Christmas At Our House, Part 3, The Kitchen

More Christmas decorating here at Knitionary, my 3rd decorating post and not my last!

The pine buffet in the kitchen is one of my favorite spots to decorate.
I filled some of my favorite Arte Italica pieces 
with faux fruit from Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel.

These pewter pieces are timeless, and go from casual to formal in an instant.
Some of the pieces I have here are still available, the little basket,
the Tuscan 3 tiered stand, and the elegant glass fruit bowl.

These pieces are ready to go if I need to use them for holiday entertaining

Also in the kitchen on my windowsill are the clothespin dollies.
These are so fun to make, and I've made quite a few sets over the years.
They're a happy sight when I'm working at the sink.

You can see the different sets I've made here, here, and here.

Am I the only one decorating this early?  Has anyone else started yet?
How's it going?

Next post, the Angel Orchestra, tra la!

Christmas At Our House, Part 2, Mantel and Hall

I always love decorating my house at Christmas but I'm fairly fickle about it.  
Sometimes I am pretty simple and sometimes more lavish.
This seems like it is going to be a lavish kind of year, I'm in the mood!
We are having a few gatherings here in December, so that also gives me an excuse to do it up!

I'm in love with these lights.

The living room mantel, hmmm, this is always difficult for me to decorate, no matter the season.
It's big, almost 10 feet, and I seem to run out of ideas at 6 feet.
But I love it this year, simple ivory candles, faux pine boughs and
starry diamond lights from Restoration Hardware.

In the entry I've placed resin birds and pheasants which I pretty much use year round.

Down the hall, more starry lights circle
the charming lady that resides between the window seats.

At the end of the hall that leads to our bedroom I hung a wreath and large glitter stars.
They share the space with our family pictures.

I usually put these glitters stars on the tree, but this year our tree
will be smaller and I won't be able to use all my ornaments.

Back in the living room, the creche from my childhood has a place of honor on the buffet.
I remember as a child staring at this for hours, marveling at Baby Jesus born in such a humble setting.
I'm sure my brother and I did more than just look, all the figures are chipped!
The original figures are chalkware, with a few resin pieces added later to replace the broken.
I love bringing out family heirlooms during the holidays.
Thanks mom for giving this to me.

Coming up in the next post is the holiday kitchen.

Linked to Between Naps on the Porch.

Christmas At Our House, Part 1, The Dining Room

Little by little and day by day we've been decorating the house for Christmas.
It's been a blessing to take it slowly and have it finished early.
I'll be taking pictures along the way and am planning to show you as we progress.
I'll make a few posts and jump around from room to room, but first want to share the dining room.

I love decorating the buffet in the dining room.
The large space makes it perfect for some bigger pieces.
I remove a bit of my everyday display pieces
and replace them with these big resin reindeer.
A few faux pine garlands and red flowery branches, and voila, it's done.

I love how it turned out, simple and elegant.

We'll have house guests in December so decorated the guest room and guest bath too.

I try to keep the surfaces in this room free for our guest's own things,
but these Santas are on top of a high-boy dresser and out of the way.

The two Santas on the left are from the 40's or 50's and are from my husband's family.
Their bottoms open up for batteries so their hands can wave and ring the bells.

My mother remembers buying the Santa on the right at the
Piggly Wiggly sometime in the 50s.
I remember it as always part of our decorating
and very happy to have it now.

In our guest bath I placed the painted wood 3-tiered display
covered with a snow blanket of felt and icicle crystal beads.
My collection of Wendt and Kuhn hand painted wood figures from Germany live in
the glittered cardboard houses from the 50's.

You can read about Wendt and Kuhn here, their website is charming and very well done.

Santa holding hands with the Christmas angel.

I started collecting these adorable little people when I was first married.
I don't add to it much anymore, I think I have quite enough :-)

In an upcoming post I'll show an enchanting Angel Orchestra
that I set up in the living room.  I can't wait to show it to you!

This is my favorite time of the year and I have some fun decorating posts planned
taking you from room to room.
Come back and visit!
Next post, the living room mantel.

Linked to Wow Us Wednesdays and A Humble Creation.

