Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas traditions

I haven't felt very festive this year for some reason, and according to a pyschologist on the radio, as long as you admit it, it's not an issue. I didn't decorate the house, no lights outside. I will say that I don't decorate much, but I do have trees, ornaments and display items. On Christmas day, I realized that there are family traditions that I miss.
For as long a I remember, we had a small angel chime with 4 candles.You would light the candle and the angels would turn and hit the chimes and a wonderful tinging noise would fill the room. I have one that I bought in Germany. My sister had one on her table and it took me right back to standing by the table when it was first lite, on the crochet table cloth that always covered the table. That made me think of a few other things:
Peppermint ice cream - Not peppermint flavored, but vanilla ice cream with chunks of peppermint candy. That was a must on the table. I actually found some this year at the store (and a low fat version). One taste and I was 10 years old again.

Money Cake - growing up we always had "Money cake" - it was a simple round cake with clean washed coins inserted into the cake and then it was frosted. It was mostly pennies and nickles - and a quarter! I felt I was rich if I got the quarter. Years later I discovered that tradition came from my father's side of the family. He used to mark the plate that the cake sat on so that he knew how to make the cuts so that everyone received a coin.
Metallic Paper Chain - this was something that my sister usually did. We have these strips of metallic paper, about 1.5 inches by 8 and she would put them together in a chain that was hung on the mirror that I now have in my house. I bet that my sister still has these.
Another item that was on the mirror would be all the pictures that were sent with Christmas cards. This tradition is one that I still keep. But as the numbers of persons who mail cards decreases, so does the number of pictures. Fortunately, Facebook handles that pretty nicely!
German Christmas Pyramid - I do love my pyramid. My deceased brother Jim bought me one as a wedding present for my first marriage, and I kept it. I should display it every year along with all the nutcrackers that I have collected over the years. But alas, they are in a box in the air raid shelter.
New Years Eve - Mom and Dad would have another couple come to the house for beverages and snacks. At midnight, we were all on the porch in NW Detroit with fire crackers and noise makers. About 1am, there would be a pizza delivery; provided that us kids could stay up that long. As adults, my brother, Jim, built a canon that would fire with black powder and make a wonderful noise. Sadly, we haven't had that out since he passed away.
Ah, a short trip down memory lane.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Inspiration comes from many places

Much of the inspiration that I get is from movies that I watch on Turner Classic Movies, such at a movie that I watched in November called "Queen Christina" starring Greta Garbo from 1933. During much of the movie she is dressed as a man - as those are the clothes that she is most comfortable in.
In the picture from above, this is one of the few scenes she is dressed like the Queen that she is. Barely visible in this picture is a pendant that she is wearing. It's moments like this that I love being able to "stop" live TV and really look at something. I drew the sketch below based on what I saw in the movie. The stamped metal piece is part of a "challenge" that the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild is doing.
I grabbed some dyed Lacey's Stiff Stuff that I purchased last spring and cut my pendant out and have started embellishing my piece. It's about 4 inches across and is promising to be quite elaborate when it's finished.

Once I get my Christmas gifts completed, I will return to work on this and the Taj Mahal, which has not been lost and forgotten - It's coming along wonderfully!!

Mid-December 2011

Where did the year go? I don't really know.
Since my last post, I took a Maggie Meister class through the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild. That was in mid-November. What a fun and entertaining instructor. We laughed so much. I don't think that Cynthia and I are going to be allowed to sit next to each other for classes ever again. The class that I took was the "Iside Pendant" and it turned out wonderful. Maggie's combination of stitches as a great "aha" moment for me and it accured in the first 20 minutes of class.
I've been really busy at work and really busy at home. I have been making holiday ornaments for my co-workers and have a small stash earmarked for different people. Hopefully this weekend, I can finish my present for the boss (who does where my jewelry) and a few more ornaments.