Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Decorations: Bottlebrush Trees

I tell people that I have 37 trees in my house for Christmas, and it's true.

Most of my trees, however, are bottlebrush trees. I LOVE how many ways there are to use them, and place mine in various vignettes about the house.

Near the front door, I crocheted a a pool noodle and tucked a few bleached trees into it along with a pretty wooden church ornament for a simple "White Christmas" wreath.

Atop the sewing machine under the wreath, is this tiny display - with a paper church, and tiny lanterns. 
 In the dining room, I tucked several more bottlebrush trees into some cotton batting, and added several wintry animals for a natural look. My husbands antique car nestled nicely into a nest of feather boa, with one more bottlebrush tree tied to the roof for just a touch of whimsy.

This year has been particularly difficult. I have been saying that I'm ready for next year to begin because it MUST be better. However, I am choosing to live the rest of my winter by this quote by Anne Bradstreet:

If we had no winter,
the spring would not be 
so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes
taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
 May all our winters lead to pleasant springs.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Decorations: Two Beautiful Nativity Scenes

I love nativity scenes. I love the simplicity of wooden-block ones just as much as the complexity of a full 300-piece Fontanini set. I also LOVE the creative ways people find to display theirs. Our house may be small and our storage-space limited, but I have two complete nativity sets.

Near our front door, visible from nearly the entire living area, is my Willow Tree nativity. I love the way the Willow Tree figurines speak to my heart -with their simplicity and subtlety.

The candle and aspen shavings were inspired by THIS beautiful scene. I wanted to add a warm backdrop, but after MONTHS of searching I still hadn't found anything that felt right. As I put everything onto the shelf last night, inspiration hit and I placed an embroidery hoop with warm brown fleece inside and everything fell into place beautifully. I LOVE how it silhouettes Jesus, Mary, and Joseph without taking away from the simplicity.

Our other nativity is a tiny porcelain set. I picked this up initially to place inside my giant lantern, but they looked so small and delicate that they just didn't fit well there.

After some fussing, I came up with a display I feel good about. Mary and Joseph are resting on a doily crocheted by my grandmother, and the Bible is my husbands' Great-Grandmother's Norwegian Bible, opened to the second chapter of Luke.

I will be sharing more of our decorations over the next few days, but I wanted to begin sharing with two of my newest and favorite pieces - those that tell the TRUE meaning of Christ-mas.