Thursday, October 06, 2016

A whimsical Christmas scene in the forest

Here is a card I recently came  upon.  It can't be said to be truly vintage, I think, but it is so cute!

There's a lot going on in this picture, from the exchanging of gifts to the sharing of music to the two friends toasting one another with mugs of hot cocoa.  The birds watch the scene from a tree branch.  The whole card is richly textured as well.

Just a sweet, sweet card!

Friday, September 30, 2016

A pretty sort-of vintage card

The scan came out with a faded look...
I'm continuing to find interesting vintage Christmas cards as I do some cleaning at my dad's home.  I think this card is probably from the 1980s, which would make it 30 years old.  So, I guess it could probably be considered vintage at this point!

The round framed scene actually looks more like a 1950s card, doesn't it?  I like the way it's framed with greenery, berries, and a red bow. 

The quote is new to me, but I like it:

"Winter, in all its splendor, 
means nothing without the joy 
our Savior's birth has brought."
~ Jennifer Neal

Hope you have enjoyed seeing this pretty card today!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Red and green

... and the Rudolph Day that almost got away!

I found this perfect red leaf this morning on the way to the mailbox and decided that if I could pick up a fully green leaf to scan with it, the resulting scan might be a fun image for my Christmas blog.  And I think it is!

I've pretty much reached the conclusion that I won't try to make many handmade gifts this Christmas, but that I will plan to make them for birthdays instead for 2017, at least.  Life is not slowing down and I don't really see that happening for the foreseeable future, so I'll simply try to finish up a few handmade things I've started, and go from there.  I still love crafting for Christmas and I may make a few simple decor items, but it's very hard to find crafting time right now.

On Rudolph Day we were traveling back from our lakeside getaway (see my regular blog for details) and made a couple of stops.  I didn't need to get out of the car for the last one, so I used the time Mr. T was gone to take a look at my Christmas notebook.  I'd brought it along with me on our getaway but hadn't had a moment to peruse it.  I decided I need to make some simple timelines for the several unfinished gifts.  I'll also plan to make a baking list soon and figure out what I am doing for kitchen gifts and maybe choose an ornament or two to make.  Keeping it simple and real this year!

Monday, September 05, 2016

A sweet little vintage note card

This tiny note card is the sweetest thing.  It is of thin paper, almost parchment-like.  If you look closely at my scan of it, you can almost see the handwriting showing through it.  It was a little note to my parents from my father's Auntie Marge.  She was reminding them that they had agreed not to exchange Christmas gifts with her that year.  I'm guessing that may have been her first year as a widow, but I am not sure.  I'm also guessing that this tiny note was enclosed in her Christmas card to them, most likely sent early in the season so she would be sure they didn't plan on getting her a gift.  People were much more polite and thoughtful in those days, it seems to me.

This dear little card has lovely poinsettias and evergreen sprigs, and the silver filigree is embossed, as are the tiny snowflakes and a few of the fir sprigs.  So pretty!  Hope you have enjoyed this little bit of vintage Christmas memorabilia.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Thinking out loud ...

From a sweet calendar my girls loved as children.  So thankful I thought to scan the illustrations!
So I'm just thinking out loud here.  My dear hubby, Mr. T, told me some time ago (in fact, it was probably last December) that he didn't want me to be all tired out this coming Christmas.  To that end, he was establishing a deadline by which all handmade Christmas gifts must be completed (other than cookies, fudge, or other kitchen gifts).  The deadline is December 1st, and has been written on the calendar from Day 1 of 2016.

Some may see that as heavy-handed, but I know that he has my best good in mind.  He has always been very willing to pitch in with other things while I work on the handmade gifts.  He hates seeing me get so tired, however.  So I've been willing to work with that very reasonable deadline on the calendar.  After all, that's always been one of the main reasons I work on handmade gifts and Christmas preparations year round -- to free up December so I can really enjoy Christmas!

A couple of weeks ago I was challenged by something another blogger wrote about the importance of saying No to good things.  In that post, the blogger, Christa, linked to a fall planning workbook she was using. (It's free, so you might want to download one for yourself!)  As I thought, just a little bit, of what my summer has been like, and about what I want my autumn to look like, I began to seriously think about not doing handmade gifts (other than kitchen gifts) for the family this year.  For awhile I've been considering making the handmade gifts for birthdays, and giving consumable family gifts at Christmas.  I do have a few handmade things started for this year, and will finish them up.  And  I'll definitely be creating a few handmade things for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Beyond that, I haven't decided for sure yet.  I'll let you know!

But regardless of what I decide, I do plan to be here in the Christmas kitchen just as often as possible, and I'll have plenty of recipes along with crafting and decorating inspiration to share.  I'll stop in again very soon!

Friday, August 05, 2016

A couple of pretty 1970s cards

This card features both knitting and embroidery.
 First, I'd like to thank all of my readers and blog friends who stopped by to visit my Christmas kitchen during Christmas in July!  It was a great mental health booster for me to spend that time in my Christmas kitchen, and I'm thankful for all of you who visited and left comments.  So thank you!  Now, to the topic at hand ...

I may be all wrong about this, but from my limited observations of greeting cards in recent decades, it seems that the 1970s -- as the United States approached and then observed its bicentennial, were a time to re-emphasize traditional handcrafts.  A number of the cards I've seen from the 70s reflect this.  Here are a couple of examples I've recently found.

The mitten card at the top of the post features a knitted mitten embellished with embroidery.  To me it looks as if the mitten may have been sewed from a repurposed sweater.  A veritable sampler of embroidery stitches adorn the mitten, from simple cross stitches and chain stitch on the cuff, to satin, chain, and straight stitches, plus French knots, on the hand part of the mitten.  I like the design of poinsettias, holly, and snowflakes and am thinking it was no small challenge to stitch these on the cable-knitted mitten.  Very unique and pretty.
This one features embroidery and applique.
Then I also found the card above.  This one has applique beautifully embellished with embroidery, and features a cross-stitch border around the edge of the design.  If you'd like to see more of the detail, remember that you can double-click on the picture to enlarge it.  I love the sprigs of fir and holly (especially the fir) tucked in with the poinsettias.  How I'd love to duplicate this!  But I have so many want-to-make projects already that this one probably won't get done anytime soon.  Maybe I will frame the card and enjoy it that way.  We will see!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

One last vintage card

For our last day of Christmas in July, I'm sharing another vintage card from the 1970s.  This is just a simple card from a boxed assortment, but I liked many things about it. 

The verse, of course, is a familiar one:

"Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
is the joy that comes back to you."

But I like the swirly trim on the edges of the design that give a definite 1970s vibe to the card.  I also like the pretty candy jars with the red and white peppermint candies against the card's red background. 

Hope you've enjoyed this card as well.  Thanks for visiting my Christmas kitchen for Christmas in July!