Quote of the week - The sixteenth door

I wonder what kind of holidays they have on other planets and how we would adapt there.
Our favorite alien family on Earth, the Solomons, is celebrating Christmas for the very first time. Knowing the Solomons this can't go smoothly.
Dick for example participates in a Secret Santa. Although twenty dollars are the limit, his gift has cost just a tad more, a hundred and twenty dollars more, and of course Dick is as modest as ever about it. Not.

Mary: My Dad would go out and get the biggest Christmas tree he could find. We'd go carolling, open our house to the neighborhood. All that sharing and generosity.
Dick (overwhelmed by sentiment): So beautiful. Look how generous I am! I AM Christmas!!

Well, a happy alien Christmas to you, Dick! He's not that happy anymore, though, when the police comes for him because he tries to get his Christmas tree out of a neighbor's garden ;-)
He's not the only one losing his illusions about Christmas. Tommy is desperate to find the perfect gift for his girlfriend. Harry finds out that the Santa Claus in the mall is not the real Santa Claus, and Sally who's wrapping gifts at the mall can't believe how unimaginative people are.
Will it become a good Christmas after all? Yes, it will!

3rd Rock from the sun, USA, 1996 - 2001


Christmas cats - The fifteenth door

I wonder if cat mothers when asked by their kittens to tell them a story ever tell that of Christmas - the time when humans put up trees and decorate their houses with the most fabulous cat toys only to yell at innocent kitties who want to do what they were born for. Why can't they tap those dangly ornaments or bite into a ball chain to pull on it a little? Why shouldn't they climb the tree and say hello to the angel on top? Or fairy or star or whatever, those are just details.
Even worse, there are those humans who think it's okay for them to stop at nothing and dress up their feline overlords. Santa hats, fake fur stoles, coats, scarves, antlers and more!
You don't believe me? Just wait, I got proof. Heartbreaking, isn't it?
And those who escaped the dressing up madness have obviously been tortured by those delicious and fun looking ornaments.
It's all here, the surprised and the hateful looks, the incredulous ones and the ones that say "sleep with one eye open tonight, human".

Well, and then of course there is Oliver. Oliver is not taking no for an answer. Oliver owns Christmas, Oliver owns that tree. And the next one and the one after that. He's the master and I bow to him.

A huge thank you to my friends from My Cat Hates You and my sister for the great pictures!!


Tackle that stash? - The fourteenth door

Today I let out a scream that may have been heard in the neighborhood. Ever since my thyroid surgery I haven't been able to hit high notes anymore, so I must say I did surprise myself.

What was the reason you want to know?
Glue. What else. It's always glue. This week I have dealt with it three times, why don't I learn from it?

This was supposed to be a winter related stash tackler and the idea sounded easy enough. Take a small white Christmas bauble, glue eyes and a mouth to it and a big pointy nose. It would be easier than last year when I made two little snowmen with beaded scarves from two baubles each.
Icicle nose from a clear spike as I don't have any orange colored ones. Why did I try the big nose? Just because I have a big bag of large spikes? Just because I liked the icicle idea? And why was I so keen on using the last few big seed beads I had? The answer is I don't know! I don't know why I kept trying over and over to hold those beads on the baubles when all they wanted was to slide off in an ocean of glue which then got on my hands, on my shirt and on my pliers that I used like as a tweezers substitute.

In the end I gave up. Off with their big noses! On with small ones! Not only did they look ridiculous against those big eyes, they also didn't want to stick, either.
There will come a day when I'll master this. That day wasn't today. Three little snowman heads went into the trash which felt a tad creepy. I didn't even take pictures of their small faces which were glue smeared by now.

Things don't always work out the way we want them to. Not even screaming can change anything about that ;-)
Time to try something else.


Oldies but Goodies, More stars - The thirteenth door

There can never be enough stars for my taste, not just for the Christmas time.
I'm going to take it a little easy today. No story, only stars (from the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge)!

