31 December 2008

Happy New Year...

The new year will find Rich and I hooking up the Airstream (well, that's actually Rich's job truth be told...I'm usually relegated to cleaning and organizing, which is fine by me...the large and what I think is a rather scary metal towing thing that needs to be hooked up just right so we don't loose either ourselves or the Airstream seems a bit daunting of a task for me...I mean, I just called it a towing thing forheavensake...when the real name is a hitch towing thingie. Obviously.) and escaping to new destinations. Together. For a vacation.

Did I mention together?

And that we will be somewhere new?

For a vacation?

I am very excited, as I can't quite recall the last time I took the New Year off and went somewhere different, but I'm thinking that it was sometime in college. My holiday schedule at Snap Snap is so wacky, and I often take New Year's Day off...but this year, after discussing it with Rich (and both of our need to take the Airstream and get away) I decided to extend a few days for a treat.

I can't say that I will be sorry to see 2008 go. And I'm still kind of wondering if 2008 will go out kicking and screaming seeing as it behaved a lot that way during it's stay. 2008 was a year that was full of many challenges for me. I also had millions of little things to be grateful for and joyful about, but sheesh...there was a lot of other stuff as well. Perhaps with more time it will look differently? Often while reflecting, things don't seem as critical do they?

Don't worry, Meena is being taken very good care of...with some live-in kitty care...

And I'm bringing the Mac, so that you will get a front row seat to our latest adventure.

I've packed everything all up that I think I will be needing, and have ended up with 3 bags...well, 4 if you count the camera bag. And, um 5 if you count my travel sized purse. I thought I'd be all sneaky and pack my clothes in a smallish bag (because smallish is good when traveling in an Airstream) which was a fine idea, except my toiletries don't fit, and the bag doesn't close and seems to be oozing outfits...and the Mac along with the external hard drives and all the cords and chargers and for all of the other electronic gadgets? Forget about it...

I'll see you on the road...

Happy New Year to everyone...

Here's to hoping it's a good one!

30 December 2008

Knitting Like the Wind...

Ever since finishing The Clap, I have been knitting...it's like a knit storm over here (heh) I knitted 3 pairs of fingerless mittens for Christmas gifts (and I have some ideas for next years gifts) and I just finished up a sweet little wool cap for a friend that is having her second baby boy...

I adore it, and it was fantastically easy to make.

Then again, I'm finding almost everything is fantastically easy to make after completing The Clap.

For whatever it's worth,
that 3 weeks of knitting that project got me past and over some large knitting hump, and I am now under the delusion that I can knit anything. This is some good news for me, because my mother gave me a new book for Christmas and I decided to tackle a project yesterday...the one on the cover as a matter of fact. Now, either this book is incredibly well written, or I'm feeling a little more confident while reading instructions...because I got a great start (perhaps it's both) So great, that I will be looking forward to ringing in the New Year wearing these little beauties.

I am also noticing that when I start a new project that I've never done before, I am feeling some serious flutters in my tummy. These flutters are a lot like the ones I had most of the way through The Clap project...at first I thought I was having a lot of panic attacks, and now I realize that I am just so excited about learning something new. At least that's the story I would rather believe...that knitting is not giving me panic attacks, but it's exciting me.

That and I can knit anything!

(and yes, that's a new member to the sock monkey family...I had to use it as a model seeing as there's no little heads around here, well except for the cat...who looked very angry when approaching her with the tiny hat. Do you see her shaking her head and saying, "no way!" I got her in the end though...I think she secretly likes wearing the hat and being my model.)

29 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Wrap Up

Here...grab a lemon bar (or two...it's still officially the holiday season, so these calories totally don't count...)

