Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy Enjoying Life!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted . . . almost a week, can you believe it! But you know, I guess I've been following my own advice and enjoying this Christmas season!

One way I've been enjoying the season is from the decision I made to do less decorating. For the last few years I've gone all out, even to having 4 trees and lots of decorations and even made Christmas toppers for my kitchen windows. But this last couple of years has been awfully hard, and now that I'm trying to learn how to live my life without the stress of caring for my Dad, I've decided it's more important to do less and enjoy more. Doesn't that make sense???

Our tree this year - forgive the weird bow on top ~ I've got more ribbon to add to it, but haven't gotten it done yet!

So, last week was neat. On Thursday my hubby took his last vacation days and I had to leave the house so that he could wrap my Christmas gifts from him. I left the house @ 9:40 and didn't get home again until almost 8 pm! I took my mom shopping, and to run some errands, and then we went to my aunt's house for a visit. She had brought us some goodies back from her trip to Connecticut, and wanted us to come get them and see their house decorated for Christmas.

On Friday, hubby was home, too, and we had planned on going riding in the mountains to get some greenery for the house, but it was really cold and rainy, so we decided to stay home. I worked in my office/studio all day, going through most of my paper crafting supplies and reorganizing and trying to make room for the new Cricut I'm getting for Christmas.

One of my favorite ornaments - a hand painted Santa on oyster shell that I bought in Port Renfrew, a town on Victoria Island in British Columbia.

Saturday morning, hubby went to work for a few hours - a problem had come up on Friday and he wanted to go straighten it out before Monday. That evening we had a 'date', and went to a new Japanese restaurant in our area 'Kani House'. Japanese food (hibachi) is one of my favorite cuisines,and their food was very good! I rarely get to have Japanese food any more ~ since we moved to the boonies, so this was a great treat for me.

Another favorite ornament - a pair of mukluks from Ketchikan, Alaska.

On Sunday we were really bad! Seriously, we broke down and opened our joint gift for each other! We got a Nintendo Wii game system, and we spent most of Sunday afternoon playing with it - so much fun! We played the Sports Resort game, and just loved it! Bowling is my favorite, but I also love the canoeing and swordplay. If you don't have any experience with one, you really should check it out. The games, at least the ones we played, are made so you have to really 'play' the sport, and you get your heart rate up, and sometimes work up a good sweat. We wanted it to get us up off our rears, and I think it's going to do that just fine! And we're in our late 50's, and in bad shape, so if we can do it, most anyone can, too!

Another favorite, but I don't know why except that it speaks to my love of birds. There's no real sentimental value to it at all.

So, now it's Monday and hubby is back at work. I've been doing laundry all day, scanning some old pictures so I can print them out, and playing a bit on the Wii. I'm going to make copies of pictures of the family for my brother and his sons for Christmas. I hope they will mean something to them, but . . . with them, you never know.

Yes, Rebecca, there is a Santa Claus! This is my stack of gifts from my hubby. Every single one of them! He says 3-4 of them are stocking overflow, but I don't see how! There is no way he'll have this many, although he will have a good Christmas. Note the gift on bottom right - that's the Cricut, lol!

Another favorite ornament - this one was bought at The Mole Hole shop in Naples, Florida, hence the sailboat!

Three more favorite ornaments ~ The white poodle is to remind me of my little Max, a poodle I had some years ago. I don't think you can tell, but it has angel wings! The old teardrop ornament was one of several a former neighbor gave me. There was a whole box full of them, many broken, and she was putting them in the garbage. I threatened her with her life (not really) and she gave them to me instead. I still have 8-12 of them. And the German pickle ornament from the Germany pavilion at Epcot Center.

Here is my mantle with it's simple decorations this year. The nativity set we've had since our first Christmas together, our stockings, and the banner that I made. I cut trees and stars out of "Joy to the World" Christmas carol sheet music (you can find it HERE) that I printed on ivory cardstock. I put sprigs of greenery and berries on the trees, and vintage clip art pics of birds and holly on the stars, highlighted with Stickles. I put gold German glass glitter around the outer edges of all the pieces. I threaded them together on a shimmery off white organza ribbon.

