I've had these little sleighs for a few years-but never have done anything with them. This year I decided they would fit perfectly on top of my mantle all lined up. I think I'll leave them their for a few weeks(minus he white one with the reindeer). Wouldn't it be fun to really take a ride in one? Any one out there done that?
Well it really starts with how my business got it's name. I've been in several different antique malls and after some closing, some being too far away and sometimes not making the rent, my husband allowed me (he would say I just took over and filled it up!) to take over the last of his barns. We did some repairs, painted and power-washed it out and my little barn business was born about 8 years ago when my sister's kids were born.
My sister had twins-a boy and a girl. We were so excited after many years of her trying. She had one of each! My grandmother, my mom's mom wanted my sister Amanda to name the little girl after her-Ella. Because of some hurt feelings in the family, which I won't go in to, my sister didn't want to do that. My grandma was crushed (at one time she saw a birth announcement about a couple in another town who did name their daughter Ella and sent them a card in the mail telling them how wonderful it was that they had chosen Ella for their daughters name-complete strangers!). Eight years ago was before the name Ella really started to become popular!
So when my business(Barn) opened up -I chose Ella Mae's Barn Gathering. My grandma was elated. She would come to the sales and go around and tell everyone that she was Ella Mae -distracting everyone from buying, but she was so cute and so proud! I even had a shirt made for her to wear that says -I'm Ella Mae.
My grandma and I have always been close. I used to wear her high heeled red shoes when I was little (until my feet became bigger than hers) and she helped me design and sew many clothes including my prom dress with the belly button hole cut out(boy were my parents mad! but that's another story!). I was there for her when she divorced my grandfather, after 43 years of marriage. I often stayed with her, in her apartment, through 'our' teenage years together (she was married at 16 -so she became like one when I was in high school- dating again!).
She's an author and loves to write poetry and wonderful childrens' stories which have never been published (she wanted us to write Oprah so she could be on her show to get published!). So you can see -this was my way of making her feel a little special and famous (so to speak)!
Now you can understand why we were all so upset about her going to the nursing home-update-she got home a week ago last Thursday and is so much stronger and doing things for herself! So hopefully she will be able to resume her duties as our greeter -to announce to everyone -Hey-I'm Ella Mae!
I wanted to share with you about making some Christmas cookies for my husband(don't look at the picture yet-I want to explain). As many of you might know-I don't cook-and I really mean it. I just never have. I either forget to turn the oven on or I leave it on for hours, don't fully read the directions, don't have the ingredients on hand(we live 15 minutes from town), try to do more than just cook(blog or something else more fun!)-and am just not interested in cooking. I really don't care either-I could live on toast and peanut butter and cereal with an occasional meal here and there and be quite content. Lucky for me -there is lots of microwavable food out there! So my husband kept saying-I want some Christmas cookies-I guess I'll have my sister make me some. So last Wednesday-my day off-I decided to surprise him(and I did). Since I can't make anything from scratch(yes I did receive the Betty Cr ocker cookbook for our wedding and no I don't look at it!) I usually have those bag you just add oil, egg and water to(I've made oatmeal and peanut butter cookies successfully), but I only had those refrigerated rolls you slice up. I thought-this is going to be even easier! You can look at the picture now. Here's how it happened. I smashed down the dough so it was pretty thin and tried to use my few cookie cutters. The dough just kept sticking to the cutters. Flour is what I need I thought-but we didn't have any. We did have some sugar though(yes I forgot about the Pam spray and I forgot to spray the cookie sheets too!). So I added what little sugar we had and that worked-so I was pretty pleased with myself. Then after I had cut out the shapes I added the goodies(green sprinkles and red hots on the tree and red icing on the stars). Put them in the oven(but I thought setting it a little low 250 degrees would make them not burn). Well as you experienced cookers out there have already figured out. They didn't fully cook, stuck to the sheet, the icing ran(yes I remember now-ice them after they are out and cooled!) and worst of all-the shapes became blobs. Just as I was finishing the last sheet-my husband walks in. Of course he knows my abilities(lucky for me he makes us a meal once in a while) and just laughed. He said they were really good and he even wanted his picture taken with them(not my idea to let the entire blog land know what a total screw up I am!). After a few days I see more of the humor in it and several employees took pity on me( or my husband) and brought me plates of Christmas cookies. Now those blogs I've visited with the wonderful food pics will know when I say it looks good-but I'm not going to attempt it will know why!
My mom sometimes tells me that she won't be quite awake and thinks she hears the pitter pat of little feet in the hallway from all those years ago on Christmas Day and thinks my sister and I are still little. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe how the years have flown. Since I don't have any children(I did wake up this morning and first thing-wish my little furry children Merry Christmas!). I look forward to seeing the excitement and surprise on the faces of my sister's three children -it brings back those feelings we lost somewhere along the way!
For the past several years I've went down to just see Santa and the photographer always takes my picture for free and gives it to me(he's really nice and loves to see what outfits I come up with). This year I dressed as Mrs. Claus-so of course, I had to get my pic on Santa's lap(he's kind of an onry old guy!). That's my purse on the floor which I carry candy cane pins to give out-Santa and the photographer each got one! HO HO HO -MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Real Simple Magazine had an article this past November entitled the "The God Box." My mom asked me if I could help her come up with anything to hand out as the "God Box" so that she could read this article at her bible study. I had these pretty boxes just sitting around and thought they would make the perfect addition to give every lady. If you're still looking for that last minute gift-there is nothing that would make a better gift. It's priceless(God's un-failing peace)(and no cost to you for a gift!), doesn't take much to put together, and doesn't have to be returned or exchanged! I hope you find this something that you will do yourself and pass along to your friends and family!