1 and 5 and 7 Cat's Wire
2 RioRita
3 and 4 and 6 MC Stoneworks


Moravian stars or The glue battle - The twelfth door

Moravian stars or "Herrnhuter Sterne" as they called in Germany were invented more than 160 years ago. The Moravian Church is a Protestant congregation. In 1722 Protestants fled religious persecution from different countries, most of them from Moravia and Bohemia, though, and went to Saxony where some of the refugees established the village Herrnhut which grew quickly (that's only a very short version).
They soon sent missionaries to far away countries. Those often sent their children back home when they had reached school age.
A teacher used stars to teach his pupils geometry, the children then used them for decoration during advent time and passed the tradition on to their families. The first stars were white and red, white standing for purity and red for the blood of Christ.
Nowadays you can get the stars in all kinds of colors, sizes and materials. You can buy them already put together or as a kit, in paper or plastic. Of course you can also make them completely from scratch.

I'm a fool. I thought it would be fun - for you - to see what a kit looks like. I'm not that much of an idiot that I would go for a big one right away because of my glue trauma. I know I suck at gluing. It shows time and again, but I was willing. I bought two mini stars of 13 cm, that's a little over five inch, one blue, one yellow.

Here are the sets in the box and the blue one out of the box. As you can see in the upper left hand corner, Ponder wanted to help me. He changed his mind soon. Probably he was afraid I'd glue him to the star.

Then I did something that doesn't happen often, I read the instructions. Of course there was not much to read, it's pretty self-explanatory. It did tell me to apply the glue sparingly. I knew then I was doomed. Sparingly is not in my vocabulary, simply because I can't do it.
It also said to take seven square points and "stick them along the seam of the body" after sticking the two halves of the body base together (and please imagine me saying "body" like the teacher does in this Mr Bean video ;-)).
I opened the glue and guess what. A big blob of glue with air bubbles attacked me. I was obviously doomed, but still willing.

I'll never read the instructions again. I did my round of seven, but the more points I glued on, the more threads of glue I generously applied over the table (it's a good thing it's so old and worn), on my hands and like a web between the points, and I didn't even know how to hold the star anymore. In between I took little breaks to give the glue time to do its thing, sometimes more inside the point instead of on its edges.

Did there have to be gaps?
Wait. The instructions said "The star assembly kit might be assembled under adult supervision and by children 7 years and older". I'm not really sure I am that old regarding anything glue related ;-)
Finally it was finished, though, and like this it didn't even look that bad (although I am still thinking I'd like to rip everything off and do it over).

I had learned something for the second star, however. Who cares about instructions?
This time I didn't start by going along the seam, instead I worked in rounds from top to bottom. Crazy! ;-) That way I could still hold the star at the bottom. It went like a breeze if you don't count the glue problems (I don't learn that quickly).
While I was working, I remembered that the bigger stars aren't glued at all, by the way, they use pins. Oh well, I wouldn't know where to put it, anyway.

And here's the yellow star now. I did it, yay!


Snow globes - The eleventh door

I once had a friend who collected snow globes. I never got to see her collection, but when I happened to see a TV program about Vienna in the Christmas time, it made me wonder if she knew about the history of the snow globe. I didn't.
As usual I found slightly different stories on different pages.

You may want to know what snow globes have to do with Vienna. While "one of the earliest known descriptions of the snow globe comes from the U.S. government’s official report on the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878" as The Strategist is telling me (a paper weight with a man in the snow who's holding an umbrella), there is also the story of Erwin Perzy, a maker of surgical instruments in Vienna, who tried to improve the carbon thread lamp and experimented with a shoemaker's ball, a glass ball filled with water that craftsmen used to bundle the rays of light in order to have better light during their work. He tried out several things to add to the water to enhance light reflection. Semolina which sank to the ground slowly reminded him of snow and gave him the idea for a snow globe with the first one containing a model of the Basilica of Maria Zell. He patented the idea and the manufacture exists to this day.

