Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm happy to say I'm now on the downhill side of my latest creative angst. Our television is on the fritz so instead of just plopping down on the couch last night and flipping through channels, I went in the studio and starting cleaning up enough space so I can actually get to work on some holiday gift ideas I have floating around in my head. I'm still not committing to doing them, but at least I'm toying with the idea. And getting my work space organized as a result.

I slipped on work clothes on yesterday afternoon, a bandana to keep my hair back, and went outside to deal with my latest yard Furniturehenge. The only solution was to work on cleaning out space in the garage for it all. And like I discover every single time I venture into the deepest darkest jungles of our garage, despite daily accusations from my family - THE MESS IS NOT ALL MY MAKING! It's not even all my stuff. I hefted and heaved old car parts and bicycles and auto supplies and garden tools. I dragged and draped and hung camping gear and tires and lawn mowers and tool boxes and extension cords. UGH. But despite the annoyance of all the dusty physical labor to clean up other people's mess, it's worth the smug joy I get from discovering I am not solely responsible for the crimes of clutter against this household.

I also got 90% of the outside Halloween decorations cleaned up and put away. There's still a pile of bones laying on the front porch, and I need a ladder to get the skeleton down, but everything else is picked up. Hubby called from work and I told him I'd taken it all down. I thought he'd be pleased. Instead he was bummed, said he was still enjoying it, wanted to know why we couldn't leave it up longer. I said I'd like to get ready for putting up the Yule decorations. He suggested we just keep the Halloween stuff up and add the Yule stuff to it. I got a good laugh at the visual. I could put Santa hats on the giant spiders and skulls. Drape the gravestones with ivy and holly. Put sprigs of mistletoe inside the hanging metal pumpkins. Scatter candy canes through the spiderwebs. The scariest thing about this idea - if I hadn't already taken all the Halloween stuff down, I'd be really tempted to really do it.

I've made the emotional leap forward though. I'm always a little bit Addams Family, a wee streak of Halloween, year round. But it's been pushed to the back for now, for my yearly fling with elves and candy canes and snowflakes and shiny golden sun ornaments and holly and gingerbread and all things Yule and Christmasy. I'm ready. I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving and then straight on through the winter holidays.

I was talking on the phone today with a friend who's also getting into the holiday spirit and who also, like us, has multiple holidays to plan. She does a big family Thanksgiving, then a huge Hannakuh party for friends and family all, and finally Christmas, again the center of family gathering. She said she's felt more in the decorating spirit this year than she has for many years. She's not a woman who likes shopping but she found herself on a mission to find new salad bowls for her Thanksgiving table.

We were talking about tableware and decorating and family gatherings. Although she now has new matching salad bowls, she mentioned she had a hodge podge of wine glasses. I suggested she embrace the eclectic look but make it look purposeful by using those wine glass "jewelry" rings. She replied (quoted if not perfectly, then close enough):

"That's a good idea. I don't really want need to get new wine glasses because we don't really drink that often. None of us have anything against drinking, in theory, but the only time we really feel like drinking a lot is when we all get together as a family."

There was a moment of silence and then I'm laughing hysterically as she's trying to explain that she didn't quite mean to say that!! Yeah, sure. I KNOW her family. Fun, generous, smart, kind people. But kooky. Just like a family should be. Tooooo funny!

Speaking of dinnerware, here's a photo of my new plates.

That's a shadow. They're plain white with the black lace edge. They're from Target and were displayed in both the holiday and the every day dinnerware aisle. I think they'll be great fussied up for holidays and special occasions but will dress down nicely when combined with my other dishware that is mostly old, mismatched, and brightly colored. I've got autumn themed good china for Thanksgiving, new (gifted to me by my mom) Yule plates, and every day winter plates with snowflakes on them. So this dishware will be our every day plates for all the rest of the year miscellaneous fancy occasions.

Also, the fabric "tablecloth" in the background I bought to make napkins. Matches perfectly, doncha think. It's all food words in French. Although now I see it looks really nice as a table cloth. Hmmmm. Nah. I'll use napkins all the time, I'd rarely use a table covering. Also on the corner of the box, a fat quarter of green fabric. And a beautiful new journal I treated myself with from B&N and most of the new table top tree I bought in sale at Michaels. It's prestrung with tiny lights and I love the dark, retro glitz of it.

Now I'm curious. What sort of dinnerware do you use for celebrations? Holidays? Every day? Something handed down or paper plates? Mix and match or everything matched? And how much do you need to drink get through all those family gatherings? I'll admit that I do enjoy myself a spiked eggnog, a hot mulled wine, or a glass of our local spiced mead. Cheers!


Belita Rose said...

The only "holiday" plates I have are easter plates. But then again that's about the only holiday we do at our house. Christmas is with you or my mom, and Thanksgiving is at my grandparents usually. Someday I'll be the house that everyone comes to, but for now I'm happy with the traveling.

Lori said...

i don't have special dinnerware for holidays...ooooold storage...i rarely do the holidays at my home anyway...and the family and need to drink heavily thing...LOL!!! i can SO relate...not MY sweet family...i was thinking of the DH's...long story...

Jan said...

You always find such cool stuff! Rosie seems to think so too. I need to go shopping with you someday.

Sherry said...

Love your plates, tablecloth, journal..and well, all of it!!

I use my mother's old china (Wedgewood) in a blue. My family is gone (there's just me, husband, 2 teenaged boys and my MIL), so using these plates makes me feel my family is still with me.

Do I need to drink to be with family? Well...probably in the past!! :) But I do like a spiked egg nog or a martini and I like my wine with my meal!