I had intended to extend Project Holiday Presence until the New Year, but honestly? I have the feeling that I am done. I think that the project did what it intended to do, or maybe I did what I set out to do. During the weeks of Holiday Presence I noticed a lot of things:

  • I was better able to slow down and really enjoy the holiday. I was actually seeking out the things that make me happy, and documenting them as almost not to forget, well that and I had made the commitment to do so here on the blog...
  • Out of all the collections and fun that I have in my life, I find that I enjoy the lights of the season the most. I seek out lights when I'm driving, and look forward to things being lit up and decorated, and I can stare at lights for hours (I do the same things when plunked down in front of a fire.)
  • I also noticed that I really wanted to watch old holiday movies. I wanted to watch all the classics and I'm disappointed to say that I actually don't own a lot of the classics, and I wasn't able to catch them on television either...so, I am making a commitment to remedying that.
  • While taking the time to actually relax and enjoy the season, I fell behind on the things that I normally have undercontrol. Those things that I usually have done or bought, just weren't. They did find themselves either bought or let go of before each holiday...and not just in time or at the last minute, but in time. Things got done in time, wrapped in time, baked in time, bought in time, sent in time, and everything else? Well, everything else just didn't matter this year.
  • The best part of the project came in the millions of tiny minutes when I found myself getting ready to go somewhere and participate in something...or when I found myself overwhelmed when being somewhere. I was able to remember this point of this project and take the time to remember to enjoy myself, to calm down and be present with everyone. I found my celebrations this year even more fun and satisfying. It's not been that in the past that this time of year has been lacking, but I think that maybe I have been lacking...or maybe my vision has been clouded with other things. But, through this little project, I was able to clear away some of the cobwebs I put up as walls, and get a bit clearer and truly enjoy many tiny moments. Those tiny moments added up and made some really wonderful big moment.

I am now wondering how long I can carry this through my life, and where else I can put in it practice? I'm thinking that there are other people out there than know how to do this better...how to practice being fully present more often than I. know that I'm not able to be fully present all the time, but I want to be more present more often. And I'm thinking that this may take a lot of reminders and a lot of practice, and that's OK with me.

Thank you all for playing along with me and checking in...

26 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Nine

This girl has gotten everything that she wanted for Christmas.

Yes. Every little last thing.

*Spending time with my family at my mother's beautifully decorated and festive home...putting my feet up and being silly...enjoying everyone.

*Eating. all. day. long. (including a one pound box of Nuts and Chews from Sees...which isn't gone yet, but we will be enjoying for a bit...it was the year Santa tried to kill the family indeed)

*Gifts...a calendar, a new knit hat and fantastic washcloth, perfume, a subscription to Dwell, fantastic books to stimulate my creativity, vintage holiday candles, part of a vintage Tiffany's desk set, Jewelry and a lot of other different things...really everything I wanted and so many thoughtful surprises.

*Phone calls and texts from so many wonderful family and friends throughout the day.

*Spending time with my sweetie and making new holiday traditions.

*A Rich Charpentier original one of a kind print...just for me.

*And surviving some insane winds and a rain storm outside all day...to the point of when I was driving home at night, I was thinking...good lord, why won't the car go! There's something wrong!?!?! Oh. Perhaps it's because I'm driving into 40 mph+ winds...that could be it.

*Snuggling at home with Ms. Meena and some hot tea...and a feather comforter, relaxing, winding down and remembering and taking it all in...realizing how lucky I am to have so many blessings and so much joy in my life.

And a little observation about my Christmas this year...because of the Holiday Presence Project, I was able to remembered before I went to pick up my grandmother, and then again after I left my mother's house to spend the afternoon and evening with Rich, to remind myself to try to slow down and enjoy each experience I was going to have during the day. I was able then several times to really be present with my celebrations and I felt comfortable and relaxed and happy to be included at each place I went.

What a nice relief.

25 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Eight

(this year's holiday card image)

Merry Christmas to all...

And to all...

A good night.

And a wonderful day. Full of all the magic and the joys of the holiday season.

I was dreaming of a white Christmas, and we were talking about it last night when Rich and I were at Ian and Jantina's home for Christmas Eve. Jantina and I decided that all we really wanted for Christmas was snow.

Of course they had the baby dressed as Santa (complete with a hat) So, I almost took him for Christmas instead. I mean, really...a fat happy baby elf would just about trump snow.

I woke to a wet Christmas instead...seeing as it rained most of the night...I suppose it may turn to snow. I mean, it's Christmas, miracles happen...

24 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Seven

And the stocking were hung...

