scandinavian by birth, I just happen to like many of their Christmas traditions, and especially their yuletide decorations.
This is our first Christmas in our tiny cottage; a very special time for us. I shared the start of our decorating here. Now we're finished and I can show you the rest. Still keeping it simple.
Our little tree came from a heavily forested area that is part of our friends' homestead. They had a festive party on December 6th and invited their guests to cut a Christmas tree to take home. It took 3 seconds for Dennis to cut ours with pruning shears. I proclaimed it "the shortest Christmas tree cutting ceremony ever."
I was thrilled when Dennis spotted the tablecloth at a local second hand shop last week. We knew it had to be a needlecrafter's handiwork, as it has two sets of initials and "1997" stitched on one end. After doing some research I discovered the needlework is Swedish weaving, and this piece was most likely a wedding gift to a couple. "Swedish weaving creates patterns on even weave fabric by the way colorful yarn or thread is exposed or hidden by the fabric threads. Fabrics include huck cloth, monks cloth and aida fabric, among others." (Source: examiner.com)
It's really amazing needlework that I'm certain took hours to complete. It makes me smile every time I see it.
Other Christmas decorations include this vignette on the stove hood shelf.
Our garden window.
And this primitive Christmas doll I snagged at the thrift store for 10 cents (Christmas clearance). I've nicknamed her "Holly".
I guess you can tell I have a weakness for folk art. (More about that later.)
The outdoor decorations are completed, too.
I tried getting a good photograph of the front porch, but after several tries at different stages of light, I finally gave up and this is it. (You can see the snow reflected in the door glass. It's still snowing as I write this.)
I'm happy with the way the porch decor turned out. (I wrote about the wreath in my Part One post.) The ice skates and scarf are thrift store finds. Well, actually, everything but the chair came from thrift stores. I bought the old chair at a local shop that just opened.
Other wreaths that I made hang on the cottage back door and Dennis' studio door.
Our little thrift store here in town has an amazing collection of Christmas decor from which I gathered the jingle bells, pine cones, cinnamon sticks and other decorative pieces for the wreaths.
Two weeks ago I posted my Crazy Easy Mug Rug Tutorial. I wondered if it would actually be of interest to readers, and apparently it was. Last week I received a very nice email from Barbara Anne in Virginia telling me that my mug rug tutorial inspired her to make this reversible Scottie dog ornament.
Isn't it adorable?
Barbara Anne wrote that she fussy cut two 4" fabric squares, and that it took "perhaps 10 minutes" to make the ornament. It's a Christmas gift to her husband's aunts who own a Scottie.
Thanks, Barbara Anne, for your sweet email and for sharing photos of your beautiful ornament with us.
Earlier I mentioned my weakness for folk art. Especially folk art defined as primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. I don't want to just collect folk art, though. I want to create it. It's why I learned to quilt. It's also why I'm learning the art of twining. This is my first rug, which I started about a week ago.
Since I work on it on and off -- in between other tasks -- I can't say how long it's actually taking me to make this rug. However, I do know I get faster as I go along. I also know that I love doing this. It's very economical too, as I recycle old sheets, curtains, fabric yardage, etc.
Check out my Pinterest Twining board for more information about this very old way of weaving.
I hope you're enjoying this wonderful season.