Thursday, December 20, 2012

The holly and the ivy

This year's holiday decorations brought to you by the Hillsboro Community Association, which gathered way too much greenery for the Christmas home tour, and then invited us to help make it go away so they wouldn't have to haul it to the landfill.

Also by Bostitch. Yeah, i totally stapled them onto the base. With an air-powered stapler, because nothing says Christmas like complete overkill. There's at least one sprig of holly that needs some remedial attention, but there's a cold rain coming down at present, and i'm going to need a proper ladder to get to it instead of the little step stool i got away with for hanging it...

And i've still got enough greenery left to do - i don't know - fourteen more like this. Guess the folks at HCA weren't the only ones who overestimated.

Production mode

I can't give my family prints every Christmas - they've only got so much wall space. This year's hunt for something i can make for everybody led to a craft store clearance bin of Pébéo glass and ceramic paints, marked down to 79 cents a pop, instead of $4.99 - that, along with a whole bunch of thrifted mugs and glassware (mugs run about 59 cents at Goodwill...), plus time, equals gifts i can afford and that - i hope - everybody can use:

I've got three or four more mugs to do, and of course baking these to heat set them. The dotty designs, adapted from painted ceramics i spotted online, weren't my first choice, but the consistency of the paints combined with my haphazard collection of brushes and limited skill with same, meant that a lot of my initial ideas didn't pan out. At least the dots have some charm, and are repeatable...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Small but enthusiastic

More or less on a whim, Nick and i decided to have a little Christmas concert this year, but since the whole thing was a bit seat-of-the-pants (and at such a busy time), we had just a handful of folks out at the meetinghouse last night. Still, everybody had a good time, and we raised a few bucks for Hungry for Music (and at least one attendee left with a flyer, muttering about the electric bass her son never actually played...), so i'm putting it generally in the success column, even though i have lots of cookies and cider left over.

We ended up playing what was - for us - a fairly modest collection of instruments: soprano, alto, and tenor recorders, galoubet and tambourin, Nick's curious mbira that's set up like a hammered dulcimer, and bagpipes. The bagpipes are small bellows-blown ones in the French style, actually quite demure for bagpipes.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ready to go

Here's the last item that i'm hoping to squeeze into the box of prints i'm shipping off to Kansas - this design is one i first made to fit onto the cover of those oh-so-handy pocket Moleskine notebooks, but here it makes an appearance on a page from a vintage Reader's Digest Condensed Book...

I've found that the black core mats really seem to work well with the book page prints.

Now, if i can just get the inventory info off of the old computer and onto the new one, i should be all set.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not one for the record books

I marched hopefully off to the auction this morning - there were a couple sewing machines (including a lovely but probably unjustifiable treadle) and a dress form, so i figured there might be some interesting lots. Unhappily, it was one of their more massive auctions, they were planning to have three auctioneers selling simultaneously, which usually means bedlam inside, and the parking lot and the surrounding shoulders of the road were completely clogged.

I made a circuit to see if i'd missed a spot, then decided - there being nowhere safe to park - to run a couple errands and try back a little later to see if things cleared out any. Got some fuel, trolled through a thrift shop i hadn't visited in a while (total thrift shop haul: one mangy paperback to read, a glass chimney that proved not to fit the lamp i intended it for, and a They Might Be Giants CD). No interesting vintage, and nothing that would be useful to wear for the upcoming string of holiday concerts.

Heading back east, the auction house looked no saner, so i gave it a miss and stopped at the farm market (four Stayman apples from the dwindling stores of local fruit - destined for one last apple crisp - and a surprisingly nice-looking batch of green beans).

Oh, well. I'm enjoying the CD. Istanbul was Constantinople...