Then I got to the website of the Paris Musée de la Poupée where I was told that the predecessors of snow globes were Cartesian divers, a science experiment named after Descartes.
They didn't mention Perzy at all, but instead a legal dispute between two German brands. From there on to a German website for collectors, from there to an American newspaper article that I couldn't read because of the EU's data policies and finally I ended up with the thesis of Anne Hilker: A biography of the American snow globe: from memory to mass production, from souvenir to sign ... that's when I gave up, but you are very welcome to read it here and check up on the many citations yourself.

There's nothing you can't find in a snow globe, no matter if it makes sense or not. There is even a snow globe that has only snow! Check out CoolSnowGlobes if you don't believe me. My favorite, however, is the Eclipse which "conjures the infinite depth of the night sky". It does look quite fascinating, but my desk definitely does not need any more things.

You can get snow globes in small, big, glass, plastic, as balls or domes, as jewelry, as ornament or as DIY kits.
What would you put into a snow globe if you had the choice? Do you have any yourself, if you do, what kinds?
Here's the only one I have.



Holiday scents - The tenth door

The other day my sister and I talked about scented candles. I never have any candles burning in the house because of the cats, much less scented ones. I have hardly ever worn perfume. I don't use air fresheners.
Of course that doesn't mean, however, that I don't notice scents or smells.
"Fragrance is deeply personal, you don't have a choice between which scents you like and which you don't. Throughout our lives we store information on smells, creating a complex stockpile of memories and associations, all of which have a big impact on whether we like a fragrance or not." (from Belfast Telegraph)

I love the smell of fried onions.
I loved the smell of, I don't know, the tracks in the underground station after a heavy rain, but only on the way home. Probably it came from some kind of chemicals, so it may be a good thing that it has gone since, but those few seconds when I came down the stairs always triggered something in me.
I love the sweet scent of the roses in front of our house and crushed mint.
I don't like the smell of peach flavored things.
I hate the smell of wild garlic. When I still drove to work with the ex, there was an area where there must have been so much wild garlic that the smell clawed its way through the car windows after rain. I had to hold my breath because it made me sick.
Well, and sometimes I wish Ponder would flush after being in the litter box.

Then I started out on a trip into the internet to find out more about holiday scents. I should have taken something to eat on that trip because it looked like it would take a while and I quickly knew I would end up in total confusion, so I had to limit myself. If you want to enlighten me with your own personal experiences, please do, I'd love to hear it!

Let's begin with Diwali because this festival already took place in early November. On his site Hindu Inside Hariram says that Diwali smells like the gunpowder of the fireworks and the eatablesMads Creations tells me Diwali fragrances for your home should be soothing and welcoming for visitors, floral and religious, and not sweet, spicy or fruity "as Diwali already includes lots of delicacies and delights to be shared that are already filled with sweeteners, spices and fruits". I'll be honest, that doesn't help me that much without any personal experience.

Hanukkah is ending tonight. Given the fact that I don't know much about Hanukkah except what I googled and the snippets I have been told by friends all I could think of were latkes and candles.
Obviously I was so wrong. Hanukkah smells like fear of relatives. Wait! I'm not making fun of it. This is a quote from the first article that I found on the matter, on Tablet, it's about perfumes for Hanukkah. It also quotes another article on Jewcy that I had found about scented candles for the festival, and that leads me to the last one from Alma which actually mentioned a candle that is supposed to smell like latkes and jelly donuts. I can't even imagine that one even if I try. Potato and fruit? Frying oil?
I turned to a dear friend to ask her what Hanukkah smells like for her. She said her first thought was olive oil as it's not only significant for the holiday, but also stands for latkes (I got something right!) and spinach with pine nuts in their house. She also added that sounds had been a big part of it when her kids were little, like screaming "Happy Hanukkah" three times while holding hands and jumping up and down as a circle and then falling on the floor after the candles were lit. Another memory she shared was that she hid the presents when she was growing up and put rhyming clues around the house, so there were happy screams when the kids found something. Thank you, Sharon!