Especially my now vintage (ahem) stocking made for me by my mother when I was just a wee gal...She made one for my dad to match, and I have used it every year until the year we couldn't find the stockings and I had to rush out and buy some at World Market...they are knit stockings with red and cream or green and cream stripes and red or green toes, and we liked those so much that we decided to switch...so, now I have my stocking to hang at my house.

And look who stopped by to enhance my holiday! A wonderful Fluffy kitty from Felicia!! I am so in love with her...she is soft and fluffy, and if I'm not mistaken, I would think that Felicia knit this sweet baby. It was a total surprise and the first thing I thought was, "oh my goodness...I want to carry this tiny kitty around everywhere with me...I wonder if I could make her into a hat?"

A cat hat.

And for your Christmas Eve enjoyment...

This year's mantle.

Because on Christmas Eve...it's all about the mantle.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve. I will be spending it visiting friends, and snuggling with my sweetie, and I wish you the same...

23 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Six

Winter Road Trips...

An innocent trip to go up North for Tour De Snow...and "Maybe this will get me in the holiday spirit..." Resulting in one of my favorite pictures of Rich ever:

I know I don't post a ton of pictures of Rich close-up on my blog...and it's not that I don't want to, it's just that there's still a part of me that feels kind of shy about taking pictures of him (that and he's about like me when you take pictures of me...I end up making weird smiley faces, and I'm thinking it's often better to try to capture us on the sly) I know...it's a bit nuts.

But this picture?

This picture managed to capture one of the favorite faces Rich often makes at me when I'm being silly...he always has the great talent to make me laugh, also making me feel so lucky to have him in my life...and so excited that we get to go out and play together and sincerely enjoy spending time with each other (even though he wears an electric orange coat...but, at least I can find him in a snowstorm, eh? giggle...)

This picture is true Rich A' La Carte...

It was also about the time that I realized that we would not be holding hands all romantically and snapping holiday photos as we strolled through the downtown shops of Flagstaff, because Flagstaff was just starting to get hammered by their latest snow storm, so we decided to count our blessings with the few things we got to do...and head down the hill instead.

So...I spent a lot of time taking pictures out of the windows of the Titan, while Rich navigated the increasingly crazy snowy roads in near white-out conditions. He is a phenomenal driver, so I didn't need to press my invisible passenger side brakes or steer in my mind...or grab my arm rests with white knuckles...seriously, I always feel very safe with Rich behind the wheel of the car.

Unfortunately, the kids in the SUV up there weren't so lucky...they spun out, lost a tire when it flew up in the air about 50 feet...and then bounced down the road, and then their bumper and other various and sundry things. I missed it because I was busy taking pictures...But, they looked OK, both were upright and using cell phones when we slowly passed them (There was someone already there pulling over to help and we figured we'd just be in the way, and we couldn't really see exactly what happened...)

All in all, it was a beautiful snowy trip...and we both were excited to run home and see our snowfall...of which there was NONE, thankyouverymuch. It seems as if our storms are accompanied by insane amounts of wind...which blows the clouds straight to somewhere else.

It's not entirely fair really...

21 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Five

Happy Solstice and Cookies.

Or more accurately...Baking.

I usually love giving hand made gifts on the solstice. This year, I didn't quite get it together in time...because I have some hand made gifts for Christmas instead. But, waking early in the pre-dawn of 6:30 am very excited to spend the day baking with Rozzilyn. You see...today was our annual Christmas baking day...we bake together every year, so we can have fresh and amazing goodies for Christmas day.

We baked all day.

Our business resulted in:

Peanut butter fudge
Pecan pie bars with dark chocolate drizzled over the top
Mexican wedding cookies
Iced sugar cookies

(each was made gluten and dairy free...and both the fudge and the Mexican wedding cookies are also egg-free, which means Rich could enjoy them. The rest of my family can eat eggs, and eggs are not that easy to substitute in recipes...so they will gladly partake in the rest...Oh, and we used no refined sugar either. My mother received her two tins chock-full this afternoon along with Rich who received his one tin...I have 2 tins left here...and I'm a little nervous about that, seeing as I haven't been to the gym lately due to the illness)

It was a crazy day indeed...resulting in the use of almost 2 pounds of dairy-free butter, the very last drop of my vanilla, the last of the food coloring. and a small dash to the local very crowded mall for a last minute gift Rozzie had to get...and although, we had fun, I kind of felt a little raggedy and like that green bear up there that unfortunately lost an arm (you should see one of the angels...)

