seasonally creative

There is something about the holidays that makes me want to create my own things. Special and unique to me. The gawdy cheap looking overpriced decorations flying off the store shelves only fuel my desire.

To slow down, and find meaning.

My frenzy holi-daze are long over. I was surrounded by it and got caught up big time!! 
The boxes of unpacked junk decorations prove that. I've been freeing myself from excess meaningless baggage for years. Holiday and otherwise. I've got a long way to go. My cleansing is a work in progress.

Who has the most lights on their house? Who has their tree decorated first? Who can...the most...the soonest...the bestest...and what does that mean now? One word, nothing.

I have felt this seasonal creative yearning for as long as I can remember. As time passes, the holidays have become the only time of year I make stuff by hand. Birthday cards would be the exception. I do enjoy creating the occasional card with an intended individual in mind. However, I rarely make birthday cards anymore. 

Thinking back, I've always gotten my craftiness on during the holidays. Every year we made ornaments. My mom started that tradition. She was a master seamstress and also helped me sew the hard parts of the matchy-matchy holiday dresses made several years in a row for my young girls. I can't make good button holes or sew a decent zipper to save my soul. I dislike sewing, but that is another story.

I made gingerbread houses several years with my girls from scratch. We kept one and gifted the other to someone who needed an uplifting visit. There were other annual handmade goodies (ex. cookies) but these are the treasured crafty ones that stand out.

Our third kid came along and more involved hand made things became a thing of the past. Times were a'changing at a fast pace. 

Now, it is me myself and I getting my holiday creative on
Not that what I make is that creative, it is more like working things together, the way I like them.

This is the first year I made an arrangement for the Saloon. I used our family tree topper. It hasn't served a purpose for too many years. We no longer do the family tree cutting thing.

I miss having a real tree.

Saloon window arrangement

Horse tree topper in my mom's sympathy flower container, with bale twine as filler. The berries are votive candle decor gifted from a hockey friend, sooo long ago. Accents are pine cones from our woods, and one of my jewelry craft stones dangling.

Additional window decor by Tinkerbell

Both female cats insisted on "helping" me decorate. Pretty sure the attraction was the in floor heat, not me. It is very peaceful in the Saloon and their kitty antics kept me smiling! I love hanging out in the Saloon and was in good company. 



I gathered branches that had fallen off the pines and used them on my next project. Decorating two old sleds I've been saving for a looong long time. One is Brad's childhood sled and the other is our kids old broken Radio Flyer.

Originally I had planned on painting a scene on Brad's old sled, but decided it is perfect the way it is. I might eventually oil/stain the sleds. I decorated one of Harmony's old shoes as the focal point. Don't look too close at the wire wrapping, let's just say I learned a few things.

I dressed the pine branches up with some old greenery picks I had, and added pine cones. This sled was suppose to go in the barn, but I put it by our front door.

The second sled was much easier. I used the strategically placed jingle balls that used to hang from our roping dummy at our previous home. No one found it funny but me, so I repurposed them. The sled is dressed up similar to the other.

I've never decorated sleds before. It was fun, but I really need to do a better job of securing decorations. Can you say duct tape and twist ties? The pine cones are just wedged in there. It will be a miracle if everything stays intact. I was going to hot glue the pine cones, but they are staying put for now. I found my pipe cleaners after the fact. 

These couple projects are just the start of things to come. Or not. I just might stop creating & decorating for the year. Less is more. I was really hyped up to immerse myself in meaningful decorating in November, but that feeling is quickly fading.

I need something to keep my mind busy...

For now, I think I'll just go for another walk.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Love all your decorations! I especially like the sleds. Have you tried wire to hold things together or zip ties? I seem to do the same thing at the holidays. I don't like glitter and tinsel etc. I try to keep things simple and meaningful. Painting wooden ornaments, or we once had a real "Little House on the Prairie" full size wagon that I put a bunch of boxes wrapped in vinyl tablecloths to weather. It really looked nice. Unfortunately, it sort of fell apart after a few years but I still have the wheels. Hmm, that could be the start of a project.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Nice sleds! I love the way you decorated them:)Well done!

Linda said...

I can see the emphasis on what is most meaningful in your pieces. So many memories in each treasure, mixed with the magic of the natural world surrounding you now. A bit of old and new, and your Kitty family there to share it. Very nice. I admit, this year has not been a good one for me and Christmas. I feel emotionally spent. I am trying to find my way through it, but can’t say I have yet. I appreciate the way you’ve found a unique expression of the season, based on where you are now. I hope I can, too.

Shirley said...

I love the sleds! Not overdone, just right.
It is always helpful to have kitty supervision.
I was looking at the decorations in a big store today, so much eye catching glitz that didn't pass close inspection.
I was picking some holly-like branch bits from a huge Oregon Grape bush we have; some decor for my Advent candles, and I discovered that the bush still had huge berries! So I picked them and boiled them up with honey for a conserve.
We aways do a live tree- if I can't have a real one, I won't have one. One year when we were living in a remote cabin that was 13 ft. x 15 ft. inside, we had a little 2 ft tree we propped up in a bucket of sand. It was perfect!
I try to keep Christ in Christmas, my Nativity set goes up way before my tree and stays up longer.

Val Ewing said...

Love this. It is beautiful and not garish. One year I just made bouquets of sticks that I painted. I gathered our pinecones and made a basket of them.

You do exactly what you wish to do and it is very tasteful.

Me? I'm like that crow that flies around and admires shiny things!

I considered gathering some moss and willow reeds for my coal scuttle in the kitchen. Mother nature always provides the very best decorations.

I have found zip ties to be the bomb. I use them a LOT. My MIL had a painted old sled that she decorated. It was so beautiful.
I doubt I have that talent.