Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Open House Linky Party ~ Come As You Are!

It has been so long since I Participated in a Blog Party... and with this being our First Christmas in our New Home I thought it the Ideal Opportunity to have an Open House here in The Land Of Blog.  Perhaps Inviting New Bloggers into our World for the very first time?  So get ready to fall down our Rabbit Hole for the Holidays... come as you are... all are Welcome here at Bohemian Valhalla!

First I want to Thank our Blog Party Hostess Debra over at COMMON GROUND for Creating this Wonderful Holiday Blog Party and Inviting all of us to Participate and the Co-Hostess, Brenda, over at COZY LITTLE HOUSE for the extended Party... head on over to the Links provided to Party Hop and get the Grand Tours of everyone's Slice of Christmas Shared!

Since we are not completely unpacked at the New Home yet I had the particular Challenge this year of Locating enough of Christmas Past to Create a Christmas of the Present without having to buy a whole lot of New Christmas Decor!   A large extended Family with many Grandchildren to buy for... a Major Move with significant Life Changes... with the Old Home not yet even up for Sale... meant the Christmas Budget was leaner, to say the least!

But I'm up for a Good Challenge and so began the Quest for an Eclectic Theme of sorts for this year's Decorating.   We Purchased a brand New faux main Christmas Tree since we had Purged and Culled much in the way of Possessions during the Move, including Old faux Christmas Trees from Christmases Past.   The New Tree would have a Hallmark Christmas Ornament Collection Theme... mostly because those were the easiest Ornaments we'd Kept and were able to actually Locate enough of to Decorate an entire seven foot Tree with!  *LOL*

Of coarse my Taxidermy has been all Dolled Up for the Holidays and wearing their most Festive Attire.   Yes, for those of you who have fallen down our Rabbit Hole for perhaps the very first time... we are a Delightfully Weird and Wonderful Family... the Addams Family of the Arizona Desert... so you won't see your Ordinary or perhaps Traditional way of Decorating around here!  *Winks*

We are also avid Keepers Of The Past and Incurable Collectors to our very Core... with a very broad and Eclectic range of things we Love and have Inherited, Saved, Salvaged and Rescued over the course of a Lifetime.   So I dragged some Display Trees Home from my Showrooms at the Antique Mall, which no longer Light Up, but which could Display a different array of Christmas Decor in various rooms of our New Home.   This was the Shiny Brite and Antique Heirloom Inherited Ornaments Tree, some of which are well over a Hundred years old and handed down through my Mom's European Relatives to me, as the Present Guardian of them.

I also have a penchant for Old Show Ribbons... and have numerous ones in my Collection now Pimped Out with Remnants of Vintage Textiles and Old Bohemian Bling to utilize as Christmas Tree Ornamentation.   Actually they are so Pretty they can be kept up as Ornamentation year round.   One of our Champagne Tinsel Pencil Christmas Trees is in fact kept up year round in a Vintage Olive Bucket and Decorated with Seasonal Themed Ornamentation.

Yes, we have a Bear's Head resplendent with his Santos Crown in the middle of the Formal Dining Room's Harvest Table... makes it a lot less Formal dontcha think?!?  *Bwahahahaha!!!*   In fact, we don't take a lot of our Decorating Seriously, we Intentionally have Fun with it.   I want it to evoke some kind of Feeling... and even if that Feeling is Repulsion, well, at least you Felt SOMETHING when you Beheld it!   And if you have a Curious Nature like us, well, you might just Dig it!?   Better than a Yawnfest I always say... because I'd much rather be called Crazy than Boring any day!  *Winks*   I don't know that we're Wealthy enough to be Labeled Eccentric, so you don't have to say we're Crazy as if it's a Bad Thing... I'm quite Alright with the Label!  *Ha ha ha*

I have a Tiny Christmas Tree festooned with Favorite Necklaces, Brooches and other Bling... it makes it much easier to Locate them... and since the Move has made Finding anything rather Chaotic, it keeps them handy for wearing to Christmas Parties during the Holidays.   Not that I wait to Dress Up for a Holiday or even a Party mind you... we Enjoy Rockin' our Fav Styles and Accessories as a Lifestyle, not a Special Occasion.  

