The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Friendly ghosts.

Really!

I have some of the most wonderful Christmas memories. Not just of things but of traditions and love and laughter. I feel blessed to have had such an amazing home to grow up in.

I still can’t make cut out cookies without remembering the grand event of sugar cookies at Christmastime. There were glittery sugar sprinkles, colored frostings, red hot cinnamon candies, the annoying little silver balls that skittered across the table and more cookie cutter than you could imagine!

I can still see cookie dough and flour everywhere! I still see my hands grasping the red handles of Mom’s wooden rolling pin and trying to roll out dough evenly. I also see those hands shoving scraps of sugar dough in my mouth 🙂

My first Christmas – me between my big brother and sister – 1973

I was such a baby doll kind of girl. I think this was 1979.

See the old Singer sewing machine behind the jacket. Gorgeous, huh? I used to play on that for hours. It was everything from my  librarian’s desk to part of my seamstress shop to a bank teller’s counter.

Overactive imagination at play.

My first two wheeler – 1978 – in front of the house my parents still live in.

This bike was such a surprise! I went to the bike store with my parents a few weeks before Christmas to pick out ten speeds for my brother and sister. Mom and Dad told me I wasn’t big enough for a two wheel bike yet. I can remember being very sad. I was so tall for my age (as tall as my teacher!) that my knees would scrape when I rode my red tricycle!

When my parents brought “The Big Kids” outside to show them their bikes I almost didn’t believe their was a blue bike for me out there too! A Blue Schwin with a white leather seat and a bell with an American Flag on it. In the Spring we added a white basket covered with daisies for the handlebar.

I have many fond memories of tear-assing around riding my bike. There was an actual circle of houses in the center of the neighborhood and paved road around them. Collation Circle had an incline which made for some pretty fun “no hands, no feet” excursions with my ponytail sticking straight out.

My Mom and my brother. I miss that big entertainment center we used to have. I think I even miss the gold filigree mirrors. Just kidding.

I do have many fond memories of that bookshelf though. I was probably the only kid in the world who would sit and read the encyclopedias and my Dad’s old medical books. Of course when I wanted to kick back and relax I had the shelf of classics – Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Robinson Crusoe.

The thing is my Mom’s hand is a scanner. It held crystals that allowed my firefighter Dad to listen to the fire and police broadcast channels for our town. This way he could run to a brush fire or a nearby car fire. Even to dash off to deliver a baby or rescue a dog from the cracked ice of a lake. Oh yeah, all true stories btw.

Now that I am an adult I realize the real reason we had the scanner in the house. So Mom would know Dad was safe.

The real gift of the holidays is those we love safe and sound.

Keep yours close to you and enjoy them. Let them know they are the only gift you want this season.

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Weekend Work

I did not have the traditional long Thanksgiving weekend since I work in purchasing for a retail corporation. We work when our stores need us and Black Friday is one of those days.

My weekend started on Saturday morning. I woke up early and started with some housecleaning. I dragged out some Christmas decorations out of storage. I couldn’t believe the amount of spider webs there were in my storage unit since the last time I was in there at the end of summer.

I have an irrational fear of getting spiders stuck in my extremely thick and curly hair. I know it’s silly but I jumped in the shower right after I was done getting the boxes.

I was relaxing on the couch having a very late breakfast while I browsed the Jo-Ann sale flyer. I knew that there was a 20% off entire purchase coupon in there and I needed some essentials.

I made a list (FINALLY!) of the remaining floss needed for Nora Corbett’s Holly.

I hoped that some of the Door Buster interfacing would be left too. 10 yards for $2.99 – That’s a great price! Some novelty fabric I needed was $2 off as well.

Jo-Ann’s had coupons for Saturday only as well. I tore them out and was reading them carefully to make sure I had the right ones. Yup, both said Saturday! The 20% off coupon also said good from 7am – Noon.

WHAT??!!???

omg – I frantically though what time is it? I checked the clock and saw it was 10:30!

SHIT!!!!!!!

I have never, ever gotten dressed so quickly to go shopping. I was out the door and backing my car out within 5 minutes of reading the coupon fine print!

Thankfully my Jo-Ann’s is only about 10 minutes away from me. No more than 15 even with traffic congestion.

I entered the store around 10:50 and went straight to the DMC racks. I grabbed my Holly supplies and some colors I thought might look good for my John and Abigail Adams ornament I designed.

I quickly went to fabrics; grabbed a number for the cutting table and then went off to get my bolts. There was plenty of interfacing left so I picked up 4 bolts. 40 yards of interfacing should hold me for a while, right?

Since I picked up my number first I didn’t have long to wait at the cutting table and soon had my cuts and was on my way to the check out after I picked up Buy One Get One Free sewing thread and stopped in the button aisle for Buy One Get One Free Buttons.

On my way out of sewing I stopped to drool over the scissors I want. I love black and white!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also saw some 90% off Halloween items and grabbed a few $10 pieces that were now $1! I made it to the check out by 11:20am and was only third in line!

I made it!!! I got my extra 20% off! Whoo-hoo!!!

I stopped for a coffee then a little grocery shopping. I was out of Coke Zero so it was a grocery emergency!!

The coffee and Coke seemed to energize me (I wonder why). I made room for and assembled my artificial tree. I like to wait until December but my 6 1/2 year old, 16 pound Maine coon mixed cat still thinks she’s a kitten and can sleep in the bottom boughs.

I put the tree up (undecorated) so she can get used to it and get any tree climbing out of her system. To my surprise she paid little attention to it. She went around the back of the tree and curled up UNDER the boughs not on top of them!

Maturity has come. What a good kitty! She just calmly watched as I arranged the tips of my Norwegian Blue Spruce. Maybe an odd choice for most people’s artificial tree but I wanted a tree that reminded me of Northern European Yule festivities. This is the reason why I enjoy holly and mistletoe items as well. Their usage in Winter festivities traces back to Druid, Celtic and Viking eras.

See how the branches aren’t bright, perfect evergreen? I love that!

The bird in the nest decoration is a nod to my Polish heritage where it was believed that birds in a Christmas tree brought joy, good luck and happiness.

Angel – the symbol of purity, peace and love – is represented by my tree topper. Yes, it’s a Barbie but I have yet to find a topper I enjoy more.  I like the non-traditional colors of her gown because I don’t hold to the traditional dictates of Christmas.

I’m not sure anyone else has every taken a Barbie off its stand and said “Hmm, I could just put the branch between her legs just like the stand.”

Yeah, only I would think that.

I found this little Snowflake Fairy from the Boyds Collection. She reminds me of the Russian Snow Maiden Myth…

On Sunday I packed up the rest of my Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decor and finished unpacking my Winter/Christmas things.

The remainder of the day was devoted to work on my Round Robin piece – Angel of Spring.

I have finally found some kind of a groove on this project. I have done the square-shaped section below the straight line of the skirt. I hope to have it filled in and maybe do another 2 inches before she goes in the mail next Monday.

I have also been working on the back design for my stitching group’s ornament exchange on Saturday. I will share the picture after we swap!

All in all a pretty good weekend worth of work.