"There is a smiling summer here, which causes birds to sing, and sets the bees in motion". Emily Dickinson, 1858

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Today was a perfect day to enjoy the beginning of our Christmas story.  We put up some decorations and we had a rain storm.  It was very cold and windy outside and having the fires and candles lit, and the lamps on, added to the warmth and the anticipation of Christmas.

While we were nestled all snug in the Cottage not a creature was stirring, okay, maybe a mouse!

We had to have a jumping off place to start our decorating and we chose the kitchen.

Awhile back, after we had finished the kitchen remodel, one of my good friends, Barbara at 21 Rosemary Lane, commented that she was impressed and it helped make a decision for her to spruce (as she called it) up her kitchen.  Well, then it was my time to become impressed.  When she posted about her new buffalo check drapes and the black and white accents that she added, I thought that my carefully planned out scheme was definitely lacking.  Then when the Farmer's Daughter of The Country Farm Home posted about her new kitchen/keeping room with the incredibly beautiful checkerboard floor that she and her hubby so painstakingly planned out and painted, it just sealed the deal that I had to go over and above what I had already done with a little help from my friends.  Also, I remember reading in a decorating book by Alexandra Stoddard where she stated that every room in a house must have a bit of black in it.  So I got busy and this is what I came up with.  Nothing too drastic was done. I think I'm happier with the touches that were added, but I still can only hope to achieve the lovliness that those two talented ladies accomplished.

So here are the decorations for the first part of our Christmas story.

You will notice that I have used toys in an overall placement around the room.  You will see this a lot during the course of our Christmas story.  When Jake was born we fixed up a small sun porch as his room when he visited.  At the time I was working, and a lot of my paycheck was spent on Ebay.  Namely on toys for his little room.  As in most things, I got slightly carried away and now that he is grown, I am hanging on to them in hopes that one day (in the far distant future) his children may enjoy them.  Most are vintage, some are hand made, some have a permanent place on display in the Cottage, but most will be brought out at Christmas.

"Nursery magic is very strong and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise...understand."

"The Velveteen Rabbit"

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of our Christmas story.  I will bring more as the decorating progresses, and I'd like to thank again the lovely ladies who inspire me always.

Until then I hope you all have silver bells and silent nights....Judy

I'm sharing with...


  1. Judy everything looks great! Very cozy! :)

  2. I love checks. The chair toppers and sink cabinet curtain are just darn cute. I love old toys too. Thanks for the mini tour.

  3. I love that you decorated with vintage toys. I've been buying a few here and there since my grandson was born. They look amazing! I've got to go back and see if I can add in some black accents, too. I think your collectibles make for a perfectly cozy kitchen.

  4. Beautiful Judy! Love that black checked fabric.What sweet toys too! That vintage bear and car are so cool!

  5. Very charming Judy!! Love your checks and vintage toys~ thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

  6. Judy- I love your black and white touches and your vintage toys. I have to say that rabbit in the checked dress looks exactly like the ones I sold. Does it have long straight bloomers on by any chance? I could swear I made it!;>) Hope you had a great day. xo Diana

  7. Your kitchen is so cute and charming. Love the black and white check fabric!

  8. OMGosh Judy I love it!!! You put such a smile on my face you know!!! I love the black and white in your kitchen and am so flattered that you mentioned me in this post. Where did you find the buffalo check chair covers...or did you make them? And I love that you included a quote from the Velveteen Rabbit...that is one of my all time favorite children's books. Wonderful post Judy, I can't wait to see the rest of your holiday decorating!!!
    Have a wonderful Friday and thank you again for the shout out.
    XO Barbara

  9. Hi Judy, I've just come over from Feathered Nest Fridays...and I must say, I love your cottage kitchen.
    I have a cottage kitchen. I've just this summer added black to my coloring in that room too.
    I haven't quite decided...but think, I may have OVER DONE IT. Maybe a curtain at the sink would break it up a bit.
    The thing about 'cottage' is; you just can't go wrong really.
    You have such a lovely kitchen and I'll be reading more here at Gold country Cottage!

    so nice to meet you, Pat

  10. Judy, your kitchen is wonderful! It truly feels so warm and cozy; and I can feel the love that you have put into it. Beautiful!

  11. Love the black and white checked chair covering. The vintage toys are perfect for a Country Cottagy Christmas. I love your little wooden box with the vintage glasses. I'm just a nut about it all!

    Thanks for your sweet comments. I'm now working out of town and don't have the time to visit as much as I did when I was home.

    It's been good to work again after a year sabbatical.

  12. Well I do think you under estimate yourself. Your kitchen is so pretty, and love the black and white accents. Loving the vintage toys too. I think you kitchen can stand with the best of them, we offer don't realize how good we are. Stand back, take a look, and be proud, very proud!

  13. It is all looking absolutely beautiful Judy.You have a lovely eye for things and I think you chose well.Enjoy your weekend!

