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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gifts of the Heart~ Oh Tannenbaum

I have the tutorials for “Gifts to Make” 6, 7 and 8 almost finished. But they require a bit of spray paint and it has been raining in Phoenix for the past two days.

I like the rain. It reminds me of the Christmases I experienced as a child in Northern California.

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My mom would load up six kids in our white Dodge Dart and drive us to the Walton Volunteer Fire Department tree lot. As the littlest I would ride on someone’s lamp. (No seatbelt? The horror!) After we picked out a truly perfect specimen it  would be strapped down to the roof of the car. Driving home everyone would roll down their windows so that the smell of pine could envelope us. 

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Once home my brothers would steady the trunk in a old metal stand. Bing Crosby would croon carols and cocoa would be made. We did not have much money, although I didn’t know it at the time. The majority of our ornaments were handcrafted by our family. It is a tradition that I continue to this day.

A blogland favorite was the “When You Wish Upon A Star” ornament that continues to make the rounds after its initial debut two years ago. The tutorial can be found HERE.

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Or the super easy “Cute As A Button” glass ornament. Directions can be found HERE.

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I really like this years creation of the Darling Deer Fauxglobe Ornament.

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Every year the overall theme of my tree changes. This year I was inspired by my almost 90 year old Grandma “Jingles” (Ingalls). She ran a doll hospital for over 30 years and sent me a few of her favorites last year. During a recent phone call she confided that she missed “her toys”.

Sometimes the very best gifts are those which are created from the heart. So I decided to set up an antique toyland town that she will now, no doubt, enjoy very much.

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The cast of characters includes a little drummer bear who can still rat a tat tat.

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This lovely bisque doll holds a silver star made for me by Miss Sandy.

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Mr. Button in Ear and Wendy Ann enjoy a spot of tea.

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Old ornament favorites can still be found on the tree such as the German snow man….

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… and Mr. Décor’s Bavarian Santa.

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The tree was once again crowned by the Anthropologie inspired tree topper.

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I’ve always loved the symbolism of the dove at Christmas time: Peace one Earth, Goodwill towards men.

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The base of the tree was covered up with a new favorite given to me by dear Andrea. The antique sheet bears my initials beautifully.

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Most of the gifts have once again been wrapped up in the fabric bags that I made HERE.

But the vintage laundry bag is a recent acquisition that I found at a flea.

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The stitching is nothing short of spectacular. This marks the only time I will love laundry. :)

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It still has the original owners name tag.

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Even in the daytime our little tree sparkles. Perhaps because, faux or no, it is loved.

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This post is dedicated to my mother, Nadine, who was the essence of Christmas. Happy Birthday Mom. You are very much missed.


Mom, half of me and the ultimate Barbie dream house, Christmas, circa 1975.

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." ~ Abraham Lincoln


 Linking to:

Thrifty Décor Chick


sissie said...

Laura, your tree is so beautiful and I love all of the handmade ornaments and creations. All the vintage toys are perfect under the tree.
I think it's wonderful that your almost 90 year old Grandmother has given you such lovely things.


Di said...

I had that drumming bear when I was a little girl. what fun to see it, what a lovely tree. Thanks for sharing! Di

Modern Country Lady said...

Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog and on the sunburst wreath, and wishing you a very happy Christmas.I am sure your mom can see from afar how creative and inspiring you are and is very proud of you, and I wish you well in carrying her love and also her loss with you.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Your tree and your decorations are just beautiful!!!! And I am loving that photo of your Mom!!! :):):):):):):):):):):)

Mary Ellen said...

What a pretty tree and I love all the wonderful ornaments you made! The beaded cross and star are just beautiful!

My mom always worked to make Christmas a magical time for us as children too! We are blessed!

bee blessed

Sew Passionate said...

Hi Laura, I'm glad you liked my "JOY" bolster pillow! I'll be posting about other bolster styles in the future.
I love your pearl ornaments, they're beautiful!!
I've added you to my google reader and can't wait to see more of your posts in the future.

April said...

Bless you, sweet Laura! I love your tree--the perfect combination of sparkle and warmth. Thanks for sharing your heart;it inspires as much joy as your lovely projects!
Merry Christmas!

Cathy Chapman said...

