I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Part ll: Christmas Open House

Thank you for returning for Part II of the Annual Virtual Christmas tour!
Settle down with your coffee and see what's going on!
This is what started it all....Johnson Brothers' Friendly Village china.
This was my jumping off point for the dining room and kitchen.
I like the idea of a Friendly Village.
So begins the rounding up of items to carry off this "theme".
You can't have a friendly village without a happy entrance..
so AnaLee Mr. and Mrs. Santa welcome at the foyer.
Mr. Santa is beckoning the visitors inside...
Short story about the chair: My church was "updating"...ummm...and had all these antique Windsor chairs from the children's department...
Kindly, we were allowed to secure one...it sits in my foyer...a testament to days gone by.
My goose feather tree was purchased years ago...during my "primitive" decorating period.
Kitchen straight ahead...theme: Gingerbread!
There is nothing special about my kitchen...no granite, no beautiful island, but I do have four windows above the sink that allow me unobstructed views of the fields just beyond the house. Nothing makes me happier than opening those blinds and looking out early in the morning.
Yelloware bowls reside atop the sink...always at the ready to be called into commission.
Quite a collector of bowls...I employ lots of them in holiday decorating.
My favorites are yelloware. Normally my Fenton hen sits here.
Above, my first attempt at appliqueing on a towel with my embroidery machine.

Here we go again..the ole piled high containers of ornaments trick.
This area of the eating bar got a little out of control.
 I had to edit after all was said and done..a little too sweet.
A double tier bar = lots of clutter!

Quick Owl story: My mother had the Shawnee winking owl cookie jar...long story short..my sister got it.
I found the Shawnee salt and pepper set and it fit just fine on top of my coffee station!
I think of Mother every time I see those owls! Mother was way ahead of her time in the owl department.
No matter how I change, my love of antiques and vintage items stays centered in my heart.
These are "prims" gathered together on a little shelf right at the back door.
(See dough bowl...gift from #1 Sister, Leslie!)
Mercy, even the refrigerator gets the gingerbread treatment.
Am I obsessive, or what?
Every year (and I mean EVERY) Mother made each one of us (around 25) a cross-stitch
stocking ornament. I wouldn't think of not putting them out..no matter what!
They are small and sometimes go on the tree, sometimes in a basket or bowl.
Notice, the hubster's has a church on it...I never got a church...hmmm.
This is my reminder of my mother.
For several years I went to a Monday night ceramics class...
did I need ceramics..NO!
 Does anyone in my family appreciate all those Santas I painted for them? NO!
If you come to my store, Dwellings, you will see them set about...with price tags on them :(
but this angel I did for myself...reminds me that my mom is doing up Christmas right.
I have no separate dining room..just an eating area off the kitchen...so this is my divider..it lets people know
"we are now entering a separate space"...no gingerbread or Santa here.
I am a purist when it comes to merging religious and fairy tales.
Say what you like...think what you like...it's your business, but
I am not a supporter of Santa praying over the manger.
It may look cute, but it's not biblical and I don't bend much on this rule.
So here's a longview of the eating area.
Here is my china hutch filled with items that symbolize the singing of Christmas carols.
The "good will toward men" idea.
Though I like Byers Choice...they were a little too much for here.
They landed on a window sill.
This is the edited version.
Again...friendly little children (Snow babies from mother's and my collection)
playing friendly little snow games in the friendly little village.
Can you stand it?
Give me a cloche and I will fill it.
The "hubster" (who does not like his name mentioned in my blogs) thinks the trough is a little over the top.
Grandson Ryan says it could be a manger if it weren't so skinny.
But my daughter in law, Robin, found it, I cleaned it, waxed it and poly'd the inside and love it.
Mercury glass candle holders and small gold stars add a little sparkle.
And the stars are symbolic.
Every friendly village has a sparkly tree!
And simple green wreaths tied onto the backs of their chairs, don't they?
OOPS! How did my old German Santa get into the china hutch?
He's outta here...he will have to go to another part of the house....sorry, Santa.
You are breaking my NO SANTAS in the dining room rule!
No matter what the theme, no matter what...one ornament goes up.
It was given to me by one of my all time favorite students, Brad Boatner, when I taught him in Kindergarten
at Brandon Academy in the 1980's.
Brad was killed in an accident while out of the country on a mission trip..I never taught a finer young man.
What about Jesus? Do we ever get to Jesus?
Be patient, Grasshopper, you will see.
Of course, we do.
The Baby in the manger resides on the nicest piece of furniture I own.
This Fontanini set tells the story.
How there was no room in the inn...
how Jesus was born humbly under the stars...
how the shepherds and angels were the only ones who were privy to His arrival.
The cross on the left reminds us not only of His birth and life, but also His death and resurrection for us.
What a story...what a celebration of life!
So there you have it...another year of preparation for that celebration!
**I have to thank "you know who"...he's quite a man to live with me. All those boxes, all that glitter...
I also want to wish my family and yours a wonderful and joyous holiday.
It may not turn out just right...but in the end...it's all about Jesus and His entrance into this world.
We've made a sorry mess of things, but He makes them right and new.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Much love to each of you,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Part I: Virtual Christmas Tour

