Michael Bublé: Michael Bublé
I just love all the MB albums! Actually, I just love any of these standards covered by anyone. Even Chris Montez!
My earliest memories of Christmas began at my dad's office Christmas parties held at the Bureau of Mines building on the University of Alabama campus. It was such a fascinating place, anyway. But to juxtapose Christmas sights with the smells of iron ore and other mineral-y/earthy things was very curious. Forever those smells were joined with Christmas memories and I never went into that building without flashing back to this...
We ALWAYS watched "Steamboat Willy" (from a 16mm projector) and got those net stockings filled with candy.
In those earliest memories of Christmas are these things, too...
An old Santa figural Christmas light from one of my late father's earliest Christmas trees....
but most cherished of all, the string of lights (that have bulbs from my mom and dad's childhood Christmas trees) THAT STILL WORK!!!! We light them for only a few seconds every year (once when we put them on the tree and once again on Christmas morning), but they still burn...
Isn't she lovely.....
More is better? Less is more? KISS? (Keep it simple, stupid) or necessary excess? I just love that last term and had to borrow it (for just this post) from Nicole Bowen at Earth Angel's Toys. Her work is just wonderful, btw, so please visit both links above to see some really wonderful things.
As much as I'd like to KISS at Christmas, I have become the queen of necessary excess. Sad thing (or maybe a good thing?) is that it is usually contained in two, maybe three rooms and I really don't have room for a gazillion decorated trees. When I hear people tell me that they have ten or more trees to decorate I just swoon. When I was younger I often thought I'd like a ton of "themed" trees around my house. Now that I'm older a part of me wants to revert to a plain tree with white lights and nothing else. A really teeny tiny part.
Oh wait...I just decorate every flat surface in addition to the FOUR trees that are all within 15 feet of each other (at least three of them are small!). Here's one of my favorite things to decorate besides my tree. My reproduction welsh dresser is filled with blue willow plate and handmade glass watermelon plates. I love the way the Christmas colors mix in with these...I guess the watermelon "thing" I have makes it easy for that to happen! This year I really used a lot of my Seasons of Cannon Falls pieces in this and also mixed in the old and new glass ball ornaments. I love it!
More is better?
Less is more?
Which do you prefer? Let me know!
Don't forget to leave a comment on any post beginning with the Nov 25th post! All names (as many times as you've posted, too!) will be put in a hat for a drawing for this! In fact, I think I'll extend this through December 2nd and let this be part of the way I celebrate my mom's birthday!
I just had to put TWO on my table...I didn't want my Christmas guests to feel slighted that the reindeer might not be looking their way. Oh yes....do you see the lost and found runner? Now you see why my post is called "Lost and found....Found and lost" because I "lost" it again underneath all the old ornaments and lights I piled up around the sleighs. Good old Santa needed some help from one of his Salvation Army look-alikes to bring all the ornaments to go on my tree and on my chandelier over the table.
If you've looked at any of my Christmas decorating albums before then you've noticed that things don't change from year to year. I'm just a slave to tradition.
The tree always goes through six stages...lights, red bead garland, hand made ornaments (made by my children, my mom, my grandmothers, myself), some special stuffed animal ornaments, other special ornaments and then the glass ornaments. There used to be a seventh step....a popcorn garland. (See, there's that Christopher Lowell thing again...Seven Layers of Design)
I had one I kept for nearly 20 years. My kids at school made it while I would read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever aloud to them. They each had a needle and about a yard of dental floss and would string the popcorn while I was reading. I tied the strings together and put them on our tree at school...it was like popcorn frosting or something because it was so long. I brought it home for the holidays and then figured a way to save it by wrapping it around a big paper "bobbin" and double bagging it in plastic garbage bags. I knew I had to throw it away when a)I could see more dental floss than popcorn and b) my dog started eating the popcorn.
I bet I couldn't do that today...give kids needles at school. Imagine the headlines. PFOOEY.
Christy tagged me last night.... Five random things about myself:
1. I'm an only child of an only child. I don't know why my family thinks we are spoiled.
2. Getting a pedicure with BRIGHT RED toenails is one of my favorite things to do!
3. My husband's first wife was in my first wedding. I was in my husband's first wedding.
4. I used to try to twitch my nose , ala Samantha in "Bewitched", so I wouldn't have to get out of bed to cut off my overhead light. I just knew there was something under my bed.
5. "Miracle on 34th Street" is my all time favorite Christmas movie. It is one of my favorite things (besides the food) on Thanksgiving Day.
A couple of years ago I discovered that if I bought a TALLER tree and adjusted it at the top, it could hold more ornaments and lights. I'm all about ornaments and lights.
And, THIS year I REMEMBERED that I had one of those tall tube things with a cup on the end for adding water to the tree BEFORE I put the lights on. It works PERFECTLY for this very thirsty tree!
Gotta run get the rest of the house decorated!
Panic! Opening drawers and closets and re-visiting them OVER and OVER and OVER on Saturday. Pure panic. So much so that my Christmas decorating efforts were completely stymied. I really only got as far as this -- throwing my much loved Martha Stewart Christmas plaid tablecloth on the table. Being a good student of Christopher Lowell (Layers! Layers! Layers!), I was seeking the second layer....
