Holiday crafts

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, I had some time this past weekend to work on lots of holiday crafts. It's the one time a year I get really motivated to take a little break from work-related duties and be extra crafty and homey.

I made a new wreath... northern, wintery, and moose-y...

... and a good old fashioned paper chain garland
and a cotton ball garland (inspired by Elf)
and little snow scenes (similar to a snow globe but without the liquid).
I made larger ones in jars and smaller ones in recycled baby food jars.


Ways to get into the holiday spirit

In case you're having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, here's some ideas to get you in the mood...

* Watch Christmas and/or winter movies (My favs are Home Alone 1 & 2, and Elf)
* Listen to good Christmas music. If you don't have any, go on a hunt for some. My Christmas play list includes some of the classics by Bing Crosby, Elvis, and Brenda Lee. Newer stuff by Brian Setzer, & Los Straitjackets, and many other songs compiled through the years.
* Decorate
* Bake holiday appropriate flavors and goodies (I'd like to try and bake a Buche de Noel this year, aka Yule Log!)
* Make holiday crafts (more on this topic coming tomorrow)
* Donate/do good things for others (there's plenty of people and organizations in need, and now is as good a time as ever to do some giving.)
* Fill your home with seasonal smells (baking, wood burning fireplaces, real pine trees... scented candles work too)
* Do some holiday shopping
* Make a wish list
* Pick out seasonal flavors at the grocery
* Do traditional Christmas cards (hand write notes to each person, stamp it, and mail it snail mail)
* Plan a party
* Read a Christmas story (For adult reading I suggest David Sedaris: Holidays on Ice)
* Start a new tradition (For those of you with little ones... The Elf on the Shelf!)
* Participate in holiday activities (day trips, looking at lights, etc. Last year we went to Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights. This year or next, I'd love to go on a themed train ride.)

PS- We've been sick the past week but finally started feeling better later in the weekend. I had some time to work on lots of holiday crafts, so I have a full post on those coming tomorrow. The above photos are of two of them... Left: I matted and framed a page from a vintage encyclopedia of a polar bear etching. Right: a good old fashioned craft- cutting snowflakes from paper.


Holiday decorations

Just a little peek at some of our holiday decorations... there's way too many to share, but the house is pretty full of Christmas cheer!

snowflakes and mistletoe are hung
Skip got me this cute little vintage house last Christmas, it plays music and when you wind it the little horse rocks back and forth and the bear goes up and down.
vintage elves and more tinsel trees
vintage stocking hooks
I love Santas!

This is one of my newest decorations. I've been building up my collection for years, and each year add a few new (or old) pieces. This is a large, and very heavy chalkware Santa head. I haven't figured out a place for him yet since he's so heavy, so his temporary home is in the coat rack.

It's our first year really being able to decorate more than just a string of lights outside. We have the top of the front of the house lined with the big colored lights, tinsel up the end porch post, and a big lighted star. We have some lights around the back deck also, and a few vintage Noel candles in the windows. I wish we could add even more lights to the front, but unfortunately since the house is older, it doesn't seem like the outlets have been updated and there's only one in the entire front of the house. It was a total let-down come decorating time when I was informed we could blow something if we tried to add anymore lights to the front.

Are you decorated yet? I only have a few more touches to go up... next week I'll pick up a fresh pine wreath which I'll have flocked from a local nursery, and finish up some crafts which I'll share soon.


Christmas shelf

The shelf is up and complete! If you're new around here, then I'll fill you in a little... for the past 5 years now I've had a shelf (or mantle) that changes multiple times a year. I do one for all the big holidays, and then a few for the changing seasons as well. (If you'd like to see a few from the past couple of years, look under the "design" post category label to the right of the page.)


The Weekend

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend, I sure did! Saturday was a busy day full of girl time. We hit up the Indie Craft Experience first, where we did some shopping for handmade items, we ate the best popsicle in the world- a chocolate sea salt pop by King of Pops, we got free goodie bags for being there early, I got interviewed for the local NPR radio station, and then we had some train hopping fun trying to get back to the car...
See on the way in, there was a train stopped on the tracks. The only way to get across was to climb over the train. On the way back a few hours later, the train was still there. So, we start to go. As I'm on my climb over, Amphone yells that there's another one coming, headed towards us, and then she hesitates. I make it over, she does not, and for 20 minutes we were on opposite sides of the trains. We kept thinking surely this train is almost over... but it just kept going. After 20 minutes with no end to it in sight, it was time to run, jump, climb, jump off, and then hop on the still train. It was a pretty hilarious adventure.
We then headed to the Four Seasons for afternoon tea.
After girl time, it was time to head home, run a few errands, and take care of a few chores.
The backyard is covered in leaves... its a BIG yard so raking has been taking a back seat to other things. Like playing a game of lawn darts...
The original lawn darts are now illegal to sell with the tips intact. They are pretty dangerous little toys, but we just so happened to find some the other weekend in TN and snatched them up quickly. It was my first time playing and I won!

Today has been filled with crossing off lots of things from the ol' "to do" list. All in all, it's been a fun and productive weekend!

