Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Archive for December, 2009

Last day of the Christmas tour….

Posted by mandyhuckins on December 23, 2009

Today, we will finish the tour of the Christmas decorations in my home. 

One of my absolute favorite decorations is my nativity.  It is made by Lladro and was collected piece by painstaking piece over many years.  My husband and parents were very happy during those years because they always knew what to get me for Christmas.  Isn’t it breathtaking?

Can you believe that this is in my kitchen?  But, the computer desk top is the perfect display space for it and in this house, the only room for it was in the eating area of the kitchen.

In front of the computer desk is the kitchen table.  Here is a picture of the table top.

I had a bright idea to put wreaths on the back of the kitchen chairs.  They are cute, but the dollar store only had three.  I bought them thinking I could find another later, but so far, I haven’t.  So, it looks a little funny….

This is what is on top of our fridge:

This is on one of the kitchen walls.

This is my favorite new Christmas decor.  I am going to have a really hard time taking this down afer the holidays – I might just leave it up for awhile.  It is hanging in the entryway over a coat rack.  This picture definitely does not do it justice – it is absolutely stunning.  It is handpainted by the very, very talented Jennifer Macneill Traylor from Gypsy Mare Studios.  For a delightful read, beautiful photographs and to see what gorgeous work she is creating, please visit her blog The Mare’s Tales

Couldn’t that be me, dressed all in my favorite color, being pulled along by my beautiful black Dancer?  🙂  Well, probably  not really, unless I wanted to take my life into my hands.  I am not sure she would love dragging something behind her. 

And, speaking of Dancer, you didn’t think I would forget her, did you?  This is the wreath on her stall, complete with horseshoe ribbon.

Ok, sorry for the detour.  Now to finish the rest of my house – this is down the hallway.  Since we do not have a fireplace or a hearth (what is it with not having fireplaces whenever we live anywhere cold where we could use them?  We had one in Montgomery, Alabama and Charleston, South Carolina, but not in North Dakota, Germany or Kansas. Sigh.) Anyway, this is where we hang our stockings.

Also in this hallway, I hung two yard sale picture frames that I converted to chalkboards.  On them, I put quotations from one of my favorite Christmas songs.  I wish my handwriting were better…

At the end of the hall is our bedroom, where I hung sparkly little reindeer from the dollar store over our bed.

To conclude the tour, let’s slip outside for a moment…  (Don’t you just love how on the night I go out to take the picture, the lights go out on one of the stars?)

I’ll leave you for today with a close-up of the swag I made (yes, made) using lots of ideas and suggestions from the blog world.  And, again, due to our lack of fireplace and mantle, my creative endeavor had to go outside.  But, more people see it this way, I guess.  🙂

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Christmas in the dining room….

Posted by mandyhuckins on December 22, 2009

As promised, the Christmas tour of my house continues in the dining room today.  In this house, the dining and living room are actually all one.  But, there is a lot of Christmas to see, so I decided to break it up into two posts.  Want to see the rest of the living room decorations?  Check out yesterday’s post.

This is the dining room table.  It has a gold colored table cloth left over from Thanksgiving.  On top of that are two lovely evergreen tree lace table toppers I got at the famous Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas store in Rothenburg Germany.  (Tired of hearing about Germany?)  The reindeer candle holders are new for this year.  I got them at Hobby Lobby last week at half price!  They were the last two….I am telling you ladies, this year, if you wait until the day after Christmas, there isn’t going to be anything left in the stores!  I love them.  I filled them with jingle bells from the dollar store.  Around them, I grouped a little crystal bowl filled with small ornaments and a floral pick from the dollar store and two larger ornaments on crystal candlestick holders.  I haven’t ever done this before, but I think I really like how it turned out.  What do you think?

This is the buffet….

This is a close up (albeit a blurry one) of the gorgeous ornament on the first shelf:

Here is the china cabinet.  I have a collection of green glass in there year-round, but toss in a few sprigs of red berries and it looks very Christmas-y.  I also added some sparkly gold ornaments from the dollar store and a few Christmas decorations I had and ta-da!

Tomorrow, I will show you the kitchen and some other miscellaneous things (including my most favorite new Christmas decoration).

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Christmas time is here….

Posted by mandyhuckins on December 21, 2009

Since you haven’t heard from me in over three months, I thought I might ease my way back into your good graces with a Christmas post.  I have always, always loved Christmas.  I get totally wrapped up in the fun and excitement of the season.  When we lived in Germany, I was in heaven – those Germans really know how to elevate the holiday season to a whole new level – Christmas markets – hot spiced wine – beautiful and unusual decorations.  I really have to exercise self control not to start decorating the house or listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  My husband, on the other hand, is the opposite.  I think every year he says “we don’t really need to have a Christmas tree this year, right?”  What?!?  I never really know if he means it or not, but needless to say, this is our 13th Christmas tree.  🙂  I am not even sure why he complains, since the output he expends in decorating for Christmas is very, very minimal. 

No matter – I am up to the task.  And, this year, despite our house being one of the smallest since our very first apartment, I have really gone overboard with the decorating.  I just can’t seem to stop.  Seriously, I think I have added something to the decorations every day since Thanksgiving!  And, the shopping – my goodness!  Seems like everyone is having sales this year before Christmas and I have been taking full advantage.  So, come on in, look around and soak up some holiday cheer.

This is the view coming in the front door.  Don’t you just love that beautiful golden deer?  I attended a Holiday Table Display at the Wichita Arts Center back in November and I saw this deer decorating one of the tables.  I had to have him! 

Here is a shot of the tree.  Sort of blurry, but you get the idea. It is very traditional and filled with a variety of ornaments we have collected along the way.

And, here is one of our favorite ornaments.  It is a glass santa made in Poland.  We bought it at a Christmas Market booth in Strasburg, France.  The picture doesn’t even do it justice.  The detail is amazing.

And, speaking of Santas, here is my Russian Santa collection. 

The German Christmas village:

And, the German Christmas Market display:

And, here are two close-ups:

This is the pyramid from Germany:

Here is the picture hanging above it – a depiction of the Strasburg Christmas Market.  I love this picture – sorry about the glare from the flash, but it was too dark to do without it.

I have two poinsettias in a basket on the table beside the couch.  They were left over from the Thanksgiving decorations.

That’s the living room.  Tomorrow – the tour continues in the dining room.

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