Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Tour

Seems as if every year I decorate minimally and swear I won't the next. Somehow, though, time gets away from me, and I do it again, year after year.

Several years back I picked up a pre-lit tree that's probably no more than three feet tall. I've been using it since, except when I haven't. This year is one of the latter times.

This little 18-incher is my fall-back. I've probably had it fifteen years or so, but it's served me well. This year I didn't even put ornaments on it--except for the chocolate sign my GG friend gave me. The rest are simply picks I stuck into the tree. I still like the look of it, except in this picture it needs a little straightening. Oh, and the mirrored cone beside it is one of those Dollar Tree things that are so popular in blogland this year. I picked it up last Saturday and haven't taken the time to age it down.

Here another pic of the tree, all straightened and in a position to highlight the poinsettia I made as a topper. (The cone is gone, and obviously the lighting wasn't as good for this pic as for the first.)

I look at these pictures and think OMG, they look so...bare. This little arrangement atop the lawyer's bookcase in my living room needs some, I dunno, greenery. And I'd use some, except I didn't bring all my decorative picks from the storage shed and I certainly don't intend to buy more.

I started gathering these crystal candleholders back when I was putting together glass totems for my garden. I bought way more than I ever could use as totems, even if I'd continued making them, so here they are in my Christmas dekkies.

And this is my table centerpiece. Not much; just a few pieces of faux sugared fruit around a candle in the old copper bowl I always use as a centerpiece, surrounded by a twisted berry garland.

Our stockings: Tom's has a flamingo on the top cuz we've had these forever and he used to collect them. Max's is the denim one at the top. Not fully visible in this pic is the Garfield stocking hanger holding it.

The wreath into my garage was made by a woman I used to work with, back in the dark ages. I think it's held up well, but it's a tad small for my front door.

This is what hangs there. It needs a bit more decoration, but I'm not up for that right now and probably won't get around to taking pics of it when I finally do manage to tart it up.

So that's my Christmas tour. I won't promise it'll ever get better than this, but thanks for stopping in!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gotta love...

Etsy Finds. This is the second time one of my items has been included in an article, and the number of hits I got was remarkable! Yesterday, they included the box of dominoes I picked up at a garage sale in September.

Honest, I wasn't even sure I wanted to sell them so I set the price pretty high. I'd had lookers sure but nothing like after the Storque article. (In case you're interested, you can see it here.) And they sold! Edited 12-12 to add clickable link.

Last summer, another of my items was included: I blogged about it at the time and it didn't sell for another couple of months.

 But it sold. Yay, Etsy Finds!

So the question is: how does one lure the Etsy Finds people to include items in the articles. I'm thinking photos. Gotta work on them photo skills. In the meantime, though, I'll consider myself lucky that I've been chosen twice!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lunch with the GGs

Christmas is about people. Sometimes when I'm chasing myself--I haven't decorated; I have no tree; I've not sent out cards; I haven't even looked at a cookie pan!--I tend to forget about that.

But...I'm never too busy for lunch with the GGs! I consider myself lucky to be part of a mahvelous group my sis calls the GGs (short for gym girls--Ginger always comes up with cool nicknames!) Disclaimer here--I haven't belonged to that gym in six years, but they let me tag along anyway.

This year for our Christmas lunch we went to the Hill Country Galleria, a neat little collection of shops in Bee Caves, about half an hour from Marble Falls which is sorta kinda a central location for all of us.

These ladies are really neat, and I adore them. We're an odd collection: Mary and Donna are retired nurses; Josie was in the travel industry in New Zealand; my sis Ginger still works--when her hub sold his business five years ago part of the agreement was that Ginger would continue to do their books for a while; I'm not sure what Joy did; I don't think I ever asked, but her hub was a lawyer turned entertainment agent, and Joy's the cool sophisticated lady that goes along with that; my SIL Sunny was a SAHM, and me, I worked outside sales for a local telco.

Mary made us all promise that when we get old--no matter what y'all think, we're not there, yet!--and all alone, we'll live on the same street so we can take care of each other. Since oldness is kinda looking at us sideways, Ginger surprised us with badges my 'nother sis Daisy made for each of us with our names on it. ('Cept Ginger's simply says Me.)

Cool, aren't they? Daisy's pretty darned talented. (And patient; she ran into a problem and had seven to make so it took quite a while.) Of course we all wore them while at lunch, just in case any of us had a sudden attack of dementia. (Mary says they'll work perfectly when we're in the old folks' home and can't remember who we are!)

We exchange small gifts among us, mine this year being the poinsettia ornament for which I previously gave directions. Actually these ladies were the reason I came up with the idea.

These are the ones I made for them, the originals. When it came time to get ready for the lunch, I needed boxes--and boxes are the bane of my existence. I actually own a boxmaker, a pretty cool tool, but still I struggle coming up with ones I like that are sturdy enough. (Often, as I'm struggling, I chant under my breath Nester's mantra, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!" Still, even knowing that, I find myself apologizing for the boxes whenever anyone compliments them. Someone kick me in the rear, please!)

After trying to decoupage boxes made from emty Cheerios containers and realizing it would take far too long, I finally decided on boxes made from old Christmas cards. They only had to be sturdy enough for a trip to Bee Caves.

I think they turned out pretty nice. (The reason the one on the bottom left doesn't have a bow is cuz my SIL has the flu and couldn't go with. She'll get hers when she feels better.)

Now for pics of my haul!

The Santa is from my SIL--she sent her gifts with Ginge since she'll most likely not be seeing the GGs before Christmas. The silver tree dish is from Mary, who nicely included soap that looks like candy instead of the real thing, in deference to my sugar allergy (also known as Type 1 diabetes!).

The candle was also from Sunny, as were the socks in the next pic. Looks good in my guest bath, huh?

This is the final lot--well, not quite: I forgot to include the lovely quilt potholders Donna made--she's a wonderful quilter--since I've already tucked those away. And the fudge Joy made, which Tom is enjoying. The photos are ones Joy took and had made into postcards. Wonderful shots, professional looking. They'd look great framed. The little wooden sign says Chocolate Makes my Clothes Shrink. Very apropos! (I think the sign will look cute on the tree--when I finally get it up. Hopefully that'll happen tomorrow afternoon, only I'm just going with a small one this year. I'm getting started too late to do the big one!)

Gotta go now. Lots to do--I was in the middle of a load of laundry when the water dried up. The water company says there's a blow-out down the line. Dang! Oh, well.

Later, y'all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

More Ornaments

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I won't be decorating for Christmas until later in the month so all I have to share that's seasonal are the ornaments I've been working on.

This first one is a soft sculpture needle felted snowman head. Easy peasy--it's not even fair to call it fiber art, but hey, I do!

Santa required a bit more finesse than did Frosty, but not much. Still not satisfied with his mustache. Hercule Poirot, he's not!

This last is one I made for a sister, which is why the pic was just taken on my desktop. Billie's admired similar ones, and since she did me a favor picking up a shared shower gift for a niece I thought I'd send this along with my share of the money. I kinda went overboard with the decorations, but I like it. I think she will too. (If you're reading this, Billie, it's going in tomorrow's mail, along with my check. And thanks!)

I'm enjoying everyone's posts about their Chrismas decorations. Just don't expect the same from me for some time yet, if at all. (When I do decorate, it's not that lavish. Maybe I'll take pics of my sis Ginger's house. Hers always looks fab. And when my SIL Sunny starts decorating again--well, that'll be something to see.)

Ta, y'all.