Monday, November 28, 2016

A Traditional Red and Green Christmas

The Christmas season...a time when our family home was filled to standing room only with friends and relatives.  The freshly cut, fragrant fraser fir tree with white lights and shiny red and green glass balls stood brightly in the living room corner as the delicate strands of tinsel glistened on the tree's branches .  I can still taste the pleasant cherry-flavored candy "cherries" which hung on the tree's branches from their wire embedded in the candy balls.

It is some of these small details from Christmas past which inspired my work for this year's Christmas in the Mansion at the Rahr Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  For me, the colors of red and green will forever best represent the Christmas season and when it came time to select the items for the tree at the museum, it became quite clear to me that the traditional red and green tree will be this year's theme.  In fact, I loved the results so much that my work at the museum has lead me to do a traditional red and green tablescape at home.   Both are included in this post with hope that it will add to the cheerful excitement of the holiday.

Remember...the exhibit runs through January 7, 2017 and is located at 610 North Eighth Street, Manitowoc, Wisconsin .  The museum's admission is free and they are closed on Mondays.  You can check their website at Rahr West Art Museum for their specific hours if you wish to stop by to view the exhibit.

The theme's description reads:

A Traditional Red and Green Christmas

As the family gathers around the elegant Christmas table for the scrumptious holiday evening meal and prayer, the fluffy, glittery snow gently falls as carolers softly sing outside the frosty window.  The scent of pine fills the candle-lit room as the red and green tree glows brightly for the traditional Christmas.

Be sure to stop back at The Little Yellow Corner Store to see the complete tour of Christmas in the Mansion 2016 in my next post.  There are so many talented designers who have decorated the mansion this year in varied and unique ways.  It surely will arouse your anticipation for the Christmas holiday.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Softhearted Sentiment for the Snowman

Most all of us have some fond memories of watching the 1969 classic children's special program, Frosty the Snowman, each Christmas season as we were growing up.  This animated program brought so much fun and joy to the winter holiday both to me as a young girl and later as it was aired during my own son's and daughter's childhood.

I am sure you can recall in this tender Christmas special, all of the difficult attempts that Karen, Hocus Pocus (Professor Hinkle's rabbit) and the other children go through to keep Frosty, their snowman, alive in the cold and by retaining the magic hat that belonged to Professor Hinkle (the magician) who wants the hat back.  In the beginning of the story, the rabbit, Hocus Pocus, hops away with the hat from the Professor only to be found and used by the children at recess to create the snowman and make it come alive.  In the end with the help of Santa, Frosty is revived from being melted while being locked inside a poinsettia greenhouse with Karen by the mischievous Professor Hinkle and we are told by Santa that Frosty never dies because he is made of Christmas snow that returns each year.  Who can possibly forget the jolly snowman with his coal for eyes, a button nose, his corn cob pipe and, of course, the magic hat. 

What a cheerful, lighthearted and jovial program for both children and adults alike. Are you gushy and ready to start singing the song, Frosty the Snowman, which inspired the television special?  The sweet, nostalgic television special and its inspirational song gave me the dreamy idea to use my snowman decor items once again, but this time in a tablescape and not just a vignette.  With all of its cuteness, it is deserving of being a complete four-person setting.

So turn on your Christmas music, grab your cup of hot chocolate and snowmen marshmallows and enjoy your magical trip down memory lane.

Welcome to the Snowman Tablescape....

Some chubby chocolate snowman madeleines can top off the snowy celebration.

Stay tune for an upcoming post regarding Christmas in the Mansion 2016 at the Rahr Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  Preparations are being made for the opening starting November 23, 2016 to January 8, 2017.  Once again the museum will be full of gorgeous Christmas decor that can help to add to the excitement of the holiday season.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Scarecrow Time of Year

Did you ever wonder about the origin of the scarecrow?  As I contemplate a tablescape theme for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I considered using something different than the traditional pilgrims, corn stalks and turkeys for the table decor.  Instead,  I thought of the scarecrow.  The history of the scarecrow fits in beautifully with Thanksgiving, especially as we learn of their purpose for the protection of growing crops and the season when these splendid crops are harvested.

Since the garden in our own yard is finished and the healthy fruits and vegetables have been collected, stored or processed for consumption for the long cold winter ahead, we now look forward to Thanksgiving, the holiday in which we celebrate and give thanks for the abundance of such a great yield.   Of course, not without the many thanks to the scarecrow who has been on guard all summer long. 

In keeping with the conclusion of the growing season and the appreciation of such a blessed harvest, you might enjoy a bit of history on the scarecrow which adorned the many fields throughout the world and of which helped to protect those fields from winged consumers.  This wonderful bit of trivia is written by Kathy Warnes from her blog entitled, History....Because It Is Here:  Scarecrows--Historically Speaking.  I, personally, found her article fascinating and was excited to learn how the use of scarecrows go as far back as the time of the Egyptians.  The scarecrow (or known as the kakashis in Japanese) was used in other countries including Japan by farmers who protected their rice fields and who fashioned the scarecrow in more of a human form.  Take a moment to sit outside in the sunshine on the front porch and enjoy Kathy's informative article on the scarecrow.  I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

My whimsical scarecrows that are located in various places throughout the house and are this week's scarecrow tablescape theme are certainly wonderful reminders of the role the scarecrow played in safekeeping the crops that become part of the flavorful foods we eat and enjoy at the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the winter season.    For that I am grateful. 

Scarecrow cookies, peanut-maple apple dip and pumpkin spice caramel popcorn sweeten the occasion.