Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas 2010

I hope everyone had a peaceful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and wonderful food.  I've already seen lots of Christmas lights and decs all around town and in the mountains where we went to get our trees today.  I'm so ready to get started decking the halls, but for tonight, I settled for looking back at some pictures from last year's Christmas.

These pictures were actually taken after Christmas; hubby had just gotten his new camera, and he was learning to use it.  I decided to do a short post showing some pictures from last year's decorations.  A sort of Christmas preview. :)

Happy Decorating!  I'll be linking this post to Seasonal Sundays, so kindly hosted every week by The Tablescaper.

I'm also linking to The Post of the Month Club, hosted by Laura at Happy Homemaker UK.  Thanks so much for hosting, Laura!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Breaking bread and sharing a meal with family and friends are some of our most deep-rooted traditions, all the world over.  The official holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated on the third Thursday of November in America, and the second Monday of October in Canada.

The act of sharing a meal comprised of nature's bountiful harvest and expressing gratitude for our blessings in life isn't limited to a specific time or place.  However, I still think that we in America greatly look forward to Thanksgiving Day.  The smell of good food being prepared in the kitchen, familiar voices of family members of all ages, Thanksgiving Day parades in the morning, and football in the afternoon; it's all part of the American Thanksgiving experience.

What are you thankful for today?

The fall harvest of fruit and vegetables?

Succulent baked ham, roast beef, or...turkey?

Johnson Brothers "His Majesty", from an original hand engraving.

 "Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of harvest home".

I hope you shared a meal with loved ones today, and thank you for stopping by the House at Forest Manor.   I'll be linking this post to Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, Home Sweet Home, hosted by Sherry at The Charm of Home, and Seasonal Sundays hosted by The Tablescaper.

Also linking to The Post of the Month Club, hosted by Laura at Happy Homemaker UK.  Thanks for hosting, Laura!


Happy Thanksgiving

Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914)
Source Wikipedia

May you and your loved ones have a very thankful and blessed Thanksgiving Day!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Fall Decor

Happy Fall Ya'll!  Thanks to Paula Deen (bless her little heart), those of us who reside in the South can say "Ya'll" in public again. ;)  I say "Happy Fall" because even though I know we're already thinking about Christmas, it is still fall, at least around here.  I'm old school, and I just think fall should last until Thanksgiving.

But such crazy weather we're having in North Carolina!  Last Tuesday night, it was so warm in our house, my husband and I had trouble sleeping, and there was actually a tornado in the county next to us.  Some poor families lost their homes, and sadder still, some lost family members.  Then on Friday, the temperature dropped like a stone all day, and was in the 20's that night.  Yesterday was pleasant, and then today, the temperature reached 71 degrees (again)!  I finally gave in and cut the heat off and the central air conditioning back on so we wouldn't have trouble sleeping again.

I'm rather late linking up to Seasonal Sundays, but our son was here for the afternoon and for dinner; and we just now got to take our pictures.  I wanted to show our fall mantle and foyer before I take it all down for Christmas decs.  Until I started looking at blogs, I only changed our mantle once a year, and that was at Christmas.  But this year, I decided to try decorating it for fall.  I know some people change their mantle every season, but I've always found mantles to be a unique decorating challenge.  Ours has evolved over the years, but I haven't found enough different looks to change it every season.  Maybe one day.

So first, here's our fireplace and mantle decked out for fall.

The print above the mantle is of Old Salem in the snow.  You can read about this colonial Moravian community in my earlier posts here and here.

A close-up of the mantle...

I got the pumpkin dish at Home Goods this year; it was made in Italy.

My whimsical pottery rooster. :)  These pieces of pottery live on the mantle year-round (except during the Christmas holidays).  I really like pottery, and I always seem drawn to the pieces with a salt glaze finish.  I got the silk, autumn leaf garland at Michaels for 60% off about a month ago.

The pumpkins came from our local pumpkin patch just a few miles up the road.  The large one is called "Cotton Candy" and the small ones with stripes are Tiger Squash.  I love the new and unusual pumpkins that are available now.

The mug on the left and the rooster are from Seagrove, a community of potters in North Carolina.  The mug on the right was made in Wisconsin; I purchased it from a local gift shop.

I like roosters, but not in excess.  We had our sofa re-upholstered about eight years ago in a Williamsburg fabric --  red, with a green and soft yellow, floral pattern.  I chose some coordinating fabric with small roosters for throw pillows.  It's a fairly subtle pattern, so I haven't tired of it.  I also chose a third coordinating pattern with small red and pale green checks.  I had the checked fabric and the rooster fabric made into a two-layer valance for our den window and door at a local drapery shop.  The colors really warmed the room up so much.  I'll have to show a before and after sometime.  This color scheme lends itself wonderfully to fall and Christmas decorating.  

I actually purchased this rooster tassel for my mom, but it turned out to be bigger than she could use.  I didn't really have a lamp or piece of furniture that was suitable for it, so then I thought, why not the mantle.  It seems to fit there nicely.

The ribbon looks pink in these pictures, but it's actually red, and the colors are a perfect match for my fabrics in this room.

These pieces hanging to the right of the fireplace are called horse brass, and I got them when we were in England in 1999.  We ate lunch every day at a local pub called "The Hare and Hound".  It was the most charming place; the decor was wonderful.  The last day we were there, the proprietress was at our table, and I asked where I could shop for something uniquely English.  I had been to a mall that some locals recommended to me, and everything looked liked what I could get at home.  Such a disappointment.  While we were talking, I glanced up and saw the horse brass which lined the top of the walls all the way around the interior of the pub.  I asked where I could get some of those.  She said she had a whole box of them in the back, and she would give me some.  I offered to pay her, but she refused to take any money for them.  I thought that was a very generous gesture, and they have hung beside our fireplace since we returned from that trip.

The candelabra came from Pottery Barn many years ago.  In the summer, I put it inside the fireplace, and it looks pretty with the glass doors open and the candles lit.  We still have a wood-burning fireplace, because we enjoy a real fire.  The hearth basket is made of oak, and I bought it years ago from a local couple who made baskets.

I'll show more pictures of the den once the Christmas decs are up.  This is one of our favorite rooms in the house.  Because we spend so much time in here, I've really tried to make it reflect our life and our personalities.

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch decorated an orange pumpkin several weeks ago, and she posted a tutorial here showing how she did it.  I thought it was so cute, I bought the supplies and made one myself.  I chose to use a white pumpkin because I felt that orange would clash with our wallpaper in the foyer.  This ribbon might look orange in the pictures, but it's actually a muted brown.

I put some fall potpourri in the crystal bowl, and that was it for my autumn decor in the foyer.

The walking stick you see on the right sits in an umbrella stand next to the table.  And one more closeup of the pumpkin.  I thought this ribbon really dressed the pumpkin up for the foyer.  Thanks for the inspiration, Susan!

I hope you've had a nice fall and enjoyed the wonderful colors that God paints our trees and landscape in the autumn.  I'll be back on Thursday with a Thanksgiving tablescape.  Have a great evening and thanks for visiting the House at Forest ManorI'm linking with Seasonal Sunday, hosted by The Tablescaper and Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, and Home Sweet Home, hosted by Sherry at The Charm of Home.  Thank you Susan, Sherry, and The Tablescaper for hosting these blog parties every week.


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