Merriment and Other Delights


The Queen's Cottage

The Queen's Cottage
Because every now and then, the Queen Bee needs to unwind from her bizzy day...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Very Vintage Christmas

 My sister started me on collecting vintage and antique snowmen back in the 1990's.  She had already amassed an impressive collection of antique mostly German Belsnickels and Santas in the 1980's (when you could still find them at a reasonable price).  We started also collecting the figural glass ornaments from Germany and Italy (I love the old Italian ones!) because there was a very nice local Christmas shop that was run out an old Chapel.  It was one of the few places where you could find them outside of NYC. 

Well, never being one to do anything in moderation, I started buying them whenever I found them reasonable enough.  My sister would add to my collection as there was always a present from her with an old snowman inside.  She has given me most of my more valuable one like the guy with a baseball cap on skis.  He is a candy container (as many were to hold candy and trinkets for children on Christmas morning).  

Every year, I would unpack them and arrange them either on a mantel or other space but as my collection continued to grow, the space to house them shrank.  When I purchased my current house in 2006, I bought a cabinet made from barnboard with a glass front so I could put them in there and view them year-round.  They bring a smile to my face even on the hottest summer days!  Now, they are even starting to crowd their current home so this Christmas I dragged out a few and put them in another display cabinet just so I could get double the smiles!  I added some other fun vintage pieces to the spice things up and voila, instant Christmas!  Enjoy the pics... 

I like the little sideways glances the angels in the background are giving to Mrs. Claus
(a vintage Japan bell) and Rudy.

This is the new "make-do" cabinet with its original green paint (
my favorite color).  Inside of the cabinet was written with silver paint "1935". 
Probably the date is was made.  Sure looks like it!

Here's the other little "make-do" cabinet I recently found at a local Co-Op. 
I think it was originally a bottle crate but since it has a shelf divider in it,
I decided to put some more Christmas spirit inside....

More vintage Christmas vignettes.  
I look at it and want to shrink myself so I can go in and play with them!

 I also have some newer snowmen that I mix in. 
They are funky and fun so I like to keep it fresh!

Another view of the little make-do cabinet all decked out for the Holidays! 
I did buy it for re-sale, now I'm not so sure I want to part with it!

Gnomes held captive in a bird cage...oh no!

They don't look too unhappy in their new digs....

These little guys were purchased as a set on ebay many years ago. 
Made in Germany, I believe they were place card holders.  I wish
I was at those festive Christmas dinners where they once sat holding
the diners place....

I also love gnomes and anything that draws in my imagination....

This vignette I put together hastily so I could start taking photos...
I kinda like it though!

Both cabinets on display....will be for sale after the holidays at my shop at
Brimfield Acres North on Route 20, Brimfield, MA.  The co-op is mostly
early antiques and prmitives but there is a nice variety of dealers with
other vintage and collectible items.  I love the dealers there and the people
that run it are so nice....more like family.

1935 was a good year....

Since I didn't put up a tree this year, I had to hang some ornaments too!

 Old and new just hangin'

Wooden angels gettin' their grove on....

Mrs Santa Claus and Rudy getting Santa ready for his Big Night!

It takes a village....

Just a little vignette I put together using an old vintage box that I decoupaged
with silver tissue paper on the outside and with vintage wooden Erzgebirge people
and other items along with vintage scrap and a little pixie dust on the ground for sparkle. 
I love to use found items to create little scenes that tell stories. 


"On top of Old Cabinet...All covered with snow..."

The two plastic snow-people lit up are actually vintage plastic S&P shakers
that no longer hav stoppers so I used the little battery tea-lites to light them up....n
Now they can really shine!

More views...I am sick for snowmen!

"Hale the Chief"

Big green cabinet I keep the snowmen in year-round.

One of these days I will take inventory...

For some reason, I really love the sweet little guy behind the sly looking
snowman.  He's from a local candy store and is a candy container.  There
is a plug on the bottom pulls out to hide the candy.  I just love him!

How many Snowmen does it take to (fill-in-the-blank)?

Snowman fashion show. 

Party in style! 

I probably have at least 50 small cotton batting snowman...
but I keep buying them!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Wishes

My wish this holiday season is for a year of good health, less stress and more time to spend with my family. My sister was recently diagnosed with a rare form of multiple myeloma (aka bone marrow cancer). She only started getting sick this past fall when a tumor was discovered on her pancreas. They removed the tumor but the doctors were still baffled as to what was causing it. Many more tests and scans revealed she has a very aggressive form of this cancer that basically robs the body from making healthy plasma and invades the bone tissue. She has gone from a super-healthy 56 year old to a fraile and frightened cancer patient. She says she doesn't even recognize who she anymore and that this disease has robbed her of her once "normal, ordinary life". It is all-consuming, physically and emotionally.

She is my older sister who I am very close to, especially now that both parents have passed. My one and only wish this Season is for strength and guidance to help me help her. What's your Christmas wish?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Christmas ornaments do when no one is looking

If you don't smile or even LOL when you look at this, you must be dead....

I love that the Victorians had such a "tongue-in-cheek" sense of humour.  No words are needed to describe what is going on here.  Check the look on what I think is the Organ Grinder's face....that "sheepish grin" says it all!  I wish I was at that party!  The quote "Dance as if no one is watching" is befitting to this amusing postcard!

Monday, November 28, 2011

"By Industry We Hope To Prosper....1838"

This little gold coin with my favourite icon seemed befitting, especially in this downward economy our world has been facing for the last few years.  The back of the coin reads "Wisdom and Pleasure Combined".  As I watch the nightly news and hear about how nothing is made in the good ole' USA anymore, perhaps we should all keep one of these coins in our pockets to remind us that industry is what made this country the greatest nation.  Industry is also what will get us out of this mess.  So when you are out doing your holiday shopping, please remember to look at the label to see where it was made.  If you see Made in the USA.....BUY IT!  You may have just created another American job....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The "Ugly Doll"

Okay, I have to admit, I just found that this post (from last December.  How do I know that you ask???....Well, we went to Mt. Washington for our 1st anniversary.  We've been married two years now...shamefull!) was still sitting in my "waiting to be published pile".  I guess the ADD struck me mid-sentence because I hadn't even finished my thought when I exited from it so I have to make up the rest from memory!  Oh dear, is this what the "fifties" like?

My husband and I went to Mount Washington, NH for our 1st year anniversary. I have always taken a liking to the "Ugly Dolls", especially Big Toe as he is called. Last night my husband decided to give me my Christmas presents early since we will be traveling to CA to visit his family. I spotted Big Toe at the shop inside the Mount Washington Hotel and when we went in to the dining room to have a nice lunch, he snuck out to purchase it for me. He said he had to stuff him down his pants since he didn't want to walk back in the restaurant, bag in tow. I guess I was too busy checking out the menu to notice the "bulge"....

Back to last night...I was so delighted to see Big Toe made it to our house. Our black and white cat, Caesar also took a liking to Big Toe and decided to use him as his pillow...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Every Girl should "Beehive"!

I just love this book cover! I think I have to find this book for my bee skep collection! If you know anyone who has it or where I can find it, please let me know.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dapper Dan the Snowman!

I just love this little ragged vintage gift tag of a very dapper looking snowman all dressed up and ready to party in his tuxedo jacket and top hat! I found him at the bottom of a box of old mercury glass ornaments. The back of the tag reads "To Vic From Edith". I wonder what the present to Vic was? Wish he was in better condition but I guess if I was sitting at the bottom of a box of ornaments for as many years as he was, I would be a bit wrinkled too!