Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All !!!

I am finally feeling a little bit better.  I haven't taken any cough syrup today.  YAY!  Finally got Teresa's winnings off to her, so hopefully she'll have the Ellen Chester chart for New Year's.  And, today I notified Chris of Tot Hill Farm Stitches that she's the winner of the most recent giveaway.

Since I was sick, I missed out on the second weekend of activities at the historical society.  Everything was in place to run - and I hear ran well - I just missed it all.  Like the Civil War Santa that we had come to talk about Santa's history and Santa in the Civil War.  But, my wonderful, super-duper husband went in and filmed him on our Flip Video cam.  When I have time, I'll sit and watch the movie - It'll be just like being there, right?

Peek at my Christmas tree

I've also been doing some catch up on chores.  Managed to get all the laundry done.  Got the tree set up, painted the mantel, and did the grocery shopping - that required a nap when I got home.  Dusted and swept (just can't seem to work up enough steam to push the vacuum around).  And I am near to finishing the research project I was commissioned to do.  That is due no later than Tuesday.

Tree in the Front Parlor

So I thought I'd share a few pics of the decor at the museum.  We had two trees - and these are trees like they would have had back in the early Victorian era, when "modern" Christmas celebrations in the home were just beginning . . .

Tree in the Ballroom
We had a lot of wonderful living historians come on both weekends.  Here is just one; he's portraying a member of the Union Cavalry.  His sword is long because he needs to use it while mounted.  I was a little confused by the orange trim on his uniform (when I was trying to figure out if he represented the north or the south).  Ken kindly explained to me that it wasn't until late in the war the the trim on the cavalry uniforms became gold.

living historian

I did something a little different with our outdoor decorations at the museum this year.  Usually we hang wreaths on every window, but that's just very labor intensive.  So, this idea just came to me this year.  I digitally drew six silhouettes, each representing the Civil War or Christmas.  Then I took them to one of our local printers - Sir Speedy in Martinsburg.  We'd had them print the invitations to our members tea, so they did this job for me as a sponsor - they printed the silhouettes on the largest paper they had.  I did a little touch up with black marker and we hung them in the windows.  You can see from the pictures that they're easily seen during the daytime and at night, the light from inside glows out of them - like luminaries.  We had a lot of positive comments on this idea.  A bunch of people thought it was really cool.

Close-up of windows
Front of the house where you can see silhouettes in lower windows

And then there were the ornaments.  For the tree in the ballroom we made cornucopias (paper cones), and gold and silver painted nuts.  The cornucopias were filled with candy.  You can't see them in the picture above, but later we had candle clips and my friend Thornton was able to find me candles to fit into the clips.  We did not light the candles.  Oh, and we had paper chains.  The paper items were made from scrapbooking paper that looked like old wallpaper (cause that's what they used back then).  One of our awesome volunteers put all the paper chains together for me - she's a former 1st grade teacher.

The tree in the front parlor was a little more casual.  On it we had strung popcorn and cranberries.  I tied strips of tartan wool around the branches here and there and we hung home-made applesauce/cinnamon ornaments that had been painted to resemble red ware pottery.  We also had gold and silver painted pine cones on this tree as well as gingerbread cookies that were made by one of our local culinary schools.   One volunteer did all the cranberry stringing - she said she poked cranberries until her fingers bled.  Another volunteer took home a whole box (shipping box) of popcorn that I had air-popped and strung all those popcorn chains for me. 

Decoration Closeup

The simplicity of the trees just about drove some of my volunteers nuts - it is not how many of us decorate our trees now, but I kept them focused.  There were so many naysayers that I was a little worried about how the trees would be scrutinized by the public.  Check out the piece that was on the front page of the local paper that answers my question.  Yee Hah!

In all the event was not well attended, although they tell me that the last Saturday was pretty steady.  The dollars and man hours that went into preparing for this tell me that it is something we should curtail in the future.  Lack of local interest, or the economy, whatever is the cause, we can't keep spending good money (and time) after bad.

Well, I've been working away on the final bonus block of Anniversaries of the Heart and should have something wonderful to show you toward the end of the week.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.  Ours is going to be small, frugal, and quiet; well, until we talk to son in Washington on the video phone and our granddaughter entertains us for an hour or so.  Whatever you're doing, I hope you have a wonderful time.  Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Sorry you've not been feeling well Katherine, i hope you feel better very soon x

    Glad you liked the photo of the Astronomical clock face, it's my favourite too! I took lots of photos of it, it is such a beautiful thing, i could have spent hours just standing taking it all in!

    BTW, i love the new header photos :-)

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! xx

  2. Oh I love those trees and the windows are very neat!

  3. I'm sorry to hear that you've been sick! I hope you were better in time for Christmas. I enjoyed seeing the photos--I'd love to visit that area sometime!


Can't wait to hear what you've got to say! Unless you're the spammer who keeps commenting anonymously - then thanks, but no thanks, I'm not interested - and your comments just get deleted anyway.