Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Presents

I always enjoy seeing peoples' loot from Christmas.  Here's just some of mine!  In keeping with the Disney World obsession I caught this year, there's a definite theme.

In a somewhat spiraling-inward order starting from upper left, you have my new Merida doll, an adorable fox plush, a bag full of 8 pairs of new gorgeous tights, a mini Toothless figure and a talking Toothless plush, a pair of black and white poseable limited edition Mickey and Minnie plush, a retro Mickey plush, a HUGE retro Mickey mug on top of another pair of comfy fleece pjs, MUM BEAR (my favorite gift) wearing a Madame Leota cameo from my favorite Disney ride, The Haunted Mansion, four Disney shirts including three gorgeous Beauty and the Beast shirts and a marvelous Brave shirt with the tapestry from the end of the movie, a set of magnet-kissing Mickey and Minnie salt and pepper shakers, a hidden Mickey watch, a bunch of amazing Disney pins to continue my collection including 6 out of 10 from a set of pins from New Fantasyland of Beauty and the Beast characters in front of the various rides and areas from the park, a $15 scratchoff ticket (first time I've won on the card in my stocking!)  a Froud calendar, a "Be Our Guest" plaque, a Disney biography and a copy of Ali Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half book, and a pair of Fisher Price Belle and Beast minis. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Spidey Princess Trees

Just came back from Christmas with his side of the family. Tom's sister, Lorri, made us the neatest gift...two Christmas trees that happen to match our gift wrap we used for each other this year too.

Tom's is a Spider-man tree with blue and red baubles, the Hallmark ornament for this year, and a knitted Spidey finger puppet as the topper (brilliant!!)

Mine is a Disney princess tree, with a Merida ornament and several other traditional princesses, pink and silver baubles, with a big pink bow on the top.

What Lorri didn't even know was that I was looking for a pair of trees for our mantel anyway. Hooray!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas at the Cottage 2013

Christmas Season 2013 has arrived!  We actually decorated our house way back before Thanksgiving, but I've been working on making so many gifts, I haven't had time to take, edit and post the pictures of our decorating until now!

Our back gate basket all tucked up with greenery and snow.

The back door gets a festive multicolor ornament wreath.

The front porch gets a double layer of garland, ornaments and greenery in the window boxes, and big jingle bows on the evergreens in their urns.

A closer look at the festive front porch.

A look at our entry this year.  I decorated it almost identically this year as I did last year.  I figure...if you like something, why change it?  However I have also been trying to add new decor and areas of festive holiday sparkle to other areas of the house this year!

I really love this bust...she was a discovery at the Rural Society Antique and Garden Show a couple of years ago, and her joyful eyes and small smile always cheer me.

You can also see the deer-handled bowl I love to use at Christmastime.

The bunting I made from vintage Christmas Carol sheet music.  And kissing mistletoe.

Chimera, our cat gargoyle, protects our garden beds in the warm months, but in cold winter months he stays warm inside, festive for Christmas.

 In the dining room, we tucked the table that's normally in our bay window into the corner, adding a plate with glittery snowflake candles.

Snowflakes are the theme in this room.  

...but last year the blue and white and glittery snow was just a little too cold compared to the warm colors in the rest of the house, so I added a few pops of red to help cheer things a little.

The kitchen's Christmas cheer comes from a couple of snow scenes inside old glass jars.  And of course our British Santa!

In the living room, I added more greenery and our gold pinecone ornaments to the fireplace chandelier.  I wanted to find a couple of hefty pottery vases for the mantel vignette and put branches there, but I just ran out of time for this year.  Maybe next year!

The gorgeous final papercut from Niroot Puttapipat's Night Before Christmas is out on display for all to admire.

A faerie proudly holds an Art Nouveau ornament that proudly proclaims "Noel."

A mixture of white lights, ivy, holly branches, and poinsettia spill across the top of a bookshelf in the living room.  

A medieval Christmas book and my Grandma's handmade quill paper ornament (too delicate for the tree) add a touch of Christmas to a side table.

Our Labyrinth door knocker on the way into our Geek Room got a new Christmas hat this year, thanks to a garage sale find.

Even the downstairs bathroom gets a festive needlepoint and a music box rocking horse.

Our household Tomte, made for us by Deborah Bowes, guards the landing and the household as a whole.

Even the door to the upstairs bathroom has tinkling jingle bells waiting to sound out the season.

