Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shoe Horn Christmas Ornament

Since my last post, it has come to my attention that getting a shoe horn in a Christmas cracker is not the bizarre isolated incident I thought it was. As it turns  out, half of North America seems to have gotten one. This tells us two things: 1. All the crackers made on this continent must come from the same factory; and 2. Some marketing genius actually got paid to come up with that lame, pathetic idea. As I said before, next year I'll be making my own.

But in the hope of keeping a million useless, outdated objects out of the landfill, I felt it was my duty to find a creative use for the lowly Christmas cracker shoe horn. So here it is:


My picture isn't the best quality, but I think you get the idea. I went down to my craft room and proceeded to find anything I could that looked remotely Christmassy while the glue gun heated up. In the end, I stuck on a little red ribbon and the last of my red fabric flowers (usually used in card-making) with a decorative (read: dollar store) brad stuck through the middle. A bow on top and a little more ribbon strung through for a hanger, and we have what I believe might be the world's first shoe horn Christmas ornament. Will I pull this out of the box next December and wonder what the hell I was thinking? Time will tell!

In other news, it's my favourite day of the year! Today I will put on something sparkly, come up with a few resolutions, and have one last shameless gorge-fest before embarking on a healthier 2012.

Whatever you're doing tonight, may your new year be full of possibility!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

World's Laziest Family Celebrates Christmas

That week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is my favourite one of the whole year. I realized during a discussion with my brother this past weekend that you can tell an optimist from a pessimist by how he or she approaches New Year's Eve. For me, it's all about tying up the loose ends of the past year, and then starting fresh with a plan to change my life for the better. Is there anything more thrilling than that? However, if New Year's Eve reminds you of all the stuff you didn't accomplish this year and makes you want to drink a bottle of vodka before hanging yourself with the Christmas tinsel, that's equally justified. But you should probably be aware that if this is the case, you might be a pessimist.

Optimist or not, I don't think I could ever be accused of having an elegant holiday season:


The fact that RB put on underwear for Christmas dinner was about the best any of us could expect. And please note, this photo was taken at 2PM and I was the only one in it who had bathed or changed into clean clothes. Do you like my new scarf?

In addition to the scarf, I'm also the proud owner of my very own Kindle! I learned to use it by loading an Agatha Christie novel onto it. That woman was a hoot!

In other noteworthy Christmas news, the Captain got a shoe horn in his Christmas cracker. A SHOE HORN. I'm taking this as a sign that I need to just make my own crackers next year.

And now I have just under 4 days to finish everything I started in 2011 (and by this, I mean the dregs of that Bath and Body Works lotion sitting on my bathroom counter) and figure out my New Year's resolutions, what to wear for the big (quiet, stay-at-home) party, and plan the menu. I also have a date with Miss Marple.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

To all my friends who will be celebrating it this weekend, a very Merry Christmas!

My friend, neighbour and fellow blogger Granny Bob stopped by this week with a beautiful package for me. Inside were a dozen of these:



The moral of the story is, when life hands you glitter-turds, blog about it. Your more talented friends will show up with much better-looking ornaments for your tree!

That same day, I received 4 of these from my next-door neighbour, who also happens to be Granny Bob's daughter. The crafty genes run strong in this family!


My tree is starting to look less naked! Now, if I can just keep RB's grubby little hands off of everything...

And just so you don't think I'm completely useless with the Christmas crafts, here's what I made following a tutorial my sister brought to my attention recently:


Cute, no? I need to go out next week and get some better felt colours, but you get the idea. If you'd like to make one, they're dead easy, and you can find the instructions here.

Because you've got nothing else going on at the moment, right?!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yeesh!

Do you ever see something beautiful online and think you could make something like it yourself at home? This weekend, I was trolling the internet for Christmas craft ideas to do with the kids and I came across these beautiful painted papier mache ornaments:


Gorgeous, no? And really, how hard could they be to make from scratch?!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 2011 winner of the Holiday Decorating Innovation Award:


Psychedelic Glitter-Turds!

