Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's Decided And Done... It Shall Be A Hallmark Christmas Themed Tree

"But I have School the Day After Thanksgiving and then you Work that Night!", she Protested loudly!  I hadn't really thought about that and she was right... there would be no time together as a Family the Day After Thanksgiving to do anything, never-mind put up the Christmas Tree!   And so it began... with even Miss Priss checking in to see what all the fuss was about and the flurry of activity going on in the Livingroom this Monday Afternoon?!?  *Smiles*

You see, she'd SEEN it, that big Box in the Garage that held the new Epic Christmas Tree... and since School gets out Early on Mondays, well, we'd have PLENTY of time to put up the Tree Gramma... so why don't we do it Today instead she begged?  I'd needed some Leverage anyway to get her to Clean her Bedroom Suite Upstairs, since Prince D, with his New Identity, had slayed me the day we got Home from Adoption Court by VOLUNTARILY Cleaning and Organizing his Bedroom Suite, all three rooms of it!

That has NEVER happened in the Fifteen Years that Child has been Alive... who HAD I Adopted and brought Home!?!  Whoever he is, I like his Work Ethic and Attention to Detail, a far cry from who he used to be!  We Joked about that Metamorphosis as he told me to come Upstairs so he could Surprise me with what he'd been up to in there!   Surprise is the Mild Term, Shock was more like it, in a Good way of coarse... I couldn't Believe my Eyes and almost needed to pinch myself... could this really be happening?!!?!!  *LOL*

And so yes, I needed Leverage against her, since it would never do that his Rooms were now Meticulously Cleaned and Organized... and hers looked like they'd been Ransacked again!  *Le Sigh*   She and I had Cleaned and Organized her Spaces just the other day, so how could this be already?Besides, she's the one that can be OCD about Cleaning and Organizing... when she's not being Princess Darkness that is!  *Smiles*   So, I KNOW she can do it if she has sufficient Motivation!

So yes, I'm not beyond a Good Bribe when I have the Golden Opportunity and so we Negotiated a Deal that would Satisfy us both.   IF she came Home from School Monday Afternoon and Cleaned her Spaces Upstairs as Meticulously as the New Young Prince had done his... well, sure, we could put up the New Tree and Decorate it this Day instead!   But I'd be running an Inspection, so no Shortcuts or Half-Assed Attempts mind you!  *LOL*

So while she was up there Cleaning her little Heart out, I had The Man put the New Tree together... Flocking was flying all over the place... but I'd really Liked how this Christmas Tree looked in the Showroom even without Decorations.   The Flocking, Berries, Pine Cones and faux Ice on the branches gave it a Real Tree Appearance even barren of Decor and without the Lights on... it was Beautiful 'As Is' and you can't say that about too many faux Christmas Trees.

And let us not Forget the most Important part, it had already been marked down Fifty Percent Off at Hobby Lobby!   I'd Trawled every Store that carries Christmas Trees, and they had the best ones anyway at the best price point that I could find.   So it was just a matter of choosing the one that suited us best.  We tend to prefer the Seven Foot sized Pencil Trees that don't overwhelm us to put up or take down, yet still look Majestic enough not to get Lost in a very large Space.

At the Old Historic Home we needed Pencil Trees because they were slender enough not to overwhelm the Cozier Rooms that many Older Homes are noted for.   That wouldn't be the case here since these rooms are Cavernous in Size and we could Go Epic Large!  But in order for The Man and I to manipulate carrying the Box or the Tree and maneuvering it into place properly at our Season of Life, we decided not to get carried away with a Mega Tree!  *Smiles*

And I know I'd Explored several Ideas for the Theme and Decor, but at the end of the day I decided to leave that decision up to Princess T since she was taking Charge of this year's Tree Decorating and Installation!    After all, she'd Earned the Privilege since her Spaces Upstairs turned out as Clean and Organized as her Brother's... so I was totally Jazzed and Okay with relinquishing the Duty of  Tree Theme and Delegating it to a willing Victim... ummm... I mean Volunteer!  *Winks*

Especially when she expressed a Preference for a more Whimsical and Traditional Theme that she felt would go very well with the new Epic Christmas Tree's Look.   Let's do the Hallmark Christmas Tree Theme... she'd Spied those Boxes in the Garage too... and they were Easy to get to... so Why Not?  *Smiles*   Yes, I can be Lazy about a Theme if I've already got all of the Elements and they Work... I say Work It Girlfriend!  *Smiles*  Besides, it had been a long time since we'd Decorated a Tree with this Collection of Ornaments, so it was Fun to see them all again and rediscover their Whimsy and Enchantment!


