Creative Inspirations, Creative Projects

Decking the halls and the walls and the tiniest of places. PART TWO: The keeping room

The Keeping Room. A term from the 18th century that refers to the room nearest the warmth of the cook-in fireplace where the family activities took place. Visit my Christmassy fireplace Keeping Room so see where we share our deepest conversations and keep our family memories warm and alive.

With everything we all have gone through, home has had a deeper meaning for me, for us, this year. David and I spend so much time in this room over coffee or cocktails so I decided to decoratively emphasize the deeper meaning of Christmas at home using my painting above the fireplace as a jumping off point.

This whole arrangement, tho simple, is a collection of home memories. The fireplace screen and tools were my grandparents in their home (I can still envision it all these 60 years later), the table was theirs too, the old snow shovel circa 1900 was from David’s family that he uses for fireplace ashes, the houses are part of a collection that David and I have created. He sold houses at one point and we have remodeled a few…hmmmm, a theme here.
I painted this on floor boards from our 1900’s home we remodeled in Concord, NH. (See the series here) The imagery is of the different homes David and I have lived in together, including, at the top back, the 2 we each grew up in, only blocks apart meeting many years later. Center front is this home where the painting hangs.
To the left of the fireplace is our library table with bookshelves lining the left hand wall. Home is where there are books.. A painting I did years ago comes out each Christmas and this year more houses decorate the table and the tree holds many representations of homes.
I hand painted details on to wooden cut-outs of houses.
My daughter and I made these ornaments many years ago in that further most left-hand house in the picture. Get a bucket of water and randomly spray spray-paint over the top of the water. Quickly dip in those clear glass bulbs you get at a craft store–the paint clings to them like marbling–then hang them to dry. We used gold, copper, moss green and pale turquoise to give them an aged copper look.
A hutch tucked into a corner of the room holds more memories; family collectibles under cloches, framed memories from a trip to Mexico and my grandfathers clock. Simple live greens make the room smell good! Thank you to a friend who gives me bunches each year. And a shout out to artist J. Ann Eldridge, print maker, for the birch tree print on the wall that gives us endless joy.

Here’s hoping that you are enjoying your holiday decorations at home this year too! Stay tuned for the next batch soon…

14 thoughts on “Decking the halls and the walls and the tiniest of places. PART TWO: The keeping room”

  1. Receiving these emails are like receiving little presents in the mail. I love them and look forward to every single one! Love and miss you!

  2. Rainy morning in California, too early to care, Kitties sleeping in my bed…I’ll join them again. For now, it’s just me and my Christmas house…inspired by Jane and memories of our long ago Christmases where David and his Granny peeked at gifts under the tree and then rewrapped them. Memories take center stage often for the elderly but this year it’s comforting for all who enjoy remembering. Jan aka Mom

  3. Jane thank you for making our home a living breathing piece of art and a place that inspires me to let my own creative hair down. Dave.

  4. Lovely, Jane. We finally have some rain after nearly 7 months of dryness, which helps create a bit of wintry atmosphere to assist with the cozy! We decorated yesterday. For the first time I put my collection of Advent calendars on display . Merry Christmas to you and the fam.

    1. How nice! Your comment, along with others, came in anonymous so I wish I knew where you were writing from and who you were so I could cheer you on appropriately! Yey for rain; I bet you are writing from California. 🙂

  5. So heartwarming, Jane! The word “Joy” was given to me in a sealed envelope during an Advent Service (which I attended virtually—the word was mailed to me). To see it in your blog is another extraordinary example of serendipity. You and David have worked hard to get to this keeping room space for coffee and cocktail discussions.Love!

    1. WOW!!! Serendipity is right! “Joy” is my motto this fall going into winter. Are you on my newsletter email list? It was all about joy include the book recommendation “The Book of Joy”! Thank you for commenting…ox

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