Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Orbs of Loveliness

If there is one thing the Mistress loves, it is big shiny balls! Every year when I have guest in, they always compliment me on my balls and their placement, and how they appear simple, but add so much glitz and a festive touch to all my rooms! You do know I'm talking about glass ornaments right? While I wouldn't say I'm a collector, I do have close to two hundred or more of them, and all sizes and colors. I place them in jars, glasses, boxes, on my tree, and vases. Some I even lie about casually. I think it is their color and the shiny object thing I like. You know it doesn't take much to distract me!!!!

Until the mid-1800’s, Christmas trees were mostly decorated with homemade adornments or edibles like fruits and nuts. But the German entrepreneurs based in the glassblowing center of Lauscha had a better idea. They began producing decorative tree ornaments made out of thinly blown glass. In the 1880s, F.W. Woolworth imported the first of these baubles into the U.S., triggering the American love affair with Christmas tree ornaments

Shiny Brite, always a staple in ornament manufacturing, continued making glass balls till the late 1950s and then disappeared. But how many of us remember pulling out as a child, the Shiny Brite box to help decorate, and every year there would be fewer and fewer balls, but we kept the box anyway? Eckardt was a German immigrant who made his own balls and then started the said ball company. Later he teamed up with Woolworth's, and they convinced the Corning Glass Company to start mass producing glass balls.

Over this past weekend when I was at the Capital Street Duo's house for the party, the next day, we went to visit the Lemoyne Antiques Market where what did I do? Why search out and buy more balls! All sizes and colors too! I got some real good deals on them. I also found this hat box to arrange them. Lots of the ones I bought were Shiny Brite. The Dame also gave me, I swear, like 60 more balls in addition. Besides placing on the tree, here are a few things I did with them......

This hat box from from Astor Millinery is great to fill with balls, and it's just what I did! Astor Millinery is no longer around, but I do love hat boxes. How do people transport their chapeaus these days with a hat box?

The Dame gave me this nifty glass dome to fill with balls also! I placed it on my bar ledge sitting on a gold gilded frame and placed with my snowman.

Many of us probably remember these glass ornaments from the 40s,50,s and 60, from our parents and our childhoods. They take so back to a time in our minds when things were less uncomplicated time. Like a song or smell, each ornament can bring back all those memories and reconnects us to one another and the past.


  1. Anonymous12/21/2011

    I am just thrilled that you've chosen to show us your Wonderful Balls!!! They are certainly looking Merry & Bright -I just pray for the sorry soul who may decide to fiddle around with that glass dome... Balls would be flyin' every which way! "Yikes!" What an Awesome Collection -quite befitting of The Mistress. Say, do you remember those incredibly beautiful glass star Tree Toppers too??? How incredibly gorgeous they were!

  2. My maternal grandparents emigrated from Switzerland to Canada in the 1920s. My grandmother always put up a huge tree decorated with large glass ornaments from Germany and Switzerland. Her tree was always a wonder to behold! I have a couple of those ornaments now and display them on little stands at Christmas.

  3. Anonymous12/22/2011

    Oh I didn't know their history, I love the old balls, I don't own a single one, must rectify that but I've no idea where to sure the old ones here.
    Your house looks beautiful, what time should I arrive?

  4. The good news is that hat boxes are still being manufactured and you can purchase them online.

    And you can find plenty of vintage hat boxes on eBay.

    Thank you for serving your balls to us on a platter.

  5. Tabbers- you can just show up anytime, cock-a-tails are always ready!!!

    Mj-Why I don't think I ever had my balls on a platter before. In a glass maybe.........

    Deb- I can just picture it! I'm sure it was very beautiful!

    Skill- I don't worry about the dome, I'm use to balls flying every which way around here!

  6. Never knew the history before, but I will say you do have impressive balls over there at the Casa!

  7. I have shiny brights from 1965! And have Radko ones also and it is hard to tell the difference because every year we have always wrapped our ornaments in tissue paper and packed them carefully with towels and bubble wrap. Old fashioned ornaments are the best, bar none!

  8. I too have many of my parents & grandparents ornaments that have survived the years! Sometimes my family thinks I am a little crazy for caring so much about our families past! The old ornaments, like many other old items, really are the best & they mean the most to me!

  9. Ahhhh, I loving all the talk about your balls, not something we get much of!!!!

  10. Are we really dicussing balls! They are pretty though......

  11. You have some great ideas for balls! I so need you to decorate for me.


Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!