Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just one more vintage tree???... So much for simplifying!...



What to do...  I said I was going to simplify this year... so far I have... kinda... sorta... I was not going to use these beautiful pink vintage ornaments from the 50's this year...  I just have sooo many vintage ornaments which you will see in the rest of this post on our big vintage~decorated tree...  but these oh~so~softest palest~of~pale  pink balls keep tugging at my heartstrings... how can I keep precious memories and whispers of stories from Christmases long long ago packed away?...  can I???... I can't!... so much for simplifying... besides...  'tis the Season!... actually, I did simplify...  I didn't put out the gumdrop tree this year!... (does that count, even if it's only because I couldn't find the darn thing???)...  Jack loves our home all decorated too...  and I love how he smiles and listens to my stories... year after year... always the same...  as I excitedly tell him of how each and every ornament came to be mine...  "Jack!...  did I tell you about the time I found these beautiful pink ornaments?...  oh, I did?...  every year for the past 35 years?... well then, did I tell you about the time I found a teensie little vintage star in the bottom of one of the boxes?...  oh, I told you that too huh?... every year for 35 years now too?... how about when I was a little girl and... and..."  and he smiles at the excitement in my eyes and says tell him again anyway...  (I love that guy!)...  "well...  once upon a time"... tee hee hee!...  


 So it looks like today I will be looking for the perfect tree for my precious pink ornaments...   


For now, here is our big vintage decorated tree that holds between 300~400 vintage ornaments that I have lovingly collected over my lifetime...  many were mine when I was a little girl in the 50's... sooo...  here she is...  in all her vintage glory...  if you would like to see more photos of ALL of my vintage Christmas, (I am not going to post ALL of it again this year...  see, I simplified some more!)... you can just click on my November~December posts from the past three years... everything looks pretty much the same year to year as far as my vintage things go...  I keep saying I will not buy any more vintage Christmas...  but... we all know how that goes too!...


More precious vintage Christmas treasures underneath the tree...


Many of my treasures date prior to WWII... including the light sets above from the 30's...


Precious little elves and kneehuggers brought to life once more... I treasure each and every one of these and the beautiful memories they hold and stories they whisper to me of Christmases from days~gone~by...  xoxo...  Julie Marie  PS  Be sure to enter my "Tres Jolie" giveaway!...  leave me a comment on any of the last three posts, including this one, for three chances to win!...Linking this post to Vintage Inspiration Christmas with Debra at Common Ground...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My "Très Jolie" giveaway...



Okay...  so I was not going to post my giveaway for a couple of days...  but...  well...  just like I cannot ever keep a secret, I cannot wait to show you  what I am giving away!... sooo...  we'll start my giveaway right here and now!... I wanted to do something to say "Merci" to all of you who have followed along with me on my journey here at Idyllhours over the past almost four years... and a warm welcome to all of my new followers...  we all love everything French...  and I am blessed with a French family heritage and I have traced my family back to the 1600's in Soual, Tarn France...  sooo, I thought wouldn't it be fun if everything had a French flair?...  Oui!... sooo...  my giveaway includes all of the following...


First, these darling Advent vintage clothespins...  with vintage string and French script... you may remember I showed you a set I had bought myself a while back from Vintage Marketplace...  well, I love mine so, I ordered a second set for one of you!... also... a Heavenly shabby gorgeously tarnished vintage silver plated tray...the tray is not from France but was soo incredibly beautiful when I saw it in a little antiques shop I knew I wanted to include it as well...

 
A box of my favorite cookie ever...Petit écolier, made in France and très délicieux!...                


This stunning book "French Country Living"...  yep, I bought myself one as well...


Here's a little peek inside...


My giveaways have no rules...  just leave me a comment on this post... and be sure to visit my previous post where I first talked about my giveaway... (gee, was that just today???...  see, I get excited over things!)... and leave me a comment there as well for an extra chance to win...  anyone is welcome to enter, whether you have a blog or not... if you do not have a blog or website,   just BE SURE in your comment to leave me a way to reach you by email should your name be drawn...  also, I will ship anywhere in the world...  if my friends from around the world are kind enough to visit me and leave sweet comments, I could certainly ship these little gifts to them... you can enter up until midnight my time (Mountain Time) on Sunday, December 2nd... as always, I will have Jack drawing the winning name and will post it first thing Monday morning December 3rd...  that way, I can beat the holiday rush at the post office and mail these pretties right out to my lucky winner... bonne chance!...  Bisous...  Julie Marie 

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Paperwhites and Jeanne D'Arc Crocus...



