Saying Goodbye to Christmas 2015

With all that happened this past month, with the stressful birth of my grandson, Matthew; the Christmas Wedding; the Christmas preparation and Christmas itself, I was never able to do what I wanted to this year with my blog.  I wanted to do Twelve Days of Christmas and highlight twelve Christmas decorating images. However, time never allowed for that.  So, before all the decorations are put away, (I won't do that until after New Year's Day.) I decided, with your indulgence, I would show you twelve images of Christmas 2015 now.  I hope you don't mind.  Every year I have a hard time of letting go of Christmas and this year is no exception.  I promise to move on to 2016 very soon :).

 My very generous daughter, Amanda, one year decided to buy me this Willow Tree Nativity.  She purchased the WHOLE set for me BEFORE Christmas!  We have enjoyed it every year ever since.  It is beautiful and I think of her generosity everytime I put it up.
 Ornaments from my big tree in the living room
 I found this woodland racoon at JoAnn Fabrics way back in the fall.  He was proudly displayed throughout harvest time and all the way to Thanksgiving.  Since I just love him, I decided to incorporate him in my Christmas decorations, as well.
 My neighbor, Cindy, has given me some kind of snowman every year at Christmas for so many years I have lost count.  I love showing them off!
 My daughter, Brittany, helped with this dining table arrangement.  We started with a piece of barn board.  It was a piece left over from a barn repair job my husband did on our barn earlier this year.  I'm not sure you can see the barn board in this photo very well but, it is there underneath the greenery.  When Christmas Day came, my table was all set to go.  I thought it was so pretty.  The pillar and pinecone candles on the table were battery operated and timed.  Everything came to life around 4:30 in the afternoon.  It was awesome!
 This is my little artificial tree.  It resides in the family room where our woodstove burns quite often in the winter.  Therefore, a real tree wouldn't last very long.  Because it is artificial I can leave it up as long as I'd like!  AND, the ornaments seem to stay where I put them, unlike the real Christmas tree!
 I found this "Holidays" picture at the Christmas Tree Shop.  I purchased two different scenes at the time not really sure where I was going to use them.  I only knew they were pretty.  The lady standing next to me at the store told me they were hard to get and that they had sold out quickly at other Christmas Tree Shops.  I received so many comments on this picture throughout the season.  It was certainly worth the little investment!
 Here are little Christmas decorations I have collected over the years.  Each holds a little memory.
 A funny arrangement I did in the drawer of the front hall table...real holly...fake fur.
 This has been a mild winter, so far.  No snow on the ground here.  Funny thing is, though, while I am writing this post, it is snowing outside for the first time all season.  This may be the last time I will see grass for a while, although I'm hoping that is not the case!
 This Christmas tree is in the new shed my husband built for me for my business.  More on that later.  It's not quite finished yet :).
Well, here we are at the end of theTwelve Images, one last photo of Christmas 2015.  I hope you've enjoyed the tour and I sincerely hope you have had a wonderful and joyous Christmas season.

Now on to 2016!

Merry Christmas and My Christmas Village

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!  I told you earlier in the season I hoped to show you my resurrected Christmas Village so, here goes!  Time is of the essence this morning.  Still have lots of Christmas things to do so, this will be a short post.  Hope you don't mind :).

 For many years my husband and I would set up an elaborate Christmas Village display with a twinkle lights background and a table extension to allow for all the village pieces we owned.
 However, as time went on, that became a burden and the village ended up remaining in the basement year after year.
 This year, for some reason, I decided to give it a go.
 And, I really loved the result.  I made this "mountain" from small boxes and cotton batting.  My daughter stole the idea and claimed it as her own!  I'll clear that up at Christmas dinner, for sure!

 I love my flying Santa.

There is my Christmas Village in the background lighting up that side of the room.  I'm so glad I brought it out of storage.  I've missed it.

A Christmas Wedding

Almost a year ago, my good friend, Debbie, asked me to do the flowers for her daughter's wedding.  Debbie is kind of a jokester so, I thought she was kidding.  Turns out she wasn't.  She really wanted me to do the flowers.  I was thrilled and within a few weeks I met her lovely, lovely daughter, Laura,  At that time, we discussed her vision for her wedding.  It was to take place on December 11, 2015 at the Topsfield Commons in Topsfield, MA.  A Christmas Wedding!  How exciting!  I had always wanted one of my daughters to be married at Christmastime but both of them chose to be married in the summer.  Both had gorgeous weddings by the shore; one in Plymouth, MA and one in Chatham, MA.  I wouldn't have changed a thing for my daughters' weddings but, this was such a great opportunity for me to experience a Christmas wedding.  I was thrilled!

