Tag Archives: Christmas Decor

My Christmas Ornament Obsession

16 Dec

Originally featured on Styled by Ryn.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions from my childhood was getting a new Christmas ornament from my stocking each year. For years now I have been collecting European blown glass ornaments, and my mom continues the tradition of adding to my collection each year.

If you don’t know where to look, finding high quality, European glass ornaments can be a wild goose chase, but there are certain stores you can go to year after year, and certain brands that make stunning ornaments. I’m here to share my secrets!

2014 Christmas Tree

Brands to look for:

• Christopher Radko- Christopher Radko is really the brand that popularized intricate blown glass ornaments in America and can be found at department stores and boutiques alike. These ornaments tend to retain their value for years to come and are quite popular on secondary markets, like Ebay.

Popcorn Maker Ornament

Texas Ornament Cotton Candy Ornament

• Eric Cortina- Eric Cortina makes some of my favorite quirky and whimsical ornaments such as my French bulldog wearing a top hat, bowtie and a spectacle, and my clip-on of Santa’s boots sticking out of the Chimney.

Santa Chimney Ornament French Bulldog Ornament Button Ball Ornament Paris Hot Air Balloon Ornament Crown Tree Topper

• Inge Glas- Inge Glas is one of the oldest German-based glass blowers. These little treasures are usually more reasonably priced than other brands.

• Landmark Creations- Landmark Creations is best known for their ornaments of, well, landmarks.

• Michael Storings- Made by Landmark Creations, Michael Storings hand paints bulbs, typically of different scenes in New York City.

•De Carlini- If you prefer the Italian style blown glass ornaments, with a very distinctive look, De Carlini is a great go-to.

• John Huras- Read this guys story; it is really neat. Accustomed to the gorgeous and traditional trees of Poland, he originally started making ornaments for orphanages whose trees he wished could bring more cheer to the children.

John Huras Russian Santa Ornament

• Jay Strongwater- These last two brands are both on my wishlist, not on my tree. They are extremely pricey, but every ornament I have seen by these two artisans are stunning.
Patricia Breen- As mentioned above, the detail on Patricia Breen’s traditional designs are breathtaking.

Where to shop:
• Bergdorf Goodman- Bergdorf Goodman has many exclusive ornaments with at least five themed trees each year. They will ship internationally, but if you’re in New York City for the Christmas season, I highly advise a stop on their 7th floor where their Christmas room is set up.

I Love BG Taxi OrnamentTin Toy Monkey Ornament Penguin Snowscape Ornament French Macaron Ornament (2) Clip-on Carousel Horse Ornament

• Neiman Marcus- Like Bergdorf, its sister company, Neiman Marcus has many exclusive ornaments made just for them each year.Neimans boasts of the widest variety of readily available European ornaments year after year. Be sure to shop in store, as many of their exclusive ornaments are not available online.

Fish Ornament Blown Glass Ornament Mackenzie Childs Ornament Pinocchio Ornament Russian Doll Ornament

• Bloomingdales- Bloomingdales carries more Landmark Creations and Michael Storings ornaments than any other large department store

• The Christmas Store in Fredericksburg- If you’re in central Texas, this is a great little shop for any time you need Christmas fix as it is open year round. They are one of the few retailers in the United States that has an entire room dedicated to Radko ornaments. If you’re out-of-state, give them a call, and they’ll help you hunt down what you’re looking for.

Wisdom on Display Ornament, Signed

• Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland- Flip through their catalog or shop online year-round. Bronner’s is a place of Christmas overload, but narrow your search to European-made ornaments and it is less overwhelming.

• Macy’s (online only)- Macy’s doesn’t carry many European ornaments, but they do carry Christopher Radko online.

• Dillards- Dillards is one of the few department stores that carries Radko in store. Go and check out the quality for yourself!

• Marshalls, TJMaxx, Homegoods- A lot of smaller brand German and Polish ornaments can be found at these chains. I’ve gotten lucky and even found a few Radkos for under $10!

• Tuesday Morning- At Tuesday Morning you can find a few different brands, including Radko’s from last season at up to 75% off!

• World Market- World Market usually has a small selection of ornaments made in Poland. Their quality isn’t superb, but they’ve got some fun additions like hamburger, stand mixer, and digital camera ornaments.

