Tuesday, November 18, 2014

German-Style Christmas Decor!

German-Style Christmas Family Room
Our time in Germany has been on my mind a lot since I wrote my son Geoff's Birthday Story about his birth in Bremerhaven.  Story is found here: Made in Germany!  Not too long after I wrote this post, I went to a high school fundraiser yard sale and found the most amazing thing!

Large Nativity Pyramid.
I couldn't believe my good fortune when I saw this huge Nativity Pyramid.  The lady who owned it said I could have it for $25.  I was floored...did she not know the value of a genuine Erzgebirge Pyramid?  Needless to say, I very guiltily and giddily handed over the money and we skedaddled off like crooks after a bank heist.  George was seriously doubting the authenticity of the piece, so I went online to my favorite source Nutcracker Company.  
Close up of Nativity figures.
The loft doors open to reveal angel musicians.
I learned that the piece is 22 inches in height, is no longer produced and sure to be a family heirloom for years to come.  Nutcracker Company was selling it for...$499.  This is marked down from $899.  When I read that I felt even more like I stole it...but not guilty enough to send an anonymous check.  This is when I decided it was time to display all my German keepsakes.

Pyramid in sofa table display.
I made the Advent wreath a couple of years ago.
The hedgehog dolls were made by the mother of Julie Campbell of A Vintage Chic.
Cuter than Steiff by far!!
March of the Mantel Nutcrackers.
Most are German...but which?

Faux Dresden Snowman I made a few weeks ago.
I've hung the others from garlands...not shown.

Tree Corner and Shelves filled with German Items I've Collected.
I still have a bunch of dolls, Christmas plates and other items I didn't put out.
Little house holds a tiny German village.
Found quirky hedgehog last week at an antique mall.

Shadow box holds my few remaining German ornaments from 1980.

Smoker Shelf
Close-up of little tree.
The straw angels were from a Swedish shop at Epcot.
Wooden German Engel/Angel
I found a dozen wooden German angels in a bag at Savers.  I think I paid $2 for the bag.  When I got home I looked them up on a Nutcracker web site to see if they were still being made.  I found them listed for $40 each!  Another luckiest of lucky finds!
Pinned it...and did it!

I have a board for things I have made or been inspired by on Pinterest.
My quicky version.
I had everything to stick in the yellow bowl...temporarily until the season ends.
I have finished decorating the family room, kitchen, and front entry.
I can't put the tree up in the living room until after Thanksgiving, but I will be glad to have a breather!
Can't wait to see what you all create this year!
Giant Pyramid at Dusseldorf Christmas Fair

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dollar Crafts...Dresden-style Christmas Ornaments!

We're Celebrating German-style This Year!

A couple of years ago I decorated my home office with German-style decorations.  I made tree ornaments and an advent wreath to go along with the cute painted wooden trees and houses I arranged along the top of one of my desks.  This year I am decorating my entire family room in a German theme.  And I will be using the same theme for my neighbor gifts.  It's kind of fun to change things up once in awhile.  I will post pictures of the finished room in a day or two, but first I want to share with you some German-style ornaments that I made for  about $1 each with gold glittered ornaments from Wal-Mart.

Dollar Dresden-style Ornaments!
Dresden Foil Embellishments

Dresden trims are embossed, die-cut embellishments which are stamped from metallic foil-backed paper.  They have been produced in Germany since the early 19th century, and were popular with Victorians to create wonderful ornaments using scrap images, tinsel and Dresden trims.  The trims and scrap are still available today from online sources like D. Blumchen and Company.  They can be kind of expensive, but I thought I could replicate the look somewhat using what I could find in my crafting supplies and using some 98 cent glittery ornaments from Wal-Mart.

A fun example of a Dresden ornament I found online.

Another online example.

I could find scrap graphics online to print for my ornaments, but I was lucky to have one of those William-Sonoma Christmas wreaths with the cardboard scrap figures of snowmen, angels, nutcrackers and Santas.  The picture is kind of small and blurry, but this is the wreath.  Each figure was attached separately to the background and really easy to remove.

Victorian Christmas Wreath

Dresden-style Ornaments...

Angels on a golden swirl ornament.
The bells are Dresden trim...my only pieces were a few bells.

Angel mounted on a glitter birdcage.
I liked it as a frame.
I added gold glitter to the scrap pieces.

My Favorite Snowman!
A jeweled snowflake.

I put the boy on the wreath trimmed with tinsel.

Tree mounted on the gold birdcage.

I have a few more finished pieces and some in the works.  This is a fun and inexpensive craft that looks rich and fancy.  I really enjoyed making these.  Wal-Mart has the glitter ornaments in red and silver...as well as the gold.

 Happy Scrapping and Glittering!

Some German-style Scrap...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kodak Moments...Sascha's Costume Parade!

Kodak Moments!

Neither boy wanted to be Tonto.

Every Halloween we attempt to line up our wriggling, impatient little ghosts and witches for a quick photo.  Back when film and developing was expensive we didn't have as many pictures of our children as we do in this digital Instagram...quickly post it on Facebook...world.  Since I have been working on family stories, I realized that I have very few pictures of my older children dressed for the costume parade and Trick or Treat...and none of me and my siblings.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time with a digital camera and recapture all my missed moments.

Cute Little Devils!

Digging through albums, boxes and computer photo files I discovered that the majority of my Halloween snapshots are of my youngest daughter Sascha.  She's had various interesting looks over the years...so I thought it would be kind of fun to put all her strange and unique costumes on my blog for her to see and maybe be embarrassed by.  These are mainly from her high school and college years. 

She called this look "Priestess of Cain."

Danged if I know...lol!

Sailor Moon...this is pretty recent!

Gomez Addams

Demented "Alice."  Not shown...bloody knife in White Rabbit.

Lol!  Still haunting the halls of Lone Peak High.

I miss those days when my children were young and holidays were a joyful madness.  They each had a "scathingly brilliant" costume idea that they forgot to tell me about until just before the big day.  Remember the scramble to find the right accessories the store has been out of for days?  It's amazing what the kids could come up with if you just told them "No, I will not stay up all night and sew your costume!"  Where was Martha Stewart and her brilliant no-sew last minute ideas?

I miss the class parties and costume parades.  Sadly schools are moving away from holiday celebrations and costumes have to be "politically correct."  At my granddaughter's middle school, they can't dress up in costume, but they can wear "tutus" over their jeans.  I bet there will be a lot of really creative little fluffy skirts on Halloween.  Will any boys be bold enough to join them?  We'll see.

Long live costume parades!

Have fun and take pictures!

A Few More Costumes
Weird Al...Halloween 2014
Sascha couldn't decide between Afro Al or Alanis Morrisette Al.

Devil Child
Note to self...do not glue devil horns on with rubber cement!

I have no memory of this!