Monday, November 28, 2011

My First Santa of the Season

I sure hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I ate so well that it's going to take me a month of riding my bike to burn the calories from that one meal. Then there's the leftovers.  Is it any wonder my winter and summer weights can be so far apart? Next week I start my Christmas baking and I'll need to make sure everything I bake to give as gifts and serve guests is up to my standards so there's going to be a lot more calories to add cushioning to my mid section.

I've been keeping myself pretty busy working on my ornaments plus other projects and don't see things slowing down any time soon. You realize that there's only 26 days and a wake up until Christmas. I'm so behind already that I don't think I'll catch up. I usually have my Christmas cards ready to be mailed before Thanksgiving but this year I haven't started on them yet. I also haven't gotten any decorating done. Now if you know me you know how far behind I am as I always have things going the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not one of those people who shop Black Friday (well maybe a little bit of shopping) as I use that day to get started on my decorating which usually takes weeks to complete.

Anyway, the reason for this post is to show you something that I've been working on the past couple of weeks. This is my first Santa since July 9th and thought I'd show him to you before he gets boxed up for his trip to his new owner.

sleigh bells ring, are you listening? 

a bundle of switches for naughty children, what's that all about?

I'd say about two axe handles, agreed?

Okay, that's better. I see the vintage teddy bear and the doll in the pocket. I love those over sized pockets. I wonder if there's candy in the other one. Well, that's all for now, I've got to get back to work.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I've recently been going through old photos to try and find some that I can scan and make into Christmas cards for my grand kids. You'd think I'd have tons of pictures but that's not the case and half of the ones I do have are fuzzy.

Years ago I took photos all of the time with my trusty 35mm camera with all of the expensive lenses and attachments. This was not an automatic camera mind you and since I needed to focus manually as my eyesight worsened so did the quality of my photos. I started taking fewer photos and let my kids do most of the picture taking when we got together for holidays. For some reason they never felt the need to share with me as the pictures were of their children. Go figure. Since then I've purchased a couple of cameras that are automatic but up until recently haven't taken enough photos to even bother getting photo boxes.

So going through the photos I came across a few I thought I'd share with you. While I was searching through the packets I started feeling nostalgic for the days when my grands were young and innocent. I really miss the excitement of the holidays as demonstrated by the young. You've heard the saying Christmas is about the kids? Maybe it's just something I say. It's pretty much how I feel about this time of year. I'd love to have a time machine and go back to the years when my kids were little and getting up on Christmas morning.

Here are a couple of photos taken the Christmas of 1992. I was living in Vancouver at the time.

Santa's helper setting gifts under the tree. Not all of us helpers are elves you know.

Sitting on the sofa is my daughter, Bambi and her friend. I'm in the center of the photo, I think hubby took the picture and since I was passing out gifts he thought I was the main figure in the setting. In the foreground are the tops of my grand's heads. I don't think they would be impressed with this picture of them. I'm showing you it because this is what I looked like 20 years ago.  Not too shabby for being a grandma.

This is one of the few photos of AJ during that time period. I think he was shy around me because he really didn't remember who I was. He's holding a picture of himself and his brother that I had sitting on a shelf.

This is Christmas of 1994 and Ariel and Donovan sitting with me in front of my tree. I just noticed we're all dressed in black and gray. Not very festive. Ariel was 3 1/2 and Donovan was 7 at the time of this picture.

Ariel looked so excited and happy with her new sweater while Donovan looked more subdued. Must be the age difference.

Donovan with a few of his gifts taking a break waiting for someone else to open a present.

Okay, I guess I have to confess that we were all goth this Christmas. That or there was a terrific sale on black. Bambi actually did wear black most of the time and I've been known to have a dozen black dresses at one time hanging in my closet.

Ariel got this large chocolate bear the night before Christmas and insisted on sleeping with him. She did want him to wear some of her pajamas and was disappointed when they didn't fit.

These pictures are some of the last ones I took back then. I have more but they really are so terrible I'd be embarrassed to show them.

