Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Luncheon in Fairyland

My Thursday morning Bible study group had its Christmas luncheon in the home of my friend, Janis.  She lives about an hour north and commutes to the study from her country home.  We all piled into vans and went to her house because, as you will see, it is rather spectacular at Christmas.

I know there are at least 12 trees decorated in different themes.  There are wreaths in 12 places, maybe more.  Some of them are real show stoppers!

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But it’s not just a wreath because sitting under it on a pedestal is a darling Santa /elf.  Doesn’t he have a wonderful face?:

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But, to start at the beginning, as you come in giant doors you enter a hallway lined with scenes and vignettes like the shop windows at Christmas. 

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This is a close-up of the sleigh of elves (above right):                    (Elves designed by Mark Roberts)10-12-02-12-45-13H

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This lovely little tree is covered with Swarovski Christmas Crystal annual ornaments.  Just the tree skirt alone is velvety luxurious in a frosty forest pattern.  The Jack Frost fairy (Katherine’s Collection) is a new find this year:

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In the “formal” living room there is a beautiful wreath with Santa, as I showed you in the first three pictures.  The tree is covered with hundreds of Christopher Radko ornaments, the blown glass ornaments of an earlier era which have come back primarily through Radko’s efforts.

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Here is a picture of Janis talking to us about her collection:

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A detail from that tree (I’m telling you, the ornaments are stacked six deep):

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   On the coffee table in the living room a majestic reindeer pulls a sleigh loaded with goodies and elves:    (Katherine’s Collection sleigh and reindeer with 3 Mark Roberts fairies) 10-12-02-12-32-00H

There are two “contemporary” trees which are her artist series (done by Patricia Breen), featuring paint brushes and paint pots, ornaments in the style and colors of Van Gogh, Picasso, etc.

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    This Santa has a Van Gogh-esque sunflower design:10-12-02-12-29-21H Moving along to the guest bedroom, we find a luscious wreath over the four poster:

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and a Willow Tree nativity in the window sill:

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In the kitchen there are bits of whimsy all around.  I didn’t take pictures of everything because, after all, I was a luncheon guest.  But I took lots because I was wanting to share this with my blog friends.

One tree (designed by Patience Brewster) is decorated with figures representing the 12 days of Christmas.  Below you see the 8 maids-a-milking:

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10-12-02-13-10-42HThe Nutcracker Suite, above.(Patience Brewster design)

The 12 Days of Christmas plates in the hutch with a gum drop village in front:

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 10-12-02-11-13-53H  The kitchen table ^with matching linens to the plates (Williams Sonoma)

In the family room the Disney tree with a train running around its base:

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A close-up:10-12-02-11-14-59H Along the fireplace mantle runs the “Christmas in the City Village” (from Dept. 56).  Janis’ husband made the mountain backdrop for her:

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After lunch we sang carols in the family room and heard a couple delightful Christmas tales which inspired us to extend kindnesses (and not just presents) throughout this season.  Two great Christmas tales are:

A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg, illustrated by Warren Hanson 

An Unexpected Christmas Guest by Alda Ellis 

These were wonderful stories to hear!  10-12-02-12-50-54H  Moving down the hall, we find a swag laden with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves ^

In the Master Bedroom a tree decorated with fancy ladies and frou-frou reigns. Janis calls this “The Fabulous Femme” tree:10-12-02-11-18-28H A detail: (Radko and De Carlini ornaments, free blown in Italy)

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Here is the tree mirrored in Janis’ armoire.  Last year, one of the ladies said her bedroom was “better than Versailles”!

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In the study, Janis has moved her Cowboy/Western themed ornaments. 

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They are accompanied by very western-outfitted Santas who are armed with snowshoes and all the necessary gear to get the job done.  This particular tree has a tree skirt that I love, love, love.  It is red and brown plaids and ticking with embroidered winter leaves and berries.  I guess I really am a country girl!

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This massive desk was designed by Janis based on several things she’d seen.  It has just been finished.  Atop it are her collection of Kachina nutcrackers which reflect her American Indian heritage.

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Other tidbits abound:

10-12-02-12-26-02H   Birds, music, a Patriotic Tree (below) and detail:

10-12-02-12-23-15H 10-12-02-12-23-22H  Two trees with Charity ornaments, i.e., ornaments sold to support special causes (ornaments by Radko and Joy to the World)10-12-02-12-24-20H 

Cases of particular collections: (top shelf is Patricia Breen patriotic ornaments, the next two shelves are Radko and her most prized pieces)10-12-02-11-16-37H   

    A Patience Brewster Music Tree filled with her charming and fanciful creatures:10-12-02-11-16-02H A darling detail:

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I am going to Janis’ again next week for her annual open house, and I expect I shall see many more things that I didn’t notice this last time! 

Thank you to Janis, my friend since 8th grade, for allowing me to share her home with you.  She is lovely and generous.  (I have to tell you something, though.  For years Janis lived in a very small home –like 765 sq. ft.-- and couldn’t display all these things at once.  She just used a few things each year.  I had no idea what was going on in her warehouse!  So a few years ago when they moved to this country home it was a huge revelation to me what she’d been hiding away all these years!  I had no idea!  She is really enjoying being together with her treasures and sharing them, too.)

I wish you all happy decorating as you enjoy this season of delights.

5 comments:

Lindsay said...

Wow -it reminds me of the Pittock Mansion; you have to keep walking through to see it all. I am looking forward to building my little collection over the next few years, but you'd be proud of the beginnings: the tiny tree and tinsel you sent over the ocean to me my first year in Tunisia, hot pink ornaments that I painted to match the wall in my first apartment, colorful Turkish stockings selected with Angie in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar in remembrance of the ones I grew up with, Things Remembered monogrammed ornaments from Emily, handmade ornaments by Eastgate ladies at Pam's delightfully creative bridal shower, a tiny little Eiffel tower commemorating my first Christmas as a bride - we were too poor to travel all the way to the US and had to "drown our sorrows in Paris" as you said. :) I just love every piece, and can't wait to see the collection grow!

Hollace said...

Wow, Lindsay, your tree is already loaded with memories that you have shared. It is an expression of your life together--how wonderful and rich and varied. Here's an idea that I recommend:
Start a little book or piece of paper, and each year write down the year and the new ornaments and where they came from or who gave them, and the occasion. It is amazing how that little record will grow over the years and be a Christmas history for you.
I also write the type of tree (Noble, Douglas fir, Blue Spruce) and where and when we got it, ie, did we tramp in the woods or get the last one on the lot on Christmas Eve. It just takes a minute but it makes a great memory-keeper.
Love, Mom

Nichole said...

Wow, can I live here? It really does remind me of Pittock Mansion. We just went there on Saturday and I didn't want to leave. I REALLY wanted to just crawl into one of those beds or take a soak in the clawfoot tubs! Seriously though, this lady is my Christmas decor hero! I think maybe she should invite me to a Christmas party...or adopt me until New Years...:)

Nichole said...

I just realized that all 3 of our comments started with "Wow". Are we related or what? That is all...

Hollace said...

Haha, Nichole, I noticed that, too. I'm proud to be related and glad that we share a "wow" feeling about the world! Love, Mopsy