Seasons In The Studio

Nature, and the things it inspires..........

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Tour of Lewes 2016-Photos

Christmas Tour of Lewes 2016

When the Lewes Historical Society approached us to do the tour this year, I immediately had a vision of how I wanted the house to look.  I wanted to create a holiday fantasy, using wonderful materials and a mix of found objects and family heirlooms.  The flowers and greenery of Christmas are so important to me that I felt this would be a large part of the overall design.  Ken supported me all the way and even when he wasn't sure about my design vision, he helped me put things together!  Good thing we both love Christmas!

The Christmas Tour of Homes is a big fund raiser for the Historical society, and we are pleased to have been part of an event that we have heard sells as many as 2000+ tickets!  My next door neighbor was also on the tour, and what fun we had sharing and decorating together!

Part of the tour includes a table that is set for the holiday meal.  Inspired by something I saw at Longwood Gardens a long time ago, I started sewing the table linens in August of this year.  I did not embroider the linens but I did make the double tablecloths, placemats and napkins from fabric I had saved for a special event like this.  Ken and I had to make a trip to Manhattan in October, because I couldn't find appropriate trims for these.  What I found at Mood Fabric in the garment district was perfect!

I had nearly completed the work, when my sewing machine had a major breakdown and had to go in the shop for two weeks!  I was able to finish using my mother's Singer machine from the 50's, and just in time too!

I started making the wreaths, garlands and other flower arrangements in early November.  Much of the material I had on hand from previous years, but I did purchase some new for the dining room table.  The garlands are taken apart every year to be stored, and I never reconfigure them the same way.  It takes a day, at least, to make every garland in our home.  I couldn't have done any of this without wonderful help from Ken, who climbed ladders, cleaned windows, and hung greens (and provided muscle) everywhere!

Ken and I scoured thrift shops and estate and yard sales for the candlesticks, crystal bowl, and many other pieces on the dining room table.  The china was purchased long ago in England, and carried back a few pieces at the time by Ken (before Aynsley china was available in the US).  Reusing IS recycling, and many of the "found" pieces will be returned to the thrift store when I am finished with them!  What fun it was to "borrow" such lovely things for the tour!

We have a wonderful collection of Christmas ornaments, carried home from all over the world by my husband.  There is a tree in the music room that contains these, and many others made by friends, family and the children when they were young.  The large tree in the great room has more ornaments from Eastern Europe, and almost all of these are blown glass.  Our collection has been a work in progress for more than 35 years!

Much of the furniture in the house came from grandparents, great-grandparents, or was built by my husband or son.  The Music room and Great room have many pieces from my grandfather's home in Charleston, SC.

The "conservatory" was my favorite room to create!  I wanted this to be an inviting space full of live plants and festive color.  Ken LOVES red and green for the holidays, and this room was inspired by him!  I grow orchids and ferns, so adding color was easy with the background of green already there.

It had been suggested that we put another Christmas tree on the enclosed porch, but with my orchids, a live tree couldn't work (bugs), and when I found out that 97% of all fake trees are made in China, and contain (and shed) lead, this was not an option either.  I was so pleased to be able to use a favorite local business and create something really special!  Peppers Greenhouse helped with the "topiary" poinsettias, and we purchased all the holiday plants from them. The added bonus is the stands they built for the poinsettias can be reused for other plants in other seasons!

I've posted the photos on a separate blog entry (see the archive on the right), so be sure to enjoy them!  Happy Holidays!