And even my Art Studio Spaces Upstairs at the New Home have a loose Christmas Theme going on in them as my Obsession with Bottlebrush Trees this year has Created a tiny Hoard of them which are now in the Process of being Bleached and Dyed.   Soon they will be readied for placement in various Vintage Silverplate Collectibles or Old Loving Cups.   I'm rather behind in my Projects this year on account of Moving... and other Madness that coincided with the Holidays, such as Finalizing the Adoption of two of our Grandchildren which we have been Raising since Birth.

Yes, we are Custodial Grandparents now Raising another Generation of Kiddos... so we'll look something like this by the time we're finally done Consecutively Raising Children!  *Bwahahaha!*   And Yes, I also have a Vintage full sized Medical Cadaver which gets Dressed Up and you might find occupying any Room of our Home at any given time.   I have some Vintage smaller sized ones as well... doesn't everyone?  *LOL*

Okay, so here's a full shot of the Jewelry laden Tree... with Gators in Vintage Tiaras and a Barbie Transformed into my Favorite Artist Frida Kahlo and given to me by a Dear Friend as a Surprise Gift.   I have the most Creative, Generous and Wonderful Friends... and most of them don't even think I'm all that Weird.  *Ha ha ha*

Well, maybe they do, but they all seem to be Okay with it anyway.   They simply refer to me as Gypsy Dawn and liken me to Morticia Addams... quite the Compliment in my books since I have always Adored Morticia... her TV Cult Classic Family and her Home.  I always wanted my Home to resemble it... with my own Spin on Authentic Eclectic Living and the accumulation of Oddities I am Fascinated with and Love to Own!

We will soon be putting our previous Beloved Home, a Historic one, up for Sale at the first of the year, since it's just a lot of Work to Own one of those.   The Transition from a Century Old Home on Acreage to a Modern Luxury Home in a Subdivision has gone quite Well actually, since we have fallen Madly in Love with our New Home and Community too!   But it is different...

Different isn't always a Negative thing though... nor is Change... and Celebrating the Holidays in a brand New Home is very Memorable... and so we wanted it to be Special and Unique.   I am a Maximalist by Nature... so Simplifying Life and Minimizing has been a particular Challenge for me and a Journey I've embarked upon and am Embracing so much more than I ever Imagined I might!

Being Editorial, especially during the Holidays, is a New thing for me... I couldn't Believe how much I parted with in the way of Seasonal Decor from our Past!   The Local Charity Shops will probably want to send me a Christmas Card Thanking me in fact for passing along so much Vintage Christmas in the way of Donations!???!?!  *Ha ha ha*

I simply couldn't fit it all into my Showrooms at the Antique Mall... though what I did put in there Sold briskly.   But Culling Possessions has been so Liberating... Keeping only the MOST Beloved of Objects has given me a Greater Appreciation for what remains.   It's so easy as you reach a certain Season of Life to have accumulated too much.   And even if you consider yourself a 'More Is Never Enough' Type, and Love layering on Beauty, and The Thrill Of The Hunt... Saturation Point will come and it can weigh you down with the Responsibility of Caring for it all.

And this Christmas Season I am SO Enjoying having LESS to Care for... Just Enough actually Feels Just Right now for me!   And I Suspect that as Time goes on I shall probably Cull even more and pass it along to New Homes... now that I've Enjoyed it for Long Enough.   This is part of the other Pencil Tinsel Champagne Tree that is a lot larger and stays up year round.  Right now it holds mostly Vintage Showribbon Ornaments and Old Silverware Ornaments... and maybe a Bird's Nest or two!

Because we have a lot of Birds Residing at Bohemian Valhalla...

And Entomology Collections... since Cabinet Of Curiosities Style is my Preferred Aesthetic.

And Skullies of various sorts... Blinged and Pimped Out of coarse!   Even when it isn't a Holiday they Sparkle and Shine!  *Smiles*  But during the Holidays everything tends to Sparkle and Shine more as we Magnify our Passion for all that Glitters and go a bit Crazy with it!

