Page 1

Christmas at Mary’s 2011


just a note

photo by Wesley Law

what’s new? well, pull up a chair…

The holiday season means so many things to different people. One of my favorite quotes about it is…

Blessed be the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love —Hamilton Wright Mabie …because isn’t that the way it feels? No matter what your belief, it seems everyone gets into the holiday spirit with all the parties and lunches with old, seldom-seen friends, the beautiful overthe-top decorations, choosing gifts for people who mean so much to us. It really is a festival of light in the deepest, darkest days of winter—a celebration of hope and love! So to celebrate the love I feel for you, all my dear friends, here is a mini holiday version of Home Companion magazine! It’s my house decorated to the nines for Christmas and you’re all invited to visit through these pages. Barbara Martin, Kathy Curotto, Angel Clark and I are thrilled to put together this tiny issue as our gift to you. And, let’s face it, it was a gift to ourselves too, because we had SO much fun doing it again! So Merry Christmahannakwaan—may you all have a houseful of love this holiday season!


All my collections come out at Christmas! Snowmen guard my feather tree full of silver and frosted ornaments, LEFT, and even my white McCoy pottery has been pressed into duty as stands for bottle brush trees on the mantel, OPP O SITE. I also have a ridiculously large collection of garlands, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of any of them. One of my favorites is the old honeycomb paper one here. And you’ll notice that the portrait of my boys by Bob Moskowitz has even been dressed for the holidays! Upholstered chair: Expressions, 314-567-6200

HOME for the i


I H AV E S O M A N Y W O N D E R F U L M E M O R I E S O F M Y C H I L D H O O D C H R I S T M A S E S —my

mother and father made it absolutely magical for me and my sisters. I hope I (and Will verifies that I did) made some great memories for my kids as well. As you know, I’m not a cook, so I wisely leave those memories up to my husband, Phil. My forte has always been the decorating, and I try to make it different each year. The house we live in now is almost completely done in shades of yellow and orange, and if there is a more hideous combination with red and green, I don’t know what it is. So I stick to lots of gold, silver and orange in the living room, dining room and kitchen and I think it still looks pretty Christmasy. I love doing it and even though each year I swear I won’t get out E V E RYT H I NG , I generally get carried away and do it anyway. The key is to N OT think about taking it all down while you’re putting it up. So come on in and take a look around—welcome to our Christmas Cottage!


photography ©Barbara Elliott Martin


LEFT: My beloved

bell jars stay out all year, usually filled with all manner of things from wedding cake toppers to mementos from my children. But for now they’re all housing angels sitting on batting clouds, surrounded by all the silver trimmings I could find. BELOW LEFT and OPP O SITE:

Our short staircase showcases a little village and, yes— more garlands.


Above the table I hung a banner I made out of one of my drawings called, “The Christmas Queen”. I stapled it to a wooden dowel I gilded and glittered (STILL trying to get the glitter off my art table!), and then hung Christmas wind chimes on either end, ABOVE. Chair: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, 800-789-5401,; Paper mache buckets (under console table): Rothschild’s Antiques and Home Furnishings, 314-361-4870, rothschildsstl. com. LEFT: This is our fireplace in the kitchen—one of the main reasons we bought the house! The marble and stone busts each got a glittery wreath to wear on its’ head and my favorite little tree sits right where I can enjoy it every day. The fabulous paper wreath was from November’s Home Companion Workshop—you’ll find instructions to make your own at the end of this story.



These are our everyday

ments, trees, Christmas

dishes, napkins, glasses

crackers, and of course,

and silverware, but

garlands! Now all we

they take on a festive

need are a few friends

air when combined

to make this table set-

with pale-colored orna-

ting complete!


wreath 1. Wrap a Styrofoam wreath form

with crepe paper streamer and secure with pins. 2. Add wire loop in back to hang. 3. Cut out “leaves� using regular

scissors and pinking shears and a variety of solid and decorative papers. 4. Fold leaves in half vertically. 5. Adhere with hot glue.

cake stand paper edge Use decorative edger punch on strips of paper and secure with double stick tape.


Wreath: Target,

crepe paper trees

star-flower tree topper

1. Cover Styrofoam cone with crepe paper

1. Accordion fold square- or rectangular-

streamer and secure with pins.

shaped paper. The number of pleats created

2. Cut out triangles from one side of streamer

will determine the number of petals.

in saw tooth fashion ½ to ²⁄³ of the way up.

2. Fold the pleats in half at center and staple.

3. Adhere cut streamer to cone with hot glue

3. To form petals, cut from right side of fold

gathering in rows starting at bottom and over-

to left side. The deeper the cut, the thinner

lapping to the top.

the petal.

4. If cone does not have a tip, spiral streamer

4. Open to fan out sides and glue ends

to make point.

together to form the flower. ï


Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion  

Mary Engelbreit's home—decorated for the holidays!

Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion  

Mary Engelbreit's home—decorated for the holidays!