I picked up these two boxes from the same lady I got all the vintage christmas cards from(Shabby Pink Blog). The big one has a wrong matched lid but I don't care-the details are wonderful! This is a picture of my sister and I next to our Christmas tree. Our tree always looked pretty pitafill(compared with today's standards!) and it still looks the same every year! The orange pump you see is a lamp my dad made when he was in high school as a project-I've got it now too! I guess I wrote my name on our pictures(and not my sisters!)
I found this cool ornament several years ago somewhere-never seen another one like it. It's been hiding out in my office -I just love the little details -like the snowman!
I hope you all are ready-only a few more days of shopping left(and I'm glad!). Got the day off today-two days this week(YEH!)-it's been only one since the week of Thanksgiving~ This is what I wore yesterday-nothing like sporting the red and green theme-had to get a little fur in there and my red glitter shoes to balance it out!
Maybe next year I'll do a party with what you're wearing out there-that would be fun!
Just a picture I found in my photo album of my dad helping me put the star on top the tree(many of you can relate to this!). As you can see I wrote our names on the picture when I was little. My dad looks a little tired or maybe I kept pestering him to help me up?
Update to my earlier post on this-I found another one today!!! How simple, but cute is this one-half off at $1.50!!!!!
Well-I think this may be my new obsession-finding sheet music for the different holidays. I have an antique parlor organ-so the perfect place to display it. I just recently bought the one on the left and found the one on the right hiding in with all my other sheet music. At least this collection won't take up much space!
This is my favorite bottle brush tree-that is until I find a vintage pink one-and I'm on the lookout. This one I saw at an antique store over 2 hours away and forgot to buy(we've all done that!) and called back and told them I would send a check-I didn't pick it up for a year later-I'm suprised it was still there(they had to hunt for it!). It's one of the tallest ones I've ever seen!
I've been picking these bottle brush trees(and this isn't all of them!) up here and there for a few years. They've been used in many displays-they're so versatile. This year I decided to put them on the parlor organ-they fit perfectly-except I've got 15 more coming from Cheryl at ZanyMayd-but that's a decision for next year.
Here is my ever growing collection of Victorian Children's Christmas Books. I started picking them up several years ago to use at our local historical home to decorate with and fell in love the the colorful covers. Most of them are in pretty rough condition-but I don't mind-they were probably well loved. This past Tuesday my husband took me antiquing for my birthday and I found this one-the Santa Claus Visit for only $3.00( I was so excited because they usually sell for more!). I really like this one because it has a blonde and brown haired girl on the cover(I collect things with both because my sister has brown hair!). I also bought this one for $15.00 at another store.
This was another new addition this year.
The rest of these are from years past-can you believe how many different ones there were-who would have known!~
I've noticed a lot of vintage reindeer items this year on blogs. Never really thought much about reindeer before seeing what everyone else had so when I was thrifting and saw these 3 glasses for only $.20 each-I grabbed them up! I wanted to show cookies and milk-but if I filled the glasses up-you wouldn't get to see the great details!
Every year when I was younger my parents would hire Santa to come visit my birthday party and bring a gift for me and for all the other kids. Everyone loved it, including my sister, who also got a present on my birthday(hince I got one on her's in July!). I don't know how my folks thought this up-but it was a great idea(yes Mom -I do remember good things too!). Here I am at 3-the earliest picture we have of me sitting on Santa's lap at our house!
That's my sister's head and my grandma-Ella Mae on the couch!
That's my sister sitting on the couch with her present-did she get to go before me?
Don't you just love that clock-I've still got it in the garage (yes Mom-I kept it!)
This is the last year-the year I got my bike(which wasn't a surpise since I was sneaky and listening to my mom and a friend talk!)(I still hate surprises to this day!)
Such good memories-sometimes I just take a trip down the mall and have to get my picture taken with Santa-it's more than a Christmas thing to me-it's a birthday tradition!
Anyway-I do wish Santa could visit all of you on my birthday and bring you a present!
Can you see it?.............It's on the middle right...............................................Right there A little glass man that I saw in this bag of ornaments for only $1.00 with 50% off. I'm pretty sure he's old-I saw his little face staring out at me-and thank goodness he wasn't broken! I just love the new man in my life!
I bought these wreaths several years ago and forgot about them. With all this blogging-I've been digging thru all my stuff and actually decorating a little this year when I haven't in probably the last 10 years. These still have the $1.00 price tag I paid for them-and I'm hanging them in my office where I'll enjoy them most(because I feel like I live there these days!)
I've been collecting antique stockings for several years now. It started off when I began decorating our Historic Dr. Rutherford Home. I love history and began researching the traditions of Christmas. If you look back-we really haven't been doing this crazy decorating for that many years. In the 1800's they kept it very simple. The stocking hung up were their very own. I get so excited when I find one to add to my collection. As you can see, some of them have items inside-those are the ones I used to use at the historic house. I filled them with old-fashioned gift(another one of my favorite things to do-since I'm not crafty like a lot of you out there(even though I'd love to be!).
Got both of these Santa faces at garage sales over the last couple of years for a song-being that I WAS not a santa fan-I just picked them up because they were cheap. Because they are so light weight-I decided to pair them with two wreath that I had-I think it sets them off pretty good!
I picked up two more candy containers last week-guess I've got a new collection(like I need that!). I got the Kandi Colas for $6 and the Bittersweet Chocolate Drops for $3. I already had the Lemon Drop and the Old Fashioned Chcocolate Drop Box. They're great for storage-but I don't know where to put them!