I looked at my last post and can't believe it was done in September!! In the history of this blog, I've never taken such a long break. So long, in fact, that one of you emailed to check on me to see if all is well. Kim, I so appreciate your concern!!! In the hiatus, I've dealt with a bout of sacroiliitis, had what I thought was a cyst removed from my head (turned out to be a benign tumor!), traveled to Berlin, Ohio (Amish area) and the surrounding area with Mom, made a trip to Virginia for a few days prior to Thanksgiving, turned a year older, participated in two art/craft shows, am training a co-worker, and now am getting ready for Christmas. Whew! Time has flown!
Yes, I recently turned a year older and here's my 2015 birthday selfie. I also completed my one year anniversary at my new job proving that an old dog can learn new tricks! The company is revamping it's high risk case management program so the learning will continue into the New Year.
I traveled to Virginia the weekend before Thanksgiving and got to see both of our boys and their families. The grandchildren are growing too fast! Our older son has two daughters (ages four and one). Our younger son has a son (age four) and a daughter (age two). It was great seeing them and my cousins and their families. Mom and Daddy weren't able to make the trip this year. She was diagnosed with blood clots in her lower right leg. The doctor thought it was our trip to Berlin that caused the clots so she was scared to travel to Virginia. A recent ultrasound revealed that the clots have dissolved which is a relief.
This picture is of Landen and Raleigh taken in my hotel room in Virginia. Landen has always loved the telephone - so much so that we once gave him an old dial phone to play with. Both of them love pushing all the buttons! He's probably talking with Santa here - putting in his Christmas wishes early! These two will be coming to Ohio to visit us in January! I can hardly wait. We'll keep our tree up and pretend it's Christmas all over again. We've never had grandchildren visit us for Christmas so we are super excited!
When we moved to Ohio from Virginia, we left lots and lots of trees and bushes that I used year-round - especially at Christmas - to decorate. I miss them terribly! Fortunately, Lois is happy for me to prune her boxwood when I return for Thanksgiving each year. I return to Ohio with two large trash bags absolutely full of boxwood. The boxwood pieces, along with the Christmas tree cuttings and other bits of nature, become my holiday decorations. This year, I again made boxwood wreaths for the front door and the side / garage door. I also filled the pots by the front door.
Making boxwood wreaths is sooo easy! I use a straw wreath form and floral pins. I gather the boxwood in clumps and pin them firmly to the form covering the center edge, the outer edge, and finally the top. I work around the form in the same direction making sure that the form is covered. Next, I add a focal point using different textures - White Pine, Fraser Fir, Magnolia, Dried Hydrangea, etc. In the past, I've used cattails, grasses, twigs - basically anything I can find. This is where I would also add a bow. I couldn't find but one of my bows this year, so one of my wreaths has dried hydrangeas instead. Making the pots is also super easy! I remove all the dead summer plants and just stick in a variety of greenery and dried material. This year, I used Fraser Fir, White Pine, Magnolia, Fire Chief, Golden Mop, dried Hydrangea, Boxwood, and golden balls I purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics. The pot to the right is sporting a robin's nest entwined with a white ribbon courtesy of a robin from a couple summers ago. I chose to leave the nest and plant around it.
I vended in two shows recently - one in November and another in December. I went all out to make my booth as festive as possible - a new banner featuring my 2015 holiday soaps, poinsettias on my soap racks and around the table, tablecloths, and holiday gift tins. The shows were a lot of fun and I moved a lot of soap. The December show - people brought their lists and were checking them twice! Click on the picture to see all the products.
Christmas is approaching way to fast! I am in total disbelief that another year is coming to an end. I honestly don't know where time goes. Each year seems to pass faster than the last and the months of November and December go faster than any other two months of the year. Our tree is up and the presents are wrapped. The house needs a lot of work this week before it is transformed into a winter wonderland.
Thanks to all of you who read For the Love of Fiber and please check back later this week for another post. And, Kim, I so appreciate your email checking on me to make sure my absence from posting was not due to something serious!
Now, what are you all doing for the holidays? What are your Christmas traditions?