Vintage Handmade Christmas

December 1, 2011

We jumped on the Christmas tree bandwagon a little early this year. We justified it  because we have a great window to display the tree and since we’re in Texas during a week or two of December, we wanted to enjoy it for a couple of weeks. We are a sad case when it comes to Christmas decorations. I really don’t like purchasing things like that. We’re really not into decorating for holidays. We don’t have kids, so thematic decorating seems a bit weird. We always get a wreath and sometimes a tree. This year it was totally our intention to invite our friends over to have a party to make ornaments for our tree so that we would have handmade decorations that meant something to us. Life gets in the way and it seems like everyone is too busy this time of year. I was a little sad about this but I’ve moved on.

In the Christmas decoration box I found a couple of things that warmed my heart. A couple of handmade christmas decorations made by my great-grandmother Sparky. She’s no longer with us but she was a hoot. With a name like Sparky you better have personality to back it up and she did!  Anyhow, I don’t know how I came into ownership of these decorations. I think it was after by grandma Barbara passed away. I always remember these in her house when we would visit for the holidays, so they must have come from her.

The decorations are both handmade wall hangings. They’re very old too.  They weren’t in the best shape so I tried to do a little repair work. They are made out of felt, gold tim, sequins and beads. I was struck by how much love was put into these. I feel like they really mark a passage in time. We don’t make crafts like this anymore. Crafts that last and are passed down. They really brought me back to being a little girl.  They’re just so sweet. They make me think about my family more than I thought they would.

I love the wall hanging pictured above. It’s made of 5 vignettes that were patch worked together. There is so much detail in them. I’m really inspired by this particular craft. It’s all stitched together and there is some kind of paper stabilizer on the back. There is even a little tag on back that says “Handmade By Dorothy Flower” (Sparky). I keep wondering how I could modernize this a little but still keep the vintage feel. I think the key is the hand sewing of many little sequins and beads.

I suppose this craft was meant to hold Christmas cards or maybe letters to Santa. I just love the Santa face. Have you ever seen a happier Santa? Look at those cheeks…all sparkles! This is all made of felt, gold trim, sequins and beads.

I’ve had his tiny stocking that Sparky made for me for as long as I can remember. It’s made out of all her normal materials. I’ve held onto it for all these years. I guess my point is that these crafts, as silly and happy as they are , have  been around for  at least thirty or forty years. They represent a simpler time and transport me to another place. I almost got rid of these last year because they were in bad shape with pieces falling off and very creased from being folded. With a little love and gentle hands I was able to repair them and spend a nice afternoon with both my grandma and great grandma! Think twice before you throw anything like this away, your kids may want them!