Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Early American Christmas at the Museum of Appalachia

Decorating for Christmas, Pioneer Style at the Museum of Appalachia.
 It rained all day long in our Pioneer Village.. I call it ours because it is a State Treasure to those of us living in Tennessee. It is ours, and it is yours too, if you love American History.
Cabin decor at Christmas is just as you would imagine....

 a cedar scented cabin, a wiry, woody tree festooned with paper chains, strung popcorn, orange slices, cornhsuck dolls and tinsel garlands. Each of the dozens of cabins has it's own, unique Christmas tree and  a mantle hung with knitted stockings.
 Carolers stroll the village dressed in woolens as peacocks, goats, sheep and horses browse the grounds. The only thing missing is snow!  I love this place and have posted extensively on it in the past.
I love all the make-do fences, walls, steps and gates... often covered in moss and lichens. But mostly, I love the log cabins.

 In this tiny cabin, the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in such simple and charming displays.
 Berries, pine-cones, Oranges,Cinnamon sticks, Bay Leaves and fresh boughs from  nearby evergreen trees are placed upon the table, the mantle and in the corner cupboard.

  Sitting in a tin candlestick holder is a festive vignette from nature,
and this cedar tree is hung with sugar-dipped covered pine-cones and plaid ribbon.
 A basket of green leaves in an oak basket sits at the foot of the rope bed.
It is all so lovely in it's simplicity.

 Living a mere 40 minutes from this museum is a treat. This weekend I was doing a little book-signing in the Museum's gift shop and the silky grey shop cat sat in my lap for 45 minutes or so. He lives in the gift shop. They tell me he showed up 4 years ago and was such a wild little thing you could not even touch him. Now, he loves everyone.
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on this day, he loved me.
A toasty fire crackled  all day in the shop to keep out the chilly, rain soaked air. I was inspired.


  Decorating for Christmas in our house, with Simplicity
Inspired by the pioneer decor at the Museum, I determined to give it a try.
      On one of our mantles sits this 14 inch long Beeswax leaping rabbit. He is adorned in rose-hips and pine  gathered from the woods. My friend "Bunny" made this rabbit, ( yes, that is her real name, and she makes bunnies)
She and her husband create these and numerous  other images molded in beeswax. Her husband  inherited hundreds of candy molds from his Grandfather who was a chocolate maker in Germany.


Here is a row of vintage Santas on the Parlor mantle.
 My mantles may be a little more ornate than those in the cabins, even though I am trying to be frugal.

  It's not all that easy to decorate Pioneer style...when you  have a bunch of Santas in a box.

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One feather tree with red stitched samplers and wooden Dutch shoes, that's pretty simple, right?

Berries and bay leave garlands atop the curtains, easy to do and very Early American.

  The only thing I got carried away with, was my toy display; then all my decorating frugality went out the window.

This feather tree has these wonderful little sheep/candle weights ( made by the same friend who made that big beeswax bunny).


Since the tiny tree is covered in sheep, I decided to put fuzzy farm folk beneath the tree as well.

Don't you love those little donkeys?!
Next, I had to add the
.Dollies in a Shoefly rocker beneath the tabletop tree,
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And a buggy full of Teddies old and new to add to the festivities.
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  Okay, I am finished! That is, until I decorate that Douglas Fir in the Keeping Room. So much for my Pioneer Decorating.
Oh Well, I can't help myself, I love Christmas.

37 comments:

  1. Good evening dear friend... First, thank you so much for coming over to visit.. I am so happy you enjoyed my angel.. Thank you for your sweet words..

    Now. I have to tell you, I would have loved to have been sitting next to you at this museum.
    What a great place to visit, and to have a book signing to boot! I love the simplicity of it all. The quilts, the décor on the trees, knit stockings, well, everything... True Americana.

    Your home is so lovely, and looks so very warm and inviting.. You are way ahead of me with your Christmas decorating.. I love your old dolls, Jeri... My sis just loved them too. Your row of Santa's on the Parlor mantle are wonderful.. And who would not want a buggy full of Teddie's! You really have some great old ones... I especially like the one with the crocheted collar. I would like to thank you for including my little ones... I saw dear little Jemima I think...
    Oh, I forgot to mention. I really love the Beeswax bunny!!!!!!
    Happy Holidays
    Love and blessings,
    Penny

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  2. Hi Penny, Yes that is Jemima and the llama, I keep forgetting his name!

