Saturday, December 23, 2006
Anyway, the roads were pretty icy so it was probably best that we left earlier than later. Maren exceeded all our expectations for behavior, which were admittedly low. You try being a wiggly 21-month-old strapped into a carseat for 10 straight hours! Really, she did remarkably well and that made the trip SO very much easier and more pleasant. We hit bad weather in Wyoming and for some unknown reason traffic slowed to about 5 mph, which we maintained for about 20 miles, no kidding. Lost a lot of time in that little snafu, and we finally made it here at 9:00 pm. Glad to be home! I may post on and off while I'm on vacation this week, no promises, but here's something fun to get you in the mood. Big thanks to Jen over at The Simple Things for explaining to me how to insert a YouTube video in my post...I never would have figured it out on my own!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Thank you all for your good wishes and thoughts! We are so thankful to have a warm house and plenty of food and diapers and all the other necessities. Other than the inconvenience of having our vacation delayed, we're fine and we're safe, which is the most important thing.
When I woke up this morning I could hear that the howling wind had finally quit, so I though perhaps a miracle had occurred and the storm was over--no such luck! It was still snowing hard, although yesterday's winds had calmed down so the snow came down vertically, not horizontally! It finally quit snowing about an hour ago (2 pm MST) and I can see that the clouds have really lifted. There are even clear skies showing around the edges of the horizon. The weather guys are predicting that the clouds will break tonight but unfortunately that means it will get really cold and all that snow that's on the roads will turn to ice. We are going to try hard to get an early start in the morning so we'll have to see how that goes.
This morning while it was still snowing we put Maren down for a nap and went out to tackle the snowdrifts. All the other neighbors were out at the same time so it was kind of fun! The neighborhood kids are just about delirious with excitement--school's out, Christmas is only 4 days away and there's 3 feet of snow on the ground--could it get any better than this? There are enormous snowdrifts all over that are just perfect for being made into snow caves and sledding hills and the like. I think maybe we'll get bundled up and take Maren out to play for a while.
I've posted some photos that I've taken around the house today to give you all an idea of what kind of snow we're dealing with. Yes, this is Colorado and we're supposed to be used to dealing with snow, but storms like this are definitely the exception and not the rule! Three feet of snow and sustained 30 mph winds will bring any city down, I don't care how used to snow you are! The top photo is the view of up my front walk this morning, and the next photo is the same snowdrift from the inside looking out. The drift at the front door was almost as tall as me! I stuck my yardstick in so you could see how tall it is.
The next photo makes me laugh! It's what the driveway looked like when we opened the garage door this morning. The flat area is the part that was blown up against the door. You can kind of see my yardstick poking out of the middle of the drift. That's how much snow we had to shovel off the driveway today! Quin did most of it; I did the front door and part of the driveway. And last is a closeup of the yardstick so you can see exactly how much snow there was. I guess it was closer to 2 1/2 feet than 3, but it really depends on where you were because of the drifts. I still don't know how much snow we truly got because I can't find a place that wasn't affected by the wind to be a true representation. All I know is that there is A LOT.
Anyway, I'm off to fold the last of the laundry and drag my suitcase up from the basement so I can start packing. Maybe I'll take Maren out for a spin on her sled first. :)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The governor has officially declared a Disaster Emergency, which means the National Guard will be mobilized to go pull stranded motorists from their cars. The road that leads from Denver to Boulder was closed off and on today. Currently there are cars stuck on that road where the people have been at a standstill for 4-5 hours. At one point when I-25 was still open, truckers were being required to put on their chains just to drive through town!
I heard a reporter broadcasting from the airport saying that she spoke to some people there who were stuck ON AN AIRPLANE for 8 HOURS. They are from the same suburb as me, so they'd arrived at the airport at 5:30 am for their 7:30 flight. The plane pushed back from the gate and then got stuck in the snow, a mere 100 yards from the gate! Those poor people were stuck on that airplane for all that time, only to be let back into an airport that is closed until who knows when. What a nightmare! No one can even get to the airport to pick up stranded travelers because the only road to and from the airport is closed. The last time the airport was closed like this, all of the restaurants ran out of food. It was not a pretty sight.
