Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes - December 14, 2009

...and I'm only a day late! Considering there are almost 1,000 linked up to The Nester's Christmas Tour, not sure I'll get any visitors from that but I still wanted to share with my faithful friends and family who visit :-)

I spent all day Monday cleaning and then two friends helped me decorate the tree that Ivan set up around 6 p.m. Maybe a new holiday tradition has been born?

Late last night I cruised a few of the blogs on Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes, picking up ideas. This morning I gathered my supplies and went to work. I'll need to do a little shopping (more Christmas ball ornaments and some Christmas candy) but we're going for the clean, spare look this year.  Also known as the we're-cheap-and-don't-want-to-spend-very-much-money look.

From the front gate you can see the little doo-jobby I made to hang in the front window. Saw these on several blogs and loved their simplicity.

After I unlock the front door and the gate to let you in (folks are more security-minded here than where we lived in the U.S., when we seldom locked any doors at all) you'll step into the room we use mostly as a dining room:

To the right you'll see our co-worker's keyboard that we're babysitting while they're on vacation.

And to the left is my Christmas tree wall quilt. Yes, it is rather wonky. That's an early project before I knew about squaring up a quilt. I like to think it's an endearing quality rather than a fault :-)

On the long narrow bench underneath I have two hand crafted baskets and banana leaf bowl from Uganda (where we spent a year working with orphans). Here's a close-up of one of the baskets (imagine that it's filled with Christmas candy since that's what I plan to put in it):

Oh my goodness, where are my manners? I forgot to offer refreshments! How about what we had last night while decorating the tree? Tiny ham and cheese rolls, deviled eggs, fruit pizza, chocolate no bake cookies and a beverage our family always called "the mixed drink" because we're all original like that...anyway, it's a mixture of orange juice and grapefruit soda -- quite refreshing on a hot summer night!
Under the tree are two cherished Christmas decorations: a tree skirt made by Joyce and the lighted Christmas "gift" crafted by Pat, both dear friends from Michigan.

I have many special ornaments, most of them homemade. Like this adorable Wise Man that my friend Betty gave me many years ago.

The little bell was hand-painted by SIL Sharon and Aunt Gladys made the beaded ornament. Sorry to say I cannot remember who made the other ones in this photo. From 1984-1988 we lived in Florida and our church had a homemade ornament exchange every year. I should have recorded who-made-what but I didn't. [Let that be a lesson to you, ladies! Keep track of these things because you WILL forget!]

Tucked on the wall behind the tree is the cute little quiltie I received in the Four Seasons Holiday Quilt Swap. I SOOOOO adore this little snowman!  You can also see one of the other doo-jobbies I made to hang on each side of the arched doorway.

They were a great use of Christmas balls and ribbon, which is almost all that I have. One thing you need to understand is that when we moved overseas, I SERIOUSLY downsized, going from 7-8 large Rubbermaid bins of Christmas stuff down to two. TWO, people. Basically just the ornaments, a tree skirt, wall quilt, lots of clearance ribbon and a couple table runners.

Okay, now stepping back a bit, you can see another use of ribbon in the doorway to the kitchen.

Moving into the living room, first up is the wicker chest that currently serves as a coffee table, and on top there's another basket from Uganda, this one filled with the remaining red Christmas balls (I'll add more after a trip to the store). The angel table runner was a gift from my friend Jennie. [Are you getting the idea that pretty much all of my Christmas things have a special person or memory attached to them?]

Our bookshelves are crammed with books but the red ribbon dresses it up a bit. All the items displayed on top are from Uganda except the tree (note that the tree "top" is basically a map of the world), which we bought here in Argentina.

And that's it. Without even trying, I did a pretty good job keeping the ever present fans out of the pictures. Here in the southern hemisphere it's summer and we have fans in every room. Although today the sky is overcast, feels like rain's on the way so it's much cooler than normal: a balmy 72 degrees. (We still have the fans on though.) Our one outside activity was re-scheduled and I'm feeling all holiday-ish so I think I'll pop some corn, pour a glass of apple juice and kick back to enjoy the lights, decorations and music (hmmmm, maybe Kim Robertson's Celtic Christmas II).

Hope you enjoyed the tour!


Mari said...

I did enjoy the tour! Everything looks so nice and the special memories behind so many make it even more so!

The Burners said...

Hi - I am visiting from the tour of homes. I was a rebel and started at the end first. I love your simple Christmas - its just beautiful. My favorite Christmases were spent in Argentina...what part are you living in? I lived in Mar del Plata, Bahia Blanca, Tandil (all in Buenos Aires )and Santa Rosa (in La Pampa). Thanks for a peek in your home!!! :)

Sam said...

I love your quilts - especially the wonky one!!! I too am rather late to this Christmas tour, so I think that I shall work backwards up the list!!

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

I love that wiseman ornament - soooo cute!

Cha Cha said...

Homemade ornaments are my favorite, your home is lovely. GOD BLESS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Bonita said...

I really like decorations that are unique and different. So pretty!

sara said...

loved it!! and you are like me..most of my decorations have special meaning too!

praying for your daughter's travel tomorrow!!!

skoots1mom said...

what a beautiful christmas tour...loved it.
i need to do one...might have to check out the site you recommended...and mine won't come close to as festive as yours.
i especially love your angel table runner ... and the snowman looks fabulous next to your tree.

So excited for daughter's arrival tomorrow...praying travel mercies till she's safe with you!

Finally was able to wrap several gifts today...so it's feeling a little more festive under the tree. Still lots to do tonight getting ready for disciple class tomorrow, cleaning up the suv for the funeral (Mother's coming up tomorrow to ride with me to the service), then our senior high christmas party tomorrow night.

Thanks again for the tour!

rita said...

Thank you for the effort you put into sharing your Christmas with us. It's always good to have a deadline to work toward. Of course, your BIG one is tomorrow!!! It's going to be so much fun to read and 'see' how you enjoy your time with la hija!
I loved everything you did, each picture, each item. Can't believe how much you had to leave behind. But you did save a very special collection. Love the world tree, the wall bench w/ mags, the quilts and table runners, the wise men in the tree skirt, the baskets (esp. the one with the swirl), and the hand painted bell!

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Enjoyed my tour, I think you and your friends did a beautiful job, I especially love homemade ornaments. They have so many memories, thank you for sharing.