Remember my little paperwhites I showed you here  just a little over ten days ago?...  they are the ones in the little vintage teacups...  the vintage sugar bowl and little tin planter contain Jeanne D'Arc crocus and mixed crocus...


Well... here they are today... can you believe how fast these pretties grow...  mine have buds on them already...  I have had them in my windowsill in our breakfast nook...  lovin' the sunshine warming them... I put them back in my bedroom chair for their photo op today...


The little Jeanne D'Arc crocus and the mixed crocus are just beginning to poke their little heads up...  I can hardly wait!...  pure bliss for us gardeners who already miss our flowers!...  xoxo... Julie Marie


Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Christmas Farmstyle Kitchen...


Welcome to my country kitchen... my favorite room in our house... decorated for Christmas...  I am so proud of myself this year... I said I was going to simplify and I have... using what we already have... my kitchen is where I feel most Christmasy, maybe because it is reds and whites, and the cheeriest and coziest room to me... especially when I begin baking and it smells so Heavenly!...  I changed my Blue Willow that was in my corner hutch to my vintage red and white china...  I still have some pieces of it I want, but the pattern is very old and hard to come by, not to mention quite pricey...  so, I am happy with what I have!...  (well... maybe Santa will bring me just one  teeny weeny  piece???)...


I used some of my vintage ornaments mixed in here and there...  (I have between 300~400 vintage ornaments... too many to fit on the tree after my lifetime of collecting them!)...


Love the old mica covered Shiny Brites made in the USA ... the mica covered pinecones are Occupied Japan...


Mr. and Mrs. Claus from the 50's keep a careful watch on everyone...  have you been naughty or nice???...


Since Jack took the doors off of this corner hutch for me a while back I am so loving it, now with the open shelves I can see everything!...


A few candy canes and my favorite cookbooks...  Filly and Ellie gave me the Farm Chicks Christmas last year before Christmas so I could enjoy all of the cute decorations and yummy recipes in it!...


A simple shabby old coffeepot with evergreens and pinecones on our table...


A small tree in my old sap bucket looks just right on the tiny wall between our office and my laundry room...


That's it for my country kitchen this year!... perfectly simple!... xoxo...  Julie Marie   Linking up with Patti and Paula for What's It Wednesdays at Ivy and Elephants and also Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Christmas... 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If I gave it all away tomorrow... I would still be blessed with all that matters......



As I walked around my house this morning...  in the quiet of the early morning hours...  I thought to myself... as much as I love all of my things...  all of my collections...  my vintage Christmas decorations... everything...  if I gave it all away tomorrow...  I would still be happy... I was overcome with an abundance of emotions... I know what is really  important in my life...  and what is not... I pause to look at a little tree we have... Jack and I call this our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree... it speaks to me...  of all those things that make my life a happy one... no glitter...  no sparkle...  no lights... just a couple of old ornaments from the past on it... it reminds me of much simpler times... when the true meaning of Christmas was really all that mattered as well...  peace and good will... family and friends... and I knew I wanted Christmas to be that way once more... " 'tis better to give than to receive"...

  
Yesterday, my sister and the girls and I met for a cookie and a coke at our favorite little cookie shop...  we laughed and giggled...  shared what we had been doing the past week... relaxed... talked... then, we all noticed two little "vintage" men (you know I will never, ever call anyone old)... getting out of a car in the parking lot...  one of the men was having a hard time...  he didn't look well... and kept sitting back down in his car, putting his head down...  the other man looked kind of perplexed as to what to do...  my sister, the girls and I immediately all ran out to see if we could help... no one else in the bakery even gave him a second thought... even though they were watching him... (so sad)...apparently the man was diabetic and his blood sugar had dropped drastically...  my sister ran back in and got him one of  her cookies and I hurried and got him a coke from the machine...  he sat back down in the car, ate his cookie and sipped on his coke...  we asked if they would like us to call for medical attention and he replied no... so we left him with his friend at his side and went back to our table...  a bit later, they both came inside and sat down...  he was looking much better... so we went about with our cookies and talking...


