Blogmas: A Wreath

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I did a Christmas craft! Yeay! Well, I guess technically it’s a Yule craft, according to the name. When I showed Husband the finished product, he made a legit “woah” face, told me “That’s freaking cool” and said it reminded him of Hermes which, in many ways, was what I was kind of going for (also Artemis, obviously).

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Supplies and my scratched up table. It has seen its fair share of crafts.

I wanted a wreath, and I figured I could make one, and if I was going to make one, I should go all in and make exactly what I wanted. No greenery here! I took some inspiration from Homemade Ginger for the twine background. I thought it had a distinctly witchy vibe, then tried to take it in a little more wintery direction.

Everything came from Michaels except the twine which just came from my mini craft closet thing. I found sprigs of gold/off-white/glittery things at the store that I thought went well together and were also on sale. They were really big, but I intended to cut everything apart anyway.

I started with a metal ring and wrapped it in the twine–this was both for the aesthetic of the twiney look and to give everything I’d glue to it something to grab onto. Then I continued with the twine and wrapped it about, criss-crossing the ring. My one regret here was not looping the twine around the ring every time I crossed it. In some places I just when around the ring instead of looping it totally to make it sturdy. I’m afraid the strings might come loose in the future.

That got tied off when I felt it was right and then I started laying out the pieces of my flowers where I thought they should go. Again, this was all a feeling, but I stuck with the more neutral gold leaves as the base, then added in the glittery leaves in distinct groups since they were visually louder. Since they were originally these really tall sprigs, they had wire running through them, so I was able to twist them around the ring until I was ready to start hot gluing which I did from the back at first, then when it dried I added some to the front under the leaves for stability.

The antlers were planned for the bottom, of course, and the flowers were strewn around to cover up and parts of the metal still visible. Like a lot of artsy fartsy projects, it was mostly by feeling: what looked good to me and would I be willing to continue staring at as time went on? I can stare at this and not get sick of it, I think. I’m just glad I got this done before the new year, honestly.

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Obligatory filtered photo.

And here’s a little diddy for you to turn up while you’re crafting this holiday season:

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Blogmas: Tannenbaum Part Deux

We bought more lights and finished decorating the tree a couple days ago. When purchasing the original lights, we found that Target had some simple stockings that would work really well for our needs, our needs being he and I both needed one, and of course all three of our cats need their own as well.

I haven’t really talked about the cats much on this blog which is an actual disservice to you, Dear Reader, as they really are the three true Christmas gifts. Perhaps I will rename them Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.

For almost eight years, Husband and I just had two cats, brothers from the same litter. My friend who had the cats (well, whose cat had the cats–if it were her, you would have seen that on the news) already picked out one of the kittens, a tiny tuxedo, from the litter for us which might sound weird, but it was actually perfect. They were young, but they had personalities and she knew this one kitten NEEDED to live with me. She was right. The other kitten was up to Husband. He was trying to choose between two with almost identical tabby markings, and it was a whole ordeal. He hand-weighed them (they were the same), he tried to get them to come to him (they just ran into each other), he cuddled each in turn to see which felt right (that was just adorable). I am very surprised we didn’t end up with both of them, but he eventually picked one and that cat has been grateful to him, and only him, ever since. We’ve had them almost the entirety of our relationship, and when we made our wedding invitations, they were signed “by” the cats. So, you see, they are important.

Two cats were enough, but then a couple months ago Husband and I were out walking along the river, and the thing I have been preparing for my whole life happened. It was right after Hurricane Harvey which only caused a pretty bad storm here in our part of Florida. From somewhere near us, we heard a mew. Well, not a mew so much as a screeching. “Is that a kitten?” I asked Husband, suddenly on high alert, my ovaries taking over: Mom Mode activated! “It’s a bird,” he tried to assure me to no avail, and I started lifting up the fallen palm fronds on the river’s bank until I found a soaked, shivering, itty bitty ball of black fur. Obviously he has lived with us ever since.

So they have stockings as well, hung above the fireplace with care and command strips. (Oh, idea for…not a band name, but for the Christmas album of the imaginary band.)

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A better order would have been “BRAAD” or RABAD” but it is what it is.

And I guess you may as well meet the cats too:

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Left: Diocletian, Top Right: Bartholomew, Bottom Right: Rutherford

I got some remote activated, flame-less LED candles to put in our non-working fireplace, but I need SO MANY batteries for them and I have none, so that will have to wait. I’m just missing something for the wall itself above everything as the painting that was there is now above the couch. Probably a wreath which I’ll DIY this weekend. (Ah, ghosts of Christmas blogs yet to be!)

So the balls and stars (another band name!) are on the tree as well as a very small handful of personal ornaments. It’s missing a topper (man, getting this Christmas thing together is hard!) but so far so good.

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My mom sent us Spiderman and Ariel. Actually, she sent us most of these.

Now please enjoy this video of Cher being a fucking badass just by existing:

Blogmas: Zoomas

It’s December 3rd, and it’s 80 degrees here in Hell, I mean, Florida. But that’s actually kind of cool for the state average, if a bit warm for winter, so we went to the zoo today. It’s adorable there and while I didn’t get any good picture of the animals (I prefer to just enjoy them), I snapped some of the holiday decor for the blog because it’s goddamned blogmas!

