Blog

Advent - History - Calendars and Candles

Posted on October 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

The tradition of Advent calendars has for many of us become an integral part of Christmas. 

Within the Christian Church, Advent is tied to November 30th, the Feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle. Advent begins each year on the Sunday nearest St. Andrew's day and celebrates the anticipation of Christ's birth

Printed Advent calendars were first produced by Gerhard Lang of Germany in the early 1900s. He was inspired by a calendar drawn by his mother and mounted on cardboard that included 24 pictures - one for each day of December through Christmas Eve. Lang took his mother's calendar one step further, creating the little doors that we know today. Enjoyed by children and adults alike, Advent calendars celebrate the Christmas season, and in a simple and yet magical way help us to focus on the beauty of the wait, a wait that is of course filled with all the wonderful preparations for the holiday. 

My Growing Traditions offers a full selection of printed Advent calendars. We add new ones to our selection each year.  We have:

Traditional Advent Calendars - where you will find Angels and Elves, Santas, and a 3-D Gingerbread House. Click here to explore our selection

        

Nativity Advent Calendars - with bible verses revealed underneath their doors. Click here 

 

and wonderful Advent Calendars of European Cities from Brück and Sohn (Printers in Meissen, Germany since 1793). This one, one of many, is of Dresden, home of the first Christmas market in Germany.  The first reference to Dresden's Christmas market was in 1434.

 

The Danish have their own distinct way of capturing the Advent season, with their Advent candles. Everyone enjoys pausing each day to burn down the candle one additional notch as they await the anticipated celebration of Christmas on December 25. We carry three and know you will delight in their use.

 You may want to follow our Advent Board on Pinterest for more.

Posted in Advent, Angels, Brück and Sohn, Christmas Candles, Christmas Traditions, German Christmas

Wendt and Kühn 2014 Eleven Dot Post

Posted on October 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

Once a year Wendt and Kühn publishes their Eleven Dot Post - the magazine from their Workshops in Grunhainichen, Germany.

We thought you would enjoy reading this special publication celebrating the classic Wendt and Kühn Angels. 

 

Click on the image above for a copy of the 2014 edition.
You can also find a copy of it posted on our website.

 

Among other things, this years edition has wonderful photographs of the intricate construction of their Angels, both on the cover and inside.

Drawings and Construction of Wendt and Kuhn Angels

My Growing Traditions carries an extensive selection of Wendt and Kühn figures. Enjoy!

 

 

Posted in Angels, Erzgebirge, German Christmas, German Folk Art, Wendt and Kühn

Celebrate Easter with Wendt and Kühn

Posted on March 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

We now have in stock five charming, colorful, and impeccably painted German Wendt and Kühn figures to add to your Easter traditions. They add a wonderful touch to your Easter table.

The Girl with a Basket filled with Eggs and carrying a bunny

 

is delightfully paired with the Boy with an Easter Egg

Each is 2-1/2 inches tall. 

The Easter Rabbit - Bunny - 3/4" tall - is available separately

 

and with two other special Wendt and Kühn figures:

a Marguerite Angel with Bunny Rabbit and Carrots

 

and a member of the Spring Flower Children (Blossom Kinder), The Girl with a Snowdrop and Bunny

 

All your Wendt and Kuehn purchases from My Growing Traditions will now come in a Wendt and Kuhn gift (presentation box), just to add that special touch to these special German works of art.

Visit our Pinterest board on Wendt and Kuhn angels for our collection of photos All things Wendt and Kuehn.

Posted in Angels, Erzgebirge, German Folk Art, Wendt and Kühn

New for 2013 Wendt and Kühn Angels

Posted on November 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

My Growing Traditions offers two new Angels introduced by Wendt and Kühn in 2013.

A Marguerite - Snowflake Angel working hard in Santa's workshop 

creating a doll.  Given the diminutive size of the Marguerite Angels (1.5 inches tall), the cakes, angels, dolls, jumping jacks, rocking horses, etc. that they hold and carry are incredibly small. Extraordinary skill is required to create these delightful figures. The daisy chain garland gives the Marguerite Angels their name - Marguerites being a small delicate daisy flower. Their daisy crowns were once made of tin. When tin became scarce, in the 1940s, Wendt and Kühn turned to a delicate embossed cardboard for the daisy garland. 