And of coarse the Spiritual aspect of the Holy Days is not Lost upon us as we are a deeply Spiritual Family and so the Celebration of Christmas is particularly Meaningful in a Faith Based way to us and the Reason for the Season is not Lost nor Trumped by the Fluff or Festivities.

The Mannequin Gals around the Home are also all Dolled Up for the Holidays...

And many are wearing my Collection of Santa Hats... accumulated during my numerous years of Bell Ringing for The Salvation Army... now Retired from that Ministry Work I still Enjoy letting my Gals wear them since I no longer do so much anymore during the Season.

It was a lot of Fun over the years trying to Find the most Outrageously Different Santa Hats...

This was one of my Favorites... which has a Mad Hatter Styling to it that I J'Adore!  I wore this one a lot over the years.

And I've made a great many of the Christmas Stockings hung up around Bohemian Valhalla.  Right now my Preferred Materials are more Organic and so I've been utilizing some Century Old Burlap I once Rescued from a Historic Barn being Razed... Old Sweaters... Old Furs... Old Crochet and Lace... and of coarse Vintage Bling!  *Winks* 

Some of my Vintage Bling hasn't made it's way into Creations just yet and so I've sprinkled it around the house just for Display.  Don't you just Love mounds of random Sparkle?!  I do!!!

And Vintage Christmas Decor I've Rescued has been Resurrected into Displays where it can have a New Life... so Amazing that things so Old, so Fragile and Delicate can also be so Resilient that they often can Survive being Discarded and Manhandled! 

This year because our New Home is Tuscan Style Architecture I wanted a more Classic Country Look to the exterior Decor.   So I went with very Simplistic Wreaths and made a Simple Burlap Bow for some of them.

And I had my own Santa busy hanging the Up High Decor since the Juliet Balcony of Death scares me to the point of Feeling Paralyzed out there!  *Smiles... Love the View... not so much a Fan of little flimsy looking Balconies!*   I JUST Scored that Vintage 1950's Santa on a Junquing 'Pick' and he was just over a Dollar!  *Booyah!*   Of coarse I stripped out all of his Ancient Wiring because I didn't Trust it... Good Lord most of it was duct taped and electrical taped together!  Maybe some year we'll have him rewired... this year he'll just have Simple Twinkle Lights around him.

We've never been a big Fan of Exterior Decorations... though I absolutely LOVE to see the Over The Top Exterior Displays others in the Community Share every Christmas!  What a Labor of Love it is!  We always spent at least some Nights with our Tradition and Ritual of going to look at the best Displays and the Lights around the City.  Since our Temps are still mostly in the Eighties, I just can't bring myself Outside to hang hours worth of Christmas Lights or clutter up the yard with Wiring to Light Up the place like a Griswold Display... I'm just not that Electrically Inclined nor Tech Savvy to ensure it would be done Safely!

About Ten Minutes of Simple Wreath hanging and The Man up on the Balcony of Death was more than enough!!!   With his Traumatic Brain Injury I don't like him trying to do too much anymore since he's not very steady or handy as he used to be.

But our results turned out Well and we're Content with our Ushering in of Christmas at the New Home now...  ready to Welcome Friends and Family...

And Celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!

Even our Fur Baby, Miss Priss, gets in on the Action... she was ever so Curious about what her People were scurrying around doing in there???!???!?!?!   *Winks*   The New Home is rather like her Fishbowl where she can peek in at us in virtually every room now via the numerous Windows and Courtyard Glass Doors... so she's very Entertained by our Antics!  *Smiles*

And I Hope you've been Entertained too during your Blog Visit to our Open House Linky Christmas Party my Friends?   We're so Glad you came by...

And we do Hope you might have felt Welcome enough to come back as often as you like?

We'll leave some Milk and Treats out for you... and for Santa too...

With Joy and Love coming to you from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Now that I have seen this Blog Party post I am officially in the Christmas spirit.

    1. Wonderful Colette, the Christmas Spirit always Feels so Good doesn't it?! Merry Christmas! Thanks for coming by the Blog Party... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. I absolutely LOVED this post and all of your Bohemian décor! I would love to see it in person! What a breath of fresh air your Christmas decorating different than all the rest. Your joyful spirit comes through and I am a new follower so I can see what else you will be up to!!