It was worth it though...and this may go down as the year we all got sick from the sugary goodness!

20 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Four

Christmas quilt...

The special bedding that sits and waits in the bottom of the closet. Or the doors over the closet. Or in the tiny built-in located in the basement that I've designated the linen closet. Because I've always wanted one. A linen closet.

And bed. A sweet deep sleep...helping my body to rest and heal from the cold that has finally descended...nose like a faucet, making it chapped even though I'm using the Lotion kind of tissues both at home and at work (the Vicks one at home...causing my already chapped lips burn) Me...carrying the Kleenex box around the house like a teddy bear or a security blanket.

Kicking aside the absurdly large pile of Kleenex and climbing into bed almost 2 hours early last night...after coming home and turning on the heat and having it run for more than a half hour, stop for 15 minutes and then start again, trying to heat up the house (and the heat is only set to 65) I need to crawl in bed early to be able to afford to pay the gas bill.

Healing is good.

Being able to afford to eat is also good.

Snuggling under this quilt...visions of sugarplums dancing in my head...

19 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Three

Meet me under the mistletoe...

I unwrapped this mistletoe ball given to me by my mother last year...in it's original vintage box. I couldn't wait to put it up this year! I almost threw away the plastic mistletoe that came with it...but then I figured that it may actually be original...so the plastic mistletoe stayed.

I test it out every time Rich comes over, by walking into the kitchen when we're having a conversation so he follows me...he ends up right under the mistletoe! It worked great the first few times when I had to interrupt him to give him a big smooch.

I think he's wising up to my sneakiness though.

Or at least he will if he sees this post.

He's starting to roll his eyes at me...when I interrupt our conversation to point above his head.


I'm just practicing in case Brad Pitt stops by this holiday...

18 December 2008


Aha. Finally. For my snow fixation...can you see that? I mean, yes it's a light dusting coming after an insane night of blowing torrential rain...but, that is an actual dusting of snow on the ground and actual snow falling from the heavens. I can hear, due to the new gutters on the house, when the water stops falling and it gets cold enough to freeze instead. So, there was a part of me while I was sleeping that was listening for that. There's also a part of me that reaches over and pats the cat all night too...

I was so excited in fact, that immediately after taking this picture, I ran into the kitchen and poured my morning coffee all over the front of the hoosier, the floor, my feet and the stove. Actually, come to think of it, at the moment I was pouring, I was thinking back to yesterday morning when Rich invited me to come and have coffee with him before work...these are the things that distract me. The thought of an enjoyable morning with my sweetie...complete with chocolate macaroons and decaf coffee (we're living big over here)

Oh winter. Oh Holidays. Oh snow.

You're all finally here.

17 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-Two

New Holiday Haircuts...

I don't suppose many people get haircuts for the holiday...or maybe they do?

Ms. Dina and I were talking about getting our hair cut not too long ago...she made the jump before I did, donating 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love. If I would have not cut my hair recently, I probably could have done the same thing...but, I didn't even think of it. Rats. What a wonderful gift for someone.

She called to tell me she'd made the leap and that she looked like Iman.

"Dude. You look like Iman?!?! If you look like Iman, I'm going to go shave my head right now!"

"No. Not Iman. A M-O-M...I look like a mom"

"Oh. Well, you are a mom..."

So, I decided to run to the hairdresser and got my hair all cut off. I know. It's kind of strange seeing as I didn't really like my last haircut and wished for my longer hair back. But you know? I actually love this cut! It's so fun...

Go figure.

At least I will look very kicky when Santa comes down the chimney next week...

Of course, I got my hair cut less than 24 hours after we took this year's holiday pictures for my cards...so they don't reflect the new hairdo.

