Monday, December 5, 2011

Presenting CARL...and those ornaments I promised

We name our trees. This is the first year we've actually acknowledged that. Every year I ask my husband, "So, what's his name?" and we come up with one but I never remember it. And yes, it's always a he. I have no idea why. This year, it's Carl. And Carl is our most splendid tree yet. Fat, perfect Christmas tree shape, and just the right height. A winner on all fronts.

The Manor has been quiet today. No crafting accomplished. School is taking a lot out of me but I still have plans for some more ornaments. Oh! I snapped a few pictures of the completed magazine ornaments in all their displayed glory. What do you think?

Here is one of the banners I did with the smaller magazine pictures. It was hard to get this shot and it doesn't do it justice BUT I said I'd show you a final picture.

Here are two of the magazine ornaments on the tree (I'm sorry, on Carl). They actually turned out better than I anticipated. I might just have to start a new tradition :D

Finally, here's a shot of the coffee table. We discovered that whenever we choose anything to decorate with, the colors are muted, natural, subdued. This does not a festive holiday home make. We bumped up the color with this ridiculously red candles. I think they look lovely with the greenery. Very Christmasy.

Anyone else doing any Christmas crafting? I've got to get a move on it! I'm hosting a party for a friend this weekend AND I've still got to get some orders in for Christmas gifts. Oh yeah...and those nagging school projects. Two week break, come quickly!

Jen xo

Friday, December 2, 2011

Weeding in freezing weather, making Christmas ornaments andand a parade

Happy Friday! From my front step to yours.

The past two mornings have seen me up and out the door before 9am. No reason prompts me, other than the fact I need to get more exercise and more fresh air. Once I return, I'm warmed up and primed for yard work. Of course, we only have a courtyard, but it still requires tending. And tend I did, pulling weeds with freezing fingers, caking slowly with mud and remnants of chilly dew. I didn't find any ice this morning, but my fingers could not have cared less. Cold is cold and even working could not assuage the numbness that was growing the longer I stooped over bare earth and weed.

Warm cinnamon roll later, my fingers thawed and I decided to share a few things with you. Last night, our town had their annual Christmas parade. As I am not the proud owner of a fancy digital camera which can take amazing pictures in next to no light (yet), I was unable to chronicle said parade in images. But I can tell you how excited I was when the reindeer arrived. Yes. Real reindeer. Pulling a sleigh. In Georgia. Sadly, there was no snow to cap off this perfect event, but plenty of candy was thrown to the little girl standing next to us. Her dad didn't catch all of it and what was left is now sitting atop our table. Taunting me. Back to the reindeer. Have you ever seen a real reindeer? They're precious. And small. Seriously. You're taller than they are. Their antlers are enormous, but the creatures themselves are tiny and practically demand you scratch under their chins. Of course they were pulling a sleigh in which sat Santa. And as much as I love that jolly old elf, I was enamored more with his tiny reindeer.

Yesterday, I played hooky from school and made Christmas ornaments out of magazine pages. To say I'm addicted to magazines is an understatement and my December editions were stacking up beyond control. I decided to weed through them, keeping only the British editions and those that gave me more lovelies to look at than ads. The rest got ripped apart, allowing me to keep the pictures I wanted and recycle the rest. Hmm, now what to do with all that lovely? I could frame them, but I didn't have any spare picture frames. What I DID have was cardboard, glue and glitter. Out came the scissors. I cut them out, trimmed them down and then glued them to cardboard. Once dried, I trimmed the cardboard so that only the now stiff picture remained. Then came the fun part of outlining the pictures and some of the elements in the pictures with silver glitter glue. All that remains is to punch holes in the top, thread some ribbon or twine through them and hang them! Once that's done, I'll post a picture, but for now, here's a sampling:

Next time you have too many magazines, see if you can turn some of those lovely pictures into ornaments. And this doesn't have to be limited to Christmas! Any issue, any month or season can be turned into decor. Who says you need a Christmas tree to hang ornaments on?

With one final image, I'll sign off for now. Have a wonderful Friday and remember: slow down and savor life. You only go around once!

Jen xo

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Life at the Manor

Bonjour! I won't even pretend to know how long it has been since last I wrote. Honestly, I don't care. We're here, now, and that's all that matters.

The Manor has undergone some dramatic changes. For starters, we're in an entirely different Manor than last you knew. Same lofts, different unit. Of course, around here, it isn't a unit. It is simple The Manor. Capital "T", capital "M". It's more fun that way.

Life has undergone some major changes too. I am no longer working at the dreaded office of technological marvel. No, I am now at The Manor, enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University's Bachelor of Arts program. I shall finish my looooooong overdue degree in English/Creative Writing sometime around the summer of 2013.

Business? Not yet. Still chipping away-still evolving and metamorphosing into what or rather who it is intended to be. I'm fine with that. As the Celts said, "W hen God made time, he made enough of it".

I wanted to stop by for a brief chat this lovely first of December. Christmas is on its merry way and soon The Manor will be lit by fairy lights and smell of cider and pine. My resolve is set and I shall endeavor to serve tea at The Manor as often as I can manage. Three days a week, perhaps? If I can manage more, I shall let you know.

Invitations are always extended. Do drop in! I have missed each and every one of you.

And now, a little pictorial romp through my morning:

This was the last of the pineapple sage and the final, tiny bell pepper of the season. The flower pots are cleaned and will soon become displays for evergreen branches. Those pictures to come...

With cocoa, warm cream and a dash of vanilla, The Norse AND The Force are with me :D

Cheers! Stay warm and happy December.

Jen xo