The huge ice storm that debilitated most of Massachusetts on Thursday night missed the Pioneer Valley. We got mostly slush and rain and the worst that happened was the little stream that runs behind the house overflowed into the yard. There are apparently people all over the state who still are without power 4 days later, but it was a non-event here.
I took Thursday, Friday and today off work to attempt to get Christmas stuff done. With Traci and Audrey's help I finished almost all of my shopping on Thursday. The majority of my gifts are (or will soon be) handmade and Friday was set aside as 100% knitting day, but I got distracted by other crafty ideas. I found a big bag of buttons cheap and bought some jewel toned pins and a styrofoam tree form at Michael's to make this button tree:
Then I saw this project on Just Like Martha and had to try it. Apparently the idea was first published in Readers Digest many years ago as an idea for old issues. I chose an extra fat womens magazine, so the folding took an hour and a half. I'm pleased with it though. The original instructions call for spray paint and glitter, but I like the look of it bare.
I did get lots of knitting done in the last 3 days, but I can't show you most of it until after the gifts are given. There is one large thing blocking on my living room floor now (the cats in their excitement that I am home for the 4th day in a row keep running across it, so I'm having to smooth it out every 5 minutes).
There's a new original katywhumpus design that will be given to (and named in honor of) my sister. I started off taking careful notes, but started tweaking and changing and forgot to write everything down, so I'm going to have to make a second one after the holidays in order to write up the pattern.
I've got a few other projects done and in the works, but I put them aside on Saturday to make this year's Christmas hat. I made the first of these hats in 2005 on a whim. They're dorky long hats that make people giggle. The original is seen below in one of my favorite photos of my folks.
That Christmas the hat was worn by everyone in the family. When someone was grumpy and anti-holiday spirity, they were made to wear the hat. It popped up in lots of family photos from that winter. The 2006 hat was similiar but had thin green stripes like a candy cane. I have no photos of last year's hat as it was done last minute and I don't have it here because I forgot it at Mom and Dad's house and it got packed up with the decorations last year. It was red and green with simple embroidered snowflakes and a tassel instead of a pom pom. Since the hats seem to be getting more complex every year, I somehow decided it would be a good idea to do fair-isle snow flakes around the edge this year. I don't do fair-isle as a general rule, but I thought it would only be a few rows (and it would be good for me to reach outside my comfort zone). But then, once I started, I couldn't stop....I'm finishing a small kitting project this morning and then getting out the sewing machine to make some eco-gifts. I'm not much of a sewer, but I've had this idea in my head for months. I'll post photos after the big day if it all works out ok.
I've been watching a lot of movies and TV while doing all of this knitting. Because my hands are busy I don't always fast forward through the commercials (I almost never watch live TV...). I'm loving the new Ozzy Ozbourne adverts for Sprint. I've always admired that Ozzy is quite happy to make fun of himself.
On the other hand I'm increasingly offended by the new McDonald's campaign. Apparently McDonald's is now serving coffee drinks and are marketing them by poking fun at traditional coffee shops. The underlying message of this campaign seems to line up with the republican attacks during the presidential campaign on so called Latte Drinking Liberals. The first advert shows two guys in a coffee shop, one guy tells the other that McDonalds now has cappuccinos. They are both psyched because now they can shave their goatees, talk about football and get rid of their fake glasses.
But last night I saw the female version of the ad. I couldn't breathe for a few minutes after seeing it. It's so disgusting I don't even have words....