I know you’re out there

I can hear you hyperventilating.

Don’t worry the insanity House Tour is almost over, and I’ve actually had to skip a few rooms. Just ran out of time, I guess.

After today we will finally reach the room that has, on occasion, been likened to  an ‘explosion at the North Pole’, although I prefer to think of it as an Annex to Santa’s Workshop, albeit one where the elves have obviously gone on strike [ and I will admit to pinching that line from my Darling Daughter ]

However, for today, we are still lurking in my kitchen:

Scandinavian Christmas plates, mini Christmas Tree quilts [ coffee coasters made by my Tassie friend Beryl ] and assorted finely painted folk art-y pieces mostly by Maz aka Crazy Haberdasher

More Danish plates, and a 9 foot swag  decorated with cat ornaments  and a few dozen of my crochet snowflakes [ and hearts and the odd star ]

Each year I make several dozen of my favourites and give most of them away to visitors and friends. That  one on the right end, closest to the camera, is one I designed last year – and one day I may actually write down the pattern … if only so that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel next time I want to make it 🙂

Same swag, other end:

I have a  distressed looking ladder hanging over the kitchen bench with colanders. etc hanging from butcher hooks. At this time of the year, it is also covered in fake garlands of greenery and what I can only suppose are meant to represent cranberries [ MY cranberries come smooshed in a jar, so what do I know ? ] … and more of the snowflakes.

and Nadie’s knitted Christmas tree [ made from her own handspun too I’ll have you know ]

On the window-sill over the sink are various pairs of snowmen, a couple of painted wooden trees [ Maz’ work ] wooden primitive candles [ Maz again ] and another whole flurry of flakes. I can’t ever seem to get the lighting right for photos, but trust me, it’s all there.

The sliding door is not in use at the moment, and the wooden venetian blind is a great way of displaying cards

and the bunting that Tara made/gave me just cos it had my name on it.

and finally – for today at least – two very bright, very shiny, very very plastic trees that were given out at some point in the early 1950s to staff at the plastics company where my father worked. They’re actually a far more bilious green than any camera seems capable of capturing. Use your imagination, okay ?

2 days 5 hours 51 minutes

Vintage Yuletide Treasures

I think it would be fair to describe the type of Christmas that I grew up with as fairly meagre.

My parents tried, but money was tight, presents were few, and I have indelible memories of faded tissue paper bells, paper chains, pages cut from the Reader’s Digest and framed, and the rattiest, saddest tinsel in the history of the world.

You’d think I wouldn’t want to be reminded of those days, but truthfully, some of my favourite decos date from the time of my earliest Christmas memories, and I guess the truth of the matter is that, had my folks been even moderately affluent, these things would’ve been tossed decades ago and I wouldn’t still have them to enjoy and share.

This tri-fold Christmas card printed with Clement C. Moore’s classic “A Visit From Santa” [ otherwise known as “The Night Before Christmas ” ] was sent to me the month I was born, and Mum taped it up in my bedroom every year that I can remember.

When I got married I took it with me, read it aloud to the kids every Christmas Eve when they were little, and when it finally started falling apart from all those decades of sticky tape, I had it laminated. Over the years that last statement has given more than one avid collector of ephemera the screaming meemies, but it was a choice: fold it carefully away from the light of day or keep on displaying and loving and enjoying it.

Last year when I mentioned to my 90 year old Godmother  [ she who had signed it on behalf of her then 18 month-old son ] that I still had it, she was utterly gobsmacked.She shouldn’t have been really. My mother kept anything with a sentimental attachment, and I am very much her daughter.

Witness this next treasure:

You may have already spotted it on the shelf of Nativity sets in an earlier post but it deserves closer attention.

Again we’re looking at those wonderful soft 50s graphics.

It says so right there on the back – 1950 – in my mother’s distinctive hand.

So, I know that this was bought their first Christmas as a married couple. It cost a  1/3 [12c] at a time when my librarian father earned around 7 pounds [ $14 ] a week

I would be willing to bet that if you’d told the English company that produced it, that one would still survive … in use … in Australia … more than 60 years later, they wouldn’t have believed you. The same could probably be said of whoever designed my Night-Before-Christmas card too.

and Mum’s habit of dating things again:

My oldest Father Christmas. Unmarked. Possibly Japanese. Probably bought at Coles.

He was just always around at Christmas, and as long as I can remember having Santa, I’ve also had these three

As Senior Citizens, they now spend most of the year cocooned in cotton quilt batting, but for 6 weeks or so a year, they hang out in the kitchen keeping company with all those snowmen from yesterday’s installment.

Who has similar treasures to share?

5 days 4 hours 27 minutes