And besides, this is one of my Oldest and most Cherished Collections, started when I was about Thirteen years old and determined enough to want to procure enough for my own Tree whenever I moved away from Home!   So Family and Friends helped me along for many years by Gifting me with a Hallmark Ornament and it became a Holiday Tradition of sorts for Decades... until I amassed so many we finally had more than enough!  *Ha ha ha*

I'd Eagerly look forward to when the Hallmark Stores would put out the New Ornament Collectibles... and since they were rather spendy even back in da day... I'd Agonize over which one would make the Cut for that Season?   If I was very Lucky I might get more than one I could actually Choose a Favorite of if the Friend or Family Member buying it for me let me Pick it out!

But they all were so stinkin' Cute that even those I didn't pick out myself and were Surprise Giftings were equally Cherished and held the Memory of when and who Presented it to me!   I don't exactly know why, but the ones with Food in them were always some of my absolute Favorites!?   Don't Laugh, I was actually very Skinny back then and not a real Foodie and Fatty like now... so it was more about the Visuals back then I think?

And as it turns out the Food Inspired ones were also among Princess T's Favorites as well... especially one's like this which were paying Homage to either her Mom or Uncle's First Christmas!

And what is not to Love about these Charming little Ornaments, each with it's own distinctive Personality and Theme?!?  So we spent a great deal of time telling which we Liked Best as we unpackaged and hung each one.

And I found myself, rather than Dreading that we were having to do this way Earlier than I would have Cared to, Enjoying it immensely in fact as the flood of Memories washed over me upon unpackaging each one after all these years of not having a Hallmark Tree!

And the Beauty was, during my Collection Years of amassing them, that they became so Insanely Popular that though Hallmark always had the best Quality... the inevitable happened and Big Box Stores starting their own Lines of similar and yet more Affordable versions!   And some of them weren't half bad Knock-Offs of the Hallmark Styling and I could Afford to then buy more than just one at a time or wait 'til someone else bought me a spendy Ornament from Hallmark to add to the Collection!  *Yay!*

You see, I am not at all a 'Purist' when it comes to my Collecting.   Sure, I PREFER The Real Deal when and if I can Afford it... but I'm usually a Collector on a Budget, so that isn't always Possible.   I will Save up and Sacrifice to get some of the Real Deal of anything I Truly Love, but I'll buy a Good Knock-Off too if the Artisan does a bang-up job of replicating something Stylish at a Bargain Price Point!

And lets face it, anything that is really Good and becomes Insanely Popular will end up in the Stratosphere to try to buy and become outside of most Modest Budgets.  You just get to the place where it's too Expensive to Collect it... and so you have to buy what you can Afford instead that is similar enough to add to your Stash of whatever Style it is you're Jonesin' for!   And anything that is really Good and becomes Insanely Popular will end up being Knocked-Off and done Cheaper, it's just how Competitive it is in Retail to lure the Consumer to buy!


Now to a 'Purist' that would be Sacrilege to buy the Knock-Off... and it's Okay if that's how you choose to Roll.  But I figure I'm only gonna Live so long, you know, and to Acquire enough of a particular Collection or Favorite Artisan's Work that would be pricey and Sacrificial to buy even one of, would mean I'd have to become an Immortal or never get much of in one mere Lifetime! *Winks*

And before the Knock-Offs became Available as a viable and Affordable Option, I did just that... Patiently Saved up and bought one painstakingly at a time... and thus it did take YEARS to get anything resembling a Collection of them!   So I was totally Jazzed when I got Options of something I was Loving and could enlarge upon my Vision for a full Christmas Tree of a Hallmark Inspired Theme!