(all photos taken with the point & shoot, 'cause sometimes it's just easier on the go)



Christmas wish list

I know I'm a little early, but I LOVE Christmas! We started decorating this weekend, because 1) I want the decorations to be up as long as possible, 2) my husband is superstitious and makes the decorations come down before New Years Day, 3) We are really busy and actually had this weekend fairly free, 4) I have a lot of decorations to put up and it will take more than one day, 5) I didn't get to decorate last Christmas because we were moving so I'm extra excited this year. Photos will be coming soon, when it's all complete. Until then, here's my wish list...

* An Epiphanie bag- looks like a purse but has the interior protection of a camera case. I've been needing a medium size bag for day trips (I have either bags that are too big and clunky or too small). Santa if you're reading I'd love the Lola in red or aqua.

* A new pair of earrings. I've been wearing the same two pair for years now. I love these for fancy occasions, size 0 please.

* One of these hand-tooled leather belts... and my weight a few years ago so I could actually look decent wearing one.

* I rarely wear high heels anymore, but these sparkly blue ones are so dang pretty.

* But I do wear comfy shoes... every day. I've been dreaming about these handmade moccasins for over a year now.

* This baseball pennant. Because I'm currently a GA peach and I love A League of Their Own.

* Giant ice cream cone lamp. Enough said.

* The Farmchicks Christmas book. I got their other book last year for Xmas and love it, Serena has great taste, and I love Christmas stuff.

* Speaking of Christmas things, I never knew Squirrel Nut Zippers had a Christmas album, so naturally I'd love to add it to my holiday music collection, which is small but pretty good.

* New headphones. I hate, I repeat HATE, those little ear bud things that stick in your ears. I'm still using my Walkman headphones from the early 90s complete with disintegrating foam pads. Its time for a new pair. These sweater ones are pretty awesome.

* I would also like: a new muslin background (I have a special one in mind), a certain pair of curtains from Ikea that would go great in our living room, a daily or weekly fresh milk delivery service, a teardrop trailer for our travels, and a farm of miniature goats and horses.

What's on your wish list?


Etsy friends

I'm a big believer in buying handmade, buying local, and buying vintage. Plus, everybody loves Etsy, right? So with the holidays coming up I wanted to point out a few Etsy shops that my friends happen to run, and that have some really bad-ass stuff.

* Lyons Lady: sells handmade metal-flake wallets and accessories. She also does custom upholstery work and has done my personal bike seat and camera strap.

* Lucky Starr: This shop used to have a retail location in the Marietta Square, but has since closed and is in the process of relocating to a friendlier area. This is where I held my book release party, and where I've purchased many rad vintage items.

* Cuz I Felt Like It: I recently posted about her awesome stuff here... Handmade bears, fluffidermy mounted heads, aprons, stockings, and more. I of course have my own collection of her awesome stuff and another piece on the way.

* i love you both: pretty vintage things. I worked with this lady in one of my favorite Savannah shops. She's as sweet as can be and has a great sense of style. She blogs her heart out on her personal blog, and in her Design Sponge column, What's in your toolbox.

And of course don't forget to take a look in my shop for vintage photo goodies, supplies, photographs, postcards, and books! Happy shopping.


On the road in Tennessee

Newest self portrait: hair flying, sun setting, new sunglasses, serious brow wrinkle

I've passed this barn a bunch of times, but when you see it you're on the highway and there's no exit very close to the barn, so there's no direct route to it. I've always wanted to find it. This weekend, Skip did just that for me. I love Rock City and I love the Rock City barn advertising campaigns of yesteryear's.

mmm, Loveless Cafe is delicious! The wait however is quite horrendous

Him and her new southern sunglasses: red rebel vs. purple Elvis


Shooting through the car window

Whenever we go on a road trip, Skip drives. This gives me the opportunity to scout places to stop and take photos, and sometimes take photos along the way. When we can pull over for me to get a good shot, we do. But many times it's not possible to stop or pull over, and sometimes "the shot" is on the move and I only have one moment to try and capture it. So, I play a little shooting game (against myself), when we're in the car. I try to get a good shot (note, not awesomely amazing, because this is next to impossible when moving between 55-75 miles an hour). I try to get a good exposure, composition, subject matter, lighting, the whole 9 yards. This is super difficult, and half of the shots I attempt end up in a "son of a..." and a delete. But I keep trying. The hardest part is trying to get it in focus and without blur.... even with a fast shutter speed. I don't claim that these kinds of shots are wonderful pieces of art or anything, but it's fun, and I'd like to think that sticking with the challenge helps make me a better photographer in some way or another.

So, here's a few of my car shots from this past weekend on our drive to and from Nashville...

through the window 1

through the window 2


Dia De Los Muertos, part 2

I had a chance to check out the Dia De Los Muertos show at Octane! Gallery in Nashville, TN this past weekend, and although fairly small, it has some great artwork. I highly suggest checking it out if you're in the area.

The black and white sugar skull lithograph is my contribution to the show.
PS- I miss printmaking so much!

And speaking of Octane! Gallery (located in Kustom Thrills Tattoo), they now have a few of my books available for purchase!


Happy November

The weather is finally cooling off, I can't believe it took so long. Now that Halloween is over, I'm already bypassing Thanksgiving and thinking about Christmas! This year surely has been flying by.

Posting will be a little slower than normal around here... my extra busy season is starting, and I have a bunch of more long term projects I'll be working on also. Do stay tuned though, I'll still be posting at least once a week and have some fun things coming your way in the next couple of months. Hope you have a wonderful week!