08 December 2013

Christmas House Tour 2013

The red flowers are blooming. 
Thank you to RJ who featured my cottage at her Art at Home's Weekly Roundup.

 Welcome to our Christmas decor tour.  There are some new photos, but some I shared in regards to traditions, so I apologize if some of my visitors have seen some of these before.

There will be a gluten-free recipe sugar cookie recipe about half-way into this post and a children's Christmas picture book list near the end of the post.

Here is one of the many wreaths we made.
This one is made from old dish towels and left over yarn.
I try to keep everything simple, and it doesn't take me long to decorate.
It takes me longer to straighten up the house than it does to decorate.
I made the wreaths in the summer.

This porch was not even started this time last year.  These three sets of doors were not here either.  This one was a slider!

I collect angels.

It's a saying from A Christmas Carol.

I love this room, because even when it is really hot outside it looks cool even when it is not.

These wreaths are made from torn knotted rags or bows.

This one was made from many pom poms.

 I made these.

My mother gave me this nativity piece by piece except for the starter family and the stable.

This is last year's photo,  I could not get a good photo with my camera.

From the Kitchen...

Last year I did not have a kitchen!

We modified this recipe's ingredients for Gluten Free Sugar Cookies, but used their baking instructions.
The cookies held their shape perfectly, though they were fragile.
Betty Crocker sells a GF free flour blend already prepared, but we didn't see it in the store.


1 cup granulated C& H sugar

1/2 cup Crisco shortening in bars

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla

1 egg

2 1/2 cups of this gluten free flour mixture: 2 cups of rice flour, 2/3 cup of potato starch, 1/3 cup of tapioca starch, and 1 tsp xantham gum.  ( I sifted the flour mixture and saved the rest .) 

1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

We also used real C and H cane sugar, Crisco shortening, and real butter. 
 I use these brands because not all sugar is cane sugar, and Crisco shortening's consistency is better than less expensive brands.  Remember I'm trying to make sugar cookies for a young person who can't have gluten so a recipe that stays together and tastes great is important. 

As you can see they look like regular cutout sugar cookies and they even taste like them.

My daughter dressed the mannequin for baking cookies.  See the watch.

My daughter's addition to the kitchen shelves.

From our Madhatter Library comes a children's Christmas book list.

Some of these Christmas books are for older children or children that don’t believe in Santa or don’t quite believe.  When my daughter was younger we would read a different Christmas book every night.

A Christmas Carol We have selected this unabridged version for the illustrations.

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus This is a favorite.  She use to read it every night during the month of December.

The Polar Express
A Special Place for Santa
The Gift of the Magi by O' Henry

These are cultural favorites of ours.

Legend of the Pointsettia I need a box of tissues for this one.

The Night of Las Posadas
Twelve Lizards Leaping

Christmas Tapestry

Marta and the Manger Straw

These books are educational.

Balanchine's Nutcracker

These books are fun.

Angelina's Christmas
Lyle at Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Madeline's Christmas
The Pokey Little Puppy's First Christmas
Babar's Father Christmas

This book has a special message about giving.

An Orange for Frankie This is one of my favorites, but it is a tearjerker.   It is autobiographical and it has a special message about giving and family, and it reminds one to treasure the moments one has as a family. 

This tree is inspired by the landscape and history of the southwest.

The majority of the ornaments on this tree were made by artisans of New Mexico, Arizona, or my daughter, and I have be collecting them for over twenty years.
This year I added two. The angel on top is hand carved.

The red, yellow, and green lights are chili peppers.  The paper bags are luminarias.
It's southwest.

I found the red embroidered comforter cover marked down to twenty dollars at Ikea.  I can actually use it all year round, because there is red in this room.  As you can see, the trees are still green.  There is also a green wreath at the foot of the bed.

A tinsel tree and a bird advent tree from a second hand store.

The carport or entrance to the kitchen.

My front door wreath didn't make it to the front porch, because I left it outside for a month or too, so it needs to be plain or go without a ribbon unless I wear out another linen towel.
 We try to keep things simple.  We hang an ornament here or there.  The wreaths and other trees are unadorned.  I want it easy, and I prefer not to spend money.

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  1. Absolutely beautiful.

    You have come a long way this year with your wonderful new room.

    I love your list of Christmas books - we have several of them at our house too.

  2. What a wonderful post! You haven´t forgotten any detail. Christmas arrives to every corner of your house and your heart. Congratulations!!!

    1. Thank you, Marina. I love the way you put that. Your English is wonderful!

  3. Your home looks beautiful! Love all your Santos angels. Great selection of books. I always seem to look for Christmas themed stories myself at this time of year. Luckily, a lot of my favorite authors put one out.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I always like switching the reading to Christmas or themes of redemption during this time of year. It reminds me of simpler times growing up.

