We all have something we like to collect, right??
My thing...is old Christmas goods.
Old as in, pre-1940.
(which is kind of funny now, because I am having a harder time getting into the spirit every year. i love seeing everything all put together and sprucing up the house...but yet i can't quite shake the 'blah' feeling.)
It started with a photo I saw of myself at my Grandma's house when I was a wee babe...in front of her Christmas tree, which was all decked out in glass ornaments from Germany and Poland. That was right after i got married, and I knew then that I wanted a tree like the one in the photo...so the obsession/collection began.
I don't have ONE of the ornaments that were in that photo...Grandma sold them all in a rummage sale years ago lol...THE IRONY! So everything in my collection has come my way via auctions/estate sales/eBay/antique shows...and I get lots of questions about them, so I thought I'd share a few pics.
This isn't vintage obviously lol...but it's for my front door. Cut some felt circles, sewed them together and wrapped around a $7 live wreath from Trader Joe's. The stars are wax paper that I filled with confetti...a new obsession! Love how it turned out.
Starting off with my 2 feather trees...they sit on top of my entertainment cabinet. One filled with ornaments that are glass (all German). These are TINY...under 2 inches long each. Super fragile, thin glass.
The other feather tree is covered with these spun cotton fruit-shaped ornaments. I love how they have glass glitter sprinkled on them. (again, all German...dating to pre-1940)
Here they are all decked out, with one of my papier mache Santas making a cameo appearance, lol.
Collection of tiny bottle brush/tinsel trees.There is a 3rd shelf above these two that didn't quite fit the frame ;) I love grouping them together...they look cool all lined up. A few still have their original price tags on them...29 cents would be a DREAM, right?!
On to the big tree. We always get a Frasier Fir...around $35, 6-7 feet tall. I hack about 50% of the branches off...CRAZY, right?! If you don't do this, you can only hang ornaments on the OUTSIDE of the branches...and I have too many to do that. (plus, the long ones need somewhere to 'hang', so the inside works nicely for that) The goal when i grab my pruning sheers is to make it look somewhat like the 2 that are pictured above on top of the entertainment hutch...not quite as drastic, but you get the idea. If i could find a fake tree that was built more 'open' I'd buy it, but I haven't seen one yet. This is how I store the ornaments...each wrapped individually:
Several different types...here are Victorian era 'tinsel' or 'wire-wrapped' ones. Parasols, ones made with paper 'scrap' faces...these date to 1910-ish.
'Figural' German glass ornaments: meaning, they are shaped in the 'figure' of something. A fish, a little boy, mother & child, angel, pig, dog, owl, ladybug, Easter egg...very thin glass that was hand-blown and painted.
These are a favorite of mine...they are called 'end of day' ornaments. At the end of the work day, a glass blower would take their leftover paints they'd been working with and use them up on 'plain' ornaments...so no two are alike. The paint looks creamy, and is beautiful!
A few of our 'vintage Harper' ornaments. The silver angel is mine from when I was very small...Higbee's was a department store that used to give these to children and somehow mine has survived. Gingerbread man is from an elementary school craft fair when I was probably 7? Wedding bells are from our first Christmas after we were married. Hands are Allie's that she made in preschool when she was only 4. And the blue tinsel one with the mirror was my Dad's favorite ornament that he hung on the tree every year. :)
More figurals. Corn, bird on a tree stump, teddy bear, flower, jesters, clam, gnome.
Here is a pic of the finished result. See how you can see through the tree and what's inside?? The only way to go. :)
I've been collecting these for about 15 years, and continue to search wherever we go. It didn't happen overnight, lol...I started out with Shiny Brites that I picked up at an auction, and it progressed from there. What's really cool is that I seem to have passed this love for old Christmas goods on to Allie, because she oohs and aahs every year when we decorate. I remember when she was 2 or 3 I was terrified to put them on the tree...but Mike encouraged me to include her in the process to maybe take some of the 'mystery' out of it for her...thus maybe curbing her desire to 'grab them', lol.
She hasn't ever broken a single one.
I however, am good for breaking one every few years.
(and darn him for being right, lol)
So that's a bit of my collection.
If you have any questions, please ask...I promise to reply!