Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in the Country

Ahhhhh....I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas.... Ben and I went home to my parent's house in upstate New York to join my family for a nice, relaxing and informal celebration. We ate lots of food, laughed, talked and exchanged gifts. The few days we were there were all balmy and warm. It didn't deter the already fallen snow though! There was so much of it that it would take at least a full week of warm weather before we really started to see the ground.

My parent's house (the house I grew up in) in almost 300 years old! It's had many modifications since it's erection in the 1700's, but it still has that old country charm with exposed beam ceilings, centuries old molding and uneven floors. My brother and I knew every creaky step in that old place. My younger sister's now do too. The big red barn is almost as old as the house and almost completely original. Many exhilarating hours were spent playing pretend among the hay bales!

Well...this post is sort of like a tour. We took a nice long walk through part of the property (the day was too perfect not to take advantage!). And we started at the house:
This is the view from the windows on the one side of the house. Rolling fields framed by pastures, streams and forest. This is where we took our walk.

One year the stream got so flooded it ran right over the driveway! My dad and I ran out to swim in the crazy waters, but once I saw all of the ants and other bugs hanging onto the tops of the talls grasses above the water for dear life, I couldn't help but save as many as I could!

My brother is spreading manure on the fields. A very old and environmentally friendly practice of fertilizing the crops. Hmmm...the smell was

This old girl was sitting at the edge of one field. It looked like a reck but my dad swears it still runs.

Here are the gas and break petals. Yes, that is moss growing underneath and even on one of the petals. There were other plants growing inside of it too! With no glass in the window frames, the inside of the cab was completely exposed to the elements. I remember my Dad digging ditches with this thing when I was kid!

Then we hiked up a small hill on one side of the property. Ben wouldn't move from my frame. :) You can see the house and barn in the background. We could also see several layers of light blue mountains way in the back. Some of them were as far away as Vermont! Unfortunately the camera couldn't capture what our eyes could see.
This was Suzi after we climbed the hill (did I mention it was a small hill?)

We did some sledding on the way back. My dad holds a sled while wearing his church clothes... ;)
Ben victoriously makes it down the hill.

Back at the house I stopped to chat with the heifers. An entire pasture and they always choose to hang out in the muddy spots!
These girls are wearing their fuzzy winter coats...cozy! It was the perfect weather for cows (they like it around 40 degrees)...not too warm and not too cold!

Finally my parents bid us adieu.... but not without a parting gift! A dozen and a half fresh eggs from the chicken coop. Last spring they got 12 aracana hens and they've just started laying within the past few months. Aren't the blue, green and pink eggs just darling?! My dad told me that they're for eating but I might have to dry out just a few! :)

I hope you all had a very Merry holiday and a peaceful New Year. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas all! I am currently at my parent's house in upstate New York. I'll be sleeping in my sister's trundle bed tonight and Ben will on the couch downstairs while Santa fills the stockings.

In the mean time I am finally posting some photos of my holiday decor! :) There's alot to look at, so grab a Christmas cookie or two and enjoy!

The blue house above was made by Janie....isn't it the perfect color blue?? And it's large too! I just love it! The reindeer was a birthday gift from my Mom, bought at Schuyler Pond in Saratoga. I think it's a mass produced Cody Foster really goes will with this little vignette!

This is part of my dining room nook, while the mini putz village lies.

My china cabinet proves to be the perfect place to display some of my favorite holiday pieces.

The dining room table holds a simple display of green trees on a white cake pedestal (another Christmas gift from mom and few years back). A single needle felted squirrel ornament hangs from the branches of the largest tree (made by mom).

I got this vintage snowman in a bag of old junk during the summer...he's right at home in the trees!

Another peek at the putz village nestled among the ironstone and milkglass...

Here's a close-up of my Christmas tree...filled to the max with mostly vintage ornaments. A few years ago before I really started my collection, there were a few pieces that I saw on ebay for $$$ and really wanted. Instead of indulging, I printed the photos of them and mounted them on cardboard. I cut them out and added glitter and and hung the on the tree! So silly, but I still hang them up! :) There's one in the photo...can you guess which one it is??

