Our yearly Christmas drive through the city in our pajamas always yields some interesting light photos. As I was taking them, I was telling Chris that our children are going to have to dig through all sorts of this nonsense if they ever delve into my photo files after I’m gone. Bloggers have a strange collection of photos: plates of food, raindrops, craft supplies, streaking Christmas lights.
It has felt odd but necessary to continue on with our Christmas traditions this week. I have not told my children about the unthinkable tragedy in Connecticut. There is no reason those children should have had such terror visited upon them, and there is no reason my children should live in fear either. My mind is full of sympathy, grief and worry — mentally composing letters to my representatives and wondering what can be done. But my girls are oblivious and joyful. So we frost sugar cookies and roast marshmallows in the fireplace and watch the pretty lights go by.
I finished my first sale! That was my main ceramics goal for the year, so I’m glad I managed to make it happen. I know yearly goals are arbitrary, but they give me a framework for progress, which is important when time seems to be slipping by more and more quickly now that I have kids.
The sale went well. I came home with many fewer pots and also acquired a chest cold that has slowed me down this week. (Hence the lack of an etsy update. I don’t think it’s going to happen before the end of the year, and that is OK. Making Christmas happen for my kids is important, too.)
What I learned:
- To my surprise, people like buttons! If they don’t do so themselves, everyone knows someone who sews or knits or collects buttons. The problem: these are a low-price item. So, they are nice, but by no means am I going into an all-button business.
- People are not freaked out by handle-less mugs! I sold all my cups, and not as many mugs. Huh.
- If people are confused by something, they won’t buy it. That was the fate of my button bows. Fambly: expect button bows on your Christmas packages this year.
- I could use more shelves/vertical elements in my display.
- The people at the Clay Guild couldn’t be nicer. It was a pleasure to hang out with them all weekend. I was one of the only first-timers, and everyone was very helpful and encouraging.
So, all good things. I’m relieved. And tired. And ready to do it all over again next year.
Today is the big day! I’ll be at the Kansas City Clay Guild’s holiday sale, tonight 6-10, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5. I’ll have mugs, bowls, cups, wall tiles, ornaments, buttons, and button bows. I’ll be putting the shop on vacation until Monday. I’ll report back next week — I’m sure I’ll learn so much! Like, uh, nobody wants to buy buttons at a ceramics sale, or $30 for a mug???, or five thousand ornaments are too. many. ornaments. You know, useful stuff like that.
We always do a craft or two as one of our advent calendar activities. Last night the girls made marshmallow wreaths. (Instructions here.) I came across these on Pinterest. (Of course — where else?)
Here’s how it went. The girls were able to complete these fairly independently, which is my main concern. So thumbs up on that count. But the instructions said you could use full-length toothpicks on a flat foam wreath. When we did this, the toothpicks were way too long, and went completely through the marshmallow by quite a lot. There was no way the girls were going to be able to partially skewer the marshmallows, so we cut the toothpicks in half. This created a ten-minute lag during which the children ate half the marshmallows. So Chris had to run out and buy more. Then while he was gone, Elise decided to roast a marshmallow on the advent candle and set it on fire.
So, stabbing! Fire! Fun holiday times!
No, really, this was a pretty good craft for the girls. I tried hanging the wreaths before setting in the refrigerator overnight, but marshmallows kept falling off. So I refrigerated them and hung them this morning. The marshmallows are still falling off. So, fingers crossed for no toothpick ingestion. Happy fun Christmas times!
So this is my idea of Christmas decorating: clear off two shelves and stick all the Christmas stuff on them. Done.
I have never bought many Christmas decorations besides ornaments. The only things in this photo that were chosen by me are the fabric for the pillow cover I made, the tree, and that candy cane candle up on the shelf. The rest were gifts or hand-me downs. They are all fun things, and somehow they sorta all go together. Kind of.
Sometimes I get the urge to go all color-coordinated and modern with the decorations, but I know my kids have already developed sentimental attachments to the things we have. And so have I. Maybe I’ll add in some more things once we’ve gotten past the point where every decoration is a toy. I hate to invest my time in something that will just be destroyed (you can also apply this phrase to everything in my house).
Actually, half of this stuff is probably going to be broken in ten years’ time anyway! My children will inherit a pile of sentiment-laden, glued-together holiday decor — just as it should be.
The one new thing I may add this year is a pretty centerpiece for a family dinner. Something shiny. Something not breakable. Metal maybe? Brass. That sounds sturdy.