December 19th, 2008

eggnog, nog

A Christmas Tradition -- Our Family Jewelry Tree

When I was younger, I used to be really involved in arts and crafts. In fact, I was very involved with art in high school and took a number of art-related classes. (No, I don't find time to do crafts anymore, but at least I've found ways to use my artistic side in my work...) I also took art classes in college, though I dropped my art major very early on (as a freshman, actually).

One year (while still in high school) I got it into my head to make a Christmas tree out of jewelry. It was quite popular at the time and there were a number of 'versions' of how this was done. Some people would cut out a tree (of felt or some material) and mount it on the background -- then apply the jewelry. I always saw this as 'cheating,' personally! I thought you should use the actual pieces of jewelry to form your tree.

I made a number of these, by the way -- and even had a few that were punched for lights to be pushed out from behind to light up. In fact, originally I'd hoped to do that with this one, but now I'm glad I didn't. The lights end up being a pain in the butt, frankly!

The jewelry used for this tree is special. Every piece had a sentimental value -- I didn't use one random piece in making it. (I'd often find jewelry at second-hand stores and bazaars and so on, but there's none of those pieces here.) For example, there's a bracelet that Dad bought for Mom during WWII in Italy included. I could go around and tell which item belonged to whom, but that would get boring, I'm sure!

The actual green velvet used for the background was leftover material used to make our dresses when Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I appeared in our sister Sue's wedding as children.

The plan was always that Mom and Dad would pay to have it framed, which didn't happen. It's on a heavy sheet of wood, which Dad had promised to drill for me -- again, this never came close to happening. (I used to be disappointed about both things, but I'm long over it.)

Unfortunately, we never got it fixed to actually HANG it up, so various cats got to it over the years -- and it has a few spots were their claws left signs. (sigh) But all in all, it's help up pretty well, when you realize it was made around 40 years ago! (Time flies when you're having fun!)

Jewelry Christmas Tree
Our family Jewelry Christmas Tree.

The NaBloPoMo theme for December is THANKS, so each day this month I'll try to include something I'm thankful for -- or an example of the word 'thanks.'

I'm thankful for:

All the many wonderful and sentimental items -- like this tree -- that Marilyn and I own and cherish. It's wonderful to pull things out and admire them for various holidays during the year.

We have a lot of wonderful Christmas decorations that go back to our beloved Aunt Dorothy, our parents and our grandparents.

How lucky we are!
frightful weather

Power Outtages? Say It Ain't So, Santa! (smile)

It's almost a GIVEN that we'll lose power here during the next storm. And they're warning us that we could be without power for a couple of days, minimum. (sigh)

We've got some wood and have our flashlights full of fresh batteries. We've got lots of wood. We've got bottled water, should we need it.

We've faced being outside chipping up thick ice years back, so we know we can do that again if we must...

There's not much worse than losing power, which means no internet (or computers, period) and no cable TV (or TVs, period). And, of course, no furnace to heat the house -- and no electricity to power the water heater, so no hot water.

So what are Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I worried about?

Posting to our LiveJournal blogs, of course!

We're both doing NaBloPoMo, so it matters a lot to us.

We're already talking about posting after midnight, to make sure we get in a post for Saturday (tomorrow, December 20). And then we're trying to figure out how to post on Sunday, if it comes to that...

What can I say? We're strange. I've never denied it...