Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally, Well

I feel so much better today! This flu bug has been a rough one to kick, and I still feel the residual soreness and aches, but, I am better.

Thought I'd pop in quickly to catch you all up on the "hurry up and wait" status of the Casa de la Vanderdogan Christmas decorating extravaganza. I should first tell you that Scott is Jewish - and a Christmas Tree is something he and his family never had. I will also tell you that Scott purchases most of the Christmas decorations in our house ... go figure?

When I was growing up, we had a modest tree. Never live, and always lit with multi-colored lights. My mother was a more is more kinda girl, and she always thought that Christmas needed to be bright and colorful. We would spend time as a family, hanging the tiny paper mache apples on the tree, along with all the ornaments my brother and I had made in school throughout the years, and our father would adorn that colorful and oh so hap-hazard tree with a foil star, every year, Thanksgiving night.

Fast forward 19 years, and a few states later, and I'm picking up some of my mothers tendencies: I'm a more is more kinda guy, so layer, layer, layer I say, and our trees are also never live, mostly because I happen to be allergic to almost every evergreen imaginable! I also decorate much earlier than we did when I was a child. Why? Well, my friend Dorothy had a lot to do with it ... she says: "It's so beautiful, the longer you wait to put it up, the fewer days you have to enjoy it." So, I start the first of November. Last year I added a tree to the Casa de la Vanderdogan line up:

Remember this? Well, it's still here - a little different this year - but not by much. If you were around the blog back in December of 2008 - you'll remember that the reason for this tree was to fit into the "cabin in the woods" feeling that Scott wanted. I think I kept that feeling this year, even through the major change to the mantel, which I'm excited to share with you all very soon! Of course, we have the dining room Christmas tree:

A 9' tall collage of gold and bronze. (Photo from last year) This was, until now, my only deviation from the white lights I came to love. Never, since I was a child, had I used colored lights to decorate the tree. These are frosted gold lights from the Phillips Decorator Series. With the third tree, completely new to the line up this year, I might just go for a purple light or two. Why? That's a secret, kept under lock and key, but I will tell you that I am waiting ever so impatiently for feathers, 700 of them in fact! Curious? Keep checking back in.


  1. Good morning Sir Artie!

    Like you, I begin decorating early. My tree went up before I traveled cross country for nine days! It only has lights at this point but we are having a decorating dinner this evening to add all the trimmings. Saw the new Disney 'A Christmas Carol' yesterday which SO put me in the mood! Glad you are on the mend.

  2. Lovely! I will be checking back to see the new stuff!! Can't wait!

    I have done my mantle and a few other things, so far but I am gearing up though!

    Lou Cinda :)

  3. Beautiful trees and beautiful photographs! I agree, it's good to start early because there's so many warm fuzzies to soak in! xoTrina

  4. Oh Artie!
    You are a big tease. Now we have to wait and see about these 700 feathers. What are you cooking up now?

    You and Scott have such a beautiful home. I love everything that you share with us. Your colors are so gorgeous, and the designs just exquisite. I love this tree. It is so beautiful, and I love the way you used the pheasant feathers. I can just see my little grandson Kain, coming by the tree pulling each one out everytime he would pass by.

    Thank you for sharing my friend. I am working on a tree today for my dining area that I hope to get posted later. It is a small black one, that has red lights. I cannot wait to finish.

    Country hugs to you and Scott, Sherry

  5. Feathers and purple, you say? I am intrigued! I loved reading about your past and current traditions.

    We always have a real tree as our main tree, and it has white lights and all the ornaments we both collected/made growing up. It's a real mish mash of stuff, which I love.

    Our other trees are just small, fake "Charlie Brown" trees. I couldn't afford to buy nice faux ones, so I make do with the skinny rickety ones that come in threesomes from the craft store. ;) I like to do different decorations on each of those, and this year I'm loving the purple I'm seeing. I'd like to change things up a bit. :)

    Love your photos today!

