Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Welcome Christmas!

"And so -
 Christmas comes to bless us!
Comes to teach us how to find
The joy of giving happiness
And the joy of being kind."

Gertrude Tooley Buckingham
"There Will Always Be A Christmas", 1940

This year,
 we have deviated from the norm 
for Christmas;
 the norm being a faux tree
 and mostly faux greenery.

  We decided on a fresh tree 
for the first time
 in a number of years.
  Even though faux trees
 are usually beautiful to look at,
 we got so tired 
of trying to stuff those branches
 back into the boxes they came in!

 a plaster Santa and tree
 are nestled among fresh pine branches 
with candles and pine cones,
 backed by a needlepoint picture 
I worked a few years ago
 of Noah's Ark.

There is no substitution
 for the wonderful smell
 that lingers throughout the house.

 Those spray cans of pine "scent" 
just can't compete!

 In the words of 
someone I greatly admired...

"Gather peace from nature.  Decking the halls of our home with fresh evergreen boughs encourages us to inhale the scent in slow, deep breaths."

Tasha Tudor

Santa comes
 in many shapes, sizes and colors
 this Christmas,
 and a few are assembled
 on the sitting room shelf,
 along with some whimsical trees
 fashioned out of
 bits of twine and yarn...

...these two places 
are the only ones
 where I used faux greenery.

  The fireplace mantle
 is a no brainer
 because of the heat from the stove
 and I didn't fancy
 needles falling down on us 
while sitting on the sofa
 under the shelf.

Another large
 paper mache Santa
 that I made 
sits on the game table
 along with a vintage
 Tom and Jerry set
 that belonged to my mom.

In the chimney cupboard 
a few houses
 from the Hallmark -
 Sarah, Plain and Tall

...along with a pottery heart
 that celebrates
 two of the simple pleasures
 of Christmas.

The parlor mantle
 is set 
with the blue of the wallpaper in mind 
and a few vintage reds 
to pick up the colors
 from the other rooms.

This lustre
 was given to me
 by an elderly friend of the family
 many years ago
 who knew that I loved antiques.

  It originally was one of a pair
 but when we went through 
the 1989 earthquake in Santa Cruz, 
one got broken.

We found our Noble Fir
 at one of the tree lots in town. 
 It was the first one we saw
 and we didn't take anytime to tag it.
  It looked pretty perfect
 but it was actually hard to decorate. 
 I couldn't find many branches
 to hang an ornament on 
where it would hang free,
 so I mostly swagged it
 with glass beads,
 popcorn strings
 and a long strand of wool pom poms
 that I made last year.

 We used the math of 
100 lights per one foot of tree
 so it has 700 lights on it,
 and I think we could have added
 a couple more strings.

 seems to be the "man of the hour"
 at the Cottage this year.

 Here another
 large ceramic jolly old fellow
 stands on the entry chest 
along with a sign that proclaims
 how we feel about Christmas around here! 
 I didn't make this Santa,
 but I did repaint him.
 He was pretty in pink 
when I found him
 at a thrift shop.

The kids are coming
 to celebrate with us
 for a couple of days...
so the guest room
 has taken on a bit
 of the Christmas spirit

I can't tell a lie...
especially at this time of year...
these guest room pictures
 were taken last year 
as I haven't gotten around
 to decorating yet in here,
 but it will be exactly the same,
 I promise!

We brought
 the old screen door 
in from outside 
and it makes a perfect frame
 for a cute tin sign.

I've shown this
 in the past 
but it still remains
 one of my favorites.

A trio of vintage elves
 are having fun
 just hanging around 
like they have done
 since Tami's first Christmas.

 The elves are vintage, not Tami!

...no matter how hard 
he may try,
 Olde Scrooge
 just can't put a damper
 on the Christmas festivities...

...and the stockings are hung with care.

 join me in sending warm wishes and prayers to our friend Diana
 She, and her family,
 will be going through
 a rough time this Christmas.

I'm going to take
 a short time off 
to catch up with a few projects,
 so I wish everyone a


and I will return next year!


Sharing today at:


  1. Your home is just gorgeous all dressed for Christmas,Judy! You have some wonderful collections. Isn't it a joy to get them all out again? Your live tree is spectacular! I agree! No substitute for that wonderful smell! Happy Holidays!

  2. Judy, you have such a lovely and charming home. You have it decorated so warmly and I know all who enter its doors will feel welcome and the Christmas spirit there. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Merry Christmas,

  3. Judy:
    Wow - you have so many beautiful pieces and decorations. I love your tree which is exquisite. Your doorway is amazing. I love the 2 window frames on the mantel. I see so many things I love but these I noticed the most. Oh yes and the pillows on the bed remind me of some I have made and I love your blue transferware! Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  4. Everything is so lovely, Judy! I love all of your sweet and vintage Santa's, what a great collection. May you and your family enjoy a wonderfully blessed Christmas. Hugs, Cindy xo

  5. Wow Judy it all looks so beautiful! Love your tree---its amazing!

  6. Judy, your home and decorations are magnificent. I enjoyed part one of your "Christmas Tide" and part two has me "drooling" too. You are a very talented lady.
    I don't know which vignette is my favorite........just love all of them.
    The windows in your living room are fabulous and I love your blue wallpaper.
    Will pray for Diana's "hero".. Was stricken with cancer myself almost sixteen years ago........so I know how hard the journey is.
    Blessings to you and your family.
    Charlotte in Va.

