Tuesday 10 December 2013

Seeing Red At Christmas

Just in case you were wondering if I was doing any Christmas decorating, I am. I'm doing it again and again. As fast as I put it up, the kittens (commonly known around here as 'The Barbarians'), are pulling it down.  The tree has gone over twice!  If I want any Christmas touches in this house at all, I'm going to have to rethink my strategy.  The only way is to take it all down and go with things that they can't eat or use as toys.

They declared open war on me while I worked on the buffet in the family room.  Making no pretence at helping, they ganged up on me, scooting in and grabbing things to run away with.  I was actually seeing red in more ways than decor by the time I was done!

The colour scheme started when I bought this pair of coal oil lantern sconces at auction.  They had been electrified and were missing the hurricane shades.  The shades were easily replaced for $6 each. Ask me what I paid for the sconces.  You know you want to.  $9 for the pair! ~

A couple of poinsettias that were on sale for $5 each got a bit of dressing up with some red and white snowflake patterned fabric I had in my stash. ~

Clara Jane did have a go at eating the plants but she seems to be leaving them alone now.  Don't worry about her eating them.  The head of the Canadian Poinsettia Growers Association assures us it is a myth that they are poisonous to cats and they would have to eat a whole forest of them to get sick.

Let's pretend we are joining Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle for Christmas.  I figure I'm safe to use old books, snow globes and a hand carved, wooden Santa. ~

The holly berry garland was a $4 thrift store find.  It's lost a few of it's berries to The Barbarians I'm afraid, but still looks okay.  The partridge in the feather nest is an experiment to see if I can add a few more birds without dooming them to a horrible end. ~

A trinket box in Balmoral plaid holds a string of gold beads and a couple of reproduction Pottery Barn glass balls that were a gift from my daughter. ~

A print from 1900 reminisces about at even earlier time. ~

Before the rail line came through, draft horses pulled barges up the river that runs behind my house. I've found two horse shoes buried in the bank and this print is a favourite of mine.  It gets a bit of vine and some mistletoe to dress it up.

Some Christmas cheer is in a decanter that dates back to William, Queen Victoria's uncle, who reigned before her.  So does the sideboard itself. A star shaped candle is safely tucked away in a hurricane holder.  The girls are drawn to flame and I have to be careful with candles. ~

It's a simpler look than I would normally do and yet I'm happy with it.  ~

Best of all, it has stayed intact for 24 hrs.!


  1. LMBO at the kittens declaring war! Looks like you're winning though. I love your red display and I think that plaid trinket box in the center really sets it all off. I'll be curious to know if the bird survives the Barbarians. (Those feathers may be too tempting for them!) I kind of want to see more of that cool print. I have done zero decorating...I've enjoyed seeing yours!

  2. You have some beautiful pieces Maureen, the sideboard is gorgeous and I love the new lights. Hopefully your lovely display will last till after Christmas, I'm guessing the barbarians have found another point of attack !
    And is this one of your newly painted white rooms ?

  3. As usual I get taken on a dream when you show your decor it's beautiful. How about we set the Barbarians against My own little terrors and have them face off in a Christmas death challenge, winner takes the baubles!

  4. Maureen, what a beautiful Christmas display, seasoned with shades and textures of red, from the poinsettias and berries to the plaids and porcelain of the scones, it is charming and inviting, (exclusively to non felines, I hope!). I cats SMELL that birds are near or can they decipher their SCHEMA, then forcing them into strategy mode for attack... or not. Because if they can do the former, then your delightful display, complete with pretty partridge, is in the clear, otherwise, you may have another war on your hands!

    Once again, as with most of your entertaining posts, I LOL, first time this holiday season, upon 'seeing red'!


  5. It might be simpler than usual but it is simply beautiful, Maureen. I love it! Your sideboard is just a gorgeous old piece, too. I love hearing about the "Barbarians"-they are like my grandkids only with four legs instead of two! Have a wonderful Tuesday- xo Diana ps. You are still No Reply when you leave a comment on my blog-

  6. Oh Maureen, your sideboard is gorgeous! Not only the decorations but the sideboard itself, which is a genuine antique. The wood is wonderful. The old books and the wall sconces, the decanter set, oh my. Beautiful antiques!! The print is lovely too and the connection of it's topic to where you live on the river is meaningful. I hope the bad kitties behave themselves and don't destroy any of your valuables or take down the tree again. Have a wonderful day.

  7. Looks fabulous. I love those lights and am imaging what they would look like at night on a dimmer!! I am finding that I really prefer simpler and simpler every year. Yours is perfect in my eyes. Not overdone and not like a medley of Home Sense paraphernalia but rather a collection of interesting pieces that have been well chosen. That is what I love about your place all year round!!

  8. Lovely Maureen, simply lovely! Glad the kitties are leaving it alone now! xo

  9. Very pretty decor. We gave up our Christmas tree when we moved here. I kept walking by the tree and would see two eyes staring out at me from the middle branches, broken ornaments littering the floor. Ah well.

  10. Ha! We used to have cats that would knock the tree over when I was a kid. My dad strung fishing line around the tree and attached it to the wall with hooks...invisible and it did the trick!

  11. You do such a beautiful job decorating!! We don't have our tree up yet, but I expect Louise to be in it the minute it goes up.

  12. I love the print and the horseshoe stories! Your home looks lovely, but oh, those kittens!

  13. Everything looks so pretty! It is hard to decorate when you have so much 'help'!!

  14. Great post Maureen, although I have to say I would have loved to see a picture of the cats ganging up on you. I love the sideboard, beautiful colors.

  15. Maureen ... your oil lanterns are just beautiful and so perfect for the Christmas decor you have created. Your sideboard is just beautiful and I know you enjoy decorating it. Too bad your little sweet kittens are helping to take the decorations down before it is time to.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  16. Your Christmas vignette is so lovely Maureen. I just love old prints like that. When we only had two older cats I was able to do a lot of indoor Christmas decorating, but now with 5 (including a few younger ones) it's virtually impossible to do much. But I love my cats, and thankfully they are all pretty good about trees so I get to put up two without it causing too much trouble. I haven't had a lit candle in my house in years, and those lovely lanterns wouldn't last long in my house unless inside a china cabinet. I applaud you for attempting to tame the barbarians.

  17. Love the red! So festive and bright, it makes your antique pieces just pop!
    The print is gorgeous!

  18. You brave, brave soul....decorating with war kitties afoot. Everything is beautiful!


  19. It's pretty and festive, and i love the print.! I can't believe horses used to pull those... wow! I also thought the poinsettias were poisonous to cats, so i learned two new things here. The ruby red sconces are cool too! Love that rich shade of red glass...