An Old World Christmas - The 2015 Christmas Ornament Collection
The Smile Mercantile Craft Co. presents:
An Old World Christmas! I'm so excited to share the 2015 Christmas ornament collection with you, and the inspirations behind it! These ornaments are inspired by European traditions and old world handicrafts. I followed an urge to explore the Victorian aesthetic with a selection of spun cotton ornaments. As a collector of antique and vintage ornaments, I've become very fond of rare materials like this. Spun cotton was used for ornaments mainly from the late 19th century into the middle part of the 20th century. When Styrofoam was invented it replaced virtually all of the spun cotton Christmas items. This year I began importing spun cotton shapes from Germany, and so I was excited to have the chance to replicate the look and feel of some of the antique ornaments in my collection, while putting my own festive spin on the designs.
These spun cotton oranges are probably my most Victorian-looking design. Oranges were a popular Christmas gift during the Victorian era because citrus was expensive, and not widely available. Many illustrations of the day show an orange placed alongside gifts or placed in stockings, and enjoyed by rosy-cheeked children as if it were candy. The fruit motif was common for Christmas ornaments, and so this is my nod to that tradition. These are large spun cotton ornaments, and I've textured the surfaces to look like orange peels. They are coated in real glass glitter that makes them sparkle.
My spun cotton sugar plums are a flight of fancy. Victorian sugar plums were little confections made out of dried fruit balled-up and rolled in sugar, and would be more brown than purple. When I was a kid though, I used to imagine that they were actual plums coated in sparkling sugar, kind of cartoon-like. So I've hand-painted these sugar plums in purplish tones to reflect what I had imagined.
Snowballs! What Victorian Christmas would be complete without snowballs? I've collected many antique spun cotton snowball ornaments over the years. Some are textured, some have a coating of plaster, and some are very simple spun cotton shapes with loops for hanging on the tree. For my design I combined German glass glitter with mica like snowflakes to give them a distinctly snowy texture. They are so simple in their design, but they look absolutely stunning paired with the green of a tree. I'm thrilled with them!
I also made two different mini ornament sets which I though would be perfect for feather trees or small tabletop trees. The little red ones I call "gumdrops," and the others are darling little mini snowballs.
These I am super excited about: clip-on glass mushrooms! These are based off of a 1920s design. These would be beautiful on a tree, or maybe clipped to a bit of greenery running across a mantel. They are truly lovely, and I think they would make a terrific gift.
Also new this year are these absolutely gorgeous tinsel garland spools. 12 feet of shimmering tinsel to trim the tree with, or to use for Christmas crafts. It has a real vintage look, and I've become a bit obsessed with it! I have them in silver and gold. So along with these Victorian inspired pieces, I also have a few mid-century inspired designs that I love:
Last year one of my Christmas trees was decorated with a whole herd of vintage plastic deer - 1950s style. So this year I thought it would be great to have some retro deer. I made three colors: mint, almond, and pink. Their little hooves are dipped in German glass glitter. Perfect for nestling among the branches of the tree!
Snow Crystals glitter flakes. I've been looking for something like this for a long time. These shimmering snowflakes can be used just like glitter for adorning putz houses or ornaments, and it also looks wonderful on cards. This is a Smile Mercantile exclusive, and I'm so happy to be offering it! It adds the perfect retro touch to vintage style Christmas crafts. Finally, for the makers out there, I have these plain glass snow globe ornaments:
These are so much fun. You know how much I love dioramas and miniatures, so I was really excited to start carrying these clear glass ornaments for crafting. I have a snow globe clear glass ball, and a bell jar cloche shape. They have been a real hit, an it's a challenge to keep them in stock! There's more to come, too! I'll be adding items to the shop right through the fall, so keep an eye out for more in the weeks to come. The newsletter sign-up is at the bottom of the page, and I'll be sharing the new goods via email newsletter as they arrive. I hope you are inspired to create something lovely this season!