Sunday, October 31, 2010

And Coming Up Next . . .

Happy Hallowe'en!

Well, by the time you read this, the last minute adjustments will have been made to Hallowe'en costumes, someone is ready by the door to hand out the treats and the dog is going crazy barking at all the strange creatures coming up to the front door.  Life is pretty much normal on this, the strangest night of the year.
After all, it isn't every night that little ballerinas, teddy bears, Spiderman and Wonder Woman come up to the door asking for candy. 

But there is something else going on while these festivities take place.  Stores across many countries are having their employees acting as elves and by the time Monday morning rolls around, most stores will have started in their transformation to become Winter Wonderlands and are displaying merchandise so you too can achieve this magical effect.  Already, shoppers have been scouring the aisles looking for bargains so they can begin the transformation ahead of their neighbours.  Competitions spring up in neighbourhoods to see who can put up the most twinkle lights along their porches, eaves, wrapped around trees and anything else that is relatively stable and can support the weight of all those strands of lights.  In other words, the annual rite of holiday insanity has begun.

Personally, I don't go crazy decorating my flat. A little decorative tablecentre on the diningroom table, a wreath on the door, a few extra candles and a few ornaments sprinkled around the sitting room suffice for my need to be part of the festivities.  I might try a small tree this year to see if I can persuade Molly Cat to leave the decorations on it rather than run by, grab one and race around the flat to see if she can get me to chase her.  Not going to happen!  If I do put up a little table top tree, it will have kitten proof decorations and no tinsel, angel hair or sharp objects of any shape form or description will be allowed.  One of the worst things a cat or dog can ingest besides chocolate is tinsel or angel hair.  Besides a trip to the vet, you may incur the cost of expensive surgery to remove these objects as well as the trauma of seeing your beloved pet in distress.  So, I'm asking you now to be very aware of what types of ornaments you use and make sure that your children, pets and significant others are going to enjoy a safe, but fun holiday.

So, back to ornaments.  This week my journey has taken me through Santa's workshop and I've been learning to decorate little wooden trees, wooden tree ornaments along with holiday cards, little envelopes made especially to hold gift cards, calendars, gift tags and place cards for your dining table.  Check through my pictures to see these various ideas that are not that difficult to make.  They just take a little time and imagination.

A trip to your local arts and crafts store will help you find all sorts of wooden ornaments that you paint yourself to add a custom touch to your home.  A couple of nutcrackers done up in colours to accent your sitting room and perched up on the fireplace mantle will look fun.  For years, we've all thought of the holidays as being a sea of red and green on anything from tree ornaments right on down to table linens.  Now, we embrace other colours although retailers will have you thinking that one particular colour will be the fashion of the season.  That's nice if that colour fits into your home's colour palette, but I don't quite feel like painting the livingroom so that I'm one of the fashionistas of home decor.  Take a look at the ornaments that I've taken pictures of and you'll get an idea of how my flat will look this year.

When it comes to cards, pick a colour theme and buy just those colours in cardstock.  You don't need every colour of the rainbow to make cards, gift tags and so on.  Keep to your colour theme and use every scrap of paper that you buy and you will save money in the long run.  Have fun making these decorations and cards, maybe devote an hour or two every night or Sunday afternoons for the next month, and you'll be ready to deck your halls by December 01.  That's my official date to decorate.  I look forward to putting the wreath up on the door and one neighbour told me her little grandson is quite taken with what I put up each year.  He seems to like colourful wreaths, last year being metallic blues, silvers and such.  This year will likely be aqua, teal, silver with lots of glitter.  That could all change between now and December 01 and I promise that you will have a picture of the finalized version.

Your first task is to get organized.  Go through last years decorations and see which ones you want to use this year.  Make a list of what you're going to need and head out to pick up the supplies.  I guarantee that makinig your own will be much more fun and if you do it with your children, your sister or your mother, you'll be making memories.  And, it gives you that quality time to spend with your loved ones and check in on them to see if all is well, what might be on their mind and how they feel about the upcoming festivities.  It's a win, win situation and you get a jump on the season as a bonus.

If you have any questions about how any of these ornaments were done, just fill in the comment form by going down to the end of the post, click on the word "comment" and a window will open up where you can type in what you would like to say.  If you have any questions about a particular ornament that you would like to make, but aren't certain how, let me know and I'll see what I can find out for you and post the answer.  Meanwhile, I'd better get back to the design table before a certain feline ends up with glitter from one end of the room to the other.

Sincerely,  Rutheemac

P.S. Thursday's post will show more pictures.  Too many to put into this post, so I'll keep adding pictures as I post

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