Friday, December 28, 2012


It happens every year. There comes a day when I suddenly wake up and discover that, all which once filled me with delight, is suddenly driving me absolutely bonkers.

Today is that day. Christmas has GOT to GO!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Remember the ornament that started with an old lightbulb covered in air-dry clay? Well, this is where it went from there!

She was meant to resemble a Matryoshka, or Russian nesting doll, so I went online, printed up examples of five or six different ones, and began to paint. Somewhere along the way though, my little babushka morphed into a German Fraulein, complete with dirndl. Not sure how that happened!

Of course, I couldn't resist adding a little dusting of glitter-snow here and there.

Have I mentioned yet how much I adored participating in Christy Tomlinson's 12 Artsy Ornaments of Christmas class? And how much I look forward to doing so again next year? The very best part was being introduced to, and getting to work with, so many wonderful and talented instructors, whom I might never have discovered otherwise. My only complaint was that the class didn't open until early December, and with all that's going on at that time of year, there was just no way to make it through all twelve projects before Christmas.

Still, maybe that's not such a bad thing after all. Instead of feeling bereft now, because it's all over and done with, I still have several projects left that I can work on throughout the year. Plus, I now have plenty of time to keep scouting for the colorful wool sweaters I need, which will get felted, cut into strips, and turned into the most darling little Christmas trees ever! I dug through all of our drawers and closets, and couldn't find a one. Guess it just doesn't get cold enough for wool in these parts. My only hope is that some northerners moved down here, then dumped a few off at the thrift stores once they realized how pleasant our winters are. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Well, it's all over and done with for another year. It just never ceases to amaze me how you can go from this...

and this...

and this...

to this -- in the mere blink of an eye!

From lavish decorations, beautifully set tables, tins filled with home-baked delights and sumptuous meals, to something that more closely resembles a bomb site!

It's funny...well, not really. Perhaps odd would be a better word. OK, it's odd, but I used to start planning for Christmas in August, got really revved up by Halloween, and started getting disappointed that nothing was going as planned shortly after Thanksgiving. Then, by mid-December, I'd be getting depressed about it being almost over with for a whole 'nuther year, when there were still so many things that I hadn't got 'round to doing -- all those picture perfect moments which you see in the magazines and commercials, that we never quite got around to creating.

All that began to change the very first Christmas spent here in our Hill Country house, and I seemed to have mellowed a bit more with each passing year. This year, when we finally crawled into bed on Christmas Eve, I suddenly turned to my hubby and said "Oh my gosh! I totally forgot to get depressed this year!" "That's because you were too busy having fun, creating all your Artsy Ornaments, to even notice that it was almost over with." Not only did I forget to get depressed, I somehow got through it all without making my usual lists and schedules, didn't even start my shopping until after Thanksgiving, and never felt panicked or even close to a meltdown, despite doing Christmas dinner and the baking on my own this year, since both kids were right in the middle of moving and hadn't yet got their kitchens set up.

You see, all those things that I thought I could make happen, if I did everything the magazines told me to do -- like hubby jumping in to help decorate on his own accord, snuggling with me on the sofa to watch Christmas movies, and popping into the kitchen to say"What else can I do to help?" -- never really did until now, and I'm not sure why. Could it be because he's finally completely retired, and free of all the stresses connected to being part owner of his company? Could it have something to do with his recent health scares? Or could it be that the more mellow and relaxed I became about it all -- the more willing I was to let go of perfection -- the more he wanted to participate? Dont know. Don't care. All I know is, I finally got it right this time, and I'm sending up some serious prayers of gratitude!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


A few ornaments made with oven-dry clay and stamps.
I think I probably misunderstood my sister when she said she'd be moving out of her friends' house by Christmas. I took that to mean she'd be moving into her new townhouse then, but perhaps she just meant she'd be moving over to her daughter's house at that time. 'Cause, judging from the latest round of photos I received, she still has a good ways to go before it's livable. I should have known better than to think it could be ready in a month, right? I am, after all, a builder's daughter!

Things are pretty much gutted right now, and everything is on hold until the cabinets come in, but I'm beginning to see the possibilities -- something that might have been a wee bit difficult in its original state, unless you were a person of vision like my sister.

Rooms have been opened up to one another, and doors removed.

Bathrooms and kitchen are getting new cabinets.

The master bath tub is being replaced with a walk in shower, and an extra, unnecessary door has been walled off to make room for a storage unit. Yep, it may not be anywhere close to finished, but I see great possibilities!

Speaking of unfinished projects, it looks like I'll only be able to complete one more project, from my 12 Artsy Ornaments class, before Christmas day is here! But that's ok, it's a doozie. It began with my covering a spent lightbulb in a thin layer of air-dry clay. Can you guess what it's going to be?

Nooooo, not a pear, but something ever so cute! Plus, I'll have another half dozen projects left to work on over the summer, and have ready for next year. This class is a gift that keeps on giving!

Well, better make my final shopping list and head for the grocery store. I'm running out of time! We're meeting up with the kids at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar this afternoon, to visit Fiber Woman's booth and hear Carolyn Wonderland perform, and tomorrow will be my baking/cleaning day, in preparation for our family dinner tomorrow night.

I may not have time to visit with you here for a couple of days, but I wish you all a wonderful celebration of all that is most meaningful to you, spent with people you love. If that is not possible for you this year, then I hope you can find joy by spreading a little cheer to someone in need.