• Daily Life

    Christmas and Winter Questionnaire Day Two: Decorations

    I borrowed questions and ideas from: herehere, and here.

    ~Real or fake tree
    We have almost always had a fake tree. My dad doesn’t like the bother of a real tree. When I have my own family I want a real tree. Actually, I’d like to have a tiny tree in my room, but that hasn’t ever worked out yet.

    ~When do you decorate?
    Usually shortly after Thanksgiving. This year I think it was a week after.

    ~Who decorates?
    It used to be everyone, but now it is mostly Mom and the little girls. Certain of them have very specific tastes/styles/ideas.

    ~Do you decorate your room?
    My room is usually in a state of disorder as far as design and organization goes, so most Christmas decorations either would not match or would be lost in the busyness, but I do have one neat half bookcase that I’ve decorated this year plus a adorable little bell wreath hanging on the doorknob outside my door.

    ~When do you take the tree down?
    Usually shortly after Christmas.

    ~White or multi-colored lights
    White all the way, definitely more elegant.

    ~Outside lights
    We don’t have any, but I love a some white lights with candles in the windows and wreaths and garlands.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If you want to participate:
    Decorations
    ~Real or fake tree
    ~When do you decorate?
    ~Who decorates?
    ~Do you decorate your room?
    ~When do you take the tree down?
    ~White or multi-colored lights
    ~Outside lights

  • Daily Life

    Christmas and Winter Questionnaire Day One: Beginning Christmas

    I borrowed questions and ideas from: here, here, and here. I divided my list into 6 days.

    ~Do you send Christmas cards?
    Sometimes, the pretty ones that come in sets, not the ones with family photos. I like getting those from friends who we’ve not seen in awhile, but I like sending the elegant artistic ones.
    ~When does Christmas start?
    Well, my family starts with Hallmark right after Halloween. This year I didn’t start watching until after Thanksgiving. I’d prefer it to start in December and then end on the 12th day of Christmas January 6th. I think we have plenty of autumn holidays and few of winter, so there is no need to rush into and then rush out of Christmas.

    ~Do you have an advent calendar?
    I outgrew our family one. The three youngest still attached the stuffed decorations on the fabric tree. I kind of did a Christmas activity countdown this year, but its a mix of that and a fun list, so I haven’t followed it exactly. I’d like to find or make one I can make into a tradition.
    ~What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
    All of them.
    ~What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
    I’m not sure I’d really ever prefer to travel on a holiday, but perhaps after or before when people still have the decorations up. Some traditional village or city with lovely decorations maybe?
    ~What is your most memorable holiday moment?
    Right now, I cannot really think of a moment. We had two memorable Christmases recently, once when my brother got engaged, three years ago, and then when he got married a few days before Christmas two years ago.
    ~What makes the holidays special for you?
    Family, traditions, the sensory experience, Hallmark, gifts, I love the entire experience!!!!!
    ~How did you grow up thinking about Santa?
    My dad is the Grinch, Scrooge, and the Christmas Corrector, and I don’t think Mom loved the Santa myth. We weren’t taught to believe in Santa, we just enjoyed the various Christmas stories. I never cared overmuch for Santa himself, I just loved all the stories about Christmas.
    ~Can you name all his reindeer?
    Nope. Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blizen, Rudolph. Are there 13 with Rudolph or 11? I should look that up.
    ~Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

    There is nothing wrong with “Happy Holidays,” except it is incredibly generic and boring. “Merry Christmas” is fun to say plus far more specific. And “merry” is quite expressive of Christmas specifically.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Questions for day one if you want to participate:
    Beginning Christmas
    ~Do you send Christmas cards?
    ~When does Christmas start?
    ~Do you have an advent calendar?
    ~What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
    ~What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
    ~What is your most memorable holiday moment?
    ~What makes the holidays special for you?
    ~How did you grow up thinking about Santa?
    ~Can you name all his reindeer?

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Autumn Music and Mood

    I’m not that into music. I listen in the car to block out silence (and I almost NEVER here music on the radio that I like much less love), but I usually prefer silence otherwise. And I have a hard time finding music that I love. And sometimes I love some music sometimes and sometimes I don’t love it.

    I pulled out a flute/harp duet c.d (very Irish/Celtic sounding) because I thought of it and wanted to make sure I hadn’t misplaced it. That got me to thinking how seasonally appropriate it was. And then I thought about autumn music. And what I think fits fall. Contemplative, sentimental, spooky, sorrowful, haunting. I love the season of fall but a lot of what fits the autumn mood is a bit too depressing for me.* This c.d. is a not always what I need even though it is so beautiful. And scary books? Yeah, I’ll do Agatha Christie . . . and fall Hallmark.

    I’m more into pretty fall colors, the actual change of the season, bonfires, and yummy fall food involving pumpkin, molasses, and spices. But I still think I need a touch of the spooky for it to really fall. And I find it fun to dress up for Halloween (again, not scary, just dress-up).

