Country Cottage Christmas - Part Two and Other Cottage News

God Jul!

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:

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.

Back 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.

Studio Door

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.


  1. Well I just came over from you part 1 decorating did I miss it all!? Your cozy cottage is filling up with Christmas charm! I too am into the Scandinavian Christmas touches!! and I do not have any Scandinavian heritage that I know of!! You have found some great thrift store finds,,,and that table cloth is a favorite! What a lucky find and Dennis has a great eye! I am off to work on my post for the Christmas decorating season so hope you will stop by soon. Have a wonderful evening!!

    1. Thank you, Dawna. Dennis does have a great eye for finds. And he often sees things I overlook. Good to take him along on my thrift store jaunts. Happy Christmas!

  2. I love your simple Scandinavian Christmas décor, Nancy! And I'm sure that rug is going to be gorgeous! What a beautiful pallet of color! Blessings, Cindy

  3. Marvelous. Love everything including the little tree. Mug rug is so cute. She picked a perfect piece of fabric.

  4. Nancy,
    It all looks so cozy, inviting and festive. Love it all. Enjoy this next week as we head on down to Santa's big day.

  5. Nancy, you did a beautiful job decorating your sweet cottage. It's warm, cozy, and perfectly you :)


  6. Ooooooo Nancy! I LOVE A SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS! Your little cottage is the perfect place for this charming look. I too have picked up a few tips on the look, starting out with my simple tabletop tree. YOURS is absolutely perfect! And your table cloth completes the look and feel.

    Wishing you much joy as the merriment continues! We have no snow....can you believe that?

  7. Love that table cloth and how wonderful that your husband found it. Your tree is adorable too. Holly is a sweetie.

    I'm going to check out your pinterest page.

    Happy Christmas to you and your DH ~ FlowerLady

  8. Everything looks so pretty. When should I come for coffee?

  9. Such warmth and charm in your cottage . . .
    The "touches" are wonderful . . .
    Love the little tree . . .
    And twining . . . Is peaking my interest . . .
    Reminds me of "lap top weaving" I did years ago . . .
    Merry Christmas Nancy . . .
    I am so happy I met you and I enjoy our "friendshipping."

  10. I love the simplicity of your décor and it all works beautifully in your cottage. I just love your rug too! How special when it is done and on your floor.

  11. Everything looks lovely - I particularly like your wreaths!

    Have a happy weekend!

  12. the swedish touches in your cottage are so pretty!
    simple elegance .. i rather like the little tree
    and especially like the tablecloth - good find!!

  13. You are a great thrifter. The table cloth is a great find and I love that little doll. Years ago when my children were small and Central Florida had woods my husband and I would cut pine trees for Christmas. I say trees because the always grew to the side of the most sun leaving one side bare so we would tie two trees together. LOL Those were simple Christmases. Your little tree reminded me of those times. Have a great week. Debbie

  14. Fantastic job on the twined rug! It is often difficult for beginners to twine rows with the same colors, so I am doubly impressed. Well done!

    I love that the tablecloth found an owner who values and appreciates the time it took to create it. Enjoy.

  15. Your holiday decor looks lovely Nancy. How exciting to be able to spend your first Christmas in your new home, I know you will enjoy it. I can't wait to see your new rug. I've never heard of twining before. Merry Christmas to you and Dennis!

  16. Nancy, I love your tablecloth, but that rug you're making - oh my! I can't wait to see the finished effort. It's so beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  17. Your cottage is looking so cozy and Christmasy! What a special time for you and Dennis! Enjoy your holiday celebrations, Nancy! I hope they are cozy and joyful!

  18. Nancy, everything looks just perfect and I adore your tree. It is perfect. Your weaving is lovely. I am sure it's a relaxing craft. Can't wait to see more of your pretty handiwork!

  19. I love your small Christmas tree on your table. I looked for a small tree this year and couldn't find one small enough for me, so I used a branch that I decorated. Merry Christmas to you in your adorable Cottage!

  20. I love your tree. Perfect.
    Have a wonderful Christmas season,

  21. Beautiful tree... I love the fact that it could be cut so quickly... just perfect for your small cottage! The delightful tablecloth is just a real gem! How awesome to have a piece of work with so much time spent on it being enjoyed on your table. It is sad that the previous owner didn't cherish it, but it is in a loving home now! And I love the fact that you are making your own rug - wow! Many talents are in your hands, Nancy! Maybe you need to open your own Etsy store :)

    Have a blessed and wonderful day, my friend :)

  22. Hello Nancy, so nice to visit here with you in the warmth of your precious little cottage, I love it!
    I happened upon your lovely place and look forward to following along with you.
    Blessings for the New Year ~~ Debbie

  23. what a cute little tree, dear Nancy ! Yes, and the tablecloth is delightful. I love embroidery, it makes a home warm and cozy.
    I wish you a happy and healthy new year with many wonderful moments.
    Thank you for your kind visit on my blog.


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