I stopped into my neighborhood LYS - Westport Yarns - today and discovered they were having a trunk show for a local ceramic artist - Jon Puzzuoli - who had some gorgeous pottery to include several lovely yarn bowls.
My knitting friends and I have been talking about how we have everything but could all really use a yarn bowl. I couldn't resist. I bought myself a present mostly because I'm currently using a plastic container as a yarn bowl.
Yikes! It's functional, of course, but not very glamorous. And Jon has so many gorgeous yarn bowls to choose from.
Here are just a handful of the yarn bowls he has for sale at today's trunk show.
Look how much happier my knitting looks inside Jon's pottery. And I like how the bowl looks like the letter J - for Jennifer.
Jon will be at Westport Yarns today until 5 p.m. Otherwise you can find him on his website HERE.
Tell your spouse, parents, children or other gift giving friend that this is on your wishlist. You'll be glad you did.
This weekend was a fabulous holiday extravaganza. After a late night in the city, I woke up very early to prepare for my annual Toys for Tots Christmas Party with the ladies from the Women Marines Association. We meet in East Hartford several times a year and it's another one of the highlights of my year.
This year I made each member her very own Toy Marine out of a wooden clothespin.
Dottie (93), Aggie (93), Carolyn, Adele, Rosena, Rita, Jane, Donna and Jennifer with our Toys for Tots collections for children in Connecticut.
While many people are familiar with Toys for Tots, few people know that it's a Marine Corps Reserve program.
But the best gift of all was this surprise visit from Helen (95) who came by to say Merry Christmas and drop off her donation for Toys for Tots. Check out this amazing group of WWII Marines. What a treasure!
Helen, Aggie and Dottie are true treasures. Semper fidelis ladies. Merry Christmas!
Every year for the past 16 years, BF and I have hosted our favorite night of the year - our work Christmas party at a fabulous restaurant in the city with anyone who has worked for BF. Alumni are invited. We have a grand ol' time and it's truly our favorite night of the year. This year was no different.
Well, that's not quite true. This gorgeous, elegant NYC classic is closing its curtains later this year. So we had to take things up a notch this year.
We brought the funny hats to help lighten the mood.
There was good food, fun, laughter and celebrations. Of course, there was great gift giving with Secret Santa gifts and a few other fun games.
I knit a matching set of mother/son owl hats for Angel as a birthday gift. She's a December baby and everyone knows that all a December baby wants for her birthday is to have it remembered. Happy Birthday Angel!
And oddly enough, Angel was also the recipient of my Secret Santa gift. I knit up the Cabobbles hat designed by my friend Estella Haines. It was so easy to knit and interesting enough with the cables and bobbles that I really enjoyed knitting this one. It was an added plus that I was able to use some Zarella yarn that I had in my stash. Win-win!
Oh, and this picture of Angel modeling her new hat was taken minutes before another guest stole it off her hat.
So it was another great party. Our 16th anniversary holiday party. While we won't have this venue in the future, we will have 16 years of great memories no matter where we will gather in years to come.
Merry Christmas to friends near and far. Wish you could all have been here with us.
Growing up we had little toy soldiers made out of felt (by Grandma Grace, of course) hanging on our Christmas Tree. While I loved those adorable ornaments, you will not find toy soldiers on my Christmas Tree. You will, however, find some little toy Marines. Here are just a few of my Marine Corps ornaments.
OK, perhaps each branch of the service is represented here... so if you look closely, I guess you'll find a toy soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, and coastie.
This is one of my most recent Marine Corps ornaments from the Museum of the Marine Corps with the flag raising at Iwo Jima on it.
My favorite is this female Marine which I purchased at our local craft fair a few years ago. She's so adorable.
Every mother has a selection of ornaments that her children made in school. Here's my favorite that I hope all of you will replicate at home with small children. Primogeniture brought it home from school in 3rd grade.
4 popsicle sticks
red craft paint
1 school photo
string for hanging
Paint the front and back of the popsicle sticks and let them dry.
Glue the sticks in a frame format as noted in the photo above. Let dry.
Using Elmer's School Glue, make a line of glue on the top of each popsicle stick.
Cover the glue in glitter. Let dry.
Once the painted and glittered picture frame is completely dry, carefully glue the school photo to the back side of the photo frame ornament.
Let dry completely.
On the back of the photo, write the date and name of the child
Tie thin string onto top of ornament and hang from tree.
Cherish your ornament and your little one each year when you place this keepsake on your Christmas tree.
For the longest time, I didn't have a Nativity set amongst my Christmas decorations.
As a child, almost every family I knew, had a Nativity set. I especially admired those families that had a Hummel collectible set. Basically, they received a starter set (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) with a stable as a wedding gift and every year after, they would add a new adornment to the set. Not a bad way to collect these. A 16-piece set of the Hummel Nativity sells for more than $2,500 on eBay these days.
As a child, my friend Aimee and I were given some burlap, felt, glue, and a sewing kit by her Grandma and encouraged to create a banner of the Three Wise Men. I often remember that and think about making one again one day. I don't have a picture of the one we made in the early 1970s, but it looked something like this.
So far, this all seems good, right? How is it possible that this causes me to fail as a parent? Because this is my Nativity Set that I bought a few years back.
Yes - that's a Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set. I think it's so adorable and whimsical. It sits as the centerpiece of my kitchen island. Yesterday, Secundogeniture was sitting at the counter eating a snack and playing with the figurines. He suddenly looked at me and asked "Why do you have this?"
It's a Nativity!
The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Ugh! I have failed as a parent.
He gave me that look that only a teenager can give.
Then I remembered the gift he gave me last year for Christmas...
Maybe I'm not such a failure as a parent after all.
Yes - it's a Peanuts Nativity set. Did I mention that I love whimsical?
O little town of Bethlehem How still we see thee lie Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee tonight
For Christ is born of Mary And gathered all above While mortals sleep, the angels keep Their watch of wondering love O morning stars together Proclaim the holy birth And praises sing to God the King And Peace to men on earth
I love snow. I love to be outside when the snow is coming down. I especially love big fluffy snowflakes. So it's no surprise that one of my favorite Christmas decorations has always been simple paper snowflake cutouts.
I found these snowflake templates on www.FirstPalette.com They're very easy to do. I hang them from the upstairs balcony. I'm quite excited about this new batch of paper snowflakes. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
My son's high school is amazing. I can't think of any better way to describe the talent, opportunities and productions these students have.
This past week the students from the Theatre III and the Audio Production classes filmed their production of an Old Time Radio Broadcast of Dracula - complete with a word from our sponsors - as presented in 1938 with Orson Welles.
Here's Secundogeniture and his team on the sound and special effects. My son had the electronic SFX.
I hope you enjoy the show. It's actually great to listen to it as if it were 1938 and you were listening to an old time radio program.
You know what this picture means, right? It's apple butter time. I didn't make it apple picking this year, so instead I went to the grocery store and selected from the many varieties there. I tried my best to pick "local apples" so I at least felt like I was helping the local community.
I made five huge batches of apple butter this year - one to make my yearly stash; one with friends who wanted to learn; and the final for a class I taught to a group of friends who wanted to learn something about canning. I'm not set for an entire year!