Friday, December 11, 2015

Vintage Christmas Kitchen Deux

Welkommen og Gladelig Jule, or Welcome and Merry Christmas from our small house. We live everyday with generations of family antiques and personal finds. 

Everything in this post is OLD NEW GREEN REDO,  and loved.

 One of the advantages of being old, is everything I own is vintage, LOL. The Cookie tin is a recent find from a thrift store and filled with pumpkin cookies. The coffee pot is Danish and my grandmother's it's a drip coffeepot with a little white cloth bag to hold the grounds.

Have a cup of coffee from my Wachtersbach cups...I have no idea--20years old maybe. I have some white ones that are from the 1970's. I loved the wine snowman---he just fit in here---late in the afternoon we can share a sip of wine.

Center of the table right now is the fish poacher filled with my jello and tart tins, with some vintage napkins I found a few weeks ago, in this post Vintage and Holiday Finds. 
Christmas pig is still fattening up on his trough of acorns. 
Will he or won't he find himself 'on' the Christmas table this year?
The tablecloths are all cotton and vintage--the blue faded topper is from Denmark from 1969-70.
 I use it every year as our everyday tablecloth during the holidays.

 Here is the dining room area from the counter side of the kitchen. The blue plates are Bing&Grondahol and Royal Copenhagen Christmas plates that are up all year long. 
My oldest is 1914 and inheirited from my great-grandparents.
I use holly and mini lights across the top of the room, 
and it pretty much stays up through the winter months.

 The corner hutch I snagged about 25 years ago at a thrift store, it had been in a fire...
but the the glass was intact. Hubby scrapped and sanded it down to bare and we painted it. Underneath is great storage for big platters and bowls.

My windows have vintage jello molds, and a spongecake springmold 
used as wreaths with a sprig of ivy in them.

 Peppermint striped ribbon is added to my normal blue and white for Christmas color. 
The television is Vintage too, lol.

The spinning wheel lamp was my grandmother's summer cottage.  I have Vintage Santas in a variety of materials: a pressed wool German Belsnikle, resin Santa's from around the world-from Carson Pirie Scott years ago. My small wool Danish elves (Tomte or Julenisse) are very small and mischevious and will show up in the strangest places closer to Christmas.
 Part of the magic of the season.

The bottom of the cabinet: these wonderful candlesticks handpainted by an artisan from the 80's and some porcelain Santa's from around the world, I have had forever.

A closeup of the other Santa candlestick  
shares the stage with the Laplander Santa and reindeer from Carson's. 
An old milk pail filled with handmade antique and vintage wooden spoons from the family. 
More bits of Ivy for green. The plate behind is the last plate
 I have from my first set of dishes, 1968, Johnson Bros...I forget the pattern name.

 My Cookie tin tree from this post, Vintage Christmas Kitchen  
and all the vintage baking goodies spread around.

Center of the kitchen dining room is the island with a small Christmas tree. 
The white chair is Ikea and a cutdown bar height chair used for the Grand at the dining table. Hopefully after the new year, all the cabinets, floor, ceiling will be replaced. 

The needlework hearts are traditional Danish after the paper heart pockets called, Julehjerter.
 Great tutorial here, Danish Woven Paper Hearts.
My great aunt, Gudren made these when in her 90's, along with the small baskets you see on the tree. 
The gingerbread guy is my hubby's with his Christmas-'Honey Do List'.

I used a spring-form cakepan for the base of the tree.
My three year old grandaughter chose the ornaments and where to place them. 
She put them on and I spun the tree around to get some sort of balance. 
I didn't change any, well maybe one or two...but, she is a born decorator. 

Cookies, hearts, mushrooms, red enamelware, and Scandinavian wooden ornaments
 or special ones made by crafters. Nothing is NEW on here now...everything is vintage at this point.

Cookie tin is from IKEA a few years back...
crock was a gift says, "Executive Grandma's snack jar for VIP grandchildren," 
which I love and gets plenty of use.

