Monday, December 15, 2008

An Invitation to a Christmas Celebration, Come Join The Fun....

WELCOME! I am so glad you could join me today for A Pretty Little Christmas Blog Party being hosted by Heather of Pretty Petals. Heather's invitation is to post on whatever makes your heart sing about your holiday celebration...from how you decorated your tree or a space in your home, a special something you made for the holidays, a pretty gift wrapped package for someone special, or even the beautiful snow outside...how you are having A Pretty Little Christmas! There are so many beautiful things for us to appreciate this time of year, it will be nice for us to take the day and enjoy them. There are many beautiful links for you to visit, just click on the highlighted "A Pretty Little Christmas Blog Party" link above and enjoy all the pretty ways Christmas is being celebrated! (click on any photos for detail viewing)

Also, Southern Hospitality is hosting Deck the Halls 2008 today too! Hop on over to visit Rhoda and all the lovely links! Just click on the "Deck the Halls 2008" highlight above to visit or to join in the fun!

This year my goal was to bring a fresh sense of togetherness to our family through vintage traditions and timeless decor. While making the most of decking the halls, trimming the tree, baking cookies, and wrapping the presents, I wanted a way to keep my focus on what this season of celebration is really all about ~ the birth of Christ. So come with me to share in some of our beloved old-fashioned holiday traditions as we celebrate the cherished season of Christmastide.
This year I chose a room in our home to honor the true meaning of Christmas, our living room. It is here that we gather each evening as a family. This is the room one must pass through to get to all other rooms and I wanted it to be filled with the spirit of Christmas. On the antique farm table in front of the sofa rests our Advent Wreath.Above the sofa is the first decoration we put out each year, our Nativity scene all nestled in boughs of green with soft white twinkling lights and a few pine cones tucked in here and there.The mantle is draped with garland and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas will soon be there!A small vignette rests on a narrow table near the hall.And the centerpiece of it all is the table top Nativity tree I created this year. I challenged myself to do this area without spending any money and by using only supplies I had on hand. This little tree usually lives outside during the holidays but I brought it in and placed it on a table that I draped with a heavy fabric. I had to do some creative folding, tucking, and pinning to get it to look like a custom table cover. More fabric was puddled under the iron tree stand. The table trim and fabrics are for sewing projects I have planned for after the holidays.

I handmade almost all the ornaments. There are paper stars with vintage Nativity scenes in the center of each, decked out with vintage buttons, trims, and tassels. (Paper Star Tutorial)
Glittery paper ornament snowflakes grace the tree with vintage button centers and angels. (Glittery Paper Ornament Tutorial)Tiny sparkling banners with messages of "REJOICE" inscribed upon them remind us to be joyful for we have much to be thankful for.Buttoncicles glisten from the branch tips.Here is how to make your own:
MATERIALS:
*Gold Wire
*Wire Cutters
*Small Clear Beads~1 per buttoncicle
*Pearl Beads~5 per buttoncicle
*Buttons~ 4 per buttoncicle in graduated sizes
*Large Gold Decorative Bead~1 per buttoncicle

INSTRUCTIONS:
*Cut a 10" piece of wire and sting on small clear bead onto wire, centering on wire, bend ends upwards. Refer to photos for placement if needed.
*Thread wire ends through small button holes.

*Thread both wire ends through a pearl bead.

*Add another button.

*Add two pearl beads.

*Add another button.

*Add two pearl beads.

*Top with largest button.

*Add large decorative bead adding a dab of clear drying glue between bead and button to secure. Twist wire ends and form into a hook and hang on tree. Gluing is not necessary if you want to reuse your supplies.
For garland I used some gold plastic beads that came in a package of items I previously picked up at a flea market for 75 cents. I also added a shabby chic vintage button and crochet lace garland. I sifted through my stash of vintage trims and pulled out pieces of lace. I overlapped the ends of the lace and placed a large shell button over the joint. Using a small snip of gold wire, I secured the button to the lace, locking the ends together by threading the button onto the wire, through the lace, and giving it a gentle twist on the back side. I can easily take it apart after the holiday.

White twinkle lights and large golden pears, also previously found in a flea market, round out the tree which is topped by a tarnished glittered star, which is an old ornament that I glued a ribbon to the back to tie it to the tree top.
I love the way it turned out! There is no way I can't keep Christmas in my heart with all these festive reminders!

