Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I used to be a letter writer. I mean, a real letter writer. Long, handwritten letters. My godparents have a 24 page letter I wrote to them from Rome tucked into their two or three file cabinet sections dedicated to Stuff From Finnish Goddaughter. They have saved all my letters.

I also like writing cards. I used to write lots of them. Postcards, note cards, handmade cards...

Then I went to grad school. Then I got my first academic job. Yeah... But I have managed some holiday cards. Not a lot, but a couple. Typically based on responding to someone who wrote to me, but not always. Everyone I did not write to - I am torn between apologizing and figuring that those whose opinion is worth it will not mind at all.

The only people I consistently write to and even send Christmas gifts to - I am blessed with a family who is not very focused on gifts at all - are my godparents. It's sort of become a thing: my whole life they sent my family 4 Christmas tree ornaments, usually with the names of my family members on them. When my sister and I moved away from home we split them up and we all have enough handmade ornaments for a tree of our own. When my Fuzzband and I settle down permanently, one of the perks will be that I will bring my godparent-made ornaments from Finland. Since I moved to the US, my godparents now send me an ornament or two as there are two of us. Typically they are either handmade or unicorn themed. I love unicorns, and it has also become a thing between my godmother and myself.

And so, as my godmother and I both revel in crafting, and my godfather appreciates our skills, that is what I have been regaling them with for decades. I have made them garlands, balls, cross stitch things... Typically Christmas themed items, of course, but I have sent them handcrafted items out of season, so to speak. When I visit, their home is riddled with crafts I have produced over the years. It is amazing to have godparents like these, and it is such a privilege to be so present in their home.

This year I did not make them the traditional Christmas decorations as they have recently downsized and really don't need more stuff. Instead, I made a bunch of Christmas cards over US Thanksgiving weekend that they can send to family and friends over the holidays. The theme this year was basically origami Christmas trees: instructions from Flowerbug's Inkspot. Very addicting! OMG! So much fun to fold, glue, add sparkles, rhinestones, punch snowflakes... I made my godparents about a dozen cards - but forgot to photograph them. They looked so impressive all arrayed on the counter... Oh well...

However, here are a few I either did not include because they needed a bit more work, or that I made later.

This one I made from one of my old thank you cards that depicts the Turku Cathedral - which is my favorite church in the world. I cut it out of its original, summery setting and added a snowy tree we can peek behind to see the magnificence of 14th century awesome. I am particularly pleased at how the snowflakes cut out from tissue paper have a slightly ethereal thing going on:

This one was missing something originally - it was one of the first I made. What it was missing was SPARKLE! I had heirloom sequins, but they really needed pastel Rhinestones added to them, and snowflakes. I love my snowflake stamper... 

An ode to tea at Christmas time. The true addict will drink tea from a cardboard coffee shop cup, a holiday themed mug, or a cup with a saucer, or - let's face it - a rubber boot. When I found this crafting paper, it SPOKE to me:

Mulberry paper and teeny heart shaped buttons. I love the buttons. It may be a problem in my life. They are so ADORABLE!

One of the great card inspirations in my life is CET over at Sartorial Sidelines. She makes cards every Christmas and they are works of art. How she manages the time is a mystery, but then she is one of the two most organized people in the world. As I said about the other organizational wonderwoman: If I was Jesus, I would hire her to organize my second coming. Yes, that's how organized these ladies are!  

And finally, because it is adorable: a glimpse of our Christmas Beaver:
We bought him a few years ago in Essex, CT, "The Best Little Town in America." The Fuzzband and I were visited by one of my oldest friends, the remarkably talented Tonja  and her partner T, and decided to get out of New Haven; do some sightseeing. So, we went exploring Essex for their Halloween Scarecrow weekend event. It was a nice little town with some eccentric scarecrows and the lovely, quaint and delicious Griswold Inn. There was also a Christmas shop, and one of the types of ornament was these animals made from bristles. Of course we got the beaver! Here Mr. Christmas Beaver is posing in the tree with our brand new Finnish flag string from Uniquely Nordic. 

So, Merry Christmas! God Jul!

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