Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sentimentally Ornamental

For the first time in many years, we managed this year to get our Christmas tree up during the Thanksgiving break.  Last year, I think I kind of boycotted Christmas.  Our tree is 9 ft tall and weighs at least 87654 pounds.  Wrestling its three sections downstairs by myself then trudging back upstairs to get the ornaments out of the oven-like attic, then decorating it myself isn't my idea of a good time When I asked the family to help, they were less than enthusiastic.  So, last year, we had a 3 ft tree that weighs about 3 pounds and comes in a box that fits under the guest bed.  It worked out just fine.  This year, everyone was more amenable to getting the big tree down and set up. (We've decided to ditch the ginormous tree when the trees go on sale.)

 Tree is bigger than it appears.

I actually do love decorating the tree.  I like an eclectic tree full of ornaments that have been collected from travels, family and friends.  Those partial to satinized matching balls and color coordinated ribbons would hate my tree.  I love seeing all kinds of colors, all kinds of shapes, mismatched and homemade and full of memories.

In this post, I'm going to share a few of my favorites.

My kiddos

The essential AOL CD ornaments

Love the Heartwood Creek by Jim Shore

My sister-in-law  makes beautiful ornaments for the family every year. This is one of my favorites.

From a fun trip to Lake Tahoe many years ago and a heart one of the kids made after 9/11.

Inherited from my husband's sweet grandfather, Baba.  We used to visit him every Sunday afternoon and eat snacks and play cards and laugh and laugh.  I miss that silly old man.

 One of my daughter's angel ornaments we've been collecting for her for years.

I got this adorable fellow from my friend Kathy May at Kathy May Designs.  She's in the midst of reworking her website.  Love Love Love her stuff.

I even made an ornament this year.

As I was walking through JC Penney today, I took a look at their ornaments and made a commitment in my head.  From now on, I'm going to make every effort to buy handmade ornaments as our family ornament and our travel ornament.  There are too many great artists and artisans hand making great ornaments to waste my money on any more Made in China things.  

Here are some of my arty friends who have some ornaments available for purchase. There are many, many others, as well.  Buy handmade this Christmas.

Flutter Before You on Etsy has these adorable little "Captured Fairies" ornaments. There are several to choose from:

Jill at Jill's Dream has some really cute little mini canvas ornaments in her shop.  I'm loving that little pink and turquoise bedecked snowman:

Melanie at Sunshine Girl Designs has so many cute ornaments.  She had mini canvases, as well as hand sculpted ornaments.  I love this one:

Please visit these shops or search in "handmade" for "ornaments" on Etsy.  Made by hand. Made in America.  Perfect!

My friend Kim at 3 Wishes Studio posted an awesome giveaway  on her facebook page on Monday.  She'll be your secret Santa for someone who you think could use a special treat this season.  All you do is leave a comment on that post or send her a message that you have someone in mind.  On December 14, she'll pick winners and contact them for the name and mailing address of their nominee.  She has great art.  Go like her page and let her know if you'd like her to spread some Christmas cheer secretly on your behalf.  Here's a sample of her beautiful fused glass:

Now that I've been wandering around the Christmas aisle at Etsy, I'm going to have to get our family ornaments, too!!  Yea!

May the good Lord bless you today with light weight trees, cooperative helpers and sweet memories to flood your Christmas season with love.

<3 Lori

PS: If you are an artist who has Christmas ornaments available for sale, feel free to add your links in the comments.  It'll go in the spam folder, but I'll check them and publish them as soon as possible.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Was Wrong

When I was in high school, there was a certain mother who I thought was a little too involved in her kids' lives and a little too enthusiastic in her support of their activities.  She was at every single thing her kids ever did (including the 5 year high school reunion, which I still think was weird. I haven't been back, so I don't know if she was at the 10 or 20).  I never saw her dressed in anything except the school colors. She was a substitute teacher, so it's not like I only saw her at football games. She drove a Cadillac that was also in the school colors.  She was a self-imposed, if not self-proclaimed, matronly school mascot.  At the time, I thought it was too much.

Fast forward twenty-five years.  I've mentioned here before that I'm a basketball mom.  My two kids play other sports, too, and have other interests, but basketball is our family's favorite.  I played in high school.  I know the rules.  I can see where the ball is. It's indoors where you don't bake in the summer and freeze in the winter. What's not to like?

 I do love basketball and my two #23's.

A few years ago, I was inspired to buy these to show my support for my team and my self-proclaimed and self-imposed "super fan" status:

Last week, I got these to add to my collection:

The other day on the way to town, I saw a really cool looking two-toned Camaro.  I thought to myself, "That would be awesome in red and blue."  It was then that I knew that I have made the conversion to complete sports mom whackadoo.

At least these colors are nice, and I look good in red.  So, Mrs. Black and Gold Cadillac, I apologize. I was wrong.

Until next time, friends, may the good Lord give you teams to cheer and fans to cheer you.

<3 Lori