Filly and Ellie had gotten us our "Angels" the other day from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree...  I had asked Filly to get me a little boy and a little girl... our little adopted "Angel" boy is five years old and our little adopted "Angel" girl is two years old...  I am so excited to start looking for very special gifts for my two little "Angels"...  my sister and the girls and I have already planned a day to shop for our "Angels" together... as we left the bakery, the two sweet gentlemen stopped us at their table to say thanks and that he was feeling much better...  I think we all had tears in our eyes...  the man told us he had been a diabetic for over 50 years... yet had such a positive outlook on life and his eyes were so soft and gentle...  I have to say I love that sweet man I only met just then...  the man with him was a buddy of his, a friend for life...  another kind and gentle soul who looked out for his friend...  I knew then and there my sister, the girls and I had all received even more beautiful  blessings this week to write in our gratitude journals...  it really is the "not so small" things in life that really are the most precious... hold them close to your heart... and think of them often...   wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving...  and many blessings to all of you too...  xoxo  Julie Marie


Monday, November 19, 2012

My Shimmery~White Winter Wonderland...



Today, I finished  up the last of my Christmas decorating and now our home is all festive... ready for the holiday season... and so am I!... for the past three years, since I began blogging in 2009, I have shown you all of my vintage Christmas which I have collected over my entire lifetime...  so, since most of you have seen it all already...  and it pretty much looks the same year to year as I place everything in the same spots, I decided in keeping with my promise to myself to "simplify" this year, I would not re~photograph and re~post all of it... if you would like to see any of my collection (and I have collected ALOT ever since I was a little girl!), you can either do a search on my sidebar for "vintage Christmas" or just bring up my November and December posts for those years...  I have alot of fun vintage if you have not seen it...   sooo... I am going to show you a peek at some of my other decorations this year... love this Mark Roberts Santa fairy all dressed in white with red boots and hat...



He sits in an all~white winter wonderland on my dresser in our bedroom...  Jack teases me that my village and Santas and all are "not to scale"...  small houses and BIG Santa...  oh well... it's my magical winter fairyland!...  Jack has a wonderful model train layout in his workshop~ hobby room that is all to scale and modeled after the 1940's...  my favorite era... I like my little villages just the way they are!...


These are all newer Putz houses and churches...  if you search my blog for "Vintage Putz Houses" you can see a bazillion of my old ones in previous posts...


I believe...  do you?...




I can hardly wait to turn on all of our lights  on Thanksgiving Day night...  so, I just had to turn the tree in our living room on tonight  and go outside for a look...  love this shot of my twinkly little lights on the tree through our little window panes  and sheers...  the bare tree reflected in the window is right outside of it in my front yard...


Thank goodness all of our snow has melted...  today was sunny and warm...  just perfect week of Thanksgiving weather!...  it can snow for Christmas!...  xoxo...  Julie Marie




Friday, November 16, 2012

Jeanne D'Arc Crocus, Paperwhites and Thoughts of Spring???...



Okay...  so in the midst of Thanksgiving preparations...  and Christmas on it's way...  what am I thinking about today?...  Spring!...  I do love the holidays, but try as I might, I cannot yet say I am enjoying winter!...  I am giving it my best shot... I really am...  but I am just NOT a winter person!... so, to get through these days that are getting shorter and shorter...  and colder and colder...  my thoughts drift off to Spring...  I am sure I am the only one posting about Spring today!...  


So, yesterday I ran to my favorite garden center... this time of year they have a beautiful section overflowing with gorgeous Christmas ornaments, trees, decorations and such...  but, with my lifetime of collecting vintage Christmas as well as newer Christmas decorations, I didn't need one thing...  infact, I breezed right through the Christmas and over to the bulbs... I know most of you plant paperwhites each November like me, but I also plant little pots of Crocus...  I bought Jeanne D'Arc white ones (actually developed in 1940... and named after the 15th Century heroine Joan of Arc,   long before the popular magazine!)... and mixed white, yellow and lavender ones as well...  being such an avid gardener and warm weather lady, I need to see flowers in my home in the winter...  and birdies outside my windows at my feeders... telling me in their little songs that  another Spring will come once more...  I always plant my little bulbs in vintage china cups and sugar bowls and little tin containers...  with an angel's kiss and a wish tucked inside... and the birdies promise of another Spring to come...  there, I feel much better already...  

   Moi age 1

See, I told you the other day...  I always was a Summer girl!.. (who really does love Thanksgiving and Christmas too!)...   xoxo...  Julie Marie  


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Simplifying...






Simplifying my life...  it feels good...  xoxo...  Julie Marie

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


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Heart of the Home...



