Thursday, December 17, 2009

And Some More Ornaments

I finally got my Christmas decorations trunks out and have uncovered these old ornaments. Some are sewn, one is needlepoint and one is candlewicked but all have been used and re-used over the years. The first is one of my early needlepoint pillow ornaments. Needlepoint pillow ornaments tend to be neater than cross-stitch pillow ornaments becaues the stiffness of the canvas gives cleaner finished edges than soft linen. This next is a little candlewicked poinsettia ornament, another oldie. I remember stitching this when I was pregnant with my youngest. It was a lot of fun and a very quick finish. Still looking good for a 28 year old ornament though I am afraid to wash it. It came as a kit and who knows how color-fast the threads are. The last picture is of a bunch of sewn ornaments that are even older. These were made to fill up the tree the first Christmas in our newly purchased home way back in December 1980. They were all made from a Butterick pattern and while the drum and the baskets might make it to the tree this year, I think the gingerbread men, toy wagon and toy doll carriage are ready for retirement. Maybe not though, I remember how my daughter used to place a tiny doll from among her toys in the baby carriage every Christmas ... so, as sadly misshapen as the carriage gets, it still holds a memory of a very little girl doing her bit to decorate the tree. My daughter has already taken her favorite ornaments from this set: a little stick horse, actually a unicorn, and a rocking horse so I have no pictures of those ... which is pity since they were embellished with crewel embroidery depicting the faces of both and the saddle on the rocking horse as well as cut loop stitches [as in rug hooking] for the manes of both. The hearts just might make it onto my Valentine's Day entry way tree if they wash up well it is now the white zig zag trim is an unsightly yellowish white ... but those hearts also contain memories. They were made from the scraps of a red dress with white eyelet pinafore I made for my then four year old daughter in 1981 ... the same year I made the other ornaments in the picture.

Since I am now simplifying my life and de-cluttering my space, I will be offering a number of my two steamer trunk-loads of ornaments to my children for their own trees. I believe I am going to stick to "theme" trees in the future. This year, my entryway wrought iron tree will be used to display my favorite cross-stitched and needlepoint ornaments and the 36" artificial tree [made with a real tree trunk & artificial branches] will be used in the upstairs hallway to display souvenir ornaments from our various vacations over the years. Given my collection of ornaments, I can see angel trees and nativity scene trees and bird themed trees in the future. But now, for the first time in about a decade, I'll be buying a 5 or 6 footer, artificial and narrow [the kind designed for apartment dwellers] to set up in the living room ... after all, there will be grandchildren in the house this year ... and I need a place to set up the Brio train set for my grandson. If I can't find the right artificial tree, I am thinking of picking up one of those Shaker style trees made of dowels wrapped in cloth. This last tree will be decorated with the remaining ornaments as well as my wooden cranberry strands. I'll ask my daughter-in-law and daughter if they would like to have my white poinsettia light sets and mini light sets. If they don't I'll bring them to work to use on the PREP Christmas tree next year. Either way I want to cull down my three trunk collection of decorations down to two ... and that includes two trunks of ornaments as well as one more with my Santa and nutcracker figurine collection, the stocking holders and stockings, and the music boxes. This does not include the odds and ends that are scattered around in various closets and boxes holding candles and candle holders, wreathes, baskets and wooden sleds. My husband and I are trying to eliminate some of the stuff that has overtaken our small 6 room townhouse ... it's amazing what one accumulates in 30 years in the same place! Something has to go ... right now, the rooms I want to convert into a sewing room and into an office [the children's former bedrooms] are filled with the detritus of our own lives and, since my husband's mother's death in March 2007, his parents' lives. Sentimental value aside, we need the living space and I just can't stand looking at the mess any longer. My husband [who is both a pack rat and a slob of the Oscar Madison type] will just have to deal with the fact that we can't hang onto everything and we will only keep what we can actually use.


stitchinfiend said...

It is lovely looking at older ornaments. We moved from house to an apartment 18 months ago and it was a nice feeling decluttering. Good luck to you as you start the decluttering process.

Rachel S said...

Those look wonderful.

Carol said...

Love seeing the old ornaments, Riona. Isn't it fun to recall the memories associated with each one?