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  3. Good gravy, I forgot his name also... I had to back and find the post.. It's ~ Duffy~ Maybe you should re name him if we both can't remember... haahaa.

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    1. Penny, I am going to pin his name on this time! It is a good name I can't imagine why i keep forgetting it.

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  4. p.s. forgot to mention.. I love you Christmas header!

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  5. OH JERI! I am so late here...why? Because we were out all day yesterday shopping for our first REAL Christmas tree in our 33 years together!

    OK...wait...where do I begin. Well first of all, thank you for coming to visit my post. I will admit it. I am a lover of all that garish and opulent Parisian stuff. YEP. HOWEVER, there is a facet (or many, really) of my personality that goes for the simple. And I told Ruben that my very first Christmas tree had to be of the sparse type. Lo and behold, after going to the fanciest nurseries yesterday, we found exactly what I wanted at HOME DEPOT! teeeeee

    This museum, oh dear....I mean this...I could live in a place like that. As much as I love opulence, I need to nest in a place close to nature. The wood and timbered walls and beams, that is ME! How lucky indeed you are to live so close.

    Then there is YOUR home. I WANT all of your toy horses! teee....I have one, and I love him. I swiped a light coat of white paint over him (he's not antique but looks it) and I just enjoy this toy-themed look. I know what ya mean about trying to keep things simple, but once you bring out one toy, the others scream out and demand that you display them too!

    The charm you share is cozy, up my alley (though it's in the city) and filled with wonder. I love how that cat took a shine to you. Nature has emotions and animals need love to. Fabulous.

    OK WOMAN! Have yourself a grand Sunday! Many hugs, Anita

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    1. Anita, One of the reasons I love a real tree is that it scents up the entire house. I've been collecting antique horses for years, must be a leftover passion from my little girl days of loving horses more than anything else in the world. Now, I just like to collect the old ones.

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  6. Such a lovely post. I love looking back in time and imaging what my life would have looked like then. We have a similar village in up State New York called " The Gennesse Country Museum."
    Every year in December actors recreate Christmas as seen from the time period of the various homes and village. Its wonderful to walk back in time by candle light without electricity. It was always a favorite event for our children.

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    1. I love that history lovers keep the spirit alive for the rest of us to enjoy, I sometimes have a craving to be a re-enacter for the Civil War years.

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  7. There is so much to love in this post, Jeri. Oh my goodness, look at all that Christmas joy. Your Santa collection blew me away as I, too, collect the old guy and adore them. Your tree is so beautiful in it's simplicity and the wee sheep underneath makes me want to reach in and touch. What a gorgeous display of God's creatures..Love your mantel as well. I understand about trying to keep things simple as sometimes that makes more sense at Christmas. Remembering what the day is all about. I think I'll head back now and look at your photos again. :) Happy Christmas season to you. Hugs, Deb

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    1. Speaking of mantles, I love your kitty garland.

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  8. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. The photos of decorated trees remind me of my childhood. The cat...what a tremendously beautiful experience! Bravo to the gift shop for keeping him around, as a cat would have been back in the old days. Your decorations are beautiful. I love the feather tree. I'm wondering now if I can make with the twigs and yarn.
    Thank you for the inspiration

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    1. They actually have 3 cats living in the gift shop, but this tabby was the only super friendly guy. I just loved him, he was so much softer than any of my 4 cats and purred loudly.

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  9. Jeri, I know what you're going through trying to keep things simple when you have so many beautiful things to display! I'm trying to keep my decorating simpler this year, too. I've succeeded somewhat in my dining room because I've decided to go with the "from nature" look rather than all white and glittery. But I LOVE the tiny lights of Christmas, so it's all still just as lit up as usual. When I put my tree up in a couple weeks I think I'll have better success with my "simple" theme. I'm hoping the farm we go to still has Hemlocks. They have such a beautiful feathery look that I don't want to cover it up too much. I'm getting excited now after seeing your photos. And I got a couple ideas of how I can change some of my displays to make them look more old-timey. Thanks for the wonderful peak into your home!

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    1. My 4 foot fir is staring at me right now, wondering why I do not do something to it. The lights are sitting at the base of the tree for 3 days now, and I simply haven't the energy to decorate the poor thing.

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  10. Oh my, thank you for sharing your lovely Christmas so far. It is all wonderful and I'm inspired to get finished with my decorating.