Do you know Susan Branch?...  I have known her for years...  not personally, mind you, in the literal sense of the word...  I have known her through her books and calendars, stickers and cards... her newsletter and blog...  but she is one of those ladies who you just feel like you have been best of friends with your whole life... even with all of her fame,  she is down to earth... and real...  I love her  home...  she lives on Martha's Vineyard and it is there she writes, paints, gardens, crafts, cooks, loves animals, keeps her home beautiful, irons, hangs laundry out to dry...  every day, ordinary things...  but with her extra~ordinary zest for life...   her kitchen is sooo cute and cozy and inviting... especially with her sweet kitty Jack waiting to greet you...

 Photo courtesy of Susan Branch

I love that her kitchen is real, just like her... with utensils sitting out, ready to use... pots hanging from a rack... and her stove...  oooh what I wouldn't give to have a stove like hers...  her kitchen is not staged...  this is how it looks all the time...  homey and wonderful!...  I love a red and white kitchen, with alot of other favorite colors mixed in as well...  as I read her blog, I see alot of things she and I have in common...  my kitchen is red and white too... and like Susan, I love my vintage dishtowels and potholders...

  Photo courtesy of Susan Branch

I also love that traditions are such a huge part of Susan's life... (mine too!)...  every year at Thanksgiving, she makes her grandmothers stuffing... in her big yellow vintage bowl...

 Photo courtesy of Susan Branch 

Every year, I make Jack's Nana's dressing in my big yellow vintage Bauer bowl...

Photo by me

Her collection of china is just beautiful!...  I love that she mixes and matches all sorts of colors and patterns...  favorite flea market finds for the most part...

 Photo courtesy of Susan Branch

I especially love her little vintage  elephant creamer...

Photo courtesy of Susan Branch

I have it's little sister kitty creamer in my kitchen... (they are both Shawnee)...

Photo by me

Her beautiful vintage dish towels hanging out to dry in the breeze...

Photo courtesy of Susan Branch

I wish I could say I had a clothesline like she does... but I don't...  I do have a vintage wooden clothes  rack I hang mine out on... so,  for now, I will dream about a real clothesline... I enjoy her blog so much, I wanted to share some of it with you...  all of her photos are marked as such and are used with written permission from Susan, as well as her permission to do my post about her...  I hope you will visit her...  if it is your first visit to her blog after reading my post, please tell her Julie Marie sent you!... thank you Susan... for your inspiration and kindness... and for sharing your charming way of life with all of us!...  xoxo...  Julie Marie


Sunday, November 11, 2012

More of my farmhouse kitchen... and preparing for Thanksgiving...




After three full days and nights of snow, and almost three feet of the white stuff,  it has finally let up and my thoughts are turning back to our Thanksgiving dinner...  while I stayed inside most of those days, other than our walks and taking Tessy down the trail,  I decided to get my little farmhouse kitchen in better order to prepare our Thanksgiving meal...


I am posting alot of pics, so I won't say much...  (maybe???)... several posts back, I showed you my corner hutch in our kitchen that Jack took the doors off of for me, making it an open hutch that I love!...  I had always kept my blue and white china in it, but for Autumn put some of my Bauer bowls in it, then switched over to my white china with a touch of Fall...  but all white with no color is just not me...  and, I began missing my blue and white china...  so, I put much of it back in...  the Blue Willow belonged to my mama and it is the china we always used when I was a little girl...  a most precious heirloom... along with it, I put some of my other blue and white pieces I have gathered over the years... I will use my Blue Willow as always on Thanksgiving...





 I recently saw the twin of this sweet plate in Susan Branch's online shop...  I almost bought it too, but am happy enough with mine... I paid 25 cents for it years ago at a local thrift shop... don't you just love that little saying...





I love the look of it now with open shelves...  here are some pics of where I placed my white china and red and white pieces around my kitchen...  I love all of these colors together...  they make me smile every time I am in my kitchen...  which is alot of the time!... and to me, it just says "welcome" to my farmhouse kitchen... love my Lenox salt and pepper shakers and also my mix of cinnamon and sugar on top of my stove, ready to sprinkle on my  morning toast...









Now that my kitchen is all in order, I will make my lists of things I need and today go to the grocery store for Thanksgiving...  because of the terrible snow, I haven't been to a store in almost five days...  I love to plan our meal, making lists and being organized ahead of time so I can relax and enjoy the holiday... and all of the beautiful family traditions that go with it... are you getting ready for Thanksgiving too?... do you plan ahead like me... or do you wait until closer to the day?... I am craving my homemade pumpkin pie... and Jack's Nana's stuffing that I always make...  and... and... hmmmmm... I've always heard you shouldn't grocery shop when you are hungry because you buy too much stuff you don't need...  oh what the heck, it's the holidays!...  xoxo...  Julie Marie