A Tree Here... A Tree There...

That last post had me thinking about all of the decorating I get to do in the next week or so. I don't always like the decorating process, but I <3 how it looks when it's done.

Today I'm going to talk about the Christmas tree. I do 3 trees (I used to think that was SO overkill, but now I LOVE it!).

One of them is a nativity tree. It's in the front room - or as my friend, B, called it last weekend - the "Grown-Up Room". All of the ornaments have something to do with the nativity. I try to add one to it each year. It makes me very upset how many retailers do not carry nativity ornaments. Last year I couldn't find a single one at Shopko. This year I've looked at Shopko, Smith's Marketplace, and Target. Guess what? NO NATIVITY!!! Shame on you retailers! It's a good thing that I have another trick up my sleeve... This tree has white lights, champagne-colored balls, and strings of pearls. It's where my newly completed tree skirt will be residing from this year forward.

The tree in the kitchen has my collection of Hallmark Nostalgic Houses and Shops. I stopped collecting these a couple of years ago because I have every single ornament and most of the special edition ornaments for the first 25 years of the series. I love the detail on these, but come on! There's only so much commitment I can give to tree decorations... This tree is one of those alpine trees that is prelit. Jon and I have found that it's fairly easy to leave all of the ornaments on this every year, wrap it in tall plastic bags, and carefully carry it to the basement. It's one of the first things I get out each year because it's so easy to just plug it in and have the instant gratification of one of my trees being finished.

The year we moved into our house I was anti-Christmas decor (we moved in the first weekend in December). My mother took pity on her grandsons and brought us the alpine tree. I don't think I've told her how grateful I am that she did that - I really would have gone without, but it's not always about just me...

The third tree is down in the family room - AKA the pit. It's a tree that has all of my annual ornaments (at least the ones before I started the Nostalgic Houses), the ornaments that the boys and Jon get each year, and the ornaments that the boys make. If we get a real tree, this is where it goes. If we borrow one from Jon's parents (like we did in this photo), then it fills the space. (One of these years I'm going to let go of the guilt and just get over feeling that I need to have a real tree. I think it will be much simpler). Anyway - the pit tree gets colored lights. Jon does the lights and then the boys hang the ornaments. I don't even intervene with the ornament hanging process. I just turn on the music, cook dinner, and watch them all at work. The pit tree is the one where Santa leaves the goods.

So - Do you have a real tree or a fake one? Do you have more than one? Where are they and how do you decorate them?


How Do You Wrap?

Miranda asked a question about what my wrapping will look like this year (OK she didn't specifically as ME, but play along...), and I started to leave the following as a comment response. It was getting a bit verbose, so I decided to turn it into a post of my own...

My mother's wrapping made Christmas morning look like a scene right out of The Nutcracker. Her bows are BEAUTIFUL!!! She says the trick is using solid color wrapping paper, and she's right. Everything goes better when you use solid colors.

I used to try to duplicate, but then I had boy children and a hubby who grew up with presents wrapped in that green and white stiped dot matrix printer paper (his dad worked for IBM).

One year I wrapped everything in brown paper and tied it all up with rafia... That was our last Christmas in Logan, and I also madeour tree ornaments out of cinnamon sticks, dried oranges, and jute. My tree skirt was a couple of yards of burlap. It was very pretty, but Jon said he was going to take the tree to the elk refuge when we were finished. Did not go well from there.

Now each boy has his own color of wrapping paper. That way I don't have to put tags on anything. They get a gift with their stockings that tells them what their wrap is, and the chaos ensues.

Sometimes I'll fancy wrap stuff that's going to folks outside of my house. Depends how early I get it wrapped and who it's going to. There is just something about an incredibly wrapped package that makes me happy to give the gift.



Hey all - there's a give-a-way happening over at Narrating Life. Guess who's wares are being given...

While you're there, take a minute to peruse. I'm sure you'll find some inspiration. I do. All. The. Time.


Craving Cozy

Evan, Griffin and I were at a local thrift store looking for bundt pans and books on Friday evening. No bundt pans, but I scored in the book dept... They also had the PERFECT reading chair-and-a-half! It was missing the back pillow, and it's in desperate need of TLC and reupholstering, but it was only $15!!! I can't get the silly thing off my mind.

I have a corner in my bedroom that's calling out to be reading nook. I have this unused bay window space that needs some attention. I'd recover that chair, make some pillows out of left over fabric from recovering my cedar chest cushion and my bedspread, refurbish a funky lamp, repaint and relocate a small end table from my computer room (doesn't see much guest use anyway) and Oila!

Can't you just see it?! Go ahead. Imagine with me...

Abigail Aherns living room reading corner eclectic living room
I know that ottoman would DRIVE ME CRAZY, but there's something about it that I love.

