Monday, December 07, 2009

Not Your Grandma's Christmas Decorations

Actually, these are probably exactly like your grandma's (or mother's) Christmas decorations.  And clearly this is why they are amazing.  

I'm a big fan of mixing styles/periods in your décor.  It's a pretty sure way to avoid a boring look, and it's really the most realistic way to decorate, at least for a cash-strapped graduate student like myself.  There is the danger of having too many different styles, which is exactly what I have going on now; this blog is an attempt to make sense of the hodge-podge.  I've accumulated a lot of furniture and knick-knacks from antique and thrift stores, and some hand-me-downs from family.  We're not talking heirloom quality here, but they are pieces that remind me of certain family members and stories from my family's past.

This ceramic tree is from First Class Clutter, and I love it because it's the exact same tree as my Nana, Blanche Hartley, had in her home for Christmas when I was a kid.  The tree was passed to her granddaughter, my mother.  My Nana's tree is painted green with multi-colored lights, but I like how the pearlized white paint and blue lights make this tree look like it's from the '50s (even though it's more likely from the '60s or '70s).  These ceramic trees were a super popular holiday craft project, and you can still buy the molds for them today.  Both the vintage finished product and the newer molds are pretty inexpensive and easily found on ebay.  I paid about $15 for my tree (although some can be had for even cheaper); I think it's a pretty big bang of holiday cheer for the buck, as it totally transforms this corner of the room with its soft blue glow.

Scattered around the tree are some plastic Christmas balls that I found for super, super cheap right after the holidays last year at the grocery store.  I searched through the giant bins of mostly dented balls and brought home about 30 silver, gold, blue and pink balls, for about $1.50.  Again, I was going for big impact here.  Oversized shiny balls make quite a statement, as you'd expect.  I was assuming they'd immediately become the favorite cat toys du jour, but so far Squish and Squeak have been underwhelmed.

Another vintage find was this family of brass quail figurines, which I staged on a Crate and Barrel cake pedestal.  Lately I've been into odd animal knick-knacks, and I really like that quail are thought to symbolize a happy family; perfect for the holidays, I think.

My great-aunt Pauline crocheted the white doily for Stefan and me as a wedding gift this year.  I have quite a few doilies passed down from other women in my family, and I'm so happy to have one now to pass down to my descendants....and a story all my own to send with it.



  1. Welcome back F.P. although I didn't know you were out there before. My mother had one of the ceramic trees in green. Her sister made it. Aunt Willie was really into ceramics. I wonder whose Christmas it is lighting this year. Hope to see another tree posting soon. :)

  2. Umm, I'm not really "anonymous". I'm "From the Writer's Kitchen" but I wasn't allowed to post a comment from any source but "anonymous".

  3. And now I can. Will I ever understand cyberspace?

  4. Thanks, Allison!

    Not to worry, From the Kitchen. May I call you From? :-) When I initially made the blog, I didn't even have comments turned on. What a great way to appear inviting your audience! And yes, there will be another tree in this blog's future...

  5. Yes, please feel free to call me From. Right now, From is frosty. It is sleeting. I am decorating the mantle and a small(ish) tree.