  14. Hi Judy,

    I love all of your changes! Did you make the garland above the window? It is adorable. Your home looks cozy and I can't wait to see your tree.

    Amy Jo

  15. Hi Judy
    Your kitchen looks wondeful. I love the touches of black. I really enjoyed my visit. Thanks so much for stopping by blog and the kind words you left for me.
    Have a great weekend!

  16. Judy,
    Your kitchen is so incredibly charming and looks so festive with all the decorations you have added! Love the black buffalo check fabric and the toys too!
    Have a great weekend!!!!

  17. Hi Judy,
    Your Christmas story is getting off to a very nice start! I love using toys too, especially under the tree. I love your teddy in the car! Thank you for sharing your charming post with us at my HOME and have a beautiful weekend.


  18. Judy your kitchen looks beautiful. I love all the black and white touches.


  19. Hi Judy! I just got my internet back (again) and the first thing I did was check your blog--and was I surprised! You make me blush! Our black and white check floor was a big leap for me. I'm just lucky it turned out ok!
    I love the black and white touches in your kitchen! And, the Christmas decorations. It's all just lovely--so warm and comfy. I'd feel right at home there. You definitely know how to put things together. Can't wait to see the rest of your journey toward Christmas!
    Sending you a big hug and thanks,

  20. Your kitchen looks so cozy and I love the black & white! I really enjoyed the Velveteen Rabbit quote- one of my all time favorites.

  21. I just love your Christmas theme with the old toys. They are beautiful! And the pillow with Santa on I wish I had here, lol. He is adorable.
    Sorry I haven't answered your question about "busblicken". I haven't been well this week. Got a respiratory inflammation and now have medicine for it. Not something that I like. But my coughing is much better so I hope things will be back to normal next week!!
    "Busblick" means roguish look. She IS very roguish our dog, lol.
    I do hope you'll have a great weekend. I hope I'll manage to make a new post tomorrow - with English!!!
    Love Elzie

  22. Everything looks wonderful! I really like you candelabra with the battery candle lights!! I must do that! Thank you so much for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  23. A beautiful, warm & inviting home, I love it!

  24. So far, I love your Christmas story! Your kitchen is so pretty and cozy. The black and white checkered accents are great. I love the bouquet of rosemary, rose-hips and holly in the white pitcher.

  25. I love every bit of this Judy! Absolutely wonderful. The chair slips are fabulous!!

  26. Such a great idea to use the vintage toys to decorate. I love the checked accents all around and I am crazy about your island with all those drawers! Dianne

  27. Judy,
    How inspiring! You kitchen is the perfect blend of joy, coziness, and warmth! Love the accents of black and red!
    dee dee

  28. Hi Judy! Everything looks just wonderful and so sweet!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  29. Hi Judy!
    I am oooing and ahhhhing right now! Your home is so warm and inviting. I love..love..love your big gingham checks. They really do add a special touch of country charm. Just look at your darling toys and it's wonderful that your son once played with them. How special and full of sentiment they all are...and, will be to your future grandchildren.
    Thank you for sharing the first chapter of your Christmas story.

  30. Very pretty, Judy! I love your kitchen! Great touches of black. If we had stayed in our old house I would have liked to have done something similar. We were do for some kind of change, then found out we were transferring with my husband's job last year. Love your Christmas decor, especially how you incorporated it onto your counters.

  31. Judy, I love the black and white buffalo print!!! When I lived in Ohio, I wallpapered our kitchen in that check and loved it so much.

  32. Mmm where to start. Love the sprinkles of black and white, love the kitchen and the toys. I love it all. Wanna come decorate my house. ;o)

  33. Ohh, Judy..I just love your kitchen! Thank you for joining HSH!

  34. OMG - I'm just in love with your kitchen - those touches are perfect ( and make me want to copy them badly ) I've been dying to change my floor our to a black and white checkerboard for awhile now!!! Love the curtain under the sink - and your decorations make your Kitchen look absolutely magical!
    Great great job Judy! Can't wait to see more in this series.

  35. what a charming kitchen, judy! i love the teddy in the old car, too!

  36. Judy,I love the black accents and You always inspire Me in My home with Your wonderful cottagexxx

  37. Oh my goodness, you have a lovely post. You did a great job in decorating a Christmas theme on your place. Love that kitchen!

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  38. So adorable! Love to see more country bloggers! Not everything needs to be WHITE! I am a new follower too!

    I wanted to share with you my new blog, just opened this week.... http://www.brookekroeger.blogspot.com.... it will be for my vingage and digital work... including printables you might enjoy. I also have my home and garden site, http://www.creativecountrymom.blogspot.com. This week I am doing a look back to my spring garden.

    Hope to be able to connect more in this new year. I am spending less time on Facebook and gave up twitter and everything else. A girl needs time to create, decorate and GARDEN ya know!

    God bless....Brooke


Your comments are so special to me...Judy