Friday, November 29, 2013

Bonus -- A Cabin Christmas

As previously discussed, the Christmas windows are never usually our favorites.  Mainly because we have parameters that are set by someone other than ourselves.  We're not divas -- we promise.  It's just that we like to challenge ourselves to approach each window differently, and make every one special in its own way.  But with the Christmas window, we know that the tree goes there, there must be presents under it, and it needs to look "rich and full".  (Don't ask.)  But it also needs to feel a certain bit of tradition, coziness, and usually, a fair amount of sparkle.

Well, we skipped the sparkle this year.

This year we decided to do a New England cabin/camping/fishing theme, based on our love of Rock Hudson's movie, Man's Favorite Sport?.  Made in 1964, Rock is a published fishing expert who actually doesn't know how to fish.  He works at Abercrombie and Fitch, and when his boss enters him into a fishing tournament, he gets outfitted with all of the coolest gear.  It's a feast for Blackbird eyes between the sets, clothes, and camping gear!

Our other inspiration was my obsession with Hudson Bay blankets.  I wish I could have stacks and stacks of them.  I recently found a red Pendleton one at an antique shop, and I thought the other Blackbird was going to have to drag me out of the store.  I wanted that blanket to live with me -- and since I couldn't afford it, I almost decided to just stay there and live with it.  It was a red Hudson Bay blanket, people!  And made by Pendleton!

Anyway, we used the stripes and the colors as a jumping off point for the rest of the window.  We found a great wrapping paper with trees that made for an interesting background, but wasn't overpowering.  We had the brilliant idea to make our own ornaments -- it's expensive to buy new ornaments every year, but it's very limiting to use the same ones over and over.  So we went to a thrift shop, bought some ugly 1980s glass balls, and spray painted them in green and cream.  We then painted the cream ones with Hudson Bay stripes.  The tree needed a garland, so we made a traditional paper chain, but updated it by using brown craft paper cardstock, and making the loops a little skinny and more delicate.  We made wooden plaques with animal figures cut out of scrapbook paper, and little wooden house cutouts got painted with houndstooth and plaid patterns.  We raided the fishing section at a discount store, and got all kinds of brightly colored lures and spinners.

We created the artwork on the fireplace mantel with a spare canvas we had at the house, found at a thrift shop for $1 and stashed away for something like this.  Several layers of cream paint went down first, and then we taped off stripes and painted them the Hudson Bay colors.  We needed a few more decorations, so we made a wooden plaque with a deer cutout in bright scrapbook paper, a string art monogram, and a lovely scrapbook paper covered wreath with handmade paper feathers.

The presents under the tree were themed as well.  We included fishing gear, toy boats, a tiny folding sling chair with a teddy bear, a vintage plaid flannel shirt, flashlights, and a sled.

We had been stashing away cabin merchandise because we knew we wanted to do a cabin window.  And we love the way it turned out.  Rock Hudson would be proud!

As a final note, we also decided to make our window charitable for the holiday season.  Collector's Antique Mall is hosting a food drive, and we've donated 50 handmade ornaments that coordinate with the window.  While supplies last, for every 5 cans of food you donate, you can pick out one of our ornaments to take home with you.  It starts today, November 29, 2013.


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