Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chicago Christmas Traditions

While not really a Chicago tradition, I've walked into this building almost every week day for the past quarter of a century :) 

They do a lovely job of decorating for the holiday.

Most Chicagoans make at least one stop here during the holiday season:

Macy's on State Street (formerly Marshall Field's)
You must stop to see the windows and then head up to the 7th floor to see the Great Tree.

I wasn't a big fan of it this year.

At the base of the tree is the Walnut Room Restaurant.
My grandparents would bring me here when I was small after visiting Santa and we took our boys for years. We have quite the collection of Santabear souvenir mugs from our meals there.

Then it's time to head two block west to my favorite tradition - the Christkindlmarket
About 80% of the booths and their staff are direct from Germany.
On Christmas Eve, it closes and they head back home...

The city's official tree sparkles with lights!

The German glass ornament houses are wonderful!

As are the incredible wooden creations.

The details and workmanship are amazing!

Of course I always have to peek at the Nutcrackers.

The colors on these are so vibrant!

The candleholders always catch my eye.
This year one came home with me:

By day it is pretty, but not too exciting, but once the sun sets and the candle is lit:

It comes alive in surprising depth!

The picture below is not behaving,
but I found an ornament that had to come home with me

How could I resist the Wrigley Building?! 
My home away from home :)

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
~Luke 2:20

Blessings, Patti

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Christmas Treasures

I try not to buy many Christmas items any more, but there were two items that I simply couldn't resist!
I think it will be safe to keep them both out all Winter long...

My first is this Schneeman Folk Art Bird Wreath.
It even features a little found bird nest. 

I hung it from this sconce in our mudroom entry.
This is the door that we use the most, so I am happy that I see it every time I come home...

I think it makes for a happy little corner.

The second purchase was from 1890 Gable House Goodes!
You can visit the online shop here.
And Misi Axel has a lovely blog that you can find here

Oh my goodness! The moment I opened the box, it smelled like Christmas!
And inside I found all of these lovely treasures:

This wonderful box captured my heart the moment I saw it:

It could easily pass for an antique wallpaper box.
Misi's technique is just incredible! 

I just love the little wire closure.

"Stags" seem to be the motif of the season and this one leapt right into my heart

The inside of the box is sweet as well.

And I just loved the little treasures tucked in as well.
It's been a rough month, but this package filled my heart.
The snowfall melts smell as delightful as they look.

And isn't this wax silhouette beautiful?!
*sigh* This package just said Christmas in every way.

Well, three Christmas are now over, with one more to go.
Then my Christmas break will be over and it will be back to the office on Monday.
Let's see if I can squeeze in one more Christmas blog post before then :)

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
~Luke 2:17-19

Blessings, Patti

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Blessed Christmas

Designs by Stacy Nash for the 
Country Sampler Girls Club
(more info here.)

Just a quick note to wish each of you a Blessed Christmas.
Two days of Christmas are almost over, with two more Christmases yet to go :)

More beautiful Christmas memories have been created,
with some bittersweet moments of thinking of those loved ones not with us.

Working on a new Stacy Nash Girls Club pattern to add to the bowl.
I think I might need a bigger bowl!

I was happy with the way my gift wrapping turned out this year.

And just as delighted with the gift wrapping of presents received!

And a final thought - the reason for the season!

Still have a few more Christmas posts to share!

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
~Luke 2:15-16

Blessings, Patti

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pennies from Heaven ~ Christmas Edition

We don't get to see my parents this Christmas, so when we were down for Thanksgiving, we celebrated Thanksgivingmas. It was Thanksgiving through the traditional turkey dinner and then afterwards we celebrated Christmas :)

My parents home was decorated for Christmas. We got to see the penny rugs she had shown us here in full display.

They look so beautiful in her holiday vignettes!

And then we got to open our Christmas presents!
My sister and I are so lucky!
Here is my sister's gift:

Isn't it beautiful!

The cream, red and brown look so wonderful together and the stars are so striking!

And Mom made sure to label it.

And here is my present:

WOW! I am so thrilled with this incredible penny rug!
(I definitely would never have the patience for this!)

I love all the different colors and how they come together so beautifully!

And look at my Mom's perfect stitches!

I will cherish this beautiful wool art always Mom!
Thank you ever so much!

And if that wasn't enough, my Mom found time to make mats for her friend, Kay and her sister-in-law (my aunt, Hi, Auntie Barb!) too!

While we were there, she had another project in process: 

And I got to see a bit of her process for color planning.
It looked like a foreign language to me, but it definitely works for her!
She also recently mentioned that there might be a tongue rug in her future...
I can't wait to see what she does next!!

Thanks again Mom for such a wonderful treasured heartfelt gift!
Truly a Blessed Christmas!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
~Luke 2:8-14

Blessings, Patti

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Joyfully Yours

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, my sister in law, Joy, always hosts a craft show and bake sale in her home.
It is always a delight to see what she has created.

Joy has such an eye. She finds vintage and antique treasures and repurposes them.

She does both hand and machine sewing.

She can take ordinary every day items and make them extraordinary.

And we always argue that she doesn't charge enough for the time she takes.

Her home was a winter wonderland, even without snow outside.

Wintery friends around every corner.

Yet warm feelings evoked.
It definitely put me in the mood for the holidays!

Her home is so very cozy - I have to share some of her decorations

It makes you want to sit and stay a while :)
It gave me a chance to spend some time with her daughter (my niece) Dana
and another sister-in-law, Caroline.

I'm already looking forward to next year!
Aren't I lucky to have such a talented sister-in-law!
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them."
~Luke 2:1-7
Blessings, Patti