The upstairs hallway has a new bookshelf under the Ophelia artwork on the wall, and I decided to try displaying my fiber tail (and some feather tail) clip-on glass bird collection just on this tree.  I really like it, though I think I need to get a larger tree for next year.  

Every year Tom and I get a new bird for our collection when we go to the Granville Candlelight Walking Tour.  This year it was the robin peering at the camera in this picture.

The Dreaming Room is my guilty pleasure space in the house, where I work on my art projects and...well...dream!  

I added a couple more small holiday tree vignettes to this room.

The bedroom tabletop has a little bit of glittering holiday greenery.

The branches above the windows are hung with openwork gold ornaments.

And so are the branches in the corner.

While we're here, I took a better picture of our new woodland owl lamps.  In case you can't tell, our bedroom is done in shades of gold and lavender, and is enchanted woodland themed.

Our reindeer were bought last year at Christmas, but they stay out year round.  See Tom's anniversary hares, up on the wall?  

The bottom of the tree bed gets wrapped in gold ribbon, and hung with a gold-trimmed wreath.

An overall shot of the room:

And a close up of the ornaments on the branches:

Two last shots of Christmas lights at night...first the greenery on the bannister:

...and finally the star of the Christmas show in every home, the tree!  We do colored lights, and our ornaments are an eclectic mix of Spider-man, childhood nostalgia, Disney movies, and more.

Tom and I both really enjoy stuffed animals, but I tend to tuck them away from most of our decorating for most of the year.  Christmas is our time to shamelessly let them out into the limelight.

And there you have it!  Catty-Corner Christmas 2013.  Happy Holidays to one and all! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Thankful Month - Saving the Best for Last

And now my month of thankfulness is drawing to a close, and I have to confess that I've quite stereotypically saved the best for last: the single greatest thankfulness of my entire life.

I'm thankful for my husband.

Eight years ago on this very night, he and I were talking on the phone, saying goodnight and staying up way too late talking about everything and nothing.  I can say that with certainty because it was something we did every night without fail during that time of "getting-to-know-you" leading up to our first meeting in person in December of 2005.  We tried quite hard not to fall too deeply for each other until we at least met in person to find out if we were compatible, but we both failed quite miserably on that front: by the time I drove up 3 hours to Youngstown to meet him for the first time a week or two before Christmas, the butterflies in my stomach were only exceeded by the growing spark of love in my heart for him.

Looking back at that time, I marvel at how little I knew the man that I continue to learn inside and out.  How scared I was to follow my heart instead of what logic would deem wise (jumping into a relationship immediately after an emphatically failed one).  And yet it's so very true what they say about love and finally finding your true other half in another person.  It really is a moment of revelation, when the things you always tried to convince yourself were true of past relationships are instead felt on an intrinsic level, the same way you know snow is beautiful when it first falls, or a cat's purr can comfort all ills. 

I can honestly say that for the past eight years, I've never stopped growing deeper and more enthusiastically in love with Tom.  There hasn't been a day that I haven't eagerly anticipated coming home to him at the end of the day.  We live peaceably and comfortably, with a strong awareness behind all that we do that we can go out and take risks and have bad days and be scared and know that behind and underneath and at the base of it all, we have a solid foundation of love and belonging that will never ever budge or falter.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Thankful Month Day Twenty-Nine

Today I am thankful for home...the concept, and also ours specifically.  Thank you, Catty-Corner Cottage, for sheltering us and keeping us safe.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thankful Month Day Twenty-Eight (Thanksgiving)

I am thankful for the marvelous tradition of the Macy's Day Parade.  And the fact that now that we've seen Santa, I can get full-on crazy for Christmas without the pre-Turkey Day naysayers objecting!  Heehee <3

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thankful Month Day Twenty-Seven

Today I am thankful for fairy tales.  Magical stories that extend my sense of wonder and enchantment into adulthood.  I honestly don't know who I would be without them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Thankful Month Day Twenty-Six

There's a beautiful ice blue twilight color, when the snow is starting to  muffle all sounds, and the skies look like a snow globe.  We had one of those twilights tonight, and it was beautiful.

A Thankful Month Day Twenty-Five'm thankful for early-to-bed, sleep-in-in-the-morning sleeps on nights when you just can't seem to keep your eyes open.

Sorry for the late thankfulness post! 

Hide in Blankets by Carol Wilson