A Pink, Green, White and Silver Chic N Shabby Christmas Decor House Tour  

Posted by Heidi

The water color version of my Shabby Chic decor
 
I am a person of many contrasts:  this Christmas I found myself as determined to have a pink and white chic and shabby Christmas as I was to have a red and white traditional one.  (Click HERE for photos of my red and white Christmas décor.)  I was particularly excited to create some new Shabby Chic looks as I had acquired three wonderful décor items since last Christmas:  a sparkling chandelier to replace the tired old ceiling fan (a Valentine's Day gift from my husband), an antique Gothic church window (a gift from my daughter on HER birthday) and a stunning figurine of Joseph,  Mary, and baby with a donkey, all white and glittery.
 
 
I so enjoyed photographing this vignette in all of its moods. 
 
 
I also love to repurpose items.  The tan angel wings are fashioned from pieces of antique furniture trim and have been hung inside the frame of a mirror that broke.  The frame was just too beautiful to throw away. 
 
 
I adore the Swedish/French chic look of this tableaux in daylight but it is even more beautiful at night in the glow of the candles.
 
 
Perhaps sparkles are too irreverent for this sacred subject but I find my passion for glitter grows with each passing year--I was thrilled when I found this in a little shop near my home.  I used to have many nativity scenes (though I believe the one above is technically referred to as "flight into Egypt") but most of them were destroyed in an unfortunate foul-smelling home mini-flood nearly fifteen years ago.  I especially love this one because it is of the same composition as a porcelain figurine of my mother's when I was a young girl.
 
 
My view from the kitchen towards the church window always includes this gorgeous chandelier.  It was left over stock from the little décor store my husband and I owned and I couldn't be happier when we decided to keep it and hang it in our own home (its twin hangs above the sink in my kitchen).  My husband, whose many talents do not include that of "handy man", managed to hard wire this one so that I don't have to deal with a chain like the other chandeliers in our home.  After my engagement ring presented to me at the base of Coit Tower with a sparkling, just-washed-with-rain-view of both the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, this was my best Valentine's gift ever!  I adorned it with a dozen (reproduction) mercury glass hearts and it caught the light in many delightful ways all season long. 
 
 
 

I was so fascinated with the dozens of different ways the light reflected off of those hearts that I found myself photographing the chandelier again and again.  However, I am an amateur photographer working with a point and shoot camera and I was unable to come up with pictures that did justice to what I was seeing.  (Or maybe my camera just needs a pair of rose colored glasses like mine.)
 
 
 
This little vignette lives to the right of the dining room cabinet.  I love this cherub's sassy pose and the way his face glows in the light of the lamp below.
 
 
 
The cabinet holds the Jim Shore Irish Angel that my daughter bought to commemorate our trip to Ireland this summer, as well as a few other Irish décor items.  We decided to have Irish pub grub for our Christmas Eve meal (I was raised on the Swedish smorgasboard but we have had to forego those particular food stuffs after the household came down with the flu the Christmas morning after eating Swedish meatballs) and enjoyed how well the accompanying décor all blended in together. 
 
 
I also opted for pink peonies instead of a pink poinsettia this year (this photo has been given the palette knife treatment via Photoshop).
 
 
Most of my many Santas were gifts and I have often thought I just might have too many.  This was the first year, however, that I realized only one or two are the traditional Mark Twain pant-suited Santa of my American youth.  Mine are almost all versions of Father Christmas with his long coat.
 
 
This is the view from my sofa.  The tree (a 20 year old fake that has seen its last Christmas) gets pinker every year.
 
  
 Every year I tell myself that I am going to count my ornaments (probably around 300 on just this one tree) but I get overwhelmed and decide to do it when I take it all down--an even worse idea. 
  
 
 
 
This sweetest ever pink house was not made to hang on the tree.  I say--hang it!
 
 
I have had the very same photos of my children in this frame (it hangs just above my computer desk) for the nine years we have lived in this house.  I decided to put my antique post cards in them for Christmas and loved it so much that I have decided to change the pictures once a month.  
 
 
 
This Santa pitcher was a gift from one of my sisters.  We don't use him for the pouring of fluids so as to ensure that he remains in one piece for our continued admiration.  (So far it has been a good choice.)
 
