Blog

Bavarian Stables - Perfect for Santons or Helbig Nativity Figures

Posted on November 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

We have expanded our offerings in wooden stables this year.  We are always looking for the best. These hand-crafted in Bavaria stables are stellar pieces of folk art in their own right, and work ever so well with Carbonel's Santons or the nativity figures from the Emil Helbig workshop.

For Carbonel Size #3 - the Grande - 3-1/2" size - this stable is perfection...

On a wooden platform, wooden and plaster walls, a hay crib - click here or on the image above to see close-ups of the architectural detail.

For Carbonel Size #2 - the Elite - 2-3/4" size and for the Emil Helbig Workshop nativity figures, choose between these Bavarian stables. Again, they are of wood and plaster, and are superbly crafted.

       

Bavarian Folk Art for display of your chosen nativity figures.
To find them click on the images above or click here 
My Growing Traditions offers Free Shipping for all three of these stables.
We know you will find them to be exceptional!

 

 

Posted in Carbonel Santons, Emil Helbig, French Christmas, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Nativities

Bavarian Inge-Glas Gift Set - for the Bride and Groom and Everyone Else

Posted on November 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

We decided to create smaller Inge-Glas Bride's Tree/Gift sets this year. It just made sense to have a variety of sizes available. Having enjoyed the delight of living in Bavaria for seven years, creating this specialized Bavarian Gift Set of three (3) full-size ornaments came naturally. Presented in an Inge-Glas Gift Box, each set comes with a symbol card for each individual ornament.

The set is of three of the 12 symbolic ornaments for a bride's tree - a collection of good wishes - symbols of a happy home to bring good fortune. Yes, for the bride and groom in your life, but simply a wonderful gift set for those who celebrate a German Christmas.

Lebkuchen Heart - True Love - 3-1/4"
Edelweiss Flower - Good Wishes - 2-1/4"
Red Alpine Pine Cone - Motherhood and Fruitfulness - 5"

 

The ornaments range from 2-1/4 to 5".  Each ornament is wrapped in Inge-Glas acid free paper. Made in Germany by Inge-Glas, the Oldest Christmas Ornament Company in the World.

Perfect for those in your life who will enjoy touches of folk art that will bring back memories of a German Christmas, especially alpine meadows and forests, and the essential Christmas Lebkuchen from Nuremberg. 

 

Posted in Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Inge-Glas

Wendt and Kühn Spandosen / Splinter Boxes - from Packaging to Collectible

Posted on November 09, 2015 | 0 Comments

For their 100th Anniversary, Wendt and Kühn revived an almost forgotten art form, hand-decorated Spandosen or Splinter boxes.  They are thinner than, yet reminiscent of, Shaker bentwood boxes.

     

The original Wendt and Kühn splinter boxes were first created 90 years ago. While Grete Wendt focused almost exclusively on the creation of figures, her college friend and company co-founder Grete Kühn used her talent to paint and decorate wonderful wooden boxes - the containers for Wendt and Kühn's figures. With her unmistakable brush strokes and rich imagination, she turned simple wooden containers into exquisite works of art. In all shapes and sizes, from round to oval, even heart-shaped, they were delicately decorated with geometrical, floral tendrils, and folkloric elements. 

Grete Kühn's boxes were works of art used for the safekeeping of works of art - one piece of art wrapped in another.

Click here to view Wendt and Kühn's video of a splinter box in the making.

We stock three of these incredible boxes - 

                           

And you can special order the others, by pressing their pre-order buttons or by writing us an email with your wishes.

They are such striking works of art as a decorative piece in and of themselves they will command a special place in your home.

And they certainly would be THE place to store your most cherished Wendt and Kühn figures.

Enjoy our Wendt and Kühn Pinterest Board - found here.

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

Miniatures - Putz - for your Christmas Village or Nativity Scene

Posted on October 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

We have added charming miniatures this year - perfect for use with your French Santons or German nativity scenes. These are just a few examples - baskets, wood, metal, copper, clay.

To find the miniatures and trees below, simply click on the images

              

They work well alongside the Carbonel accessories available for each size of Santons, and with the Erzgebirge Emil Helbig Workshop nativity figures and creche sets. 

                            

The German verb putzen means to decorate and one commonly finds the word putz to describe miniatures for a Christmas Village or Nativity Scene. Putz, miniatures, accessories, whatever one calls them, they add a very special touch to your Christmas. The traditional nativity figures, a few larger accessories, a few miniatures, and a few trees -

create a tableau, small or large, that is special to you. In both Provence and Germany, each year families wait for the Christmas fairs during Advent to find new treasures to add to their nativities (just as we in America rejoice in adding new Christmas ornaments to our trees).

Enjoy both...it all adds up to a bit of wonder!

To follow our Pinterest Board on Putz - Click here

Posted in Carbonel Santons, Christmas Traditions, Emil Helbig, Erzgebirge, French Christmas, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Nativities, Provence Christmas, Trees

Now We Can Take a Peek Behind the Windows - Brück und Sohn's Advent Calendars

Posted on October 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

We have always treasured Brück und Sohn's Advent Calendars for the memories they capture of our travels here and there. We are really pleased to have been able to add an additional touch of folk art to our calendar descriptions. We've always presented a photograph of each Advent Calendar for you to choose from. Now we can show you a small peek into the delightful art behind the windows.

