Welcome to my Christmas 2016 House Tour

Friday, December 16, 2016
One of the things I've learned that bloggers do is follow other bloggers.  Same is true for Instagramers.  Time doesn't allow for following too many, but I do have some favorites which I'll share with you at the end of this post.   Now, my home certainly looks nothing like any of their homes, not even close.  And I'm fine with that because my home is filled with old, sentimental memorabilia, each piece holding a story and memory of our 38 Christmases together.  I love my little home and I love Christmas (which will be abundantly obvious when you read today's post). I've decided to once again do a little holiday home tour for you all.  The other purpose for this house tour is to give you a taste of what takes place when I do these shop series for you....or should I say what happens as a result.  So if you're interested, come on in to our Christmas Wonderland.
Doing my shop posts has been both a joy and a hazard.  It's been impossible to visit and photograph so many incredible shops without coming home with some new additions to my already shamefully large collection.  For instance, last year I got the tin pitcher above and the greenery from the Speckled Hen. Don't you just love the frosted jingle bells?  Speckled Hen is my 'go-to' shop for beautiful artificial greenery.....and lots of other things ;)
Our family room this year houses my 'Mouse' tree.  When my oldest daughter was born, friends gave her two Hallmark ornaments with white mice on them.  Well, 36 years and hundreds of mice later - I've collected enough to cover an entire tree. The window over my couch came from Second Chance Barn in Granville.
The felt mouse on the bottom right (above) is from Vischer Ferry General Store.  Love him!

The bookcase below, also from Second Chance Barn, provides a safe, out of reach place for some little Christmas characters that were gifts from my girls when they were little.  And the top of it provides me with a whole new space for my Charming Tales collection as well as a ceramic tree my mom painted long ago.  The needlework was made by me (hard to believe now) for Katie when I was pregnant for her in 1980.

Notice the cat on the rocker...
Now on to the living room.  One of the problems with following home decor bloggers is that they are talented and inspirational.  Several of them this year decorated with flocked trees, which go really well in their almost all white color schemes.  Well, I don't have an all white color scheme, but I was mesmerized by them so I bit the bullet and ordered one from Balsam Hill.  Let me tell you, when it arrived and we began putting it together, even before fluffing the branches, it's beauty was so profound that it brought tears to my eyes - literally. I'm telling you, this tree is gorgeous.  And the quality is amazing.  The tree comes in 3 pieces which just go together with ease - no plugs to find and attach.  The electrical connection is right inside the trunk. Balsam Hill even sends gloves to wear for fluffing without hurting your hands, a box full of replacement bulbs, fuses and extra feet for the stand and a huge bag for storing the tree after the holidays.  This company is really top notch.

This tree is decorated in a Woodland theme.  I kept it pretty monochromatic so as not to detract from the beauty of the flocking.  I only used ornaments I already had with white frosted balls, burgundy balls, and an assortment of acorn, pinecone, icicles, birds and woodland creatures - all in a mostly white palette.  I was pretty happy at how it turned out.  My Woodland Santa from George's Market several years ago was the perfect topper.
That gorgeous mercury glass ball with the nest inside is from Schuyler Pond.  Thanks Amanda!

Also new this year, the beautiful nighttime country landscape (in the photo above) caught my attention and my heart while I was photographing the Garden Bug.  Needless to say, I couldn't resist bringing it home.  The Merry Christmas below it came from the Speckled Hen last Christmas season.
My new acquisitions also extended to my mantle display ......honestly after 38 years, wouldn't  you think I'd have enough decorations and not want more?  In my defense, I did pass down a few to Laura this year for her new house.  Even if I hadn't, I'm pretty sure I'd still have added these.

On the mantle I found this beautiful white fur tree on the left from Kohl's during a 50% off sale in November.  The stack of birdhouses were from the Speckled Hen and the gorgeous wreath came from Chatham Flowers.  You might remember that Maureen, owner of the Speckled Hen, is Kathleen's sister, owner of Chatham Flowers.  I've come to realize no matter what my intentions, it's just impossible to visit either of these shops and leave empty handed.  The Merry Christmas mirror and pine cone tree are both from Michael's and 50% off.  Even though I rearranged the mantle numerous times before being satisfied, in the end I must say I love it with my collection of white pitchers.

But.....all of these new baubles made the fireplace pretty busy so rather than hanging the stockings in their usual place on the mantle, they found a new home on the staircase.  I made those stockings several years ago when I wasn't roaming the countryside snapping photos and writing blog posts.

I decided to use the cover for my antique sewing machine to hold our collection of Christmas books.  

Of course wherever there's a tree skirt, there's a cat.  When Sophie isn't sleeping on it, she's strategically placing her toys under it and then diving into it to retrieve them.  It's a rare sight to find either tree skirt looking neat and not twisted around the tree. She may look sweet and innocent, but don't let that fool you.
I love these frosted twiggy snowflakes which also came from Chatham Flowers.

The cute Santa's Workshop above came from the Garden Bug and I love how it goes with my collection of Santas, many that I painted.  One, to the left of the house, was my dad's and is over 80 years old.  The candle holder and ring - from the Speckled Hen last season.

In the dining room my dry sink turned out to be a great spot for John's music box and my Bearington Bears.  The lighted snowflake - another 50% off find from Michael's, adds the perfect touch.

A Terri Littlefield original - which came home with me after my visit to Crow Cottage.  Isn't he amazing?

As if I didn't already find enough treasures at the Garden Bug, this kissing ball was the perfect touch for my outside entry!  Thanks Char!

I hope you're realizing what a huge sacrifice it is to do all these shop posts for all of you!!  HaHa!  It costs me a fortune and for all of you who don't ask but wonder....I do not make money on my blog.  In fact it's quite the opposite.  Any day now I'm waiting for John to catch on and curtail my hobby.  Seriously though, I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to visit these beautiful shops, feature them in my blog and get to know all of the really wonderful folks who are so talented and so giving of their time and inspiration.  Each trinket I bring home reminds me of the generous people who have opened their businesses to me and allowed me to showcase them here in my little blog.
If you're interested in following some really awesome Instagrams, I especially love:
All of these gals post the most beautiful photos that are such an inspiration - even if my surroundings will never look like theirs.  Did you know that even if you don't want to post pics on Instagram, you can go to Instagram.com and have an account in order to follow other accounts?  You just can't post using that method.  
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your tour and will be inspired to visit one or all of these shops in my 2016 series.  I wish I could tour each of your homes too but I'll settle for wishing you each a very Merry and Peaceful Christmas from our home to yours!


  1. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  2. Your home is so lovely, Gail, and your Christmas decorations just beautiful! Thanks so much for the sweet, sweet Instagram shout out :)

    1. Thank you Diana! You're welcome! Love your stuff!


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