Filled with gorgeous photos of both Mary Engelbreit's art work and her beautiful home decked for the Christmas season, this book has been a favorite since it was first published in 1995. All of the editions of the M. E. Home Companion series are part of my M. E. library, but I think this one is my favorite.
Each of the eight chapters features stunning photographs of the homes of Mary and some of her friends and ends with a do-it-yourself project complete with an addendum of project patterns.
Bringing in the Season ~ shares ideas for decorating with fresh greens both inside and out. A handmade kitchen wreath is the project. My fresh wreath above was a gift from Liz @ Rose Vignettes. I was the lucky one to win her Fresh Cut Friday giveaway, and this huge wreath of fresh greens arrived at my doorstep in early December that December.
I eventually changed out the red details for white and silver and hung it in the windows of our dining room. The fragrance of fresh greens was a welcomed joy the entire holiday season and on into the new year.
Down the Chimney ~ focuses on the different ways to adorn one's mantel or "Santa's doorway". There are many beautiful examples photographed for the book, but I'm sharing our mantel at Christmas and those of several of my friends. There is inspiration to be found in all.
The above mantel is one of my favorites from the book. It is featured on page 31 ~ a mantel honoring a collection of roosters among evergreens atop black and white checks.
Project directions for a handmade felt stocking is this chapter's bonus. The treasured felt stocking from my childhood was just such a handmade gift from a loving aunt.
O Christmas Trees ~ is an abundance of decorated trees ~ large and small ~ floor to ceiling ~ tabletop ~ traditional ~ themed ~ swags of popcorn ~ swags of silk ~ beautiful one and all.
One of my friends has a small tree just for the silver ornaments she has collected through the years.
Another friend uses a small tree with twinkle lights to anchor a little snow village . . .
While this friend groups a collection of mini glass ornaments on a small tree that she places among a group of special Limoges Christmas boxes.
All Through the House ~ is full of photos of various vignettes of collections and holiday decor.
Traditions ~ offers a variety of traditions that the author, Mary, and others have shared with family through the years. One of my childhood Christmas traditions was making cutout cookies for the holidays.
My siblings and I would spend hours sitting around the kitchen table decorating each cookie with bright icings, silver balls, and sprinkles.
In the Wink of an Eye ~ the final chapter is about making what I call "heart and hand" gifts ~ those gifts that are full of heart because we make them with our own hands. The Cherry Chick and I exchanged "heart and hand" gifts one Christmas.
I created a box covered with fabric of cherries and checks and filled it with cherry themed gifts specifically for Vicki.
Inside were some Mary Engelbreit gifts and this beautiful pair of cherry earrings created by the Cherry Chick, herself!
I just have to share the big news. The Cherry Chick was asked to create a Limited Edition Collection of Cherry Chick Jewelry for Mary Engelbreit's Shop. Click here to see this charming collection.
If you like to see how others create holiday magic in their homes, you'll want a copy of this delightful treasury of ideas and inspiration.
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Bunny Hop Party @ Bunny Jean's
Home and Garden Party Thursday @ Delightsome Life
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Potpourri Friday @ 2805
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Seasonal Sunday @ The Tablescaper
Sunny Simple Sunday @ Sunny Simple Life
Christmas in July Blog Hop @ Stone Gable