Monday, December 03, 2007

My kingdom of nutcrackers.....

As you enter my home, you will enter a nutcracker kingdom. Our laundry room is also our cloakroom so all our guests go there to hang their coats. I have my washer, dryer and freezer here with a counter top over them so during the holiday season, I transform this space to a place for my nutcracker collection.

Just about all of them come from Seiffen which is a small mountain village in the Erzgebirge of former East Germany. This is a magical village where Christmas is a year round celebration. Even the street lamps are Christmas lanterns. It is here that these little wooden soldiers are created. We used to go here regularly.

Click the photos to enlarge and see the various nutcrackers.

As a young girl, I watched the Nutcracker ballet and fell in love with the story. I had always thought I would never be able to purchase a real nutcracker but living close to this village made it possible. We could buy them directly from the nutcracker factory and various workshops.

It all started from a book by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816. It was not a book intended for children and seeded with deep meanings behind the characters. It has now become a beloved family event to attend this ballet. I have various versions on video that I enjoy watching during the holiday season.

I also hang a quilt in my laundry room which I change with each season or holiday. This Christmas quilt used to be an online free pattern from a wonderful Norwegian designer. Our quilt group made it one year doing a section of the quilt each month throughout the autumn. I changed a bit of the design as I wanted to include an old world Santa on mine.

Detail of the quilt...

And then what could say Christmas more in Holland than some red tulips combined with berries?

A few responses:
Thanks to everyone for the comments about my Three Wise Men. I feel more confident to use them with the crown and candle as everyone seemed to like that idea.

Nan ~ My mother is referring to the bad traffic we have here in this country. It is normal for a trip to take twice the time or even more during extended hours of the day. Rush hour here is very long and very tiresome!


Anonymous said...

Heidi, you mother and you are real collectors! These nutcrackers are nice to see. Ofcourse I like your quilt and tulips. Also the music I hear everytime when I open your blogspot.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Heidi, I love all of your Nutcrackers! My sister collects them too...I have never seen the ballet, but have always wanted to.

Nancy said...

It looks a lot like Christmas in your part of the world Heidi!

Your Nutcracker collection is so fun to browse through. They are all wonderful, and I think it would be hard to pick a favorite. The sewing machine looks very nice with the display.

Your quilt is amazing as they always are!

I love the red tulips and berries, and I don't know if I will be able to try that this year, but I will definitely save the idea for next!

Everything looks beautiful!

Amy Marie said...

That is a lovely collection of Nutcrackers. I love when someone collects fun!

Teresa said...

Heidi, your collection of nutcrackers is beautiful and the added music is perfect. Thank you for sharing.


Nancy said...

I saw all these, and I love everyone of them. I loved the town of Seiffen when we went there. It is like a magical place.
Lets go back.
Your quilt is beautiful and I love the Santa. I remember it also.
Love you, Mom

Dena said...

Wow Heidi, what a beautiful collection of nutcrackers and that quilt is just beautiful!


Mandie said...

heidi I LOVE the nutcrackers!!! And just WAIT till I show these pictures to little miss Zoe! She was SO excited that gramma gave her a nutcracker! She told me I have to go buy some nuts because there is a hole in his mouth where they go and that is his food! HA HA HA! She is so funny! I just love the innocent little things that come out of childrens mouths!

Home Is Where The Heart Is said...

Dear Heidi, What a wonderful collection of nutcrackers you have! I love how the Singer sewing machine is displayed with them. I also love your's very pretty.
Love, Kim

Andylynne said...

Your nutcrakers bring back so many wonderfl memories of my dear friend Cluadia. Like you she had lots & lots of them, she had collected them for years and years. I loved seeing them every year.You have a wonderful collection of them. I bet you never tire of seeing all the different kinds that are made. Your wise men are beautiful as well, and the quilt suits them well and is of coures stunning. I think the candle and crown is really a good idea, clever of you to think of that. Hope you had a nice weeked at Cranberry cottage :)

Christine said...

OH WOW Heidi, you created another beautiful blog. Your home looks fantastic. So festive and inviting. I am drooling over that quilted wall hanging. That is stunning and I l love the fabrics you choose.

Ragged Roses said...