What a beautiful tree, I love all the homemade items, along with family, those are the things we cherish the most!
I made a few tree decorations this year using old sheet music, pictures are here

Happy Holidays, checking in on your blog and usually get there via CDT!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Laura your tree looks just beautiful!!

The Boston Lady said...

Oh Laura, that quote by Abraham Lincoln is just so sweet. Happy Birthday to your wonderful mother. This time of year makes us miss those who are no longer with us even more.

I love the theme of your tree this year. It's always more special when each item has personal meaning.


Tiffany @ {Living Savvy} said...

Wow! Your ornaments are just breathtaking! I LOVE the upholstery webbing as the ribbon on your tree! I may have to steal that!

I am your newest follower!


Bloggymom said...

Very pretty tree!

Sheila said...

Your childhood Christmases sound just like mine. I was also the youngest of six, mom and dad were divorced so we were with mom. Our trees came from discount lots or straight out of the local woods (shhh, that's a secret). We were also very poor and made our own ornaments as well. I love all your pretty homemade ornaments. I love the deer in the tin. I would have never thought to use those little favor tins for make something so cute. I also love the beaded cross at the top of this post. So pretty. Have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas. God Bless.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

You tell the best stories...they lift my spirit! Your statement..."We didn't have much money, but we didn't know it!" I may borrow your quote (with a link of course) for my post about the very first ornaments that I made for our tree back in 1973, when Mr Dreams was a PFC in the Army. We lived on about 450.00 a month!

Your tree, with the memories and the love that it holds is breathtakingly beautiful!

(They attempted delivery of the winning package yesterday. I was at work, so I could not sign for it. I will pick it up at the post office on Friday or Saturday as it is 12 miles away from our home.)

The best of love and Christmas blessings to you and your beautiful family!

Teresa said...

"Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for - I don't know what exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times. ~Kate L. Bosher"

Tree is done, the heart is in the right place and heading on the right way...

Enjoy Dear Friend the Blessings bestowed, in the Holy Night, over a Kindred Spirit like yours.


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a wonderful photo of your beautiful mother and a nice tribute to her in your words of praise! I love the dolls around your tree. I have a little tea party set up in my doll room...need to get more photos taken! Happy holidays! ♥

Sarah said...

Putting the old toys under the tree is sooo cute!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Everything looks absolutely wonderful!!!!!!!! You have done such a lovely job.
I really like the little one with the dear inside...
and the Barbie Dream House of course... I never got one of those. Sigh.

French said...

Laura, everything looks beautiful! I love to see all your ornaments and the dolls around the tree, and what a nice surprise to see the sheet at the tree skirt, I am so glad you love it...

Karena said...

Laura you have such talent and creativity to make such adorable ornaments and decor!!

The antique sheet from Andrea with your initials is stunning!

Please come & Enter my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!! The latest is Art & more from Fifi Flowers!!


Art by Karena

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Laura, Christmas memories are the best. I love how you put the toys under the tree. at my grandparents house, I put my Grandmothers wooden blocks in the orginal case under the tree.
ps I have dream house envy, mine was not 2 stories!

Hollace said...

I'm so glad to see the pearl ornaments this time around. I really like Mr. G's Santa in leiderhausen =)

Gail said...

With tears in my eyes, I declare this the sweetest post ever!
Merry Christmas!

Miss Sandy said...


What a precious tribute to your heritage. I love the Christmas tea being enjoyed by all your sweet collections. Thank you for the sweet mention.

Jenn @ Handmade Homebody said...

Your tree is so pretty. And I love the laundry bag! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. :)


Janet said...

I love your ornaments, especially the little reindeer ornament, it's so sweet!

Kellie Collis said...

What a beautiful tree! Love how festive and happy it looks! Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

Auntie Em said...

Love your tree and the pretty ornaments. So many sweet handmade ones. I really like how you did your ribbons down the tree.
It is so difficult around holidays when someone we love has passed away. When we are shopping and see something we know they would have loved for a gift. When we take the precious ornaments or gifts from seasons past that we only use this time of year from their storage places and set them in places of honour. When we finally set down for our meal together and we don't need to set the other place setting.
{Hugs} to you and a special little Happy Birthday wish to your Mother's memory.
Thanks for sharing!

annewalker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Otto said...

I have the tutorials for “Gifts to Make” 6, 7 and 8 almost finished. But they require a bit of spray paint and it has been raining in Phoenix for the ...