Let your soul stand ajar, always ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. ~ Emily Dickinson

Sunday, December 25, 2011

~MERRY CHRISTMAS~



A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. - Luke 2:11  The Message

Wishing all of you a Most Wonderful Christmas!!  May it be filled with Peace, Hope and above all....Love!!

Christmas Blessings~~

Julie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

*Christmas Ornaments - Old & New*


My tree has lots of ornaments that I have collected over the years….many of them handmade, and I would like to share a few with you!


A primitive Santa I made using a Sweetpeas Primitives pattern! Love his expression!!


A small snowman, all hand stitched, from batting and red wool! I made so many of these, but only have one left!!


A primitive pear I made using a Walnut Ridge Primitives pattern! I added the little piece of linen and hand stitched the date to add an extra primitive touch!


A snowball head ornament, with a pine crown, a pod nose and allspice eyes and mouth!


Gingerbread man with his banner and candy canes from a wonderful pattern by Jackie Schmidt! He also carries some sweet annie, which I am now EXTREMELY allergic to!! So sad, as I really did love the smell! Jeff has to hang this one or I start a sneezing sonata!!!


Perhaps the oldest one on the tree was made by a little boy in the 3rd grade! He painted it a bright yellow, with little lines of glitter to mimic a real light bulb! That little boy happens to be my husband Jeff, and he still can’t believe he has had it this long…..he said it turned 50 this year, and it is hung among all the other handmade ornaments that decorate our simple tree, adding to the other ornaments and memories that go along with each one!

This year I have 3 new ornaments to add to my handmade collection, and two of them are from my good friend Lori of Homespun prims! When I saw these, I just knew I wanted to order them and am so very happy I was able to!


The first one is a sweet lady she made from an old cookie cutter!! I just love her face and her tiny little homespun apron, don’t you?? She is simply perfect and hangs on my little feather tree!


The second one is also patterned after an old cookie cutter, a horse, and is just wonderful!! I love how she hand stitched the date on the front of him, and he also hangs on the feather tree! I think they really seem more special that way and really fit well with my display of old cookie cutters too!!


My last new ornament is an angel that I made using a Schneeman pattern! I just love this little doll and decided she would be perfect as an angel with her own set of wings and a bell at her waist!! After all, "every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings."


It is hard to believe that there are only a few more days left till we will be celebrating this most wonderful and Blessed time of year, and I hope all of you have your trees trimmed with ornaments, old and new, your stockings hung, and a hope and prayer in your hearts as we join in this beloved carol….

HARK THE HAROLD ANGELS SING, GLORY TO THE NEW BORN KING!!


With HOPE and JOY~~


Julie



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

~ MY RED PLATE ~



Many years ago, I was gifted with a beautiful red plate and it has become one of my most cherished possessions! Over the years it has been used for many special occasions in our family and the memories connected to it are priceless! What makes it even more precious is that the giver of this gift passed away, and yet each time I look at it, I am reminded of her love and generous spirit, and that makes the sentiment on the plate, “YOU ARE SPECIAL TODAY,” that much more meaningful!

This year I have decided to use this plate as part of my Christmas Decorating, and have given it a place of honor in the kitchen, right over my stove, where I will be spending LOTS of time baking!


It will be a constant reminder to think of all those special people in my life that mean so much, not just at Christmas time but each and every day!!

Along with the red plate, I have added several other items that rest on my noodle board . One is a Plum Pudding, that I made several years ago using a wonderful pattern by my sweet friend Sharon Mitchell of HOMESPUN HEART PRIMITIVES! Sharon is not only a talented artist, but a wonderful encourager and I thank her for her influence in my life! The pudding nestles in an old wooden bowl, and I think it looks good enough to rival Mrs. Cratchet‘s!


On the other side of the noodle board is a group of 3 primitive gingerbread men I made several years ago, using a great pattern by my friend Catherine Simpson of ANGEL AND THE CROW! They are nestled together in an old tin cake pan, with an old chopper, old cookie cutter and an old grater!! The lamp behind them is one that I won in a Giveaway from THE PRIMITVE HEART and I love the glow of the light from the pierced tin shade!


Also sharing the noodle board is another design by Catherine Simpson, a primitive snowman, made especially for me by Catherine! He is surrounded by some old biscuit cutters, a heavy iron heart mold, an old tin tea container and an old grater, with the red plate right above him, so I’m sure he does feel special indeed!!


I finally finished up my Christmas Decorating and with the help of my SPECIAL husband Jeff, you can see it on my picture trail, if you have a spare minute or two during this very busy time of year! Perhaps you will be inspired and if you have a moment, I would love to hear from you!






Christmas Decorating 2011

May you be filled with Peace, Hope and Love during this Blessed Season and my wish for you is that you would remember….

YOU ARE SPECIAL TODAY!!

Julie




Thursday, December 1, 2011

A FROSTY MORNING



The view that greeted me this morning as I opened my curtains was one of stark beauty and amazing contrast…..frosted grasses and trees with sunshine breaking through, creating a sparkling pasture!


Then, in just a matter of minutes, a thick mist descended and blanketed everything with a dense mantle of fog! It is indeed December 1st, and winter is making it’s appearance here in the Pacific Northwest! That means that Christmas is not too far away!! The countdown begins!!!

