The Christmas Spirit is Alive & Well ...Come In For a Tour!

Sunday, December 16, 2018
It looks a lot like Christmas here in the Welter household.  I have a little addiction (ok, a monumental one) when it comes to Christmas.  It's not about the presents, I'm pretty conservative when it comes to that.  It's the stuff around the house that I can't seem to get enough of.  I follow a number of home decor blogs and trust me when I say, my house in no way is or attempts to replicate any of those eye popping, jaw dropping, magazine-worthy homes.  I may rival them when it comes to my love of decorating, but my home does not reflect current trends, or Instagram feeds. It reflects 40 years of memories, collecting, and perhaps some year-to-year additions to those collections.  In fact, regular readers of the blog might notice I didn't do my annual Christmas series featuring my favorite shops.  Trust's not because I love them less.  No, it's due to something more serious than that.  It's because I have zero discipline and self control when it comes to Christmas merchandise.  Consequently, my shop series has historically cost me a ton of cash over the years and has increased John's haul from the attic dramatically.  In full disclosure, I still visited a 'few' of those shops and proved that I ... 1) still have no will power and 2) it doesn't matter how old I get or how much stuff I've accumulated, I can't resist adding more.  I admit it, Christmas is my weakness and I think you'll see that by the end of this post.    For now, come on in and I'll show you around!
The first thing to greet you (and the biggest) is my gorgeous Christmas tree painting by one of my favorite local artists, Shelly Broughton.  Shelly is the mom of the much loved and sought out owner of the Bluebird Home Decor Shop, now in Schenectady.  I have several of Shelly's paintings, a few that you'll see on tour.  This tree painting was a gift from a very dear friend.
Most of my artificial greens (and other goodies) come from the wonderful Speckled Hen in Scotia.  Speckled Hen was one of my 'must visit' shops and as always, I came out with quite a collection of goodies.  I'll point a few of them out as I go.  If you're a regular reader, you know my home is full of Maureen's merchandise.  Head up the stairs with me to the living room.....
 Sophie relaxing as she soaks up the fireplace heat.  My three (yes, 3) new Shelly Broughton paintings to the left of the fireplace.  I am in love with her gnome Santas and that fox has been tugging at my heartstrings since Nicolle first shared them on Instagram.  I tried to resist, but hey, life is short, right?  And they rounded out that end of the wall nicely, don't you think?

No matter what the subject of photos I post...this family tree wall always catches attention.  This was a decal project from a few years ago.

 Now this handsome big guy above is the handiwork of another talented crafter, Jennifer Searles (Jena's One of A Kind Creations).  Jen makes all sorts of beautiful creations.  I 'had' to have this fella.

 Sometimes little elves stop by ...... I caught this one checking things out.

 I think my love of Christmas started long ago....maybe even during this conversation I had with the Big Guy. (circa 1956ish)
Sophie likes the view too!

The shot above was taken from my recliner.  I don't have such a bad view!  That beautiful candle, holder and candle ring....Speckled Hen.    Below we changed it up in the tv corner with a wooden crate full of Christmas books, a treasured Santa made by a dear old friend, a new Santa (a gift from a new dear friend) and one of my collector dolls all dressed up for the holidays.

Now on to the family room.......

Above my collection of mostly all homemade snowmen.  Earlier in the post was a shelf of Santas...again, almost all handmade by yours truly.
 My family room tree is my 'white mouse' (red & white) tree. My collection of white mice began in 1980 when our first daughter was gifted a couple of Hallmark ornaments that were white mice.  Since then I've gone on to collect a lot....too many to count, not just Hallmark but all kinds.

The photo above (behind the bears) features another of Shelly's paintings, a sea bird.  This year we opted to use our tiny nativity for a change....same message, just smaller scale than our huge one.
I'm not sure if it was old age catching up with me, my brain taking longer to formulate design ideas, the vast amount of 'stuff' that needed to be put out or what, but this year's arrangement took about a week and a half.  At this rate, next year I better start in October.  As much as I love all of it, I would be content with just three little elves in my arms at Christmas....

 Thanks for stopping by and indulging my addiction.  Whether you're surrounded by your own beautiful decor or opt for a more controlled display....I'm hoping that your heart is full and your blessings plentiful this Christmas and throughout the New Year.
For more information about some of my favorite sources for all things Christmas (and everyday), I've included links below.  Merry Christmas One and All!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...Festival of Trees 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018
If I were to ask you what symbol comes to mind when you think of Christmas.....I think most of you would answer a Christmas tree.  Some of  you might respond differently....perhaps answering with the obvious and religious response of 'baby Jesus in the manger' or similar thoughts (the true reason for the season), but second to that ....I think most of us quickly envision Christmas trees.  Today John and I discovered for the first time the perfect and most abundant display of Christmas trees at the Festival of Trees in Schenectady, New York.  This marks the 12th annual Festival of Trees, a fundraising event for and partnership between the Schenectady Historical Society and the YWCA of Northeastern NY.  Community organizations sponsor a tree and decorate it based on a chosen theme.  That theme may be elegant or it might be humorous and quirky.  Trees are displayed in both the Historical Society and in the YWCA on Washington Avenue.   According to the brochure (I was too mesmerized to count) there are 39 trees in the Historical Society and 20 in the YWCA.  I can't show you each and every tree but I can give you a glimpse of the beautiful display.

I didn't vote on a favorite tree because they were all so special, but this one (below) was definitely a favorite of mine...the Photogra-tree!  It was adorned with film for garland, old cameras, photos and even an old film reel in place of a star.  So original!

This next tree also caught my attention...Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Sadly saw a familiar face here........

Peck the Halls....Find the chickens!!! 

The Festival of Trees continues through December 16th and is open daily from 10:00am-5:00pm.  Admission is $6.00 for adults, children under 12 are free. Make it a point to get to Schenectady to support this worthwhile and wonderful event.  The Schenectady Historical Society is located at 32 Washington Avenue (in the Stockade district) and the YWCA is just down the street at 44 Washington Avenue.  For more information, you can call the Historical Society at 518-374-0263.   

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