Merry Christmas, Y’all…
This one’s inspired by my dear friend Bronson.
We’ve been emailing and texting each other for over 10 years. But in all that time we’ve never met in person; until about 2 months ago.
We’re the same age and both have pretty fond memories of the 1980’s. Bronson was showing me pictures of his office, and the walls are covered in framed 80’s electronica albums.
In my bachelor pad, just a few short years ago, I had a wall of framed records too. And I still have all those records in a box. Not sure if they play anymore……but all my favorites are here; Abby Road, Glass Houses, Rumors, and Thriller…..
…..and wouldn’t you know it……there are about 20 Christmas records in the mix.
How about if I do a wall of records for the holidays?
This is the wall next to the front door in our house. A scrapbook of our lives.
Perfect place to put my records for the next month.
I still have frames….but if y’all wanna copy this look, record frames are pretty easy to find.
These frames are 7 bucks at Ikea, and we found 3 packs at Michael’s for 10.
In about 20 minutes I’d framed 15 classic, and slightly juvenile, Christmas records.
I love a cowboy, and who’s a better Cowboy than Gene Autry?
How great is the graphic on this Reggae Christmas album?
Nothing says festive like Kenny and Dolly with a severed Reindeer head? And check out those red talons on Dolly…..
I think I wore this album out when I was a kid….can you believe that I still have it?
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Bing and his holly bow tie.
Kinda diggin’ on the graphic, clean (yet still slightly junky) look of this…….
Gift suggestion: I could use a turntable….
Lots of things…like pages from old magazines. Usually the whole magazine, but occasionally just a few pages.
Like this spread from the December 1996 issue of Country Living. (ignore the tears, sometimes I’m in a rush)
Pretty cool, am I right?
That’s why I’ve kept these magazine pages in a box for a few decades.
Not really diggin’ on the Victorian furniture, tulips, or quilts……but the red-painted floor, 48 star American flag, light-houses, collection of National Geographics, tramp art frames, that cowboy lamp with the red shade on the side of the bed, tin lunch-pails, school maps as window treatments, cowboy bed, and oodles of vintage Americana just make me dizzy. In a good way.
What a collection.
The cabin used to belong to designer Anthony Baratta. Google tells me that he’s still busy designing, but I couldn’t find any evidence that he still owns this Long Island cottage.
In fact, I couldn’t find any pictures of it online at all.
But luckily for all of us….I hoard.
I’m not extravagant. Honestly I’m not,
I’m currently sitting on everything I could ever need.
I have a Jeep – almost paid for – that I guarantee you I will drive until it falls apart. (Anyone who knows me personally can confirm this). I still wear 10-year-old jeans. My shoe of choice are Converse Chuck Taylors….think I have about 10 pair in varying states of wear and tear. They cost about 30 bucks a pair at the outlet.
I’m lucky to have a decent job and live inside my means.
20 years ago, not so much.
20 years ago, spending big bucks for a Christmas ornament was just outrageous.
Christopher Radko was still new on the Christmas ornament scene then, and only the fanciest of stores sold his delicate hand-blown, hand-painted glass ornaments.
It was at the very fanciest of all the fancy stores in Dallas, Neiman Marcus, that I first saw this guy.
(insert sound of angels playing trumpets here)
“Injun Joe”, from Tom Sawyer I assumed.
He was created in a vintage mold that hadn’t been used in about 50 years until Mr. Radko revived the Eastern European tradition of hand-crafted glass ornaments. Each one takes about a week to make.
“..and his price?” you ask.
Might as well have been 2,000 dollars, because I didn’t have that kind of money to spend on a 3 inch glass ornament.
Enter my dear friend Lenny, the minute he saw this ornament, he could think of only one person who would truly appreciate it…..me.
Of course I would, it was everything that I love – Christmas, Indians, Neiman Marcus – all wrapped up in one fragile little item.
He gave it to me in a used Tiffany gift box, which he quickly reclaimed, (my gift was the ornament, not the box)
The very next December, at Neiman Marcus of course, I met with this man – Christopher Radko – and he signed my Indian.
My very first Radko glass ornament.
And so the dice were cast……..
For those of you that don’t know, the Radko company started with a crash.
A BIG crash.
The new tree stand that young Christopher Radko had bought for his family’s Christmas tree snapped under the weight of the decades worth of heirloom blown glass ornaments and sent the collection to the ground. Young Mr. Radko immediately started an attempt to replace his family’s cherished collection, only to find that “new” ornaments were mostly cheap and plastic. On a personal holiday in Poland, he found some blown glass bottles in a shop, and asked if it were possible for the artisans to also make glass ornaments, like the ones his family had lost. It was, and he brought a handful back to the U.S. But they never made it to his family tree. They were immediately snatched up by his fiends who were looking for the same link to their Christmas’s past.
……..and so a brand was born.
That was 1985,
The 10 year anniversary in 1995 saw the debut of the Radko collection in a table top book.
Now, I know which ones I’m still missing.
Little did Lenny know, or Mr. Radko, or myself for that matter, that that little indian ornament would snowball into an almost 20 year collection of Radko ornaments.
I have so many now that the tree is almost completely covered.
I just hate to see any bare spots.
Mostly Indians, and cowboys, and snowmen, and Santas, and Mickey Mouse, and a myriad of storybook characters…..here are just a few of my favorites (there are way to many favorites to photo every one)
I mostly find them online. The ones from the mid 90’s are my favorites and pretty reasonably priced on eBay.
Sometimes, I pick up a newer one that really calls to me in a store.
But most of them are gifts from family and friends.
And my friend Lenny, yeah, he’s given me quite a few more over the years.
I almost have enough…….
……not too many bare spots left.
Looks even better with a layer of tinsel icicles,
I just hate to see any green on a Christmas tree.
…and the Indian that started it all?
Same place every year.
He’s right there near the top.
So I can see him from the couch…….
This is one of the Pinterest projects that I’ve wanted to try for a couple of years now.
Hot glueing candy on a styrofoam wreath? What could be easier?
I started with a 5 pound bag of Starlight Peppermints from Amazon. (I used about half of that for one wreath)
The white styrofoam wreath I picked up from the craft store. This one is a 16 inch circle. I thnk it was about 6 bucks.
I started by glueing on the top ring of mints first.
I tried to keep the mints as close together as I could.
I added the next mints as close to the first as possible.
Don’t worry about spacing. It’s impossible to do this perfectly.
Let go and just except that it will have some gaps.
I keept adding mints as far down as they would go on each side.
And here’s my finished peppermint candy wreath. (maybe 45 minutes total. Most of the time was spent unwraping mints)
The candy remains pretty hard, but too long in the humid garage and it started to get sticky.
So, I brought it in the house…..
…and hung it on the lockers in the den.
The plain pine wreath sets it off against the red lockers just nicely. Don’t ‘cha think?
So easy and so cheap. I use the free clippings from the home depot.
What are ya waiting for?
Go make some wreaths.
I thought I was creative….
Try this on for size….
San Francisco designer Gil Mendez designed this wreath for the San Francisco Chidren of Shelter’s Annual Jingle and Mingle Designer Wreath Auction.
In case you can’t tell, he made it from 3,000 red Crayola crayons from AllArt Supplies.com
20 pounds – I was wondering the exat same thing when I saw it……
Clever, clever, clever……
I so wish I’d thought of it.