Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cuddly Christmas cuttlefish!

Here's what I made for my son's girlfriend for Christmas.
"Well, that's real nice, but what the heck is it?" 
you may well ask.

Why, it's a crocheted cuttlefish, of course!

"That's a weird thing to make, much less give as a gift,"
you say?
True - it is weird - a weird, weird sea mollusk,
which also happens to be her favorite sea creature.

She wants to go back to school to become a marine biologist. 

It was the least I could do, after she brought me this sea horse (my favorite sea creature)
from the recent trip she and my daughter made to the New England Aquarium.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Santa shelf, elves, and grimaces

Of the few worldy goods I'm attached to, 
my ragtag vintage Santa tiny collection 
is something I hope will keep being passed along in my little family
long after I've gone to the big Christmas Party in the sky.

These are the most ancient and (shhh!) might be my favorites...

Except for Friedel, here - he gets extra-special love 
for being made by my girl for my 50th birthday.
I guess she could see I was turning into an old gnome and would be needing a pal.

Sorta creepy vintage stovepipe Santa, Father Christmas
(who looks very much like my grandfather) and a kindergarten craft pine"tree"

Something new got added this year - handmade knitting needles
bought at a craft fair yesterday. Made by the mom of a young artist

Everyone doesn't have to be sparkly and jolly chez granny pad. 
Grinches and strange beings will be welcomed and loved.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Beginning to Chris-ma-fy

Yesterday we found the perfect tree, and we left her ("Katreena") to open up overnight,
while this snowflake's (homemade) mod-podge was drying.

It wasn't nearly as tricky as I thought it would be to crochet it,
but even so, it didn't come out as perfectly as I'd hoped, 
so I guess it will be considered snowflake practice.
I was thinking about making a few to give as gifts,
except now I'm not sure how I feel about making any more of them. 

Two of my four roadside-found reindeer have apparently eaten their magic corn...

...or they were strung up to fly 
Last year they just had to perch on their spindly legs among the plants.
I think they're happier with their fancy new harnesses and reins
(which took all of 10 minutes to stitch up).

I'm sure the rest of today will be spent in a prolonged argument with the children
over which of the too-many ornaments and decorations won't be coming out of their boxes.
This one always has a place, though. 
I found it at a deep discount years ago, 
and I just noticed that the Holy Parents are missing from the scene.
Do you think they left the shepherds and magi and animals to babysit?
Maybe that's why it was on sale. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

Season of Advent

The tradition of lighting a candle 
on each Sunday of Advent until Christmas
is one I love to keep.

You don't need a fancy "official" Advent wreath 
or even candles - you're free to keep track of the weeks 
in any simple/creative way that pleases you.

I love lighting the candle(s) each morning.
It helps me to remain aware of the coming joy,
at peace, and awake to the present moment.

The first candle is now burning - the candle of Hope.
On Sunday we will light the candle of Faith.
The following Sunday, we will light the candle of Mary's Joy.
The fourth candle is for Peace.

I find these beautiful and meaningful meditations on 
what can otherwise be a stressful holiday
The candle light is a reminder to slow down 
instead of rush
in spiritual preparation for Christmas.

My children prefer to do their waiting with chocolate.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

This, these, & those

This is a pair of tiny mittens my daughter made for the 
Christmas tree at our library's "festival of trees" - 
they will be hung upon the tree 
that the "fiber frenzy" group of people is decorating.

This is a cool pointy latched basket (found abandoned & immediately adopted)

which is exactly right for holding my exactly three balls of crochet thread.

These are snowflakes I'm determined to make, even if it permanently cramps my brain & hands.

This is the lovely new white thread purchased just for those snowflakes.

This is one behind-the-scenes project, which may or may not ever see the light of day.

Those are a small start at Chris-mafying, granny style. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

As needed...

One great thing about crochet is it gives you the ability to make useful objects up as you need them.
I use these cotton dishcloths daily - at least one a day.
Somehow several of them have gotten lost lately,  the rest were in the dirty laundry,
and I really needed a few more.
Hmmm... lug everything to down to the washer & dryer, and wait for the cycles to finish,
or relax with crochet hook and yarn while watching Merlin?
My verdict. 

 Here's a link to over 200 free crocheted dishcloth patterns.

Friday, November 28, 2014

We really couldn't exactly "afford" to have Thanksgiving this year. 
But my #1 son, Sam, and his longtime girlfriend, Erin, were scheduled to arrive Thanksgiving noon, 
so we made a list of everything we could buy and make with our last $16 
and whatever there was in the rather bare cupboards. 

We would resign ourselves to being thankful with whatever we could scrape together, 
no matter how un-Thanksgiving-ish it may have been. 
Sam and Erin would be bringing what they could rutsle up and carry on the long train ride, as well. 

We prepared as many things as we could a day early, 
with plans to cook and heat everything up in the morning. 
The morning after the storm! The electricity kept flickering off and on. 
The oven would only work at half power. 
Good thing we never got a turkey! 

We spread the table with our vast and lovely side-of-road-found collection of serving dishes, 
placed a lamp and some candles on the table and waited hopefully 
for the power to come back on full strength (which it did, thank goodness). 

With but fumes in the gas tank, we drove to the train station to meet Sam and Erin 
and came home to our very cozy candle-lit scene & inviting table, but it was too dim for pictures. 

For all our "lack," we were nonetheless blessed with a vegetarian feast, 
with the stuffed tofurkey Erin brought 
(I cringed at the thought, but am now officially a convert -- it was delicious), 
whipped yams, a stuffing-filled baked acorn squash, mashed potatoes with vegan gravy, 
peas, corn, cranberry sauce, cinnamon rolls and biscuits my talented baking girl made from scratch, 
Greek potato and pasta salad, giant molasses cookies, 
and a pumpkin cheesecake given by one of my many sisters. 
We were even fortunate enough to share a bottle of wine. 
My youngest son, Miles, who was greatly wishing for a full-on traditional
Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixin's, but who sweetly accepted 
that it might not turn out that way, was perfectly satisfied that he'd gotten his wish.

After a very long and very casual graze -- well, not "after," because it never really came to an end -- 
we lazed about the living room, enjoying the quiet, the conversation, some video games, 
some cheesy movies, and most of all just being together with nothing else to do. 

It was so peaceful, I even had some time to work on my mitten, and nobody minded.

Thanksgiving has always been my least favorite holiday. 
In fact, I've "traditionally" looked for ways to opt right straight out of it. 
But this one, which we were joking had started out like a scene from The Walton's Homecoming
turned out, with very little fuss or agenda, to be the best one yet.  
I might even be looking forward to next year.