Covering the end of the island and the electrical works of the tree, 
is a cross-stitch Santa on heavy cotton probably a 12-count cloth. 
As another great-aunt in Denmark became older she worked larger because of her failing sight,
 and this was a treasure she sent to me in the 1980's. 
Tante Dagne would have been in her mid-90's then.

Granddaughter's white chair is covered with a child's (mine) 1950's Danish homespun apron. 
The colors and cloth just echo all the colors in our ktchen. 
so Tak!-Thank-you for stopping by, and don't forget to have a cookie or two, 
it's Christmas afterall!

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or I am in possesion of the originals, 
I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or products used. 
Please do not use my photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle 
 As always I appreciate your comments and questions, 


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Junkin' Finds:Christmas Arrangements for the Porch

Sunday Showcase

This is a thrifty post, antique post, vintage post and holiday post with a tutorial at the end. 

Back in May/June I did some fabulous Junkin' in the garage and our neighborhood garage sales and snagged two things I'm using on my front porch for the Christmas season. 
Here's the old post,  Junkin' Finds
The sled was a steal at $10.00 works really well, and I decided to just add a simple swag REDO for the winter season.

First I purchased nothing for these arrangements. I had all the product and tons more in my basement workshop. I haven't done a show or sale for 7 years...someday I will explain. 

We are going with a casual look on the front granny's  OLD 1950's rusty chippy white patio table is topped with a GREEN artificial wreath and a twig wreath on top and an OLD glass lantern--Super Simple. We inserted NEW flicker light bulbs inside the lantern. I actually had these for my gourd pumpkins lanterns. There are three patinaed brass lanterns on the porch 
and they give a welcoming warm glow in the dark.  
The plaid covers for the chairs are a REDO with thrift shop Christmas tablecloths. 
I used 4 table cloths to do the settee, swing and one chair. 
When I find another I will do the other chair.

For the OLD sled, I chose huge pinecones, a bit of white faux birch branches, 3 different kinds of artificial pine and spruce boughs, and a gold string of brass bells. The final touch--a muted plaid ribbon I bought years ago at HL.  I went back to by more last week, 
and they still are carrying it NEW now.
 The wired swag is loosely attached so I can remove it to use the sled
 with the Grand when we get snow!

 The OLD Flexible Flyers were made in Chicago and a musthave for a kid of the 1940-60's, I can't wait to try it on our hills here down by the lake. They go so fast and really steer well.

In the same post Junkin' Finds  was this great rusty window box frame. I used this throughout the Fall season filled with pumpkins, gourds and sunflowers. Now I want to REDO it for the front porch with a Winter/Christmas theme.

 Products used were 2 large stems of long flocked grass, 1-large dkgreen ivy bush, 1-large snowy holly bush, 1-one small ivy bush, 2 cedar bushes with red berries,  one huge ornament/red, 3 smaller ornaments/red and 6 assorted sized gold ornaments.
A Quick tutorial follows.

 View of the bottom of the window frame. Three blocks of foam taped with heavy water proof tape, (you can use thin cuts of duct tape with same result) and using the same tape to attach foam to frame.

 Generously cover your foam with moss. I would normally use green, but gray was what I had. I use U pins to attach the moss. The plan in my head is pretty loose. A slightly off set arrangement viewable from all sides that will fill up a good size space. My work table is 5 foot long to give you some scale.

Cutting the fronds of flocked grass stems into 2 pieces two pieces at the 10 o'clock (1 up and 1 to the side) position and the 4 o'clock positions(both low). 
This sets the length and heigth of the arrangement.

Taking the large Ivy bush, I cut the longest pieces (8) and arranged them clockwise from the center point, bending and adjusting the entire length of the ivy vine. This is the back view. 

Next cutting the cedar bushes with the berries into single long fronds, I placed one in the middle high,

and then alternated between the long ivy branches. in some places,
 two branches of cedar are between the ivy pieces. 
Next, I cut all the stems of of the holly off the bush stem. I always pick or hot glue every single stem, never using an entire bush inserted. Each branch/vine/stem is bent into a natural position and leaves/fronds adjusted.

Here you can see the curves downward of all the stems. The holly has red berries at the ends, I adjusted those to all show up.