I was walking around in circles and in and around big plastic tubs of "Christmas fluff" that Jonathan had brought in from the garage. To take my mind off this panic he even suggested we go pick out the tree! WOW!
It helped for a little while but I was soon back to my obsessive drawer opening. You know the feeling, I'm sure. If you STARE at something long enough in the spot where it is SUPPOSED to be, it will magically appear before your eyes. It didn't. Not on Saturday. Not on Sunday. Not until YESTERDAY, when taking the top of glass ornaments out of the box where I spied a bit of red through the tissue paper. Look, can you see it?
Here's a better look....
And here it is in all its glory....
A table runner embroidered by my grandmother, my mom's mom. Now you understand the panic! I had gotten SO organized (ha!) last year that as I was packing away layers three and four from the table, I did the smart thing and packed it right where it belonged!
I love knowing that Grandmother did these wonderful stitches...
The sad thing is that I've managed to LOSE it again underneath layers THREE and FOUR. Stay tuned.
If you're a new or old visitor to my blog, don't forget to leave a comment this week (November 25-December 1)!
You can do it on any post, but be sure to look at the post from November 25 to see what you have a chance to win!
What validation those words provide. Crafters, artists, seamstresses, people who make and sell things everywhere know the value of these words. Some magazine editor somewhere saw your things, liked them and voila, your items made it into the pages of a their publication. It is always an honor and always humbling. And for the "......." to lead to ME's Home Companion, is a dream come true!
When I first heard that my things had been included in the MEHC shoot for Seasons of Cannon Falls last January, I was jumping for joy. I told Margo Tantau, creative director for SCF that I was just thrilled that the MEHC photographer was within ten feet of my pieces. At the time, we didn't know what would end up in the article but when I got the call from Mary Forsell, contributor for the piece, it was a happy day indeed.
plus a little extra surprise thrown in for a combined price (including shipping!) of just 40.00. They will come autographed, too! How can they become yours? Please use PayPal (just use my email address of penny at pennymcallister.com for the payment (note: remember to use the @ sign...I just didn't want to make it a live link) or email me if you need to make other arrangements.
This is a LIMITED TIME offer, too. I will be accepting orders on these through December 2. And, if you order I'll put your name in the hat for the drawing for the Santa and Reindeer piece on the post below, even if you've already left a comment (or two or three, Miss Christy)!
I have other cute things on my website that are available, too. Check them out at www.pennymcallister.com
While putzing around this morning trying to add a clickable thumbnail to this blog entry, Jonathan was pushing a part of our paper under my nose. Since it takes a while for my eyes to focus, I thought he was showing me something about our(Alabama's) , sigh, loss to Auburn last night. (ARGH, SEC football...the greatest conference in the NCAA, and the HARDEST to win in. Just too many great teams and players..but I'll save that for another post.)
I was WRONG! Once the eyes focused on THIS I was fully awake! (As my favorite history professor always said, "You have to study the CAPTIONS!".
Yep, I do "cutesy" stuff. And here is a Christmas tree covered in ornaments I designed for Seasons of Cannon Falls. Wow! I can't wait to go to Anna Kate & Co.' Christmas open house today! I have the same ornaments strewn all over my dining room and den right now, unsure of where to put them!
And, during this Thanksgiving weekend, I want to express a big thank you to Rebecca Goostree of Anna Kate & Co., as she was one of my very first retail cheerleaders. After I pull out ALL my Christmas decorations I'll post a picture of the first things I made and took into her store to see if she wanted to sell them.
Would you like to win it? It is one of my favorite Seasons of Cannon Fall pieces and I would love to send it your way! If you'll leave a comment below, I'll draw next Saturday, December 1st. This is a 100.00+value! All comments need to be left by November 30! And, pass this on to as many folks as you would like!
Stay tuned tomorrow, too. I have another special I'll be offering to my blogging friends. It involves my other recent publicity in the December/January Mary Englebreit's Home Companion article. If you scroll down you can probably guess what it will be! While these cuties are available on-line and/or in stores near you, they won't be personally autographed like these will be! Plus, all orders will get an extra special surprise included in them!
Also, I have some wonderful handmade pieces for sale on my Picturetrail account. Just check out the Christmas 07 album. Feel free to peruse my other "open" albums to see a bit about what my house looks like and from where a lot of my inspiration comes.
Toodles for now...my, ummm, large number of Christmas decoration boxes await.....
Thankfully, I shared this past Thursday with my very small family. Always, always, too much food but the leftovers are divine.
Thankfully, all of my very small family are doing well and we all have our health.
Thankfully, my dining room is slowly getting cleared of boxes and such so that I can even see the table. HORROR of horrors (but normal for me) was to discover the LAST holiday's tablecloth still on the table along with the decorations from said holiday. I WILL NOT tell you what the holiday was....but will tell you it WASN'T Halloween.
Thankfully, I have rented some warehouse space for said "boxes and such" because there is no place for them to go at the house. I think this means I need to eliminate some of the "stuff and bother" that is hanging around here. Maybe I'll get that done AFTER Christmas. Maybe.
Thankfully, my life is filled with good friends flung far and wide. My in-town friends, my out-of-town friends, my on-line friends, my customer friends.
I love you all!