And some of the Cheap Knock-Off Ornaments are so Good it's pretty damned hard to tell them from The Real Deal's Quality unless you see the box they came in, many still with Prices so I can Compare how much Bang I got for my Buck!  And we all want the most Bang for our Buck at the end of the day coz those Bucks ain't easy to come by, never have been and never will be!

And when I consider the Era most of these came from, I did Pony Up for the Real Deal ones... even Princess T recognized that when she'd unpack one and say, "Gramma, these are some of the Expensive ones..."!!!  Yes, even by Today's Ornament Price Standards they were Spendy... and back then, it was a real Sacrifice to buy one at those Prices!  You had to be a Hard Core Collector of them to Spring that much... which is how it always is with Hard Core Collecting of The Real Deal of anything really!

And I don't know if Vintage Hallmark Ornaments have Appreciated or Depreciated in Value actually, that was never the point for me when it comes to Collecting anything I Truly Love.   Mostly and Generally I don't begin Collecting anything I Love in Earnest with the Idea of Resale and turning a Profit from it.   Sure, some things I've Collected from the Beginning of an Unknown Artisans Career that has taken off and become Renown and gone into the Stratosphere price wise, Appreciated drastically, but I still don't flip it if I still Love it, they stay in my Private Collection.

And some things are Cross-Collectibles for others... like Disney or particular Characters... but I've never been one to really be so Enamored that I've Concentrated on just Collecting a Genre so Specific... mine tend to be more Eclectic on what Visually Appealed to me.  I've never been one of those Collectors whose Goal was to say lets Decorate the entire Tree with Tazmanian Devil Ornaments for example!  *Bwahahahahahaha!*

Yeah, I have always drank Coca-Cola and Love the drink... but I'm not a Coca-Cola Themed Collector by any means... I just thought this Polar Bear inside of a Coke Machine was Adorable... and yes, it would be a Cross-Collectible for sure if I ever decided to Re-Sell something like this.  But I certainly didn't have that in Mind when I made the Selection... I just thought it Cute!

Or I got it as a Gift from someone who knew I Collected these things and Surprised me with one... which makes it all the more Sentimental and Cherished actually... and Evoking a Memory of someone Special that I will think of every time I see it.   And because the Christmas Holidays bring to Mind those who Mean something Dear to us... either in a Spiritual way, a Personal way or both... Collecting anything Indicative of our Faith... or those we Love means more than just buying all the Tree Decorations all at once.

Princess T Reminded me of that Fact when she said that these Memory Trees are always the Best ones, because of all the Remembering!   The Remembering can be why we Celebrate this Holy Day... or the Remembering of Christmases Past and of Friends and Family we want to Fondly Recall the Memories spent with... it's all Good!   Life after all is a Collection of Memories and Experiences we've had.

And What and Who has Endured the Test of Time in our Lives... what has been Lost along the way... or Gained...

We are so Fortunate to have stored up a Wealth of very Memorable Moments that bring us Joy to this day.   And we fully Intend to keep adding to our Memories very Purposefully in a Positive way.  Because enough Sad Memories come along in Life all by themselves, that's just how Life unfolds at times... but we can Offset those by building upon our Storehouse of Memories with the Happier ones.

And Today was such a day as that... as we set about Creating this year's Theme and putting up our Christmas Tree Earlier than usual.   The Man and The Young Prince did Participate briefly, Decorating just isn't their Thing, but they Enjoy the Outcome and Appreciate the Ambiance... Complimenting us Gals on how it all turned out.

Our First Christmas in the New Home is now Enriched with the numerous Memories of Past Christmases festooned upon our Epic Christmas Tree... which is Perfect to make it Epic and more Special than the Average Tree!   Here's Hoping that your Christmas will be Epic too my Friends and Memorable in so many Wonderful Ways!

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Monday, November 23, 2015

European Container Sale ~ Rust And Roses

Another of my Favorite Events this Month that I got to Attend was the European Container Sale Hosted by my Friend Shelly over at RUST AND ROSES and Featuring the UBER CHIC GUYS!

Fresh from Europe were items Sourced that are typically hard to find here and I'd been anxiously awaiting the next Containers full to arrive because I had a particular Thing I'd been Jonesin' for since moving into our Tuscan Villa Inspired Home!

