Monday, December 27, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas Past

 Christmas came, Christmas went; here's the greeting I wish I had sent

~ I wish you all Love, Health, Wealth,
 Contentment, Joy, and Time ~

  • Love in abundance
  • Health to the end of your days
  • Wealth sufficient to meet your needs
  • Contentment with your lot  
  • Joy in appropriate measure, and   
  • Time to reflect on your life and enjoy it 

  Although it may seem unusual not to wish you unbounded Joy, I believe it  can best be appreciated by contrast, as the light shines more brightly where there has been dark.
I know a lot of  friends have had bad experiences this year due to illness and the downturn of the economy.  Family problems abound and effect us deeply.
   I hope that the entreaty to "soldier on" isn't inappropriate, and doesn't sound heartless. It's meant in the kindest,  most encouraging way.

  Many blessings to all for the season past, and the coming year. 

"God Bless us Every One"
                 ~ Charles Dickens~ "A Christmas Carol"

Friday, December 17, 2010

HUMBUG, I Say!!!

~~ Bah!!  Humbug!! ~~

“ Not only do we work all year in frigid temperatures, no vacation, no union, no retirement benefits, but we have to dress funny and the fat guy gets all the credit.  Bah!!  Humbug!! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Visions of Sugarplums

This has always been one of my favourite pieces.  I love the old handmade leather shoe that the elf is sleeping in, and when I found it in an antique shop, I could have just about convinced myself that it was one of Santa's shoes.   It's more likely to have been a Shriner's shoe or...... ?????.
 I'm really not at all sure, but then a little belief in magic and certainly in the reality of Santa is a necessary ingredient at Christmas time, no?  I love to think of the elves having time to relax and catch a little shut-eye after all the hubbub is over, and this one looks like he is enjoying pleasant dreams. 

Do you see what I see?

The Best-est Surprise

On my regular trip up to the mailbox a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a bit glum and thought that if I went for a walk after I picked up the mail it might do me some good.  I expected nothing but the regular stuff.....bills....advertising.....junk mail....donation requests and maybe a magazine.  That would have been the highlight of a boring, cold and rainy day.
I was surprised when I opened the door and found a parcel sitting on top of all the bills, advertising, junk mail etc.    I thought maybe my husband had ordered a part for his saw or a coin set; maybe even a Christmas present for me that I wasn't supposed to see. ( tee hee...I could leave it here and let him collect it the innocent)......
Nope.  It was addressed to me.  To my familiar name.  Trish Stover.  Not Mrs. Patricia Stover.  I couldn't remember ordering anything that I hadn't already received, and when I turned it over, I thought the return address looked a bit familiar, but surely, it couldn't be from Robin.....whom I have never met except on Facebook, where we are friends.
I abandoned my plans for a walk.  Strangely,  I was feeling much better already.  I rushed home and tore into that package like a kid at Christmas.  It was the best-est surprise.  Suddenly the sun was shining, and the glums had dissipated.
Robin had sent me one of her beautiful little  primitive Christmas ornies.  How lucky am I?
....another Surprise!!!!

Believe it or took me a few days to realize that the darling little box that forms the base of this ornament  actually contained something.  Because it has ribbon around the top of the box, I thought it was sealed and permanently closed.   Well, Duh!!!!   I picked it up to show someone....again.....and felt something rattle inside.  It's full of beautiful cinnamon stars.  The smell is fabulous.  What a treat.
Now who is the best-est person?  Must be Robin Armstrong Seeber.  Take a look at her blog and see more of her whimsical creations in her Etsy shop...... and go ahead.  Be jealous.  I don't care.   LOL

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rudy and Earl....How to Train Your Reindeer

Earl has serious work to accomplish at this time of year, but Rudy tends to be a bit.....well, kinda flighty you might say.  Time for the old carrot and stick approach. What a team.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rudy and his Rider

Woo Hoo~ I am having so darn much fun with this pair.  It's so unlike anything I have ever done and is really putting me in the mood for Christmas.  They don't look very Christmasy, as a matter of fact, the little elf looks downright grumpy, but then, that's how I usually look at this time of year too.  LOL

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our first snow......Yay!...and Nudie Rudy WIP

It's finally arrived.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (shudder), at least in our back yard.  Makes me want to work on more seasonal figgers.  Here's a nudie pic of  Rudy.  No antlers, no rider, no paint, no nuthin....yet.  At least he's wearing his boots.

Help!.......I've lost my head and my leg is in the oven!!!!

