Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A One Ringing Bell Home Tour


I have this dream of inviting all the Ringing Bell readers to my house at Christmas, and we’d sit around sipping mocha punch and swapping stories. But practically, that’s not possible, so I thought I’d do a little home tour  of our living areas this week.

A few caveats first. I’m obviously not a designer, just a gal who for years has made do with what she has. The most resourceful people I know are those in ministry, because we’ve learned to make art from what we already have. I love what Ann Voskamp writes, “We get to make beauty, we get to leave loveliness, we get to make art for all who come in our wake―so they get to wake to wonder.” As a pastor’s wife, most of what I have has been gifted to me, handed down, homemade, repurposed, found at a garage sale or plucked from final clearance at TJMaxx.  I “shop the house” as the Nester says and try to make things feel fresh.

This is not a grand home, just a parson’s house.

For Christmas, I intend to keep Jesus ever before us, so each room has a nativity of some sort.

My house was built in the sixties and with the exception of an enclosed garage and an added sunroom, it has had few changes to the original footprint. So, that means little rooms instead of one big open space.

I surround myself with colors I like rather than what’s trending at the moment, which puts me a little off the center line.

And I deal with critters, lots of critters, so part of the house is off limits to felines. The Lab Lucy goes anywhere she wants. What can I say? She doesn't tear up things.

Almost everything I use has a story, but I’ll try to restrain myself and not diverge too much in what already is a long post, so here we go.

When you enter our home, there’s a tiny foyer, but front and center is a nativity set my husband gave me many years ago when we were dating. Fortunately, the baby Jesus has never been lost, and a parade of cats has not broken any of the pieces . . . yet.
 
I love green and blue together.

 
In my living room, I had a big tree ornamented with my angel collection, but it began losing needles, so it had to go. I brought this smaller tree from another part of the house. I actually wanted a flocked tree, but the budget wouldn’t allow, so I used flocking spray and sprinkled snow on it. Then I hung a few angels and some birds I’d had for years and couldn’t use in the other part of the house, because they have feathers on them (Cats love, love, love feathers of any kind). So now, I call this my wings tree. And of course, another nativity, also a gift from my husband.
 


 

My table is semi-set for this weekend, and since the cats can’t get in here, it stays that way. And I love those little star twinkle lights I found this year. They're on a timer.
 
 
In the kitchen, I’m ready for hot chocolate drinkers with this set up and I love this cracker jar my dad gave me long ago. I put cookie cutters in it.
 

 
 
This Christmas village started when the kids were small and I was given a gift certificate to a Christmas store. It has been added to through similar gestures through the years. It's pointless to add more snow as it has a tendency to drift when the cats nest in it. In fact, if you look closely you can spot a sign my son made for the village when the cat Misty, who we called "the terror of tiny town,” used to frequent it. She’s old now, but Wilbur has taken her place as the new tormentor of all who dwell in the village. A recent addition is the origami tree on the department store made for me by a young friend. I'm noticing now that a few of the trees have been moved by cat visitations.
 
The village sits on a cupboard my dad made for me. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole house.

Lambs nestle in a bowl my mother used to make bread in.
 
In the sunroom, which I use for my office, a handmade tree stands which was fashioned from boards removed from our 100-year-old church when it was resided. A lighted star garland wraps around another nativity and a favorite Tasha Tudor illustrated book.  I'll probably add greenery near Christmas.


This year I changed up the sofa in the den with pillow covers I’d never used and one of my two new purchases this year (the other was the star lights), the gilded print pillow in the middle (on clearance). I added the brass bowl I’d found at a garage sale and filled it with red ornaments. Carl standing guard.


Our tree is decorated with ornaments given to us through the years, collected through our travels, or made by the kids. A man famous for his needlework and a woman who was one of the first people I met in this community when I moved here made crocheted angels and snowflakes on this tree as well as the one in the living room.


Another crèche made by a friend. I love it.
 
 
The woman in our church are card makers extraordinaire, so I made a garland of handmade cards we’ve been given through the years (a little blurry picture, sorry).
 
Even though the kids have flown the coup, I still like to keep a few kids things around. Makes me happy. I always have a basket of children’s books for perusing.
 
These carolers remind me of my years of directing choirs.


 We'll skip the kitchen cabinets which need painting and a worktable in my office covered in Christmas doings.
 
But I will show you one more thing―upstairs in my daughter's room, we hang all these ornaments on her chandelier. Some handmade by a dear neighbor who has passed on, some by an artist we love, and some sea creatures from the days when she had fish (thankfully that phase has passed).  This crazy assortment makes me smile.
 

It reminds me of this wild love that God has for us and expressed by sending his Son Jesus. With that in mind, may your Christmas be especially blessed!

"There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, 'Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.'

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:'Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him'" (Luke 2: 8-14). 

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful - just beautiful! Thanks for the "tour!" Love, Freida

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Frieda. Hope you have a blessed Christmas!! Much love, Bev

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