Wednesday, December 22, 2010

merry merry christmas

and be of good cheer!

may you love well and prosper
throughout the new year!

{photos from my collection of vintage ornaments}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a christmas minute

Yesterday evening, my daughter-in-law, two friends and I attended "A Candlelight Christmas" in its Fiftieth Anniversary season at the Kennedy Center. We were lucky enough to have front-row seats, where we could hear and see the full effect of the massed choirs and the National Capital Brass Ensemble, including the handsome young tuba player. :) We loved seeing all the happy expressions of the young singers from W.T. Woodson High School Vocal Ensemble, who were this year's guest performers. Especially jolly was their breathless rendition of "Christmas in a Minute," words and arrangement based on Chopin's "Minute Waltz" by Jeffrey Biegel. Imagine singing these words, as printed in the program, as fast as you can say them (at Chopin's piano pace)!

Christmas in a Minute
Jeffrey Biegel

Christmas is a comin' quickly you can't stop it, all the busy people busy buzzin' round the mall,
a buyin' lotsa presents since the fall the advertisers stop at nothing!

Little Johnny, Sammy, Suzie, Jack n' Lucy in a tizzy don't know what to buy for them on time,
perhaps it's easier to go on-line! They have enough already!
So I have a lot of cards to write to everybody, when I'm finished it's time to drink a toddy! (hands raised)
Then I have to get the dinner ready for the aunts and uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews!

Everybody thinks that Christmas is so jolly, it's a lotta work for mistletoe and holly.
After I am finished with this Christmas minute I would like to take a rest!

(sing slower, in waltz tempo)
All the pretty candles glow, they simmer, glimmer over the Christmas snow.
Frosty moonlight, chilly air;
Skaters are gliding and tourists are riding in the horse-drawn coaches through the park;
Angels whispering messages sweetly; church bells ringing overhead; children are in their beds.

(sing fast again)
I got lost in all the shuffle, now it's time to find the recipe for making chocolate truffles.
Here we go again, another Christmas season's comin' up, it seems another year gone so fast,
I can't keep up, I don't think I can last another minute, so I guess it's time to buy the decorations,
Trim the tree with lotsa lights and lotsa tinsel, hurry up!

The phone is ringing, answer it! I know the tone, it's Auntie Penny, "Can I bring another guest for dinner?"
That makes twenty-three, I need a ton of food to feed an armory!
The turkey needs a stuffin' bake a batch of muffins!
Oh I just forgot to hang the stocking stuffers!

Carolers are singin', mailmen are bringin' packages and cards and gifts of wine for drinking!
Oh, it's getting very hectic in my house preparin' for the busy bees!
The lines at all the shopping stores are getting longer; websites on the internet are selling stronger!

Where is all the simple meaning, charm and reason that we celebrate together for the season?
All the television stations are a burnin' many Christmas advertisements they're a churnin'!

Now my time is up, I've nothing else to say, but "Merry Christmas one and all!"

Monday, December 20, 2010

snowing in paris

A friend in Paris emailed this photo to share. It's been snowing there -- a lot, by Paris standards! She writes: "Paris hasn't been the worst hit. The Loire Valley, Champagne regions and the Finistère region of Brittany have been completely snowed in as well. Because the snow rarely sticks in this part of France, no one owns a snow shovel, and Parisians probably don't even realize they're legally supposed to shovel outside their shops." Enjoy her video.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

bogie's first snow

If you've been wondering what is occupying all my free time these days, here's the culprit. Our little Coton de Tulear puppy Bogie (short for Beauregard) is 4 months old now and as active, curious and lovable as can be. It's hard to get a photo of him because he's either in my lap, in my arms, or on the move. While experiencing his first snow today, he expressed his excitement by doing the Coton blitz at his short-legged top speed. So funny!


Friday, December 10, 2010

holiday classes in phoenix

After a leisurely visit in Phoenix where the sun is still dependably warming the days, I've returned to record-setting cold temperatures in Virginia. Actually, I've been traveling so much lately that I think I missed the short stretch of autumn we had here. Already we have snow in the forecast. But the cold is bracing and a good excuse for tending to indoor tasks, like catching up with holiday decorating.

Photo from Denise

Luckily, the two classes I attended in Phoenix added to my holiday decorating. On Friday, I met the delightful Denise Hahn for an afternoon class at Earleen's house. We made a sparkly hanging ornament from an ingenious base that was inspired by the cheese cases in her grocery store. Decorated with plenty of glitter and shiny trims, our shadow box was lots of fun and easily finished in class, even with all the talking and laughing and eating.

Saturday's all-day class started early at Annette's house with 20+ women enjoying a full-scale holiday breakfast outside around her gorgeous pool and waterfall. Back inside, we exclaimed over Carol Wingert's elaborate "heirloom" book kits, presented with packages of her selected paper and fabric, a painted trunk full of trims, and her tissue-wreath place cards. Then we all happily spent the day alternating between creating Carol's white Maison de Joie book and enjoying lunch outside again and shopping from Carol's market table and admiring Annette's holiday vignettes.

Group photo taken by Sharon
(other photos borrowed with thanks from Sharon and Denise)

My class kit and place card

Annette's living room filled with crafters

My tablemates Gina . . .

. . . and Rachel

Teah and Karen (thanks for all the evening shopping :)

Colleen and Maija

My Maison de Joie cover

A few finished pages,
although I plan to write an appropriate thought along the right side of the angel page below.