Yep, in case the lead Image wasn't a strong enough Clue, I'd been desperately NEEDING at least one of these enormous European Demijohns... preferably the harder to Source Aqua Hued Glass... with it's Basket... and I knew Chris would have the best Selection and Price Point to Score one!

He didn't disappoint and here's the Beauty I Scored at a great price... in a Divine deep Aqua Hue and it came with it's Transport Basket, which isn't shown in this Image... but is European Italian Villa Rustic Cool too!  Mission Accomplished!

Inside were some New Creations by my Talented Friend Angela... this Gal does Mosaic like nobody else.   I think eventually I might NEED one of these when I have a discretionary Budget again!  *Winks*

This one happened to be my Fav...

But they were all Beautiful and I think that The Man would like them since they've got Antlers too!  *Smiles*

Of coarse I had to have my usual Visitation with Goose... whose going with an Asian Ensemble this Month.  *Smiles*

This was SO My Style!  Love it!

Don't know exactly what it is?  Probably some kind of Wall Sconce Vase since you could put Flowers in that Fabric Beaded Pocket?

And how about this Awesome piece for Storage!

And even though I don't Decorate with so much White out of Practical Reasons and being a more Colorful Personality... I really did Like the Upholstery of this Antique Love Seat.

Maybe Tea Stained I'd turn from Liking it to Loving it!

And the matching Arm Chairs with big squishy Down filled Pillow Seats, all Upholstered in a similar Style made it a Trio that would look Awesome to Feather any Nest with.

Here's a Close-Up of Chair No. One.

And Chair No. Two was equally Gorgeous.

Yes, curling up here with a Good Book I can Imagine me doing.

Now, I only Regret that I didn't have ample Free Time to Create this Blog Post before you missed this Great Event my Friends... Sorry... well, you KNOW how hectic my Schedule has been... so it's a Wonder I even made it on Opening Day actually!

And the Rustic European Style and Calmness it Evokes is really, really Appealing to me more and more now that I live Villa Style in the New Home... it really Grows on you I tell ya!

I could even see me going with some of this French Country Grey eventually, I really could, it's a very Soothing Palette and Timeless... goes well with Sepia too, which is Perfect since I have a LOT of Sepia already going on.  *Smiles*

And check out these Gorgeous Garden Peacock Chairs!  I could definitely see these in the Inner Courtyard, yes I could!  *Winks*

Adored the Faded Hue of this Silk Parasol... I have some in this Divine Hue already but mine aren't Painted with a Scene.

And I always Love the Ruins and Relics of Old Furniture left for Nature to Take Over and Reclaim!  I know, I'm totally Weird like that, but to me it is a thing of Beauty to Behold Benign Neglect like this and watch how Nature has it's way with it!?

The larger Necklace I LOVE.   I also Love the Message it Imparts to Bloom.

I'm Learning more and more to just Bloom where ever I'm Planted... and even if uprooted from time to time, to just Bloom again in a different Place.

Actually I Love both Necklaces... but the larger one is just my Fav by a narrow margin.  Santa Baby, you could bring me either... or BOTH... it doesn't matter.  *Winks*

There was some Beautiful New Art in the Shop... I liked this one with Garden Altar Scene.  I will be eventually Creating my Interior and Exterior Altars here at the New Property... I Love Creating Altars and every Home has always had one or more of them.

In the Boutique, SIRENS AND SAINTS there were some New Winter Fashions for your Wardrobe... and plenty of Accessories to Personalize them too.

WANT this Window Treatment... so My Style!

As was this Dress Form... but if I dragged another one of those Home I'm sure The Man would think they're taking over the house like The Walking Dead?!  *LOL*

One last Look at Window Treatment I'm Coveting!  *Ha ha ha*

And an Indian Headdress that would certainly go with my Funky Hat Collection here at Bohemian Valhalla and Celebrate my Cultural Roots!  *Smiles*

I do Hope you've Enjoyed Trawling some more Fabulous Favorite Shops and Events with me my Friends?

Though it was mostly Window Shopping this Month that was Okay... I did cross off something from the Mission Statement.


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian
A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl