...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ornaments - change them a lot or stay true?

So do you?
Change out the look of your tree from year to year?

I never used to.
But then we had a fire and lost our home and all the contents.
I spent years trying to recreate what we had.
That didn't work.
So now, our tree is almost back to what it was...
 but full of precious new Memories.

Memories such as this one from a most dear friend. I cherish this hand-crafted piece because I treasure the special lady from whom this came. She has been a light in my life.

And these bought at Pottery Barn on Michigan Avenue in Chicago whilst shopping with some of the best buddies for which you could ever wish!

A darling gourd hand-carved, picked out by my sweet husband on a trip to Santa Fe. What a surprise!

 Mushrooms - this reminds me of growing up in Germany. We had no pickles on trees, much to the dismay of the retailers who want to sell them, but there were mushrooms on Advent wreaths, on packages, clipped to trees. Maybe this tradition dates back to when the Chris✞mas tree began?

 Purchased in Santa Fe last year when we were able to meet the artist. 

This is not an ornament, don't be fooled. My mother (now smiling down from heaven) purchased these sweet boots for our first son. To precious to be tossed, they dress up some wonderful Martha Pullen collector's dolls or our tree! Yes, they look splendid with heirloom dresses!!

There used to be two of these. The fire consumed one and God put this one in a special place so that I would have it to remember my mom long after she was gone from us. 

Big ornament from Pottery Barn this year, small Santa in the pewter VW bug also new this year. Do you notice the tinsel. How long has it been since you've decked out your tree with this stuff? This is metal tinsel, it drapes so beautifully and reminds me of the trees at my German grandparent's. 

A pewter angel from Germany.

We've done a lot of traveling to visit our youngest son these past 5 years. There is a shop in Mineral Wells, (on the way to Dallas) that we discovered. Of course the Talavera salamander jumped right into my arms.

Both of my boys wore Lederhosen (leather pants) as toddlers.

From a new friend.. beads and stitching - absolutely fabulous.

Have you been to Hershey? Pennsylvania? 
That is the home of this stout fellow who flew his Hershey kiss directly to our tree!

 I do so love the  charm of wooden ornaments. From Germany.

Do you T!m Holtz? He's an amazing artisan crafter. Followed some of his techniques and applied them to a -
hotel key!
Yes, the kind you get when you check in. Sand them well and then anything sticks with the proper adhesive. After nearly ten years on the road, I still have plenty of these.

Straw stars. Not my husband's favorites, but I remember these growing up.

A precious gift from a dear friend. When was the last time you saw someone tat?

And old chenille bedspread seems to be the beginning of this charming fellow! Another priceless memory!

I used to teach all over the country and met the most precious ladies and gentlemen. This was a gift from one of them. Signed and quite lovely. 

Made this one myself. Die cut the tree shape from a felted cashmere sweater.
Beaded and stitched. Silk ribbons. White. Just my style.

This is an Ukranian ornament. Given by another priceless friend. I remember when I received this. I was sitting on the floor of a hotel room in Chicago with the best ladies in the world. I was wearing a Neil Diamond t-shirt. Jill was sitting next to me. We giggled until we almost cried. 

A red chile Santa, another take home from Santa Fe.

Priceless pictures of children and grandchildren and our Sam who left us in 2005. Must do one for G3 (girl 3), Faith Madyson, born December 5th of this year. 

I do so hope that you have documented your ornaments. I want my children to know from where they came and why they were so special.


Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh goodness, your tree is simply gorgeous! Love the ornaments and the story of how you brought your traditions back.

Dianne said...

This is just wonderful. I love hearing the stories behind the ornaments. I do change my tree occasionally between either all white or all red and you have motivated me to document the history behind the special ornaments. Dianne

Barbara F. said...

Your tree is gorgeous, Marlis, and you have such unusual ornaments, one of a kind. I stay true to my things, after all they are my memories and take me back in time. Any new ornaments are usually gifts. xo

Alycia Nichols said...