  7. Judy, you have the magic touch. Your place looks amazing and every single detail is perfect! LOVE the tree!

  8. Judy:
    I would love to have you participate in my blog party - it isn't just tea. It is tea time, cottage and garden which is inclusive of about anything! Just wanted to let you know I changed it about a month or so ago!

  9. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!
    You have every nook and cranny decorated beautifully for Christmas.
    I love it all!!

    Enjoy this beautiful and miraculous season, and time with your loved ones.


  10. Oh Judy as always you just blow me away! Your tree and everything is just gorgeous! What a darling idea about the pompoms. Definitely doing! Did you just find some really chunky yarn? And tell me you didn't string real popcorn! Does it keep from year to year? Merry Christmas to you! Angela

  11. Judy, Yours trees are so pretty. Love the believe sign. All the Santas are just wonderful. You have out done yourself. I enjoyed seeing it all. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  12. Your decorating is great I love the look of the Victorian Christmas
    I have gone back and looked at it twice.
    Enjoy your time off

    Merry Christmas ' Janice

  13. Hi Judy, so nice to hear from you again! I forget how much I love your parlor, the mantel and red, white and blue tree are just breathtaking! And that lustre, I was wondering if you had the pair and then I read on and felt sick! :( That is too bad it got broken, it is just beautiful. I have wanted an antique pair for quite some time now. That was quite a gift. :)
    Your entry area looks sweet with that glass ball wreath hanging on the mirror, and that lampshade is fantastic!
    And your guest bedroom is so cozy and warm feeling. The pinks are perfect, and go so nicely with your cottage style painted dresser-so beautiful!
    Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas and I look forward to more of your posts in 2016!

  14. The best! I just love your tree. Old scrooge made me laugh and you just have some of the neatest ornaments and decorations. So inviting and warm. Love the guest room!

  15. Hi Judy, WOW your cottage home is spectacular. I love everything and going back to look at all the gorgeous vignettes again. Your tree is so pretty!!Love your parlor and the guest room is stunning. Any one staying there would not want to leave. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas sweet friend. Blessings to you always. xo

  16. Judy,
    STUNNING!! Everything is so pretty!! Hats off to you for actually even attempting to put the faux trees back into their original boxes!! I end up using those boxes for swags and find other bigger boxes for the Trees themselves. Our 2 large ones get large plastic bags put over them after they are un-decorated and are left in the stands and put down our shed, standing up!!
    I do not ever remember having a real Tree. When we moved to our new house when I was 4 y/o, My mom said there was no way she was going to be cleaning up needles from her new carpeting until Easter!! Plus she was very fire phobic and was always afraid that a real tree would catch fire and burn her new home down. So that was what i grew up with!! LOL!!
    Your home looks like a picture out of a true Victorian Christmas!!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, my friend!!

  17. Judy, your cottage is beyond charming!! Every room looks wonderful, merry, and bright! Your Noble Fir looks very noble, indeed. I enjoyed seeing all your warm and cheerful touches to your home. We so love Christmas here at our house, and I can tell your family does, too.

    Have a joyous week!


    Denise at Forest Manor

  18. Such a lovely home - thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs on your extremely well-behaved blog. I have pinned several images to a few of my Christmas-themed Pinterest boards, in hopes that others might come see the Christmas magic here. I hope your Christmas is all that you want it to be - and that 2016 is even better.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    - ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder -
    "It takes a village to transform a world!"


    1. Thank you so much, Madelyn. I appreciate your kind words and glad you enjoyed it..Have a very Merry Christmas..Judy

  19. Your cottage looks beautiful all decorated for Christmas!!!! Your tree is so pretty too....I love the smell of a real tree!
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  20. Bon réveillon ....★ Joyeux *. • ˚ ˚ •. ★ ★ Noël. *. °. ° * * ★ ★ Joyeux. • ˚ ˚ ★ ★ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •. Noël ★ ˛ ˚ Π__. * ˚ ★ ★ ★
    ˚ ˛ • ˛ • ˚ */______/~\ . ˚ ˚ ˛ ★ ★ ★
    ˚ ˛ • ˛ • ˚ *| 田田 | 门 |

  21. Can I just move in every Christmas Judy! I want to take in the beauty and the scents of Christmas in your cottage!!!!!!!!!!! It is so, so charming and festive in every way!
    sending hugs for a Merry Christmas!!!

  22. Hi from Rivercrest Cottage. I was raised in Sonoma CA and spent many summers at our property outside of Mokey Hill up by you. Always wanted to live there permanently when I was young. Your cottage is so lovely and inspiring. They don't make houses like that with all that beautiful trim any more. I'm your newest follower. Will be back soon to read older posts. Merry Christmas.


Your comments are so special to me...Judy