For the letters J, O and Y, I printed them out with a basic font the size I wanted, cut them out with a craft knife, leaving the paper around it intact like a stencil. I brushed glue onto the stencil, removed it and spread the letters with the gold glitter.

Another project I'm really proud of is my lace tree that is under the cloche on my dining room table.

I saw this idea on a blog (I'm so sorry I can't remember who's it was!) and knew when I saw it that it would work perfectly for some lace I had. I bought it this past summer at an estate sale between Helen and Cleveland, GA. There were 4 pieces of @ 1 yard each, in two designs. They are hand tatted lace, and I was afraid to cut them because they would ravel, so this was the perfect use for them.

I put a bow of a gold colored seam binding ribbon holding three vintage skeleton keys on top of the cloche, tied around the knob on top.

I tore a strip of fabric as close to the color of the lace as I had in my stash, twisted and turned it until it covered a styrofoam cone. I pinned it into place with straight pins. Then I took the first piece of lace, winding it around the cone, pinning it here and there along the way. And I repeated it with the next two strips of lace. For the fourth strip of lace, I kind of wound it loosely like a garland.

Then I took old buttons and jewelery, as well as beads and bells (mostly gold tone or deep red) and stuck them into the foam with wire.

Then I put it onto a footed cake plate, placed green moss around the bottom, along with a few silk poinsettias, topped it with the cloche and keys, and it was done! I still want to put something on top, but I haven't found just the right thing yet. It makes a great everyday centerpiece for my dining room table when it's not in use.

So, as you can see, I've been enjoying this Christmas season so far! And that is my Christmas wish for each and every one of you - that you will enjoy yourself, your family and friends this season. Have fun together, leave the stresses and drama somewhere else for a while!

Blessings folks! Becky


Anonymous said...

All of your decorations look very pretty. I am glad you are taking it easier and just enjoying the season this year. I wish you a very merry Christmas Becky.

Faye said...

Beckey, your decorations are beautiful.Hope you have a great evening! Blessings, Faye

English Cottage in Georgia said...

Your Christmas decor is fabulous! This is your "taking it easy decor - LOL? Sounds as if you and your dear husband are having a wonderful Christmas season. Good for you, Becky:-)

bennie and patsy said...

Your house looks like you have it all in order for Christmas, very nice. We have played the wii and it is great fun .I played in a bowling tournament when we lived in the Village. A friend got a rotate cuff tear playing baseball on the wii. I got your e-mail thank you. Have fun and hugs from

K-Sue said...

I think I decorate a little less each year.

I love the garland. One of the things I miss about having a fireplace is having a mantel to decorate.

Ladybug in TN said...

Your tree and decotaioos are so neat. You are one creative person.
Merry CHristmas!

❦TattingChic said...

This was a really special post! Thanks for sharing! I love the little nest with the robin's eggs! So sweet!
Your garland, and tree underneath the glass dome are all so pretty! That crocheted lace is absolutely gorgeous! It is a very ornate crocheted edging! You know, I happen to tat and I often go to antique shops and other places on the hunt for vintage tatted hankies or vintage tatting patterns and I constantly see crochet mislabeled as tatting and vice versa! LOL! It is no less special that it is crochet, but if you would like to know more about tatting please come and visit my blog! It's all about the tatting there!!! :)

tara said...

Girl you have been busy! your new joint gift sounds like a alot of fun!! And your house looks lovely, I really like the mantle and your lace christmas tree, very elegant, thanks for sharing!

Farm Chick Paula said...

I love all your decorations, Becky! Especially the birds nest- the little blue eggs are just too cute!

Lorrie said...

You've been really busy. I especially like the Joy banner with the music paper. So pretty.