Monday, December 6, 2010

Take a sentimental journey

Our tree is finally up! The boxes are not put away yet and that's not my tree skirt but I think we are picture worthy at this point!  Whew.  I've been anxious to show you my "garland."  I used 3 inch jute upholstery webbing. It is .79 at your local Walmart or Joann's.  I thought of it while standing in line waiting for some fabric to be cut.  I knew with all the creative minds in blog world someone must have done this already. So, I raced home to Google it.  Sure enough! A few blogs in past years had mentioned using it too. Great minds think alike! I used about 35 yards on my 9 foot tree, in case you are considering. I really like the way it looks with all of our homemade decorations.  Here are a few close ups...
You've seen so many of my handmade ornaments in past posts, let's show you some other artists on our tree. I love this little paint brush ornament above that my daughter made for us. She also made this next one, an altered cookie cutter. She was copying me and put her own twist on things. I love it!  As you can see, she already has an addiction to burlap. She is going to be trouble! 
I made an advent calendar for the kids several years ago out of a cookie sheet and small match boxes. Inside each one is a Bible verse to find and read. Typically, I give them chocolates or passes to stay up an extra 15 minutes. But, on the first night, the tradition is to give an ornament. We have always had Basset Hounds so this year they each received this guy -
Isn't he the cutest?  Speaking of cute...This next ornament is very sentimental. This is our sweet Ellie Mae when she was just a pup. She was our first Basset. She was our "test baby."  We got her a year or so before Jack was born. She passed away two years ago so this one is always bitter sweet to unpack.
Here's a fun one. We've saved the kids preschool ornaments. I need to laminate them I guess. I love these. Kara scribbled on paper and the teacher added some glitter and turned it into an ornament for us. It's priceless! Do you have any like this? We have several.  I would love to hear how you have preserved them over the years.
Here's another favorite. I helped Jack and his classmates make these last year at his fifth grade holiday party. It's a Rudolph from old Xmas bulbs. You know the outdoor/indoor lights that would give you a third degree burn if you touched them? lol  These were fun ornaments to make. He had a very creative teacher.
This next one has a great story.  I have a cousin, Laura, that I have not seen in nearly 30 years.  When our Grandmother died, she moved to France (a life long dream) to study art. I was only 15, she was in her mid to late 20's.  Last year, her mother passed away. The funeral was out of state. I could not make it. My brother did though, and they were able to catch up.  My brother discovered that Laura was a successful artist. She mentioned an Etsy shop which rang a bell for my brother and sister in law. They mentioned to Laura that they thought I also had one. I did at the time. I was doing vintage resale. Long story short, my brother took a business card.  He passed the info on to me, and I found Laura's shop Blue Terracotta.  I contacted her via Etsy, and we spoke for the first time in nearly 30 years by Etsy convo.  Gives me a little lump in my throat just thinking about it. Pretty amazing, huh? Laura has a degree in fine art and is married with two gorgeous kids. She is passionate about vintage fabrics and makes the most beautiful mosaics. I hope you will stop by her Etsy shop  or her blog.  I have several of her gorgeous fabric ornaments on my tree. It makes me smile to have a part of her with us and to be reconnected after all these years. I can only hope we get to see each other someday soon!
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed some of my sentimental favorites from our mostly handmade tree.  I hope you like the "garland" too. It was a nice change this year from our standard gold and red beads. I like the texture it adds. It looks great with my mason jar lid ornaments. I have a bunch of those on the tree and the color of the shabby zinc lids with the it! If you need more handmade ornament ideas, checkout some of my older posts like this one. I'll share the back porch and some vignettes around the house this week.  Sports are over for us (both kids were on championship teams! whoo hoo!) so I will have more time to visit blogs and join parties. I can't wait to see all of your great ideas. Happy Holidays my friends!


  1. I love handmade ornaments because of the wonderful stories that come with them! Thanks for sharing!!


  2. Love your tree and your ornaments! Pottery Barn is selling a loosely woven fake upholstery webbing garland this year, but it's expensive, and doesn't have the nice hand that the real thing has.

  3. Vicki,
    I just love the garland you made!!! It would go perfect on my other tree that I have done in traditional red and green. It is a small tree so thank you!!!
    Happy Holidays!!!
    (Aren't you loving this cooler weather? I am loving it perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit!)

  4. I'll have to check out Pottery Barn's website. I haven't seen that yet. Fun! I'm really glad I used it now. I'll have to show the hubby the PB garland. He was really not sure where I was going with this.

  5. Vicki~ the garland is so charming! I recently saw it used around a mason jar with a candle...simple and rustic! I love your ornaments...we have Basset Hound ornaments on our tree, too, in memory of the three we have had.

  6. I love when ornaments have a special meaning! Your garland is just fantastic.


  7. We also have a tree with a lot of homemade ornaments. I changed from popcorn to ribbon last year but love the idea of the webbing. I don't think my hubby will be in to changing again right away. I have no decorations on the tree yet but had planned to share a few special onaments on my blog when we get to it. Thanks for sharing ornament ideas.

  8. Hi Vicki,
    I used that upholstery webbing for gift tags last year! I'll have to post about it, so you can see them.It's great stuff. I didn't do any garland on my tree this year. Wow. I just thought of that. I always do. And I put up 5 trees and didn't do one!
    I love all your sentimental ornaments. Those are the best kind. Your picture of your basset hound is so sweet.
    I made some ornaments like the ones you made from your earlier posts. Come see. They're not as pretty as yours but they were a lot of fun to make. Thanks for the great ideas.

  9. Beautiful tree and that's a wonderful story about your cousin.

  10. Your tree is beautiful and I will definitely visit Laura's shop! How cool is that though??

  11. Thanks for sharing your home and memories. Love your cookie cutter ornaments with the brooch pins.
    ~ Julie

  12. Everything is so darling, just love your tree. I am behind, Rose has been keeping me busy...Now I have to get with it. I lost my girls ornys they made me over the years to a fire in the shop that burned my trees, all of hubby's tools left over from our wood working business..(years of accumulation of tools large and small) and so I don't have any. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday, love your blog...

  13. Your tree is just beautiful, Vicki! You brought a tear to my eye writing about the family. I'm so glad we're in touch now! I absolutely love the ornaments made by your children and I really hope we can get together the next time we come to the US!

  14. Your garland is so pretty and I, too, am wondering why I'm not seeing it more! It looks great, especially with the handmade ornaments. I really love those, I still have all the ones my children made. They hold a special place in my heart and on my tree!

    The story about your cousin is so sweet. And thanks for the link!


  15. Hi Vicki, your tree is absolutely gorgeous... and I just love all of the hand made ornaments, it just makes it more special! Love the garland too. I'm so glad that you have connected with your cousin again, I'm definitely going over to check out her shop! I still haven't gotten one decoration up, I guess I need to stay off the computer and I might get some decorating done! hee hee.
    hugs~~ Daphne

  16. the tree looks beautiful!!:) I see you have gone larger this year, we actually went smaller which is probably a good thing since Olive & Percy have been destroying ours. We come home to 2 to 5 ornaments a day on the floor, naughty kitties! Love the garland and nutcrackers up in the window, very festive!xo

  17. The tree looks absolutely fantastic! So many beautiful ornaments and the idea of the using the webbing as a garland on the tree is brilliant.

  18. Hi Vicki! This is becoming my most favorite part about everyone sharing their Christmas decor...getting to hear wonderful stories from the heart! Your tree is just gorgeous and I love that is filled with memories. The ribbon was a fabulous idea too!

  19. I love the jute in your tree- just perfect! What a great story too! :)


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