    1. Why Thank You for the Sweet Words and becoming my Newest Blog Supporting Friend and joining in the Festivities! It is such a Great Community here in the Land of Blog and I too Enjoy seeing everyone's different Styles and Lifestyles that could be so very different than my own. I have met so many New Friends via Blogging and that was an unexpected Bonus on top of the Joy Blogging brings as yet another Artistic Form of self-expression. Merry Christmas... Dawn... The Bohemian

  3. it all, and your touches...are always entertaining and visually stimulating. Out of the box is very comfortable, grins, Sandi

    1. Oh yes Sandi, I agree, it would be so cramped being squeezed into the confines of The Box! I always Colored outside the Lines too... ha ha ha... Merry Christmas and Thanks for coming to the Party! Dawn... The Bohemian

  4. What a lovely way to celebrate your first Christmas in your new home! At first I thought your post said "Block Party". Is your new neighborhood having a Christmas Open House? If not you'll probably start that!

    1. Yeah, a Block Party would be Awesome for the Holidays, huh? *Smiles* Dawn... The Bohemian

  5. Wow, I love your Bohemian decor, it's all so beautiful! I like the taxidermy too so I guess maybe I'm a little crazy too! So glad you commented on my boho Christmas tree because it allowed me to find your blog! I'm off to explore some more of your posts!


    1. So Glad I found your Blog too Tania... Kindred Boho Spirits connecting is always such Fun! Thank You for coming for the Party... Dawn... The Bohemian

  6. Just beautiful, Dawn! Enjoy your new home!

    1. Oh I certainly am Enjoying our New Home... it was a Dream come True... never thought I'd be able to let go of our Historic Home... but when we Found this one, even though it's a New Build, it was Love at first sight and it just Feels so Right for us at this Season of our Lives. Thank You for coming for the Blog Party Catherine... Dawn... The Bohemian

  7. Hi Dawn, wow, what an amazing collection you have!! I love your new home, looks like you're making it your very own. You'll be one of my featured homes from the party, when I can get that post put together. Thanks so much for joining in and for sharing the invitation with your readers. Have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Thank you Debra, always such Fun to join Blog Parties and get to see how everyone else is Decorating for the Season and the Creativity being Shared! Dawn... The Bohemian

  8. Hi Dawn,

    Your house is so much fun!! I bet people always have something interesting to chat about at your dinner parties!! I love your spirit! Happy Holidays to you and your own personal Santa!!

    1. Thank You for coming for a Holiday Visit too... yes, Collections of Oddities do Inspire Interesting dialogues! *Winks* Dawn... The Bohemian

  9. Your new home looks as wonder filled as the historic one! Love all your fabulous skulls and your terrific Santa hat collection. I totally agree that bling accessories aren't just for special occasions, there's always something to celebrate! Thanks for the fun and inspiration. Miss Priss is so adorable and looks quite happy in her new home, too. Happy Holidays!

    1. Oh yes, Miss Priss is totally Enjoying her Retirement of no longer having to be a Working Cat! *smiles* She's getting fat and sassy now that she doesn't have to keep an acreage cleared of critters! *Ha ha* Being a very street smart Kitty since she came to us as a Stray, she is aware that staying close to Home is very important now that we live so close to pristine Desert where bigger critters roam, like Coyotes and Bobcats... Thank You for your kind Words... we are Enjoying our New Home so much, it's distinctions are different than the Historic one, but it is a newer Home made to look like an Old Tuscan Villa and so I fell in Love with it, which doesn't often happen for me with newer Homes. Dawn... The Bohemian

  10. I'm loving your vintage Christmas decor!! Your trophies are fabulous, and of course I'm loving your wonderful collection of bottle brush trees. Vintage ornaments are always a favorite of mine. Great job for having recently moved!
    Mary Alice

    1. Thank You Mary Alice, I think that Moving actually Inspired me to do things differently since it gave me more of a Blank Canvas to work with for the first Holidays being Celebrated in our New Home... 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