That first meeting with Laura, I also learned that she wanted an all white wedding with all white roses and sparkles mixed in.  I could do that.  My daughter, Brittany, is a sparkle girl so, I know all about sparkles.  My husband tells the story of taking a pre-teen Brittany out on a snowmobile ride one winter evening.  Upon stopping in an open field to rest, Brittany turned to her dad and exclaimed, "Look at the snow, Dad.  Doesn't it look like there are sparkles in it?"  So...our family knows about sparkles.  Truth be told, I love sparkles too!  This was going to be the perfect collaboration.

I could go on and on about the many, many texts and meetings Laura and I shared and how we grew to have a very nice friendship; how we discussed and decided on various aspects of the flowers for the wedding or how we came to choose just the right vases but, I think I will simply share my photos from that day.  As always, I am at the mercy of the "real" photographer to get photos of the actual wedding.  Stay tuned.  I hope to talk to Debbie about that just as soon as she comes down from the high of the wedding.  This is a high  that all of us Moms feel after the marriage of a child.  It's a beautiful life moment and I am so happy Debbie experienced it!

The wedding took place at the Topsfield Commons as I mentioned.  What a beautiful wedding venue!  Absolutely gorgeous!  It was exquisitely decorated for Christmas, as you can see from this photo.

 The first order of business for me, once we arrived in Topsfield, was to get these large arrangements upstairs and in place for the wedding ceremony.  In order to transport such big arrangements they were divided into two parts; the glass vase and the floral arrangement itself.  It was a delicate proposition to bring such large arrangements up the stairs and safely nestle them into the clear glass vases,

 Somehow everything worked out perfectly thanks to my trusty team; my husband, sister and brother in-law and my daughter.  They were great, helping me all along the way! The arrangements arrive unscathed.

 I hope you don't mind but I just loved these arrangements and I worked so hard on them that I am going to share LOTS of photos of them :).

 I had to finish making the arrangements at the venue because there is no safe way to transport them all finished.  There were to be orchids cascading down the sides of the glass urn vase.  These would be added after the arrangements had been safely placed in the vases.

The stairways were beautiful at The Commons.

 After making sure everything was all set upstairs, it was on to the beautiful room on the first floor where the cocktail hour was to take place.  The Topsfield Commons is a lovely, lovely venue with two large indoor gathering areas offering all sorts of options for a wedding.
Laura had asked me to make another arrangement for the gift/place card table.  For this arrangement we chose a mercury glass cylinder vase.
The vase choice looked perfect in this room with its gorgeous crystal chandeliers and marble floors.

In the cocktail hour area of the venue there were to be seven cocktail tables placed around the room.  Laura had asked for arrangements to be made for these tables.

 Hopefully, you can see from this photo what a beautiful room this is.

Unfortunately, when we arrived to deliver the flowers, the cocktail room had not been totally set up yet so, we had to leave these arrangements clustered together on a few high tops.  It was difficult for me to leave the job of the final placement and arranging to someone else.  I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to that but, what could I do?  I am sure the staff at The Commons did a great job.
Anyway, square mercury glass vases were used for these arrangements.  I think Laura made a great choice.

These arrangements were originally to be used in the restrooms but they looked so pretty on one of the fireplace mantles in the cocktail room that that was where they stayed.

Finally it was time to deliver the bouquets!
Here are the all white rose bouquets with the sparkles being prepared for delivery to the bridesmaids.

This was a large wedding party
With seven bridesmaids
 A flower girl and ring bearer
 A Best Man and four groomsmen, four grandmothers, two grandfathers (We didn't get photos of the boutonnieres or corsages.  Sorry about that.  Hopefully, the wedding photographer got some.)

 This was the bouquet for the Mother of the Bride.  She had asked for stephanotis to be used somewhere in the wedding.  Why not her bouquet?  I also used it in the flower girl's bouquet.  I thought it was beautiful!  And it smell Divine!
Not to be outdone...the Mother of the Groom Bouquet
And finally...the Bride's Bouquet
Here is the Bride's Bouquet ready for delivery.  It was simply elegant and beautiful...just like the Bride.

Well, my work was done.  Everything had been delivered and put in place.  However, I just had to go upstairs to the ballroom one last time to see my fireplace arrangements one more time before I left.  When I entered the room this is what I saw.  It was gorgeous!  I was so very happy for Laura and her groom, Ben.  They and their guests were going to have such a wonderful night. 

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