And, a Classic Angel (2.5" tall)

with Teapot and Flower. At their workshop in Grunhainichen, Germany, Wendt and Kuhn employs 155 workers.  

Eighty of them are painters, but only four of those 80 artisans paint faces. They have a very special hand. 

You may enjoy our Pinterest board on Wendt and Kuhn angels.


Posted in Angels, German Christmas, Wendt and Kühn

Emil Helbig Exhibit at the Seiffen Toy Museum - and yes, we carry their wonderful folk art

Posted on November 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

If, by any chance, you plan to travel to Germany before the 4th of May 2014, make a side-trip to Seiffen and their Toy Museum.  From 16 November 2013 and 4 May 2014, the Toy Museum is holding a special exhibit of the work of the Emil Helbig Workshop in Grunhainichen. Founded 80 years ago, the Helbig Workshop is one of the oldest existing wood working workshops (Schnitzwerkstatten) in the Erzgebirge and considered one of its finest.

A graduate of the Dresden Arts and Crafts School in 1919, Helbig worked at the Meissen porcelain factory where he was discovered by Professor Alwin Seifert, the director of the "State Toy School." Helbig founded his own very special workshop in Grunhainichen in 1933. The exhibit at the Toy Museum includes many pieces that have never before been seen by the public.

We proudly carry their nativity, from the Mary, Joseph, and Jesus (shown here) to a full set of other nativity figures

and many of their Christmas ornaments, this angel being only one of them. Visit here to see more delightful Helbig Christmas ornaments.

 

We look forward to carrying more and more Helbig folk art over the years.  Let us know if there are specific pieces you are interested in.

Posted in Angels, Emil Helbig, Erzgebirge, German Christmas, German Folk Art, Nativities

Wendt and Kühn 2013 Eleven Dot Post

Posted on November 04, 2013 | 0 Comments

Once a year Wendt and Kühn publishes their Eleven Dot Post - the magazine from their Workshops in Grunhainichen, Germany.

We thought you would enjoy reading this special publication celebrating the classic Wendt and Kühn Angels. 

Click on the image above for a copy of the 2013 edition.

You can also find a copy of it posted on our website.

My Growing Traditions carries a special Christmas selection of Wendt and Kuhn Angels.


Posted in Angels, German Christmas, German Folk Art, Wendt and Kühn

We now carry Wendt and Kühn Angel Orchestra Ornaments

Posted on December 04, 2012 | 0 Comments

This year we have added to our offerings Christmas ornaments from several German workshops.  The Wendt and Kühn classic Orchestra Angels from Grunhainichen, Germany, in the Erzgebirge are a favorite.

We first discovered the clip-on Orchestra Angels in the 1970s in a wooden basket sitting on the floor in front of the check-out counter at a Crate and Barrel.  There in that basket they lay in a bit of a heap, one atop the other.  My first impression was how undignified for such exquisite, classic Angels created in Germany.  Each one of them was distinctly a work of art.  Yet, this was during the period of the Soviet Union, and they were made, of course, in East Germany.  At that time, the workshops of the Erzgebirge were still allowed to create their traditional items, but individual ownership was quashed under the auspices of the equivalent of collectives. Interestingly, we spoke with a customer recently who had also found the Erzgebirge hand-shaved trees (Spanbaum) in a basket on the floor of Crate and Barrel.  At least Crate and Barrel kept us supplied.  Now we stock both the trees and 15 of the most classic clip-on Angel orchestra instruments:

                   

To see all 15, click here:  Wendt and Kuehn Orchestra Clip-On Angels.

They make a special addition to anyone's tree, especially to commemorate a member of your household who enjoys playing a musical instrument.

 

Posted in Angels, German Christmas, German Folk Art, Wendt and Kühn