Christmas. Now I can finally speak from own experience. What are Christmas scents to me?
Pine needles, spices like cinnamon or cloves, vanilla, turkey (even if don't eat it myself), oranges, snow (even if I don't like it ;-)) ... huh, now I almost want a scented candle. Maybe I'll just stick my nose into the little tin with Christmas cookies I got from the neighbors for St. Nicholas Day!



Quote of the week - The ninth door

What do you know about Santa Claus? Where did he come from? Has he ever been a child?
Of course we could rehash the usual stories now. I could tell you about St. Nicholas again, I could tell you about that he is dressed either as the bishop who really lived, or that he used to wear different colors like brown or blue and that Coca Cola really was the company to make Santa Claus look like most of us think of him today, in the red coat with the white fur, with white hair and and a long beard, ho-ho-ho and children on his knee who tell him their wishes.

This Christmas story is different, though. Imagine Lapland hundreds of years ago.
A boy named Nikolas loses his parents and little sister due to a tragic accident on Christmas, so the whole village decided to take care of him. Nikolas stays with each family for one year, then he moves on. To show his gratitude he carves toys for the children of his former families. After six years, however, a bad harvest and bad luck at fishing mean no one can afford to take him in.
That's when the carpenter Iisakki who lives far from the village that he only visits to sell his goods offers to take the boy for a year. Although the relationship isn't easy in the beginning as Iisakki is not fond of children, he teaches Nikolas how to be a carpenter. One night he catches him in the workshop where Nikolas is preparing the Christmas gifts for the village children. He forbids it at first, but then decides to help him. He also asks the boy to stay although the year is over.
When Iisakki gets old, he moves away, but leaves his house, workshop and money to Nikolas who has become like a son to him. Nikolas who has always been a bit of an hermit takes this as a sign to dedicate his life to Christmas and bring presents to the children of all the villages in the area.

We still won't get around the red suit, though! As the distance between the villages is quite big, Nikolas gets himself four reindeer for his sleigh from Hilla. He thinks they will be easy to train, but the reindeer have their own opinion about that.

Only when Nikolas follows Hilla's advice and has a red suit made, they start listening to him and the legend of Santa Claus is about to begin.

Christmas Story, Finland, 2007


Christmas song - The eighth door

When I was a kid, our parson once asked me to come to his office after confirmation class. He was a really cool guy, smart, friendly, listened to us young ones just as he would to the grown ups, never got mad at us, never was surprised by our shenanigans (a certain raid in his garden with some of his apples being mysteriously gone comes to my mind for example, and no, I wasn't part of that one), was always open for questions and never ever condescending. Who knows, had I met more like him in church, I may think differently about it today. That's not what this is about, though.
When I got up there, he told me someone had given him two sets of books by Theodor Storm saying he should give one of them to a child he thought would appreciate it. Most of them were in Fraktur, a Gothic typeface, and he thought I should have them because he knew I was going to be able to read it fluently.
I have no idea why he chose me, I'm sure there were others who could read Fraktur, maybe he did it because I was so crazy about books or maybe he wanted to teach me something. Maybe I was just the first one he saw ;-) It doesn't matter, I was very pleased and possibly a little proud. This was more than 40 years ago, and I still have those books and treasure them although I haven't read them in a long time.

In honor of him I'll share this Christmas poem by Storm. H.K. (which we called him for short, not to his face of course although I'm sure he knew), this one's for you.

Weihnachtslied (Christmas Song)

From Heaven into valleys deep
The mild light of a star descends,
From fir tree woods a fragrance sweet
Ascending through the cold night breathe;
And lit by candles is the night.

My heart is startled now with joy,
It is the Christmas time so dear!
Afar I hear the church bells toll,
So dear and homely they call
Me back into a fairy tale.

Again, I stand in adoration,
The old enchantment holds me still;
Before my eyes, from deep oblivion
Lost childhood's golden dreams return.
I feel, a miracle has happened here.

