It seems almost impossible not to love these old and sometimes tarnished beauties.
Like all antique and vintage treasures, you wonder
about those who owned it before you. Who hung this lovely ornament on their tree long ago. What was their Christmas like?
It's been few years since I found a box of ornaments in an old Shiny Brite box. It was a lucky day.
Some are hand blown glass from Germany, and others of the same origin look like they were formed in a mold for the glass.
The one above it a bit more blue than shows in the picture.
This one looks like it has a sewn stitches on it.
One year they were displayed in an old silver tray.
But this year, even the Radko's stayed in the boxes. Instead the tree was decorated with just white and silver, and the older ornaments were the best sparkle. Very simple.
Each one has its own beauty, and I'm sure a story to tell. Since I found my first one, these have been such a favorite part of my Christmas decorating. Every time I have the pleasure of hanging these, I wonder about their past. I hope someone will always care for them, hang them on their tree, and wonder about those of us who loved them before they did.
For this year, I am again displaying the older, vintage nativity pieces. The newer sets stayed in the boxes. I'm sure they will find a place again another time. But for this year I longed for the old that brings back so many memories.
If you are an old friend you know that some of the pieces were given to me over 40 years ago by a much loved family member. And this took me on a search for some replacement pieces. last year. Along the way, I found the nativity dog, or actually 3 of them. Last year only the little guy to the left was added to the nativity, of course because he kind of reminded me of Cody Puppy a little bit.
My intentions were to sell my duplicate items. However, when got all the pieces out, having all three pups reminded me of my little family of three, so all three dogs made it to the nativity this year.
The smell of gingerbread was still in the air the day after I made gingerbread man cookies. And it was heavenly. All of the houses shown here are from our art museum's annual festival of trees. Enjoy! (Click on the pictures for a larger size to view.)
Sweet Daughter loves gingerbread, and she has many fond memories of going to the nearby bakery for gingerbread man cookies from the time when she was very little. I still stop by there every once in a while even now since it is near the post office. I don't really like gingerbread, but at Christmastime when my little girl would ask for gingerbread man cookies, I was happy to make them. And even though she is quite grown up, I still make them for her each year.
So I began searching the internet for a good recipe. The one I used last year was pretty good, but I was wondering what else out there to try.
I found one recipe on one of those recipe sites that had a couple hundred reviews and lots of stars. It sounded like a winner.
The dough was all ready for my daughter when she got off work so she could do some of the cookie cutting and be here while they were baking. Ooh, gingerbread in the air.
Sadly we were not all that enthusiastic about the cookie. They smelled great, but tasted just kind of OK. There have been a couple of times while searching for recipes that I've landed on that site and I don't think I've kept many recipes from it.
But then I thought of Epicurious, which always has great recipes. Maybe .................
(Isn't a beach hotel/cottage a fun gingerbread house?)
(See the next picture below for the little fawn asleep in the snow.)
Yes! The Epicurious recipe was perfect. It is the first time I ever saw a recipe use crystallized ginger. We really thought it was what made this cookie so delicious. I put the ginger in a small food processor with a half cup of the flour to make the pieces very small. Someone else had posted that idea, and it worked great.
Crystallized ginger can be found at stores like Whole Foods, and our larger Publix has it in the are where they sell bulk nuts and goods like that. So your grocery store might as well.
It's worth looking for it. These were perfect! Hope you have a little baking time this weekend, and the smell of happy gingerbread cookies in the air.
For a long time I have looked for some really old, but hopefully in good condition, antique ledger papers. In Blue. A kind friend had some her shop a couple of years ago, and I used the couple of sheets that I received from her. But the beauty of those gray blue pages stayed with me. And it remained elusive for a long time.
Recently I was fortunate to find a gorgeous ledger full of these stunning handwritten pages, and in perfect condition. But as usual, there is much more that I can use all by myself. So I have it listed in the newer shop.
Olivia Blue Vintage & Supplies on Etsy
The color is gorgeous. So subtle. And that handwriting! I thought I heard somewhere that they don't teach cursive writing in schools anymore??!! I can't image.
The tree is up. And the lights are almost on it. One string short again because one of the longest strands was half burned out. You know "they" do this on purpose. I don't mind being slow to get it done this year. I'm clearing out as I go along. Another trip to the GoodWill is in the immediate future. Anything out the door (of my own choosing) is a very good thing.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the Festival of Trees each year is the Gingerbread House Village. You begin to smell it long before you see it! I love the aroma.
Each year the work ranges from chefs at larger hotels and resorts to classes for school children.
Here is a little teaser until I can get back shortly with more pictures.
Sweet Daughter loves gingerbread, and has put in her hopeful request that I make some this year. Her Cody Puppy likes it, too. So you know I will be making some just for him. Glad he is not spoiled!Festival Of Trees. Gingerbread Village
I've always purchased things I needed for decorating and creating in larger quantities so I would have enough and because it is usually a better price. It's turned me into feeling like a pack rat. So it's destash time. I opened a new little Etsy shop for just that purpose. It takes time to list each items so it is slow setting up.
Last year I wanted to complete my vintage Nativity set and I bought a few pieces and sets to get mine done. When I was all done, I had another whole set, almost. It is missing the baby Jesus, but that figure is easy to find. It's a beauty if you know someone looking for a really pretty one.