Did you grow up with Advent calendars?
With a perforated cardboard door to open, one for every day until Christmas, each with a little picture behind it? (The calendars with toys or chocolates had not been invented yet. At least that is what my parents claim.)
And if you grew up with Advent calendars, did you trick your little brother and generously offer to let him open the first door, because you knew if you went second, you got the even numbers on the calendar and thus the really big door for Christmas Eve? Nope, me either.
Anyway, I've made an Advent calendar for all of you. A picture every day in December until Christmas. Instead of a paper calendar, it's a virtual calendar, on my Facebook page. Nothing for sale, no shop announcements - just pictures of vintage Christmas treasures. They'll just appear like magic, every morning. You will not even need to trick your little brother. Not that you ever would.
I am SO READY for Thanksgiving. This is the best week of the year, if you ask me. I am so ready I even have the sage for the stuffing picked.
Which was smart of me, since this is what it looked like 12 hours after I picked the sage. And another storm is on the way.
According to the canine snow gauge, the snow is up to his 16th freckle, which is about 8 inches. Carson loves snow. He's happy to measure it for us.
I am so ready that I made an emergency run Saturday for candles for the Advent wreath. Only to discover that Advent starts this coming Sunday.
I found this candle holder at a flea market a few weeks ago, and while I don't know whether it was made for Advent, it has spaces for four candles, which is perfect. Those birds. I love those birds.
I have been a one-woman listing-and-shipping machine. I have been wrapping ornaments and shipping them off to far corners of the world, to Portugal and Australia and Norway. The link to my Etsy shop is in the sidebar and NOT HERE because when I tried to put the link in the last post I did, the whole thing blew up and vanished, and you never saw it because I walked away in disgust and dismay. It was the only bump in an otherwise happy build-up to Thanksgiving. (I bought these candy canes to resell, but I sort of love them, so don't buy them unless you feel you really have to.)
And the thrift stores are starting to stock their Christmas wares. Yes, most of it is shudder-worthy, but every once in a while, something magical appears.
Like odd net flowers with glitter and spun-cotton centers. And not just spun-cotton, but spun-cotton, Santa-head centers.
And spun-cotton, snowman-head centers. If there is a better week than the one leading up to Thanksgiving, which is the one that leads up to the holiday season, you're going to have to tell me what it is.
I have about a hundred Christmas things to list in Etsy, so I've been busy this morning. I spent some time on Pinterest. I rearranged my shop. I checked my e-mail. So desperate was I to avoid listing chores, I even unloaded the dishwasher. Then it occurred to me: update your blog! Courtesy of the power of procrastination, here's a look at the Thanksgiving decor.
The shelves on the hutch in the living room are a combination of Napco turkey ware, postcards, honeycomb centerpieces and some turkey plates I found a few years back at Marshall's.
I very nearly sold the Napco candleholders (bottom left) but thankfully (no pun intended) I discovered in time that they were just what I needed to round out the Napco display. Another holiday crisis averted.
Elsewhere in the living room we have the traditional display of Gurley Thanksgiving candles.
In addition to being thankful for Gurley, Napco and Dennison, I am thankful for that terrific Pennsylvania auction, where I got this pretty leaf fabric.
The silverware box proved so useful at Halloween that it was pressed into service to corral additional candles and whatnot.
We'll close with this sweet Pilgim lady, a crepe paper creation by Dennison. And now I really, truly am going to get to work. My daughter will be home from school on Friday for Thanksgiving vacation, and she really, truly does not want to share her room with all of the Christmas stuff I need to list.
My mom bought me a Christmas cactus two years ago, and I immediately felt sorry for it. It was going to have to rely on me for its continued existence. The first year, it formed buds, and then they all fell off. It was very sad.
Then I remembered an image from my childhood. My grandmother's Christmas cactus, sitting underneath the canopy of a willow tree all summer. She didn't do anything to it. If it rained, it got watered. If it didn't rain, it didn't. All she did was bring it in when the weather turned cold.
Which is what I did this year. It's blooming a little early, but it's not like I mind. Once again, my grandmother knew best.
When I went to work Tuesday morning, I found this box on my desk.
Out of which I plucked these.
(One of my colleagues grabbed the box just as it was about to be thrown in a trash hauler's truck. She thought I might like it.)
Later in the day, I stopped by the thrift store and found these.
Then it snowed, and the drive home was dark and a little slippery, but there was dinner waiting and a fire in the stove. This morning the sun came out, and everything sparkled. It's been a good 24 hours.
I'm back from a trip to see my parents, and finished for now with a big work project, and so now it's time to open the suitcase and show you what I brought back with me. Ornaments, of course. Some of which came in a really great box.
I have a newfound thing for square vintage paper plates. I have a Halloween one, so with the addition of these two patterns, I have an official collection of holiday-themed square vintage paper plates. Another lifelong goal is realized.
Oh, and happy Halloween! It is a dark, rainy, windy day here, and our generator is on because we have no power. The wind is whipping the walnuts off the tree and onto the roof and porch, so we even have scary, unpredictable banging noises. It's pretty much perfect for the day.
It's been a confusing time around here. At work I'm pulling together a Christmas season fundraiser, and at home I'm sorting and photographing Christmas ornaments. On my desk is a box of Gurley pilgrim and turkey candles that I keep meaning to get listed. But the Swanky Swigs with the black stars have appeared in the Hoosier, and that can mean just one thing: Halloween is on the way.
My favorite decorations this year are the paper party favors acquired at a yard sale this summer - the black cat, the skull and the pumpkin. They're the kind that have a long streamer that pops out when you blow into them. I assume they work. My mother raised me to believe that germs, like zombies, never really die, so I'm not going to give them a test run. (Would you?)
The boxes are living on the hutch with some other favorite decorations. This summer we painted the living room gray, and the curtains are black-and-white checks. The colors were not chosen with Halloween in mind, but it did cross my mind that the color scheme would work out nicely come October.
Here are just some of the things I love about this illustration: 1) the children are playing nicely; 2) the boy is wearing a sailor suit; 3) the illustration is dated so we know exactly how old it is and 4) they are making something I like and have blogged about previously.
There's a drawer full of something called snowflake beads. Which look all the world to me like tinted pasta (they're not wooden), except I'm not sure tinted pasta would have lasted more than 70 years.
The bead set and all of these games and kits came from the auction Saturday. Lots of the toys were hobby kits and educational toys, which I love. Did you have Colorforms growing up? I l-o-v-e Colorforms.
And a leathercrafting kit, which apparently wasn't a big hit since it is pretty much untouched. The only thing keeping me from lacing up my very own leather key case with an embossed dog (see illustration in upper left) is the fact that I am still sorting Christmas ornaments. I have about 30 lots ready to photograph and list, but I am not quite halfway through them. I need elves to help.
With a few basic tools and some gumption, the barn roof was repaired. (Now the barn seems to be speaking to the new owner. It says: Is it Christmas yet? When it is, will you decorate me? With a big wreath, and some farm animals, and a truck hauling a bottle-brush tree? Yes, the new owner says. Yes.)
It dreamed of the day when children would once again romp through the nursery. (The new owner, who is committed to keeping the barn, plans to flip the house. But only to someone who promises to furnish it and love it and fill it with happiness.)
And the kitchen? The kitchen was stripped down and scrubbed until it gleamed. Its new owner says she will never part with it. She wishes to decorate it with tiny vintage tea towels and bowls of fruit.