  4. Your home truly inspires me. Just beautiful. I am in love with your wreaths. Great job.

    1. Thank you, that's so sweet to hear. I think I was a little bit obsessed this year making them, but it passed the time, and I made it through our horrible summer. Hugs.

  5. You have a beautiful christmas home. Thank you for the tour.


  6. I love it all!!!!!!!!! those bed linens are divine and I adore that bunny with the violin - so cute!!

    Beautifully done! and isn't it nice to have a kitchen ;)


    1. Thank you, Anne! It is great to have a kitchen! I wore out a George Foreman grill and a microwave. To it's credit the grill still works, but I was using it outside and the weather, especially the heat of the first summer with no kitchen did a job on its exterior.

  7. Wow! What a spectacular tour! I'm so envious of the white room - it definitely feels cool & bright.

    1. Thank you, Beth. It's a three season porch and the laundry room is on it too! (We can't use it in the summer except for laundry.) The house is only about 1100 square feet plus the large porch, but it's enough and cozy; I love it for its quirks and interesting, but simple features.

  8. Wow your home is gorgeous. I love all the whites!!!! Thanks for sharing on the Creating Christmas Party.

  9. Absolutely gorgeous! I enjoyed each and every picture! The wooden beam ceiling is amazing!

    1. Thank you, Jann. We wanted to keep that. I'ts a simple home, but builders did such interesting things years ago. XOXO

  10. What a nice tour! I love how personal it is and also the books. Thanks for linking!!

    1. Thank you, Isabelle. I'm glad you like the list of books. Most of them are available at the library.

  11. Everything is so beautiful. I especially love the Nativity. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

    1. Thank you, Marty. I do too. My daughter set it up this year. My mom gave me every piece except the little drummer boy and a tiny angel. It took her about twenty years, but she did it for almost all eleven children, except for the few who didn't want one.

  12. Your home is just beautiful, all dressed for the merriest Christmas. Love your new room. :)

    1. Thank you, BJ. It's a three season porch; fall, winter, spring. XOXO

  13. Everything is so merry and bright! That porch room keeps getting prettier all the time! Lovely post my friend. Diane

  14. Your holiday decor is just gorgeous! And I love your tradition of reading Christmas books! Thanks so much for linking up :)

  15. I just absolutely love your style! Everything is beautiful! xo Jen

  16. beautiful indeed! the nativity is absolutely gorgeus

  17. It was a pleasure to tour your house for Christmas. I love all your simple but joyful Christmas touches.

  18. Your nativity is absolutely stunning! I have a very little one that I sit on my shelf that I found in one of the Christmas boxes this year and love it sooo much! Your angel collection is so pretty too!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. It's such a nice thing that my mom did for us.

  19. Everything looks so beautiful! What a delight to view. TFS. I am now a follower of your blog and look forward to return visits. I invite you to join me as well on my blog at http://atastefultouch.blogspot.com
    Hugs, Gayle.

    1. Thank you, Gayle, for such a kind comment. I'm now following you too.

  20. You have such a lovely home / this was beautiful. I am going to come back to this book list on another day because I know that I'll want a few for the grands or I'll make a list for the library or something or other! Some of the books are familiar and others are not ....so this is helpful! :)

  21. Su,
    I love your home all decked-out for Christmas! Thanks for posting your list of your favorite Christmas books, too.
    I love the artisan Christmas ornaments. They are so pretty!!!


  22. I'm back reading this post again. Seriously, your home should be featured in ROmantic Homes Magazine!


    1. Thank you, RJ, for such a sweet compliment. XOXO

  23. Wonderful tour! I like that you completely embrace AZ and all that it is. I also live in AZ and embraced it fully for about fifteen years after we moved here from Oregon. Not so much anymore. I tend to long for the seasonal changes. For Fall, our home was decked out like it belonged in New England and now it looks like an old fashioned Winter wonderland Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I truly love living in AZ!

    1. Thank you, Carol. Well, when I was young I lived up north in Arizona/ New Mexico border, near Navajoland and checkerboard area; so I like handmade ornaments; it's just a small way to support the artisans.

      I do like the seasons, but there are so subtle where I am now.

  24. I want to come and curl up in the Mad Hatter library with a cookie, a cup of steaming cocoa and enjoy your books and wreaths!

  25. I just featured this post on my blog!


  26. I love, love, LOVE your holiday home! Every room is a delight. From front to back there is something to inspire, but your addition is still my fav. Love it all, and thanks so much for sharing.

  27. Thank you for this home tour. You have beautiful house. It's feel like I'm visiting your house right now.

    Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
    Bring you Good wishes of happiness.

    Sorry for greeting you earlier,, just don't want miss saying this.
    By the way, I'm Clotee. It's my first time visiting your blog. I am blogger too, and now try my best luck to open an e-shop. Nice to know you.



Thank you for visiting and leaving kind messages. Have a beautiful day! xoxo Su