From the page of Electric Scotland

Oberhofen Church ("my" church back then, picture taken in 2010)


Stash tackler ornaments - The seventh door

Few of you will remember my very first wire crochet Christmas baubles. Unbreakable, unusual, some of them still available ;-) Since then I have made different kinds of decorations, but most of them were wire knitted which I only realized after a conversation with a co-worker the other day. Why had I never tried to crochet around a bauble?
Well, that could easy be changed. I had already strung some, okay, a lot of mixed color seed beads on a copper wire and I choose black baubles for the filling as the contrast would show the difference between the two techniques nicely.

After starting the wire crochet bauble, I knew why I prefer wire knitting for ornaments. To achieve the perfect shape for your bauble, you actually work on the bauble, at least I do. That's a lot easier to do if you knit because the wire structure isn't as dense, is much more forgiving when you press it against the bauble and easier to shape, and of course because the beads are between the stitches.
In wire crochet you usually work from the inside if you don't have a flat piece and the beads appear on the outside, but try to do that if there is already a bauble on the inside! So I turned it the wire structure around after a few rows, so the beads are on the inside now, but you can still see them peek through.
The other downside is that it takes even longer than knitting around a bauble, but it definitely has a very different look and also gave me two new ideas for later some time.

Now the wire knit bauble. You see all the beads perfectly well, the look is very airy and less "messy" as you have just one layer of wire whereas crocheting is more three-dimensional because you pull the extra wire through to make a stitch.

Here they are in one picture together, so you can compare them even better. Let me add that in the right light the wire crochet bauble sparkles more because the layers of wire and the texture capture the light better. I wonder which one would win the sparkle battle, though, if I had used only silver lined beads or maybe even crystals as the beads are so much more visible in the wire knit bauble.
I also feel the temptation to see which one breaks more easily when dropping them, but the crochet bauble just took too long for that.
In the end I guess it's just a matter of taste which one you like better (let's not forget these are quite unconventional colors for Christmas baubles, too ;-)).

This post goes well with my other posts about the difference between techniques like wire crochet, wire knit, netting, and Viking knit, by the way. You can find them here, here and here.


Oldies but Goodies - Renaissance Fair, The sixth door

I have never been to a Renaissance fair. There have been a few near or even in my town, but not that many, and there's no chance I'm going there. It's the people or rather the number of people. I just can't deal with crowds anymore, not even for a while. Strolling through the city is already enough for me, but too many people in one place, no can do.
This is also the reason why I have never been to the Esslinger Medieval and Christmas Market (if you have a look, ignore that they haven't updated all the dates, this IS for 2018), no matter how much everyone raves about it. Pity because it may have been the perfect introduction for this post.
Then again a Renaissance fair is not always set in medieval times at all, but often in the era of Queen Elizabeth I. But how did they celebrate Christmas back then?

When I looked it up, this caught my eye first "Christmas customs are hard to pin down and harder still to identify as verifiably in use during the Elizabethan era. (The past is not all the same place.) With the shifts from Catholic to protestant and back and forth again, some customs were banned or simply stopped, revived, then abandoned. Here are some of the things we're sure of." (from "Life in Elizabethan England).

Houses were decorated with all kinds of green, for example holly, ivy, yew and more. Hospitality was the rule, so whatever could be afforded, was there, from meat to pies, from spiced wine to drinks from hot cider, sherry or ale with spices and apples. "Eat, drink and be merry" (from "BBC History") was the motto for the Twelve Days from Christmas Eve to Epiphany. The merry part consisted of gambling, plays, morris dancing and general silliness.
There was also the custom of the Yule log, a block of wood cut from a tree chosen for the occasion and put into the fireplace, then lit using a bit of last year's log that has been saved. The Yule log is expected to burn all night.

Okay, people, you know what you have to do, and don't you forget about that silliness! ;-)
For decorating purposes I also offer you this selection of jewelry that could be worn at a Renaissance fair from the last Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.