The main family memory tree rests in the entry all aglow with colored lights and equally colorful ornaments, each of which has a special story attached.
We can still enjoy it from the living room as it plays peek~a~boo through the candle screen. It warmed my heart to watch Darling Daughter and The Young Man Who Comes To Call On Her as they decorated the tree together. She related the tale of each ornament to him as is our family tradition. It's newest addition is a Nativity Tree Topping Star! In the guest bathroom angels are heralding in the new born King! A folk art angel I painted ages ago graces the center of the scene with a couple of smaller brass angels flanking a framed vintage Christmas card. The brass angels are ornaments that came in that same 75 cent grab bag. I twisted gold metallic pipe stems around a bamboo skewer and hot glued them to the top of the skewer. I used to small glass votive holders filled with floral foam to anchor them, covering the pots with the garland. Gold glass ornaments (one even depicts the wise men seeking the Savior), ribbons, a tassel, and a Charlotte Lyons inspired star and trees sparkle and shine!Glistening branches line up on the farm table in the dining nook awaiting being the stars of a wintry silver and white table setting. The "trunks" are hand blown etched frosted taper candle holders that I got on clearance at Target a couple of years ago. I softened some museum wax and placed it in the candle holder. I sprayed some small branches with white spray paint, sprinkling with a chunky white glitter while still wet. I misted on spray glue and used a finer glitter to cover the branches, securing them in the holders by pushing them down in the wax. I'll post the full table scape later this week or early next week.

Lastly is a little peek at Christmas in the kitchen. This is where traditional Christmas colors reign, red and green galore. Here is where Santa lives and Christmas kitchen magic is made with concoctions of candy, cookies, and cakes!
Here are a few sneak peeks, I plan on posting more on this room decor later this week and something fun will make its way in to the Give Away on Thursday, so come back to see!
I have ended out tour in the kitchen which to me is the coziest room in the house because it is where I feed and nourish my family. At the heart of the kitchen where I spend countless hours, there is also a reminder of the manger resting on my kitchen window sill.I am reminded that Christmas is a birthday party for the King. As long as we are celebrating, why not partake in some Birthday cake? This is a family favorite and a fun tradition, making Scripture Cake. Scripture Cake is a delicious confection made only from ingredients mentioned in the Bible. One must decipher the mysterious ingredients, but Miss Sandy will help you out! My son and daughter loved doing this and would have a race looking up the Scripture and shout out the ingredients.

SCRIPTURE CAKE

1 Cup Psalms 55:21 (2 Sticks Butter)
1 Cup Jeremiah 6:20 (Sugar)
3 Jeremiah 17:11 (Eggs)
1 Tablespoon 1 Samuel 14:25 (Honey)
1/2 Cup Judges 4:19 (Milk)
2 1/4 Cups Leviticus 6:15 (Flour)
1 Tablespoon Amos 4:5 (Baking Powder)
2 teaspoons II Chronicles 9:9 (Spice Mixture: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg)
A pinch of Leviticus 2:13 (Salt)
1 1/2 Cups 1 Samuel 30:12 (Raisins)
1 Cup Numbers 13:23 (Chopped Figs)
1/2 Cup Numbers 17:8 (Chopped Almonds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pa.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with a mixer until light, beating in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Stir in honey and milk.

Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Gradually add the dry ingredients tot he butter mixture, blending until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the raisins, figs, and almonds.

Turn mixture in baking pan. bake for 50 minutes.

This spicy savory holiday confection is sure to become a holiday favorite in your home too!

Thank you so very much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed your visit and viewing all the pretty little things that are making Christmastide special in our home. May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas this year!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy


49 comments:

Julieann said...

OHHH, Everything is just gorgeous!!!!

Julieann

Lori said...

Miss Sandy, thanks for sharing your pretty little Christmas!!! everything looks just beautiful...the things i like the very best are the ornaments you made with your very own talented hands:)

LW said...

Absolutely beautiful,
In both look and idea……

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Louise

The Feathered Nest said...

Dear Sandy, your home is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Each and every little thing reflects your sweet touch....what a cozy, Christmas home ~ I love the tutorial too!!! I may have to try those sweeties! Wishing you a wonderful week dear friend,
xxoo, Dawn

Susie said...