    Anyway. I tried to think up some other good music that fits my description.
    “River Flows in You”
    Enya
    LOTR** soundtrack. Especially Rohan themes.
    Celtic
    Folk songs
    The Hanging Tree

    *I may have mentioned this before. I know a lot of people joke around about the U.S. term (and the Pinterest quotes are funny), but I have a Latin dictionary and also looked on Whitaker’s words, and “autumnus/i” means . . . wait for it . . . autumn. I even looked in my massive Webster’s dictionary for some hint as to a deeper etymology. Other than finding out the origin is possibly Etruscan, nothing. So its an old word for the season. Yeah. I love learning, but I despise pedantry and sophistry. Rant over.

    **I love the artistry of these movies, and I think the music is probably one of my favorite parts, but I have a hard time enjoying the story anymore. I’m really not into epics or really action movies (using that description quite broadly). And some parts in these movies are hysterical (where they aren’t supposed to be). I’m not the dramatic teenager anymore, and apparently, I’m the hardened skeptic who takes nothing seriously, lol.

  • Daily Life

    Autumn Bucket List

     

    About a month ago, I saw a lovely idea for a bucket list here on The Enchanting Rose. I at first thought I “needed” to buy pretty patterned paper and jewels too, but realized that I could use stamps and paint to add detail to the paper we already had.
    I picked out this gorgeous sketchbook from my notebook and journal hoard (mostly from Half-Price); this will be my art journal for autumn and winter. I made my version fairly quickly for me although it has taken me awhile to post.
    I am so proud of this. I picked the colors to match the notebook cover.
    I kept my options rather general. I’m hoping to get a photo and art page out of a couple of these; I think that would be fun. What are y’all’s fall plans?

     

  • Daily Life

    Summer Bucket List and My Art Journal

    Watch tons of Classic Hollywood movies
    This should be easy!
    Read at least half of Classic Club list
    Hmm. Not a priority.
    Make lots of art and crafts
    Well, I’ve put a lot of pressed flower art in my art journal, worked on redoing my first quilt, and worked on dresses for my sisters’ birthdays.
    Spend time outside: stargaze, watch the sunset, swim, swing, catch lightening bugs, sleep outside
    I’ve spent some time, but I need to make it more of a priority.
    Dance
    You would think this would be easy.
    Go on several day-trips 
    I’ve been to the zoo and a baseball game at our local university, and I want to plan one for my birthday.
    Jane Austen Festival and local art festival
    I’m doing the latter for certain..
    Go on or at least schedule one major vacation
    I meant myself, but our family is going on one in January
    Take a trip with my grandparents
    Work extensively on genealogy
    Make frozen custard
    I should’ve focused a bit more on, um, less costly options.

    I had tons of pressed flowers, so I’ve worked on tons of pages for my art journal. I’ve rather more pressed flower pages than I would like, but I’m still learning this art journal thing. These are my best pages to date (05/26/2017), I think.

    Didn’t that iris press gorgeously?!

    My paper back copy of the Jane Austen novels split, so I decided to use the pages for crafts.
  • Daily Life

    Winter Bucket List

    ~Make shimmery snowflake garland with silver thread. Surely I can manage this.
    ~Bake several goodies. I’ve a couple baking books plus tons of bookmarks.
    ~Try some hot chocolate recipes. I’d really like to try some of the gourmet ones I’ve saved.
    ~Cook through a cookbook. This one; I love it.
    ~Read well. I want to be well on my way to my goal. I already am I think, but pride before the fall, lol.
    ~Learn to play Scotland Yard (if not also Mr. X, Whist, and Bridge).
    ~Work on music category. Learning, appreciating, etc.
    ~Begin serious genealogy. I can do plenty to prep before I pay I think.
    ~Wedding projects and purchases (by March 30). I haven’t got my dress and want to keep my eye out but not become to delayed.
    ~Have some spa days. I’d like to use up some products plus try a few recipes.
    ~Go ice skating. We’ll see.
    ~Complete Duolingo Spanish. Since I’m down to learning one language, this is reasonable.
    ~Watch a bunch of movies from my list. I just need to order a bunch from the library and this should be easy.
    ~Alter my sister’s bridesmaid dress. We all get to pick our dresses; they have to be short and blue or gray, so my three little sisters have theirs. The one I need to alter is a sheath, and I will be taking in the darts.
    ~Complete tons of knitting and a few sewing projects
    ~Work on my art journal. I’ve done a bit with my amazing new calligraphy pens, but I need to be more creative in my entries.
    ~Complete some art via classes. (Craftsy, Creativebug, and several YouTube channels).

