Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa was Gooooooood.

It's all over.  Christmas is done, and all our visits are made.  All that's left is to enjoy our time off and prepare for our New Years Eve shindig. 

This time last year I was horizontal with a sinus infection and some H1N3-type virus that, I swear, nearly killed me and literally banned all fun from my Christmas holiday.  This, therefore, is the Mister and my first "vertical" Christmas married and living together, (although I do have a cold coming on...).  And I have to say...Santa was good. 

Christmas morning we settled in for present opening with our tea and biscuits as is our custom. 

Next we all opened our stockings.  Tonka's presents all go in his stocking as it becomes increasingly difficult to explain to a small dog why it is alright to rip apart paper on Christmas but it is expressly forbidden the other 364 days of the year.  Clearly he enjoyed his gift from his grandparents.  He alternated between playing excitedly with it and falling fast asleep - the poor little guy's not used to this much excitement!

Next I have to start by saying that the thing about a good marriage, if I can be so bold as to claim ownership of one of these elusive things, is that your partner will learn as much as necessary about your dorky hobbies to completely surprise you with all the swag you never thought you'd get.  The thing about a GREAT marriage is that both partners do the same!  I managed to score major brownie points by plying my hubby with various pieces of gaming hardware for his PC as well as the new Zelda game for the Wii.  He scored possibly bigger brownie points when he bought me my very own 1.6 oz. Golding drop spindle as well as two bags of beautifully coloured roving to spin with!  He said, and I quote, "I got you purple because purple is your new pink."  Bless his cotton socks, eh? 

This is my new baby.  This photo is from the Golding website.

He also bought me Clean'n'Go M-O from the movie Wall-E.  M-O is essentially a clean freak who is perhaps a little neurotic about it.  Supposedly I may or may not share some of these characteristics and I happen to also love this little character, despite his small-ish role in the film.  My new toy M-O runs over crumbs and collects them up for you.  He is just little, so can only manage a post-dinner clean-up I should think, however I've not decided yet whether he is a "collector" toy or a "play with" toy and as such he is still bundled up in his box. 

I must have been a good girl this year, as I had a number of gifts which I LOVED!  I'm not going to list them all here, because that frankly seems tedious.  Rest assured though that they were all loved and received with much gratitude.  However, there is one more thing that I thought was pretty rad and just have to share with you.  My cousin in England (the one who had the baby) sent me this blog mug!  I felt like I should have my own talk-show!  How cool is that?  I love it.  Stay tuned, as there will soon be an interview from her to show you that good looks aren't all that run in this family!  (clearly, there's modesty too...hehe...)

I am lucky in many ways this holiday because I was able to spend the last three days hopping about from one branch of our family to another and being swept up in love, laughter and the spirit of the season.  Somehow, Mr. Frogged managed to get me to Serenity Knits in Newmarket yesterday for their boxing day sale (their sale is on all week if you need anything, I recommend it) and I bought... Baby Me Boo!  If I didn't already think it had the cutest name ever, it is also soft as soft can be.  It's a blend of baby alpaca, merino and bamboo and it's going to be a quick knit cowl for me.  Watching The Little Cowl Company knit up stock for the holidays has left me coveting a nice thick fluffy cowl.  What better way to indulge than at a Boxing Day Sale?  I also picked up a couple of skeins of Estelle yarns for gift knitting and some sock yarn for the Mister.  I'm feverishly working on his Mittens in order to allow me to cast on something new.  I will still finish that crocheted ripple blanket I swear...

Effective January 1 I am on a yarn diet.  No purchases until more of my stash diminishes.  I have begun a list of resolutions and I'll let you know the final cut once I decide.  I realize I'll break most of them, but if I only keep them for a month that's one month longer than I would have otherwise.  In the meantime, no new projects without a WIP off the needles first.  That ought to keep me in line...I think....