I have to admit that I'm not the most organized individual.  I make only a few pieces every year and I have been trying to track my time on each piece so that I can get a better fix on the listing price. Trying to be more professional, you know.  I think now, after more than 10 years I am up to about 10 cents an hour before taxes.  A heady increase in riches over the years, but hardly enough to sustain body and soul never mind support any kind of luxury.... (even at the dollar store).
I can work a little more quickly if I'm not dreaming as I go, but I decided there's no fun in that. I could forgo checking my email every 20 minutes or so, but what if Publisher's Clearing House was trying to contact me or there was a new friend request on Facebook? Trips to the bathroom are not negotiable and though excursions upstairs to the fridge take time out of my work day, I have to keep up my energy somehow, and a glass of wine now and again never hurt anyone.  Right?  See, practical thinking.  Developing a process.  A new path.
I'm really trying hard to pinpoint the areas that will save me time, and I'm quite diligent about it.

Herewith, my findings:
After much consideration,  I have come to the conclusion  that I have that dreaded disease, C.R.S.  You can imagine what the acronym represents once you know the first two words are 'can't remember'.  Let's just say for the sake of propriety 'Can't Remember Stuff'.
Stuff like:  Where are the damn scissors?......why did I dig this out of the bottom left hand drawer of the old cupboard in the basement last night?..... and what the heck is it?..... where is that great piece of vintage fabric,  ..... and what was I just doing (or going to do)....I don't remember eating that chocolate cookie....... Where did it go?

It's a shame really.  I once thought I had a functioning brain. I could hold down a job and keep house, as well as be a sex kitten when required.....Oh, stop it!  I could so.  I remember distinctly.
I could bring home the bacon AND cook it,  could multi-task with the best of them, and hardly ever forgot where my car was in the parking lot at the mall.
Sadly, that was then, this is now.  Maybe I gave my kids a piece of my mind too often, and now I don't have enough left to get me through the rest of my days.  A really worrying prospect. But deciding that worry is a time waster,  I will forge ahead and not be distracted. Onward and upward.

Recently I spent a good deal of time making a little pumpkin head character. I started with the head.  I was so excited because it was really cute and coming together so nicely. The story for the character was firmly implanted in my mind  (they all have a story, although I do have to write them down or I forget them....Oh, and I have to tape them to the wall....the stories that is not the dolls, or I lose the train of thought that prompted the idea in the first place),  but no matter.  This was going to work.  I decided I was spending too much time obsessing on the head,  (See? Taking control)  so I thought I would set it aside and be practical.  I would consider that part finished and begin work on the body.  I got a bit too engrossed with that too as I went along,  but I knew that the looming deadline would be met because I had WILLPOWER,  and was working systematically....(besides, I was afraid of the wrath of Gourdie*..... *for insiders only).  I was so proud of myself.  The shiny new me.
Everything was going along swimmingly (you don't hear that word very often anymore, but I like the sound of  it, don't you?) and I finally finished the painting and staining and was ready to take photos and post my new creation for the world to admire.  There was just one little problem.
I couldn't find the head.  Anywhere. Not surprising at all in my studio, cum office, cum sewing room, cum extra bedroom,  where a cat could  lose her kittens, but there are certain places that I use to hide things for safekeeping and I had faith it would come to me.  Meanwhile, better keep looking just in case.
Rooting through the garbage isn't much fun, so I  got that over with first.  No luck.  Cupboards, shoe boxes,  plastic containers, and shelves thoroughly  inspected.  Not in the fridge, washer or dryer. Check!  Not to worry.  It had to be in the next place I looked.  Just a little longer and it would come to me.  Or not.  Just to be on the safe side, I started another new head.  Several glasses of wine were demolished in this process, but in the end the head presented itself to me. ( I can't reveal where or how, or I'd have to kill you). Suffice it to say, I made the deadline by the skin of my teeth and was happy to have another head started for my next project.  Now back on track and slightly ahead of the game, I was feeling quite cheerful when the phone rang.  It was that nice lady who calls regularly to convince me that I had won a trip in a contest that I couldn't recall entering. Because she seemed so friendly and interested in how my day was going I began relating my story to  her.  It suddenly dawned on me that I had ages before left some polymer doll parts in the oven upstairs,  and trying not to convey too much panic I said, "Could you call me back at another time?  My leg is in the oven and I can smell it burning"!!!
For some reason I never heard from her again.  In retrospect,  another way of streamlining my day.  I'll have to remember it next time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Welcome Comments

I truly appreciate the comments left on my posts.  I have been trying for several days to respond to them, but some glitch keeps them from posting.  I hope to work it out, but I want you all to know that it means a lot to me to hear from you.
Thanks so much.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rain, rain don't go away.....

