Google+ House Revivals: December 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

El Nacimiento {the Creche} at Tucson Museum of Art

Around this time last year, my husband and I were on vacation in Arizona. We both love Arizona -- for it's incredible beauty and history, as well as for the lovely people who live there. We met and fell in love while attending college in Arizona, and it was really special to revisit some of the places that were important to us.

I love handmade, human scaled architecture, so we visited La Casa Cordova, part of the Tucson Museum of Art complex. What a delightful surprise to find El Nacimiento (the creche) on display in La Casa Cordova. La Casa Cordova is a very old adobe house in what had once been the walled presidio area of the city.

The interior of the house was simply and humbly decorated for the holiday with tinsel and understated tissue paper flowers.

Then we stepped into the room that housed El Nacimiento, and wow! This was one of the largest nativity scenes I have ever seen. How I lived all those years in Arizona, and never once visited El Nacimiento is beyond me.

This nativity is the creation of Mexican American folk artist Maria Luisa Tena. Over many years, Maria created the display in memory of her mother, who taught her the Mexican tradition of creating nativity scenes.

The diorama depicts typical Mexican village scenes, Old Testament scenes, and, of course, the Nativity.

The detail of El Nacimiento are simply delightful, ranging from street market scenes to kitchen scenes to swan swimming in a waterfall fed pool.

There are pretty lights, foliage, wise men, and adobe houses.

There are farm animals, children, Bible characters, and villagers.

In the starry night sky, there are herald angels and puffy clouds.

Everywhere, there is whimsy. El Nacimiento tells the story of the hope of the Christ child throughout the ages in a way that delights the eye.

If you travel to Tucson, at any time of year, I recommend the Tucson Art Museum and La Casa Cordova. If you travel to Tucson during the holidays, El Nacimiento is not to be missed.

If you enjoyed learning about this Mexicn folk art custom, you might also enjoy this post about a Swedish woven star folk art tradition.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Easy Washi Tape Cards or Tags

Here is an easy last minute card or gift tag idea that helps bust your stash of decorative tapes and paper scraps, and diverts old book pages from the landfill.

The use of classic holiday ornament shapes, allows you to successfully use non-holiday papers and tapes to create lovely Christmas cards.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Paper Mache Father Christmas Tutorial

Don't you just love old fashioned Father Christmas decor?  Father Christmas ornaments always seemed a bit intimidating to me, so I never tried making them myself, until I discovered how easy this papier mache method is.

I was watching some of my favorite YouTube bloggers last year, and found that Emi, at Hectanooga1, has several papier mache tutorials.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Make These {Easy} Snowman Hat Ornaments!

These adorable little snowman hat ornaments are easy and fun to make, using recycled cardboard tubes and boxes.

Last year, on a trip to Arizona to visit family, I wanted to bring my sister-in-law a set of handmade ornaments with her kids' names on them. Of course, they weren't finished when it was time to travel, so I brought supplies and finished them when I got there.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Upcycled Altoids Tin Travel Spicy Farkel

A good friend was recently visiting from Colorado, and she gifted me with a Spicy Farkel game. This was the same friend who gifted me with a regular Farkel game a few months ago. I loved that game, and decided to alter a little round mint tin to make a travel Farkel game.

When my friend gifted me with the Spicy version of the game, I knew it needed it's own travel tin, as well.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Make This Scrappy Christmas Tree Card!

Do you need to send out some last minute Christmas cards? Did you run out of cards before you made it through your mailing list? Here is a simple card idea that does not require special Christmas papers or dies or stamps. Making these cards couldn't be easier!