Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The "Community" of Misfit Toys

We interrupt our irregularly scheduled craft, chocolate, and Christmas tree obession to tell you not to miss tomorrow's episode of the NBC comedy "Community". Some of us bloggers got a sneak peek at it because of our affiliation with "One2One Network" . I won't give away any secrets but it was definitely a cute and fun Christmas episode. It was done in "claymation" which reminded me of all the Rankin/Bass specials I loved growing up ( OK still)  like "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" etc. although the humor of "Community"  is definitely more adult. But at its core, this episode fits right in with the things we all try to remember at Christmas while staying true to the show's quirky nature and characters. You can get a sneak peek at the sneak peek ( not the whole epi) here:

If you're not familiar with NBC's "Community," it's a  comedy series about a band of misfits (hence the title) who attend fictional Greendale Community College. 

At the center of the group is Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, "The Soup"), a fast-talking lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group that eventually learns more about themselves than their course work.  It also features Pierce (Chevy Chase), a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom but isn't always the most tactful or contemporary in his views; Gillian Jacobs ("The Book of Daniel") as Britta, the 20-something dropout with something to prove; Yvette Nicole Brown ("Rules of Engagement") as Shirley, a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Danny Pudi ("Greek") as Abed, a pop culture junkie; Alison Brie ("Mad Men") as Annie, a high-strung perfectionist; Donald Glover ("30 Rock") as Troy, a former high school football star trying to find his way, and Ken Jeong ("The Hangover") as Señor Chang.

Generally I'm more of a drama girl but Thus nights we watch the NBC comedy lineup that includes Community, 30 Rock and The Office. 
This episode combines "Community's" irreverant snark ( right up my alley) with ageless stories of friendship. In "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas", watch as my favorite character (Abed) searches for the meaning of Christmas with a little help from his friends.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I May Need a Tree-tervention

Every time we get decorations out, Mr. Chocolate says: "Feel free to get rid of anything". Now why do you suppose he would say that? I don't know either. But I was really diligent with the Christmas decorations ( and guess who snuck stuff out of the Goodwill pile hmmm...his initials are Mr. Chocolate) deciding that it was time to part with some things that I hope someone else will enjoy. This almost went with the lot but it was debatable whether it was Goodwill or trash since it was truly sad looking. So of course I kept it and managed to unbend its poor twisted little branches, and so what if it tilts a little if you don't position it just the right way? It was a lonely little tree and it needed some love and the past few years it's just been shoved back in a bin.
It has a hideous metal base so I wrapped it in burlap and twine which was an immediate transformation The branches are fragile so I thought what could they hold? Only a few lights and book page ornaments which don't weigh much. I didn't do a tutorial on these but there are plenty easily found .
The layered flower ornaments I cut freehand, and the loopy ones have flattened bottlecap centers filled with dimensional glue and glitter
The centers of the pinwheels are coiled silver tinsel pipe cleaners, held together with a dab of hot glue and a rhinestone center
Another bottlecap with a combination of glitter glue and Diamond Glaze
It's sitting on my dresser with  another one of my bear victims stuck in a bowl:
This bowl stays out all year but I added white lights and white tulle to give it wintery feel 
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Decking The Halls: Tree 3...The Formal Tree

I was obsessed with Christmas decorations from childhood. No one knows why. And the Mumster ( aka Mom) and my since departed Daddy, both knew they had a weird kid (for a LOT of reasons beyond Christmas!). I even had my own tree in my room as a kid so now you'll really think really me ungrateful, but it was ALUMINUM! And our  big tree was artificial and I longed for a real tree but I had terrible asthma and allergies and as a parent myself know now that my parents did what was best for me.

But from the time I first lived on my own, I've had a real tree  and over the years it's gone from whatever decorations I could afford  (which some years was barely the ribbon) to a collection for which I am grateful and love, but which has been built over time, including several years of day after Christmas 50% off shopping!

