An infatuation with Old St. Nick

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In our home, we celebrate Christmas. For as long as I can remember, I have been dissatisfied with our Christmas Tree. Even as a child, the tree never lived up to my expectations.

The root of my discontent...When I was in the 7th grade, my mother took up the art of macramé and knotted us a hanging Christmas Tree. Albeit well made, it was the ugliest tree ever. Despite our pleas, she suspended it from the living room ceiling via a plant hanger until the New Year rolled around. We never did see that tree again; but, the damage was done.

Two years ago, we transitioned to an artificial tree. I love it because it stands up nice and straight and doesn’t shed needles. Despite its perfect stance, I have not yet achieved the look I so desperately want.

So, this year, I hereby affirm “Will be my year of bedecking excellence!”

Santa, you see, is my object of desire. From store to store, I go, in search of ornaments which depict Old St. Nick. With the hope of amassing a diverse collection, I only buy one of each. To date, I have located 32 Santa’s in a variety of sizes, shapes and poses. For now they are sprawled across the dining room table; but soon they will adorn what I hope will be "my" perfect tree.

This weekend, the hunt continues as I search for handmade Santa’s on Etsy. I’ve got my eye on the super cute felt one made by Amyliz and pictured above. Love it! I also want to find some simple craft patterns so I can make a few too! If you have one to share, please post the link or instructions below in the comments field.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Be good to you and win a tote!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When I was pregnant with our first child, I babysat for a family who had three young boys. The mother, Mary, kept an immaculate house and was extremely organized. I admired the pride she took in her family, home and occupation. Although we had numerous conversations about all of these subjects, there is one particular piece of advice she offered that I have theoretically lived by.

Mary once told me, “Whatever it takes, be sure to get yourself ready first.” Regardless of what you might have planned, she reiterated, every morning, you need to take a shower, style your hair and apply your make-up.

At the time, I really couldn’t imagine not wanting to beautify myself. However, these days with four children of my own, I know more than ever what Mary meant. It is not really a matter of desire but rather a matter of time and the real or even sometimes perceived lack thereof.

I firmly believe it is important to put your best foot forward. When I look good, I feel good and that feeling becomes a part of all that I do from taking care of my home and family to managing Watermelon Wishes --- it is all relevant.

As of late, I’ve been feeling more stress than I would like. Understandable, as three of my four children are enrolled in different schools and participate in extracurricular activities. So, in an effort to offset some of the madness, I have decided to make a diligent effort to do something nice for myself everyday. Nothing huge, just a moment or two in which I extend some kindness to me.

This week, I am taking a little time (10 to 15 minutes) each day to reestablish my scrapbooking area. There once was a time in my life that I would scrapbook everyday. I find it to be a very relaxing hobby and enjoy it immensely. Yesterday, I uploaded hundreds of photos to be printed and went to the craft store to pick out a new album (which I will be sewing a custom fabric slipcover for…so, stay tuned fellow scrappers, I feel a new product coming on!)

So, I am curious…what do you plan to do nice for you today? If you are willing to indulge me, and will post the details of your random act of kindness below, for all to read, you will be entered to win a Watermelon Wishes tote bag (pictured left).

Practical and eloquent, this tote would make a lovely handbag or moderately sized diaper bag. It is crafted from Amy Butler’s Garden Maze in Sand and Olive Coriander fabrics and chockfull of defining features:

• Six way divided interior slip pocket

• Double padded handles with comfy 11” drop

• Swivel key fob

• Oversized button tab closure

Approximate measurements: 16" x 12" x 10" x 4"

Wondering how to win? I will choose my favorite entry and announce the winner here on Monday, December 14, 2009. Your entry should include your name and city as to keep someone else from claiming your prize (Ex: Andrea Chapman, Haymarket). International readers are welcome to enter and I will pay all shipping costs to the destination listed in the posting.

Good luck and have fun being good to you!