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Google Assistant is great.

But I knew I’d find a way to rant during blogmas, and boy howdy, do I have some complaints for you.

They do bag checks and a metal wand detector sweep when you enter, which I’m all for, and it barely slows anything down. But the guy in front of me was not having it. It says very clearly before you even get to the entry line that certain things are not allowed inside, including weapons, but this mother fucker was carrying a fixed-blade hunting knife on his belt and said it was “crazy” he couldn’t bring it in. That is what this man thinks is crazy. That he’s not allowed to bring the knife he probably uses to slice open animals into a park filled with more animals. Also lots of people who expect to have a safe day at the zoo. Idiot.

Besides that guy, there seemed to be an inordinate amount of other crying babies at the zoo. When I say baby, I don’t mean toddler throwing a tantrum, I mean like, tiny thing that cannot communicate with you what is wrong with it and probably doesn’t have the shots it needs to be allowed around this many strangers. Now, I get it, babies gonna cry. It’s one of about three things they do, and that’s fine, but there was no where to go to escape it today. Especially when we got stuck on a tram with one.

Instead of hearing anything the driver said as he told ridiculously corny puns WHICH I LOVE, a way-too-little baby wet-throat-cried (admittedly better than high-pitched shrieking) for the full ten minutes of the ride while its grandma tried to distract it by pointing out the animals by incorrect name (none of them are deer, grandma, and you would know that if you could hear the goddamned driver!)

The tram ride also delivered unto us another hell: skinny person hell. The tram is made to fit four across which means Husband and I were to be sat with strangers–again, fine–but the zoo employee directed us to sit in a row with two women who really needed the whole row to themselves. Husband and I together ended up occupying a little less than a third of the seat, and to add insult to literal injury (being squished and sitting on something that isn’t made to be a seat is not fun) the woman, when realizing she needed to squash up a bit, looked at me, rolled her eyes, and grumbled about having to share “her” seat. Girl, you were in MY seat! I blame the zoo employee for not having the foresight to assign a parent and their small child to the row, but also American consumerism and a healthcare system that doesn’t recognize binge eating as the mental problem that it is (spoken from a recovery standpoint).

But you know what? All the annoying bits of the day just highlighted the positives going on in our lives: our family is exactly how we want it right now, we’re mentally and physically healthy, and there’s very little that can go so wrong in our lives that our day could really be spoiled. The day was actually great, it’s just that the awesome parts are boring for Dear Readers. I also had a super successful shopping trip to Target this morning to get the additional lights I needed, and I cooked our favorite veggie burgers for dinner, and our cats hardly fought at ALL today. Awesome, but boring!

Now, please enjoy the slightly-less-alternative, but always appropriate sounds of the dearly departed Tom Petty, a Floridian, and my imaginary dad (someday I’ll blog about that) who knew not to mention snow or the cold in his Christmas song:

Blogmas: Tannenbaum

One of the most basic of basics at Christmastime is probably the tree. I ordered a new fake tree from Amazon a few days ago and the miracle of fast shipping got the 7 and a half foot synthetic spruce to my door yesterday. But the living room wasn’t really setup to properly display it, so redecorating was in order.

Hubs and I have a pseudo-contemporary-bungalow which means an awesome, if small, open concept, but also a really weird layout for the furniture we bought for our first house (three pieces we haggled the price low enough to justify their unsightliness). There was basically only one way to setup the living room, so we’ve had it that way for two years. Then I wanted to make a desk area, so we modified things a bit and kind of moved one of the pieces of furniture in front of the world’s most non-strategically placed fireplace (it’s basically in a hallway, filed under Things I Don’t Fucking Understand).

So today we were trying to figure out what to do, and Husband mentioned offhandedly moving the TV into the bedroom, something he’d been suggesting for a while. We don’t have cable and very rarely watch anything on the actual TV, but removing the TV from the living room was an idea I was resistant to for a really long time until today when I realized there was no reason not to. Keeping the TV as the focal point for the sofa was just another thing I felt like we needed to do because that’s what one does.

So we rearranged everything and I cannot even begin to explain how comfy the living room is now. Like, omg, just letting go of the dumbest things makes a world of difference. And the tree has a nice spot to set up as its home.

We went to Target today to get lights for it, but didn’t buy enough, so it’s looking a little sad:

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Sad and weird. To be fixed in the near future.

But better than even having it up was probably putting it up. As we did so, we started speaking to one another in Spanish and German, two languages that we know very peripherally, and of course had to head off the littlest of our cats so he didn’t eat every fiber that fell off the thing. Husband complained about pulling down all the individual branches and asked what I would do if he just pointed all of his side in toward the tree instead of out which was an image I almost wanted to see, but secretly I know he loved it.

More lights and ornaments are still to go up and some other rearranging needs to happen to finish out the rest of the indoor decor I have planned, but so far, so good. Blogmas is on a fucking roll.

Now please enjoy this alternative Christmas song to an already alternative Christmas song that someone on Youtube synced up to the original movie: