Thursday, December 3, 2009

Beautiful Nativity Sets...Vintage, Paper...and Living!

Good evening, everyone! I'm freezing tonight, and I'm in California! How's everyone else doing? I've got my flannel Nick & Nora vintage print jammies on (my favorites!), some thick socks, and I'm still cold!

I love Nativity sets! Whether they're vintage or modern, reproduction or made of Play-Do, they always touch my heart...

...and I just have to have them! I love them so much, that I leave one of mine out year round...

...a couple of years ago, when putting all my Christmas decorations away, I thought...this isn't Santa Claus, it's commemorating the birth of Christ--why not leave it out all year to help us remember? So, I do...and I love it!

This nativity is by Nicole Sayre--I love her work! Kind of a mix of vintage and folk art--just beautiful! Lovely pastel colors...just a little sparkle...perfect!

Here's another of the sets I love...this one is by another favorite artist of mine...Teena Flanner. She does these beautiful papier mache' figures using antique chocolate molds--so they really are vintage pieces in a way--I love that!

If you're at all interested in the history of nativity sets, as I am, I found this great site that has tons of information...

Since I was thinking of nativities today, that's what I used as the subject for my card...

This beautiful image is from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes--you know I love using this booklet!

Isn't the image just gorgeous? I love the calligraphic font used underneath--beautiful! I remembered I had a pack of brads that I've never used that were perfect for this--can't remember who made them, though--got them at Michael's...

...perfect, aren't they?! The flourishes around the letters are so similar to those in the image!

Finished things off with my new favorite Martha Stewart "White Gold" fine glitter...I'm telling you--this stuff shines like you wouldn't believe!

Did some hand drawn flourishes along the border...added some ribbon and lace, and that's about it!

Once a year here in our town, a local church puts on a HUGE nativity--live! They work on it all year long--have even altered the church itself and the surrounding area to accommodate the show and all the people who come every year.

I took a lot of pictures of the Bethlehem street scenes, Joseph and Mary being turned away at the different inns--on a real donkey, mind you! Angels singing over the hills of Bethlehem--using cranes--they're really up there! But I thought I'd limit my picture for the evening to this...
...what can I say? Just perfect--peaceful and beautiful--the reason for the season...

Sweet dreams!


  1. You've shared some beautiful Nativity Sets here with us this morning Julie. I say every year I am going to get one for us to have here in our home and then every year, I can only look and wish. They all seem to be so expensive. I keep them in my heart though and that's what counts!! Love this newest card. It is so beautiful. You are so talented Julie! You just amaze me, you truly do! Sleep tight dear friend! xxoo

  2. Julie, beautiful Nativity Scenes and that card oh my goodness. Hope you warmed up. Hugs

  3. Oh Jules ... hope you're not getting sick!! Your card is gorgeous and I love the nativity sets!! The real life nativity is amazing and as you say peaceful & just beautiful!! Another great posting my friend!!

    I'm waiting for my Get Together ladies to arrive ... fun day of play! Can't wait!! Try to get fluids and rest ... cant have you sick again!! Happy Day!!

  4. My Granny gave me one of her nativity scenes last year and you're right, there's just something about them. What a wonderful thing to have out year round! And you are rocking these vintage cards! Oh to be on your Christmas card mailing list! *swoon* LOL

  5. You share so many beautiful stories, art and photos. I really love your blog!

    Thanks for your nice comment on my blog again. I really appreciate every one of them. I have a cold, and have had it for five days. I drink tea with lemon and honey. It will be better tomorow:)

    I hope you are not freezing today:)
    Could you send me an e-mail? I have a question for you. You'll find my e-mail on my blog.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Hugs Hanne

  6. A great idea to leave it out all year. Have a blessed day!

  7. When I was growing up, my mom was always the one to make sure our nativity scene was set up complete with the 'snow', which was just like fiber-fill with bits of glitter on it. It was a delicate piece back then and I am so sorry to say that I have no idea whatever happened to that decoration.
    I cherish the memories and so wish I still had it as my treasure.
    BUT..I do own a beautiful Enesco bone china set in cream with gold rim...complete set that is placed on my antique buffet each year. My pussy cat Lucy, manages to make her GIANT self a part of the scene each year, so when she does, I love to take a photo ... that is a treasure for me now! haha

  8. Such beautiful nativities! I'm going to have to find mine now and put it up (I moved and haven't seen it since...) I got mine in Oberammergau Germany. It's hand carved and beautiful! :D

  9. These are so beautiful Julie that I'm not surprised that you leave one out all year. Thank you so much for sharing them as we don't see quite so many of these in the UK.
    Hugs, Fliss x

  10. I have the Willow Tree nativity set and enjoy it. I liked the photos!

  11. I do love nativity's. Afterall, that is what it's all about. The vintage card is lovely. Thanks for sharing it! Twyla

  12. what a beautiful collection you have! i love that you have different styles and colors. such treasures. have a great weekend :)

  13. We always had a "real" nativity set and another kid-friendly set I let the kids assemble and (respectfully) play with.
    Blessings to you~

  14. P.S. Have you read the Mitford series of books by Jan Karon? One of the books is devoted to the restoration of a nativity as a very special gift for someone.

  15. I love nativity sets, too! Love the card, and how you applied the glitter. I think I need a run to Michaels!

  16. Your nativity sets are just wonderful, Julie! What an uplifting post! Today is our downtown Christmas Extravaganza, and one of the churches (there's one on almost every corner here) is doing a living nativity. There are also going to be strolling carolers, crafts and cookies with Santa, puppet shows, hayrides, and treats! I wish you could be here; you would love it!

  17. Those are all beautiful nativity scenes. I've always wanted to see a living nativity scene!

  18. Hi Julie,
    I spotted you on Marie's blog. Your nativity scenes are beautiful and I am kind of old so I really appreciate vintage; I could spend all day just admiring your skills at presenting your ideas; wonderful pictures here that warm my soul.
    Have a nice week.

  19. Beautiful post, Julie! Love all of the nativities... I still use a ceramic one that I painted when I was 7! My dad made the manger - so special. Your cards are beautiful - love them both!