Here's a Cody Foster house that my Mom got me last year...I love the fact that it looks like a blizzard just hit! To the left is a small incense house. I got it when I went to Germany a few years ago. The top lifts off and you put incense inside and smoke comes out the cute!

Here are some photos from the weekend. My sister Sara (the blonde) and her friend Emma stayed with us for a few days. We venture out in the snow drifts to check out some museums, restuarants and even a comedy club.

A stack of gifts along with a few repro houses I bought for almost nothing at TJ of the few big retail purchases I'll make this year...

Emma, Sara and Ben conquer the cold in Cambridge....brrrrr....

Ben just had to stop a take a photo of this pretty tree in our neighborhood.

And lastly is the shirt I painted for Dad this year! Every year I do a different one for him. I started the tradition when I was a teenager!! I hope he likes it! :)

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm off to bed so Santa can come and leave some goodies!! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Boxes of Goodies!!

Today I wanted to show you my Christmas decor, but I didn't get to take photos last night, so instead I'll show you some photos I took right after I took my delicate decorations out of the two giant trunks they call home 11 months out of the year. :)

This first photo shows some vintage foil bells from Japan that I picked on an upstate New York antiquing outing with my mom a couple of years ago, along with some Victorian era tinsel ornaments and tree topper.

Who can resist a box chock full of bottle brush trees?! Some of these are vintage and some are new. I think next year I'm going to take some of the newer ones and dye them pink and turquoise and add mica flakes and antique glass beads for some added color. :)

Last year we had a party around Christmas time and someone brought a box of beer. I don't drink but I didn't hesitate to snatch up the box and use it's little compartments to store my glass bead garland and small delicate glass ornaments. All vintage and antique! And couldn't help but smile when I opened this box up this year.

Hopefully tonight I'll be able to snap some photos of the tree, the top of my china cabinet and my dining room nook, among other places, to show you the displays that I'm so proud of! Check back in tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Completely MIA for a reason... :)

Wow! I can't believe it's been since November since I've updated you guys on the goings on around here! But trust me...there's a reason... A pretty, whimsical, glittery, and EXHAUSTING reason!

This is pretty much my first year doing shows...earlier this year I did some rather small ones here and there just to get a feel for it, but this holiday season I decided to dive in fully clothed, so to speak. Back in August I applied to two major juried Boston shows and signed up for what I thought was a small show (not too small afterall...I sold 65% of my wares there!). I got into both major shows (yay!) and decided to do them both (what the heck...right?). Well, three shows in two weekends was a major haul! Not to mention that I got a late start on my Christmas goodies because I couldn't stop making Halloween figures in October (silly me). But I've been working and working and working all November and into December. As you can see from the photos, I made quite a few cuties for the shows! I did some doubles of my favorite pieces, but most pieces were one of a kind.

Soooo...I've got a few more custom orders to finish up today and tomorrow and then it's a nice long break for me! I did some decorating just after Thanksgiving but I still haven't put up my tree! :( Hopefully I'll be able to do that tomorrow. My little sister and her friend are coming into Boston from New York to visit this weekend (they're 16 and 17 and alot of fun!). Then they'll drive back to New York on Christmas Eve with Ben and I. I've got a bunch of fun things planned out and I can't wait to kick back and take it easy for a while! :)

This is my dining room table (that I desperately want to paint white), filled with bat girls and santa's and snow girls and boys and animals...

This is my booth at the Bazaar Bizarre, my second show. I didn't even get to snaps photos of my booth at the first show because it was so busy! (A very good thing of course!)

Close up of acrobatic vixens, a panda and a juggler (I finished them up at the last minute the night before the show).

I also had a few of my mom's needle felted baby angels. They got alot of attention!

I still have some of these larger pieces, drop me a line if you're interested! :)

This is my booth for is weekend long SOWA Holiday Market in the South End. So many nice people!!

A closeup of the wares.

I had a lot of fun at the shows and it was really nice to see so many people picking and choosing gifts for their loved ones (and themselves!). I can't wait to do it again next year!