Christmas Cards

In fourth grade I asked for outliners for my birthday.  Just outliners.  They were foul-smelling pens that you shook, and when you pressed down lightly metallic ink would be magically outlined in purple, in pink, in blue.  I loved them and I loved the stationery that I received from my grandfather that year as well.  My name at the top of each card in swirly cursive; it was a perfect gift.  I never did outgrow my love of pens and paper.  And in this age of paperless communication I have come to appreciate beautiful paper that much more, especially this time of year.  Here are some of my very favorite Christmas cards from small and big stationers.

Cheree Beree Paper is my very favorite of the bunch.  Every once in awhile I splurge on their paper and it is even better in person.  

Look at this adorable invitation for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital fundraiser.  Really, there isn’t much else out there as clever and original.

Felix Doolittle is an old favorite of mine.  The bookplates and kitchen labels are particularly charming.

Return Address Labels


Dixie Design is a new find for me.  I nearly ordered from them this year but they didn’t have a photo mounted card option. I do plan on buying some of their adorable gift tags.


This year I went very traditional with a Crane & Co. card.  Their paper always feels so good to the touch.


Happy Christmas card hunting!

Welcome to Hackberry Hill

It’s been nearly two years now since I started chronicling this house’s misadventures.  Clumsily, I pieced together the parts needed to get a blog up and running.  I still don’t know what I am doing 99% of the time. but I did recognize that the format needed a bit of a refresher.  I hope the new look is cleaner and easier to read.

It seemed a shame not to use our humble house’s moniker:  Hackberry Hill.  There is something utterly charming about a house with a name.



I am looking forward to 2017 as we are hoping to kick off some long-awaited projects.  Our wheels have been spinning and I  am so thankful to have waited on the bigger projects as our needs and ideas have changed.  Anyhow, welcome to Hackberry Hill!

The Christmas Mantel

This year I passed on fresh evergreens for the mantel which means I can start decorating a bit earlier than usual.   There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh greens but alas that is what my favorite candle is for.

The trick to using fake greenery is to mix it with real branches, fruits, berries, pinecones – something real.  I started with faux evergreen garland as the base – a simple one with pine cones that I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I then started tucking in real magnolia leaves and two branches on either side of the mirror.  The magnolia leaves dry well and should continue to look good for quite some time.


I bought artichokes at the grocery store yesterday and on a whim tucked those in along with some pheasant feathers I normally keep in a dining room vase. Pears and lemons or limes may follow.


Here are some of my favorite mantels.

via Pinterest
via BSpoke
Traditional Home
Traditional Home
Traditional Home
Traditional Home
Tory Burch
Tory Burch

Polishing the Silver

I spent the better part of a morning polishing some neglected silver.  Unfortunately I don’t have before pictures but trust me when I tell you these pieces were very very badly tarnished.

Along the lines of this. . .

via Creekline House
via Creekline House

The worst of the bunch was a salt shaker that was tucked away in a drawer for years as no matter how much I polished, there were still rather large black spots that would not budge.

I tried Weimans Silver Polish and Cape Cod Silver Polish to no avail and wondered whether a soak might work.  I lined a non-metal baking pan with tin foil, poured in some very hot water, about a cup of baking soda, two tablespoons of salt and left the silver in the water to soak for about five minutes.

The results were incredible and far easier than polishing.  After the silver came out of the water, I did use a soft cloth to buff it to a high shine.  There was still a tiny bit of tarnish left but that easily rubbed off.  I was able to polish candlesticks, two trays and the cup and salt shaker shown above in less than an hour.    img_1064-1

The Thanksgivingmas table continues to be tweaked.  I added some white pumpkins, votives, velvet ribbon and some pretty cute farmyard animal placecard holders.img_1072img_1071img_1070img_1079img_1078img_1077

And, the dessert table!  I am just starting to piece it together but here is a preview.