Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmastime is here

I finally feel like it's Christmas. I've been trying to get the holiday spirit since Thanksgiving: listening to Christmas music, wrapping gifts, decorating my cube at work, watching Christmas specials on TV, etc. But nothing was working. It felt like any other time of year, only slightly colder (I do live in LA, you know, so it's a brr cold 65 degrees).

But yesterday, Richard braved a trip to the Home Depot tree lot and brought home a super-fresh Noble fir. The smell of the tree automatically transported me into Christmas Town.

We managed to get the tree set up, complete with lights and gold ribbon, while Vivian was taking her afternoon nap. This was great because we didn't have to worry about her getting underfoot while positioning the tree. However, we didn't anticipate Vivian freaking out when she saw the tree in the living room! It is a major change to her living space, so we should have guessed that she would be apprehensive, but oh well.

Rich & I had grand hopes of Vivian actually helping to decorate the tree this year, but we were a bit too optimistic. She loved how pretty the ornaments were, but she didn't understand why we wanted to take them out of her hands to put on the tree. She spent most of our decorating time walking around holding 2-3 different ornaments. She only broke 2—one cheap ball that shattered when she tried to bounce it, and a glass angel whose wing snapped off when she tripped. The angel can be fixed, assuming that I can find the super glue.

After we finished decorating the tree, I looked for our Santa tree topper. I normally pack it separately because it doesn't fit into our ornament storage boxes. Unfortunately, it wasn't in any of my normal hiding/storage spots: Vivian's closet, the space above my wardrobe, the high shelf in my craft closet. It appears to be gone, which makes me sad because it's the topper Richard & I have used since we graduated college.

Well, I may have been sad, but I couldn't have our tree be naked on top. So I flipped through some vintage Christmas craft magazines, hoping to be inspired to make a topper. A 1964 McCall's Christmas Make-It magazine showed a cool and kind of creepy St. Nick on the cover that I really liked. I didn't have the materials to copy it exactly, but it did have the look I wanted.

So I decided to raid my craft supply stash to make a vintage-inspired angel tree topper. I figured an angel has more leeway than a Santa in how it looks, so I was more free to make use of available supplies. (good thing I have a craft supply stash—you just never know when you'll have a crafting emergency like this!)

And here is what we ended up with: a geisha-style, vintage-inspired angel. Made from the inner tube of a paper towel roll, foam, an old pair of nylons, a piece of peach-colored silk, felt, wool roving, wired ribbon, a rubber band, vintage millinery feathers and glue. I am really happy with how she turned out. I think she fits in well with our tree.

No naked tree here!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

New project wander lust

It's starting to get down to the wire, holiday-craft-wise. My first crafts have to be done by next Friday, as we are heading up to the Bay Area to do Christmas with my dad and my girlfriends. And yet I am still finding new project ideas that I have no business starting! So I am going to continue the list I started in my last post of things I can't start until after Christmas.

1. The very cool memory game that I first saw on Apartment Therapy's Ohdeeoh. How cool would it be to have a game made with pictures of things you actually remember! I definitely need to make this for Vivian at some point. She's a bit young to actually appreciate it yet, so maybe it's something I'll file away to do for Christmas next year.

2. This adorable baby poncho that was available on BabySteals (sold out, but still available at 45% off on the Skipping Hippos site). I may decide to make this as a present for one or more toddlers I know. I think I even have the fleece to make at least one; I'd just need the trim (because the trim is really what makes it so cute). I know that ponchos are a no-no for crawlers, but I think they can be a good solution for toddlers that don't like to put their arms in the sleeves of bulky coats.

Why does this happen to me? Why am I suddenly so dissatisfied with all of my Christmas projects? I actually like them all well enough, but I think the pressure of the fact that I need to finish them is overwhelming the fact that I want to finish them.