Hi Sandy, I left an award for you on my blog. Don't feel like you have to participate I just wanted you to know much I like your blog and friendship.

Susie said...

Oh my goodness I don't even know where to begin so I'll just say gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! Sandy I think someone needs to call Southern Living out to your home. Thanks for letting us all see the beauty!

Wanita said...

Your home looks lovely! Thank you for sharing the instructions for buttoncicles. They are adorable!

Blessings,
Wanita

Katie said...

Hi Sandy...Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today...Your home looks so elegant and beautiful...Happy Holidays...Katie

Elizabeth G. said...

SAndy -

First of all, I must thank you for the wonderful, handmade snowman ornament you sent me. I got it today and instantly fell in love with it. It is adorable. Thank you ever so much!! I have shown it on my blog.

Also, you took such time and effort show us all the beautiful Christmas decorations in your home. They are so beautiful and creative. I hope you don't mind if I copy a little. I just love everything.

I hope that you are having a wonderful season!

Stop by and read stories and recipes throughout the month.

God bless and THANKS again!!!

Elizabeth

Leah C said...

All your decorations are so pretty! And I really like the "buttoncicles"...thanks for sharing:)

Gail said...

It's all so exquisite, and I love your use of the Nativity, reminds me I need to bring mine out too!
Thanks, and Merry Christmas1
Gail

Sophie Rose Designs said...

Everything is so gorgeous!!! Such beautiful rich colors! I love your trees and pretty vignettes, too! Your handmade ornaments are wonderful!
I hope you have a very happy Christmas! :)

xo
Dara

Sophie Rose Designs said...

Everything is so gorgeous!!! Such beautiful rich colors! I love your trees and pretty vignettes, too! Your handmade ornaments are wonderful!
I hope you have a very happy Christmas! :)

xo
Dara

She'sSewPretty said...

I've so enjoyed my visit here! Thank you so much for sharing your home and your decorations. I am going to make me some of those buttoncicles! How cute!

Efrat Dalton said...

Oh... Miss Sandy,
You are truly celebrating Christmas from your heart. You can see and feel the joy in every room of your house. Thank you for stopping by my blog it was nice to get to know you.
Merry Christmas from Israel.
Efrat

dollybelle said...

HI Miss sandy!
What an old fashioned and beautiful Christmas you have created! I love the button handmade goodies!
Sweetest blessings!
xoxo
Dollybelle

Scrappy Jessi said...

heyt,
sweets,
your holiday home is gorgeous!!!
i love all the gold.
beautiful

happy holidays!!

oxoxox,
jessi

The Whispering Poppies said...

What a stunningly beautiful home you have, Miss Sandy! All those trees are gorgeous, and the ornaments are BEAUTIFUL! I love your advent wreath, too!

I'm glad you found me... I'm still recreating my blogroll (you're going back on there as soon as I type this)! Silly but sad story why I had to close the other blog down, but it was for the best... I like my new digs after all! =) Christmas hugs to you!

Fete et Fleur said...

Sandy I never leave your blog hungry. In spirit I am always made full here. From the beautiful Christmas decorations to the ornament tutorial, and the lovely scripture cake recipe. I love them all. Thank you!

Merry Christmas!
Nancy

Jeanne said...

Your home looks wonderful! I love the button icicles too. Thanks for showing us how to make them.
Marry Christmas!
xo
jeanne

Living Life with a Joyful Heart said...

Miss Sandy, Your home looks wonderful and Ilove the buttoncles,I think I will make them for christmas gifts they are beautiful.I will be making your cake to take to my BFF and her family, we trade deserts every week.
Have a Blessed Day
Mary

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh my friend how I would love to spend the day just crafting with you. The buttoncicles are adorable but I truly love the nativity stars.
My last final is tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers. :)

*SHeRRy B* said...

Wow! Everything is sooooo beautiful and heartfelt. What a delight! Thank you for including the tutorials!

~Becca~Bluebird Rose said...

Lovely decor with lots of meaning!
Wherever did you get that fabulous Christmas-y valance in your kitchen?
Merry Christmas!!
:)
~Becca~

Cindy Is Crafty said...

Lovely, Miss Sandy!

Sweet Remembrance said...