1 and 5 Cat's Wire
2 RioRita
3 and 7 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 and 6 MC Stoneworks


The Victorian way - The fifth door

I don't remember how I first discovered Mrs Crocombe on English Heritage's YouTube channel or which one was the first video I watched, but like many others, judging from all the comments, I became a fan of the good lady immediately. Those videos are made so beautifully.
Avis Crocombe is no fictional character, she was the cook to the Braybrooke family who spent the summers at Audley End House, their country mansion in Essex (I wish I had known about it when we were in Cambridge, so we could have gone there). A visitor to the house recognized the name which had been mentioned in a book handwritten by his aunt. This aunt was Avis Crocombe and it was her recipe book that he then donated to English Heritage. Most of The Victorian Way shows Mrs Crocombe preparing some of those recipes.

This Christmas punch looks like something I could make. I'd just need some ginger wine and some more people to help me drink it unless I find out the perfect measurements to make some only for myself ;-)


Hogfather - The fourth day

You may not know who the Hogfather is, so here's a short explanation. He's the Discworld's equivalent to Santa Claus. You mean you don't know the Discworld, either? Sigh. Okay. A very smart, witty and funny man named Terry Pratchett told us about the Discworld, a flat world carried by four elephants who are standing on a giant turtle making its way through space. It's a magic place full of wizards, witches, trolls, vampires, dwarves and so much more.
Back to the Hogfather. One of the things he does is to bring children presents on Hogswatch night in a sleigh pulled by four hogs. Until the Auditors of Reality pay an assassin to get rid of him, that is. So Death has to dress up and take on the job while his granddaughter Susan tries to save the Hogfather.

When I got my pal this fabulous advent calendar for his birthday, I hadn't expected that I would be sent one free of cost, but it made me very happy. I have no idea why I didn't order one for myself in the first place!

It seems Gundel is determined to help me with my advent calendar (no, I didn't put her there) which is fine by me, but she's not getting any of the chocolate (no chocolate for cats, it's not good for them!).

P.S. Oh, and if you want to know more about the history of advent calendars, check out my post from 2010.


O Christmas Tree - The third door

Gundel is in her favorite place on the stairs, Ponder has lost consciousness in his cat tower's plushy softness - a good moment to set up my Christmas tree.
Last year I had been searching for my ornaments, I thought I lost my mind. Turns out I did, there were in the same box in the same safe spot they had been during the last few years, but you know how it sometimes is with those safe spots. This year my memory didn't fail me, so here they are.
Yup, almost all of my tree decorations fit into a small box, but then my artificial tree is not exactly big, either. You can see the beaded bauble my friend Caroline made, some of my "pineapple slices", a few Christmas spider legs and my octopus bauble's tentacles peeking out.

As soon as I had the tree out, my second supervisor arrived on the scene. She gave a few branches a short nibble and went around the tree to check if I had bent all the branches the right way. Looks to me as if Supervisor Gundel is fine with what she saw.

The hardest part for me are the lights and the ball chain. Yeah, the baubles will hide the messy look, I think. As you can see my trusted wooden cats are helping to keep the tree in place (plus one of the branches is wrapped around the railing ;-)).

By then Gundel had decided she needed a second look. That chain didn't look very safe. Neither did it to me after she started pawing it! I still kept going. There are my earliest prototypes of wire crochet baubles, my wire knit and few beaded baubles, the beaded goodies from my friend, gifts from the neighbors like wooden stars and more, tiny baubles from my pal, the snowmen I made, the weird little octopus and the "mace" baubles. Last but not least I put my wire knit "flame" on top and of course Christmas Jack to guard everything!

It's a pity that it is such a grey day which makes it hard for me to take a good picture. Maybe I'll post another one if I find the chance and the light is good enough.

