...because there is a little country living in all of us

Monday, December 31, 2012

Festive Forest

Welcome to the first ever Rusty Hinge Festival of Trees where I asked you to send me a photo of your Christmas tree!  With no further words from me, let's take a look at them all and begin our tour!  So please sit back, relax, and enjoy this festive forest of glittering trees!

Amber from Grand Haven, Michigan is an avid antique collector and very talented decorator!  The garland for her tree was made by sewing together punched circles of vintage wrapping paper!  Very clever!

Suzy's tree is decorated with nature's bounty!  If you look closely you will find birds, nests, red berries and birdhouses.  I love her striped stockings hanging on the fireplace mantel.

Kris from Junk Chic Cottage displays her beautiful tree in a vintage wagon!  What a wonderful idea!  I love it, Kris!

Aren't these the most gorgeous trees?  They are so elegant!  Thank you, Lory of A Designer's Tale, for sharing them with us!

The gold with blue accents are stunning on Wendy's tree!  This glittery, gold look is made complete with matching gold and blue wrapped packages underneath.  I love your attention to such little details, Wendy!

Isn't Susan's tree from Homeroad gorgeous?  I love the gold ribbon wrapped throughout.  Very chic!

Fiona from Steptoe and Daughter sends us a photo of her lovely tree all the way from Australia!  Packed with beautiful ornaments and baubles it is wonderful eye candy!

Carola, I have one word...Stunning!  Carola from Welcome to Boxwood Cottage explains that since it is a tradition there in Germany, she only uses real candles and vintage German silver ornaments which are family heirlooms on her tree!

Erin from Collected Comfort has not only decorated her beautiful tree but also her staircase banister.  I love how she displays all of her Christmas cards there with the lighted garland.  What a great idea, Erin!

I recognize this tree!  In fact, we just had our extended family party here.  Marjon, (aka Mom!) decorates her tree with glowing white lights and sentimental ornaments.  Each one represents a different year of her four daughters.

Erica in California from Tin Roof Farmhouse shows us her most adorable table-top tree.  Notice the vintage door decorated with lights and ornaments as a backdrop for her retro gold tree.  Isn't the contrast between the rustic galvanized bucket and the glittered tree fabulous?

Look at Lorry's retro aluminum tree!  It is most fabulous with all the little putz houses surrounding it.  My jaw has literally dropped, so excuse me while I pick it up off my keyboard!  Love, love it all!

And I couldn't end the Festival of Trees without showing you our little tree.  All the presents have been opened so the base is decorated with an antique sled stacked with quilts and a vintage Swedish metal tree stand used to distribute candy canes.

These photos of our tree come with a funny story that I must share with you.  We normally cut down a fresh blue spruce right out of our back yard (you can read about last year's homegrown tree here.)  This year was no different, Karl and I selected the tree and proceeded to cut and haul inside.  After several long moments of fighting with it and trying to stand it up, we realized that it was very wide and overtaking our living room.  We decided that just a few pruned branches would help this situation.  But after several more very long moments of fighting with it to stand straight, we begin to see how hopeless it was and that this tree was just not going to work.  When one last effort to stand it straight cracked our tree stand,  back outside it went.

The story doesn't end there and we didn't give up.  We have a smaller stand that would work with a shorter tree, so Karl sawed the tip of our tree off to bring back inside.  Upon inspection, I realized that our tree has been reduced down to bush shaped and contained the same form anyway it stood.  In other words, it was very sad looking.  So back out the door it went again (and now resides as a lighted tree on our front porch!)

 That still left the problem of what to do for our indoor tree... so Karl and I decided to decorate our little faux four-foot tree with all our special ornaments and prop it up on a stone capital base.  So yes, our little tree is an artificial one.  Shhhhhh....don't tell!  (Karl says one year only.  Next year, we will attempt at a real one again!)

There you have it!  Our first ever Rusty Hinge Festival of Trees!  A big thank-you to those who sent me their beautiful trees.  It has been so much fun compiling them together and it turned out grand, don't you think?

I wish all of you a most Blessed and Happy New Year!

Maria ~Rusty Hinge

Monday, December 24, 2012

Guest Post at Dreamy Whites!

Merry Christmas!  It's finally here!  All the anticipation and preparations taper off as we begin to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  Family has all arrived and gathered together, the food is prepared and all the presents are wrapped.  Nothing left to do but enjoy and savor every moment!  What about you?  What are your plans for this special day?  I would love to hear! 

I am thrilled to be invited back as a guest on Maria's fabulous blog, Dreamy Whites!  Thank you so much, Maria!  I am sharing my French Favori mosaic platter there!  Please head over to read all about it.  *Click Here* 

On another note before I go, can I quickly ask a huge favor of you?  I want to try something new here.  Can you inbox me a clear photo of your beautifully, decorated Christmas tree to mgmarcusse@gmail.com?  I would like to gather them all together on my next post for our own little Rusty Hinge Festival of Trees!  If you would like to join in on the fun, please send them to me before Friday, December 28, including your name or blog for a link back.  

"And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2:7

I hope you all have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Maria ~Rusty Hinge

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Stool for Christmas

The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we've no place to go, let it snow!  Even if I planned to go anywhere, not today!  I am snuggled in at home while a huge storm passes by.  It brings with it a foot of snow (or more!) with 50 mile per hour winds.

Days like today are perfect for catching up on all sorts of indoor projects and that is exactly what I did all morning.  So why not squeeze in another post before Christmas and show you what I have been up to!

Previously, I found this perfectly weathered, chippy stool in red, green and white at one of my favorite antique shops called Changing Thymes in Grandville, Michigan.  Today, I picked out one of my used coffee sacks in matching green and red lettering to recover the seat top.  Perfect for Christmas, don't you think?

On another note, I am super excited to be featured in the Eclectically Vintage Festive Holiday Tour!  Thank-you very much, Kelly, for including our home!

You don't want to miss out on these gorgeous Christmas homes, so *Click Here* to take the tour! 

Lastly, before I leave you to go enjoy Christmas festivities, I want to send out a couple big THANK-YOUS to the following ladies for featuring my Christmas home tour (just click on their button to take a peek at it) on their wonderful blogs...

Thank you for all the very sweet compliments, Donna!

Pretty House Things

 Finally, thank-you to Lucy at Craftberry Bush as well!  I just love your blog, Lucy, and am so glad to have found you!

I hope you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Maria ~Rusty Hinge

Friday, December 14, 2012

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

I love the Christmas season!  It is in all reality the most wonderful time of the year!  December has been a flurry of tree decorating, Christmas cookie frosting, present wrapping, and cozy nights spent tucked under blankets with hot chocolate!  I am finished decking the halls, so let's take a little tour, shall we?  Settle in and kick your feet up, because like last year's Christmas home tour, it's a loooong one!

A simple cedar sprig and scraps of antique grain sack from a previous project adorn a French bistro chair.

Grain sack stocking ornaments made by Maria at Dreamy Whites hanging on a wire store display atop a stack of vintage breadboards create the perfect table top tree.

A vintage wire apple picker gets a holiday makeover stuffed with greenery and Shiny Brite ornaments.  It rests on a stack of antique French linen sheets on a chair in the living room.

I love to stick fresh greenery here and there to add a festive touch!  Cedar works wonderfully indoors because it lasts throughout the season.

Give last year's Christmas tree new life by spray-painting it white and stringing with lights!

Vintage sleigh bells fill a mottled ironstone bowl on the kitchen island.

I love implementing vintage pieces, such as this old grain scoop.  It makes a great holiday table centerpiece displaying antique bottle brush trees resting on a French wooden dough board. 

Even the bath gets a touch of decor with faux greenery and berries.  Tiny mercury glass balls rest in my lavender topiary pot that is wrapped in vintage German "Kaffee" and "Salz" sacks.

You might remember my Advent calendar from last year.  This year, I propped it on a vintage wooden cubby in our entry room.  The "countdown" ornaments store perfectly in each of the holes until ready to be hung!

Well, I shall end the tour here!  I very much hope that you enjoyed yourself and that I didn't take too much of your holiday time!  It is precious!  I wasn't sure how often I would be able to post between now and Christmas so there is lots to hold you over until then!

Despite the whirlwind these last few weeks have been, I am trying to slow down and enjoy every moment, because these truly are the special times.  Let's remember the real Reason sent to us in a tiny manger on Christmas day.  And for that, we can all have a very merry Christmas!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
II Corinthians 5:21

Thank-you very much for your visit and taking my Christmas 2012 home tour!

Merry Christmas!

Maria ~Rusty Hinge

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