Monday, December 3, 2012

Sleigh Bells Ring

A light blanket of snow fell over the village this weekend, wreaths were hung and a few hundred tiny white lights strung through the evergreens outside. Christmas decorations here are generally on the simple side, no dramatic statements, just favorite treasures and collected objects taking center stage...from Tone on Tone a marble urn filled with vintage ornaments.


I love a touch of red here and there, particularly at this time of year. In an alabaster vase found at my favorite shop in New York City - Lexington Gardens - a spray of fresh winterberry.


I go through hundreds of tealights at this time of year. I light them at about a quarter to four when the sky begins to darken and they burn until we go to bed. These votives were bought during my visit to Norway in 2004 - the trip that started it all. Read this previous post for the full story and perhaps everything you ever wanted to know about me.


Candle clips from one of my favorite haunts in Burlington, Vermont - Vintage Marketplace - a, multi-dealer shop and vintage lover's paradise inside an old warehouse on the shores of Lake Champlain.


Never is my aesthetic more influenced by Scandinavian style than at Christmas. This year I have been inspired and awed by Norwegian blogger Vibeke of Vibeke Design. She is an authentic creative talent who crafts astonishingly beautiful vignettes, art and ornaments. I was inspired to hang these petite boxwood wreaths from Splendid Avenue in the dining room windows after seeing something similar in Vibeke's own lovely house.

 

We bought these sleigh bells the first Christmas we spent in Church Street. I meant to put them away come January, but we all liked the sound they made when people came and went. When our Lab Gus began ringing them at about five-months-old to alert us to the fact that he needed to be let out, we realized they would always be a permanent part of the decor, just dressed up for the holidays.

42 comments:

  1. All beautiful things. I especially love the votives!

    I have a bunch of the same candle clips that were passed down through my family. I love you little candles; are those rolled beeswax?

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  2. I can't tell you how much I love the candle clips. I remember my grandparents having something very similar when I was growing up. I too love simple and elegant boxwood wreaths. Love reading and learning a little more about you! -Tonya

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  3. Just simply good!
    Love your clear line!

    Greetings, karin

    P.S. just getting slowly back into the blogworld and will certainly pay attention especially to your blog!

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  4. Absolutely gorgeous Phyllis..everything looks so ethereal and peaceful, elegant and beautiful!! Really enjoyed taking in the beauty over your way......

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  5. snow...so jealous. The marble and alabaster so clean and fresh. Love your styling. Saw some candle clips recently at an antique mall....going back to get them after seeing this post! Where did you find the candles?

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    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I bought the candles at the same shop I found the candle clips. I have also seen mini hand-rolled beeswax candles online – these are ¼-inch wide - try Google.

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    2. if I can't find....did find this dyi idea

      http://ohhappyday.com/2012/12/beeswax-candle-diy/

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  6. Your decorating is so scrumptious for the holidays and the swedish touch can't be rivaled.. you are so great at it. It looks amazing Phyllis. Happy journey to Christmas friend!
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  7. I like the way you've decorated you pups bell :) It looks so festive .. as do the votives and the candles w/ clips. Your simple decor is so elegant. I smiled when you mentioned going through tea lights. Living in the pacific northwest, it is dark by 4:30 at this time of year. I light votives every evening and place them on the table or a dark area. Really does make a difference in our mood. Very pretty post and a reminder that I need to order some of those petite boxwood wreaths!

    leslie

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  8. All beautiful and serene. I love everything, Phyllis!! Especially the little beeswax candles and clips. And the urn vignette looks terrific :) I want to check out Vintage Marketplace.....will add that to my list. BTW, it was upper 60s today in DC.....totally weird!
    xo
    Loi

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  9. I would love to light my votives every night, but I am afraid of forgetting them and starting a fire!

    We tried to train our dog to ring a bell when he needed to go out, but it never worked. He is s silent, and just hangs out by the door when he is ready. Luckily he has a bladder of steel as he never makes a sound and we have to notice that he is by the door!