Me? Well, I had hoped to run a few errands sometime today but those quickly got canceled. Quin had the day off already and he left early this morning to go on base to PT and get the oil changed on the car. He was back by about 11 am, before things got too hairy. My plans today were to get us packed and ready to go because we had planned to leave tomorrow morning to drive the 9 hours to Salt Lake City to spend a week with our families. However, this storm is supposed to continue throughout the night up until about noon so it's very possible that we will have to move our driving day to Friday while we dig out tomorrow. We can't go anywhere until I-25 is opened anyway, and there's a good 2 feet of drifted snow in our driveway, with more being added by the minute. Just getting out of our neighborhood will be a feat.
Today I've been doing laundry and wrapping presents, interspersed with lots of looking out the windows and checking the growing snowdrift outside the front door. I'm thankful we have plenty of food and a warm house to stay in on this cold, blustery day which will only turn into a colder night. I feel so bad for those poor people stuck in the airport! Our plans may be delayed, but at least we have a warm, cozy house (and way too many holiday goodies) to enjoy! Let it Snow!
Friday, December 15, 2006
We're going on a field trip today. First stop is Hammond's Candy Factory, to take the factory tour and check out the shop. I've wanted to go there ever since we moved here. We actually went last Saturday but it was a zoo (they were having a Candy Cane Festival) so we left without going on the tour. Hopefully it will be better today. After that, we're continuing north and crossing the border to the People's Republic of Boulder. Everybody have their passports? Honestly, it's weird up there, but there's a store Quin wants to visit so we're braving the crazies. I'm hoping to duck into the cute little store where I bought my Wendy Addison "Winter Dreams" garland last spring. Hoping maybe they have some new glittery goodies to add to my collection!
Happy Saturday, everyone!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa doesn't wrap presents. They are usually on the sofas in the living room.
Colored lights on tree/house or white?We currently have white on the house but I like colored too. I think I like colored best on 'everything' trees and white on themed trees.
What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Monkey bread for Christmas breakfast.
Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We were allowed to open one small gift. I think with my kids I'm going to do special pajamas that they can open on Christmas Eve.
How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
I have a vintage aluminum tree and it's decorated with vintage glass balls in turquoise & pink. I have a small green tree that I put our miscellaneous ornaments on but it's not out this year because it's just the right height for Maren to destroy it.
Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it, as long as it's not before Halloween!
What is your favorite
What is your favorite Christmas Song?
It varies from year to year. Right now I love "Snow" by Loreena McKennitt
Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Eh. I like candy cane ice cream though (especially when it's atop a brownie!). Or those Cherry flavored candy canes.
Favorite Christmas Tradition growing up:
Christmas morning breakfast
Least Favorite Christmas Tradition Growing Up:
Christmas tree shopping. Yuck. We went artificial a while ago and I've never been sorry!
Breakfast or Presents First?Stockings and Santa gifts. Then breakfast and after that I think we open the wrapped gifts from family.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
For today's show-and-tell, I must tell you that I giggled when I read Sarah's post from yesterday. Apparently we were having some sort of Vulcan Mind Meld about cloches, because I had just finished photographing mine when I saw hers. I love how Sarah's turned out, with the darling little pink house that her husband (!) made for her and the trees and the little felt base! So sweet.
The is the precious cloche & plate that I thrifted last week for an amazing $8.99. The bottle brush trees were colored using Sarah's bleaching and dyeing technique, and the little house is from Target. The snow is from Dept. 56 and is recently thrifted as well.
The trees: I bought a big package at Michael's for $8.99 (on sale, reg. price $14.99). There was a pretty good assortment of sizes. They were dark green to begin with and were flecked with white fake snow but that dissolved when I did the initial bleach & hot water treatment. Mine took a while to bleach out completely and required a water change because when I put them in initially the water immediately turned brown and the dissolved snow made quite a layer of gunk in the bottom of the sink. I think I could have actually left the big white one in a little longer because I notice it still has dark tips around the bottom half! For dye, I used Rit in Rose Pink and Teal. Love the pink but I was hoping the teal would be a little more blue; it turned out very green. Ah well, I still like it and I have to say that I was tickled with the results. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I can't wait to make more.
