Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Vignettes by my friend Jill

My friend Jill has a wonderful talent.  She is a master at creating holiday magic in her home. This is her last Christmas in this home of over 20 years, as she is building her dream home in the Carolinas and will move this year.   I love to stroll thru her home during the holidays, as I am always inspired by her vignettes.   Here are some pictures that I captured of her home this season.

Enter the front porch by a beautiful arrangement of fresh holiday greens.

Fresh boughs of greens and needlepoint pillows on the bench, welcome every guest.

Enter the large foyer, with the beautiful arrangement on the table by the stairs.
Notice the grouping of ornaments and candles at the base- layer upon layer of holiday delight.



 Enter the living room- decorated in neutrals.

Santa in a silver compote- enhanced by silver branches and ornaments.

Rhinestone embellished gilded pears lay in beds of rhinestone coral.

A masterful display of cement sheep, natural greens and embellished boxes!


In to the dining room, where tartan prevails.  An old tartan throw is used as the tablecloth.


 A beautiful arrangement of fresh greens share the table with Jan Barboglio candlelit vessels.
Frosted kale, grapes and velvet pumpkins are assembled to create this beautiful tapestry of color on the dining room sideboard.


Carrying on with the tartan theme in the kitchen and family room, Jill's collection of antique tartanware is showcased in this vignette.

The fireplace is ready with stockings made from vintage throws and antique fur collars. 
A stack of tartan throws to snuggle in by the fire.

Brown transferware in the antique pine cupboard is joined by a collection of chalkware Santas.

Jill's collection of handmade Santa's, has been assembled through the years. 

I love the face on this guy!  Notice the tartan scarf and the great crest pin.

To the kitchen island display-

The butler pantry display- chalkware angels and Santas with vintage compotes and old silver.

To the pine dining table in the kitchen! 

Tartan tea towels mixed with vintage monogrammed white towels- so pretty!

As I walked through Jill's house,  memories came flooding back to me.  We have been friends for over 30 years.  Annual Christmas shopping expeditions to favorite haunts were one of our favorite things to do together.  So I remember where and when most of these decorations were found.  Trips to Marshall Fields State Street Christmas Shop ,  Peachtree Place, Kimball and Bean's annual holiday event, trips to Nell Hill's and Hall's Department store in Kansas City, trips to Geneva and Sentimental Gardens,  Monchee Farm in Wisconsin, and of course, the over the top Christmas at Romancing the Home.  As we both complete our homes in the Carolina's this year,  I only wonder what we will find there.  A whole new world awaits our discovery!   I am so lucky to have a friend so dear! 
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Season Sightings

   I have celebrated Christmas with family and friends  at home for 40 years.   Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite "chores" during the year, so I truly missed it this year.  All of my Christmas decorations are packed up in storage, not to be opened until our new home is complete - hopefully by next Christmas. Since we sold our home in the summer and our new one isn't ready yet, we decided to spend Christmas in the city of  Chicago this year.
It was a different Christmas pace this year- having time to do little things- shop at a leisurely pace, try out a new recipe, have a facial, watch all the Hallmark Christmas movies that make me cry ! 
So I share with you glimpses of this  season- some moments that I will remember-
 for this final year in Chicago. 

Time to take bubble baths using these beautiful "bath salt cupcakes". - locally made in Hendersonville, NC.  

Time to shop antique stores !   Finding a set of fuchsia service plates at a wonderful price.
Again- time to shop in other retailers.  I haven't been in a Pier One Imports for over 10 years,
but this year I did!   Awesome selection of place mats and napkins.

Time to enjoy my  daughter's dining table set for the holidays! 

 Time to bathe and brush  my dog, Harry !  

The only holiday décor in our little rental- an antique pickle jar full of amaryllis.

Inspired by an article in an European home décor magazine,
 found time to scour the internet for  a red quill pen.

 Time to stare out the window of our hotel room at the Drake in Chicago
 and  enjoy the beauty of Lake Michigan..

Time to walk to Restoration Hardware for lunch and enjoy all the Chicago Brownstones that are
so beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Enjoying the lights in the city at dusk.

Having dinner at the Boarding House in Chicago on Christmas Eve- where the chandelier over the
bar is composed of  9000 clear wine glasses!

And the chandelier in the dining room is made of thousands of wine bottles.


Watching my husband take a homeless man, who had slept in the park all night,
 a warm breakfast on Christmas morning.

 Enjoying the architecture of the Drake Hotel.

Having tea in the Palm Court at the Drake on Christmas Day rather than cooking.

Wrapping little boxes of macarons for my husband's staff.

Time to enjoy my daughter's creativity.  I love this little clementine wreath that she made me. 

Being on Michigan Avenue on the day after Christmas and getting to score great deals on
Neiman Marcus ornaments.

Shopping the Ralph Lauren store the day after Christmas and finding a pair of the leopard shams that I have longed for so long- at half price!!

Returning home on the day after Christmas and not having to take down a dead tree.
Just put away an antique pickle jar that is filled with starry  lights.



Coming home and making my husband some apple rose morning rolls. 
Enough of these restful holidays!
Next year will be back to the hectic pace of a Christmas at home with a house full of people.
A crazy Christmas with all my family and friends -A time I hold dear to my heart!
 Merry Christmas to all!