Monday, Dec. 10, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Holiday Decor With Personal History

Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde

I admit it. I’m addicted to Victoria magazine, especially the holiday issue.

But when I do my own decorating, I need it to be more personal. Creating the environment I want doesn’t have to cost a lot.

But it does need patience.

I have an entire closet of Yuletide ornaments, collected over the years. Every year, I buy one or two pieces (often during the year at a thrift shop or yard sale). Or people give me ornaments as gifts. Every ornament has a story.

As we decorate each year, we tell and re-tell the stories. We relive and remember our family (meaning friends that are chosen family) history.

Nothing is there because a decorator told us to put it there. It’s there because we want it there.

When I lived in a NYC apartment, everything only fit one way. Now that I live in a house on Cape Cod, I rearrange things as I wish.

I have accumulated collections of nutcrackers, Santas, angels, snowmen, carolers, reindeer. They move around, rarely in the same place two years in a row.

Here are some other thrifty ideas that give us lots of pleasure.

background-164101_1280

Fabric
I’ve picked up an assortment of fabric in an assortment of lengths throughout the year. Novelty holiday prints; velvets; solid colors, glittery fabric. I mix and match them, and I use them to cover tables, end tables, coffee tables, and any other surface that needs brightening up. Organza or silk or glittery strips can be used to swag around curtains or the tops of windows or door. I change out the fabric for all the holidays; it’s amazing how much difference it makes.

Most fabric I’ve picked up on sale or as remnants.

christmas-2999745_1920

Ribbon
Ribbon goes on sale throughout the year, and I grab it whenever I see it. We hang lengths of red velveteen ribbon along the sides of our doors and windows, topped with ornaments or found pine cones we attach to the top with florist twine.

Along the door ribbons, we tape our cards. We can look up and enjoy the holiday cards all season.

We also put holiday ribbon on any stuffed animals that are sitting around, or any of our carved or ceramic animals.

christmas-balls-1891598_1920
Natural objects
You don’t have to go to the store to buy cones and shells. I gather cones in the card, or get shells, sand dollars, etc. on the beach. I clean everything, of course. Some of it, I keep in its natural state (or maybe spray with clear varnish). Some I spray with gold or silver or copper or bronze paint, so they sparkle.

wreath-1081973_1920
Rather than buying a wreath made by someone else, I’ll buy a plain wreath or different greens at the garden center or the library’s green sale or on the Audubon Society’s holly walk and make my own. That way, each year’s is unique and personal.

Of course, you CAN spend a lot of money on any or all of this. But the items I tend to gravitate toward are usually the vintage, the ones I find at odd little sales, or from individual crafters. Or I find bits and pieces and put it together on my own.

To me, the process of decorating is part of the magic of the season. It makes me happy. It fulfills something in my spirit.

Whether it was the year I bought a 50 cent garland of musical instruments at Woolworth’s to hang up in my college dorm room (which I still have and use every year) or the Angel Tree Advent calendar I bought at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it all has personal meaning. And that makes it magical for me.

Published in: on December 10, 2018 at 6:33 am  Comments Off on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018: #UpbeatAuthors Holiday Decor With Personal History  
Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowing
New Year’s Eve

“First Feet”, the Jain Lazarus adventure, unfortunately, won’t be up today. Due to computer glitches which, because I have to leave, I can’t fix this morning, it probably won’t go up until Friday, January 2. My apologies. It’s got a lot more comedy than “The Possession of Nattie Filmore” – I think you’ll enjoy it. It will be a free download once it’s up, and it deals with the New Year’s tradition of “first footing” – but I can’t get it up today.

Buckle up, bunnies. Saturn went retrograde today, to kick your butt into the new year. If you continue to make the same mistakes and refuse to learn life lessons in the coming months, you will get your butt kicked.

Every time Saturn goes retrograde, I get an “offer” from a former job making it sound like they’re doing me this huge favor by taking me back.

Only, I’ve learned, thanks to Saturn, that it’s no good for me to keep putting myself into the situation, and I’m sticking to “no” as my answer.

I had a GREAT day yesterday. I got the cake in to the show safely. I received gifts from my colleagues. We exchanged greetings.

Costume Imp met me at the theatre. On the spur of the moment, we decided to visit the Angel Tree up at the Met – the tree I keep talking about and putting into my stories! We took the bus up Madison Avenue and got into the Met.

It was packed. And, because they’re “renovating” nearly a third of their galleries, there was no flow. So we were trapped in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for hours, always coming up against dead ends, not being able to GET OUT.

It was very frustrating, and it was STUPID on their part, to shut things down like that during their busiest season. Ever hear of planning, people? The Met should know better. It’s not like they’ve never done this before.

On top of it, they’ve renovated the Hatshepsut exhibit, taken out her sphinx, put it in the Temple of Dendur – without a plaque – and crammed her room so they could use the second room for the jewelry of some PRINCESS. The arrangement felt completely wrong and I felt bad for my pal Hattie.

Not to mention it screws up the way I wrote the chase scene in TRACKING MEDUSA. I’ll have to put an author’s note in the book when it’s published. Because I like the way it used to flow, and the way the scene worked, and I’m not changing it because the museum makes “improvements” that aren’t really improvements.

By accident, we landed in the Asian wing, and the Shoan room and tea gardens are beautiful. Only we couldn’t get out. We finally managed to find the Love and Art in the Italian Renaissance exhibit. With all the beautiful art for that period, why does the representative poster show Cupid giving Venus a golden shower through a laurel wreath?

When we finally escaped the museum (we had to stand in line to GET OUT), we hurried down E. 83rd St. to a place that is now on my favorite reasons to visit the Upper East Side (and there are very few of those): Vosges Haut Chocolate.

Yes, a chocolate shop. Our original intent upon meeting was to catch up over hot chocolate. Well, we caught up over HAUTE hot chocolate, a “Pariseienne” as it was called, which is dark drinking chocolate mixed with steamed milk, served in a flute.

Heaven. Complete and utter heaven.

And our server was adorable, too.

After we took our time recovering from the Met debacle over Chocolat Parisienne, we wandered down Madison Avenue. These boutiques expect people to come in a drop obscene amounts of money on their clothes. Unfortunately, the current designs are appallingly ugly, and there was obviously no thought put into the windows to create an enticing display. You can be creative and create a beautiful window without spending money if you use CREATIVITY. Unfortunately, most of these high-end boutiques lack that. I won’t be sad as they continue to close.

We stopped at the bookstore and got books. I bought Terry Pratchett’s MAKING MONEY and Elizabeth Bear’s HELL AND EARTH, which juxtaposes Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth with Queen Mab. I can’t wait.

Home a little after six, did some work, had computer problems, packed.

They said it would snow all night and be done by noon. It didn’t start until 8:30 this morning. So I’m packing up things now and trying to get out of the storm before noon.

Fingers crossed.

I’ll be offline until the 2nd – hopefully, by the time you hear from me again, I’ll have the link up to the “First Feet” download. Again, my apologies.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Devon