Nuremberg's Christmas Market is renown as the "model" for Christmas Markets all over Europe. Brück und Sohn offers this gorgeous painting of the market in the town center and they have carefully chosen children's toys, a Christmas tree, and a Gingerbread House (Lebkuchen being a symbol of Christmas that Nuremberg is famous for) to place behind the windows as an additional delight.

The calendar of Colmar, the Vienna of Alsace, is equally charming. Here we find Saint Nicholas greeting children on a town square. 

And, the one of Seiffen - Germany's Christmas craft capital - has delightful drawings of a Wendt and Kuehn Angel along with a smoker and a Soldier on a Rocking Horse.  

So many of our artisans are from Seiffen or the immediate surroundings within the Erzgebirge.

These are just a few of the Brück und Sohn Calendars that we offer. Find them - here - and Enjoy!

Posted in Brück and Sohn, Christmas Traditions, French Christmas, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions

The Legend of the Acorn - "From Little Acorns Come Mighty Oaks"

Posted on October 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

The oak tree is America's National Tree. The oak signifies courage and power - standing strong and proud through the ages. Thus the proverb "from little acorns come mighty oaks." That a tiny seed produces a mighty oak, reminds us that great results can be born of humble beginnings. Those who provide care and comfort to children are revered. Their is a special recognition for those who exercise the power of nurture - they and we live to see great acts of kindness, love, and success from our children / the next generation. 

The acorn sustains countless wild creatures. "... deer, gray squirrels, red squirrels, chipmunks, wild turkeys, crows, flying squirrels, rabbits, opossums, blue jays, quail,  raccoons, wood ducks—more than 100 U.S. vertebrate species eat acorns. In autumn and winter, the acorn is the cheeseburger of the forest ecosystem—fairly easy to find and nicely packaged. They are one of the most valuable food resources available for wildlife.... Like wine, acorns come in two basic types: red and white, depending on the type of oak they come from.... (Red and White Oaks have a) difference in tannin, an astringent chemical common in plants, (which) affects how wildlife use acorns.... (the tannin in) red acorns makes them less palatable to wildlife, both due to taste and digestibility. Ergo, animals vacuum up acorns from the white oak group with more gusto than they do the reds." - National Wildlife Federation

The acorn is revered as a Christmas ornament. In Germany the oak tree is considered sacred and the acorn - the fruit, the seed, the origin of the oak - is considered a symbol of good luck. Early German Christmas trees were laden with cones, cookies and nuts, and most notably the acorn, to commemorate the gift of life and good fortune. Inge-Glas of Germany (the oldest glass ornament company in the world) has created a classic ornament of the Oak Leaf with Acorns  -

You may enjoy the ornament above, or choose to add one depicting the acorns alone. Inge-Glas offers three - from left to right  Mini Acorn, and Vintage Acorn

                              

We want to share with you two special children's books celebrating the acorn and the oak - Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schafer and The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward...

                    

these are books to share with your next generation or to enjoy alone as peaceful commemorations of the glorious world we live in...wonderful symbols of family and the natural world we are all blessed with!

Enjoy our Pinterest Board on Inge-Glas - here and on Trees - here

Posted in Christmas Legends, Christmas Traditions, German Christmas, German Folk Art, German Traditions, Inge-Glas

Inge-Glas Gift Set of Six Full-Size Ornaments

Posted on October 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

My Growing Traditions has created this Gift Set of six (6) full-size ornaments.  

 

Perfect for everyone!   "A collection of good wishes .... symbols of a happy home to bring good fortune." - Inge-Glas  Works especially well for the bride and groom in your life, but who wouldn't enjoy receiving these exquisite ornaments.

Santa - Unselfishness and Goodwill - 3-3/4"
Pine Cone - Motherhood and Fruitfulness - 2-3/4"
Angel - God's Guidance in the Home - 3-1/3"
Flower Basket - Good Wishes - 2-3/4"
Bird - Happiness and Joy - 5-1/2" long
Heart - True Love - 2-3/4"

The ornaments range from 2-1/2" to 4-1/4"

Each ornament is wrapped in Inge-Glas acid free paper 

The set of Inge-Glas ornaments is presented in an Inge-Glas Gift Box

 

and comes with symbol cards for each individual ornament as shown in the Santa symbol card below -

__________
Inge-Glas of Germany - since 1596
Oldest Christmas Ornament Company in the World
Exclusive 5-Point Star Crown
Environmentally committed workshop
Pure high grade German glass and lead free paints, lacquers, and glitters
Dedicated to the ecological future of our planet and 
preserving their centuries-old tradition of the art of glassblowing
Mouth-blown, hand-painted in Germany
Inge-Glas is the premier classic glass ornament workshop

Enjoy our Inge-Glas Pinterest Board - here

Posted in Christmas Legends, German Christmas, German Traditions, Inge-Glas