Monday, November 28, 2011

Vintage Christmas ... Putz Houses and Bottlebrush Trees...

Hello... and welcome to Idyllhours... some of you may have seen my vintage Christmas treasures before and heard my stories about them... but I hope you will enjoy seeing them again... I have collected vintage Christmas since I was a little girl... many of my things are from my childhood... and many gathered throughout the years... I am so sentimental and have such precious memories of Christmases past... both mine and the images in my mind of those who have passed on and whose vintage Christmas treasures I have found at estate sales and now live with me... each and every one softly speaks to me... the precious stories they have to tell!... shhh... listen closely... to the beautiful memories of Christmas from days~gone~by... I always say that I love to think that those whose treasures I now call my own, are looking down at them from Heaven and smiling... reminiscing about Christmases of long ago... knowing I will take care of them and they will continue making new Christmas memories with me and my family...

Today I want to share my collection of vintage Putz houses and bottlebrush trees... Putz houses originated in Germany... the word "Putzen" meaning to decorate or adorn... lavish little villages were set up at Christmas time often with a little train layout as well... shortly thereafter, Japan began making the little villages and exporting them to the United States... my collection is almost entirely marked "Made in Japan" placing it between 1921~1941, prior to WWII... those made after the War were placed on larger cardboard bases, where mine are all on flat cardboard... that, along with the markings on the bottoms, is one of the ways to help you determine the age of your Putz houses... all of the little houses in the photo above belonged to me as a little girl... as well as the bottle brush trees, with the exception of the red one, which I purchased at a tag sale some years ago... one of my very favorite pieces is my little church below... like the others, it was mine as a child... I remember buying the little handcarved wooden angels as if it were yesterday... they were 25 cents each back then... I had to save up my allowance to buy them at a little gift shop in downtown Bountiful... one has a broken wing... making her even more precious to me now...

Jack always teases me about my "giant" deer in my little village... he has built a wonderful model railroad layout fashioned after the '40s ... my favorite era in time... so romantic back then... (I sometimes wish I would have been born earlier than I was so I could have experienced those years) ... and of course his is all to scale... mine is not!... I love my giant celluloid deer... my little old mirror is the lake, of course... I could not wait to set up my little mica covered village as a child... and I am ten years old once more as I set it up these days...

Last year was the first year we did not light up our little village... the little houses started smelling hot with the bulbs in them, and I did not want to burn the village down... my larger church has a teeny bulb inside and batteries in the bottom... so it lights up for Midnight Mass...

My little green bottlebrush tree is so priceless to me!... shabby and worn... and so well ~loved...

Do you know the difference between "Japan"and "Made in Japan"?... well, as I stated above, "Made in Japan" puts your collectibles between 1921 and 1941... "Japan" markings were used after 1941 and are used to present day... the only exception to these markings are those marked "Occupied Japan" which dates from 1945~1952 when Allied Forces occupied Japan after the War ended... my next little village was all from an estate sale I attended a number of years ago, with the exception of the two little blue houses and the one pink roofed one... those were a gift from my sister Jill last year...

The estate was that of a military man who had served in WWII and his wife who had each passed away... for the life of me, I cannot understand how family members can part with such precious things... (I purchased so many wonderful treasures from this estate, including not only vintage Christmas, but many pieces of WWII memorabilia)... the little celluloid Santa in his sleigh is from the same estate and is one of my most prized decorations... it is from the early 50's...

My three bottle brush trees below are much larger than most and extremely rare and hard to come by these days... these are about 10 inches tall, marked "Made in Japan" and still have the fabulous original mercury glass balls on them...

These next Putz houses are original vintage ones, that my friend Janet at Shabbyfufu then puts her magical touch on and creates these stunning little Christmas boxes... I have purchased one each year for the past three years... sadly, she had none available this year...

Pretty in pink...


"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas"... can't you just hear Bing crooning...

My sweet sister Jill gifted me with these beautiful vintage bottlebrush trees several years ago...

And also this gorgeous green one... all three were found by her in a quaint little antique store in San Juan Capistrano... these colors are very hard to come by these days... thanks Jill!...

I hope you enjoyed seeing my little vintage Putz houses and trees... I am partying with Patti and Paula at Ivy and Elephants on " What's It Wednesdays" and Debra at Common Ground on "Vintage Inspiration Fridays, Vintage Christmas"... hope you all will visit their blogs for links to all of the other party goers those days too!... xoxo...



Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Angel's Heavenly Home at Christmas~ time...

Have you ever wondered what a beautiful angel's home is like at Christmas time?... come softly with me, and I shall take you there...

