Sunday, December 2, 2007

When what to my wondering eyes did appear . . .

but a package from my Secret Pal!

First, she gave me a super soft skein of yarn--a blend of wool/alpaca from Nashua Handknits in a bright red! I'm thinking a hat or a pair of gloves here! I know that I can make a pair of Fetching with a little over 50 grams of yarn, so 100 grams should produce a pair of full-fledged gloves complete with all the fingers!

She also gave me 2 CD's of some of her favorite music. I think they will ease me through my commute tomorrow and the dark chocolate bar with see me through my evening latte!

Then there was a book called "As Much Time as it Takes" which was written for people who are bereaved. I was particularly touched by this. I opened it to the middle and stumbled on this passage:

"Don't be surprised
when I surround myself
with photos of the person who died . . .
Or when I wear her shirt to bed . . .
Or when I go to the places
we visited together . . .
Or when I do anything else
that helps bring the memoried to life."

That seemed particularly poignant given that I've been doing my holiday decorating this weekend. I've been using a lot of my Mom's things--things that hold such memories of my childhood. It's hard to believe that Mom is gone. I feel so very fortunate to have the kind of memories I have. The important thing for me is to keep the family history alive for my kids. I need to document things, but I've just not gotten around to it. I guess I should just put aside a certain amount of time each week to do this. Maybe that will be a New Year's resolution!

But I digress--The absolutely best thing in my package was these:

Glass knitting needles--which my secret pal made! You can see more of her glasswork at her website here. Martha is a spinner and knitter as well. You can see her fiber work here.

For those who don't know--I love glass as an artistic medium. I dabbled in lampworking myself for a while. What fascinates me about glass is that you can work with it in a solid form or a molten form. That is one of the things I like about working with metal as well. Glass has color--more than metal--so that is another appeal. I think that's why I love enamel and cloisonne. I get to use the rich color of glass along with my metal!

That's another blogpost altogether. One of these days, I'll share photos of my metal work. At any rate--Thank you, Martha for being such a thoughtful secret pal! It was such fun to open my surprise packages and I particularly love the things you made! There's nothing like a one of a kind gift!

As I mentioned--I've been decorating. I decided to refurbish the Creche that my Dad made in the early 1950's. This was one of those things that was central to our Christmas celebration as kids. It sat on the piano and my brother and I would move the kings and camels down the steps each day until they got to the Creche. I found most of the figurines when cleaning out my parents' house, but some were missing. I couldn't find where I had put them but I found a set on Ebay which were identical! Nothing fancy--just hard plastic figures made in Japan in the 50's. I got the set and they were perfect. The stable needed some repair so I worked on it last night. I made a runner to put on the sideboard for it to sit on.

That's the mirror behind the Creche. I also put out my German Nativity carousel, and made some candle rings.

I made wreaths for my French doors and got out the stockings:

Notice--there are stockings for each of the cats and a little bitty one for Elvis. Poor Elvis! He is a constant victim of regifting. He basically gets turtle sticks in his stocking! See, I buy a large container of them about once every 18 months, so I stick some in his stocking. The treats he would really like, just don't do well in a Christmas stocking! I'm not sure how I would manage to put floating plants or live goldfish in there! I guess he could get an IOU from Santa along with his turtle sticks! This year he should get an IOU from me! "IOU one clean aquarium!" I resolve that Elvis won't be swimming in brown water come New Years day!

I finally put out the Santa that I needle felted. This was my first needle felting project!

Here's closeup of his face!

I was up until 4 a.m. doing all my decorating. I collect Snowpeople. They are all over the house. I leave you with some photos of some of them!

Bushism of the day:
"I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president." —George W. Bush, as quoted in Bob Woodward's "Bush at War"

Kitty cam:
Here is how the two big lugs (Mikey and Greg) spent their weekend! Talk about couch potatoes!


  1. Kitty Couch Potato!! Must be contagious, that's pretty much all Frisco did all weekend too!

  2. Well, I had no idea you love glass and have dabbled in lampworking! That's great! I worried about sending you those needles when you said you have plenty of needles, but in the end I just couldn't resist.

    I'm so glad you liked the packages; you were a really fun secret pal to have!

  3. mom! i have a blog now!!! check it out some time!

  4. mom, that santa looks like a serial rapist. creepy to the max.

  5. Vicki you put so much into your posts - your home looks lovely - and your creations are very pretty. Those handmade knitting needles are only fabulous - why do I never get people like that when I do a swap ;)
    If I don't see you in Border's tomorrow, Happy Holidays!
    (the other) Denise