In other news.
This snowstorm of epic proportions we're supposed to be getting? Where is it? Everyone is rushing around like crazy people stocking up on supplies and nothing is happening. There was a two hour delay for school yesterday (and I know of someone who couldn't get out of their driveway...making me wonder if they've relocated to Alaska) and the only place I even saw snow was in my neighborhood and the hills surrounding Prescott (because I live in the hills surrounding Prescott...which is silly, because I actually live UP a small hill in Prescott, can see the downtown and may be able to hit it if I threw a tennis ball, and there's always more snow waaaay up here...it's very silly really) and all it really was, was cold and slushy. It also snowed all day yesterday, but with no sticking. It snowed, in fact, until it actually got cold enough to stick. Then it stopped. Now they're freaking out on the news and telling us that there's going to be more and to grab our flashlights and batten down the hatches...This makes me raise my eyebrows a bit. It looks as if Flagstaff has gotten quite a bit of snow...and it's cloudy here...but, I'll honestly believe it when I see it.

(There. Is that enough taunting to have Mother Nature make me eat my words and get just a little snow here to stick around?)

(they actually called 2 snow days in Flagstaff and are likening this snow storm to the one in 67. They've gotten one foot of snow...in 67? They got EIGHT feet of snow...they had to dig tunnels through the snow so people could walk around. That would also be the year that Prescott sold it's snow removal equipment to someone and they had to air-drop food into town...apparently they also had to postpone Christmas because no one could get out of their homes to visit with family...it seems as if we've gotten more dramatic about the weather here)

16 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty-One


I have made a startling discovery this year while doing my Holiday Presence project...I love lights. Now, I've always had a suspicion this may be so, but this year I find myself seeking out lights...being drawn towards them like a moth towards a flame...or a moth towards a light for that matter. I want to stand and just appreciate the lights this year...they remind me of something magical.

I rediscovered a set of tin star lights that I bought at a rummage sale, and thought they would look perfect surrounding the light and small entry way of Foolsewoode. I hung the string, and then put the stars on each of the flickering bulbs, so when the timer comes on (I love love love light timers, because they come on when it gets dark and stays on for a period of time...all without any effort from me. Unless you count the programming of the entire thing) Each star twinkles...I would love to have lights all over my house, but I am a little too scared to pop up on the roof myself (even though the gutters could use a good cleaning out) so...the doorway is all I get.

I love white lights...then again, I love colored ones as well. I love the old big colored lights from when I was a kid, and even though I like the new LED lights because they save money and electricity and they kind of glow...I really prefer the one's from my childhood. But, whatever lights I choose to have on the outside of the house, must match the one's on the inside. I am not a fan of colored lights outside if you have a white lit tree in the window. I know, picky...but, it's always bothered me.

15 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twenty

Thank you for your well wishes. I am feeling...well, kind of the same actually. Tired, and a little stuffed up...just like someone who needs a lot of pulpy orange juice (I like the pulpy kind the best) and chicken soup, and rest. I think that instead of trying to attempt a wintry road trip today, Rich and I will both be laying around and watching movies...hopefully together.

He has been more stuffy and runny than I...I feel like I've kind of arrested this thing in it's tracks, but I'm sure time will tell.

Until then, I'm off to mail holiday packages that need to go out, and then off to the video store to pick up some goodies for today...Our wintry road trip will have to happen next week at this time instead...barring any other unforeseen sickness. It's supposed to snow all week long, so it will actually be good to get away into the snow if there's actually snow...plus? It will be closer to Christmas...

That's Ms. Dina's silver aluminum tree up there...I photographed it in between photo shoots of her families holiday card.

14 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Nineteen

First Snow.


That's not much now is it?

There were insane winds yesterday. I'm thinking they must have blew the snow clouds right out of here in fact. Seeing as it was supposed to snow last night...and then again today...but there are clear skies, with a few white fluffy clouds. Now, I may be singing a different tune later this week as it is supposed to keep on snowing...but, you never know.

After a few errands this morning, I came home to tuck myself up on the couch under a blanket and assemble my Holiday Cards...

I don't think I'm quite as sick as Rich (for instance...) but, I'm feeling really run down and like I want to rest and drink lots of OJ and eat lots of chicken noodle soup.

13 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Eighteen

Acker Night...

