Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year-1913 Frances Brundage Postcard

Here's to the bright New Year and a fond 
farewell to the old; Here's to the things that 
are yet to come and to the memories that we hold.
  Author Unknown

Friday, December 19, 2014

German Paper Mache Nativity-Brown Bag Santa

 I've always loved the Nativity display, it's 
such a peaceful, ethereal scene.  Not only
 do I find them beautiful, but fine examples of 
craftsmanship as well.  When I was a child, we
had one of those inexpensive Hong Kong glittery 
plastic versions from the 5 & dime & I
was captivated by it.
This nativity was made in the post WWII
U.S. occupied zone of southern Germany, which
 dates it from between 1945-52.  Items made in
 Germany at this time were not very marketable.
  However, if it was stamped U.S. zone, that made it
 saleable here in the U.S.  Every time I get it out, I 
give thought to it's unique place & time in history.
The figures are delicate paper mache & carefully
hand painted.  The creche has a Thoren's Swiss 
music box that plays "Silent Night" in a soft 
clear tone.  The little angel appears to be sitting
 on a cloud, unlike the other pieces that are 
painted like grass.

I doubt this was originally an expensive
Nativity, but the family that had it before
 us took great care with it, so do we.

The tallest wise man is about 7 inches & the
creche is about 15 inches high.  The roof
is decorated with wood chips.  The horns
 on the cow are painted coiled wire. 
The colors are still strikingly vivid 
but the gold has dulled with time.
I added the camel on the left to the set, it's
 paper mache & marked Made In Japan.
I still look for a #3.
Red lips & a hot pink shirt, okay it's
 down right gaudy!
Ahhh.... but the sweet little lambs are 
still the purest of white.
 It doesn't compare to the finely carved Italian
depictions, but to me, it's still a thing of beauty.  
Hopefully, it wasn't too hard on your eyes!
This jolly fella reminds me of the Santa from my
 childhood.  He is actually the last Christmas mold 
I have, still plenty out there, I just haven't come
 across them.
 Santa With Tree & Gifts
6 3/4 in. tall
5 in. wide
A bit of history:
The First Nativity
St. Francis of Assisi, is credited with the first 
nativity in 1223 at Greccio, Italy.  It was staged in
 a cave with animals and people cast in the Biblical
 roles.  Within a 100 years nearly every church in 
Italy had a living nativity at Christmastime.  Statues 
& scenery eventually replaced the living nativity 
& in time, Christians all around the world made 
the nativity a "traditional" holiday display.
"Silent Night"
The lyrics to "Stille Nacht" were written by a 
young priest, Father Joseph Mohr in 1816 & 
the melody was written by schoolmaster Franz 
Xaver Gruber.  They performed the song on
 Christmas Eve 1818 at the St. Nicholas parish church
 in Oberndorf, Austria, accompanied only by the
guitar.  Silent Night was sung in French, English
and German by troops during the Christmas truce
of 1914 during WWI, as it was the one carol that
soldiers on both sides of the front line knew.
Hope your holiday preparations are goin' smoothly!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Flocked Wagner Kunstlerschutz Animals

I have done very little decorating this year,
as our Christmas will be very quiet, but
I have refused to succumb to the holiday
doldrums, so I put this small tree on the dining
room table to remind us of all the wonderful
Christmases we've enjoyed over the years.

 When the kids were young, Leann & I looked forward 
to attending the Hall's Department Store's 1/2 price
 after Christmas sale, while dad & Alex stayed home to 
play with the latest "boy" toy.  Hall's is the department 
store division of the Kansas City based Hallmark
 cards & every year they had a fabulous Christmas decor
 section with amazing things from all around the 
world.  I would drool over the blown glass ornaments,
 Santas & nutcrackers, but Leann was always drawn to the 
little flocked Wagner animal ornaments from Germany.
   After a few years there were enough to decorate a small 
tree.  The hubby made a wooden container & painted it 
red for that old world German look.  The kids decorated 
it with miniature bubble lights, a few German candles 
 and some glass & wooden beads.
These little critters were made by Fritz Wagner, 
a sculptor and mold designer, in his Rodental 
workshop.  The workshop made over 300 
different animals in several sizes beginning in the 
late 1940's, until closing their doors in 1998.
My favorites are the hedge hogs.  
This is the wee baby.
This fella lost his tusks ages ago & 
 several have lost their hangers.
These animals were often played with!


A simple little tree, but big memories for us both.
To learn more about the history of these
little critters visit the Wagner Animals Blog
The link below is the latest Wagner Animals
blog post, all about Polar bears, very cute.
Wagner Animals Polar Bear Post
What brings back special memories for you?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Little Lula Bea Butternut

Lula Bea is the latest dolly in the Ozark Butternut
 clan.  Lula Bea was so small when she was born,  her
Ma & Pa used the hankie drawer from the bedroom 
bureau as her bed.  She even had a special place near 
the fire so she would stay warm.  Although many of the
 elder Butternut's didn't think she'd survive, thrive she did.
 She didn't grow very tall & she's skinny as a
bean pole, but she's always been full of energy &
 mischief.  As a child, she could shimmy up a tree the 
highest & showed no fear when noodlin' at the creek.
She was braver than the bravest Butternut boys.
Lula Bea is 16 inches tall & stuffed 
with cedar shavings. 
Her eyes are the last 2 wooden buttons
 given to me by Cinder.  Simple stitched
 face with rosy cheeks.
Her undies are flannel.  With no fat on 
her bones, she feels the bitter winter cold.
Button loops and matching green 
china pie crust buttons.
 Lula Bea always wears her bonnet when 
she's out in the wind, as she is prone
 to ear aches.  Her quilted button bonnet 
has 2 white china buttons.

Lula Bea has a good apron & a 
calico work apron.
 Very pretty cotton reproductions fabrics 
& vintage cotton lace.  To the Butternut
ladies, it's not about matching, it's all 
about lovely prints!
(Plum & 2 shades of red?)
Her waist is about 5 inches around, that's 
what happens when you just wing it.
Lula Bea is hand stitched.
I hope you enjoyed seeing her as
much as I enjoyed making her!
 I've added her to my For Sale page.
I'm still working on the other dolly, but
now it's time for a little bit of Christmas
decorating to put me in the mood.

Happy Sewing!