I’ve been decorating for a whimsical Christmas — lots of inspiration for it! Starting with MUSICA . . .
IT’S A KITTY CAT CHRISTMAS . . .
I thought you might like a “Life of Jack” update — and I know everyone thinks their cat is the smartest in the world, but this is actually the smartest kitty in the world.♥ He just is. You know how cats rub against your legs? Now every time Jacks walks by me, he doesn’t just rub against my leg, he JUMPS up, his front paws leave the ground, so he can rub against me. He jumps up, then curls around me and comes back and jumps up from the other side. Do I love it? Yes! Then he stretches out on the floor in front of me, full length, so I can rub his belly.
He’s also not as interested in ball-retrieval these days, now he likes rubber band retrieval . . . the thick elastic kind you use on a pony tail. I shoot them, and he leaps into the air and catches them, or chases them, and brings them back to me. I tell you he is brilliant! I will be reading a book, feel something come up into my lap, look down, there’s a rubber band. He’s little too. Not growing very big, so far, for a 16-month old. He’s a little, smart cat.
He adores the fire. Curls up in front of it, stares at it, rolls around next to it, naps as close to it as possible . . . to the point where I have to stay there with him, he loves it so much that I’m not too sure yet that he is aware that it is HOT in there.
But, just so you know, Joe and I do leave the house sometimes … we’ve been getting the house ready for Yankee Magazine who, if you read Willard or have been hanging out on this blog, you know, is coming to take photographs of our house! Here we are at one of our garden centers called Eden. They always do the cutest things at their entry way! Nice “roping,” don’t you think?
And we found our tree! At Vineyard Garden Center. Thar she blows. Now to get her home!
I started my paper whites — I save the rocks from year to year; I also found a bag full of moss when we were shopping off-island … thought it would be pretty to mix in a little bit of green.
Speaking of green, for a while there we could not see a speck of it outside, our lawn was wall-to-wall leaves . . . But Joe made compost out of them . . . and while he was out there raking, he, got an idea, inspired by the roping at Eden. . .
And made this with the bushes in our yard! Isn’t that great? I was very impressed! Who knew that, #1, we had the stuff to make this — even though I should know, I see it every day …. or, #2, Joe would be able to do it! (Although I should know, he can do anything!)
While he was doing that in the yard, I was baking cookies — and, by the way, this recipe is SO Delicious, I’ll put in the next post (this one is already too long!) . . . It’s a chocolate chip cookie different from any other — Joe loved them and so did I! Good Housekeeping is what we were doing . . . here on Christmas Island.
And then Joe, even more inspired now … came in and surprised me with this! We usually buy wreaths and put our own bows on them . . . but he got the urge to try making one; went out there and cut more Chinese and English Boxwood, Holly, Ivy and Pine — and look how cute it turned out, all fresh and perky! I hope he realizes what he has gotten himself into. One is seriously not enough.
My job was to add the toys, the bow, bird, and pears!
So he went back out and brought in a whole box of greens for me to play with! I love whimsy; a little decorating-sense-of-humor is a good thing at the holidays, but I also love tradition. When you google Decorating Whimsical Christmas, there are lots of white trees, bright pink, turquoise, and silver ornaments. I love looking at the pictures of this . . .
. . . because they are full of creativity and joy … BUT I’ve never quite gotten over the old-fashioned traditional things, and need to have them! When I think of Christmas, I remember how I saw it as a child when I was at my most personally whimsical (believing with all my heart in the magic) . . . sparkle, and lights, candles, color, stories, singing, cookies … pure magic! That’s still what I love. I want whimsy, but now I’m grown up, I know about tradition, and I need my old things too. ♥
Like wreaths and roping made from traditional greens that are green, my little trees in the window sills, or my bird tree on the table . . . I had fun playing with the leaves and branches over the windows — I just poked everything under the curtain rod!
And talk about whimsy, these were the “men” sitting in the “yard” of a gingerbread house on display in a coffee shop downtown! Aren’t they adorable? I think it’s marzipan … my favorite part is the tiny chocolate shots stuck in the top of the heads! With whimsy, the sky is the limit!
But this probably as traditionally whimsical as I get . . . my bird tree. I’ve had it for years and years, and guess what? It’s been up for a week, and Jack hasn’t touched it yet! It’s on the kitchen table, just over his food bowl, and he just isn’t interested. Knock on wood.
Rachel, my English girlfriend, gave me this tiny precious cup; I brought home leaves from our walk, another little bird and voila! Nature whimsy!
Plus of course my little old house that I found at an island flea market, it goes on top of the stove, like every year …
I’ve also been setting out my old quilts, which Girl loves . . .
I took this picture last year . . . it’s the ornament I got the year I move to the island. Now that’s a tradition!
And of course I have to do my shelf-scape of Beatrix Potter People; they needed a few trees and pears. ♥
And there’s not too much more traditional than Christmas apples and old books . . .
Yesterday Joe and I carried the tree down the driveway and around to the front door, which is the best way to bring in a tree at our house, through the front hall, causing the least amount of damage, both to us, and to the house, and there she is! She smells wonderful!!! When we get her trimmed and ready for prime time, I’ll be sure to show you!
I am not done decorating by any stretch of the imagination, I have the fireplace to do, the Peter Rabbit room, and lots of other spots. Which is where I’m going now. But first off, I remember how much you liked the picture of the beautiful cardinal on the feeder outside my kitchen window, and was thinking, what would the girlfriends like for a Holiday Giveaway . . . ??? Something whimsical would be just right, I think!
And I thought, maybe this little notebook, of the boy bird feeding the girl bird, the way it should be in real life at all times! And then, of course, because I love mine so much, you really must have one of these darling new mugs we just got in. They are just like the bird cup . . . four pieces, the cup, the lid, a mesh basket inside for loose tea, and a saucer for your cookie! So cute …
So yours. ♥ And the little pad opens up, is perfect purse-size for little winter notes . . .
And one more thing. Joe says he will make you
One of these! And I will decorate it! And we will send it along with the mug and the cardinal notepad, so we can wish you a Merry Everything girlfriends, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Soltice, or as Jerry Seinfeld called it, “Festivus!”
To be entered in the drawing, just leave me a little message in the comment section (if this blog is being emailed to you, you have to click here, www.susanbranch.com; scroll to the bottom of this post, click on the tiny word “comments”); in a few days, our Winning Name will be pulled by the wonderful and beautiful Vanna . . . and I will announce it here. Joe will make that wreath at the last moment so it will be fresh! ♥
We say Bye for now! We would jump up and rub your legs if you were here! ♥ xoxo