• Pier 1- Pier 1 has a very limited selection of European blown glass ornaments, but you can count on them to have a few each year. This year they have a pretty snazzy dragon I’ve been eyeing.

Non-European ornaments are not always sub-par I have a few treasured ornaments that were made in China. Sometimes you just find an original concept or design that makes up for lesser quality and sometimes the quality and detail are equally lovely. Old World Christmas ornaments are made in China and you can find them in endless shapes so they’re great if you are looking for a very specific ornament. Anthropologie occasionally carries blown glass ornaments that are unique and worthwhile. I also have a few ornaments on my tree that are travel souvenirs made in China, such as a bearskin soldier I bought in London.. Waterford’s blown glass ornaments are typically made in China, but the detail on my Waterford ballerina ornament rivals that on many of my German and Polish made ornaments.

Waterford Ballerina Ornament

If you have glass ornaments that are precious to you, I highly recommend purchasing Sure Grip Clips. You can find them online, but they are pretty pricey. Hobby Lobby carries them for a song in comparison. I replaced all of the clips on my ornaments this year and feel like my collection is much more secure on the tree.

Do you know of any stores or brands available stateside that I’m missing? Do you collect a specific type of ornaments?

DIY Nutcracker Stocking Holders

17 Dec

I hope you’re following along with the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, my online cookie swap. We’re halfway today and Lindsay at The Well-Styled Child is making Pizzelles!

When I saw these bare wooden nutcrackers at the craft store in October, an idea struck me. I’d come back for them, closer to Christmastime, and make stocking holders out of them.

Wooden NutcrackersWhat I envisioned was a more modern version of these:

Horchow Nutcracker Stocking HoldersWhen I went back to pick up my nutcrackers, they were out. I waited for a new shipment that never came. I ended up buying a couple of nutcrackers at the dollar store in hopes they’d work for my project. Here is what they looked like before.

Dollar Store Nutcrackers BeforeWith just a little bit of glue holding them in place, their hair and beards were easy to remove. I sanded them down just to rough them up so the paint would stick. I also purchased some basic stocking holders which one can find at places like Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, or Walmart, and sanded them too. Next, I used glue and stuck the nutcrackers to the sanded bases. I chose to give mine a couple of thin coats of silver spray paint, but you can choose whatever color best matches your Christmas decor.

DIY Nutcracker Stocking HoldersAt less than 10% of the cost of the gold nutcracker stocking holders pictured above, nothing would complete the look quite like our knit thrift store stockings!

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop: Corrugated Cardboard Garland

5 Nov

First things first, the winner of the KM Little Somethings Giveaway, chosen by random.org is Katy!

Last month I went to a holiday display workshop at Anthropologie. I wanted to share the garland I made, but thought October was to early for too many Christmas posts. The garlands are simple to replicate. They have a pinecone quality.

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop Garland Tutorial www.gustoandgraceblog.com

I love Anthropologie windows and displays. I especially love how most of them are handcrafted at each individual store making them all unique. Did you know they donate many of their displays to charity or auction them off and donate the proceeds? What they don’t donate, they try to reuse and re-purpose.

Now on with making or Christmas trees as chic as their stores!

DIY Anthropologie Christmas Garland www.gustoandgraceblog.com

To make the cardboard festoons, start but cutting out corrugated cardboard into shapes like the ones seen below.

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop Garland 2013 www.gustoandgraceblog.comNext, hot glue two paperclips to the widest part of each piece of cardboard so a small metal loop hangs off each edge. Roll the cardboard tightly, hot gluing in the middle, and when you reach the end. Use Rub ‘n Buff  to give the bauble a golden glow. Apply a small amount of glue in one or two places on each piece of rolled cardboard. Cover the glue with gold or bronze  leafing. Use a small, dry paintbrush to form the leafing to the cardboard. I love the green and red tones you get from the bronze leafing.

Anthropologie Garland Tutorial  Bronze Leafing www.gustoandgraceblog.com

Use paperclips to attach the baubles together, then trim the tree!

Anthropologie Holiday Display Workshop Garland Tutorial www.gustoandgraceblog.com

See? So simple! Let me know if you try it!

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