Wishing you all a blessed Christmas,
Wishing you all a blessed Christmas,
Welcome dear friends, to a Christmas Tour of our New Home! This tour is special to me because not only is it our very first year living in a new home, but also our first year in a whole new land! At least that’s what it seems like to me!
Nearly four months ago we took the long trek cross country from the Pacific Northwest to Upcountry South Carolina. The Seattle area was the only place I’d ever lived so it has been the greatest adventure of my life. So far I am absolutely loving the greater Greenville area. I love the warmth and hospitality of the people, the gorgeous scenery, the vibrance of the city of Greenville, and I especially love the great weather. People mistakenly think we live in a very hot and humid place (and it can get that way in summer) but living in the upcountry, the gateway to the Great Smokey Mountains, we have four distinct seasons, mostly sunny!
Enough talking. I have tons of pictures to share so I’ll be quiet and only speak when I think an explanation is needed.
This is a picture of our new home all decked out for Christmas. It was a very Griswold experience that you can read about HERE if you haven’t already.
COME ON IN!
Here are some closeups.
My nutcrackers are in the Entry Hall. I wrote about Creating a Glittery Nutcracker From a Thrift Store Find right HERE
Off to the right as you enter our home is the dining room which is a work in progress. I began stripping wallpaper before the holidays and this is a thrifted dining set that needs to be refinished. I’ve already done the buffet and shared a tutorial for doing A Color Wash HERE. You can also see more pictures of it by clicking on the LINK.
Step by step instructions for Decorating a Chandy for Christmas can be found HERE
If you continue down the hallway the next room to the right is my kitchen. My entire kitchen isn’t pictured because . . . it is in cooking mode today as my kids are coming into town for Christmas!
I’ve tucked a lot of greenery here and there throughout the house. Did you know that Lowe’s gives it away free?
I wrote about my thrifted kitchen chandy HERE.
You wouldn’t believe the before pictures!
Across from the kitchen is the den which is the first room I revealed on Old Things New. It is a little more Christmassy now!
Our living room sits right behind the den which is great for the flow of entertaining. These are the first pictures I’ve shared of this space.
This is the clock I created while taking the Farragoz old world furniture painting course. I’ll be sharing more in a future post or you can click on the Farragoz picture on my sidebar if you’d like to know more now.
On to the screened porch, my favorite room! I’ve added a few decorations since my last post HERE, plus plenty of blankets so we can enjoy sitting outside on a sunny but chilly day in winter.
I’m going to run now and get ready for the first of my holiday company to arrive, my oldest daughter Joy and son-in-law Andrew. They are flying in from New York in just three hours and I am SOoooooooo EXCITED to see them. My daughter Bethany will be flying in from SoCal next week so we will all be together for Christmas in our new home!
Christmas blessings y’all from beautiful South Carolina. May all your days be merry and bright!
Did you know that these glittery little cardboard houses (putz houses) have been around for 130 years or so? Did you know that the word “putz” is a German word meaning “put” that in the German-American vernacular can mean “putter”, as in “How long are you going to keep “putzing” around with those houses?” And did you know that between 1880 and 1928 most putz houses were actually candy boxes? These facts and a lot of other fascinating history on putz houses can be found at Cardboard Christmas, a wonderful site filled with information about these houses and resources for buying or building your own.
I first started loving these little glitter houses as a child when I saw them under my Aunt Gert’s Christmas tree. Do you have any “magical” Christmas memories? This was one of them for me. I’d forgotten all about them though until their recent resurgence in popularity when I decided that I would like to create a glitter village of my own. You can buy brand new glitter houses in many places (maybe you’ve seen those in the Pottery Barn catalog). Vintage putz houses which are mostly Japanese made can be found online, as well as plans to build your own, or you can buy pre-assembled houses to decorate yourself. That’s what I decided to do.
Some of the close-ups may give you a better idea of what they look like “in person” and I’ll share those with you later in the post, after this little tutorial. If you have no interest in making putz houses yourself then you can fast forward to see them right now.
This was my village as it came in the mail, ordered off a site on Etsy called Little Village Houses. The full village was only $37.00.
