Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Greeting

May His Love Guide All
We Do and Say in the New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lovely Vintage Spanish Plate

It seems that during the 1970’s there was much production of nativity themed items such as porcelain plates. Many of my annual nativity collector’s plates date from the 1970’s. Today’s subject is a lovely example of this.
It is a plate from the Spanish firm, Lladro, and shows Mary with the Baby Jesus on her lap and the ox and the donkey behind them.

The soft blue border frames the raised figures on the plate. The clothing has great patterned detail.

Tha plate has all the grace and perfection that is a Lladro hallmark.

This post is being linked to Blue Monday, sponsored by our gracious Sally at Smiling Sally.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Greeting

Each year I always send out Christmas greeting cards with a nativity theme. The card I am sending out this year proclaims:

He came to pay a debt
He didn’t owe
Because we owed a
Debt we couldn’t pay.

Inside the cover is a familiar quote from Matthew 1:23 KJV,

"Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth
A Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel…God with us."

The greeting reads:

This Christmas
May you see
And know anew
Just how great His love
Is toward you.

This is my wish for each of my blogger friends and for their loved ones.

All my best to you this glorious season,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wood Nativity Story Ornaments

Among the newest ornaments in the collection is a series of four ornaments highlighting the biblical accounts surrounding the nativity of Jesus Christ.

They are made by Cedar View Gifts in Arkansas, U.S.A. The material is quarter-inch premium birch with a golden oak finish and gloss lacquer, they are 3 1/2" high x 3 1/2" wide. "Each piece is designed, laser cut or etched, hand-finished, assembled and packaged on our farm."
Each ornament a blue tag announcing the maker of the beautiful ornaments:

"Cedar View Gifts
Quality Christian Craftsmanship
Made in the USA"

The first ornament shows Mary on a donkey led by Joseph with a Star above. The text is Luke 2:4-5:

"So Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, unto Judea..To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."

The next shows the familiar scene of Mary, Baby Jesus in Manger and Joseph, with Star above. The text is Luke 2:11:
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord"

The third shows the shepherds with Star above. The scripture is Luke 2:8,9:
"And there were shepherds abiding in the field, And, lo,the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them."

The fourth ornament in the set depicts the Three Wise men on Camels, with Star above. The text is Matt. 2:1-12:
"There came wise men from the east, Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? We have seen his star in the east, and come to worship him."

These are such wonderful reminders of Christ’s sacrifice to give us eternal life with Him.

Merry Christmas!

Vintage Celluloid Nativity Ornaments

It truly is amazing to see the great variety of depictions of the Christmas story of Jesus’s birth. I recently acquired eight old nativity figure ornaments that seem to be made of celluloid. Each figure is encircled by an ornate brown cathedral style celluloid "frame". Incised on the back edge of five of the ornaments is "Made in Italy." Each of the figures are in 3-D relief and vary in size from about 2-1/2" high to 4" high; each ornament has a depth of about 1/2". The ornaments are exquisitely detailed right down to the fingers and faces on each figure -- though my photos do not do them justice.
The top of each ornament has its original fixed small brass style metal loop for hanging.

The first three ornaments are in a short arch:
Virgin Mary - approx. 2-1/2" across x 2-7/8" high
Baby Jesus - 2-3/4" high x 2-3/4" across.
Joseph - 3" across x 3" high.
Three Wise Men are in a pointed arch – each 4" high x 1" across. One is bare-headed, another wears a turban, and the third, a crown.

The two musicians are also in a pointed arch – each 4" high x 1" across. Many Italian nativities feature musicians. This set has two:
Musician with long horn
Musician with bagpipes

Note the cross above the heads of the figures in the narrow frames:

Since Christmas has now become more and more secular, most of the ornaments available cover non-religious themes. However, each year more and more artists and manufacturers focus on the theme of Jesus’ nativity. This helps us to focus on the Christ of Christmas.

May You Each Enjoy a Blessed Christmas!

This post is linked to Vintage Thingies Thursday. See more Vintage Thingies Thursday posts listed by Suzanne at Coloradolady.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Advent Calendars

Advent calendars aree special publications that help count down the days of Advent from Dec. 1 until Christmas Eve. Each day a numbered window is opened or an item is taken from a numbered pocket.These calendars are designed in varied styles and themes. Some are quite whimsical, while others are more in keeping with the theme of the Savior’s birth. No matter what the design, in the case of children’s Advent calendars, there is often a treat for each day, such as a tiny toy.

The calendar I used in 2007 and 2008 is a vintage Advent calendar printed in West Germany. The first slot reveals a Messianic prophecy "The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light." Is. 9:2. This made me smile and think, “Yes, thank you, Jesus; may we always walk in your light!"

Next is a children’s calendar from Oriental Trading Co. I found it at a local thrift store last week. The special was your choice of a bag-full of Christmas things for $2.00; so this only cost me about a dime.
This felt calendar had numbered pockets with one figure for the nativity scene to be taken out each day and placed in or around the stable – Shepherds, Wise Men, animals, and the Holy Family.

The Baby Jesus figure is in the last pocket, December 24th.

The calendar I am using this season is a new one from Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. It features the town of Bethlehem and has 24 windows scattered across the scene.
Each window reveals a Bible text and a color illustration:
A fold-out section at the front forms the town wall and gate.

A fourth calendar, one I received as a gift, has The Nutcracker as its theme.

Each day a mini book numbered for that day, tells one segment of the story of the Nutcracker, until it culminates on December 24 with the Magic Sleigh.

This calendar was published in 1993 by Workman Publishing Co. The story is retold by Mary Packard and illustrated by Nan Brooks.

The custom of using an Advent calendar to look forward to the coming of the Baby Jesus is a nice way to mark the family's anticipation of Christmas Eve.

Thank you for stopping by today.

May you be blessed this Christmas season and into the New Year!

This post is linked to Three or More Tuesday which is sponsored by Tam at The Gypsy's Corner.
Please visit her for more participating posts.

My felt Advent calendar qualifies for Second-Time Around Tuesday which Diane hosts at A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words. See more participants at her blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Stairwell Picture Gallery

In her November 11 post, titled "Problem Staircase Walls" Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch showed how she solved her problem walls with family photos, interspersed with mirrors and wall shelves. This gave me the idea to take most of the nativity artwork (prints, paintings, embroidery) and display them all together in the lower stairwell. The walls were still bare from being painted this past August.

I didn’t take a before photo of the bare walls but did find a 2002 holiday photo showing the staircase with a few pieces of framed artwork.

Now I decided to dedicate it entirely to the nativity collection, since to the right at the bottom of the stairs is the room where the collection is displayed.
Here are views of the stairwell now.
On the left side looking down:

On the same side looking up:

On the right side looking down:

On the right side looking up. The first three pieces are embroideries:

The last two are: a brass rubbing from England, and above an original print:

My only concern about making this change permanent is the effect of light on the art work.

This post is linked to Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan of Between Naps on the Porch. Go there for a listing of more transformations.

Thank you for visiting today. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and urge you to "keep Christ in Christmas"