I thought I'd post some photos of my Christmas Trees, mostly small table top deals, and a few of my Christmas decorations ... since so many of them are home-made or, if purchased, have a country or home-made feel to them. While I am nowhere near as creative as Sue Hillis with her many and varied Christmas trees [which may be seen at http://blog.suehillisdesigns.net/ ], I do have a few themed trees:
In my entry hall, I have a wrought iron table top tree displaying my favorite cross-stitched and needlepoint ornaments. The two trees in the background are live, potted trees decorated with birds and birdhouses and bird nests. I hope to transplant them after Christmas into some planters for the patio and next year decorate them with popcorn strands and dried fruit for the birds. I'll have to keep them indoors this winter, in the larger pots, because I doubt that they have been hardened to the cold but I should be able to bring them outdoors in the Spring. The next photo is a close-up of the ornament tree so that you can actually see some of the stitched ornaments. I find it amazing that I have stitched at least 200 Christmas ornaments over the years and these are the only ones I have left for decorating my own tree. And most of these were stitched this year with the express intention of using them at home. My children, my mother, my sisters, my brother and his wife, my nieces and nephews, my stitching buddies and even my volunteer catechists have more of my handiwork than I do. And I bet I am not the only stitcher who finds this to be true.
In the upstairs hallway, I have a small artificial tree displaying the ornaments purchased as souvenirs of vacations. It is very eclectic but each piece is a reminder of a place my husband and I have enjoyed visiting. These ornaments remind us of trips to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, to Gettysburg, Pa., to The Sagamore Hotel in upstate New York, to Fredricksburg, Md., to Amish country in Pa., Williamsburg, Va. and to Fire Island, LI, NY. There is even a steamboat ornament to call up memories of our 8 day cruise on the Mississippi Queen. Unfortunately, we have not purchased a souvenir ornament from every place we have been but I will certainly make sure to do so in the future. I rather like the idea of a Vacation theme tree. Normally, the hooks on the hall tree hold my husband's baseball caps and my hats and scarves but in keeping with the travel theme I hung one of my husband's Hallmark classic car ornaments from each hook. The bottom looks a little bare. So, in keeping with the travel theme, I will have to dig out my two crackle glaze candle globes in red and green to place beside the tree ... to mimic Port and Starboard lights.
I have placed my collection of Santas on the tops of my bookcases. This includes all my framed Prairie Schooler "Crafting" Santas: Embroidery, Quilting, Knitting and Sewing as well as my New Age-y Celestial Santa. Sue Hillis' "Pair Tree" has pride of place above the center bookcase along with my water globe Santa music box. In between the framed Santas are the Santa figurines I have either made in ceramic class or purchased over the years. Two of the purchased ones are music boxes. There should've been another Sue Hillis piece up there: the Yo Ho Ho Santa with the candy cane peg leg but my framer forgot to put the easel back on it. I will find a place for it somewhere else. The stockings are "hung" from the book shelves using wrought iron stocking holders. From left to right, they are my husband Bill's stocking, a Homespun Elegance design that was a pain to stitch in the prefinished stocking format [who has hands that small?], my own stocking purchased from a Hallmark card store [I like the cheerful Scandanavian style knit], Angela's stocking featuring a collection of cross-stitched teddy bears [a passion of hers when she was small], Sean's childhood stocking which was the very first stocking I made [he has another I made, a more adult folk art style woodland Santa, that he took with him when he married], and Danny's needlepoint stocking featuring the Three Wise Men. My two BAPs for 2010 will have to be stockings for my grandchildren. And, though I bought my daughter-in-law a lovely hand quilted stocking at a craft fair several years ago [like Sean's "grown-up" stocking it, too, is on the West Coast], I'd like to make one for her that I can keep here. I'll have to come up with something equally as woodsy as the Santa of Sean's and the charts I already have picked out for the children. Something with lots of woodland animals since she is an environmental educator at a nature reserve in Washington state. And, who knows, maybe I'll stitch a stocking for myself someday.