Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Christmas Tree

I love real Christmas trees but they can be expensive, plus I don’t own a Christmas tree stand.  In an effort to keep the “one use only” items in my apartment to a minimum (and save a little money) I decided to build my own Christmas tree this year.  

I drew some pictures of what I wanted and got out my trusty tape measure in order to determine the size.  I put blue painters’ tape on the wall so that I could get an accurate idea of the dimensions of the final product.  Finally I headed off to Home Depot with my son in tow to purchase the wood (not because I thought the wood was going to be heavy, but because sometimes I like to drag him along on shopping trips as a kind of slow torture).  Home Depot cut all the wood for me and, in a happy measuring coincidence, I ended up with only 4 inches of left over wood.

The assembly was fairly simple.  I used 2 screws to attach the cross pieces to the “trunk” of the tree.  I hammered small nails randomly into the cross pieces so that I could hang ornaments.  And the assembly was complete!

I love the way my decorated tree turned out.  In the dead of winter, anything that lights up makes me happy!  And my homemade Christmas tree can be used anywhere in the apartment for other holidays, as well as hanging family photos or artwork.  Birthday tree, anyone?

Have fun decorating, everyone.

- christina

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What a Sight

A few weeks ago I made an emergency visit to my local art supply store (sometimes a girl just needs a fresh, fine point, black Pitt pen) and this is what I saw.

I actually laughed out loud when I saw the Storm Troopers and the Sand Person in front of Dick Blicks.  As I approached the store I could hear the Storm Troopers talking and their voices were electronically enhanced just like in the movies.  One Trooper was giving the other one directions, “drive down Naperville to Ogden and go east …”  It just seemed so strange and out of place.

It turns out that an artist who had worked on the Star Wars movies was visiting the store on that day.  I was happy to have an explanation as to why those costumed people were hanging around.  As I shopped, the characters came inside (it was pretty cold outside) and one of the Troopers actually asked me if I needed any help finding something.  I was so tempted to ask him to say, “These aren’t the ‘droids you’re looking for” but I controlled my urge and behaved.  The whole experience left me with a big smile on my face – plus, a new pen!

- christina

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Village

This weekend I unpacked my mother’s Christmas village.  I hadn’t put it up for 2 years, so it was exciting to see all the houses again.  My mother painted each one and she chose the buildings based on her travels.  Her village collection includes a temple from Thailand, a totem pole from Alaska, and a small airport in honor of my father.
The houses in this year's village display

The stores in the village

The most unique building in my mother’s village is a pink house that has a name painted on it: The House of Negotiable Affection.  Yes, my mother put a whorehouse in her Christmas village! She loved being unique so the pink house in her village is typically my mother.

The whorehouse from my mother's Christmas village.
My son helped me put the village together this year and he decided that there wasn’t enough room for the pink house.  I have packed it away until next year, but I like knowing that it’s there.  My mother loved it very much and I loved her.

Happy Holidays to everyone.
- christina