A fundraiser for the parcels of land the Acker family generously left for our use in the community...many house parks, playgrounds and hiking trails and are enjoyed by all...Perhaps the most enjoyable thing is Acker Musical Night. This is a night when a lot of the downtown businesses stay open late and host local musical and performance talent within the community...some serving cookies and treats, hot cocoa, and cider (and I'm telling you, to watch some of these people, it's the only time of year they get a cookie...I watched several people at various treat tables shoving it in with both hands...spewing crumbs all over before running out to do it at the next place...yikes.) Like a lot of celebrations in Prescott, this one has a huge turn out, and one of the best things about it is the fact that it's mostly us locals. With the highly publicized Holiday activities in Arizona's Christmas City...this is the one that isn't necessarily played up as much as the others, so it's usually a whole lot of local people instead, which is so fun...because you're constantly running into someone you know.

It is my most favorite activity to participate in during the holiday season...and it was last night. I was a little bummed because three different shops on my street took part. No one usually takes part at all...and I would have loved to join in the fun! Well...maybe next year instead. This year, while my mother manned her own shop, I ran to get Rozzilyn so we could walk around and enjoy ourselves together...that's one of the bummers about being open during the festival...you can't walk around and enjoy it. Even with the small drizzle, it was a wonderful night and a terrific turn out.

I was reminded of being in Italy, as usually during the evenings, people come out in droves to enjoy the night, strolling, eating and chatting with fellow friends...and with some of the main streets surrounding the square closed off, it promoted a lot of all those things. With the music of the different talents, it was so very Christmassy...The picture above was early in the evening...by the end, you couldn't walk on the sidewalks as comfortably.

I ended the evening back at the gallery so I could sneak in a little time with Rich and help with crowd control while he and Ian talked to all the people. This was his first experience with Acker night (I think he was working this night last year) and even though he wasn't lucky enough to get out and walk around...he was totally blown away by the amount of people that came out to have fun.

I also ran to Dina's to pick up the photo component for my holiday cards. I can't wait to get started on putting them together...although, I'm feeling a little under the weather, and am trying not to get sick (I think)

We're also all eagerly awaiting this season's first snow...which may visit us as early as tomorrow (30% chance)
Which is prompting a little winter themed road trip for Rich and I Monday...
as long as we're both feeling better.

12 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Seventeen


Oh Ornaments.

A wonderful friend from my past and I have reconnected this year somewhat as a side effect of my High School Reunion...she wasn't able to go because she lives quite a fair clip away, but we reunited nonetheless (thank you Internets) It's been so wonderful to catch up, as she was such a good friend.

We met in Junior High, when her family moved here from a more hep place. She was cute and stylish and totally fascinated me...Along with her fantastic sense of humor and depth she had fun clothes and wonderful accessories (this gal had the greatest living jewelry collection I'd ever seen...she was like meeting a part of me as well...we were both avid crazy collectors of wonderful things. I remember her family having boxes of, "...things that are going to be collectible someday" and from what I remember...they should be that now...I hope she kept them) We had a math class together and sat next to each other and found connection in the shared struggle (the teacher was very confusing and uninspired, to be fair...we both did well in math later)

After going to a school dance in the lunch room one Friday night, when the DJ put on a record (cause we're old school that way) she started to dance. Probably because that's what young teenagers were doing in other places in the United States...but Prescott's always been a little s l o w like that. I noticed that people kind of stopped and watched her and mumbled a lot under their breath...and I couldn't stand it. She was my friend forheavnesake...and I have a weird sense of fairness, coupled with the fact that I'd rather stand up for someone else than myself. And so, even though I was mortified...I walked right out there with her (and her brother, I think) and started dancing myself. I'd never actually danced in public before, and can't believe I pulled something out (although, we danced around at home a lot, and I took dance since I was 4...) And thanks to her...I learned this was one of my very favorite things to to ever. Since then, before I learned all that I have...it was the only way I ever felt good and safe in my body. I could be free and comfortable and have an amazing time...I didn't have to be drinking or taking any substances, I could just let go and move.