It's kind of hard to see because it has a lot of clear crystal and glass ornaments on it so they blend in. But IRL, they catch the lights and we often just sit in the quiet of the night and think back on the years they represent. 
Another collection I've built over the years is one of Santas. It's not uncommon  for me to get special ornaments or Santas for birthdays, Mother's Day, or just when we're on a trip. If there's a Christmas store somewhere,  I'll find it.
A few of the Santas hanging out together
And the big boss Santa who makes sure the others behave
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Friday, December 3, 2010


OK I'm a little out of control and Mr. Chocolate is afraid I'm going to hang a banner on him. But  since I was compelled to buy both packages of those Jolee's snowflake stickers I used for my Vintage-y Music-y ornaments, I couldn't just let them sit there right? 'Course not. So what surface wasn't yet adorned with a banner? A mirror in our bedroom! And since it came from the great Barn o Pottery, I decided to do a PB-esque banner.

To the craft cave! Oh did I mention I've been to Starbucks? Cut out the letters to spell PEACE on my Cricut using a metallic pewter cardstock. Cut out ovals using the same cart ( Plantin Schoolbook) from a vintage cream cardstock. Cut out slightly bigger ovals from white. Ran the white ovals through:

my 5" XYRON. This is a very versatile size XYRON if you're looking for something to put on your Christmas list. Glued the letters to the cream ovals using this which is part of the superfantabulous Elmer's/XACTO giveaway I won from Craft ENVy. It's a double sided glue pen with one side for wet bonding and the other for dry bonding! Oooh la la.
This allows better control of adhesive to things like letters because it works just like a pen. Some people go all squibbly over shoes or clothes. I go all squibbly over things like this. OK shoes and clothes too but I'm just sayin'.

Pulled the backing off the bigger ovals and stuck the smaller, lettered ovals on, then added one of the snowflake stickers to each letter:. You'll have a sticky edge left. I poured silver glitter on that, then attached to a cream ribbon using glue dots:
These stickers are REALLY detailed!
And here it is strung across our  mirror:
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Vintage-y Music-y Snowflake-y Orny

These ended up on my railing garland , the pics of which turned out terrible so not going to post them, but will post the pics of the ornaments and the steps to make. Start with one of these:
Paper Mache Ornament
Cover with sheet music and edge in silver glitter:
 I found these very cool metallic snowflake stickers by Jolee's at Michaels in their clearance bin. They only had two packages so of course I bought both.
Stick one in the middle of your music covered ornament and they come with self adhesive rhinestones, so I plopped one in the center of the snowflake and: 
Vintage-y Music-y Snowflake-y Orny

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A Little Knick Knack 


It's BFF...Blog Feature Friday!

Got a little off track last week. I blame it on the tryptophan, but back on schedule this week to feature a blog that's newer to me and I want to share with all of you. This week's BFF is Gwenny Penny named for its founder Gwen.

Gwen describes herself as:  A full-time mom of two little girls with an insatiable desire to make stuff. I can totally relate to that insatiable thing! And I found out that she and I might just share a brain ( although she got the math smarts because she's a former math teacher) when she said this on her blog:

I absolutely love fabric and paper. I have stashes of both that have never been touched because I don't want to cut into them. I am working on getting over this.

Me too too...then every once in a while I say: "you just have to cut cut cut!"

Gwen's blog is full of great ideas like this perfect for the holly-days holly wreath:
 for which she has a tutorial you can go check out, and which kicked off a great series she's got going through December 10 called:

Haul out the Holly,Gwenny Penny,Christmas craft tutorials
Definitely check that out because there are some great guest posts and tutorials in addition to Gwen's own projects! She also does printables, like this really cute one she did for Autumn:
 And she's a talented seamstress. This pillow is the first thing that brought me to her blog:
 I hope you'll go visit this week's BFF: Gwenny Penny!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decking The Halls: Tree 2

Continuing on the tour of Christmas crazy...

In addition to liking the whimsical combo of red and lime, I liked the idea of a woodsy natrual look ( on an artificial tree...I know) so of course that meant its own tree. This one's in our dining room, another 4ft table top tree:

Once again I didn't buy all the decorations at once ( really honey, I didn't) so it's a mix of some I bought and others I made. I used to ice skate so have a few skate ornaments and so this tree has been reserved for them. There are green and brown Martha glass pinecones and small glass balls, as well as these embossed metal doves I made one year:
and paper stars wrapped with copper wire and crystal beads:
The topper is made from leftover faux pears and ribbon from another project, and instead of a skirt, I filled the bottom of the tree / top of the stand with a sugar beaded apple garland I found on super sale somewhere one year:
This little Mark Roberts Woodland fairy keeps watch over the tree:

He's happy that the crazy lady didn't stick him IN the tree like she did some of his friends.