What's even more embarrassing is that I did 90% of the work on these horrendous things! At least if the kids had done them independently we could all ooh and ahh about how special they are. Firstborn lost interest after the first gooey layer of papier mache. RB loved every messy step, but in more of an I'm-going-to-dip-my-hands-in-paint-then-run-around-the-house-flapping-them kind of way. And the catch-22 is that because they did do that 10%, I'm going to have to display them proudly on the tree until January 1st!

I'm thinking I'll stick to baking with my kids from now on...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Brown Christmas

I'm generally not one to complain when we get no snow. I am the exact person places like Florida and Mexico were made for. If I never saw another snowflake, I'd be a happy woman.

But something about the sight of my front yard this morning just seems really wrong:


I've now spent more than a decade of my life altogether living in the prairies, and this is not at all what I'm used to looking out and seeing in mid-December. I'm not complaining per se. Goodness knows, I'll have my fair share of the white stuff come January. But still seeing grass this close to Christmas is highly unusual out here, and a look at the forecast tells me it's quite possible we will not be having a white Christmas. If this happens, I'm told it'll be the first Christmas without snow here in Manitoba in about 15 years. I choose to count myself lucky to see such a rare phenomenon. And also not to have to shovel a path to the front door.

Despite this weird meteorological occurrence, I am well and truly into the holiday spirit! After the jerks at Avon sent me a defective holiday collectible brooch, I was not about to wait around all month to get it fixed and have some holiday bling to walk around in, so I whipped these earrings together instead:


Then, on a crafty roll, I decided I needed a new wreath for the door:

I made this in 5 minutes using a wire coat hanger, an old tinsel garland and some ribbon I had lying around my craft room.

Then I got to work fixing the napkin holder Sister #3 made for me in 7th grade:


Over the last few years, RB has pulled off every ornament on this tree, leaving only globs of dried glue behind. Not exactly festive. So, I carefully sanded off the glue, touched up the green paint and added a pretty, RB-proof layer of glitter. Now, every time I put it down, I get a sprinkling of it all over the table. But, people, if you can't go all vampire-sparkly during the holidays, when can you walk around covered in glitter?

And finally, the latest holiday decoration from RB. He did this pine cone Christmas tree at nursery school. I think it's a brilliant idea and, with a couple of candles added for ambiance, a perfect centerpiece for our table:


Brown or not, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Random Diabe-tastic December Post

Okay, I know I'm already about 4 posts behind in my new two-posts-a-week commitment, but people, it's December! Enough said.

I do at least have enough random fodder for 4 posts, which I will now roll into one condensed post.

I kicked off last week by going to the big city all by myself. First, I got my hair done:


Those are also new glasses ($15 from Zenni Optical. I'll never spend $400 at the optometrist's office again!).

Then, I headed to Value Village for my bi-monthly rummage through other people's old junk. Even though I'm not really a brooch-wearer, I was stopped dead in my tracks in the jewellery section by this:


My grandmother had something very similar on her cardigan when I was a kid. I expected to turn it over and find that it had been reproduced in a sweatshop in Taiwan, but was very surprised to see "Made in England" printed on the back. Brooch-wearer or not, at $4 I wasn't going to wrestle with my conscience over this one. It came home with me.

Later in the week, RB celebrated his 6th birthday! I wanted to try sticking to his diet this year, but gluten-free cake can be so rubbery, so I had the bright idea of icing rice crispy squares instead:


I was happy with the way they looked. The way they tasted, on the other hand, caused the Captain to coin a new term: "Diabe-tastic". The sugar headache the next morning was dreadful, as was RB's behaviour for the next 24 hours. Next year, I think it might be safer to just let the poor kid have a little wheat!


Though, as you can see, he really wasn't complaining...

Lots of holiday babble to come. Have a great Sunday, everyone!