Bolting FO

My granddaughter asked for a gray shawl for her 12th birthday.
It must be soft and warm and machine washable,
and Superlana by Lana Grossa was a great choice, plus was in my stash. 

The pattern is Bolting by Stephen West, Ravelry link here.
I was looking for a shawl that was a little hip and not lace
and knew that Stephen West's designs would have many choices.

Annie and her mom were very happy with it!

Sweet and sophisticated Annie, 
pretty and kindhearted,
artist and singer,
straight A student
and an accomplished knitter!

 I was assured that this was a very rare siting of a pre-teen 
actually ready for school early, with minutes to spare and knitting in hand even!

Perhaps in honor of grammy and papa's visit?

 On this trip, with about 5 hours of driving each way, 
I made seismic strides on my Tea with Jam and Bread.

On the drive we listened to the very charming
a very entertaining book about a Botswana Safari Guide.

I knit my sleeves flat.

I have this to finish this, then Irish Coffee to block and photograph,
and next I will be hard onto my Christmas knitting projects.

See you soon with more knitting!


Well hello!  I have a quickie knitting post today with a quickie sweater that I am swooning over.  I don't think the photos give it justice, too bad, because it's very pretty in person.  The style is over-sized, batwinged and slouchy.  It looks nice with or without the thin ribbon belt.   Curio is knit on big needles with the new Rowan Kidsilk Trio in Blackthorn, fantastically soft and beautiful (and expensive, quite a splurge).  It merles black and white into something beautiful that I think Coco would approve of.  Love it!  My Ravelry link here.

I watched Gosford Park again last night.  I'd forgotten how much I loved it, what a great movie.   What got me to watch Gosford Park again is Julian Fellowes, one of the actors in Monarch of the Glen, wrote Gosford Park.   I am in the middle of re-watching Monarch of the Glen, a BBC Scotland series that went on for 7 or so seasons.  I get them from my library, but maybe they can be ordered from Netflix, I haven't checked.  If you haven't seen Monarch of the Glen, OH MY, you are in for a HUGE  treat!  The characters, the setting, the sweaters....sigh, and sigh again,  I know you will love it as much as I do. So if you haven't seen it, consider watching it an emergency and get to it.  It's important to watch it in order, the story develops beautifully.  There could be close to 100 episodes, but don't let that scare you, just take your time over a year or so.  It's a treat you can give yourself.

As for reading, I started The Art Forger and it looks like it might be a good one.

Thank you for stopping by and have a GREAT weekend!

Autumn in California

Persimmons linger on the tree long after the leaves have fallen.

The Chinese Pistache is a very popular tree in my town because of it's reliable fall color.

My California garden teeters between summer and fall.  The last of the summer tomatoes next to fall's brilliant persimmons.  Red, red roses and the fiery leaves of our Chinese Pistache.  Weeds pop up everywhere, right next to the moss.  One day cold, next day hot.  Should we water?  Should we not?  Picked a big slicer this November morning and had it for breakfast with beans and eggs.   Salad sized tomatoes went into a fennel and tomato and chicken stew.  We are nursing a few tomato plants along, but their bedraggled selves look like they would rather be in the compost heap!

My newest knitting crush.

The combination of these three together, the perfect simple beauty of it,

But I'm putting this aside for now and going to save it for a driving trip we've got coming up.

Trying to finish a few WIP's that are crowding me out of my family room.
Will post knitting again soon!

11/8:  Edited to add:  

I could go on and on about persimmons. I understand they are not that common in other parts of the country, but they are a common seasonal treat here in Northern California, most neighborhoods have quite a few trees with neighbors willing to share. I generally see two types, one is a flatter one called a fuji and can be eaten when it is crisp, it's slightly sweet and tangy. We love them and they are great in salads or with yogurt or cottage cheese. The other kind is more heart shaped and are darker orange. They have to soften up after you pick them and the pulp is delicious eaten with a spoon. If you don't ripen this variety, they taste astringent. People make persimmon bread and cookies, persimmon jam and pies, etc. They are beautiful hanging on the tree after all the leaves have fallen.