Holiday Sparkle

As I’ve done several years in a row now, I’ve spent the time since Thanksgiving convincing myself I don’t need to decorate my apartment for Christmas since I don’t actually spend Christmas there. But in recent days the snow has begun to settle in for the long winter here in Upstate, and there is nothing better than lights and glitter to make the snow seem a little less cold.

A year or so ago I saw this idea on Pinterest of stringing up lights in a pattern on the wall and hanging photographs along the string. I’d considered doing it in at least one iteration of my post-farm living, but hadn’t ever found a place for it. In coming across it as I was looking for an inexpensive way to make my place feel Christmas-y, I realized I could use that idea, replacing the photographs with Christmas bulbs. Twelve dollars and minutes later, my living room feels like a cozy little winter wonderland.

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Come on out, Father Christmas, I’m ready for you (aside from the gift crafting, of course).

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Mixes by Others

In the midst of making my year-end mix, it’s fun to take a break and listen to other mixes and playlists and anything other than the 12 tracks I’ve played 87,000 times to make sure they’re right. Found this one today and my is it lovely.

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Label Me Thankful

Over the last few years as I’ve increased my handmade gift-output, I’ve toyed with the idea of putting my own labels on them, just to give them that little extra something. I suppose I’ve put it on the backburner because I never knew quite what to do (nor did I really have the skills to do so). Thankfully, I’ve surrounded myself with super talented people, and dear Ms. K kindly offered to help me put something together (read: do it for me with some amount of direction, but not much if you ask her).

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I don’t want to give away the final design before the first handmade gifts are delivered, but here are some drafts that have come up so far. (Also, found a Seinfeld reference. Surprise!)

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The Season of Giving/Knitting

IMG_20141029_085502_328It’s coming to that time of year where the apartment becomes a sweatshop and the crafting reaches maximum capacity. While several projects are in-process, most must be kept secret from those who (I think) read the blog. So for now I can just share the beginning of a scarf for JP.

Pattern from The Purl Bee. The example looks daintier, using a finer yarn, but I had this yarn from a trip to New Hampshire earlier this year and the color is perfection for him.

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Afterlife

I can only assume you’ll think I can’t make up my mind to save my life, and you may be correct. This is yet another Ingrid Michaelson post, and while I continue to have what can only be described as a complicated relationship with her new album, I’ve loved “Afterlife” since it was released pre-album release. And now it has a video. Which may or may not have made me tear up. So happy Thursday morning.

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Home: revisited

Went home this weekend for a spectacularly short two days (which were, in fact, spectacular). This meant nearly 24 hours in the car round-trip which, although a little brutal, presents the opportunity to revisit the music catalog and get your head on straight. Life has been changing sort of rapid-fire (isn’t it always), and sometimes it just takes an old favorite tune to wake you up to that.

I’ve increasingly fell away from the new Ingrid album. Maybe it was my experience at the high school gym they claim to be a venue where I saw her perform last, or maybe where she is in her songwriting life just isn’t where I am in my own. But this song. This one came back to me. And it suits me just fine.

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All signs point to DONE

With much planning and scheming and scheduling, I had the great pleasure to spend Monday crafting with everyone’s favorite flat hill farmer. We had two missions, and today’s post is about the final piece for my living room gallery wall, a marquee arrow.

As always, thanks to the pinterest, we found the idea on the blog Junklahoma. Being that I’m in an apartment, my space isn’t terribly conducive to drills and other such power tools, but fortunately my couch-carrying friend has all those things and more, and space to use them, to boot!

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Based on the pictures it looks like I did mostly nothing, which is relatively accurate. But when there was some math to do, I came to the rescue. And I drilled all the holes for the lights, which totally un-tediously had to be shaved down by hand because they were thiiiiiiiiis much too small (don’t worry I also didn’t do that).

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Sadly I didn’t take any pictures of the “finishing” part: painting the arrow and then distressing it with other paints (by hand – with the blisters to prove it) and a variety of metal objects everyone has around the house – horseshoes, unidentifiable pointy tools, etc.

The real achievement, I’ll say, was even after spending eight hours crafting (this is serious business, kids), the guilt of not hanging it up that night got the best of me, so got it on the wall and enjoyed an evening of ridiculously lit-up ambiance. You can go ahead and ignore the power strip dangling from the arrow. Extension cords are now in place.

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