Until next time friends, Happy Crafting!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Not Ready Yet

Ok so here it goes... My pre-Christmas confession. We are T minus 6 days until the Claus takes to the skies. I still have over 10 gifts to buy, my holiday baking is not done, I haven't got the ingredients for the stuffing I promised to bring on the 25th, I don't know what I'm bringing on the 24th, the gifts I do have are not wrapped, my cards are not written and they shed glitter like a pole-dancer (or so I hear) and so cannot be written anywhere but MY home, the cards to be posted are not yet on their way and of course my crocheted gift is still mocking me in its incomplete state in my project bag. It makes me want to say something to it like, "I brought you into this world, half of a blanket, I can frog you out!" but then I'd be the crazy person talking to my yarn (again...).
To make matters worse my anxiety is flaring up (yes it does that, like a bad back or arthritis) which means I'm supposed to do a series of techniques to chill out...riiiiiight. Yes I can totally see how sitting back and taking stock will help me calm down here. Oh, brother.
Tell me it's not just me!
Happy crafting everyone and in case I don't post before it begins (on Wednesday, I think) Happy Chanukah, too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Week to Christmas!!!

It's one week to Christmas and it's not looking too good.
The gifts being made aren't ending up like they should.
Our knitter, alas, is starting to fade,
With scarce half her gifts blocked out and made.
Onwards she goes, not giving up yet.
"There's seven more days, I'll be done then I bet!"
Frantic and frazzled she knits on even quicker,
Her hook and her needles nothing more than a flicker. 
Her hubby looks on with tender care,
Trying not to show his look of despair.
But secretly he's shopped for all on their list,
In case his dear wife doesn't finish the gifts! 

Whoosh, boys and girls...looks like Santa's on his way soon.  Still no sign of my Nativity, but there you have it folks.  I'm not letting them get me down.  This weekend we put up some lights and things outside so that it didn't look like the Grinch had stolen Christmas.  I must say though that it did put me in rather an anti-Christmas funk for a while after the incident happened. 

Nevermind, no more of that.  I recently established that with Christmas so close, the baby blanket, though quite far along now, will not be complete in a week (short of my taking up a speed addiction which I'm really not prepared to finance).  So instead I decided to whip up a little crochet ear flap hat so that the little'un has something to open.  It is hellish cute, I must say, but I must have done something wrong in the back.  Perhaps the slip stitch join counts as a chain stitch or something like that because it seems to come down into a peak.  I'm not frogging it this time.  I figure it's for an infant who spends most of his time on his back anyways, so there you go.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. 

I think tassles and poms are super cute!

No baby to model it, sorry...

This braid at up a stupid amount of yarn...FYI.
So it would appear that we are almost ready for the holidays, albeit we have over 15 gifts left to buy, but the stockings are hung, the tree is up, the lights are out and the spirit of the season is back so...there you have it. 

Today I'm going to spend the day baking and cooking because my uncle is in town from the UK and we are having him and my cousins and my parents over for dinner.  Brave, I know.  There will be 10 of us in all squished around my dining table, but I suspect we'll manage.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

Keep up the great work on the presents I know you're crafting out there!  Have a great week and Happy Crafting!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Who Would Steal a Sign?

Four hours ago we duct taped a sign to the lamp post in our yard asking politely for the return of our Nativity. After spending the afternoon at a holiday party, we returned and it's gone. We put the sign up under the popular theory that perhaps the thief misunderstood our nativity placement. Since we put it only four feet from the curb, many people we spoke to felt that perhaps it was assumed to be garbage and taken innocently by someone rescuing it from the trash. I'm not sure what it means when the sign is taken. It is not that windy that it could have blown far and after looking down the street for the sign to no avail we assume it's been taken too. We aren't bad people, I swear, so why??
We are putting another sign up. Last ditch effort. This whole thing is making me suspicious of people and uneasy and I don't much like feeling this way. I'll keep you posted.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Two Weeks 'Till Christmas

Now, two weeks to Christmas,
Our knitter's uptight.
With a cramp in one hand
And a squint from bad light,
She keeps on with her craft
During each hour God sends
And denies to stop knitting
At parties with friends.
As cosmos, and chianties and h'ors deuvres abound
She vows, "I'll join in, I swear, just after this round."
Her needles are flying,
There's yarn in her clutch,
And even her hubby thinks,
"This is a bit much."
He sneakily lures her away with merino,
Then hands her a glass, quite full, with some vino.
He takes her out slowly to the mistletoe,
When sudenly she bursts out,
"I've got loose ends left to sew!"

Hello ladies and gents.  There is officially two weeks until Christmas now and in the spirit of Brenda Dayne I have delegated at least one of my Christmas crochet gifts to Festivus status.  The other one is close behind it, as there is no way I can possibly delegate enough time in the days left to crocheting when there is precious little time to do all of the other things left to do.