I'm still working on my ornaments. I've made 30 by painting Santa on clothes pins and have made several more cookie ornaments. I'm not happy with most of the last batch of cookies and don't think I'll waste time painting them. I might be able to salvage some stars and trees and a couple of the snowmen but for the most part I wouldn't think of hanging  them on the tree. I'd rather the tree be skimpy on ornaments. I also have a Belsnickle nearly ready to paint and two more in the early stages. I have some fabric ornaments cut out ready to be stitched and some paper ornaments that I've started.

Thanksgiving is in just a few days. I went out this morning and did my shopping for the dinner I'm preparing. I tried to think of everything I'll need but you know how that goes. I'll be in the middle of my preparations and realize I forgot to get_________, fill in the blank.

How about you? Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? My son and son-in-law got down my Christmas dishes from the attic this morning while my daughter and I were grocery shopping. They put the boxes in the living room of all places. One of the things I like to do is switch the dishes out and use only the Christmas ones during the month of December. The guys were just trying to get ahead on things I need help with not thinking about a house full of people on Thursday. I found out today that Donovan won't be able to make it as he's on tour. I'd better do some more checking to see if there are going to be any more no shows.

I want to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. I pray you have family and friends to surround you and a wonderful meal on the table. I wish you health and happiness and that you have a day so memorable that years from now you'll think about this one Thanksgiving day with a fond heart. Thanks to all of you who have become so important to me. To those who have left encouragement to me in your lovely comments. To those who've become dear friends I say thank you.

I should get back to my painting.  As always thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm still spending most of each day working on ornaments and have had some successes and some failures and some saves. A save is when you think something is scrap and then you look at it differently and see something that gives you an idea for something else entirely.

I made that other batch of salt dough that I told you about and had mixed results. Several of the "cookies" turned out just the way I'd pictured them while others were total failures. I had ones that puffed up but with some of the shapes like the stars I liked the puffed look.

There were 10 of the gingerbread men that I thought were going to end up in the trash but after looking at them again I saw something else. Here's how I wanted them to look.

See, all flat and cookie looking. I also included two of the stars to show how cute they look puffed.  I ended up with 21 of the flat cookie men and have them completed right down to the hanging cord.

When I gave the puffed cookie men a second look here's what came to mind.

and this.....

These are the first three of ten. Don't they look like they're stuffed? Some have split at the seams and a couple have holes in the back. I stuck a bit of cotton wool in the holes to look like stuffing showing. I know, I'm a bit weird but I've always been this way.  Painting the 10 rejects  should be time consuming don't you think? I should have just tossed them but if there's one thing I really enjoy doing it is salvaging just about anything.

I also made three more Santa heads with the pmc and have them painted. These three are about an inch longer and a bit wider than the other ones I showed on my last post.

I don't plan on showing you every ornament I make but I thought you might enjoy seeing a few more and since I have a busy week ahead of me like many of you I might not do another post for awhile.

How many of you start your Christmas decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving? That's when I start and I keep adding to it all of the way up until Christmas day.

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great week and I'll be back as soon as I get caught up with things.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I have this habit of waiting until the very last minute to finish a project and sometimes I wait until it's almost too late to start one.

Case in point, I've decided to decorate the living room Christmas tree with nothing but hand made ornaments, and although it's a wonderful idea and I really am glad I thought of it, why did I wait until last week to start?

I associate gingerbread men cookies with Christmas and figured they would be fun to make so those went on the to-do list. Salt dough seemed like a logical choice for making them so I went on line and did some research and found a recipe I thought might work well. Okay, here's where I tell you that I've never made salt dough before and haven't played with play dough for many many years so I had no idea of what to expect as far as what the final results would be.

I wasn't really crazy with the way the "cookies" made with the dough came out but went ahead and decorated them and they'll get put on the tree as I'm running short of time and need all the ornaments I can make so the tree doesn't look too bare. Once the first 6 gingerbread men were cut out I cut out 6 Santa cookies. Here's a sampling of both styles.

