Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Tidbits

We've added a few more decorations to CCC this year. I made a paper banner spelling out "Merry" with pages from an old newspaper insert featuring Christmas carols. It's hard to see here, but each letter has the name of the Christmas carol sheet music at the top.

And we also added some furry greenery around the arches in the entryway. Eventually we'd like to get better quality greenery to put around the arches, but this dollar store stuff got the point across for this year.

On a weekday morning this past week, I looked out the window at the Hawthorne to find the previous record of 5 Cardinals was beaten...NINE cardinals were sitting in the tree...and that's just what I could see from my perch at the window! I've circled them in the image for easy counting. ;)

AAAAANDDDD Finally, here's a preview of something HUGE. I've wanted window boxes on our front two windows from the first moment we went to see the house (before we even owned it) a year ago this month. Circumstances and problems conspired against us, and it took a long time, but we finally were able to order boxes from C&W Woodwerks, a local company. We picked up the boxes last night, and hope to get them installed as soon as possible.

So here's a sneak preview of one of our two window boxes. Tom's just holding one up below the window, and the brackets aren't installed on the bottom or the siding, so it'll look a little different, but I couldn't wait to see a little sneak preview. They are just what I wanted. Totally worth a year's wait.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Today was cookie making day. Mom and I do this every year at Christmas. And, well, let me just lead off with this picture. Because everyone should have Ninjabread men at Christmastime.

Our friend Kirsty Walker has shared pictures of her Ninjabread men creations on Facebook and Tom and I loved them. The cookie cutters were a Christmas gift to Tom that he had to get a little early since I just HAD to make them today.

Here I am demonstrating the proper Ninjabread eating stance.

Cookie day takes place over at mom's house. Hi mom!

But this year was better than any other cookie year, because...Grandma was there too!

Three generations baking Christmas cookies together. That's what I call a memory in the making.

Even if at times it was a little messy.

The end result was yummy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So I promised my next blog post would be about our Christmas ornaments! Above you'll find two collages of ornaments we collect. Tom has his collection of Spider-man ornaments on the tree, and I have my collection of bird glass ornaments, preferably with fiber-tails. My collection started with the green glass bird you see on the last row on the parents had a whole set of them that went on the tree every year growing up, and it got me started. I actually have more birds than this, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Here's my very favorite Christmas ornament. I've had it since I can ever remember, and it prompted another collection of ornaments unpictured...German wooden ball-headed figural ornaments. The two little boys in a bed are always the last ornament to go on the tree every year.

And here's Tom's favorite ornament, a Scotty dog in a sweater. He likes to animate the Scotty with a Scottish accent, of course, and make him box people and Corvin with his hands/arms/fisticuffs. You can see the makeup on one of his paws from boxing my face one too many times.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Merry Christmas at the Cottage!

I haven't posted here for a while. Sometimes this happens because I haven't had a chance to work on the house, and sometimes it happens for the exact opposite reason. I've been quite busy around the house decorating for, making presents for, and preparing for Christmas.

So here it is...I finally got a chance to post my Christmas decorations. This is our first holiday in Catty-Corner Cottage. December 11th will mark the one year anniversary of the first time we saw the home of our dreams, but we didn't move in until February. Tom has had to remind me many a time that there will be plenty of years to build up our collection of holiday decor. There's so much I want to do that didn't get done this year...garland all along the white picket fence, candles in every window (we're working on that one), garland on all three of the arched doorways in our entry, more lights all over the front stoop...but I am really happy with the festiveness of our home this year.

And, I am ridiculously excited to announce that I have finally ordered window boxes from a local woodworker. I've paid a deposit, and have an installation date planned for December 17th. I'm already planning the evergreen branches I'll put in them.

I'm really so happy with how the bushy evergreen garland looks around our front door, hung with gold openwork Christmas balls.

I had a couple of people suggest I not entirely eliminate the wicker plant stand on the front stoop, but instead fill it with a display of evergreens. I thought this was a grand idea. Holly, several types of evergreens, and cut branches from our hawthorne tree in the back yard all make for a festive display.

A bit of extra garland and a bunch of holly loop around the porch light.

All in all, it's a rather festive display for our first year's attempt.

Our house doesn't have an electrical outlet anywhere outside, so our options for Christmas lights are limited. We did put out a battery operated light strand on a timer that is doing a pretty good job of adding some Christmas color to the porch at night.

Our tour continues into the house in the entryway. I cleared off most everything on the hall table and put down as much greenery as I could.

A wreath hangs on the hall mirror.

Festive green!

I bought this silver bowl with deer handles years ago, and only recently realized what a great piece of Christmas decor it would make. I fill it with gold pine cone ornaments mixed with real pine cones.

In the dining room, I decided to try laying evergreen boughs on top of the light fixture. I hung more of the openwork gold Christmas balls from the greenery. A poinsettia is in the center of a bowl, with multicolor Christmas balls filling in the gaps between them.

My friend Shane Odom has given me a newfound respect and enthusiasm for cutting paper snowflakes. I have about three times this many at work...they are quite addictive to make once you get started.... I'm not sure what I'll do with these...put them in a window somewhere, or keep them on the table. Who knows.

In the kitchen, I re-labeled a yummy Christmas candle my mom gave me with a "label" I created from a couple of old Christmas images. The art is a Mucha, of course.

A sprig of faux holly in my vase over the sink keeps me feeling festive.

Even the half bathroom gets a touch of Christmas in the form of a wooden rocking horse music box and a vintage handmade Christmas embroidery I just found a few days ago at an antique mall for $1.

On the wall by the Geek Room, the Labyrinth door knocker gets into the spirit of things.

In the Geek Room, we took a small tree I had, and put tongue-in-cheek small geek toys on it. Beast from Disney, a Star Wars robot, Pink Panther, Spider-man, Doctor Doom...

And 1980s Rogue as the tree topper.

In the living room, the mantle was quite fun to decorate.

I painted small pine cones gold and put them in one apothecary jar. A pile of books holds up a candle, specifically I found a few Christmas books with pretty bindings to add to the festive air.

I couldn't resist this classic Christmas card lettering on a Merry Christmas sign at Hobby Lobby. The stockings are also new acquisitions from there.

Another jar of nuts, and a jar of golden Christmas ornaments stands on another pile of books on the other side of the mantle, along with a favorite glass Christmas bird. (I collect them, which you'll hear more about)

Our home namesake and royal King makes an appearance to pose in front of my next display.

A Medieval Christmas book, my new candelabra, and a precious heirloom.

My Grandma is letting me display this stunning antique carnival glass bowl. I love the pattern of roses and dragons.

On the coffee table is a faerie statue, proudly displaying an ornament I discovered on supersale several years ago. The ornament was originally in tacky pastel shades of color, but that was easy enough to remedy with a generous application of gold paint.

Putting it in a central location in our house helps to represent just what I love aesthetically...Art Nouveau, myth, fairy tales...all is represented.

Tom's love of comic books are also represented on our tv stand. The paper guy is Krampus. We're big fans.

My love of Muppets also shines through!

But of course the main feature of any Christmas house is the tree! We make up ours with colored lights and a fun assortment of pop culture and classic ornaments. It's also a great opportunity to display the stuffed animals we love.

The display looks great from the outside too.

I collect glass bird ornaments...especially fiber tail ones. Every year I choose a new one from Merck's Family Old World Christmas. This year's was a baby Robin. My next post will be to share more of our collection!