Well, and then the first bauble fell. While I had been decorating, there were some mysterious bauble shakes and I kept seeing a little black paw, but only when I was done, there it went - but didn't break!
So if you feel like betting on the cats or the tree, let me know! ;-)


Quote of the week - The second door

Pettson and Findus (Festus and Mercury in the USA) live on a small farm in Sweden, with knitting hens and small creatures that only Findus, the cat, can see - the Mucklas.
Findus who is named after a brand of peas because he arrived on the farm in a box with their name when he was a kitten has been told about the Yule Tomte (Santa Claus) by the children, and now he really wants the Tomte to come to their house, so he can see him.
Pettson decides to make a mechanical Tomte machine, but although he often invents things, his plan doesn't work out. One of the wooden gears breaks, one small wooden gear is stolen by a Muckla, and to make it even worse, his neighbor Gustavsson has promised that Pettson will carve a hundred Tomtes for the Christmas bazaar!

What luck that Findus meets that strange postman in the woods whom he has to save from inside an oak tree ... or maybe it's not a postman after all?
A lot happens until Pettson and Findus are finally waiting for the Yule Tomte to arrive. Pettson who made his invention work with the help of Miracle Oil from a parcel the postman gave to Findus thinks it will be his mechanical one, but instead ...

Findus: Hi, Mister Tomte!
Pettson: He's moving so smoothly. Findus, don't worry if the Tomte's voice sounds a bit ...
Findus: Quiet, Pettson!
Tomte: Merry Christmas everyone!
Findus: Merry Christmas.
Pettson: Don't be upset if he doesn't know you're a cat. He'll probably ask if you've been a good child.
Findus: Quiet now!
Tomte: Have you been a good little cat?
Pettson: Well, actually he's a ...
Findus: Yes! I've been very good!
Tomte: That's just what I thought. You're a very good little cat and I've got a present for you. There you go. A surprise.
Findus: Thanks for coming, Tomte.
Tomte: Oh, welcome. Ho-ho-ho! Help the helpers help as we Tomtes say!
Findus: That's what postmen say, too.
Tomte: Oh, they do, do they? *laughs* Ho, ho, ho!

Findus and the Christmas Tomte, D/DK/S, 2006


I'm not ready! - The first door


This was a spontaneous decision when I just put my hallway decorations up. How about giving the Cat's Wire advent calendar another try? This is harder than it may sound. I can't promise to come up with something fantastic, new or exciting every day, but I'll give it my best.
Actually I will start this with a little cheating, though. It's already Sunday today, but I had to work yesterday and I was dead when I came home.
Now, however, I'm sitting here listening to one of my favorite holiday channels, The Christmas Radio, so let's get this thing started, shall we?
Decorations. I'm no master at them. My style has been called eclectic (one of the best words for making "what a mess" sound intellectual), whimsical, crazy, interesting and more, but that's okay because I think that rather fits me.

So this is what my hallway looks like this year. For those who have seen pictures in the past years, it's not the same. This year the little Lego house had to move to the window sill along with the little elf as I needed space for a newcomer. For the same reason I had to say no to my neighbor's offer to give me some quinces as deco.

What I love about it is that there are so many handmade pieces along some others. The two hand sewn hearts from Christmas fabric hanging in the mistletoe (from my neighbors' garden) on both sides were made by a friend. There is also a lace icicle in one of the mistletoes.

Here's the knitted wreath that my other neighbor made, some of my wire knit ornaments (including the "puffer fish" ;-)), my wire crochet star and the lace snowflakes made by a friend who's no longer with us. She also made the icicle and all three are ornaments I treasure a lot.

This is what the "first floor" looks like.

Can't do without my beloved Steiff Christmas tree, the mice and the ball! I got the little Villeroy & Boch candle holder at a sale some years ago. The Christmas kitties box was a lovely gift by co-workers (the candy is long gone!). The only handmade item in this picture is my wire knit candle with the little Christmas bauble in the flame to make it shine.

And here's the newcomer now. It took me two years to decide I really wanted to have this. I ordered it months ago and was so excited when it arrived!
As you can see there are 24 little boxes which hold a small lampwork bauble each to put on the glass Christmas tree.

It's the beautiful work of Paul from Phoenix Glass, check it out on Facebook!

Time for a cup of chai and maybe something to eat before I go finding something for the second door!