Sunday, December 17, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Winter has hit Michigan, and just in time for Christmas! We are seeing it all! (Cue the music!)

Beautiful blue skies with sparkling white snow covering the pathways.

The big pond at the Ditch has frozen (although I wouldn't venture out on it if I weighed more than a duck.) But it's quite lovely!

The capitol tree (sorry -- this was a drive-by shooting) is looking good. I wish the colors were a bit better but the lights on this are just beautiful!

My new neighbors from California are enjoying the snow too, apparently! Love the snow angel. Ah, to be young again!

And Rachel, the bell ringer for Salvation Army gets my best spirit award. It was a grim, messy day, about as sloppy as they come. Rachel was singing her heart out, belting out the best "Frosty the Snowman" I've heard.

And what was even better is she knew the "accompaniment" part (you know -- when the chorus sings "Thumpety thump thump,. thumpety thump thump, look at Frosty go!")  (Please be generous when you see the bell ringers -- it can be cold out there, and the work the Salvation Army does is good work.)

The sunsets this time of year are dazzling. This was another drive by shooting. Believe me, it was hard to concentrate with that glorious sky staring back at you!

The birds are chowing down at Lizzie Coco's Birdbath Bar and Grill (and so is the squirrel when he gets the chance). They all have names: Bobby Cardinal and Mrs. Bobby C.; Louie Bluie, the Jay; Chickadee-dee-dee, Goldie the Finch and Freddie Finch; Woody Woodpecker and Sammy Sparrow. I think the only word Lizzie knows is "Birds!" She'll come running from a dead sleep.


This isn't a great photo (bad lighting and shooting from inside) but does anyone know what this gray bird with a white belly is (and a vertical strip on the tail feathers)? I can't seem to find it in my Michigan bird book.

My totally wonderful vet came by for Lizzie's annual physical. She's a visiting vet and worth every penny! Lizzie was being very good. Until pedicure time came!

Then out came the muzzle mask. It disorients her enough that she stays put. Not happily, but all toenails clipped (and some could have vied with Captain Hook's appendage!)

Pretty much everything is decorated here and now I'm in baking mode. These are my cousin Bonnie's Jingle Balls. You probably have other names for them. (So does she!)

Quiet dinners for two in the glow of Christmas lights and with an accompaniment of carols. Time to be together with no rush.

Of course, all that winter can come with a cost. This was the scene on my street the other day. People have forgotten how to drive in snow. There were even more police cars but when I walked down to take the photo, one tow truck and two police had left. Be careful out there.

Which reminds me, my upcoming article in Modern Creative Life will post on Dec. 19. It is a holiday survival kit for those who are grieving a loss over the holidays. I offer a few strategies that may help during a challenging time when all should be merry and bright -- and nothing feels that way. There are also ideas on how you can help a friend who is on their grief or loss journey.

And speaking of Modern Creative Life, I want to share this one -- What Do You Do with a Baby? -- about the thoughts going through a first-time gran's head! Well, this weekend we did one very important thing -- it was his christening!

The coloring books will have to wait a few more months! Meanwhile there are more halls to deck, but I think it's time to watch some birds and look at the snow!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Little Bit of Hall Decking!

I'm not sure why I'm just finishing decorating when we had that early Thanksgiving! But I'm more or less done (you won't see the bedroom here) so let's deck the halls! (Cue the Music.)

Let's start with the entry! I have bad outlets and worse extension cords (and lights that don't seem to fit into the cords I have, and I've no idea what that's about!). So my little ladder is quite near the door. That's a tree behind the cat, though it mostly looks like a giant swag here!

But that's OK! It looks cheery! The gate with the wreath on it was a Southern Exposure project and not my favorite but it works at Christmas!

My work friend Mary Jane made me the Santa several years before she died. It's a real treasure!

And I promised I'd show you the wreath I did at Southern Exposure earlier this month. It shaped up.

So, c'mon in! The greeting angel will welcome you. (I've yet to decorate that wee tree behind her on the wall; it will have my mini-Radko ornaments and a few Shiny Brites.)

Head straight to the living room. I was glad Rick helped me with the big tree! It took awhile.

But it is my favorite. I call it my autobiographical tree. My story. Everything on there is something related to family past and present, good friends, our trips together and pre-Rick, the cats, a gift or something I bought just because I liked it!

I have a few trees in there. This is the woodland tree. It will stay up into January.

No Santa or Christmas-specific ones here --  just winter.

I think it's my favorite.

In the corner, a Santa and wonderful poinsettia that I haven't yet killed.

And yet another Santa! I do like Santa!

Look the other way and in the dining room you'll see the winter tree (another one). This stays up later, too.

These are the branches I was working on during our Crafternoon. They worked out well here.

The hutch was filled with my Santa buddies.

Lots of them! (The snow people will replace them after Christmas.)


And atop the china cabinet, yet another scene. Oops! What's that Paris postcard doing there? Bad blogger photographer! Well, you get the idea!

A wider look.

Come on into the family room.

It's my favorite because it reminds me of all the knotty pine at the cottage, so it's my cottage room!

I was very big into my bottle brush trees and fairy forest this year.

So, they didn't just get on the window sill...

...they were all over the mantle, too.

There's something about them -- the texture, the color, the old-time feel.

I especially love the bottle brush wreath!

I have lights in the fireplace. In front of it, my little wooden shoes...

...and of course the Christmas cards!

And cards on the wall too, but these are the old ones!

There are a few wreaths in the family room. This one was a revamp of last year's Southern Exposure project (HERE).

And I found this one at a ridiculously low price on Black Friday and glitzed it up a little.

I love the lighted branches.

And in the corner, this little dry sink serves as my bar area.

Let's take a quick wander down the hall opposite the bathroom. I took down the "France" paintings and photos in honor of Christmas. Here you'll see a Christmas card painted by my dad; several Christmas cards from Debra and Carrol Spinney, who has played Big Bird and Oscar on "Sesame Street" since Day One and the nicest guy ever; a Mary Engelbreit that was a gift from a friend; a photo by my Cork Popper pal Cheryl and a couple of art fair finds, along with a grand old angel that was my parents. The spacing is odd -- but I didn't want to put up new nail holes!

And a peek into my office/art room. I made these snow folk several years ago.

And this little tree has mostly ornaments made by me or my creative friends!

And finally, a quick look at the kitchen. I love my little shelf with lots of teeny friends from long ago.

And the little marshmallow tree, complete with holly and a wonderful teapot.

And yes, there's more. Trees in the bedrooms and bathroom and little bits here and there. A creche or two or three. A little evergreen over some of the picture frames, Lizzie's cat tree and more.

But don't you think this post has gone on long enough? I do!

Sharing with Pink Saturday / Let's Add Sprinkles / Happiness is Homemade /

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