Have you ever looked at something and it reminded you of something so strongly that you can picture it? A LONG time ago when we lived in Florida, my Great-aunt Ruth was giving away Uncle Jay's clothes. He had passed away recently. They were alive in the depression, so they kept everything and used it until it fell apart and could be used no more. I believe that is a good trait within reason. She decided that Michael should have some of Uncle Jay's clothing. One of the shirts she gave me was brown. It was somewhat faded and when I looked at that shirt, I SAW a gingerbread man. It was the perfect color. =) OK, I see some of you rolling your eyes at me. That is OK. This is how God made me and I just go with it. Anyway, I had done a lot of sewing, but I had never done any appliqueing (sp?). I dug through my fabric stash and my scrap stash and came up with some dark green material with little white hearts on it. I decided to try and make a banner or something. I folded a piece of paper in half and drew what I thought looked like half of a gingerbread man with his center on the fold. I cut it out and got a gingerbread man shape. As I played around, things kept coming to me and this is what I ended up with. If you click on the picture it shows a larger version with more detail.
It is a count down to Christmas calendar for Joshua. I believe he was 3 at the time. He is now 23. There are 24 little pockets on it. I cut up colored filing folders and made the numbers to go in the pockets. I had made a Raggedy Ann doll and the scraps from her stockings became candy canes. There are pink buttons for his cheeks and pink stitching for his mouth. I was thrilled with how it turned out. Joshua loved it. Michael and I enjoyed finding little somethings to put into the pocket each night. A matchbox car, a miniature candy bar in Christmas wrap, etc. We did this calendar every year until we moved to Ohio. We were in limbo our first Christmas in Ohio. We finally had found a house and brought our last load on Dec. 31st. So, there was no tree or anything that year. Joshua was then 15. When we decorated for the next Christmas I did not get this out as I thought he was too old. He did not say anything either. It was not until a year or so later, he let me know, I had better not give that away and he wondered why we didn't use it anymore. =) That thrilled this momma's heart. Out it came. Once again, Michael and I thrill to look for something small and unusual to put in the little pockets. Many days it is just candy, but we like to surprise him every once in awhile.
We see some people go whole hog in decorating their home. We used to do that, but have really downsized. I think we just like a simpler theme. There are 6 or 7 ornaments on this tree that are snowflakes. When we went to a large church in Florida, they gave all the children in Sunday School a snowflake ornament each year. You put the child's picture in the center. They are some of my most precious ornaments. There is a felt and cardboard heart near the top of the tree. It has Joshua's hanprint on the front. On the back is the poem about what to give the Christ child. Many of the ornaments are handmade. My star is a wooden one that I painted. I will have to get a better picture of it. We call him Binkle. The woman who created the painting pattern for the star told the story of how when her little girl first saw him, she got all excited and said, "Binkle Binkle little star, how I wandered where you were." There are several antique glass balls with fake jewels or sparkles on them. They were my Great-aunts. There are a couple of ornaments that have been on my family's tree since I was a little girl. There are a bunch of little red apple ornaments as well. I have red bows to put on. Some years I put them on and others I leave them off. I have not decided yet this year. You can see a small pair of mittens attached to each other that lays over a branch. I had a pattern of them and would love to make more, but I can't find it. Anyone have anything like that?
I love my tree skirt. I really love snowmen. I had been without a tree skirt for awhile. Last year we were in a store and I saw this one. It is blue (my favorite color) and it had this cute snowman on it. Plus, it was 60% off. So, we got it. You can see a tan pear shaped ornament near the bottom of the tree. That is a baby birdhouse gourd. It is a real one. Someone painted on it. I thought it might rot one day, but it is over 10 years old.
This is a Precious Moment's nativity set. I got this the year Joshua was born. I could never have afforded it, but the little Christian bookstore I had worked in was going out of business and everything was 50% off. Then they had me fill in while the girl who took over for me went on job interviews. They told me to add the 20% employee discount to the 50% off. I snatched this up. I would really love a larger one, and may get one sometime. I would really like the nativity to be the center piece and focus.
You can click on these next 2 pictures to make them larger. Two of my Sister-in-laws make beaded ornaments with beautiful things on them. There are several very thin twisted glass icicles and a hand glown glass ball, an ornate cut out metal star, etc. You can see them better in the second picture.
I do have a few more things to put out, but I really don't have a lot. We still do not have our table top back, so the table is not set up pretty. Do you do anything special in your house?