When I was a kid, we used to go to my grandmother's house fairly often, as she lived across the bay in Oakland. Gram had an amazing 1920s era apartment that overlooked Lake Merritt. She had a penchant for holiday decorating and always created these great displays in different rooms.
My favorite displays, however, were the dining room centerpieces. She had a large collection of Erzgebirge figures which she arranged for holiday decor. (Erzgebirge is a region in Germany that has been producing beautifully painted wood figures for centuries.) One Easter centerpiece that I remember well consisted of a manzanita branch and lots of little painted wooden bunnies, some up in the branches and some on the tabletop. It was like a little Easter rabbit workshop scene. They were kind of like the bunnies in this photo I found on UncommonEye's flickr photostream:
The only figures I have from my Gram are these two: a rather cross and prim looking lady with an umbrella and a large boy in lederhosen with a tiny balloon.
There's an incredible store in Berkeley called Castle in the Air, and if you're ever in the area, you definitely need to check it out. They carry lots of these Erzgebirge figures, Swiss and German cuckoo clocks (don't even get me started on how much I love cuckoo clocks), beautiful toys, and fine art, stationery and craft supplies from Europe. It's one of my most favorite stores, and I'm not allowed to go there very often.
But in case you're thinking you might want some of these Erzgebirge treasures for yourself, and you can't get to Castle in the Air, here's a few from online.
|Ladybird Musicians from Xvoto on Etsy|
|Mushroom Gnome Incense Smoker|