Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy holidays!

That gorgeous ornament up there came from my friend  Izzy in a gift exchange we had over at LMAJ. It's a lovely etched copper tree with a sari ribbon hanger. I could not be more pleased to add this ornament to my tree and think of sweet Izzy every time I see it.

The gifts are wrapped and the stockings are ready to be stuffed. The turkey is thawing and the cranberry compote is marinating. The nuts are spiced and the cookies are baked. I think we are ready. I know we are ready. I love this magic time of year and feel blessed to be able to spend it with my son and his family. My daughter will join us later. I can hardly wait to pick her up at the airport and wrap my arms around her. Those daily phone calls just aren't the same as being able to hug her. I'll be spending the next couple of weeks just soaking up all of the family love. See you in the new year!

Wishing you a happy holiday and a new year filled with warmth and love and time shared with your very most special people.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Recluse

I like solitude. It's not that I'm antisocial. I just happen to be one of those people who has always enjoyed sitting quietly with my thoughts and working with my hands. It occurred to me that over the last couple of weeks I've become down right reclusive. Not many words on this blog lately. Not really very many words in general.

I think it is the time of year. For me I spend a lot more time in contemplation. I think about my children when they were young and the magic moment of opening up their stockings on Christmas morning. The absolute joy they had unwrapping small things like chocolates and match box cars. I think about Christmas this year with our  grand daughter. I've been put in charge of the stockings. It's an awesome responsibility but it makes me smile because Santa must have done a pretty good job in the past to be given such a special job this year.

I think about our sons and daughters coming home from Iraq this month and feel joy that they will come home to their families. I am reminded of the 2 Christmases my son spent in Mosul. I think of the Christmas he spent in Afghanistan last year away from his new family. And that he will be in Afghanistan again next year at Christmas. It makes me mindful of the blessing we have of sharing Christmas with him this year.

I think about the order I just made and shipped off yesterday. It's one with a story that moves me to tears. I am grateful to have been a small part of something so special. I sit with that story and let it become part of me. I can't tell the story right now. It is too new. I need to absorb it.

And I knit. Four scarves, two hats, a pair of mittens, and one special tiny project that makes me smile deep inside my heart. Knitting gets me through the many thoughts and emotions that comes with the holidays. It is a little like meditation or using prayer beads. Each stitch quietly filled love for someone special.

I hope you all are feeling the joy of the holiday season and savoring the magic moments that the season brings.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop

I was thinking of my childhood friend Connie when I made this ornament. She had this most fabulous set up for her mittens that her grandmother had made for her. Simple really...just a piece of elastic that ran through the sleeves of her jacket and clipped onto her mittens. Oh how I loved that. I think we were about 5 years old.

I made this ornament from a pair of my mini ceramic mittens and wire wrapped wood and ceramic beads left over from other projects. They are suspended from a hammered loop of 14 gauge copper meant to hang over the branch of the Christmas tree.

It has been our tradition since the children were young, to give each of them an ornament when we decorate ouR tree. Our children are all grown with families of their own. Those childhood ornaments now decorate their own Christmas trees. Last year we had the blessing of welcoming into our family our now 4 year old grand daughter. She's just spent the last couple of weeks here with us and helped to set up our tree this year. This is the first year where she really understands Christmas. She knows who Santa is and that he's coming soon. Each morning we have a ritual of turning on the tree lights before we set down to breakfast. Each evening we turn on the holiday lights on the front porch and marvel over the lights on the neighbors porches. This beautiful 4 year old brings such a renewed sense of holiday magic into my life.

I've secretly wrapped up the mitten ornaments and sent them home with my grand daughter and her mother. Next week when her daddy gets home, she'll get to open them when they decorate their own Christmas tree. This Nanna is so happy to be able to pass on the tradition.

Please stop by to see the ornaments that others have created for the ornament blog hop.