We finally have some rain.  It's been a while and although we have had beautiful sunny, unseasonably warm weather for November, I  welcome the rain at any time. Not to say I don't get tired of constant rain, but it takes a while.
When my kids were young, and I was a stay-at-home Mom (I always capitalize the word 'Mom' because it's one of the highest and most hard won titles in the world and deserves all the respect it can muster) we made the most of rainy days. We played games, made bread, visited Nana.  It was fun to get dressed in our rain coats and rubber boots and go on the bus to the bowling alley, or downtown shopping, stopping for lunch or likely just a more affordable Coke while we were out at the Peacock Restaurant, now long gone. Other times we just went for a walk to watch the worms wriggle across the sidewalk.  I can still remember the damp, dewy, wormy smell of those excursions.
It's not even raining hard enough today to make a noise on the roof, but I can hear the birds outside and their calls are different in the rain. 
The crows are either happy or not all amused.  I'm not sure because I don't speak crow.....yet.   Such a racket they make in the trees behind the house. No wonder a gathering of crows is called a 'murder'.  It sure invokes the inclination, although in some ways I welcome the sound.  So much life out there.
When I open the window I can hear the tiny metallic peep of the finches on the fence and the chipping sparrows getting in their two cents worth.  The chickadees love the lilac bush that hangs over the deck and  I could listen to and watch them forever.  I love to watch them dart  back and forth from the feeder. They're so bossy in spite of their size.  They make me think of camping in Algonquin Park.  The cardinals are the capos out there, though.  The noisiest,  brightest, most defiant, and the biggest defenders of the territory: although once in a while they will allow a sparrow to eat on the other side of  the feeder.  I wonder if they demand something in return.  
Thankfully,  for once, the squirrels have stopped their constant squawking.  The big grey guy sits on the fence under the overhang of the roof.  Morose. Petulant.  Sulking, I think.  He doesn't like to get his beautiful coat wet.  Poor baby. I guess I don't blame him,  but I wish he would find another place to shelter or stop pooping right outside my kitchen window.  The little black ones are in the tree, not moving, hunched over, looking like sodden scalped lumps of fur left behind by some squirrel massacre.  Not road kill, but maybe tree kill. Rain kill?
Our red oak tree keeps it's papery brown leaves til Spring, when the new growth pushes them off to make way for more seasonable livery, but the neighbour's red oak tree makes up for it, and the front lawn is covered in leaves....again.  
Believe it or not, there are still a few, very few, robins about, and they are poking through the leaves like housewives at a sale table, trying to find enough to sustain them for another day.  I want to grab one of them and shout 'go south, you fool' into his little ear, but if he didn't die of a heart attack, he'd likely bite me. I don't speak robin....not yet.... and who needs even one more enemy at this time of life? 
I think I'll just sit inside, and watch the birds, read my book, enjoy my tea or more likely a glass of wine, and remember the smell of baking bread, kids laughter, stinky rubber boots, wormy walks and visiting Mom.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day (s)

I have posted a picture of a young man in uniform.
Can you imagine this being your son? He is so proud to be in uniform and  anxious to be off.   He's a farm boy.  He has enlisted without the knowledge of his parents.   It's his birthday.  He is 17. 
He's my Dad.  He is now 87 and one of the last remaining WW11 vets. He talks about it very little, although will answer questions about  where he served and the people he served with. He says his days in the army are the best time of his life. 
He doesn't know how proud we are of him.  He did what he had to do and didn't expect or require any fanfare when he returned home.  He worked hard and supported his family no matter how many jobs he had to take to do so.  He probably still doesn't know to this day how much we love and respect him no matter what we say.  
Here's to you, Dad, and all the Dads who gave their childhood, energy, and lives so that we could have the freedom we have today.   
Trish, Pam, and Linda  

Day two apparently, you have to have something new to say everyday!!  How can that be???  Is this really for me?  Help me out here.  No one seems to be paying any attention and being the shy, reserved personality that I am, I don't have much to say.......Yeah right!!! You just don't want to know.  It's so hard to untangle the mess in my head.  All the ideas I have are struggling to get out at once.  OMG!  Maybe I should stop talking and start creating.  The problem is that I haven't yet figured out  how to link to other sites, add gadgets and so forth.  But, as Scarlett would say........"Tomorrah is another day".........See ya....................hugs, me

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And so it begins..........

Never in a million years did I think I would have a blog.....even the word BLOG sounds..... well.... kinda silly. Only when I realized that blogging was synonymous with reaching out, contacting, making friends, and keeping in touch did it make sense to me. I never thought it was wrong for others to blog and to provide me with my daily dose of news, entertainment or inspiration while I drank my coffee and got my bearings each morning, but I figured that since no one listens to me in person it would be a waste of my time and effort and besides, what if someone thought it was..... silly?
Well, guess what? Silly sounds good to me right now. On with the silliness, I say. there has been precious little of it around here lately and I think it's time we embraced it. I am determined to get my share.