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December 2014

Family Tradition – A Christmas Card Story

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The tradition of Christmas cards dates back to the mid-1800s, but we have our own way of honoring this tradition. As a creative family, we inject our own sense of style into even the most highly revered time-honored traditions, and the Christmas card is no different. Armed with a plan, a mid-century home as a backdrop, and most importantly, some vintage finery we curated ourselves or was handed down from our families, each year we set out to create a new Williams masterpiece!

The mid-century Williams family Christmas card began in 2008 when Murphy was a tiny tot. That vintage egg chair Murphy sits in is an original – a family heirloom handed down from my fab Uncle Jim! The inside of the 2008 card featured Murphy wearing a fedora my great grandfather, Christopher Columbus “CC” Murphy wore as a child…yes, I said Christopher Columbus Murphy was my great-grandfather’s name (and now you know where “Murphy” came from, too)!

2009

We took a step in a different direction in 2009 with custom artwork; a nod to famous retro artist, SHAG. I commissioned our friend Tony Stewart and his team of artists at  Team Art Boy, to create this stylized portrait of our family in front of our home. A print of this magnificent work of art hangs in our home to this day!

NotShag4

In 2010, Murphy offered holiday “Christmas-tini” cocktails as the gorgeously pregnant Angel wore a vintage frock handed down from my great grandmother, Gran – accessorized with an elegant cigarette holder. Picture perfect.

2010 holiday card copy

We took 2011 to a whole new level of cheese-tastic for Charlie’s first Christmas! We all pulled on our matching sweater vests (compliments of Angel’s mother, Delynn, and grandmother, the original Angeline!) over white turtlenecks and headed to the JC Penny Portrait Studio for a retro spoof. It. Was. Glorious.

2011 cmas card

Not all of  the 1950s furniture items around our home are just for show, some are used daily! This card from 2012 features our vintage RCA console TV/Stereo and authentic tear drop cork lamp – both are fixtures in the studio every day! The vintage ceramic Christmas Tree was given to us by my Aunt Pat, one of the crystal decanters was handed down from Angel’s grandfather, Chandler, and Angel is wearing a vintage necklace handed down from my grandmother, Mama Mable. Interesting sidenote: we have five working cork lamps in our home…it’s a sickness.

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Our custom Santa blow mold family graced the cover of the Williams’ family Christmas Card in 2013. We do own the original vintage Santa blow mold featured in this piece of work – you can see him peeking out of the window in this image, and on the roof of our home most every night during December!

03.26.11 Murphy and Charlie in the Studio

This year, Angel whipped up a retro feast to put on display for our annual Christmas card! Retro food items included tomato aspic, lime with pineapple Jell-O mold, and sliced SPAM (defer to our Facebook page for recipes). I am wearing an overcoat which belonged to my grandfather, Don, all of the china and glassware were wedding gifts to my parents in the 60’s, the salt and pepper shakers were ‘secretly procured’ from my mother’s house, and that cute poinsettia candy dish was a family treasure from Angel’s grandmother, “Angie” (the artist known as ‘the original Angeline’). A few more items I want to mention:

– the vintage briefcase I am holding is a new collecting obsession of mine – a 70’s Hartmann handed down from my dear old uncle Ebay.

– that Turmingo lives in our yard…and has legs. His name is Featherstone.

– although not family heirlooms, the red candlesticks, tablecloth, dual-pedastal mirror-top dining room table, and fab cracked glass light fixture hanging over that table are all proud vintage finds we’ve collected over the years. Holiday card perfection!

Front ver2

Happy Holidays from the Williams family and the whole team here at PWP Studio! It’s been a great year, and next year will be even better!