Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lighting up Life

Greetings. One would hardly know that we are in Colorado this week, for the weather is mild, sunny, and while not especially warm, dry. And at the moment, no wind. Looking east across the yard and the acreage, the trees and buildings are silhouetted in black against the orange glow of the not yet risen sun.

And so begins the day.

It is so dry here that the ski areas west of Denver are still manufacturing snow, rather than relying on Mother Nature--not deep powder yet. Texas friends and relatives had more snow last week then we have had in in two months. Children awoke to a blank of snow. My great nieces and nephew built a rather respectable snowman, too, complete with his A&M scarf. (Representing Texas A&M University.) So the weather here is hardly frightful, as the song says.

Inside a flurry of activity. The tree is up and the Christmas village is assembled. The tree is pink and gold, as it has been for many years. I use the same decorations year after year, including the pink bows that I tied a few years ago. The tree holds a collection of Victorian era dolls, crystal-like ornaments, and this year I added the beaded garland, which really made the tree look richer and finished. I love the warm glow of the light from the tree, especially at night.

The same with the village. The colorful lights not only light up the house, making it dazzle, but the Christmas lights all over town bring joy.

 I haven't begun baking yet, and will do only a little. Our annual Santa party is this week, so there is plenty this week, so I do need some high sugar treats for the kids. Since the party is right after church, we will have a chili lunch with a vegetable tray and a fruit tray, hoping that the kids will fill up on healthy food before the cookie plate.

This week's mosaic is simple--I seem to be in a rut as all or my mosaics seem to look the same, recently. I need to take some serious photos, but I am not quite done decorating, so I'll have more to share next week.

Along with the pink tree and a much reduced village, I have my bright red poinsettia that my neighbor, Carol, brought me. It is one of the very large ones from the garden center where she works. What a nice surprise when she showed up at the door with this lovely plant.

After using Collegit 3 Pro, I am not particularly happy with it. I find the templates limiting. I much preferred Picasa and was sad to have to finally give it up. Perhaps with more practice with Collegit, I will master it and be able to present more creative mosaics. Nor are photos of very good quality. My iPhone camera doesn't seem to produce the sharp, clear photos that it used to for a couple of possible reasons: I have dropped the phone a couple of times and/or I am not allowing enough time for it to focus. Who knows? I need to better.

Thanks so much for joining me today. I'll be sending this post over to Maggie at Life in Normandy. Join us there.

Have a great week. I will be wearing myself down shopping this week and getting ready for Santa's visit on Sunday. Have great week.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Elves, Deer, and Dolls

I am up early this morning, starting my day by trying to meet the Mosaic Monday deadline for posting. I had thought to do it last night, but I could hardly stay awake. We had a busy week, still haven't done any major Christmas shopping, that will come in the next few days, I fear. I have started some decorating. Would you like to see?

As long as the weather holds, Lily comes over once a week to 'work' Pop, as the girls riding instructor told her to do. Both Ellie and Lucy have their own horses now. I need to introduce you to the girls--their mares. Since they only have a two stall barn, Pop an Sundance stay here. Lily would love to have Pop at home with her. He is such a good boy, so patient and gentle with the little five year old. He's a good sport to play Elf Pop.

 The President General of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ann Turner,  has an American Gil doll and chapters all over the country are sending her an outfit for her doll's wardrobe.  Our Overland Trail DAR Chapter will be sending one of the dresses that I made. The dress is the one on the right end. The outfit includes the dress, pantaloons, the apron, bonnet, and black lace up boots. It is indeed a honor. I am not sure where the outfit will be displayed or what will become of it. I had inquired last year about how to go about making the dress, and no one could answer my questions, so I made up four little outfits and took them to a meeting, and one was selected to send to the national president's project. This dress represents the 1870's prairie life of a young woman who would have lived in Colorado as the state was joining the union in July 1876.

The dolls, I jokingly say, are rescues from the thrift store. The one on the left is a Madame Alexander doll with long blond hair and the other one is Target's Our Generation. I love this doll with her freckles. I paid less than three dollars for these dolls that were in great condition. I always have a hard time trying figure out why these beautiful dolls get donated. When I see one I buy it. The last one that I found, I gave away to an age appropriate child. I do enjoy sewing for these little girls and they always reward me with a smile.

I used to set up a little table with my special dolls gathered around having a Christmas tea party, but as the the grand children became toddlers, the dolls were too much of a temptation to play with. I used my mother's antique child's tea set, which I loved to display, but I haven't put the dolls out in years for fear that things would get broken. The children are older now and the dog seems to be leaving things alone, too, so I have brought the dolls out this year. The scene isn't done; this is what I have so far. The table and chairs belonged to my mother-in-law when she was a child. It is one of my favor things. I keep it in the kitchen along with the little child sized cabinet complete with a plastic Barbie tea set. Even my youngest grandson likes to serve tea.

Meet my girls: The one on the left sitting is a thrift store rescue, probably 1950s or '60s, the little doll sitting on the table is a '50s baby doll. The next two are Lee Middle dolls, Little Boy Blue and an little angel, though you cannot see his wings. I had to replace them because the cat chewed one up. The doll in the back is the only doll from my childhood, Susie. The other doll seated was my sister's doll.  The angel is Barbie.

(The iPhone photos are blurring. Sorry)

I purchased this My Size Barbie some time ago. She has always presided as the "mom," but this year she is an angel. I have always wanted to make her an angel, so I purchased wings at Hobby Lobby and made her gown out of a pillow case by making slit in the bottom and arm holes on the sides, and binding them with seam binding and adding Velcro to close the back. Because Barbie gets tossed around and stored in the closet most of the time, her hair is tangled mess, so I washed her hair yesterday using a cheap shampoo/conditioner then lathered it heavily with a cheap conditioner that I had in my bathroom cupboard. Her hair combed out beautifully.

The reindeer at one of the garden centers in Ft. Collins are another Christmas tradition. The girls have quite a story, but I save that for another time. They are, however, old--one is in her twenties. They were both born and raised on a ranch in southern Colorado. They are owned by our neighbor who works at the garden center and they are boarded a the back of the garden center year round. We had hopes that she might bring them here to graze in the pasture, but moving them is very stressful for them.

We didn't put out our Christmas lights last year, but this year we actually enjoyed doing the little chore. The trees are growing and require more lights than what have. I may have to buy more next year. We load up the golf cart with our supplies and begin our work.

The Center Garden gets the Angel and the deer

We light four trees out front--I need to use a better camera.

The corner welcomes guests and I hope puts a smile on travelers.

And that, my friends, is the week that was. The sun is up and it is time to tackle the rest of my day. Thanks so much for stopping by. Join me at Life in Normandy for Mosaic Monday. 

A Rose by Any Other Name

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