Today I spent the day with my mom, selecting fabrics and sitting on various sofas for the cottage.  Somehow this was a much less daunting task with my mommy there.  I think there are just some times where things are just like that.  We got much accomplished after going all over creation to find out that there may actually only be one sales person in the world out there who is still interested in actually assisting their customers.  Just sayin'....

Tomorrow is a Christmas party.  Weeknights will be spent alternatively crocheting and shopping, with one gym session thrown in (yes I said that casually like it was something I do all the time, and yes I'm completely full of it, because I haven't done much of anything since the charity ride).  Next weekend I'm throwing a dinner party for some family in town for the holidays and as you know, next it will be Christmas! 

Anyways, enough babble for tonight.  How are your projects going?  It's definitely way too late for me, and I'm off to bed.  I'll catch up with you soon...happy crafting!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Who Steals A Nativity???

I will try to keep this rant brief for fear of dampening the holiday mood. This year Mr. Frogged's uncle hand-made us a beautiful, white-painted, plywood, folding Nativity. He asked what sort of lawn ornament we might like and that was my only request because they are so hard to find.

We picked it up a week ago and set it out on our lawn Sunday morning. I have just come home, after having it out only three days, to find it missing.

Joseph and Mary stood about three feet each, and the manger was a scant twelve inches high. It wasn't something easily carted off by one person. For one thing it folded and fell undone easily when lifted and it was awkward to move. We walked some of the nearby park in hopes of recovering it from a teenager's prank. No luck. We looked around the street for signs of the wind having taken it away. Nothing. It's gone.
My heart is heavy with the idea that at this time of year, with many holidays, not just Christmas, coming to pass a person would be so cruel as to take someone's holiday decorations.

Granted, they likely did not know it was made for us by a family member and perhaps it was teenagers, but they had a good hiding place. I don't know.

What I do know is that this person has not only stolen an object from us but also my sense of community and security, which are much harder to replace.

**Edit added December 8, 2011**
After speaking to some of our neighbours the general suggestion/excuse for this behaviour is that we had placed the Nativity too close to the curb.  We had placed it in front of the lamp post that is so poorly placed as to be in the centre of our lawn.  In doing this, the Nativity was about 3-4 feet from the curb.  So, it is a possibility that this is some sort of misunderstanding.  We are going to post a sign on the lamp post asking for it back in the hopes that if this is the case the person will return it. 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Three Weeks 'Till Christmas

Now three weeks to Christmas that knitter got wary.
"These UFOs here," she thought, "Sure look scary."
But determined she was, so she knit all the quicker,
Clicking each stitch and each row on her clicker.
Slowly but surely some progress was made,
And some of her worries had started to fade.
But alas, though she knit and she counted with care,
a YO was lost 20 rows ago, there.
She shook her head, "No!", and squeezed out a small sob,
Then took a deep breath and she started to frog.

I hope your gift-making is going more smoothly than that. Mine is, but I hear that pride goeth before a fall, so let's not say it too loudly.

Today we were Christmified. First order of business was to get a 9'-0" tree into the back of a Prius. Ladies, and gents, I'm here to tell you that this can be done without so much as a bungee cord to help. See...

Hand holding was clearly forbidden on this car ride. Poor Mr Frogged is a saint for agreeing to drive under these conditions.

To ease our way into the decorating, we began with the smaller items and held off on the tree. The first thing we put out was the advent wreath we made last year from ribbons and sparkly bobbles. It's not at all traditional but we love it. I've shown a shot of it half-made too in case you need proof of its home creation. 

Half-way to Completion 2010

Complete and Set Out for Use 2011

Christmas-y Table Ready for Impromptu Guests
Here is a Swedish Christmas angel mobile set out in our stairwell:

Sweet and Simple

Then we began on the tree. Three hours, one Christmas special and one night-time drama later, and the tree (or, the top half of it) looked like this...

I've taken a few snaps of my favourite ornaments for you too.

Kissy-Fish, an Image from my Courtship with Mr. Frogged
A Honey-Dough Ornament from Croatia
Tinkerbell as Our Christmas Fairy - Disney Nuts that We are...
Our First Christmas Commemorative Ornament from Last Year
Have you started to holiday-ify for your celebration yet?  If you don't celebrate Christmas, let me know what you do celebrate and what sorts of decorations you use.  When do you usually begin your decorating? Leave me a comment and let me know. Until next time, happy gift-making, and happy crafting!