Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent and Nuts

I confess, I love nuts.
I haven't always loved nuts, but during the last few years, my affinity for nuts has grown.
I think the cashews with sea salt are my favorite!
Many people lay out spiced nuts on the Christmas table with the cookies and sweets.

St. Anthony used the three parts of the nut to assist people in understanding repentance.

Number 1, the skin is bitter, as is our sin. 
This skin splits when the nut is still on the tree, and, the nut falls to the earth.
It causes us to seek out forgiveness so we can be 'released.'
Number 2, the hard shell is a symbol of perseverance.
Penance can be a tough act.  You have to stick to it. 
In other words, you really have to work hard at getting to the sweet nut inside the shell.
Let's get to the heart of the matter, now.
Number three, the nut meat.
We are so estactic when we finally crack the nut to get to the good part!
This is comparable to rejoicing in our salvation and forgiveness.

I find in blogland, many people confuse St Anthony images with St Joseph.
St Anthony always hold baby Jesus (but sometimes so does Joseph).
St Anthony always carries a lily for purity (and, is dressed like a monk).
He holds baby Jesus because he offers our prayer requests to the little baby
and it is said the baby is very agreeable and has a hard time telling St. Anthony 'no.'
(He was also seen carrying the Infant in a garden, and together they were laughing and playing).
You can also ask St Anthony to help you find lost articles or assist you with financial trouble.
Sharing this week with:
Sharing with:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday
Common Ground's Vintage Inspiration Friday

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Sunday of Advent and Meaning of Candy Canes

The candy cane is an iconic Christmas symbol,
synonomous with holiday cheer and sweets.

You can probably find a box of peppermint canes

for just a dollar at your local market.
It's also a sweet reminder of Jesus as our Good Shepherd:
it's very shape reminiscent of a shepherd's hook;
the red stripe, His sacrifice:

"But  he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins,
Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
and by his stripes we were healed."
Isaiah 53:5

Whatever grief and sorrow you may carry, remember He came to heal.

He came to us on Christmas to heal.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Composite Sketch?

When we put "the guys" into Betty this Christmas season,
it really got me thinking how the village is just a reflection of our lives...
Get my a$$ to work even if I have a bum leg or other ailment,
(or more nicely put, take care of your pet donkey).
Remember when you show disdain for the pig
(look at her face),
that you still enjoy bacon.
Sometimes the kids don't know if they're coming or going either,
  so give them a break, too.
(Love this bossy Gretchen the milkmaid, here).
Yes, I AM starting to show my age,
and I'm working on dealing with it.
Avoid animals with red eyes at all costs.
Be prepared to deal with the folk who are always gonna ask questions.
And lastly, when seen curbside picking,
hold your head high and CARRY ON, GIRL!!
Sharing my lovely antique German composite (sawdust and glue) crew with:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vintage Christmas Papier Mache

Hello!  I have a great little collection to share with you today... vintage Christmas papier mache collection.

Holiday papier mache was popular in the 1940s and 50s.
They were used as candy and nut containers and sold at the dime stores.
You can still see the nut cup in this snowman's hat.
His little label on the bottom lists the ingredients of what once used to be inside.
These lovely little sculptures are very hard to find.
Most were played with and, because they were paper pulp products,
were destroyed easily.
This lovely Santa carries a sack that served as the candy container.

Of course, there were savers out there who saved their old candy containers
to use as decorations for the following year.
If you had a dry attic, it was the perfect place to keep your paper pulp product
safe until the next holiday.
This here boot even has some vintage plastic holly on the front.
I have some tiny boots, too.
Want to take a look at the vintage newspaper in the big boot?
Mom, you'll love this...
A crumpled circular from Goldblatt's-
a former Chicago chain store that was popular in the 1900's.
Sharing my vintage collection with:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Sunday of Advent and Fruit

During Advent we wait for Christ and prepare our homes.

One of the ways we prepare is to serve special fruits with our meals.

Cranberry garland on a Christmas tree, or cranberry sauce with a meal 
 is an example of a holiday fruit.
Oranges, pineapples, and apples are also traditional holiday fruits
used at meals, in decor, or given in baskets, not just in Colonial times,

but even today.

My dad, who is well into his seventies today, used

to just receive an orange in his Christmas stocking when he was a small child.

Money was not to be had in his little coastal town.

In the history of the Church,
fruits used at Christmas are truly symbolic of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Some of these fruits are
Joy and Patience,
Suffering and Faith.
Let's be fruitful during this Christmas season...
We can be joyful and extra patient,
even in the hustle and bustle of life's traffic,
and we can pray for those who are suffering.
Have a peaceful week!
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Friday, December 7, 2012

Little Antique Santas

I love a good vintage Santa. 
I love this one in particular because he brings back old Christmas memories.
My mom has one just like this little felted guy.
I'm pretty sure my dad found him at someone's curb.
He was elevated to a new status on our TV at Christmas.
I picked up mine in an antique store with a box of vintage Christmas goodies
 maybe two years ago.
I've seen this little elfin Santa in other antique shops marked as high as $100.
He only stands about two inches tall.
Here he is with a slightly taller Santa from Occupied Japan.

(There were also some celluloids, ornaments, German composites, 
papier mache items, and other old delights in the box).
Who couldn't love that face?
Or the tinged brown beard?
This one comes with glittered transportation.
How did I acquire the box?
Be kind to the people selling.

This particular person had another offer from an antique dealer.
He turned down her higher offer
  because he knew she would just turn around and sell them again.

He offered me the whole box for just a fraction of her original offer.
He just wanted someone to appreciate them as much as he did.
AND honor the fact that he spent a long time collecting his pieces.
And, most importantly, he wanted little kids to see them again at Christmas,
not be holed up in someone's fancy store display case.
(Even if they're TV toppers).
Sharing vintage Christmas goodness with

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nativity Figures

I have a variety of Nativity set folk.  Some are plaster ones I painted,
some are chalk, others composite.
This little baby I've had a few years now.
He's a very old German-made Jesus.
I'm featuring him today with just a little chalk lamb.
The fabric is hand painted here...
...the little curls on the Baby are tiny fibers
and the figure itself is made of wax. 
The manger is an old type of folded sand paper/ paper mache product.
He is the only wax figure I have.
But the attention to detail is minute, and it's obviously handmade.
I have never seen another like it.
Please share if you have matching imagery!
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter Garden

Our Christmas yard display is a little more natural this year.
We didn't cut down the seed heads from the fall plantings. 
I think they'll remain up through the winter.
The birds will get to enjoy them longer, too.
And we always use our old sleds as part of our displays,
they seem to blend in with landscape.
We've never used blowmolds or inflatables in the yard...
...always preferring just lights and a few decorative items.
But this year, we decided we would use less lights.
Normally, Dan decorates all of the shrubs and foundational plantings
with tiny white lights, sometimes some red.
We still used some lights, but limited them this year to
the garlands on the house and fence and just a few accent bushes.
Dan said he used half of what he did last year.
You'd never know any different.
I can still say it's a beautiful display.
He always does a great job.
Now if it would just snow a bit
I could get some great landscape photography happening on this end.
But, today we are at an unseasonable 68 degrees, and there is no snow on the radar.
I think it's gonna be a Green Christmas.
Sharing with Garden Parties at

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