 
I always am surprised how something as simple as an icy, little branch can change the whole feeling of something.  Suddenly all the white makes one think of snow. 
 
 
 Greenery was the main staple of my Christmas décor over the years but I have recently found that snow is much more festive. 
 
 
I also find that when items are used in ways they were not intended, they stand out more, like the snowflake cookie tree ornament in this photo. 
 
 
The view from my kitchen window Christmas morning.  I came home from Ireland and immediately put up a shelf outside of this window to hold some geraniums--an Irish tradition.  It makes me smile every single day (when I'm not scratching my head and wondering why I hadn't done it sooner).
 
 
My bedroom is the coldest room in the house so I went heavy on the red and white look in there--however, it is a pink room with Victorian accents and though they aren't strictly shabby chic, these pictures didn't fit in with the last décor post I did, either.
 
 
For me, the magic of Christmas décor is the play of light and shadow.  It brings warmth and depth to what might otherwise be flat and cold surfaces.  I suppose that is why I am also obsessed with this silver and gold Christmas tree (see below).  It's only the second or third year I have put it up and I always have a hard time keeping my eyes off of it. There is nothing like white to play up the light and shadow and I spent a lot of time attempting to capture its beauty and mystery.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When I look into this tree, I feel like a little girl again, one filled with excitement and anticipation for a holiday filled with magic and wonder.
 
 
Isn't that what Christmas décor is all about?  To recapture our childhood?  A time when everything was possible . . .
 
 
And, for me, that is what the shadow and light represents:  the mystery of and hope for the future.
 
 
We none of us know for sure what the future holds but, because a perfect child was born into the world, we can hope for All Good Things.
 
 
Christmas décor can be about pride and materialism and the wooing of the world but, for me, it is about beauty and love and gratitude. 
 
 
It is the most special time of the year and our homes should reflect that. 
 
 
It is the time when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was born, bringing light and hope into the world, as well as beauty, love and peace. 
 
 
I hope that is what people see in my Christmas décor.
(You can see my most recent Christmas décor posts Here, Here and Here.)

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Edition is on sale for only 99 cents!  

Posted by Heidi


The first in the series, A Timeless Romance Anthology:  Winter Edition is on sale!  99 cents for six novellas by award winning authors.  This book has received many lovely reviews. Click HERE to buy.  It is also available as a paperback Here


On Sale! Every Hope: A Triple Treat Romance Box Set (Triple Treat Romances Book 9)  

Posted by Heidi



Three full length romance novels for 99 cents!  All award winning authors.  Click HERE to buy.

Lord Haversham Takes Command by Heidi Ashworth
Illuminations of the Heart by Joyce DiPastena
For Love and Country by Elizabeth D. Michaels, pen name of Anita Stansfield

A Traditional Red and White Christmas House Tour  

Posted by Heidi

 

I adore romance, whether as the subject for the books I write or the decor around my home.  Whatever I am doing, I am busy creating a story that is as romantic (in all of its definitions) as possible. Lately I have been obsessed with red and white, silver, anything that glitters and snow Snow SNOW!  (pics to follow) There was a time, however, when red was not allowed anywhere in my home, including at Christmas.  It all began when my fiancé and I went couch shopping.  He knew how much I loved (read:  lived for) pink and he insisted that he didn't care what color couch we chose as long as it wasn't my favorite hue.  How we ended up with a blue (very much not my color) one I will never know.  Once we married and I moved in, I softened the blow of that blue couch by purchasing Ralph Lauren floral pillows that sported large cabbage roses in tones of pink, burgundy and, oddly enough, blue.  Burgundy and pink accents were added to the room.  However, to me, red and burgundy together was, visually, the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard.  Over the years I did relent and allow red in my kitchen or some other segregated area, but my current passion for red and white was started by the Father Christmas figure on my mantle.
 
 
I had been wanting one like him for some years and was thrilled when my sister presented it to me as a birthday gift nearly ten years ago.  Immediately, my policy of no red in my shabby chic living room was abandoned.  I bought the faux red berry garland so he would not feel so lonely and, little by little, the amount of red in my collection of Christmas décor has grown by leaps and bounds. 


