scenes of west chester before the leaves came down

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I took these photos back in September the weekend of the Barclay Friends Secret Gardens Tour.

West Chester is a cool place to explore and I love the houses and the gardens and the park spaces.  Enjoy!

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vintage and handmade ornaments are the best!

Most of the Christmas ornaments I have are varying degrees of vintage. I even have some that belonged to my great grandparents who lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

I told all of you about the wonderful vintage Christmas market at the Smithfield Barn. It’s happening today and tomorrow. I realized I never showed you what I bought!

I was actually pretty restrained for me. I tend to go crazy over the ornaments my friend Kristin finds! This year was no exception as she had some vintage ones that were made in the Ukraine. The Ukrainian ornaments are different from the German ornaments and the glass feels different in your hands. And they are so lovely just like old German ornaments!

I am pretty sappy when it comes to Christmas. It literally makes me so happy to decorate and cook for friends and family. And I have always loved vintage ornaments.

My late father loved silver and gold. And somewhere my mother still has boxes of now vintage silver and gold glass ornaments. But I like color in my tree and decorations. I am however primarily a red and green person.

I also love Santas, elves, and nutcrackers. I love handmade and hand carved Christmas decorations as well! I have a whole bunch of folk art Santas and it makes me grin when every one of them comes out of the storage bin where they live the rest of the year.

I also like ornaments that remind me of the nature that is all around me. I have a lot of mercury glass birds both old and new. It’s hard to get really amazing vintage glass birds because people hang onto them. And the vintage ones I have are from my father. A lot of the glass birds are the ones that I see in my own garden. And I even have a glass fox or two.

Also with the nature theme? Mercury glass pinecones. They are among my favorite Christmas tree ornaments and I found some new ones this year at the Smithfield Barn!

The thing you’ll find about shopping at the Christmas market for the Smithfield Barn is they don’t rake you over the coals in price. Things are priced fairly and definitely a lot of the time below other dealers elsewhere. Way below. Part of what makes the Smithfield Barn so special is the way things are paid forward.

And yes, I will also admit I am a not so closet Hallmark Christmas movie watcher. There’s so much ugliness and unpleasantness in the world, the Christmas and decorating for the holidays it’s just a beautiful and warm respite from all of that.

Thanks for stopping by.



vintage christmas wonderland

The Smithfield Barn opens it’s big barn doors November 8th – 10th for their Vintage Holiday Market in Downingtown.

Me and my cane got a look see this evening (NOT open to the public.)

I love Christmas and I love vintage Christmas and Kristin has outdone herself with the spectacular ornaments and lovely Christmas things.

There is some new mixed in with the old because for example there is this amazing wood carver who has some things in the barn.

There are also some fabulous vintage Christmas ornaments from the Ukraine. They’re very different and beautiful.

Yes, I literally have a torn meniscus and I had to brace my knee up and bring a cane just so I could take a look because I don’t know when (given the state of my leg) I will be out again. One of my best friends was nice enough to drive me.

This was just what the doctor ordered and it makes me so happy to see a little Christmas in a big old Chester County barn. This is literally a big old barn and this is not a store so you can’t just show up whenever.

Smithfield Barn 425 Little Conestoga Road Downingtown, Pennsylvania 19335.

pixies and elves

Collecting Christmas….yes I know…not even Halloween but I love Christmas.

The green leaf dish was purchased at the Glenmoore Deli this summer when Smithfield Barn did a pop-up. But the pixies or elves? I hunted them down recently.

Aren’t they cute???

I already have a bunch of green ones and I have some white ones but I didn’t have any red. And I love these elves they’re only a few inches big if that and some I also have are only a couple inches big.

I stuff them into little hiding places in bookshelves, peeking out from behind lamps, scattered on tables and so on.

All of the ones I have are from the 1950s and 1960s and I just love them. You have to hunt for them though because they can be really expensive and they’re not worth over paying for in my humble opinion so I look until I find reasonably priced ones. I hadn’t found any for a couple of years until this year.

These came from sellers on Etsy. VintageCurlyGirl and StarrRoadRetro.

Collecting Christmas is fun and I love vintage decorations!

collecting christmas

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love Christmas! Today I went to an estate sale in the rain and found these two lovely little Christmas books in a pile of other things.

These are sweet little books that will sit on a table at Christmas with other Christmas books. They aren’t super valuable, they’re just a nice little addition to my Christmas books.

In 66 days it will be Christmas 🎄

Ho Ho Ho and thanks for stopping by.

the last hurrah

Life got busy and sort of in the way and although the rest of the Christmas decorations have been put away for a while, I never actually took the Christmas tree down.

So today, I decided to bite the bullet and git r’ done.

I really hate putting the Christmas tree away. And because of that it’s probably good we use an artificial tree now.

I know there are people who keep Christmas decorations and Christmas trees up all year round. That I couldn’t do. I’m afraid if I did that they would start calling me Miss Havisham right out of Charles Dickens or something. Or sign me up for Christmasaholics Anonymous.

I am saying goodbye to my ornaments one by one. Like every year I swear I am going to put every ornament away perfectly and I know next year I will be telling myself I should’ve done a better job now in this moment.

Every ornament has its own little story.

The ornaments that came from my late father will go back into the boxes he had them in hopefully for one more year. The boxes sadly are falling apart and I know I am only going to be able to hang onto them for just so long. It’s not that I find the boxes of any great value, it’s just that it’s his writing on the outside of the boxes. So it’s a nice memory.

As I put the final bits of Christmas away I wonder if many years in the future whomever has my ornaments will love them as much as I do?

Perhaps to some that is a very strange and fatalistic thought. It’s just one of the funny things that my busy brain occasionally wonders. And I think part of the reason I wondered that is because of the vintage ornaments I have collected from estate sales and similar situations over the years. You can always tell when you’re buying an ornament if the ornaments were well loved.

OK well enough procrastination for me I have to finish up.

Thanks for stopping by.

saying good-bye to christmas…bit by bit

I really don’t like saying goodbye to Christmas. But it has gotten to the point as it does every year where the Santas and Nutcrackers seem to be staring at me throughout the house. It’s like they’re telling me it’s time for them to come down and go away into their bins until next year.

I started a few days ago by putting away the outside decorations. And then I began inside with the Christmas plates and linens. Everything back onto their storage shelves and into trunks.

Today the Santas went away. They always look so sad lined up ready to go into the bins. I am getting better at putting Christmas decorations away in a less haphazard manner. But next year I still won’t remember which decorations are in each bin. I swear it’s part of the decorating process!

Piece by piece, bit by bit. Deconstructing Christmas and bringing the house back to non-holiday normal. By the time all of the ornaments are put away I will once again swear I am NOT, NOT, NOT doing all of those decorations again next year….and then next December will roll around and I will do it all over again.

Until next year, Christmas, until next year.