Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Postcard challenge book - and NYC photos

For 2012 ... I'm doing a postcard challenge sponsored by Darcy at Art and Sole - a weekly postcard conversation we have between two imaginary characters, based on the idea in the Griffin and Sabine books by Nick Bantock.  You can read about the entire project (and I hope you'll join in too, because it will be so fun to see everyone's postcards each week) at this link:  Art and Sole

I made the book using instructions I found through Darcy's site, making a few adjustments to my own, and using one of my favorite heavy-duty herringbone folders as the outside cover.  Each one of the signatures pulls out to hold four postcards, one for each week of the month.  

My imaginary characters who will be sending postcards back and forth are:
Luca Cabrera - 498 Broome St., New York, NY  10013
Luca is an artist who lives in the SoHo section of New York City.He believes that people spend too much time thinking about art and that they should instead by creating - that there is nothing else nearly as important as the act of painting to discover what is to be found in the canvas.

And Fiona Byrne, 45 Twig Lane, Bedford Massachusetts
Fiona is a writer who lives in a small town in a 300 year old house in the town of Bedford, MA.  She lives in an upstairs room of a boarding house, filled with nooks and crannies and with a writing desk nestled into a dormer that faces out onto Twig Lane, where she watches the world go by as she writes and dreams of a romantic life in a far away place.

I have no idea what they'll say to each other.  Can't wait to find out!!

And finally, saying goodbye to 2011 -- the year of Charlie Sheen's madness, Osama bin Laden's demise, Anthony Weiner's "outing," the Occupy movement and losing Steve Jobs.  Here are some photos I just took up the street from me at 8th Ave and 49th Street.  Everyone is feeling jovial right now,

 Party horns are blaring, and more than enough alcohol has been consumed.  (I still don't know where people to go use a bathroom...

Barricades are set up to organize all the visitors...

And streets all around -- in places that will NEVER see the ball drop -- are full of happy celebrations.

To my friends who had a tough 2011 (you know who you are), I wish you and all of us a happier, brighter 2012, full of health and joy.  I salute your courage in the face of adversity and I want you to know you are my heroes.

Onward and upward!!  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Some holiday things

It's been a busy December, but I managed to get a few holiday things done.  

I crocheted little twine stars and decorated them with buttons and pearls.

and I painted hangers to give as gifts, below.

Some people asked about what a feather tree looks like.  Mine isn't an antique one - it's a modern version.  But I love it.

The original ones had little candle holders on the ends of the branches, with tiny candles lit for a few moments of splendor on Christmas.  Mine has a tangle of tiny white lights cascading down the sides.

I have a thing for snowmen. Above is one of them -- a chef snowman.

My friend stitched little felt stockings for me. There's one, beside a beautiful bird, above.

I discovered this lovely angel 30 years ago, above, and she has graced our family Christmas trees ever since.  

See the beautiful lacy Christmas stocking, above?  My friend Sox made it for me this year.  Onto the feather tree it goes!

And below is a 25-year-old quilted wall hanging my mom made for my son when he was a baby--our Little Bear calendar.  Each day of December, Little Bear would look for Christmas all around the house - under the front mat, in the attic, at the skating pond.  To make the holiday more fun, "Little Bear" always left a little present for the children wherever he looked for Christmas.  (Wasn't that nice of him?) I think the kids were actually a little sad when Christmas day came because there were no more Little Bear presents to search for every morning.

Hope you enjoyed my holiday house tour.  If you post pics of your tree, will you let me know? I love seeing decorations!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Candy Cane Candle Holders

Earlier this week while I was visiting my daughter in Toms River, NJ, she surprised me with a holiday craft idea she'd seen on the internet that turned out to be so much fun: candy cane candle holders.  If you decide you want to make them, you'll need about 20 candy canes and two taper candles - either red or white, ideally - as well as a hot glue gun in order to make them. Easy! And it's extra fun if you rock out some Christmas music in the background like we did, and of course get up to dance around the kitchen while hot gluing.

The "ingredients"
I'm going to link to the tutorial we followed at the bottom of this blog post, but not before revealing a couple of pictures of the fun, as well as our super special tip:  draw a line around the circumference of the candle in the place where you want to line up the tops of your candy canes.  If you do that, the bottoms will be nice and even -- unlike our first attempt, which yielded a lopsided effect like a wobbly table at a restaurant.  We had to prop them up with little pieces of hot-glued felt underneath the shorter canes.  Draw in the line and you'll be gold!

Here's my little girl doing her best Martha Stewart impersonation. "I treasure them."

Ta Da!!  So satisfying to make these.  They look fabulous on her mantle, nestled among the little white lights and the other decorations.

She found this tutorial here: