Friday, December 10, 2010

Let Heaven and Nature Sing


Good morning, my friends!

A cold and gloomy day here on the California coast…about as close to winter as we get here!

The house is quiet…Christmas tree lights are glowing, carols in the air…a perfect day….

I have a couple of cards to share with you today…just a little bit of Christmas…


First…a beautiful vintage image from Crafty Secrets’ “Christmas” Images & Journal Notes booklet…and of course, I just had to pop up the birdies…


…and the snowy bits on the image just really needed some additional “snow” courtesy of my new “Snow Writer” from Michaels (with some iridescent glitter added, of course!)


…and it’s always a wonderful thing when you scuffle around in your vintage button bowl and find three of the same size, same color buttons in the perfect shade of red…



…something more on the heavenly side…a beautiful Victorian angel, also from Crafty Secrets’ “Christmas” Images & Journal Notes booklet…


…and once again, I was in a pop-it-up mood…I also added some Crackle Accents to the image to give it more of the look of an old painting…

I thought I’d share a couple of pictures of my three daughters from a Christmas Eve back in 1999…

Campbell Girls 1999_edited-1

I love these sweet images…

The Campbell Sisters 1999_edited-1

…and the best part?  They are still this cuddly and loving with each other, even though they’re now in college and high school…I’m so grateful.

And last, two vintage postcards to share with you…


…this one from 1933…


…and this lovely Nativity from the late 1920’s…both so beautiful…

I hope your day is just wonderful, and that you’re enjoying every moment of preparing your homes and your hearts for this most special season.

See you soon with something new…


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We Need a Little Christmas…


Good morning, my friends!

Are you ready for Christmas?  It’s really starting to feel like it’s in the air to me…such a wonderful time of the year!

I have a few things to share with you today…first a fun Christmas project…


A bright & cheery retro Christmas scene…I’ll find a frame later! 


More fun from Vintage Street Market’s “Retro Christmas” kit—so much to play with!  Here, some old Christmas cutouts…the tree, an old cutout from Hallmark…the Santa, just fabulous!


Then, a bit of  vintage  family Christmas thrown in.  Here we have my grandparents, Dow & Velda, sitting quietly on a Christmas Eve in the 1950’s…



A framed reminder of the big day!


And a wonderful starburst “flower” made from a trio of vintage light reflectors, also from Vintage Street Market—love how they sparkle!  Topped by a cut-out circle from the same background paper & a vintage button from Vintage Street Market.


And here, a reminder for me to just be still sometimes during this wonderful yet hectic season…my dear Grandmother, LaPriel, who died when I was so very young…quietly sitting and reading through Christmas cards at her dining room table…I love this picture.

Now, a glimpse of a little decorated corner of our house…


A snowy, retro village scene on top of our old saloon player piano…I love how the lights reflect on the “snow”!


I just love this set of lighted houses from Target’s Christmas collection some years back…along with an assortment of mismatched trees…


Looks peaceful, doesn’t it?

And what’s Christmas time without a platter full of soft, delicious frosted sugar cookies (complete with a sprinkling of edible glitter!)?


Here’s a wonderfully simple & very yummy recipe to share with you…


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour


In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.  Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick.  Using 2 1/2 inch cookie or biscuit cutters, cut out dough.  Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.



In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Stir in additional milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time, to make a frosting of spreading consistency.  If desired, tint with paste food coloring.

(Recipe found in Better Homes & Gardens “100 Best Cookies” magazine).

And lastly today, two more Scotty cards from my personal vintage Christmas card collection…


This little cutie was sent out to a dear friend in 1935…


Isn’t this one unusual?  I love that little birdie!  This  was postmarked 1933…just adorable!

Well, that’s all for me today!  I hope your all having fun with your holiday preparations, and I’ll see you soon with something new…


Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Giving


Good morning, my friends!

What a beautiful day it’s been so far!  Pulling down boxes of full of Christmas from the attic, candles glowing, good smells from the kitchen, decorating begun…I just love this time of year!

I have a few things to share with you today…


A little Christmas collage…a piece of Maya Road chipboard available through Crafty Secrets


…and wonderful vintage images from Crafty Secrets’ “Christmas” Creative Scraps and “Christmas” Images & Journal Notes booklet, paper from Graphic 45’s “Christmas Past” collection…


…and the beautiful Polly May…my great-great grandmother…a woman who knew how to make Christmas bright for her family and friends…

hpqscan0001_edited-1 hpqscan0002_edited-1

I love these photos from the 1920’s of Polly May and her husband Orley Seymour…the Stapleys. 

They were the parents of a large and loving family at the turn of the last century….

The O. S. Stapley Family

From humble beginnings, O.S. (as he was called) made his fortune when, as the owner of a small hardware store in Mesa, Ariz., he won the federal contract to provide construction tools for the construction of the Roosevelt Dam.

While not living opulently, the Stapleys were very comfortable, and were generous with their means.

I recently re-discovered a short biography on Polly’s life, written by one of her daughters, and so enjoyed her remembrances of her mother at Christmas time…

“Christmas and New Years were always big events in our home.  All the married children and families were home on Christmas…

“Mother spent weeks shopping and beautifully wrapping the gifts to put under the tree.


“The tree was always decorated by Mother on Christmas Eve, and then the presents were put under at that time.

(image found online)

“We smaller children were supposed to be sleeping.  On the upstairs porch, near the top of the stairway was a small window, where we would peek down the stairway and watch the tree being decorated…

kids on stairs card_edited-1

“We aren’t sure if she ever knew this, because she never said anything about it.  However, she did change the location of the tree to the corner of the dining room so we couldn’t see it."

Like all children, we slept very little on Christmas Eve, or we didn’t think we did!”

“Mother not only had presents for everyone of the family…


“…but also for her sisters, friends and neighbors.”


Don’t you just love little windows into the past?  An encouragement to Polly May’s great-great-granddaughter to get moving on her gift-giving plans…(I’m a bit slow this year!)

Here are a couple more windows into Christmas past…Polly May’s son Glenn and his family continuing the family tradition of gathering through the years…

Stapley Family Christmas 1 copy

A Stapley Family Christmas from the late 1930’s…my grandparents, Dow and Velda on the far right, newly married.  I love how everyone dressed up and posed so formally in front of the tree…doesn’t happen much anymore, does it?


Here is another Stapley Family Christmas in the 1950’s.  Father Glenn no longer here, but now there is the addition of grandchildren…my mother, Karen on the far left holding a ball, her brother Glenn on the floor in the center, and her sweet sister, Judy--who wouldn’t live to see many Christmases--lovingly held in the arms of her mother on the right.  Another story for another day…

I’m so grateful for these brief, captured family moments.  Such a blessing.

I hope you have a beautiful December day…and that you enjoy  all the details of this wonderful season…the decorating, the sights, sounds and smells…and the giving.


(Vintage Christmas card images from my own collection…all from the 1930’s.)