It's that time of year! You are cordially invited to my virtual Christmas Open House! (Not that you don't know how, but I thought I'd throw out a few decorating pointers as we tour...)

Decorating your home for the holidays can be exhausting... because our house is small and there's not lots of storage, I've stored all the decorations in the attic in marked storage containers. The day before I begin the task at hand, the "hubster" cleans off the carport area, brings out several folding tables, and then hauls all 12 or 14 boxes down the stairs. We set the boxes on the tables and I begin the "sort". I keep all boxes on the carport except THE ribbon box. This keeps the house relatively straight as I progress from room to room.

I know that this will horrify some of you, but I change my decorations yearly. As much as I love some of my things, sometimes it's just nice to play outside the sand pile and do it up differently. I do NOT use every decoration every year. (12-14 boxes? Are you kidding?)

This year, my woodland themed animals wandered into the living room rather than hanging out in the dining room. With that change, came some color changes...even though I am a traditional green and red girl through and through, this year, I used turquoise in the living room area.
My foyer is Annie Sloan duckegg blue, so this color selection blended nicely.
I love birds and through the years I've collected bird ornaments, many, many nests (many) and bottle brush ornaments. I have a special place in my heart for the little owl fellow below. I buy most of my Christmas items AFTER Christmas..love those sales!

Pictured below is just one of many (nests)...
you know the old legend...
If you have a nest in your Christmas tree,
you will have good fortune in the new year.
Well, I'm not superstitious, but it never hurts to
have a few nests in the old tree.
I bring in a huge box of ribbon. I have kept every scrap of ribbon I've ever used at Christmas through the years. Speaking of bang for your buck...that's wired ribbon. And at 50-75% off....it's a steal. And yes,
I untie each bow every year, wrap the ribbon and put each type ribbon in a zip loc bag.
I work out of the ribbon box every day that I decorate...did I mention that while my house is small, decorating it is a labor of love and takes as long as the White House to decorate?
I know, I know...when are we going to lose the brass fireplace screen?
Well, let me tell you a little secret, while I love birds, I have a horror of them swooping down my chimney. So the answer is...never.
(Something to do with seeing Hitchcock's The Birds when I was younger.)
My garland is laced with mushroom hummingbirds, blue birds, nests and a butterfly.
The Peter's pottery vase was an anniversary present and holds feathers, seed pods and glittered curly twirly things...the "hubster" is a glitter hater. Can you imagine?
I made and beaded the crazy quilt stockings several years ago.
My sister gave me brush deer...ever one to help me along with the "annual theme".
Also, notice the large containers of Christmas ornaments. Speaking of a thrifty way to decorate!
They add pops of color everywhere. You will see them throughout the house.
So you don't like themes?
Let me explain. Sometimes they are overdone and I don't like that either.
But themed decorating, if it's used correctly, can be a wonderful "jumping off" point when you are having decorator's block.
So don't frown so when I mention the "T" word!
I am not a purist in the purest sense of the word.
This vignette has absolutely nothing to do with woodland animals,
but every woodland needs a gnome with red underwear.
This was my mother's secretary and some years I gussie her up and some years I don't do as much.
This year I just added a chickadee tassel, some greenery, and a checked bow.
The mercury glass heart says "Faith" and I think that's a guiding principle..so Faith it is!
Here we go again...when are we going to let go of the oak entertainment center?
It's too great for storage...again, never.
It houses my redware plate collection, my salt glaze pottery, books and on the top in the middle is the "hubster's" grandmother's dough bowl...no, it stays.
I have a thing for Mackenzie Childs...however, due to champagne taste and a beer budget...this bird box
(on deep sale) is the only thing in the whole catalog I could afford...but look at that detail!
She sits by my chair in the living room..oh, the stories she can tell about the rich and the famous.
More of those ornaments!
Because this is such an involved process, I decided to invite you back tomorrow for the dining room and kitchen tour. I think you've really had quite enough of me tonight..
We will tour and talk about editing tomorrow.
Thanks for coming along...
BTW: pardon the autumn blog header...it was the tour or the header...I went with the tour!