Front view, you can still see bare all the smaller bits of the bushes
 are worked in between the larger pieces to fill in. 
Still needing some sparkle, I chose large plastic ornaments for accents. 
These were hot glued and wrapped with wire to long sticks and old flower stems 
to insert into the foam securely. (It gets windy here!)
 Don't forget to add interest to the back for the folks sitting on the settee.

Back view pretty much finished. Finished length is about 4 1/2 feet long and 24" deep.

Front view finished, and outside on top of the makeshift table of an OLD upsidedown galvanized tub. Rustic and casual with a little bling. I skipped adding ribbon because of all  the plaid on the chairs/settee would compete. I love all the texture and the HOLLY AND THE IVY
 ...makes me want to sing the carol.

This morning we had a typical windy Chicagoland day and the long vines and fronds were moving and waving in the wind, but no fear---glued and picked, nothing is going to take flight. 
I did one more arrangement last night that is displayed below on the swing. 

A vintage creel basket filled with faux spruce and pine, some wonderful real looking holly stems, big pine cones, a glittered (rubber) fish...this was taken from an arrangement given my husband when he retired.) We live in a lake community and are avid fishermen/women, 
Finally added big HL ribbon plaid bow. 
The creel is destined for a large grapevine wreath on the garage front.
It looks pretty comfortable on the swing, but we use the swing to watch the birds
 on the birdfeeders, so it will go to the front of the garage.

I hope you enjoyed my arrangements, it's been ages since I have done anything and it felt really great to burn my fingers and glue up my clothes. And every retired floral designer needs a little glitter in her life, just for old-time's sake.

From our house to Yours,  Merry Christmas!

Thanks always for stopping by and any comments or questions, I will  be happy to answer.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle


Christmas Traditions: Danish Porcelain and Red Candles

While this is the most Magical time of the year, every room seems to be occupied with half-empty totes and piles of holiday items. Hopefully the house will magically finish itself tomorrow.

Last week, I started in my china cabinet by cleaning my OLD Royal Copenhagen and Bing and Grondahl dinnerware and figurines, polishing candlesticks, and cleaning the sparkling glassware. I've inherited nearly everything shown from four maybe more generations of Danish ancestors. Danish tradition has red candles in every room...regardless of color scheme. Here I have added them to the cabinet in OLD porcelain and silver candlesticks.

REALLY everything in this post is OLD, some very OLD.

The main patterns are classic blue and white,  most of my pieces are Blue Flower Braided (a braided pattern impressed on the rims or the Blue Flowers with a ribbed rim. Some pieces go back to the early 19th century. It's hard to imagine such fine dining in the early 1800's with such beautiful dishes.

Royal Copenhagen has been Danish porcelain company since 1775. The early years were spent under the ownership of King Christian VII, hence the Royal name. Later the company went private.

In 1853 the RC company spawned  Bing and Grondahl when a RC artist, Frederik Vilhelm Grøndahl joined the merchant brothers Meyer Hermann Bing and Jacob Herman Bing and formed a new company. The original aim was to produce figurines and statuary by Thorvaldsen and later fine dinnerware.

After many successful years and competition the two companies merged again in 1987, but still producing porcelain figurines and dinnerware under the separate names.


The Royal Copenhagen white weasels were modelled by Jeanne Grut in the 1960's. My weasels, birds and polar bears will share a winter wonderland on our tv console once my Christmas fruitbasket upset is complete. The small blue mustard pot with the stainless steel lid is Swedish and from the 1960's.You have to love Scandinavian design, it is timesless.

The chrome edged coaster to the left pattern is Blue Fluted Plain, first introduced in 1775. The coaster was most likely produced in the early 1900's. My grandmother used this large pedestal bowl to serve sugared dried fruits: apricots, dates, prunes, and pineapple pieces during the winter holidays. Nummy!


I've added the red candles, traditional in a Danish home--and a few vintage ornaments and I will add a few fresh closer to Christmas. That's all the decor the cabinet will be embellished with for Christmas. The basket on the right is unmarked German paste, it is a flower frog with holes for arranging...but it has the cobalt colors so lives with it's Danish neighbors.


