Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Christmas Collections

Anyone that knows me can tell you I have an obsession with "things" & traditions I remember from childhood--especially when it comes to Christmas. I have always collected. It is because my mother taught me to appreciate the history of things & the value of fine craftsmanship. She also explained to my sister & me the sentimental value that many of her collections had because of friends & family who gave them to her as gifts. Now that my parents are gone, I treasure my collections even more & am sharing them with my young daughters. I started my business to feed my obsession with vintage style & beautiful things. I'd like to share a few with you all too, & would love if you shared your collections. Do any of you feel the same?
 My mother's antique piece is from 1895. The front panels are of musical instruments and pull open to store sheet music or maybe old records. On top is a Christmas book from the same era with two little girls on the cover. I thought of my sister and I when I bought it.

Mom's Harold Gale store display Santa from the 1960's. We actually never knew he was a Harold Gale or intended as a store display. I only found out throught recent research. We just put him out every year and we loved him.

 The kids have their tree in the den and I have mine in the living room. It's a 6 foot white flocked tree decorated with Christopher Radko and Polonaise ornaments I received as gifts, as well as some of my moms old glass ones from the 40's, and other unique ones I've found.

 My mom's angel from her childhood tree in the 40's sits on top of my white tree. She has stayed in remarkable condition, probably due to my grandmother's OCD and mother's dresses that she made for her every few years. I took off all the fluffy tulle my mom covered her with and have her as she was originally.

  White feather tree on a little table in the dining room holds antique glass ornaments my mother bought for me as well as reproductions I've collected over the years. A Christopher Radko angel is on top.
My book case looks a bit gaudy, but I don't care. It has all my favorite things on it. The garland above holds some special handmade ornaments I collected when my mom had her shop back in the early 90's. We shopped small Pennsylvania artists and at the NY Gift Fair to find the most unique things.
This is Walnut Ridge Collectibles chalkware from my mother's shop back in the early 90's. The company used antique chocolate molds (like the one in back) to create the figurines and they are painted in beautiful detail and color and sprinkled with mica. My favorite 
The big red Santa is a German batting and paper repro, but the little Santa on skis is really old (one of mom's finds). The trees remind me of The Grinch That Stole Christmas.
 @ early 1900's oak buffet in my entry found in Antique Alley close to home. (My favorite place to escape and play--they have everything my grandmother had). The ceramic tree was always in the same place at my grandmother's house. I remember it as a little kid and loved how the little plastic bulbs lit up. Next to it is a real music box -- none of that computerized junk. On the top shelf is the old cardboard village (from the 60's?) that was under my childhood tree and some from my mother in law that were under my husband's tree. Next to the buffet is the coolest vintage repro wooden cutout of Santa. If you like it, check it out on my website at www.nobleniches.com. The colors are amazing.

 On my mantle is a collection of Mary Myers nutcrackers. She hand carves and paints them. I've seen them in the American Folk Art Museum shop in NYC. On the hearth is a fun reindeer in a rocking chair I got from Cracker Barrel. He rocks back and forth like a maniac while it plays Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. It's awesome!
I love old bottle brush trees. This one is a reproduction. We had the whole cardboard village with these trees under our Christmas tree growing up. The Santa is a Nicol Sayre. I think I found this one in a little shop in Savannah, Georgia. The top comes off and there's a tiny candy cane inside.

 The kids' tree in the den is an 8 1/2 ft slim tree that spins thanks to the 60's tree stand I found on ebay. We had the same one growing up until one year dad broke it. Thank goodness for ebay! The tree is covered with stuffed toy collections from the 60's Christmas specials Rudolph (I collected from CVS with my best friend when we worked together), The Year Without a Santa Claus (found on ebay--so rare!!!), and Santa Claus is Comin to Town (thanks again ebay!). Also so happy to have glass ornaments, little foil cardboard drums, and pixies from my mother in law from my husband's childhood tree.

 I collect houses too. The lights are antique reproductions from mom's shop back in the 90's.
The most special Santa in my collection is this original signed Bethany Lowe woodland Santa. She made him with antique fabrics, fur, and suede shoes. His face is hand sculpted and painted and he's holding handmade ornaments.
This is a repro of a 1960's Blowmold we had at our house every year from when we were little. Mom threw it out. I love my mom, but she pretty much threw away everything--even while you were still using it. Seriously. Another reason to collect. I found this on ebay for $50. The original 60's one was auctioning for about $350. He used to hold a plastic shovel that said Merry Christmas. I recently saw one of those sell for more than $350 after a bidding frenzy. Oh, and those are my two beautiful girls peeking out on each side.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you all have a Happy and Healthy Holiday season.   Come see what I'm passionate about --  Visit my webpage at www.nobleniches.com for Vintage Inspired Treasures for Children & Home. Add your email to subscribe to my blog posts. 

Diane Graci
Noble Niches

Treasures for Children & Home
(704) 962-0089