Thursday, December 19, 2013


The Christmas tree has always been at the center of our decorating for the season.  I've written about our trees during the last five Christmases on this blog.  You can read here about our tradition of red balls with the year painted on.  There are now 56 of those balls on our tree this year.

Collecting ornaments from friends and travels over the years plus inheriting family ornaments necessitated a few years ago to  now decorate two trees.  

Each of the hundreds of ornaments have a story to tell - these are definitely memory trees.

ONE MORE CHRISTMAS MEMORY  --  In 1966, Bob had just finished his first master's degree and was being transferred by the Federal Government to a research station in northeastern Montana.  He was to report for work the week before Christmas.  We hurriedly sold our house, and the government sent a moving company to load up our furniture and belongings for storage.  We combined Thanksgiving and an early Christmas with our families; loaded up our Suburban with our elderly, blind dog, a few warm clothes, an electric skillet, and a box containing our then nine red balls with the years on them.  I was going to have a tree, if not much else.  We headed out, sight unseen, to the wilds of Montana.
There was not a single rental house available, so we were put up in a motel for six weeks until a house became available.
The Park Plaza Motel, Sidney, Mt., Christmas 1966
Without family and the usual trappings of Christmas (except the tree), we experienced what the celebration was all about - the birth of our Savior.  We grew up a lot in those five years in Montana -- we learned to deal with isolation, how to function in months of zero degree weather with snow and ice, and discovered what was important to us in life.  We started a family of our own as our first child was born on a snowy day in March 1968 in that little town in Montana.  By the way, I also learned how to make a full meal in that little electric skillet in a motel room - in 1966, there were no microwaves, no fast food, no take-out!!!

This is my last post for December 2013.  Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read about the Christmas memories I've shared this month.  We understand the real reason to celebrate Christmas, and we try to focus on that. 
 But, it is also the season to share with those we love making memories and establishing traditions to last a life time.

Now, it is time for the Salmagundi household to worship and be together as a family.  
May you all have a joyous celebration - go make some memories!  I'll be back posting in 2014.

Please check out the following blogs for more Christmas Joy:
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Monday, December 16, 2013


Each year, I try to make a hand-made ornament to include as a tuck-in gift for a friend.
This year, I made 3" ornaments from some of my recycled wool Pendleton scraps.
 The snowmen are wool applique and embroidery, and are tiny; so it stretched my abilities a little!
They were fun to make - just wish they weren't so tedious, or I would make a bunch more.

Joining the following:
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Thursday, December 12, 2013


When Bob's family sold their grocery store in the 1960s, I took the opportunity to snoop around in the attic of the building to see what I could find.  I spied this old display jar in a dark corner; and I asked my father-in-law if I could have it.  I'm sure he wondered what his antique-crazy daughter-in-law was going to do with that old thing!  Bob remembers that it held bulk cookies for sale at one time. 

  This Christmas I decided it would be the perfect thing to hold a replication of a family Christmas memory. 

 In our part of Colorado, there are not any tree farms where you can go cut your own Christmas tree.  If you want the experience, you go to the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management for a permit.  Then, you pack up the family, the gear, and enough sugar and spice to sustain the troops; head to the mountains; traipse through the snow and freezing cold; get your vehicle stuck in a snow drift; etc. etc.  You end up with the perfect 'imperfect Charlie Brown' tree, sugar-hyped kids, and another priceless Christmas memory.
Since we weren't really an outdoorsy, adventurist family (especially me); we only did this once.  
From then on, a grocery store tree; and now a fake tree works just fine!

Here's proof that we actually did this -- 1980 pictures.  These don't show that much snow, but trust me, there was!
                          Eating cookies                                    Dragging the tree out                   

So many fun blogs to read this season, but please check out the following:
Have a Daily Cup for A Sugar and Spice Christmas on 12/11
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Dwellings for Amaze Me Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Shabby Creek Cottage

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Plaid means Christmas to me!  And, what better place to bring it out than in the kitchen where I spend so much time this month.
A Jim Shore Santa in a plaid lunch box.
 Our Hoosier cabinet is front and center in the kitchen.  It gets a lot of use during the season as a buffet table for entertaining.  The sponge-painted porcelain top pulls out for additional space.

 I love adding pine cones into the Christmas decor.  Living in pine-tree country, they are in abundance and free.  See the tiny pine cone in the wheel barrow of the top left collage below -- that's a memory maker -- I picked that up off the ground in Bavaria on a trip to Germany.
 Another Jim Shore Santa makes an appearance in the 'new to me' vintage plaid picnic basket.
It's time to get to the meal planning, entertaining, cookie making, etc.

Please join the following for a plethora of Christmas inspiration:
Fishtail Cottage for A Cottage Christmas on 12/10
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Common Ground - Be Inspired Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Sunday View for Vintage View Sunday
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Monday, December 9, 2013


Here in Colorado our screened-in porch is unusable in the winter.  We are presently in a period of a week strait of temperatures below freezing, and that is snow out in the yard!  But, I usually decorate for Christmas a little bit on the porch so there is something festive to see through the living room French doors.
Bob made the primitive Santa about 25 years ago.  The family  calls him Santa Bob because we think it is actually a self-portrait!

The 'wonky' tree seems to belong with Santa Bob.  Yes, that is dirt you see on the floor - just pretend it adds to the rustic nature of the decorations.  
We really do need to get the sweeper out there -- another thing on the 'to do' list this week.  Is your 'to do' list also very lengthy this time of the year?

But, I'm taking time this week to check out the following for mega inspiration:
Must Love Junk for a rustic Christmas on 12/9
Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

Saturday, December 7, 2013


We've spent this week decorating for Christmas.  And after 55 years of marriage, it is so fun to relive Christmases Past as we unpack each decoration.  Below, are some of the vintage decorations that we have picked up over the years while out antiquing and some that belonged to my parents.  My mother always decorated so beautifully for Christmas -- it was a magical time!
 I'm particularly partial to the balls that are indented in design and the ones from WWII that have the cardboard hangers
                      INDENTED ORNAMENTS                             WWII ORNAMENTS                               
                                    GLASS TREE TOPPERS                   GLASS BALL ROPING                                      
On a future post, I'll show you the two trees decorated with more vintage ornaments.

 But now, something vintage with a story -- you probably know we have a story about almost everything in our home!
In 1971 the week before Christmas, our then 3-year old son and I were out doing errands, and we stopped by the dry cleaners to pick up the cleaning.  Why the cleaners was selling Santa Clauses, I don't know; but they were and our son (the Prince of Tantrumland) latched on to one.
 When time to leave, he wasn't about to put Santa down and proceeded to throw a doozy of a tantrum.  I don't know what the child psychologists of today say about tantrums, but my mode of operation then was to get him out of the situation in anyway available.
So, I did what any panicky mother would do -- I paid for the Santa and the dry cleaning and got the screaming kid with a death grip on Santa out of there!!!!
 No harm done, I guess, as I now have a vintage Santa apparently worth more than the $3.00 I paid plus the priceless memory ----

and, our son learned how to behave eventually.

In celebration of this wonderful season, I'm joining the following:
Organized Clutter for Vintage Christmas on 12/7
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Sunday View for Vintage View Sunday
So Much Better with Age for Give Me the Goods Monday
The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
No Minimalist Here for Thursday Open House
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday