Winter Birds

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I noticed some little birds hopping around on the ground the other day, quite ignoring the hanging suet feeder in our yard.  So I spread some seeds out for them and presto!  lots of little birds — juncos, sparrows, chickadees, cardinals.  Also, randomly, a crow.  Tried to get some pics, tricky because the birds are so shy.   My husband took these.

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Vintergatan

Very excited for the upcoming release of the first album by Vintergatan, a lovely band from Sweden.  Check it:

Perfect music for a winter day (even though the title means summer bird -something about the glockenspiel makes me think of snow falling, I guess).  Martin, from the band, was in another band called Detektivbyrån, which I also love.  When my husband ordered the 2 albums by  Detektivbyrån, they came to us packaged in a pizza box. It was very charming and clever.  Anyhoodle, enjoy!

Snow Day! (Sorta)

Back to work is always a bit of a let-down after Christmas.  And we were getting some weather to boot.  It’s not often we hear a phrase like “blizzard warning”  in our local news broadcasts, so I’ll admit to being a bit cranky as I headed in today.

But then, joy!  After being at work a few hours, the powers-that-be wisely decided to have us close early so everyone could get home safely.  As an adult, this is a close to a snow day as it gets!  Ah, snow days!!!  Remember the magic of waking up, finding out that school had been canceled due to the weather, and then bundling up to play outside in the snow?  024b

After we both got back home, that’s what my husband and I did for a little while.  (I wish I could say this snowball launch was staged just for the photo, but my husband gleefully lobbed several at me as we took in the snow.)

We enjoyed the quiet beauty of the neighborhood wearing a fresh blanket of snow, 027b and romping in the yard with the pups (here’s Gus, our pug/cairn terrier mix —he loves snow!) 005before heading in for soup and popcorn.

What’s not to love about a sorta snow day?!?! 015

 

 

 

Star Wars Snowflakes

It’s all snowy and stormy here today, so this seems like the perfect time to share these Star Wars snowflakes.  When my husband sent me the link to the amazing Star Wars snowflakes patterns featured at http://anthonyherreradesigns.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56:star-wars-snowflakes I couldn’t resist giving them a go.  Behold:

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I simplified things a little, there were a few cuts on both my Yoda and my Boba Fett flakes that I left out.  Some tips if you try your hand at these:

  • Take it slow –fold carefully and precisely, and take your time making the cuts.
  • Use a fresh blade in your x-acto knife, it really makes a difference.
  • Have a good cutting surface.  I didn’t have a mat, so I used a double layer of thick cardboard, worked fine.
  • Use  bull-dog or binder clips to hold the folded paper in place to keep everything lined up properly.  This really helps with the finer cuts, especially when you’re trying to cut through the 3rd and 4th layers of folded paper.
  • Don’t unfold until you’re done.  So hard to do, but so worth it!!!

Merry & Bright

Merry Christmas!  Busy season, with my husband and I both visiting  and hosting family this year.  But today we have the whole day free.  While we await the big storm that’s supposed to roll in later tonight, I thought I’d share some of how we decorated for Christmas this year.

Green, red, copper, and brown were my main colors this year —a classic combination.  Knowing that we’d have a full house when we hosted on Christmas Eve, I didn’t put up my standard big white tree.  With a large crowd in our little house, every inch of floorspace counts, and that tree just has too much of a footprint.  Instead, I went with a 4 foot tall little table-top green tree:034

Even though I appreciate the convenience and ease of an artificial tree, nothing quite beats fresh.  So to bring in a little bit of fresh greenery, I hung this swag on the china cabinet:

027Such a nice scent, all I did was add the bow and the bells!  Since I love reindeer as a holiday decorating element, imagine how tickled I was to find this cute mossy reindeer at the same nursery where I picked up the swag:

055Simply add ornaments!  (Or maybe a poinsettia or something, but those aren’t cat safe, so not a good option for me.)  Love it!049

For presents, I used a mixture of green and brown wrapping paper and reused some paper grocery bags, using twine for bows.  I liked how it turned out, especially the cost efficiency of using just a little wrapping paper as a sash to spiff up the brown paper bag.  002

Even our pug, Apple, got into the holiday spirit:

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The wee tree couldn’t support the weight of my punched copper tree-topper, so I used it to turn a green bottle into a miniature tree in the kitchen.  Very cozy.

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Wishing everyone peace and joy in the new year, and a safe holiday season.

 

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas…

I’m terrible at keeping presents secret, or even at waiting for the right time to give them.  Once I get something that I think the recipient will like, I want to give it to them right away!  So waiting to give my husband his Christmas presents is always a challenge.  This year is no exception.  I do have a few things stashed away, but I’ve also already given him a few of his gifts, too.  Luckily he is the same way.  The other day, he gave me part of his present to me because he just couldn’t wait:

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Confession time:  I collect vintage paperback romance novels.  I love them.  My collection ranges from the 1930’s to the 1990’s.  The cover art is lurid, the titles are sometimes startling, and the plots are generally quite absurd.  They also provide fascinating windows on where notions of feminism and gender roles were in the sort of mass culture consciousness of their times.   And there’s always a happy ending, and sometimes in this mean old world I just want to see love conquer all, you know?

So this year, my husband decided to add to my collection in a BIG way.  I feel like my dining room table is now a women’s studies dissertation waiting to come into being!   There are so many gems.  As a teaser:

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Just drink in that title and the waggish cover art.  “The Feathered Shaft”.  Wowza.  Here’s hoping Santa is as good to you! 🙂