I mentioned that the little house is from Target this year. It's actually a Christmas tree ornament from the range that's sort of vintage-looking and pale blue and red. I had planned on making my own little house, as I have the December 2000 Martha Stewart Living with the patterns for her glitter houses. When I saw this one, those plans went out the window. For $4.99 it was worth saving my time and sanity. It's cute--red doors, little white bottle brush trees, pale blue roof, glittery snow. It even plays music! Couldn't have done it much better myself.
And with that, I believe my Holiday crafting is DONE. I bought a couple of neat wool sweaters at the thrift in hopes of making stockings like these and these, but I don't think that's going to happen this year unless I give up sleeping all together. I still have to do Christmas cards, Christmas goodies, and round up a few more gifts and I have exactly one more week to do it, as we're leaving on Thursday the 21st. Maren is sleeping so I've got a few hours to hurry and cut paper. Gotta go!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
You may have noticed in yesterday's post that there was a picture of my button tree. The idea for this came primarily from Sarah's tree, but I saw one posted later here. I like Sarah's best, though! I bought the supplies way back when Sarah posted her instructions, but finally finished the darn thing yesterday.
I used a 4" x 9" styrofoam cone for my tree. I didn't have any pink fabric so I bought a fat quarter from JoAnn's for $1.49 and just pinned it on like Sarah suggested. I also did a base layer of white buttons held on with straight pins, and I had to use a bead on almost all of those because the holes on the buttons were larger than the pin heads. Then I started the top layers.
I loved Sarah's pastel color scheme and I had already been kicking around the idea of a pink & turquoise Christmas decorating theme so that made my color choice easy. I thought I had plenty of buttons in those colors, but I was wrong! I had to go to JoAnn's and buy a couple of bags of buttons. The large bags of pink were the very bold hot pink rather than pale pink, and I wasn't able to find any turquoise so I had to settle for a very pale aqua, and I don't love how that turned out. I think it would have looked better overall if the blue had been bolder, or the pinks softer. I used hot pink & turquoise pearl-headed pins and some larger white pearl-headed corsage pins as well. I also found a bag of really pretty turquoise fake pearls at Wal-Mart so I used those instead of the white pearls I bought at JoAnn's. I also had some bright pink faceted iridescent beads in my stash that I used but I'm not sure how well I really like them. Plastic faceted beads have a tendency to look too "crazy church bazaar craft" to me, so I'm not sure how I feel about them on my tree.
I filled the tree as full as I could--there is literally no place left to stick a pin! For my topper I used a snowflake-shaped pin from JoAnn's that is set with little turquoise gems. I secured it with a couple of the corsage pins through the pin bar. The skirt is this cool ruffled trim that Lisa-Gabrielle sent me in the craft swap. It's perfect for this! I pinned it into the bottom of the tree with a few more straight pins. The base for my tree is a very cool Haeger pottery planter that I thrifted for just $.50! At the dollar store I found this handy little piece of floral foam that's shaped to go in a pot with a tapered bottom and flat top, so that's sitting in the planter and the tree is sitting atop it. Looking at the photos it looks like it needs to be raised up about a half an inch because the ruffled trim is getting squished!
So that's my button tree. I have to admit that I'm not sure how I feel about how it came out. There's something about it that's just a bit off that's keeping me from really loving it, but I'm not entirely sure what the problem is! Maybe I need to use some white buttons on the top layer, or maybe I need to ditch the pink faceted beads, or find some bolder turquoise buttons so they balance the bright pink better. Not sure, but the good thing is that I didn't use any glue so I can just pull the pins out and rearrange all I want! I do think a red and green tree would be charming, or even an all-white one with lots of different shaped buttons. Those will have to wait until another year however, as this year I am DONE with the buttons! No more!
Monday, December 11, 2006
I think the decorating is finally done. Whew! I took it easy this year and didn't get out all of my Christmas decorations. In my house growing up, we always had an 'everything' tree and all kinds of decorations; nothing color-coordinated or themed. I love that and that's how I've decorated my house for the last 4 years, but this year I decided to try something different. I already had pink and turquoise vintage glass balls for my aluminum tree, so I used that as my jumping off point. The only problem is that I don't have enough stuff those colors to decorate my whole house, so the theme doesn't exist past my front room; the kitchen and family room still have red & green decorations (so I can use Rebecca's gorgeous tablecloth!).