With thoughts of Christmas, come thoughts of SANTA, and as you can see by my new header, (with special thanks to my husband Jeff) I have several new ones I have created! They were actually started last year but were never able to be finished due to an unexpected trip. I even have one more waiting to be completed, but am happy I got two of them done, even if it did take me a whole year!! I guess the old saying fits appropriately here, “SLOW, BUT SURE!” Hopefully the last one will not take me a whole year to complete!!

The Santas are made with the same pattern by Hidden in the Attic, a favorite of mine, but I did try to make each one unique, starting with the robes!



The brown fabric is a brushed flannel and shows a bit lighter in the picture due to the flash! Both Santas stand about 19” tall and are weighted with sand, so they stand very well on their own! The red fabric is also a brushed flannel, and is also darker in person.


I found 2 wonderful vintage bottle brush trees during one of my “treasure hunts” and thought they would be perfect for each Santa to hold! I just wish I could have found one more for the last Santa, but have another idea for him!

I also used some really thick store twine for his rope tie and old skeleton keys, with handmade tags and a rusty bell so he can “jingle all the way!”


The beards, also a bit different, are real sheep’s wool, and the eyes are also a bit different, making each one unique. They will be added to my Picture Trail soon, so keep checking back! This is a very busy time for my online professor husband who also happens to be my Picture Trail, blog, computer guru, so I have to be patient! He has a MASSIVE AMOUNT of papers to post and grade and very kindly and graciously helps me when he can!! I could not do it without him!!!

I am so happy to welcome all of you new followers to my humble little blog, and love nothing better than reading your comments, so just know how much it warms my heart to see and hear about your interest!! With all of the MANY WONDERFUL BLOGS out there, I am honored that you chose to stop by!! It may seem like a little thing, but believe me, EACH AND EVERY COMMENT AND VISIT IS VALUED!! Many, many thanks!!!

 

Oh, and remember the frost I mentioned in the beginning of this post? Well, it is mostly gone, but the fog is STILL HERE!! I am STILL hoping the sun will break through!! Till then……

Wishing you a day filled with
warmth from the heart~~

Julie


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

~ THANKSGIVING WISHES ~



Gratitude is the music of the heart, when the chords are swept by the breeze of kindness.
 ~ Author Unknown

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving, filled with the melody of many blessings!


With a Thankful Heart~~


Julie



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

~ AN OPEN HOUSE ~


Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin?

In the lane, snow is glistenin,

A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight,

Walkin in a winter wonderland!

A winter wonderland did indeed greet all the eager shoppers who came out to attend the Open House at New England Saltbox, the shop where I work, located in Sumner, WA, and owned by Marlene Grantham. Several days before the event, I was able to snap some photos and wanted to share them with you! I hope you enjoy the tour!



This is what greets you as you step through the doors…Santa and some special toys!



The sleigh is stunning, a new piece all the way from PA! Isn’t the blue paint wonderful!!



Here is the front of the sleigh with a festive sign!



Two reproduction Santa candy containers on a hand painted box!



A fabulous Arnett Santa and some great Santa boards and tins with lighted grapevine tree!



A group of happy snowmen, all ready for SNOW!!!



Another view with a super large snowman, looking for the first flakes to fall!



Two beautiful hand made dolls with an old sled (it has Rosebud painted on the front) and a lovely vintage red and white quilt.



A grouping at the counter, to welcome our shoppers!


My handmade angel hanging on a cupboard filled with Redware!



Mr. Nutcracker is standing at attention outside the pantry!!



A beautiful table filled with ……RED, the color of Christmas! LOVE the polka dots!!



A tree filled with shoe ornaments in our Boutique!



Our wonderful purse and scarf line from SPARTINA!



Lovely red hats, scarves, and purses…..what woman doesn’t need one of each??



A view of the Yelloware room, filled with all things Harvest!


 

Turkeys and pumpkins and pilgrims, oh my!



Notice the large sled on the table, also from PA! It is just incredible!!



A wonderful antique cupboard, filled with harvest items!



A fantastic triple shelf glass display case! Notice the old sheet music lining the bottom!



A selection of great books and magazines!



Something for your sweet tooth! Candy bars, cookies, cider mix and taffy!



Fabulous candles to tantalize the senses!

Believe it or not, this is just a small sampling of what you will find when you come for a visit! I wish I could have taken more pictures but my camera ran out of space, so I will have to try to post more at a later date! The shop also has a wonderful antique mall and a decorating room, complete with fabric samples for the furniture we sell! There is just too much to mention, so please be sure to stop by and visit New England Saltbox HERE.
 Marlene would love to hear from you if you happened to see something that caught your eye!

 
Our Open House was a huge success and we certainly had a large crowd of happy visitors who left with smiles on their faces! I hope these pictures also do that for you, and fill you with anticipation and excitement for the upcoming holidays! I also would like to thank all of you who have just recently started following my blog….it is such a pleasure to welcome you! Thank you to all of you who also continue to follow and leave such encouraging comments….what a blessing you are!!

 
Wishing you WONDER, MAGIC and sounds of SLEIGH BELLS~~

Julie