Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas Tree Festival

As promised in my last post, which was a visit to Christkindl at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua, NY, part two of that illustrious day was the Christmas Tree Festival. This takes place inside the Granger Mansion and is an annual event. Insight I gathered from my research is: that this a holiday decorating contest. The entries are judged. Honors given. Entries may include artificial trees (only) from 2.5 feet to 7 feet, mantle decorations, tabletop decorations, and wreathes. The entries are auctioned off or sold outright.

Every room in the entire first floor of the mansion is decorated with contest entries.  It's opulent. If you don't walk out of there in the mood for Christmas, you may be suffering from grinchitis.

Granger Homestead - Canandaigua, NY
decorated with handknit elf clothing
tree of books - tabletop tree 3rd place prizewinner
created by Ontario County Literacy Volunteers
mantelpiece décor
 mantelpiece décor - 2nd prize winner for mantelpiece dec
you know who from Whoville
Impressive snowman wreath - DIY-ers take note
He won 3rd prize - created by Girl Scout Troop 
And finally, on my way home, I had to get out of the car on one of the blocked off streets near the Granger Homestead, to take a picture of this house. I was so impressed with it's symmetry, it's color combination, it's age, it's charm. I would move right in. All in all, a totally lovely Fall outing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Went To A Christkindl

This a  local annual event which I've known about for a very long time but have never attended. I made up my mind that I would attend this year. I didn't really know what a Christkindl was, except that it was of European origin. That entranced me.  History of Christkindl

The weather was cold that day. 40 degrees F (5 C) brrrrrrr. It was also a bit windy. As usual I wore sandals, no socks. Big mistake.

When I arrived at the Christkindl, it looked like the entire town was parked up and down the Main Street. There were traffic directors who informed me that I could park at the local school and take a shuttle bus which would deposit me at the venue entrance. I took their advice. It was that or parking on a side street (where all spots were occupied) and walking a distance in the cold wind, with sandals on my feet, to the venue.

This event was held in a small historic town situated on one of the finger lakes and about 20 miles from my house. The exact location was on the grounds of the Granger Homestead (circa 1816) in Canandaigua, NY. The Granger Homestead is currently a house and carriage museum. Each Yuletide they stage a Christmas Tree Festival in the house and the Christkindl on the grounds. There were actually two events taking place on the same site simultaneously. Today, I'll tell you about Christkindl and in the next blog post, I'll tell you all about the Christmas Tree Festival. 

I didn't know that Christkindl was an outdoor event!!! If I did know that, I probably wouldn't have gone or I would have dressed more appropriately. As it turns out, on my way home, I stopped at DSW and purchased a pair of warm boots !!!

The Granger Homestead is situated on 12 acres of land. The house itself sits far back from the road. The lawns are vast and it was there that a series of interconnecting tents were set up. The Christkindl took place inside the tents. It was warm-ish inside. I could feel heat blowing in. There were approximately 150 vendor booths. The atmosphere was festive, filled with music and happy people.
It was a 3 day craft show. I was there on day 2.

Being a crafter myself and having experience participating in shows, I would not do a show like this. #1 - too cold, #2- too damp #3 too messy (even though in a tent, you still walked on damp grass and set up shop on grass), #4 too many days (for me). However, I loved being a shopper. I could come and go as I liked, I didn't have to lug a stage set to create my shop, into a tent and I didn't have to stay there 3 days and hope people would like what I made. I will definitely go again and dress appropriately when I do. Would you like to come with me next time?

This is what I saw upon entering the grounds of the Granger Homestead..............

wall to wall people

I loved this booth - her esthetic and mine are similar - she creates new jewelry from old

Monday, November 9, 2015

My Esthetic - Old Lace

I love old lace. I think it is so romantic. My love affaire started many years ago when I was furnishing my first home. I wanted to set an elegant table with real linen napkins. I didn't want plain damask napkins. I wanted linen napkins edged in handmade crocheted lace. I found these at estate sales. Now I have a linen cupboard full of them. Also lace table cloths. My paternal grandmother made me a whole set for a wedding present which includes not only the tablecloth but many various, smaller sizes. All in the same pattern. To cover dressers, chests, lamp tables, etc.

Grandmom's wedding gift

I've discovered that this heirloom lace is very, very sturdy. Far outliving the linen it is sewn onto. Our Victorian ancestors, followed by the new immigrants to this country, then the WWII wives would all remove the lace from the hems of  their worn out sheets, pillow cases, towels, napkins, etc. They would save it to apply to new linens or just stash it in a box for me to discover many years later in someone's attic when I go digging at estate sales. No plain, unembellished linens for them. Everything that could be trimmed in lace - was.

Of course, those frugal housewives would not toss the worn out linen when only the middle of sheets wore out, they'd use the edges to make pillow cases, or small nightgowns, or hand towels and finally they were transformed to dustrags and window washers, even diapers.

Miraculously, the removed lace doesn't show any signs of wear. Amazingly, most of it was crocheted by young girls, learning the art, who crocheted yards and yards of it, in strips to be used for edging. They became expert at it, making many embellished linens to fill their own hope chests to bring with them when they left their childhood homes at their own marriage.............bringing all that beautifully embellished linen with them.

freshly laundered estate sale find

In my etsy shop sammysgrammy there are many items I've created re-using vintage lace. I make wedding garters, wedding purses, wedding banners and bunting, all from repurposed vintage lace. I make non-wedding items from the lace as well. It seems to have grabbed  a hold of my heart.

wedding garter

bride's clutch

vintage doily garland

The collection of lace doily filled embroidery hoops on my dining room wall is my most recent foray in vintage lace land.

doilies in hoops

Christmas table top tree in my shop
               Do you have a compelling diversion that keeps you on the "hunt" for more and more?