The Christmas Cottage

I didn’t post last week, I have just been extremely busy getting ready for the Christmas Holiday.  This year, our local Lowe’s here in McKinney is sponsoring my house for Christmas.  The manager, Brian Washburn has been extremely generous and accommodating by providing us decorations to support our design.  When I say “our” design,  it really is the vision of my good friend, antique dealer, merchandiser and designer, Vince Maggio of GOOD LOOK, Inc..

He designs, I execute.  As such, it has been very busy.

This year, it is all about simplicity.  A Very Simple Christmas.

We’ll have more pictures in my next posting, but for now…here is a sneak peak:

Rustic and refined. Sparkly bow, real pepperberries, fresh greens from Lowe’s in a vintage water can.






Great Tidings of Joy

What is the holiday without going off into the twinkly lit night bundled up for a visit with family and friends, or having holiday guests for a short stay?

Here is a sweet, thoughtful idea that has an element of easy handmade to it.  Easy enough of a craft to fit in amongst all the other hustle and bustle of the Holidays, but involved enough so that your gift recipients appreciate the effort.

Hand made holiday match boxes gifted with a candle for hostess gifts to say thank you or left on a bedside table for an overnite visitor to say welcome.  Use your favorite scented candle; something that will remind them of you.  My personal favorite is Trapp Candle Scent No. 04, Orange Vanilla.  It is a fragrance that oddly works in the breezy days of summer or the cozy, cold nights of winter.  If you order one online, or pick one up…I think you will be glad you did.


Orange Vanilla Trapp Candle.


The matchbox steps:

Simple designs using clip art printed on copy paper.

Use your sticker machine or use traditional glue.

The finished product:

Different designs limited only by your imagination.


Craft store embelishments to add a little Holiday sparkle.

Packaged for gifting:

The home made match box paired with a favorite candle, in festive packaging.

Welcome your Holiday Guest with something to fall asleep by.

Coupled with Holiday treats as a Hostess gift.


Shooting Rubber Bands at the Paper Christmas Stars.


Christmas is on it’s way!

Several years ago, I was particularly industrious and decided I wanted mostly a paper, handmade Christmas.  I had some really pretty Christmas paper and my brand new Sizzix machine with a star shaped die cut.

I had a fleeting thought that it would be interesting to sew paper with my sewing machine and as the idea evolved in my head, I decided to sew two like shaped pieces together, add a ribbon for hanging and stuff a little cotton between the two sheets of paper to give it some dimension.

A fairly quick and easy idea that can translate to many ideas and projects.  If I do them this year, I will probably use simple Kraft paper and use a more decorative stitch.  The idea is only limited by your imagination!

I hope you find some inspiration.



Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Tinsel and Paper

Damask Paper Pattern

Pretty Pastels

Florals at Christmas

Christmas Inspiration


The History of Christmas…The Christmas Tree



Gifts for the tree.


Did you know that the first police force ever created was created in the 1820’s at the behest of the New York City Council in response to a particularly raucous Christmas season riot the year before?  Following in the footsteps of early forms of  what would evolve into Christmas celebrations, there was a frenzied, criminal element to the celebration that carried over to the United States.   While that eventually changed, one thing that has remained the same is the iconic Christmas Tree.

With it’s German roots, an engraving that was printed in London in 1847, then reprinted in a Philadelphia publication three years later in 1850 of the Queen, her husband of German ancestry and her children celebrating around a Christmas Tree, set the standard that remains today:

The Royal Family, 1847 that was reprinted in a Philadelphia publication in 1850.


Painting by Viggo Johansen, c. 1891