I love this green table!

Now if I could only get the chair in the back of the Yukon and hide it somewhere so that I can get to it after Christmas without Jon pontificating about another undone project...


Do You Know Someone on this Ship?

I do!

Our friends, the Tiptons, left Sunday to enjoy a week on board a Mexican Cruise. I have a feeling that they are not enjoying themselves very much right now.

Mr. Mouse - I will take you any day over being stranded at sea with thousands of strangers, 3 cooped up-uncomfortable children, and a stressed out spouse...

Wishing there was a window into the wall...

Dear little mouse that I can hear scratching inside the wall in front of me - please just go away until Jon can get you some delightful Decon. You can eat all you want and then you won't have to tunnel through the walls to find a warm spot. You'll get to be warm all the time. And I can get some work done without feeling like I'm going to kick a whole in the wall.

Because while it really bothers me to hear you, it would bother me even more to see you.

Oh - and please stay out of the dog food in the garage. It really freaks Evan out when he has to feed the dogs.


Thoughts for a Blah Monday

Anyone out there know whether there's a pattern for creating a Wordle cross-stitch?

The recycle company missed picking up my neighbor's recycle can last Thursday. They're out there right now emptying it. Something didn't make it in the truck, and the driver hopped out to pick it up. It's raining and 34 degrees, and he's wearing shorts and a t-shirt! Guess he didn't pay attention to the forecast...

I was completely quilt productive this weekend. I finished 1 quilt (sandwiched, tied, and bound), pieced the top and sandwiched another, pieced a table runner and a square with the last of the fabric from the 2nd quilt and table runner.

My SIL asked me where I find quilt patterns. I told her that I typically wake up with one on my mind. Other times they appear in doodles while I'm on conference calls. Most of the time though, they end up being drawn in the fogged shower glass while I'm just standing under the warm streams of water. Jon's going to love it when he hears that. 

Funny thing is that Griff must pay attention to what the shower stall looks like when he comes to sit in the warm, humidified bathroom once I'm all dried, lotioned, and dressed. I noticed that he's been drawing patterns on the shower glass too. I love that boy.

Evan asked me if I'd take him to the symphony. He said he only gets to go on field trips, and he would like to go another time. I love that boy.

Carson smiled at me from the bottom of the stairs when I walked out into the hall to mumble good bye to him this morning. I wish I'd hugged him. I'll do it as soon as he gets home today. I love that boy.

Jon and I enjoy sleeping under our down comforter with a window open. I didn't love the down comforter when we first go it, but Jon was persistent in asking when we could put it on the bed. Now I'm anxious for nights to get cold enough for it - heck I'll even put it on when it's not cool enough and just cover one leg. Jon wraps up in it with his - wait for it - seven pillows (seriously - 7 - I just went and counted). Guess what - I love that boy.

Happy Rainy, Cold Monday.


9 Degree Tree Skirt

Seriously - WHAT AM I THINKING?! Smack in the middle of That Girl's Quilt Along I've suddenly got it in my brain that this is the year to make my own tree skirt. I have to say that I think I'm crazy, but I think this is going to be fabulous! 

It's got a little more white than I imagined, and there sure isn't very much green...

I've got it sandwiched and pinned and ready to quilt. I'm thinking a stipple pattern. Maybe a meandering loop.

Oh the possibilities!

November 3
Hah! I finished it last night - except I forgot to stitch on ties. I'll post a photo of the finished project as soon as I locate that sneaky battery charger and the camera batteries are working again.

Decided to enter it in the Blogger's Quilt Festival. If you're stopping by from the festival - Hello!

So - here's what I learned while doing this tree skirt:
  • I could have and should have done this much sooner than I did
  • When you have the tools, it's much easier (holy 9 degree ruler! what have I done without you?!)
  • Even my boys are interested in what I'm doing when they hear "CHRISTMAS!"
  • I really had to pay attention to catch all of those corners
  • I need to remind myself that busy patterns don't always work well in small doses
The story of this quilted tree skirt is:

Last year I was making that pizza table topper for my MIL for Christmas (still one of my favorites - ever!), and I decided that there had to be an easier way to make a round table topper. I googled and googled and found Jen. By blog stalking I found out the name of the town where Jen lives. It's a town of about 35-40,000 people. Not small but not huge.

I also enjoy doing family history research, and a few months ago I stumbled across a line of ancestors whose names had been submitted by a woman who lives in the same town as Jen. How funny is that? Reinforces what a small world we live in and that when we're all nice to each other it's a much more enjoyable place to be.

Anyway - Jen was my inspiration, and now that I've finished one tree skirt, I'm thinking I'd like to do a quilt made from some of her quilts on barns series.


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