Monday, December 12, 2011

no flowers in the house

If I were a shoemaker, my children would have no shoes. My little business is all about home, but my own homes don't get much attention. The only flowers in my house are dead. The trees for both houses are still outside. My Massachusetts mantle has no seasonal decor. (There is a fireplace but no mantle in the Catskills house.) And so forth. I stayed over in the Catskills last night, and driving back today I kept thinking about Jane's Flowers in the House, which I love and wanted to participate in. Would I cut some greens from my yard? Go to the fancy florist? Trader Joe's? There's a nice nursery a mile from my house and I decided I would go there and find something for you to admire. But I'm tired and my house is a mess, and I'd rather spend some time relaxing with your pictures.  Jane is such a sweetheart that I can show up at her party in my pajamas and she'll pretend she doesn't notice. I did a wee bit of decorating in the Catskills house this weekend. It's a house that cries out for large swaths of natural decor--greens and pinecones and cranberries.

I wish I could tell you that I went in the woods and cut down boughs and spent the evening weaving garlands. But I didn't. Instead I made a few small scale arrangements out of mostly unnatural materials.

Two of these on the table.

The big new book cases were looking pretty empty so...

I added a few things.

This little creche and a tree made of birch and cinnamon sticks and dried oranges and stuff went on one shelf.

A farm scene on one side of another shelf
and Santa delivering trees on the other side. The truck is hand built--the cab is made from match sticks.
I love this strange little shrine.

I have a weakness for them--I bought this one on Etsy. Notice the dried corn and beans.

More on the store and the Catskills house and maybe even a picture of my tree later in the week.



  1. Well holiday charm in the weekend house is always appreciated:)

    You have some seriously cool stuff there lady.

    xo Jane

  2. Hello Jen:
    As long as there is a festive spirit in one's heart then the rest is immaterial. However, we have to say that your wooden nativity scene is absolutely charming, we should love it to be ours. It looks wonderful where you have it on the bookcase shelf, which in itself is a beautiful piece of furniture. Christmas in pyjamas could catch on as an idea!!!

  3. Lovely little scenes! A great way to start. There's still plenty of time to decorate ... or, not! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jen,
    what you have done is very cute! We all do things at our own pace or sometimes not at all! Relax and enjoy, that's what's important!
    Sitting here with coffee, watching White Christmas and ENJOYING! (well, a margarita would probably help me be a little more joyus but we make do with what we have!

  5. I have to say it is a relief to hear someone say they haven't acted like a manic woman and listed every little thing they've done as Susie Homemaker today. It is good to know you have a life Jen that is not based on how much cleaning and baking you do.

    Of course I love all your "stuff" and in particular the little shrine and the Madonna, is it a fold-out frame?, picture below it. Very nice.

  6. I like your reddish book case against a white wall. And the modest colors of the cute goods are lovely matched.
    You will have a white Christmas! I'm dreaming of...

  7. Hi Jen, Lovely to meet you via Jane's Flowers in the House, and I'm pleased you joined in. I think we all fear our 'presentation' in comparison to Jane's but you're right - she is so nice you could show up in your jarmies, and she'd say something nice. It's nice to meet a fellow retailer too. I see you have Rifle Paper cards in your store window. We sell those too, all the way over here in New Zealand. They are my current favourites! x

  8. i adore your wooden Jesus birth place...

  9. Don't worry - my house is currently bereft of any decoration - every day something else has had to come first. Hopefully the tree will be prettified before the 25th! I love all your sweet little decorations. M x

  10. Jane--I'm going to hang onto the word "charm"--I think it covers a lot of ground...

    Jane and Lance--I agree with you about the festive spirit. I used to get very stresses out around the holidays, and have found that by letting go of a lot of things I thought I should do, I enjoy them much more. I too adore the nativity scene. I got it many years ago from a place called Shaker Workshops, and love its simplicity.

    Renee--Thank you, my favorite elf!

    Haricot--I'm going to add "modest" to Jane's "charm" and now I have a decorating style: "modest charm". Or maybe modestly charming. Or charmingly modest.

    Hi Amanda--welcome. It's so great to find another retailer with a blog. There's a wonderful bunch of flower shop blogs, but not much in my line of charmingly modest. I'm crazy about Rifle cards, though I'm afraid they are a little pricey for my customers.

    Demie--thank you. It's simple beauty is very appealing.

    Thanks Jane--when I was a child we didn't put up out tree until the 24th and it stayed up until New Years Day. I do it earlier because I love looking at it so much, especially at night when the lights are on, though when I get it done varies a lot...

    Webb--you're right==there is time. I like the "or not" part too.

    Rebecca--there are some wonderful Christmas movies, and White Christmas is a true classic. I love that it still resonates with so many people after all these years.

    Rubye Jack--I hear you! I'm so glad to have found some real people in the world of blogs. The shrine you mentioned was made in a cigar box.

  11. That's a beautiful bookcase! and i love the little arrangements... esp the cinnamon tree! Have fun this week getting decor'd up!

  12. Hi Jen, thank you for leaving lovely comments on my blog. I love yours, I feel really nostalgic when I read your blog because we love New York and spent part of our honeymoon in Vermont. We are hoping to be back sometime soon, hopefully fall season for the lovely colours.
    On a different note your home is looking lovely and christmassy, I love what you have done.