The pink & turquoise looks a little incongruous in my front room that has 20-ft. tall scarlet walls. I actually considered doing turquoise & red instead of pink, as I actually prefer that color combination, but I'd already started that darn button tree in pink so I felt like I was stuck! Turquoise and red wouldn't have clashed so bad with the red walls but oh well! Too late now.
Here is the top of my china cabinet. I have a tall white feather tree that I bought on clearance at Tuesday Morning a couple years ago, a crazy vintage homemade centerpiece in the middle, the button tree I just finished today and a pink tinsel tree from Target. The tinsel at the base is actually the prettiest platinum color and was from one of the Martha Stewart lines at Kmart a couple years ago. I love it!
In the last photo you can see my glass glitter "Winter Dreams" garland. It's by Wendy Addison and I just love how the glitter sparkles when the afternoon sun hits it! You can kind of see the contents of the china cabinet if you look close. It's tricky to photograph because the back is mirrored so there are always funky reflections. I have various glass and silver bowls and vessels (most thrifted) filled with more vintage balls in pink, turquoise and silver. I love how it turned out! I'm already thinking ahead to next year. While I adore turquoise and pink and turquoise and red, I think I'm going to do either bright primary colors or traditional red and green. It fits better with the rest of my decor. The pink has been fun, though!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Well, a winner has been drawn--actually TWO winners! When I got to looking at all my stuff, I realized that I have enough for two boxes! I had Quin do the drawing, so you may all visit him on his Guardian Gear blog (link over to the right) and blame him if you didn't get chosen. :)
I wrote the names of everyone who commented (even the latecomers, Shonda and Lisa--how could I deny the person who put up with living with me for several years or the Sender of The Squirrel Dress?) on little slips of paper, folded them equally and put them in a bowl for Quin to choose from. He referred to it as "The Goblet of Fire". Funny guy. :)
So, the two lucky ladies are.......Heidi and Sarah! If you will please email me at fraulein_h at hotmail dot com with your addresses I will get your packages in the mail post haste!
This was such fun that I will definitely be doing random package sending more often. I need more reasons to justify all the stuff I've been thrifting! Dana and Dawn, I'm so glad you de-lurked yourselves--welcome! And everyone else--thanks for reading my ramblings. It made me feel good to read your comments! Have a lovely night--I've got boxes to pack!
Friday, December 08, 2006
This week I received the most delightful package in the mail from Miss Rebecca. It was completely unexpected and absolutely wonderful! I am now the lucky owner of the most gorgeous vintage Vera Christmas tablecloth! It's linen and it's in amazing condition. I absolutely gasped when I pulled it out of the box--it's that great! I can't wait to get my table cleaned off so I can put this beauty to work. Rebecca also sent me one of her darling handmade felt ornaments, a crazy cool glittered Santa, and the neatest little ring made with vintage buttons! Here I am modeling it for the camera. :) It is awesome--in addition to being crafty, Rebecca is apparently psychic as well, as I've been stalking these for months, and now I have one of my very own! I'm absolutely thrilled. Thank you, Rebecca!!!
In the spirit of giving, I have a little box of mostly vintage but some new also Christmas goodies that I would love to share with someone! If you are interested, leave a comment (now would be a great time to de-lurk yourself!) and I will pick a person at random to send the box to. Let's say by tomorrow at noon, MST? Cheers!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I promised yesterday that I would have some thrifty goodness (if I may borrow a term from the lovely Rebecca) to share today, and I'm keeping my word!
Ornate old heavy frame, $2.99. Don't have a use in mind for this right now but I know an idea will come. It's pretty! You can also see a vintage Christmas tablecloth ($2.99) peeking through from behind the frame. Box of vintage bell ornaments, $.89. Love when I can find them still in the box! Box of vintage turquoise ornaments, $1.39. I'm going with a turquoise/pink decorating scheme this year and although I already have a ton of ornaments in those colors, for some reason I felt the need to buy more. The two little round things ($.29) are old and have Santa on the front and are marked Hallmark on the back, but I have no idea what they are! They came in a box with a bunch of other things that I can't identify. They'll be good for an art project of some kind.