Part of the reason I wasn't really thrilled with the salt dough is I didn't expect it to puff up as it did on some of the pieces or warp as it did on others. I've got another recipe that I'm going to make today and hopefully it will work better than this last one did.

The next ornies I'm going to show you I made with paper mache clay. I had some pmc left in the container that wasn't enough to start one of the larger pieces and I nearly dumped it when I decided to play around and see what I could make with it. The following three ornaments were so much fun that I've made more that I'm waiting for them to dry so I can paint them.

They're not quite finished as I've got to add a cord loop for hanging them. These Santa heads are about 5" long and 1" wide. The next ones are a bit larger.

Even though I'm getting a late start on making my ornaments I hope to get enough finished by the time I start decorating the tree so it's not too skimpy. Besides the cookies and Santa heads I'm hoping to get a few stitched ornaments finished.

I'm really not too concerned though as I've got plenty of help painting. Here are a few of my helpers.

Okay gang, break time is over, back to work. Don't forget to put your paint smocks back on before you start painting.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Welcome to Santa & the Mrs.  Please feel free to browse around and if you find something you like let me know by email or leave an email address in the comment section so I can contact you. All items are identified with an item number and a name above their photos.  When referring to an item in an email please refer to it by the item number.

All items are original OOAK paper mache figures sculpted over armatures without the use of any molds. Figures are then painted with layered washes of acrylic paints , wiped with an antiquing stain and sealed with at least 2 coats of clear satin or matte finish acrylic varnish for protection. All pieces are signed by me and dated then carefully packed for shipping.

*Month of November Special Offer*

Take $20.00 all items listed on this post and in either of my blog shops ordered between now and November 30th.

2011_01_27 Santa in Green Cloak $150.00

2011_o1_29  Holly Wreath Santa   $150.00

2011_02_06  Santa with Puppy  $190.00
      on hold
2011_02_14  Santa with Doll House  $180.00

2011_02_17  Santa with Fir Tree    $150. 00

2011_02_25 Patchwork Santa $180.00
 on hold

2011_03_05  Santa with Wreaths  $175.00

2011_03_07  Bird Watcher Santa  $160.00

2011_03_14  Mrs. Claus  $150.00

2011_03_16  Baboushka  $150.00

2011_03_22  Ded Moroz  $200.00

2011_03_26  Whistling Santa  $175.00
2011_04_05 Snizzle Nosse $180.00
2011_04_08  Shnoz Nosse  $180.00
2011_04_14  Snegurochka  $175.00

 2011_04_15  Santa at Work  $225.00
2011_04_25  Quilt Block Santa $180.00
2011_04_30  Bag of Bears Santa  $180.00

2011_05_03  Santa in Stripes  $180.00

2011_05_15  Mrs. Claus with Cookies  $180.00

2011_05_26  Bag of Dolls Santa  $180.00

2011_06_04  Red & White Santa  $180.00

2011_06_14  Santa & the Paisley Bag  $180.00

2011_06_19  Santa & the Too Full Bag  $180.00

2011_06_26  Santa in Tweed  $180.00

2011_06_30  Santa with Dogs  $180.00

2011_07_05  Santa with Bunny  $180.00

2011_07_09  Santa & Fannie Freckles Doll  $180.00

All snow folk are $60.00 each

2011_10_24 Stan the Snowman  2011_10_26 Sally the Snow Gal
 Sally on hold

2011_10_27 Oscar Snowman  2011_10_29 Seymour Snowman

2011_11_01 Wendell Snow boy 

2011_11_03 Benjamin Snow boy

All of the OOAK creations in my blog shops and this Christmas Craft Show post are on a first-come, first-served basis. Email me if you are interested in purchasing any item on this page.  I will accept payment for items by check or money order only.

Items will be shipped within 4 working days once payment has been verified.

Shipping fees:                 first Item                second item 
                                                                           same order/address

United Sates                  $5.00                        no charge                                  
Canada                            $7.00                        no charge
Elsewhere                     $15.00                        no charge

For your convenience see my side bar for a list of the other blogs participating in this event please enjoy the rest of the craft show.

e-mail me at:

As always, thanks for stopping by.