    Holly

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  10. Hi Phyllis, your decorations are simply beautiful. I need to get going on mine now that I am home. Love the sleigh bells and good for you to have your dog use them...Cally never caught on to that. Love your photos!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your beautiful holiday touches, Phyllis. So calm, elegant and natural. I share your love of Northern European Christmas traditions. The candle clips are so charming! I love your idea of lighting votives frequently through the winter nights, I have a bag of them from Ikea, going to bring them out. Thank you for sharing the Lexington Gardens source, will add it to the NYC list.

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  13. What beautiful decorations! I am loving seeing everyone's different styles and learning about different parts of our wonderful country! I'm so trying to simplify this year….so far, I haven't been successful! There are so many memories with everything I pull out! Besides that, it's Miller's first Christmas after being away at college and Holly and Brad will be coming to stay with us as well from New Orleans…I'm a softy at heart, I guess! But, I sure do wish all I did was a few urns here and there with nothing but white! Thanks for sharing this!

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  14. Lovely and pure and elegant. You and Loi have the loveliest houses in blogland Phyllis. You both make me want to declutter and start over!
    :D

    xo Terri

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  15. Simple and so beautiful! You have wonderful style! Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas. xx Sharon

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  16. Thank you dear Phyllis for charing my blog.:)))I am so glad to inspired you!
    You inspire me very much to:)On my blog it dosent have any information which contry I come from,so Phyllis I come from Norway,he,he:))But I just love the swedich style and my great great grandmother was swedich...maby thats why I like it so much:)))

    Thank you so much again,and take care<3
    love Vibeke

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  17. Just beautiful Phyllis...merry Christmas...

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  18. I'm so inspired, simple and beautiful!

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  19. in your hands christmas is so elegant and chic. gorgeous phyllis!
    debra

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  20. Phyllis,
    This was the very thing I needed to remind me that my goal this Christmas, maybe more than most, should be simple. The beauty of your various decorations is exactly what I had in mind. I love the story behind each idea.
    Lucky you, a light blanket of snow would be magical.
    Karen at Garden, Home and Party

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  21. Love the simplicity of it all....It reminds me of Loi at Tone on Tone. Simple, but sophisticated!

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  22. Phyllis

    I have those little candle clips as well. I bought them the first year we were in California. I know have the antique version of them but they bring back so many memories! I would love to see a picture of Gus!

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  23. Phyllis I love your style keep it simple but elegant. Your story of your sleigh bells and Gus is priceless, don't you love when our furry friends teach themselves? You've done a beautiful job with your decorating.

    XXX
    Debra~

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  24. Hi Phyllis!
    I love the simple and elegant style of these photos. Here's to a sparkling holiday season!
    xo
    Sharon

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  25. Simple, elegant and beautiful - just the way I like it!

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  26. Beautiful! It's taking my bahumbug spirit away:)

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  27. I just had to tell you congrats on winning Barbara's give away! How fun! One of these days I sure hope to win something!! Take care!

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  28. Super post Phyllis,
    Love the idea of lighting tea lights each evening .very romantic!
    Hope you have a lovely day,
    Liz x

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  29. How simple and beautiful it all is. And Gus - he's a very bright boy.
    x, b

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  30. Hand down you have the BEST taste!! Everything is so timeless and is decorated to perfection... my kind of decorating. The tea lights are perfectly dreamy and why not light them every evening... you're brilliant!
    Thanks for the inspiration my dear!

    xoxo
    Desiree

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  31. all so lovely and calm!! Just like the first blanket of snow!!
    Merry Christmas Phyllis,
    Kathysue

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  32. What is the element making each of your decorations radiate 'calm'? In addition to being pretty of course.

    Have you analyzed your talent of 'calm'.

    XO T

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  33. What a serene and lovely setting you live in, so pleased to have come across your blog. I'm looking forward to exploring your links next. I love having candles on the tree, thank you for this source, I have a few of the candle holders and have always wanted more. We put sleigh bells on the door as well, I love hearing them ring during the holidays. What a smart pooch you have! Thank you for sharing!

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  34. Love the beautiful simplicity of it all. Your Norway treasures are so pretty! The candle clips on the tiny tree are lovely too!
    Monica

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  35. Very pretty Phyllis, I enjoyed the beautiful photos....

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  36. Gorgeous! And the photography is beautiful also.

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