Her home is soft and dreamy... shimmery and sparkly... right up to the star glistening high atop her gable... a welcoming "Merry Christmas" she sprinkled with the finest silvery glittery angel dust... which of course is very similar to fairy dust as it holds magical dreams and wishes inside...

Last year, this little atrium was "A Flower Fairy's Home at Christmas"... she graciously let her guardian angel reside in it this year...

Oooh, look!... her gate is open... let's step gingerly inside...

Tiny frosted windowpanes and little trees all sugary~snowy coated... and look!... a beautiful shimmering lake that reflects the silvery stars at night...

The beautiful angel is outside... I hope she does not mind that we tiptoed in...

Quite the contrary... she is gifting us all with the Christmas spirit... and sending us off with abundant blessings for this most beautiful time of year... xoxo...



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Wishes and My Giveaway Winner Announced...

Hello... this morning Jack drew the winning name for my little Olde World Christmas giveaway...

The winner of the beautiful little Olde World Christmas ornament is Kit from A Montana Life. Congratulations Kit!... Please email me with your address and I will send your little gift right out!... Wishing you all a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving... xoxo...



Friday, November 18, 2011

My Olde World Christmas Giveaway...

For at least forty years now, I have been going to a quaint little shop nearby called "Edelweiss" at Christmas time... it is still owned by the same darling little German couple that first opened their door oh so many years ago... it is open year~round and I shop there other times of the year as well... but at Christmas time, it holds a certain magic about it that is like no other...

Every year, I go about this time and purchase a beautiful new heirloom quality handblown glass bird for my bird tree... "Inge~Glas" of Germany is located in Neustadt of northern Bavaria and continues the tradition of quality craftsmanship... over 400 years of a family journey... (my beautiful little bird tree in the photo below)...

Step inside with me and be enchanted...

Everywhere you look are the finest gifts from Europe ...

And Christmas time is like being in a fairytale...

As you can tell from my recent posts, I am in the Christmas spirit!... so, I would love to give one lucky blogger this exquisite olde~world Santa from Inge~Glas... he is wrapped in a beautiful little gift box with the history of the company on it... a beautiful heirloom to pass down through the generations...

My giveaways are simple... just leave me a comment on this post only telling me you would love to win this tresor... if you do not have a blog, please leave an email where I can contact you... you have until midnight our time ( mountain time) on Tuesday November 22nd to comment and enter ... I will have Jack draw the winner (from the comments on this post only) on Wednesday November 23rd so I can mail it out priority mail in plenty of time for your Christmas decorating... I am still busy with vintage Christmas decorations, and preparing for Thanksgiving... and my niece Filly is coming home for a visit from London on Monday and I can't wait to spend time with her!...good luck in my little giveaway!...xoxo...


Monday, November 14, 2011

Vintage Christmas Continues ... Closet Number Two...

Every year it starts out the same... should I or shouldn't I get out ALL of my vintage Christmas decorations to use?... "all" means a lifetime of collecting vintage Christmas treasures, starting when I was just a little girl... Okay Monty, let's see what's behind door number 2... (many of you are probably too young to remember "Let's Make a Deal")... yikes!... I thought I had done alot already these past few days... and I haven't even started on these or the trees...

This was the first closet of goodies I got out and showed you a few posts back...

Jack's and my conversations each year don't change much either... they go sorta like this... ME: "Jack... whose dumb idea was it to get out ALL of the vintage Christmas again this year?... excusez~moi? it was my idea?... yes, yes, I suppose that would be me... but I get soo tired and it takes soo much time to do it all... oh... you remember me saying that before?... every year?... hmmm... why does it take me so much longer each year you ask?... well... maybe because I am getting older?... no, you don't think that's it?... you think it is because I get so excited over seeing each of my precious ornaments and decorations again?... and you think it is because I linger over each one... reminiscing... or letting my thoughts carry me back to simpler gentler times... perhaps imagining who once owned some of these heirlooms and what Christmas Day was like so very long ago?... then you tell me how you love to see my eyes light up as I gingerly unwrap each precious piece... showing you even the bits and pieces of tinsel in the bottom of the boxes... Oooh, Jack... look!... icicles just like the ones my sister Jill and I used to just "throw" on our tree when we were little girls after we got tired of hanging them one by one... did I ever tell you that Jack?... I did?... about a thousand times?... did I tell you my daddy used to laugh, and make us take off the clumps and hang them all one by one?... told ya that too, huh?... oooh, look Jack... a teeny little vintage star is in the bottom of this old box of ornaments... did I ever tell you about the time... oooh... I did?... every year for the past 34 years?... but tell you again anyway... okay, well one time when I was just a little girl..." then he smiles and helps me carry all the boxes upstairs... I love this guy so!... and he loves to see our home turned into a Winter Wonderland... Jack cherishes our collection as much as I do... as we hold tight to our memories and create new ones...

