When you first walk into our house, you will be greeted in an area we refer to as “The Keeping Room.” It is a small room with two red plaid wing back chairs (purchased for $25 a piece on Craigslist three years ago) and a small china cabinet and an old wood stove to keep things toasty warm. While the wood stove is rather ugly, dating to the 1970’s, it really does a great job of keeping us warm and cozy. My husband and I love to sit in the wing backs with a good book and a warm drink with the fire crackling near by. I am sure in heaven, my home will be heated by a warm fire!
We switched out china cabinets this year . . . while I loved my old one, which I had spent many hours redoing, it just was too big . . . pushing the wing backs too tight in the corners. So I sold that china cabinet at The Farm Chicks this year (I am a vendor in that wonderful antique show) and found a much smaller one on Craigslist . . . I refinished it in a deep brownish-red with navy on the back. It stores both crocks and my blue spatterware coffee pots. But at the moment, it is also the display area for my collection of paper mache houses and churches. I put on faux snow with white lights and little bottle brush trees through out. On top, my crocks house various little trees and, of course American flags . . . you know me . . . every holiday still seems to include at least a dash of Americana!
The narrow brick ledge around the wood stove displays my snowman collection, with more white lights and faux snow. On my little half round table next to the front door is a great find I redid last year . . . AFTER Christmas! I got Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus on a 75 percent off sale at a Thrift store the week after Christmas . . . they were bright and shiny 1970’s paint . . . and so of course no one wanted them. I think the total for all three was under $3.00. I then painted them with an “iron paint” . . . a recent addiction I will do a post on in the near future. I love how they look like rusty old iron . . . everyone who sees them, taps them to see if they are iron . . . when in fact they are plaster!
Across from the keeping room is our dining room. I kept the Christmas decor in this room simple this year . . . just added some greenery to my primitive candelabra and more trees and greenery to the crocks on my beloved antique hoosier.
Next is our living room . . . many years ago, previous owners enclosed the porch to be part of the living room, so it is a fairly good sized space. The focal area of the living room during the Christmas season is our tree. We are so blessed to live in the same town as Beth Mercks. Who, you may ask is Beth Mercks?! The owner of Old World Christmas . . . the wonderful hand blown Christmas ornaments made at their factory in Germany. And because of this, their distribution center is here and it just happens to have an outlet . . . at huge savings. When I first started buying these ornaments, before I was even married, they were only $1.00 each! Each year we buy each of our three boys an ornament and we also give whoever finds the “pickle” an additional gift . . . which is often another ornament. The “pickle” is an old German tradition we have done every year since they very beginning with our boys . . . it was believed that whoever found the pickle on the Christmas tree would have good luck in the coming year. They actually used a real pickle, according to folklore, but we use an Old World pickle! We have lots of fun hiding it on the tree and the boys, even now, as young men, still enjoy finding it. We plan to do this tradition with our grand children in the years to come.
My tree is done in white and gold lights. I love the warm glow of the gold lights . . . reminds me of the warm fire of candle light. I was frustrated this year when they were burning out, as they have become hard to find, but was happy to find the Lowe’s is now carrying them again. I also like to mix in other things . . . old Christmas signs, antique holiday post cards and even Christmas books. I found the rusty star tree topper at a garage sale this summer for $1.00! Our tree is set in my treasured 20 gallon Red Wing Crock . . . a gift from my sweet husband several mother’s days ago. An old Underwood typewriter rests on an old Texaco box I just purchased at an antique store (I haven’t decided if I am keeping it or not) and more books nestle below, along with some nesting boxes and a crock jug, I also purchased at the same time as the Texaco box.
In the windows of the living room are red lights, greenery and a variety of Christmas items and toys. This year we had the fortune of having Ron’s Dad hand down his beloved Range Rider . . . an old wind up tin toy from his childhood. It is a true collectible, worth a fortune, but something we will never sell and will enjoy for years to come. The primitive elephant next to it, is representative of my middle son Dillon, who had a huge fixation with elephants as a toddler and young boy. Other fun items include a birch bark buck (try saying that fast three times!), nut crackers and more old books. I love the old Miracle on 34th street tucked in behind my Jim Shore Santa from my mother-in-law.
In another corner you will find my primitive stuffed snowman, sitting in a child’s rocking chair . . . last year he sat on an old wood horse, which I sold at one of my antique sales. The child’s rocking chair will probably be sold before next Christmas, so it will be an ever changing display. My husband Ron jokingly says that everything in our home is for sale! Mr. Snowman is nestled amongst vintage lights and ornaments still in their original packaging . . . I love the great graphics on these old boxes.
My shelf of pewter mugs and goblets has been dressed up in greenery, folk art angels and of course, a couple of flags.
Our coffee table (which is an old antique farm table that we cut the legs down on), is filled with some other fun treasures . . . a rusty old scale has a vintage moss covered pot with a primitive little Christmas tree in it. Below that is one of my favorites . . . a fun pickup truck filled with snowmen. I purchased it several years ago on an after Christmas sale in a wonderful shop here in Spokane called Mel’s. And remember my black primitive dough bowl that I filled with rag balls for autumn? (if you missed it, click here for a tutorial !) Well now that same bowl is happily holding a variety of pinecones in various sizes and colorings.
On a wall, I took a poster I purchased several years ago at Old World Christmas and mounted it with Modge Podge onto an MDF board.
In our kitchen, I didn’t do much . . . our kitchen is a work in progress . . . with cupboards on partially repainted, back splashes missing in some areas and in general needing a lot of help. I hope to redo much of it in the months to come. But I did take my old feather tree . . . also a purchase from Old World Christmas many years ago, and tucked old tin tart molds, enamelware funnels, cookie cutters and more in it . . . it all sits proudly in an antique mixing bowl filled with realistic looking faux eggs (which then sits on top of an antique scale). The feather tree was originally purchased during my formal Victorian days of the 90’s . . . and had been a bright white. I sprayed it with Design Master antiquing spray several years ago and it is now a better fit for my primitive taste.
Tonight I just got home after setting up for our latest show, “Pickin’ Christmas”, which will take place at the Greyhound Event Center in Post Falls Idaho this coming weekend, December 3 and 4. We have the spots all marked off, the placement figured out for everything from decor to ticket booths . . . and my booth is done. I am pleased with how simple it came together and how nice I think it will display. But still tonight finds me anxious and stressed.