Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Robyn and Clare's Ornament Exchange and Christmasy things!

I love blogland. I have met some of the nicest people through this cool world. Two of them are Robyn from http://daisyquilts.blogspot.com/ and Clare from http://clarescraftroom.blogspot.com/.They have been hosting the Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap 2009, that I have participated in. These ladies are awesome hostesses! They are quick to answer questions and are so helpful with their reminders, and a Flickr sharing group.

My partner is Linda from http://cottagegardenquilts.blogspot.com/. Linda is a Long-arm Quilter! How cool! I am amazed at the wonderful women out there who take such good care of other women's quilts.

I made Linda a cross-stitch ornament from the Just Cross-stitch Ornament Issue from 2001. The designers are Mary Olsen and Candy Scott from the Workbasket. The pattern calls for Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, which I am a huge fan of. I am not sure if they are still designing patterns or not. I am so pleased with the results!

I used the most beautiful cranberry-colored hounds tooth felted wool from our local quilt store. I used hand-dyed Belfast linen size 36. My favorite parts are everything. I especially love the french knots for the holly and the tree and I love the gold beads for the ornaments and the bells. So festive. Not sure where the ribbon came from. It was in my scrapbook ribbon jar. It is an iridescent red and gold. I made the hanger long enough to use as a door hanger, if Linda wanted to.
I handmade my Christmas cards this year. I downloaded this pattern in 2001, as well. It came in a series of 5 or 6 paper pieced ornament patterns. I have always felt that they should be made into cards. So cards they became! These have been so fun to make! I haven't sent Christmas cards for a long time and I have made whatever lame excuse I could make. This year, I decided that because I love to get something in the mail besides bills and that maybe my friends and family would too!

Here they are together!

Last night was Hannah's last Christmas concert, our last Christmas concert as parents. Hard to believe that we have been going to the same school auditorium for 19 years of Christmas concerts. This year, Hannah is in Concert Choir and Madrigals. The Concert Choir sang 2 songs. They sounded lovely! They sang "Lullaby" by John Ness Beck and "The Snow Begins to Fall" by Sally K. Albtecht. Hannah is in her black and red Madrigal's dress in the front row with the red hair ribbon.

The Madrigals sang 6 songs, 4 of which were acapella. They sang "Carol of the Bells" arr. Wilhousky, "Fum, Fum, Fum" arr. Ed. Lojeski, "We Three Kings" arr. Darmon Meader, "Bidi Bom" David Eddleman, "Masters in this Hall" Gilbert M. Martin, and "O Holy Night" arr. Mark Hayes. All of the seniors had solos in "O Holy Night". It was beautiful! Think about the music from the "Lion King" and you have the arrangement of this song. It was a fantastic way to spend a peaceful night in a hectic season! I will miss this in the years to come!

I have also realized that my last post/RANT about my Christmas tree was fueled by hormones (pms) and one too many glasses of Merlot. It is what it is. I have rethought my feelings about my tree and have decided to embrace it! I am known amongst my family and friends for my love of "Charlie Brown" Christmas trees. You know the ones. They have very few needles and tons of bare spots; but all they needs is a little TLC to shine! So why should this one be loved less than the others? It has many things going for it. It is definitely a conversation piece. It has a new element--the ornament spinners, it has NO icicles on it--a first in 19 years, it has my favorite things in the world on it--thrifted, vintage ornaments, it has the gold foil star on it that I made in kindergarten, it has a gold tinsel star that my daughter, Cassie, made for me when she was about 10 or 11, it has vintage glass bead garland on it-a first, and it has the 'Santa Suit' tree skirt around it that I love so much. I will be taking more flattering photos of it maybe tomorrow. That is, if and only if, I get my Christmas CD party favors done tomorrow afternoon. No, definitely to take photos before I start the CD's. I need good light.

Have a great day!


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Bah Humbug!

So, I did get my tree up today.

And I think it looks good without the lights on.

At just about any angle, it is the most lopsided tree I have ever had. I love the "Charlie Brown" style trees. And I am usually pretty happy after I get them decorated with all of my favorite vintage ornaments.

This year, as I was decorating it, I thought it looked pretty good. I even found some special ornament things that spin the ornaments around. All you have to do is unplug a light bulb and replace it with the twirler.

But after taking photos of it. I am bummed out. It is horrible. It leans to the right side and to the back. Rick and Hannah worked for over a 1/2 hour trying to true it up, with no luck. So, we are stuck with an ugly tree this year.

I could just cry. Seriously, just cry.

One of my Christmas presents, that Rick gives me each year, is a Christmas party for our family and friends. So, I guess I can have all my friends and family all set on the couch at the same time everyone gets the absolute best view. Don't know how I am going to fit 30+ people on a sofa that sits 3 and have them all stay there for an entire evening.

Good thing everyone likes to be in our basement where our game room is. Everyone will be too busy playing pool, Foosball, poker and boardgames to more than glance at my tree!

Have a great week.