Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Reindeer Greeting

Just a little reindeer cartoon
I drew up a few years ago.


Let me introduce you to Scooter,
one of Santa's special delivery reindeer.
Thaddeus Ozark has hired him to deliver, 
some very special holiday cheer.

May your Christmas be Merry
and 
your New Year be Bright!

Gingerbread House Cookie Jar

Searching the web like I always do,
I Googled images of "Gingerbread House cookie jars"
and this caught my eye!

It's a Certified International Gingerbread House Cookie jar
from the Gingerbread Man line


Designed by Susan Winget
you can see more of the line here

Certified has other holiday 2011 lines too


Aren't they wonderful?

I found two stores that carry the gingerbread house
Target has it only online here
They want $44.99 + shipping.

and
Dillard's has it pictured
with the backside facing forward for some reason,
They want $40.00 and it's in their store.
They had it on sale last week 
but, when I dragged my wife to see it...
the sale had ended!?!
A week before Christmas and no longer on sale? 

I guess I'll be scrambling the day after to catch the
half off clearance.

Wish me luck fighting the masses.
Then again, there's always Ebay!

Hope You're Having A Warm & Wonderful
Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Need Christmas Table Scaping Advice

I am a big fan of the blog "The Tablescaper" seen here
and
the blog "Between Naps on the Porch" seen here
 I thought how hard could it be to do a tablescape?
Well for me, at least, it seems to be a challenge. 

Here is my kitchen table...

all decked out with Christmas...um...cheer?

It all started a few years ago when I found 
this wonderful
reindeer cookie jar from Pottery Barn.
This is a picture form their website.

The reindeer cookie jar is beautiful....
only, I can't seem to capture that
warm "milk and cookies" homey feel.

I'm also a fan of the blog "Mod Vintage Life"
here 
and was inspired by
Nita's fascination with mercury glass.
So I added these Target
mercury glass candle holders I found 
last year and these Kohl's
faux birch bark pillar candles
I found this year.


Thought they would add a country woodland feel to the deer.


While I was at Kohl's I spied these deer placemats
and imagined they would be a perfect pairing with the
reindeer cookie jar.
Next to the placemat wall I found this holiday dinnerware
I thought to myself, the reindeer's finish
matched perfectly with their ivory tones
and the pottery can be seen through the glaze on both.

I purchased just two bowls with the idea
 they would be nice candy or fruit bowls.


My wife said the scape lacked red.
I went to Michael's and found two pine and red berry sprigs
that would go with the placemats.

 She also loves Bobs Sweet Stripes
(no apostrophy, because there are two Bobs, or least there were)
Read more about Bobs here

I figure "why not get a small apothicary jar
and display the Sweet Stripes in it"

So... here is the result thus far...



It's coming together...but... I feel like it still needs something.
Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas time in the kitchen

One of my favorite things to do
at the start of the Christmas season
is to change out the hutch/buffet.

I just love pulling out all the Christmas cookie jars.

I have a Radko Shiny Bright Holly Jolly Santa cookie jar.
He is very reminiscent of the old spaghetti Santas.

  Here's an example from Ebay 
of a vintage 60's spaghetti Santa bank.

Can you see where Radko got his idea? 

Next is a baker gingerbread man cookie jar.
Doesn't he look tasty?

 And a very friendly snowman cookie jar.

I just adore these Radko Shiny Brite
"Little Toy Soldier" candle holders, I found on Ebay.
They're at attention for the big man himself.

 Behind this soldier is a Bordallo Pinheiro
green holly pitcher and plate,
they kind of go with the "Holly" Jolly Santa.

I'm happy to find a mischievous little Annalee Elf
circa 2002 (but I just got him this year at HomeGoods.)
He's the keeper of the Cadbury Christmas Balls


They are so addictive I can never eat just one!

Above Santa I put a mini Christmas tree light. 
I 've seen small lights displayed in hutches
in little tchotchke boutiques.  I found this one
at Pier 1 last year and thought it would add a little charm.


I think that Santa head mug
was my very first Dept 56 possession.
I didn't even know it was Dept 56
till a few years later, when I looked at the bottom.
I just liked its quality at the time.
The other mug and matching plate
are for Santa's milk and cookies on Christmas eve.
They were from Hallmark two years ago.

This is a Hallmark Snowman Mug
from even further back.
Isn't the little snowman face simply delightful?
I just love his little pink cheeks and the candy stripes.

This little fellow is from
the Becky Denny line called "Retro Santa"
I wrote about it earlier this month here.
He is a little dip bowl with a candy cane spreader.
To the left of Santa we see the

Radko "Peppermint Puff Snowman" salt and pepper shakers.
My parents have always had two plastic
snowmen that are an exact match to these.
Theirs are hollow and the sacks have an open hole
designed to hold Christmas candy.
Here's a picture I found of one on Ebay
  I would play with them every year
I think I might have broken their pipes off. 
When I saw these Radko copies
a flood of memories came back to me.
They just had to be mine.

The Radko "Nutcracker Suite" salt and pepper set
was a lucky find at Marshall's last year.
I love all the detail in something so small.

What's this?
Another little sprightly Annalee elf!
He looks like he might have helped himself
to a few Cadbury candies.

What's you favorite Christmas candy?


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Ozark Holiday LGB Express

One of the things I look forward to during the holidays
is finding seasonal work as a "gandy dancer"
(a worker who laid and maintained railroad tracks)
on the Ozark Holiday Express line.


The annual Christmas train, an extension of the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway,
steams over the river and through the woods


to bring a little Christmas cheer and supplies
to the rural townsfolk all across the living room.


Through frigid wind and icy show nothing will
slow the mighty fire breathing mini LGB Mikado
from arriving on schedule.


As the "ash cat" or fireman, as he's called, 
shovels more coal into the firebox,
the steam pressure builds in the boiler
and the iron horse picks up speed. 
Our engineer is a real highball artist
as he handles the speed with ease.


The wildlife is startled as the thundering redball whistles by.



The conductor is pleased that
the Ozark Holiday Express
is running on time and will be pulling into the
station any minute.



The tiny country Spode train station
is all decked out for Christmas as it
awaits the train's arrival.


I found this country Christmas picture
last year at HomeGoods, it was 
just after Christmas and marked down 50%. 


I think it makes a great backdrop 
 for my new train station cookie jar. 
which arrived just ahead of the Ozark Holiday Express


 As this galloper pulls into the station
with a big cloud of steam and bell ringing,
you can almost hear the song
"There's no place like home for the holidays"
on the station's speakers.
Eggnog is drained from the tank car and the townsfolk
rejoice in the merriment of the holidays.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Valance Time

With the Christmas season
comes the changing of the valance...


Another beautiful creation by my wife's friend Eden.
She always captures just what my wife and I are after.


The green fabric has red and pink roses,
as well as white and red poinsettias,
mixed with holly leaves and berries,
mistletoe, and pine cones. 
There's even a purple berry in the potpourri,
it might be a mulberry.
The red layer is a tone on tone pine branches
and pine cones design with gold glitter all over.

After we got the valance up
we started to build a matching
Christmas wreath to go over the hutch.


We tried to incorporate all the elements from the fabric.
Plus I added some jingle bells, a reindeer, and a bird.
I think we found most of the floral at Michael's.
We were lucky to find so many things that matched the fabric.
The Christmas season is shaping up nicely
but moving so quickly.

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