  • Daily Life

    Blogmas Winter Tag

    DAY 16 { WINTER TAG }


    ❄ Top 2 Winter Beauty Essentials
    Lotion and lotion stick (I use lip balm year round).  My hands literally drink up regular lotion in a few minutes, so I try to use a couple rounds. I carry a lotion stick which is really thick balm that I can put on the top of my hands without getting my fingertips and palms sticky.

    ❄ Top 2 Winter Fashion Essentials
    Winter is hard fashion-wise for me. Tights and coats.  

    ❄ Favorite Winter Accessory
    Shawls worn as scarves 

    ❄ Favorite Winter Nail Polish
    Nail polish doesn’t last between my hand-washing and dish washing and hand-crafts.  

    ❄ Hot Cocoa or Apple Cider?
    Hot Cocoa with tons of marshmallows. We had multi-pack of different flavors of Swiss Miss chocolate, and I loved the French Vanilla and white chocolate for a change.

    ❄ Favorite Winter Candle?
    I’m not a candle person (that requires more presence of mind) . . . or really a scent person (sensory overload happens quickly for me with sound and scent), but I do like a whiff of vanilla or cinnamon now and then.

    ❄ Snowboarding or Skiing?
    I’ve tried neither. I’m scared of ski-lifts and am sure I would tear a muscle or tendon or impale myself on skis. I might try skis or snowboarding (seems less dangerous and more interesting but my sister said it is much harder).

    ❄ Have you ever gone Ice Skating? Are you any good or do you FAIL miserably?
    Yes, and I enjoy it. I would like to take lessons like my sisters did for fun.

    ❄ Does it snow where you live?
    Yes, but the most snow occurs in January and February. We usually have a light snow and green Christmas at the end of the year and big snow and ice-storms at the beginning of the year. 

    ❄ Have you ever made a snowman?
    Yes, but we seem to get a lot of sandy snow, so its usually not very easy. Also, most of us are not super interesting in that at our age.

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Part Four

              Okay, final Christmas post. Yes, I do know it is February, but I have been rather busier than usual since I have seven classes this semester. After our family Christmas we went to my grandparents…in our pajamas and robes since many of us received new pajamas.

                       All of us girls were given snowmen decorations and a little jewelry box.

    My next youngest sister and I both received lovely jackets.

              I knitted this eternity scarf for my grandmother-it is lovely if I do say so myself; I want one now 😛 I was still working on it up until a few minutes until we left for their house. Genius planning, I know.

              A few days after Christmas we visited some friends, and I received these gifts. I had to reread this book, the first of the trio (after I read the third installment which just came out). The first one is by far my favorite.

              So, that wraps up my rather uneventful Christmas. I wasn’t worth much in December; I cannot remember what exactly I did with all that time, and I certainly did not go out much. Hopefully next December I will be a little more festive.

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Part Three

    I am sorry for the delay; it is rather ludicrous as it is the 5th day of the new year. We celebrate our immediate family Christmas in the morning. My sleep-obsessed sister was not so late this year, so I think we started opening in the  eight o’ clock hour. Our living room was a sea of wrapping paper as all of us siblings bought/picked out gifts for each other and our parents-such fun! Breakfast was our traditional one of Dad’s homemade cinnamon rolls.

    The gifts in my stocking. My parents always give us a piece of fruit and candy. I was particularly pleased with my fruit this year; I looooove pomegranates! The object in the bag is a charm with my initial on it.

    These were from my mother which she bought at a recently discovered antique store.

    This was from my father; he really picked it out himself. I think he did a good job because although he has five daughters (a la the Bennets-we have said he is like Mrs. Bennet with regards to marrying off his daughters…), he does not quite understand feminine things, partially, I am sure because some of the girls are tomboys and none of us are divas (my sweet brother said we are dudes which was of course charming…-_-). I love my bright pink huge computer bag; it will be interesting carrying it around campus for I will have to bring my computer nearly always this semester. Oh, and it matches my computer.

    Each of us got our own nice new fluffy bath towels-Dad’s idea. I had one of the last dibs on the colors, but I like it, especially since it coordinates so well with the washcloths Mom picked out.

    As you can see my parents are practical gift givers for the most part. My mother and I were recently discussing my difficulty with buying practical, boring necessities such as tights and gloves and always going for the pretty things. I am even less likely to buy myself athletic clothes, but I like these. The other two pants I own are both years old-as in four or more.

    My siblings are not so practical-yay! (I did like the practical stuff). One of my sisters picked out the above and another the below…or it may have been the same sister…

    Hmm, I am thinking this gift was not simply for me; this is my three younger sisters favorite version of Emma. My mom and three littlest sisters adore this Mr. Knightly.

     This was a gift from my most mischievous sister-it expresses me exactly.

     
    The itunes card is from my brother and the Harry Potter book marks are from my nearest sister…my favorite gift of all.