Oh my...
Your decor is wonderful!
Thank you for sharing &
Happy Holidays...
Priscilla

Sheila R said...

Your house is lovely. Love the buttoncycles tutorial! Have a very Merry Christmas.

Susie Vasquez said...

Wow! You are very talented your decorations are simply sooooo..so beautiful. Thanks for the tutorials.
Xoxo Susie Happy Holidays

Pinkie Denise said...

Merry Christmas Miss Sandy,
Everything is so beautiful as usual.
I am going to try a couple of your tutorial too. So pretty I can't wait Pinkie

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

What a beautiful home and decorations perfect in every way!! i adore the button icicles (? spelling) thanks for the how to....so clever!
Every room looks so warm and welcoming, thanks you for inviting us in!
Kiss Noises Linda Lilly Cottage.

Brenda@Spareminute cottage said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.I loved everything in your home.It is nice that the nativity is the most important thing is you home.It is first thing I put out also.
Merry Christmas
Brenda

Kay said...

Sandy,
Your home is so warm and beautiful. I am amazed by your collection of handmade ornaments...they are lovely. My visit has left me inspired both artistically and spiritually. Thank you for the buttoncicle tutorial...definitely going to try it.
Peace and Joy
Kay Flynn-The Wrought Iron Gate

Zita- Mlle Magpie said...

Beautiful Christmas decorations. I especially love your buttoncicles - what a fantastic idea!

Denise K. said...

Your home is absolutely stunning! I just LOVE all your Christmas decor and how you have created such an inviting and lovely space!!!! I have a recipe for Scripture Cake but never had a chance to make it..thanks for including it, you've motivated me! :-)

The White Bench said...

WOW!! All is wonderful over here! Thank you for sharing these beauties with us!
And thank you for your lovely comment on my blog!

Merry Christmas,

Monica.

Jayme said...

I love your glowing, golden decor. So elegant and warm! Your tutorial looks fun - I'm going to try making one today. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Merry Christmas!

Kay said...

I'm sorry Sandy...I had to leave another comment. I was guided to your blog (today was my first visit) by the sweet comment you left me at yesterday's blog party. I have spent the entire morning devouring everything in your archive. Your are an amazing artist and your inner beauty illuminates your work and your words. I'm a fan.
Kay Flynn-The Wrought Iron Gate

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Ohhh, Miss Sandy, I want to visit your house for real! Thank you so much for sharing your home, your crafts, your ideas, and the Scripture Cake with us. Just lovely!

(I really liked the image of your daughter and her bf decorating the tree together. She must have done a wonderful job explaining the traditions.)

Jorgelina said...

Absolutely beautiful!!!

Shabby Cottage Collectibles said...

Thanks for stopping by my "Shabby Cottage". Love you blog and the musicis so peaceful! Happy Holidays, Esther

Kelly said...

Hi Miss Sandy!
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I think I am going to keep a couple of those sleighs for myself... All your decorations are so beautiful. And I love the bead ornament idea!

marmee said...

wow you have so many decorations and they are all beautiful. it looks like you really love this season, me too. merry christmas!

LiLi M. said...

You really have a Christmas home. It gives me such a cosy warm Christmas feeling. Thanks for the tutorials too!

Rosanna said...

Dear Miss Sandy,
Everything is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much with us, you are truly an inspiration.

God bless you and Merry Christmas
Rosanna

Catherine Holman said...

Looking very festive at your house! Very cozy and warm!
Blessings,
Cathie

Marilyn said...

Your living room is gorgeous. I love all of the ornaments you made. Thanks for tutorials, especially the buttoncicles--so adorable!
Happy holidays to you:)

Shopgirl said...

Your home a delight to the heart of Christmas. I want to thank you for sharing how you made the button cicles...they are adorable.
I might try to make one.
Merry Christmas, Mary

cathymichaelsdesign said...

Love your two tier mantle and the vases with twigs!!! Terrific idea
PS Thanks for visiting my blog during Pretty Little Christmas party
Cathy

vikki said...

very beautiful home! so warm & cozy with all the lovelies! love the hand*dids! thanx for sharing the buttoncicles! love buttons & may have to make some. such a warm & sharing spirit ~ we appreciate you & seeing all the pretties! hugs & blessings, vikki ♥

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