Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Memories

Well, for the first time in memory we may actually have a white Christmas.  It snowed for 24 hours here yesterday and we ended up with about 20 inches of snow.  For December that's a record and it looks like its going to stick around for the week!  What fun!  Family and snow for Christmas!
My daughter and I spent the afternoon decorating the tree, listening to Christmas carols on the CD player and taking breaks to marvel at all the snow!  I love decorating the tree because all the ornaments have memories.  I used to make most of the ornaments for our tree.  I rarely make ornaments now, but I'm seriously thinking of trying to make at least one ornament a year once again.  I enjoy opening the boxes and seeing them, and remembering where we were or what was happening in our lives when I was making a particular ornament.   Many friends have given us ornaments over the years, and that brings those special people to mind.  Some of those dear friends are not with us anymore and seeing their gift brings them into our lives and our home at this special time of year once again. 

Of course, I have my favorites.  This cube is stitched on perforated paper.  Each side is a different color embroidery floss.  My son and daughter love this ornament and, when they were younger,  they would take turns putting it on the tree, very carefully, so it would hang  perfectly, and out of reach, so no one could grab it and accidentally crush it.

These are some of the other favorites.  The hot air balloon saying "Cheer" is one of the early ornaments, made when my husband and I were living in Jacksonville, Florida.  I can still remember sitting in our apartment watching TV in the evenings and stitching this balloon.  I loved it because I love hot air balloons!  The coral bargello ball was stitched a few years later, when we lived in Maine.  It was made in segments, each stitched with the same pattern, then carefully cut out of the canvas leaving a 1/8" margin.  Each segment was glued to a styrofoam ball and ribbon was glued down to cover the seams.  I made loops of ribbon and a finial out of a bead and pearl and pinned it to the top and bottom of the ball.  I liked this one so much I made another, in blue and silver!  The snowman peeking into the photo was one of my very first ornaments, a painted canvas I found in a needlepoint shop in Atlanta, Georgia back in the '70's.  Yes, some of these ornaments are over 30 years old!   So many memories.  There other needlepoint ornaments in this picture.  The red and green one, a yellow one stitched with a special overdyed floss that I loved, a flat bargello ornament peeking in at the side.  I have a lot of flat bargello ornaments.  They were great for "car projects" when we were traveling.  I would pick a color family of Paternayan yarn and either gold or silver metallic embroidery thread and put them together as kits to take along. I would decide on a bargello motif and stitch it on canvas.  When I was finished I would cut them out and glue or stitch them to matching felt. I would then edge them with the metallic thread.  One year I stitched about 10 of them and even did a workshop in bargello ornaments for my Southern Maine EGA chapter. 

Once needlepoint canvas became available in colors new possibilites opened up!  And, my techniques improved!    I used the lavendar canvas for this ornament.  I mounted it on a piece of cardboard covered with purple lame which glimmers through the open canvas.  I then coverd another piece of cardboard with lame and glued the front and back together.  I stitched a beaded looped fringe to the bottom with a small purple bead hanging from the point. 

And then there are the ornaments from home.  My mother bought this little elf at a craft fair many years ago.  She has a little brother who is dressed all in white.  My daughter has always loved these little charmers and she always puts them on the tree in a place of honor where they can be seen right away. 

Decorating the tree is always a special time for us.  My husband puts the tree up and gets it ready for us to perform magic on it, as he says.  This year it was a little more magical than usual because of the snow.  Another memory to add to the many we already have.  We'll take the decorations out next year and say, "Remember last year, all that snow"!  Christmas is so special for so many reasons, but mostly because of the memories it conjures up of wonderful Christmases past.  I hope you all have a most wonderful and blessed Christmas!


  1. Lovely ornaments and stories to go with. And how wonderful to have had a white Christmas!

    Happy New Year to you!

  2. Thanks for visiting, Beverly. I'm working on my first ornament of 2010 right now! We'll see how it goes this year. I haven't made ornaments in several years.

  3. Maryanne- I absolutely love all of your ornaments made from love. Thanks you for sharing your very lovely and special tree! Christen

  4. Thanks, Christen. Putting up the tree is really fun. Thanks for visiting.


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