Once again this year, I will be joining Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Christmas Fridays the entire month of December... I can hardly wait!... besides posting my photos, I will share some info about collecting vintage Christmas... I am by no means an expert, but like everything else I collect, I ask alot of questions, do alot of research, and "hang out" with friends who also collect or friends who are reputable dealer in the antiques business... and I am comfortable with the knowledge I have gained over the years that what I buy is truly vintage... I hope you will join in Debra's parties as well!... They are so much fun!... (I hope she serves some yummie treats!)... xoxo...




Saturday, November 12, 2011

Petite Tresors...


Like everything else I collect, I fell in love with these precious petite tresors many years ago and my collection has grown through the years... salt dips and salt cellars were used from as far back as Medieval times through about the 1940's, mainly by wealthy families who lavishly used them on their dinner tables... salt was considered a luxury in those days... it also was not iodized back then and would not pour from a box... thus, salt cellars and salt dips were used to carefully spoon the salt onto your meal... most often a salt cellar, which is larger than a salt dip, was placed at the head of the table... then, individual salt dips (sometimes called open salts or simply "salts") were placed at each table setting... each with a tiny salt spoon... most of the little spoons are made from sterling silver with some silver plated ones... the head of the family usually filled the individual little dishes and passed them down the table... in the photo below, several of my purple pressed glass salt dips... purple pressed glass dates to pre~ 1920... sometimes called "sun purple" it is actually not from the sun initially at all... before 1921, manganese was used in the glass which caused it to discolor... these little salts were once clear... I love purple pressed glass and collect that as well in assorted beautiful other pieces... it is true the longer it sits in the sun, the deeper purple it will become over the years... also shown are some of my extra salt spoons... the purple pressed glass piece in the top photo is a vintage toothpick holder I keep my extra salt spoons in...

The teeny spoons are harder and harder to find these days... you won't like the reason any more than I do... drug users buy them to use with their drugs... one of my dear friends who has been in the antiques business for over 50 years and from whom I have learned so much will not sell a spoon without a salt dip to unsavory looking individuals... this has discouraged a number of the creeps from buying them for illegal purposes... below are some of my handpainted porcelain dips...

My sister Jill gave me this gorgeous Depression glass dip and spoon...

Another purple pressed glass one...

Just so petite and sparkly... pure enchantment to me...

The larger of the two in the photo below is a salt cellar... you can see the difference in size as it sits next to a salt dip... salt cellars usually have a lid on them as well to keep the salt dry... this beautiful salt cellar was also a gift from my precious sister, brought back to me from her recent trip to London where she found it in a wonderful old antiques shop in Painswick in the Cotswolds...

These were my mamas... they are handpainted from Germany, and so very cherished by me...

My celery dish and individual salt dips... handpainted "Nippon"... so delicate and lovely!...

Is this just the sweetest rose ever... about the early 1950's salt shakers were used in place of salt dips... I think the little dishes were so much more romantic...

I love them because they take me back to a gentler time... I think I shall linger there a while longer... xoxo...




Friday, November 11, 2011

Vintage Christmas Touches My Heart...

So, I started getting out some of my vintage Christmas collection to start decorating with... wow, seems just like yesterday that I was getting all of this stuff out... and now, it is time once more... I have to start decorating this early... I have a lifetime of vintage Christmas I have collected, ever since I was a little girl... if I don't start early, I would never have it all done to enjoy before Christmas... and this is just a part of my collection... I have another whole closet I haven't even started on yet...

Many of my treasures were mine as a little girl... even back then I took very good care of my things and saved them over the years... I have added every year to my collection through estate sales, flea markets, thrift shops and gifts from my family... I treasure hunt for vintage Christmas year round, not just this time of year... I am always amazed at a yard sale to see that Christmas decorations are one of the main things people around here part with... I give them a forever home...

Remember this little guy from last year?... last year he begged me could they "please all come out again for Christmas"... all the elves, Santas, angels, Putz houses, bottlebrush trees, candles... vintage pink balls... and so much more...

He did it to me again... how could I say "no" to a face like that?... I can't... just one more cup of coffee and I will start on the other closet... besides, it is Tessy's first "real" Christmas in her forever home... and putting out my vintage Christmas is a tradition... and I never break traditions... and then there are the memories... gently caressing each decoration as my thoughts drift away to Christmases past... and the stories my treasures could tell... I shall listen closely... xoxo...

"He who has not Christmas in his heart
will never find it under a tree" ~ Roy L. Smith