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Part Two

    I am afraid that there will be two more Christmas posts. Too bad peoples, I love documenting absolutely everything.

    I made these  “Grinch” cookies for my dad on the 23rd and got my littlest sister to illustrate the sign. I had wanted to have them out waiting on Christmas morning as kids do with cookies for Santa, but there was no way to do that with fresh cookies and still keep it a secret from Dad.  I got this idea from Pinterest, but I am not a great cook or baker, nor did I check the recipe-I just added green food coloring. The cookie dough looked like playdough, and the cookies, well, they looked like sick cookies. Nevertheless, they made my dad, the self-proclaimed Grinch, happy, and they tasted perfectly yummy.
    This is my pile of presents minus my grandmother’s which I finished moments before we left to celebrate with my grandparents…typical me-I am lucky it was finished at all.
    Christmas Eve we celebrate with my mom’s extended family. The adults draw names; I got my dad and gave him the two Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies. The below are my gifts. We also draw names for  ladies’ and men’s stockings which are filled with small gifts. The first year I was an “adult” I won; my cousin whose first or second year it was won this time.
     This is my stocking which my mom made for me when I was little; isn’t it darling?! She made a different type for my sisters and then her creativity ended-the rest of the kiddoes got rather blah stockings 😛

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Season Part One

              Okay, my first proper Christmasy post. Last year I could not pull it together to post about Christmas.
    The first two photos are of my graham cracker house which I made alongside my friends and siblings at our friends house on Tuesday the 18th. Our family made graham cracker houses last year using royal icing as glue which turned rock hard. The candy had to be scraped off. In the end a lot of candy was wasted. My friends hot glued the houses together which I was considerably less enthusiastic about (to put it mildly). I am not a fan of superficiality, false advertising, faux things, fakiness, etc. so I did not like the explicitly understood waste of candy this entailed. Why not use cardboard and glitter if it is not to be really, real?!!! 
              Spurred by this and by an idea I had had in my head at least a year, that Saturday I set about making a gingersnap house which took me at least four hours. Since I was cleaning up the breakfast mess previous to that, I was in the kitchen for around/at least five hours. That my friends is part of the reason why I do not care to cook or bake much. Anyway. It looks like gingerbread and does not taste as gingersnappy as I would have wished (we did not have cloves as my mother does not care for them so that was at least part of the reason).
              I made syrup and poured this into the cut out windows for “glass windows.” Some of the windows were not transparent and all of them were yellowed, but since I am not good with confectionery and baking, I am satisfied that they hardened and stayed in properly. I used boiled molasses as glue for my house, and it worked splendidly. I had purposely over baked the house pieces as I thought the cookie would be to soft to stand. I am lucky that everything came together fairly well with no cracks or collapses. I did, however, miscalculate on the roof and covered that section with chocolate which did not look so bad. I only did a section of fencing and my decor was rather sloppy; I was getting tired and bored of the house, and I needed more support for the fence than it itself could provide. All in all though, I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself although the perfectionist side cannot get over the obvious mismatch between the house in my head and the real one. I intend to try this again every year, so I am sure to improve. I like making little Christmas traditions all by myself.
              On the subject of traditions, I have watched White Christmas at least three Christmases in a row of my own accord. That movie is such fun. Three of my sisters joined me on the evening of the day on which I made my gingersnap house. Another girly tradition we have is to watch tons and tons of Hallmark movies. For the last several years we have watched A Christmas Card at least twice every year. This year the channel had several good new ones. Some of our favorites were A Bride for Christmas and Hitched for the Holidays. When my dad’s mother and stepfather were alive, we would go to one of the theatres downtown and watch A Christmas Carol being performed. Even though I was scared, particularly of the Ghost of Christmas past, I enjoyed this tradition. I have not gone for a couple years, but I want to restart this tradition at least for myself somehow.
    So that was some of our pre-Christmas fun!

  • Daily Life

    Christmas Break Plans

    I have a great many plans for Christmas break, but since it is nearly one quarter over for me and I haven’t accomplished much, I am not certain that all the plans will be even attempted but plans are fun to make anyway.

    I definitely must clean my room. It is so messy that it is actually dangerous for me to walk around in it. I need to more than merely clean it; it must be organized so that I can craft easily. I am also hoping to find a small but essential missing part of my sewing machine (I normally use my mothers, but I thought I should give mine a shot again).

    This is the only “organized” portion, but I am happy with that little bit and proud of my pile of presents.

    I want to be quite industrious with my crafts as well. I want to add several more items to my etsy shop (I have quite a few started) as well as make two Christmas gifts. I also want to make a few items of clothing for myself.

    Here are some of my yarn crafts. I love yarn so much; its like candy for crafters!

    I also intend to update the look of my blog and etsy shop a little bit.

    I need to learn to use this camera manually.

    And finally, I plan on reading the 100 Cupboard series.