  6. Oh man, so gorgeous, and I remember it well from last year. I cannot wait to see what you'll be doing with 700 feathers!

    Justine :o )

  7. glad you are felling basically better!! Hope nothing more happens to put a dent in your photographing! The tree is gorgeous. 700 feathers is a ton!! I have seen some trees here that have used feathers in the tree--but not 700....hmmm, are you going to make your own feather tree....

  8. glad you are felling basically better!! Hope nothing more happens to put a dent in your photographing! The tree is gorgeous. 700 feathers is a ton!! I have seen some trees here that have used feathers in the tree--but not 700....hmmm, are you going to make your own feather tree....

  9. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A PURPLE 700FEATHERED TREE? OOO, I can not WAIT to see this..:O) I know it will knock our sox off !!

    I am so glad you are feeling better. Hope you stay that way.

    I put my tree up Thanksgiving night, after everyone leaves. We, too, use a faux tree (allergies) and we ALWAYS had a real tree when I was young. We couldn't put it up very early as it would dry out too much...with these beautiful faux ones, however, we can put them up as early as we want to !!

    I make mention of you on my post for tomorrow...come on over..EVERYone loves to see their name mentioned!! :O)
    hugs, bj

  10. You're a tease! I can't wait!

    Our tree is old fashioned -- with all sorts of ornaments -- the only theme is we love to buy ornaments (bought three great big silver pinecones today).

    Love your trees and can't wait to see the rest of your house decorated for Christmas.

    We usually put ours up on Thanksgiving weekend -- but not this year -- other plans!

  11. Glad you are on the mend Artie.. I remember that tree well from last year... I just started blogging and found via another.... it is JUST lovely! We always put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving!

  12. So glad to hear you are feeling better. Now you can get organised with those decorations and feathers!
    Our tree is up too but the kids and I are still decorating and changing things around.
    I love Christmas!
    Best wishes, Natasha.

  13. OooooLaLa!!!!!

    Very elegant.

    More please.


  14. Thank goodness you are well again. I am in awe of your decorations, and that tree... perfection.
    Artie, stop by my blog and see how you have inspired me. I gave you a litte "nod". Thank you for being your creative inspiring self. Glad your back!

  15. Oy, I haven't even thought about decorating for Christmas yet. You sir are on the ball. The tree is just lovely !

  16. I'm glad you are feeling better. I love to do trees. We used to have 4 (2 houses ago) and then dropped to 3 at the last house. Now, we travel for, I only do one tree. I don't do as much decorating as I used to because we have such a short time to enjoy it. I still love to pick a theme/color scheme and play with it. I can't wait to start on this year's idea...hope you will check it out in a few weeks.


  17. Artie, so glad to hear you are feeling better! You never cease to amaze.

    Here I thought I was making progress by putting up the exterior lights before the temperatures plunge and have a good portion of my Xmas Gift Shopping done.

    Anxiously awaiting to see what Xmas magic you will perform.
    Many Hugs -Brenda-

  18. Glad you are feeling better. LOVE the 'cabin theme'. I'm working up a new 'country Christmas' feel theme for my tree this year. On a little bitty budget. But have ideas swirling around! I'm itching to get the tree up too!!!

  19. You are way ahead of me. I just got my Thanksgiving decor out last week. Christmas will have to wait till December for me. I can hardly keep up with all the holidays in the fall. So much fun though. Your tree is stunning! Thanks for sharing. ~ Sarah

  20. Holy Cow! That's just gorgeous! Wanna come put my Christmas tree together for me? I can never get any decorating done until after our poinsettia crop ships out :(

  21. Gold...purple...Sounds a bit like Mardi Gras. Hmmmmm....

    I just saw my first fall's difficult to think about Christmas decorating yet.
    I have to get through Thanksgiving first...looks like we will be hosting 20 this year!
    Jane (artfully graced)

  22. These are probably one of the most beautiful trees I've ever seen.