I love The Nutcracker and we're taking the girls to see it again this Christmas, it is wonderful. Love all your nutcrackers, I don't think I've ever seen so many! How lovely to transform a room like this
Kim x

diane said...

Such a beautiful display, Heidi and such fond memories attached to them. I find your decorations to be so inspirational! Gorgeous quilt!

Mary said...

I adore your quilt Heidi - that's a beauty. The nutcrackers are fabulous - but I bet you don't have as many as your Mom has snowmen, ha ha! Is that vintage Singer in working order?

Yes, The Nutcracker ballet is always such a magical holiday happening - we love to watch it here in town.

I'll be mentioning you tomorrow - Mom gave me a nice award - she is most kind.

Mia said...

Wow, Heidi! What a collection! And I was so proud of my single nutcracker (and the cushion with three more, but even so...) Your collection i really impressive. And I must say that if I were able to get more I surely would too... So maybe my nutcracker is a start of "something beautiful"...?

The bowl in my last posting is a pink ceramic bowl with a metal rim. The bowl is filled with potpourri at Christmas time (and at Easter it is filled with Easter eggs). A photo of it with potpourri can be seen in my archive, December 2006.

Regarding the quilts I make, yes, I do use a batting in them, even the ones I use as tablecloths. The batting makes the quilts sturdier and more cosy, I think. And I do not mind a thick tablecloth (but ones I have washed the quilt, it is not quite as thick any more...)

Nunnie's Attic said...

Heidi my mother would be in heaven. She has Nutcrackers EVERYWHERE in her house. She has always taken us to see the ballet and now takes her grandchildren. I wish I could "link" in comments. But I don't know how. She also has this which you would absolutely love. It's a long link, so sorry!


Nunnie's Attic said...

Oh shoot - the link was probably too long. You can google this maybe and see what I'm talking about: Mr. Christmas Gold Label Collection Nutcracker Suite Music Box


Reginas Cottage said...

Heidi,your collection of nutcrackers
is wonderful,I love it all.The quilt
is fantastic and makes your laundry-
room festive.I have seen the nutcracker-ballet,it was wonderful.
The red tulips looks wonderful with
Heidi thanks for your loveley
comment over my advent arrangement.
I'm so happy.Yes we followed the
German tradition and set up the tree
on Christmas Eve.
Can you a little bit German?
Please contact me my e-mail adress
Have a wonderful evening

Anonymous said...

Dear Heidi, where do I start?? I've enjoyed catching up with you and your Christmas decorating! The Nutcracker has always been a favourite of mine and I have a few nutcrackers myself along with other Nutcracker themed ornaments. I'm so happy I was able to share the "friendly site" award with you! If it wasn't for you, I don't think I would have even started blogging! :) I'll drop by and visit Mandie's site just as soon as I can. The Wise Men are fabulous and I hope you can someday find a figurine of baby Jesus in the manger although I like the crown and candle you are using now. Your charger display is very creative! It's been fun seeing your home decorated for the holidays. Have a wonderful week, my friend! ~ hugs, Lynda xoxo
ps ~ I'll reply to your question about my banner in my next post.

Kristen said...

These are wonderful! I love that quilt!! I can't imagine hanging it in my laundry room! It would hang in my entryway! WOW how beautiful!!!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Oh Heidi! I am so impressed with your Nutcrackers!! You have each one so carefully displayed, too. Did you make the little Nutcracker quilt, too?

I will have to come back for more being as I am getting ready to run out the door. I have to read about you being an elf!

Be back tomorrow....

love ya,
Becky and Doogs

Nunnie's Attic said...

Hey honey, stop by my place today. I have something for you.


Suzann said...

Heidi - What an amazing collection of Nutcrackers. We often admire them, but I have never thought to collect them. Hmmm. Your quilt and floral/berry basket are just lovely. Your decorations simply warm the heart. Thanks for sharing.

Carolien said...

Hello Heidi,

I like your nutcrackers, what a big collection you have! Amazing. Have you seen the nutcrackers of Becky Bee's Stitching Hive? You can see it on her weblog, the link is on my page. She also has a complete nutcrackers-Christmas tree. She shows it in the pictures of her last message. Fun to see!
And I love your quilt! Wish I had a laundry room like that ...

Bye, Carolien