The first thing I did was to paint them with white craft paint.
This is the Martha Stewart glitter set I got last Christmas. As I said in my Glittery Nutcracker post, there are less expensive glitters but Martha’s colors are the best!
I did the main part of the house first and let it dry completely before glittering the roof. Here again you can see that I painted one section at a time with glue so the glitter could be applied while the glue was still very wet.
After giving the glittered house a few taps to allow the excess glitter to fall back onto the paper I worked over I scrinched the paper together to make a little crevice so I could poor the excess back into the bottle for another use. This glitter really goes a long way. I think glittered acorns are next!
I cut a rectangular piece of wax paper for one section of the house at a time and for the houses that had peeks I placed the wax paper on top of the front of the house and lightly ran my paint brush handle over the peeks . . .
This is a step that I should have done before putting in the windows but you can learn from my mistakes! After all the houses had dried completely I decided to add some detailing around the windows and doors. I painted glue around one window or door at a time and then shook on the glitter. When I tapped off the excess some glitter still remained on the windows so I used a dry paintbrush to brush off any remaining glitter.
Next . . . I decided I wanted my windows to have panes. Some glitter houses have very fancy window panes made with more glue and glitter or with tiny pieces of wood or paper. I chose the easy route and drew my panes with a white gel pen.
Following are several close-ups of individual houses that I placed along my mantle. I used only white, silvers and blues as I wanted my village to look frozen, here in mild SC.
Each of these houses has a hole in the back where an electric light or battery operated votive can be inserted. I think that would really add to the ambiance. I’ve created a Glitter (putz) House board on Pinterest where I’ve pinned ideas for adding more detail to glitter houses and more tutorials for making your own, including patterns that can be downloaded. Though mine is simple for now I think that my village will most likely evolve over the years into something a bit more extravagant!
Nighttime falls and the spotlight falls on my Putz Village. Again, I wish I could capture in pictures how much it really sparkles.
It has been so much fun decorating for Christmas in preparation for my two daughters and my son-in-law who will be coming (from California and New York) to see our new home for the first time. Though it is so very different than our lake house and living in Washington State I’m praying that they’ll still feel like this is “home”. I’ll be back with one more post before Christmas, showing my Christmas decor, before taking some time off to enjoy my family.
Blessings to you my friends as you prepare your home and your hearts for Christmas,
As a blogger who focuses on making Old Things New, my blog is “picture heavy” with photos of thrift store projects I’ve transformed, crafty creations, and shots of my own home decor. I especially love sharing photos during the Christmas season when my home is holiday perfect. Only it’s not. Perfect I mean. From time to time I share my failures on this blog and I’m always surprised at how many people connect with me over those failures. We can all relate to imperfection in others can’t we?
During this “most wonderful time of the year” it is so easy to get caught up in the external preparations of hanging lights, decorating the tree, planning menus, shopping, cleaning, etc., that we neglect the internal preparation. The preparing of the heart. At Christmastime we dress our homes and ourselves in our finest so that all looks beautiful on the outside (Christ followers are especially good at this) but the inside is often a mess. Sometimes we work so hard at our exterior preparation that we become overwhelmed with it all and soon find ourselves becoming a bit like The Grinch.
We are told that this should be the happiest time of the year. A time to take joy in the true meaning of Christmas, to spend time with family and friends. A time to worship together with church family. A time for holiday parties and good cheer!
Well maybe, just maybe, this isn’t the happiest time of year for you. Maybe you’re dreading everything about Christmas and what it means for “you and yours”. Maybe you find yourself Grinching over the fact that you’ll have to spend time with people you don’t really enjoy, the co-workers who party too much and make fools of themselves; that elderly family member who is cranky all of the time and thinks they’ve earned the right to be that way by virtue of age alone; friends that come into your home with their out-of-control children who touch everything in sight and don’t leave until at least one item is broken; the guests who call on the day of the big dinner and ask what they can bring (AFTER you’ve done all of the food prep, so of course there is nothing that needs to be added to the menu); the visitors that enjoy lingering over coffee long after the time for coffee is finished, while you slave away (alone) in the kitchen, cleaning up the mess you’ve spent days creating; the boisterous, know-it-all family member who knows exactly how to ruin everyone’s good time – assuming a good time could be had with this motley crew of guests!