My son always hated crafts in school, so I didn't get a lot of keepsake ornaments from him. The two things I do have - both containers with a lid that he made in pottery - are cherished that much more because of that. They terribly mishapen and oddly colored, but I love them. I keep them in my sightline in my studio, right in front of a photo of the 2 of us. As for ornaments from Christmas trees past, I gave most of them to Goodwill or to others who didn't have a tree to enjoy some years ago. That being said, I change up Christmas ornaments every year depending on my mood. I am so glad that you have all those many memories to hang on your tree each year. It's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Marlis, what a beautiful blog. I just found you through the comments on Willow Decor. Having only read the latest of your blogs, I am now going to spend the afternoon reading what time allows me to.

Viele, liebe Gruesse aus Michigan, von einer Sylterin (Insel Sylt) Wo kommst du her?

Anonymous said...

Marlis, what a beautiful blog. I just found you through the comments on Willow Decor. Having only read the latest of your blogs, I am now going to spend the afternoon reading what time allows me to.

Viele, liebe Gruesse aus Michigan, von einer Sylterin (Insel Sylt) Wo kommst du her?

Scribbler said...

Your ornament collection is so special. I particularly like the felted cashmere tree you made. Sometime when you feel like writing a craft post, tell us how you did it?


Elaine said...

Marlis, you have really inspired me to photograph all the special ornaments I have. I guess you never know when you might lose them. Your ornaments are lovely and the memories even lovelier. My tree always looks the same (except for the 2 years after my divorce when I only had three ornaments. Then my ex relented and allowed me to have my ornaments back)and so much of what I hang were gifts from my mom.

Your tree looks beautiful!

Creating Wonderful Spaces

Kuby said...

Cherished ornaments from loved ones, are the fruit of our life. Great post, Marlis!

Carrie said...

I enjoyed reading and viewing this post about your special ornaments. Yes, it's a great idea to keep a provenance record on each treasured ornament, as the ornaments will be heirlooms one day.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Oh darling, fire is a great fear of mine. I can't imagine loosing everything. Your tree is so precious full of new memories. I love the stories behind the ornaments. Our main tree stays the same, full of just that memories. Mr. P and I'll be married 34 years the 29th, this is the next year he's unable to put the angel on the tree, I had to go a different route this year, the memories are still there... hugs ~lynne~

Liz@A Dish Here, A Glass There said...

Wow Marlis! This is wonderful! How sad you lost so many precious memories to a fire! That's just terrible! We do take it for granted that all these things will be safe and we can always return to seeing them each year. I'm glad the one from your mother was in a different place! There are greater forces at work aren't there!
As far as how I do trees, I do a bit of everything. Sometimes I'm sentimental and use a lot of my collectibles and sometimes I'm more into themes and designing to go with my decor. When my kids start brining grand children around I'll bring out the special ones I've saved that were precious to all of us when the kids were young. I used to do a tree that only had the kids ornaments that they made for me and or ones that had been given as gifts for them. I saved every one of them!
Thanks for sharing,
Merry Christmas,

Entertaining Women said...

Beuatiful! Sweet Mister puts up our tree every year. Her decorates it, he deconstructs everything after Christmas. Some year he loads it down with our ornaments, and some years he puts on fewer. I never say a word because then he might say, "Okay, you do it." LOL. I do all the other decorating in our house...works for me. Cherry Kay

Pattie T. said...

My ornaments are like old friends. I love seeing the same ones year after year and adding a few new ones.

Maria said...

Marlis, this post made me cry. How precious is your tree! I don't have an attachment to specific ornaments, but I remember the glass ones that we left behind in Cuba, and I always prefer glass ornaments to any other, perhaps remembering the ones that my mother wrapped in cotton and handled so carefully every year. This has reminded me that I haven't bought any new ornaments this year for the tree. Gotta do that now!


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