Well...I got a very festive package the other day, which reminded me of the notes we used to give each other at school. (We would actually go home at night and make the most festive notes with decorated envelopes that I've ever done...it was a hoot) I placed the blue penguin package under the tree and let her know that I received it and that I was going to wait to open it. She wrote back and said that I couldn't possibly wait because it was something for my tree. Thus the wonderful ornament above. A girl holding a kitty that says, "Love me, Love my cat" So true. This ornament came from a household full of pets...so she just gets that animals are family thing.

There was also a calendar in the package, which doesn't have anything to do with ornaments...but I happened to take Rozz to Hastings last night, and I was looking at calendars because I need one for the shop and Foolsewoode, and they were running a special. Well...I found one, but couldn't quite find the perfect one for the shop...and I was lamenting the fact that they didn't have "the great shoe one I saw last year..."

Well, she'd sent it in the package.
(she also reminded me that she knew I would like the gifts because she would have bought them for herself...and we could always buy for each other so easily...Oh yeah, there is that)

It's a Christmas miracle.

Thank you Gretchen.

11 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Sixteen

Gift Exchange.

Somewhere around last week when I was finally done with The Clap...which I finished at Ms. Dina's...over wine, two bite cupcakes, knitting instructions and lot's of giggles and fun, she dashed out of the room to bring back piles of vintage goodness, all while making the declaration "Here you go vintage Christmas linen girl!"

(this being my official title of the evening...) (it was a very good bottle of wine)

Two tablecloths.

One totally round (perfect for the outside table) and cross stitched...

One red with the most amazing branches, and green bows...and fantastic red dingle-ball trim...which I am swooning over so much that I am just dying to try to figure out how to make it into a skirt and still keep my friends and family wanting to be seen with me (I may just sleep with it under my pillow instead)

A set of fantastic napkins, with the promise of perhaps the unearthing of the matching tablecloth at some point...

And a fantastic vintage plaid poncho. Not necessarily something that I will put on the table, but it almost takes the place of the branch skirt.


For Dina, I made a set of cream merino wool knitted fingerless mittens. I made them in 2 days.


2 days...one day per hand it would seem.

After The Clap...I can whip these things out in record time...and they're fantastic! She's been wanting a pair since last year, and wouldn't you know that I bought the yarn way back then, and put it aside until just the other day?


Early Christmas presents to be sure...thank you gifts...and a bit of a good faith bribe so she would help me with my Holiday Cards...

Thank you Dina.

10 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Fifteen


I unpacked my crazy weird vintage holiday card holder when I unpacked all the ornaments for the tree and the rest of the house. I usually leave last year's good wishes in it, and then I toss them all into the recycle without a thought...making space for the one's I hope to receive this year. I don't know why I don't do it at the end of each season...but, maybe I just can't quite let go of them then, and it's easier after they've been packed away for almost a year. When the good wishes are not so fresh.

This year, I've decided that I want to go through them and relive some holiday love before they're remade into something else.

I also would like to, at this time...extend a special bit of holiday greetings to you. I recently went over to Ms. Dina's for an early morning photo shoot, for this year's holiday card...and I am, even as I'm typing this...eagerly waiting the results (my resident graphic gal Dina is busy as an elf...a very cute elf, and one without the pointy ears...) making all my photo wishes come true. If you would like to be included in this year's Holiday Card Recipient List, please leave a comment on this post, with your email (if I don't have it) so I can contact you and make a special greeting just for you...

Cause' you know how much I like to make greeting cards.

It's become one of the highlights of my holiday season.

09 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Fourteen

Another wonderful thing about The Holidays is the fact that it often brings out affordable finds at local thrifts and antique stores. Things that have been squirreled away for a while, or people that find themselves going through their holiday decorations and deciding to let go...Which means fun finds for the rest of us!
(I didn't post the prices I paid for these...but, they were all completely affordable...which usually leaves me so giddy when I find them that I can't concentrate on even looking at anything else...because I'm hunched over my finds. I guess I think that someone is going to point and yell something at me and then they're going to get taken away? Giggle...)

A medium sized blue themed bottle brush tree with aluminum ruffles and glass decorations.

Not one, but two goofy looking vintage German Santa head candy containers.

A handful of vintage glass painted glass light bulbs from Japan, taken from their original light cord and tied with ribbon to make them into ornaments...including some very cute face ones which I've never seen before...of course, having the ribbon tied around the bottom of the lights makes the Santa hang upside down, then again, I'm sure he hung upside down on the cord as well, so he's probably use to it...poor Santa.