    Happy holidays dear Jeri, filled with lots of love, joy and peace ~ FlowerLady

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  11. Oh Jeri, I loved the tours. Such a treat on this Sunday morning. Sister is better everyday, and maybe I can find the Christmas spirit soon.

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    1. Good little Sister! I wish her such good eyesight, she is a sweet little thing.

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  12. The shop cat is lovely. I think it's so nice when stores have them although I can't imagine how they train them not to whisk out the door when they get the chance. We used to have a local bookstore who had two cats: Pearlie Mae and Jasper and we still have an art supply store that has a cat whose name I don't know. They make the places seem very homey.

    The beeswax bunnie is amazing. Do you use the fireplace where he is sitting? Won't he melt from the heat?

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    1. Vic, they actually have 3 shop cats. What amazed me is how they could care less about the number of people wandering in and out. They were well socialized
      We do have a propane heater ( in the fireplace) and use it all the time, it does not seem to affect the bunny at all.

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  13. Jeri, your home looks just perfect for Christmas! It is certainly hard to have restraint when you have so many lovely items. I enjoyed the visit to the Pioneer Village. What a great venue for you to be featured in. I love old log cabins--I must visit someday. ♥

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    1. Martha Ellen, You would love the Museum, it is so peaceful, like stepping back.

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  14. Your holiday header is a treat, Jeri! Your book art looks so at-home in the pioneer cabins. When it's Christmas, I don't even try to exercise restraint! It's so fun to read the comments every time I visit your blog. Four random sentences/thoughts--so very December for me!

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  15. thanks roxi, that header is one of my painted papercuttings, also available as a print and a greeting card....a shameless plug here..

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  16. Jeri Dearest!!
    I REALLY enjoyed this post!!! First of all the new header just put me right in the spirit! The village is my kind of place and how great for you to spend that time signing and selling in such a perfect atmosphere with even a sweet kitty keeping you warm company!!
    (by the way do you make calendars)??? I need a Jeri Landers calendar!! :-D
    I am just loving how your Christmas decorations look about your home! The bees wax rabbit is WONDERFUL!! What a great and clever way to use chocolate molds! Your friends are talented makers of pretty things! And the dollies and teddies and the animal groupings are so charming I just love them!! You have it looking so lovely and Christmasy!!
    Hoping that your holidays are filled with JOY and happy relaxing moments!
    Many blessings , warmth and love, Linnie

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  17. LInnie, I have a calender in the works, but is is for 2016. As it takes up 12 pieces of art, I've often pondered the wisdom of spending that much time on a product that is only good to sell for one year. You would be right at home in our Christmas house, as you and I have the same taste, we could make some pomanders and string some cranberries! Jeri

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    1. OK!! YAY!!! a Jeri Landers calendar !!! Can't wait!!! I'm so excited it is going to be beautious!! (even though I'll have to wait a whole year)!!! Now, you must put me down as your first customer!! :-D

      Coming over to string cranberries and I'll bring some cloves and tea and honey!! ;-D

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  18. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and lovely photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  19. Loved this post! So her name is Bunny and she makes bunnies. LUCKY! :) I told David one time that I wanted to change my name to Bunny. hee,hee,hee. I love your house Jeri. It is so beautiful, warm and full of charm. Hugs and Merry Christmas to you, James and all the critters in the hollow.

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    1. Michelle, You would go nuts if you saw some of her creations and rabbit images, just nuts! Jeri

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  20. Linda, so glad you came by, MerrY Christmas! Jeri

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  21. Dear Jeri,

    What a lot of loveliness! Your toys and Santas don't seem too out of place for a pioneer Christmas to me. I love the curved bench in the pioneer museum; that would be fun to re-create!

    Wishing you a wonderful season of delight.

    Love,

    Marqueta

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  22. What a beautiful post Jeri! I love seeing pioneer style decorating and you've shared some wonderful ideas. You are so creative and artistic. Everything you do has such a natural beauty to it! Wishing you a blessed and cozy Christmas Jeri - Edie Marie and Marie Antoinette

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  23. Awesome work.Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading.Thanks for the share

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  24. Merry Christmas Jeri! I always enjoy your visits to the museum. Thanks for sharing them with us. I am inspired too!

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  25. how wonderful and perfect that your books are in that gift shop!
    I can see why you love it there. and your home looks enchanting with all it's holiday details and charming pieces.

    lovely holidays and winter solstice to you and your family!

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