Royal Copenhagen porcelain figurine of a milkmaid and a cow and cat, on a mound base, hand decorated in naturalistic colors, signed on the side of the base Axel Locher, marked underneath. Designed by Axel Locher. The sweet little cat is waiting for her turn to have some milk.
Danish dairy cheese is a tradition on our holiday tables and everyday.


The center cabinet holds children figurines, some cut crystal, and my grandmother's wedding goblets. The top shelf with the oval platter has the 'Gooseboy Thief', and the middle shelf, Peder picking up corn while a small goose tries to get more himself.


In the Left cabinet is my favorite, and the only piece I asked to inherit, Bing & Grondahl's Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author of the "Snow Queen" which "Frozen" was based on and many other fairytales and allegorical stories. Here he reads to a girl and a small boy sits astride a melon intently listening.


The girl figure on her stomach with a book (looks like me at age 12) and a young boy on a stool drinking milk.  At this point the Royals and Bings...become pretty much intertwined. About the end of 19th mid-century saw both companies producing figurines, dinnerware and collector's plates in similar styles.

Bing and Grondahl origninally specialized in painting relief designs and figurines. Both companies began Christmas Plates in the late 1800's, part of a tradition of patrons serving their 'help' plates of goodies on 'Christmas Plates'. Our family split my grandmother's collection dating back to the very beginning. I will share some of those in another post.


Bing and Grondahl did the large vase with the sailboat and the parakeet figurine. The blue crystal birds are Mantorp from Sweden. A leaf platter is perfect for serving sweets.


The "Goose Thief" boy is caught in the act of trying to wrangle a couple of ornery geese. Many of the figurines are agrarian in nature, stolen moments of busy farm life.

The bird on the nest is from DJ Copenhagen, Dahl Jensen and quite rare. Jensen broke from Royal Copenhagen in 1855 and went out on his own. His family produced fine figurines and decor until 1984. The DJ birds and animals are exceptional and highly regarded for their quality, colors and design.


A pair of vintage American glass blue sugar bowl and jam dish with lid, and blue Swedish glass bobeches on the candlesticks. You can see the gorgeous freehand painting on the coffeepot and platter here.


The blue glass compote on the middle shelf is Swedish and holds red vintage ornaments. My great-great-grandmother's watch hangs on a small stand in front of the dinnerware. The top shelf holds a vase with a Sailing ship another RC piece.

The small  blue and white duck is probably German unmarked paste, fits in with everything else though. I have had that forever and had originally purchased it for my mother at an antique show.

I love the gravy boat, it's huge...and the leaf serving plate on the right which I have in three sizes.


 I love the gravy boat, it is so large and the leaf serving plate on the right which I have in three sizes.


I have two coffeepots and cream and sugar sets, which is lucky because this pattern was discontinued in 2012 after over 230 some years in production. Every flower was hand painted strictly in cobalt blues-freehand by individual artists, who signed, numbered, and dated each piece.

We have service for twelve and an additional coffee service for about twenty. Some of the cups and saucers are from the early 1800's.


I couldn't leave well enough alone, and began swapping out the ornaments.  The gold one with polkadots is from the 60's and the silver are very old and have a raised pattern.


They all seemed to travel about the cabinet before settling down in one place, today, lol.


Here the duck proudly holds a vintage ornament instead of a red.

Add caption

Two small mercury glass vintage bulbs, and a pale blue bell from the 60-70's. A small shell from Denmark fills in the bottom of a cutglass footed dish.


This little guy had a dingy cotton string holder, so I know it was very old and from my grandmother's collection as she used butcher string to hang her ornaments on her flocked trees in the 50's and 60's. He sits in one of my Kosta Boda wine glasses, another old company from Sweden in production since 1742.


The finishing touches will be a REDO to add some fresh GREENs next week, also a tradition.
From my family's Danish traditions to yours... 
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukuh

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or I am in possesion of the originals, 
I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or products used. 
Please do not use my photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

Thank you for stopping by,