And, a couple of vintage Christmas tablecloths, which aren't as easy to find sometimes...the one pictured here apparently was going to run out of fabric before the bottom of the print was inked onto it, so someone attached an extra piece of material using some serious thread...which was then printed on. I suppose that the "value" may go down on this piece, except that I think it's so unusual and fun...so it's a gem in my eye!

A set of vintage tavern candles in their original box.

A mica village house with 3 white bottle brush trees, and it's own bit of mica property. I also found 3 more tiny vintage glitter village homes from Japan that kind of pale in comparison to this large beauty. We're calling it the McMansion of the glitter village
(I guess you can't escape the McMansions...even in Christmas villages...sigh)

I will work on taking a perfect picture of the mantle soon...as both it and the tree have been decorated for about a week, sans Rozzilyn, my mother and I...

Of course, half of the twinkling lights on the mantle refuse to light now for some odd reason. They're a new set straight from the box for heavens sake...

Wonky lights are something that I don't like about the holidays, but something that is certainly present this year.

08 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Thirteen

Highlights of Saturday:

Beautiful weather for both the Holiday Parade and the Courthouse Lighting

A pushy woman and her 3 kids at the parade...the constant yelling and trying to get in front of me...resulting in a lot of weird heads and shoulders in the pictures I was trying to shoot.

The smell of an unwashed child's head steaming in the winter sun (courtesy of woman and her family above)

The tearing up of my eyes at the beginning of the parade coupled with the thought, "I'm so happy that I got to participate in all of the holiday celebrations in this town all these years...including performing in several parades and the Lighting"...then realizing by the end of the parade that I wanted to go back and open the shop because I was tired of watching the holiday festivities...(giggle...from nostalgia to boredom in 1.5 hours)

Watching the lighting with both Rozzilyn and Rich

A celebratory dinner out at a favorite restaurant with friends, in honour of Rich leaving his tie over job to jump into the gallery and the printing and the photography full time...

Having so much fun this weekend that I didn't even have time to turn on the computer on Sunday...making me miss one whole day of Holiday Presence...but then again, that's the fun of the holidays isn't it?

06 December 2008

Holiday Presence :: Day Twelve

The Holiday Parade is today. This is different from the Light Parade, as it's during the day and there are more floats. As you can see...being Arizona's Christmas City comes with a hefty price...lots of parades and events (there didn't use to be this many, and it's kind of overwhelming...but, I think it may be done primarily for the tourism...and with gas being down, well? Bring it on...) I usually always go to the Christmas Parade, seeing as the route is right down the street from Snap Snap...and I really like this parade, seeing as it's one of the original Holiday Celebrations that I remember from being a child...

The Holiday Parade is always followed by The Courthouse Lighting...which is at 6pm tonight. I usually don't go to that seeing as it's always cold and then I usually get a cold. It doesn't look like this year will be any different as I watched my sweet kitty who snuggled with me all night, gallop across the floor and jump directly onto her heated bed in the window when we got up this morning (yes, she has a heated bed...I get worried that she will get cold. Older kitties have a hard time regulating their body temperatures you know...not as much body fat and all of that) But, this year...Rich is feeling like he wants to venture down town to see The Lighting. So...I'm taking all my cold preventatives and dressing super warm so that I will stay warm and well. It's been so many years since I've attended this particular holiday ritual that I'm looking forward to it. Usually there's school choirs singing and the reading of The Christmas Story by someone noteable...

In case you're out and about for the lighting?

I'll be the girl in the down sleeping bag with a clapotis wrapped around her head
(See? I finished that project right in time!!)

PS. See that third picture up there? The one with the angels and the green and gold weird leafy things? Those are supposed to be red and gold poinsettias...for heavens sake! When they "restored" and re-did the decorations a few years ago this is what they came up with. I keep wondering if people walk around The Square and think, "what the heck is that supposed to be??"

PPS...Do you like giveaways? There's an amazing one over at Confessions of a Craft Addict...you have plenty of time to get in on it as well!!


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