This was a big score for me! Hard to tell from the photo, but all of the garlands are the old glass bead variety that are hard to find. This is actually the first time I've come across any in all my thrifting. They were in a big bag with a bunch of other plastic beaded garlands ($3.99 for all) so I had to look close but I'm glad I did! There are a few broken beads here and there that I might just try to remove completely so I don't slice myself but mostly they're in great condition! There are 2 strands of the turquoise, 1 of the blue, 1 of the silver and 2 of the silver with colored balls. The glass ball ornaments are all vintage Shiny Brites that I picked out of a larger bag.
And last, my best find of the day! It's a huge glass garden cloche and a plate that it sits on, $8.99. The plate feels like it is made out of slate and it's very heavy. The cloche itself is huge (16" tall and quite wide) and it's in perfect shape. I've been wanting a cloche for a long time now but knew that the shipping would be killer because they're huge, heavy and fragile. I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the shelf! I'm not sure where I'll put it--it's so big that I really don't have an ideal place. I'm definitely thinking that I need to make some of Sarah's bottlebrush trees to go inside with some glittery fake snow and I don't know what else. I'm so excited to make an arrangement!
Today I stopped by the thrift store on base on my way to the commissary. It's tiny, but the prices are usually super cheap. Today I grabbed a 2001 December MSL mag for a dime and 2 Muppet Show DVDs for $3.00. Not bad! They do consignments so one of these times I'm going to find out how it works and I think that might be a good source for some of my eBay rejects. They'd just end up going back to the thrift anyway, so if I can get even a few bucks out of them (to turn right back around and spend in the store!) it would be nice. One of these days!
Monday, December 04, 2006
I had a zillion things on my To Do list for today and I did about 3 of them. Instead, I went thrifting! I haven't been in a couple of weeks and seeing everyone's cute thrifted Christmas decorations gave me the itch something fierce! Quin took Maren with him to run errands so I was able to spend as long as I wanted and it was wonderful. I found some neat things and hopefully I can post some photos tomorrow.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
I was able to read blogs while I was gone but commenting was a pain because I was on DH's laptop with no mouse. I hate those darn touchpad things, and I hate typing on laptop keyboards because the keys are so close together that I make lots of mistakes. So I will try to catch up on leaving comments, as I saw some wonderful stuff out there! You all are some clever folks.
I do know from my blog reading last week that I am way behind the power curve in Christmas decorating! There wasn't time the week of Thanksgiving and then we were gone for 5 solid days. I still have some cleaning up around here to do before I can drag the boxes up from the basement but I hope to get things done by the end of the week. I think I might take a different approach this year and not get out every Christmas decoration I own. I don't have tons and tons but I do have a fair amount of stuff and I just don't feel like getting it all out. Then next year it will feel like I have all new stuff because I haven't seen it for 2 years, right?
I still have my Thanksgiving decorations up and will hopefully get it put away tonight or tomorrow, but I wanted to share one last picture of something I made. In my Ribbonrie book there is an image on the last page of a wreath done using the same technique as the ribbon topiaries, but there aren't any instructions specific to the wreath. I had lots of leftover ribbon when I made the ribbon garland for Shanna's Thanksgiving swap and I didn't want to make another topiary, so I tried the wreath instead. I used the same technique and the same length for the ribbon, only I used a styrofoam wreath form for the base, the kind that is white and flat on the back. It was pretty easy but there was one slight difficulty. The wreath form was quite thin so I had to be careful about the way I angled the pins when I got close to the edges, otherwise they poked right through the styrofoam! Youch! Found that out the hard way, I'm afraid.
Apologies for the rotten flash in the photo, but I hung it on the back of the front door (didn't want it outside exposed to the elements) and that is a place that never gets much natural light. You get the idea, though.
I'm glad to be back and I feel like I have lots to blog about. So much in fact that being the Type-A crazy list-maker that I am, I've made myself a list of topics because there was so much I wanted to remember! Yeah, I'm a dork.