The weather is dark and dreary and so are you. Do you know that at the heart of all this Grinching is selfishness? And yes, there may be a tad bit of personal experience attached to the above descriptions because I’m not perfect at this love-your-neighbor stuff either.
What if we were to prepare our hearts for the holidays to the same extent that we prepare our homes? What if we took some “time out” to spend with God and allowed the light of His Word to brighten our dark Grinchy hearts. What if we made a list of all that we have to be grateful for? What if we invest ourselves in the lives of those difficult people by praying for them – daily – from now until Christmas?
As a result of all of this, what if we become so intimate with Jesus that our hearts became His heart for those we are intolerant of? Finally, and this is HUGE, what if out of the overflow of time spent with Jesus we suddenly find our hearts filled with true JOY at the opportunity to prepare a meal for our difficult people, to serve them, do their dishes and even listen to one more story from one who may have no one else in their life who will listen?
I believe in the power of God to change people. I’m not talking about “those people”. I’m talking about you and me. I believe that Jesus can change our hearts of selfishness toward others! In fact, He delights in answering prayers to become more like Him because that is who we are called to be.
The result? That irritating co-worker, friend or family member will be blessed by our new attitude. If they don’t know Him they will experience through us the very love of Jesus. And here is the bonus:
PRAYER: Dear Lord, in these days leading up to Christmas, keep our eyes focused on You. Prepare our hearts to be generous toward those we find most difficult. Show us how to become people after your own heart, following so closely beside you that we can feel Your breath on our cheeks, and hear Your whisper in our ears. Keep us close enough to know Your heart and show that heart toward others. You have lavished such an extreme grace upon us that it is only right that we be gracious toward others. Lord, give us eyes to see into the heart of others and speak the very words of hope and encouragement that they need to hear from You this Christmas season.
Dear Lord, may this be the best Christmas ever!
Now, if you’d like a little laughter to add to this more serious post, take a peek back at the post Decorating for Christmas – A Very Griswold Experience right HERE. So thankful for a husband who lets me share a few of his foibles with the world!
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When I was a child I would lie on the floor . . . watching with fascination . . . as the white flocked Christmas tree magically changed color from yellow, to red, to blue and to green, while the song Silent Night tinkled gently in the background. The shiny pink ornaments on the tree sparkled, also changing hue, as the color wheel went round and round. It was all a part of the magic of Christmas. I was secure and happy and still young enough to be unaware of things that were wrong in the world. As Christmas drew closer and closer I KNEW that something really special was about to happen.
As I decorate for Christmas today I catch that magic feeling once again and I am content to hold onto it for just a little while as I forget the world outside my doors.
Last Christmas I decorated my crystal chandelier for the holidays and I got so many requests asking how I did it that when I took it down I took pictures backwards in order to share with you here.
This is my chandy in our old house (fondly called the lake house) last Christmas. To see more angles and close-ups you can look back at my original post, A Fancy Christmas Chandy, HERE.
Gradually . . .
I ended up getting so many compliments and loving the look of my chandy so much that I kept it up all the way through Valentine’s Day.
Today I had the absolute joy of decorating my chandy in our new house. It is the same chandy that I’ve had since our first year of marriage but looks quite different in our new surroundings. Here she is hanging in our dining room, which is still very much a work in progress . . . with wallpaper coming down and a dining room table and chairs to be painted . . . so I’m only giving you a sneak peek. I shared in a previous post the one other thing in the room that I’ve finished for the dining room, a grey color-washed buffet. I’m really pleased with how it turned out! If you haven’t seen it already you can take a look right HERE.
I hope you are enjoying the beauty of the Christmas Season. In spite of busy-ness, family drama, long lines, heavy traffic, things that don’t quite go as planned (we’ve had our own Very Griswold Experience this year!), I hope you’ll take some time to enjoy, as with the innocence of a young child, the magic of the Season. Something really special is about to happen!