My mantle *is*in my pink and white living room, so this is the room that sports the least red.  The snow babies are the original proto types, called Snow Children by Dear Dolls, and are about twenty years old.  I have three, one for each child--I wish I had bought more before they became even more rare and dear (you can find them on eBay).
 
 
The more references to snow in my Christmas décor the better!
 
 
My two sided clock takes on a chilly air with the icy branch adorning it.



My entry way looks as if it could be found in a house in snow country.  Fake snow on the window goes a long way. 


This vignette can be found at the end of the hall just outside my bedroom door.  It makes for a very cheerful scene that can be viewed from almost anywhere in the house.



The medieval stocking tree ornament was also a gift from my sister--I love it so much that it has never hung on my tree but has always had its own spot.


In the same corner is the entry to my bedroom.  My home is small so my bedroom doubles as an office for my husband, as well as a place to watch TV when the one in the living room is in use.  As such, it gets a lot of attention at Christmas and even has its own tree.  Since it is tucked away in the corner and is the coldest room in the house, it is the perfect place to indulge my passion for red and white.













This tree is covered in Santas and whatever can be found outdoors--snowmen, deer, trees, berries--and red jingle bells.  The ribbon speaks to my Scandinavian genes which have, in turn, been speaking more loudly in the past five years than they ever have before.


My bedroom is a magical place at night, but it is just as warm and cozy during the day when the sun is shining. 


This is the room where I fully indulge my Victorian décor sensibilities which, for me, always means a white bed. (The red pillow is angled so that it is seen to best advantage from the hall when passing by.)


 
We made the canopy ourselves from pvc pipe which is hung from the ceiling with fine, white chain.  I added the lace to the plain sheers.  The baby gown hanging from the armoire was a gift to me from my mother who purchased it in England.
 

Red candles in odd places (like those hanging from the canopy) is a Scandinavian custom.  I made the red and white stockings the first Christmas that my husband and I were married--twenty eight years ago.


This (fake) tree came lightly dusted with "snow" and red berries.  Even the white lights have snow on them.  No complaints.  The lace curtains were purchased on eBay from a woman who owns a textile mill in Scotland--these were samples, made from a pattern that has not changed in over 100 years.



Some of these ornaments are treasures purchased on trips out with my husband or friends.  Others are dollar store ornaments.  The packages are little boxes that I wrap up differently every other year or so, whatever strikes me as fun at the time. 


I even do a bit of decorating in the bathroom.  The white tree is a battery operated candle that we keep lit all night.  It is a welcoming sight during the dark, winter months.




I do have another place in my living room where red can be found.  I put these out before Thanksgiving this year--with the light shining on all of this red and white, it makes the dark evenings less dreary.  The girl holding the star ornament on the top shelf was a gift from my parents to each of their children one Christmas.  It represents the custom we have in our family of hanging matching snowflakes--a different one for each child and grandchild while my parents own the whole set--each Christmas Eve.  It is a treasured Christmas tradition that binds us together even when we are not all gathered in the same place. 



The two Santas and the elf in this photo were all gifts from another sister of mine.

 

It was very fun to visit the Belleek factory in Ireland this summer where the Victorian egg caddy (above) was made in the late 1800's.  (Read about my visit to Ireland by clicking on the links in my sidebar.) 


For Christmas dinner, we move the table from the dining area and place it in front of the "fire" (a DVD that runs on our large screen TV, complete with authentic popping and burning sounds).



I like to get creative with my place cards each year.  I broke pieces off of a large plastic snowflake for the above effect.  (And, yes, the red plastic container did melt a bit from the candle.)




I made this snow globe from a punch bowl last year.  When the season was over, I washed it and put it back in the cupboard.  This year I added a chilly-looking Santa.



I have been collecting red and white china for quite some time.  The bottom plate is Red Vista (my favorite) by Masons, the cup and saucer is Old Britain Castles by Johnson Bros. and the plate in between is the Christmas tree version of the same.  The silver is Old Master by Towle. 


The butter plate is also Old Britain Castles.  It is a fun pattern because each piece represents a different castle, including Blarney in Ireland which I visited this summer, as well. 


More photos of my red and white décor can be viewed in my Pinterest challenge blog post HERE.

Up next:  my Shabby Chic/French Country/Danish-Swedish Christmas décor.