Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Decorations Tour

I promised Andy's mother pictures of the house as decorated this year because she's been following my 365-ornament experiment, so we're doing a little tour this morning.

In past years, I have done both upstairs and downstairs, but this is where the decorations stopped this year:
I didn't want to overdo and then end up struggling to make it through the party, so I did exercises some restraint this year.  However, this:

was FUN. I hadn't originally intended for one tree to be The Homemade Tree, but as this was the first tree that went up and I was so excited to see how all the new ornaments looked on it, it is almost entirely homemade ornaments. There are some new ornaments that Andy made this year:
which we got to keep because he isn't entirely pleased with them.  We also included the beautiful,
and pretty intricate, ornaments made by Andy's cousin Mindy, who is obviously a woman of infinite patience. We also have several very unique ornaments made by a friend who studies native crafts, so this
is a miniature birch-bark canoe.  How cool is that?

It turns out, as I was digging through the ornament boxes, that we have LOTS of homemade ornaments from all sorts of people--past coworkers, nieces and nephews, friends--so they're all on here,
 I didn't add any garland or anything but lights and ornaments to this tree--it hasn't seemed to need it, especially since I'm still finishing up some of the ornaments. I didn't realize how far behind I had fallen in soaking the stabilizer off the lace ornaments, which actually takes a couple days, so more ornaments keep popping onto the tree.

We also have a cool new addition in the coat hall this year:
I've had this candle holder for years, but I never light it as I don't like candles that close to the wall or that can be bumped easily.  So one day I asked Andy if he might be interested in making decorations for it, and these are the result.  I love it, and I was surprised how quickly he could make them.  I added the bows for a little color and to make them a bit less likely to get bumped.  Just a fun new addition this year.

I love variety in decorating, so as many of you know, I have several Christmas "themes" we can use.  This year I went back to the original red and gold,
which worked out well as
the red lights were the only other ones I could find.  One Christmas box is still somewhere in the garage, but by the time I got to this tree, the party was coming up pretty quickly and there wasn't really time to clean the garage.  There goes the theory that I think about these themes well in advance....

This tree was fun to do as well, as the ornaments are mostly ones we've received as gifts or bought as souvenirs from trips.  I've been collecting ornaments for a very long time--technically,  this
is my very oldest ornament, which I received in second grade.  I started collecting ornaments from trips long before I met Andy, 
so ones like this wonderful little lunar landing module from NASA pre-date him, but we've continued the tradition on all of our trips together.  This one from a weekend in McCalll is especially cute,
though they're all fun.  And,  while many of our ornaments come from a girls' ornament exchange party that I've been attending for the past 15-20 years,
we have some ornaments Andy has been given from the kayaking & canoeing club as well.   I don't think there's a single year that I haven't put up a tree.  My first year in college it was rather more of a stick than a tree and had to be suspended from the window frame with dental floss to keep it upright, and I did abandon real trees after an episode involving my pocket knife and a trip to an emergency clinic for 5 stitches, and two years ago my friends did put up the decorations for me, but I just can't imagine not having one.  Or two, as the case may be............

The Look

Anyone who thinks cats can't learn things hasn't lived with one. It took Theo maybe a month into his diet to figure out that I can...