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Busy, that is.

Monday, we finally managed to get the tree up.  Yes!  Christmas spirit has come at last, despite highs of 72 degrees a couple of times this week.  Umm…it’s December, and this is not Florida, California, or Australia.  I don’t expect snow, but usually one at least has to wear a coat in December in Atlanta.  Solstice is on Sunday, and I’m happy to report an expected high of 59 for Solstice Tree Trimming.  Much better!

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The house is getting closer and closer to being ready to list.  The carpet steamers came today, and Mom and Dad came over to help with more organizing and staging. I cannot thank them enough.

School is out, and the winter parties are over.  My only job for Kalen’s yesterday was to show up with a bag of Doritos, but as room parent for Nicky’s class, there was more organization involved in today’s party.  The kids, parents, and teacher were all thrilled, though, so I’m happy.  I think everyone’s favorite part was the Holiday Mad Libs.  I created mad libs out of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed-Reindeer, and they were a hit.  My greatest act of courage came after we’d filled in all the blanks.  Yes, I sang the songs, and while I can hold my own in a choral situation, let’s just say I’m not a soloist.  Keeping to one key is not my strong suit.  It was a blast, though, and the kids enjoyed making reindeer cookies (maraschino cherry noses, pretzel antlers), snowflakes (a la maya*made – just the snowflakes, no sewing machines involved), and cards for their families.

I had asked parents to send in gift cards for the teacher, if they wished, with the intent of doing some sort of creative presentation.  Yeah.  I’d forgotten the whole get-the-house-ready-for-market-while-making-all-your-Christmas-gifts-and-oh-yeah-your-back-is-going-to-go-out-in-the-most-painful-way-possible shebang.  At 3:30 this morning (thank you, steroid injection), I had a brainstorm, and thanks to Mom’s help (four hands are faster than two) at the more reasonable hour of 11:30 am, I was able to give this to Nicky’s fabulous teacher at the party:

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Many thanks to Laughing Purple Goldfish for the inspiration.  The fabric came from a crazy quilt kit I’d bought some time in the 90’s for a Christmas stocking that never came to be.  It was perfect for this project, and the teacher can display it in her classroom or home once she uses the cards (and she assured me she would – she either adores it, or she’s a great actor!).  I am going to have to make one for myself next Christmas.

I’m still plugging away at the Christmas gifties.  FIL’s was finished just a few minutes ago.  The embroidered hankies just need to be ironed, and I can wrap them up.  I have so much left to make, however, that I’m going to be working on them pretty much nonstop up through Christmas Eve.  The satisfaction the handiwork gives me is worth the pressuring deadlines, and I have a few socialities scheduled for the weekend for breaks.  Tonight: Cards and pizza.  Bring it on!

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My hand still isn’t at 100%, but I’m working on things a bit here and there.  In an effort to do something crafty this week, I decided to try my hand at these gift bows, made of magazine pages.  Easy peasy!  Not that gift bows are expensive…you can get a bag of dozens for just a couple of dollars, but I love the reused quality of these, and they’re so colorful.  Each one is completely unique.  And they look great with my favorite models.

A close-up of the bows themselves:

This first batch was made from an educational software catalog and one of those coupon magazines that come in the mail.  Apparently, Mom’s been busy over at their place and has knocked out quite a few as well!

I’m easing myself back into crochet, too.  I followed a link from one of my favorite blogs to a newish group on Ravlery, devoted to devotees of Lisa Gentry’s crochet and knit designs.  I wasn’t previously aware of Lisa’s designs, but she has some cute things, as well as the distinction of holding the world record for fastest crochet!  They hold a monthly contest in the group, and October’s contest is for Lisa’s design of a spiderweb and spider.  I adore Halloween.  I love decorating for Halloween.  I decided to use Lisa’s design as inspiration for a set of spiderweb curtains for our sidelight windows.  I’ll need to do about twenty of these small webs, soak them in fabric stiffener, then put them together.  (Still not sure how that’s going to happen.  I want them to be able to fold up, accordian-style, for storage.)  Of course, there will also be spiders.  But here’s what’s done so far.

I’m using Bernat Baby Coordinates.  Because I had it.  😉  And because I like the bit of shimmer the yarn has.  Thread would have been ideal, but I’m trying very hard not to buy anything new unless we need it.  Reminds me of a verse I read a couple of years ago:

Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do, or
Do without.

I’m not going to go too far, but “making do” seems particularly appropriate these days.

My boys

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