Posts Tagged ‘decorations’

A Time To Sparkle

December 21, 2016

Happy Solstice! Over the years, I’ve become entirely solar-powered – if the sun isn’t up, don’t expect me to be. While I don’t actually believe the sun won’t come back if I don’t do my bit to help, I do enjoy putting lights and other decorations around the house. Here is a sampling:

Lani Longshore stuffed reindeer

Rather than amassing my reindeer collection, which takes more open space than I will ever have, this year I decided to scatter selections throughout the house.

Lani Longshore moose reindeer vase

Here is another grouping. Yes, the stuffed toy is actually a moose. I don’t care. One day I might even make a reindeer-moose convergence quilt for the holidays.

Lani Longshore birds in basket

I also have a bird collection, and a basket collection. Combining the two seemed reasonable.

Lani Longshore TARDIS tea ball

My son gave me this TARDIS tea ball. I used it for tea once and decided it was more pleasant to look at it than to clean it. It is now a decoration in my kitchen. This is the first year I’ve displayed it on the tree.

Here is my gift to you – a link to The National French Toast Alert System. Plug in your zip code and find out if it is cold enough to stock up on milk, bread and eggs (the usual items people seem to grab when the weather gets cold and nasty). Enjoy the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.

Luck and wisdom!

Don’t Mess With Halloween

November 2, 2016

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but this year I decided to scale back and not carve a pumpkin. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was second-guessing that decision. I went to the grocery Monday morning, pumpkins were on sale, and I took this as a sign that I should carve a pumpkin after all. My third mistake was picking the wrong knife.

Lani Longshore bandaged thumb

Yes, that is my thumb with the bandage covering a proper jab. My husband helped me clean up, then finished the carving.

Lani Longshore carved pumpkin

My husband was really sweet about the whole thing, especially since he is always warning me off knives. I come from a long line of women who can’t cut straight. My grandmother made fabulous bread, but her slices looked more like a sandy beach after a particularly vigorous wave washed over it – all ripples.

My other decorations were far less hazardous to make. I found some delightful orange pipe cleaners, and made a bow-tie for my monster-head scythe.

Lani Longshore Halloween decorations

I also found some bats on clips. Twist a few pipe cleaners together, attach the bats, and you’ve got a door hanger.

Lani Longshore bats

While we may have a pumpkin next year, I can guarantee you I won’t be carving it.

Luck and wisdom!

Halloween in Tree and Flower

October 28, 2015

The decorating gods are smiling for me this year. While shopping for something else I found a Halloween tree that is the perfect size for the dining room table.

A bit of wife, and a couple of tiny bats - brilliant!

A bit of wire, and a couple of tiny bats – brilliant!

Also, I decided I didn’t have to sacrifice a squash for Halloween when I found this great polka dot pumpkin.

Shiny dots and glitter - what more could I want?

Shiny dots and glitter – what more could I want?

Even the bushes are cooperating, as our orange begonia is blooming.

Lani Longshore begonia

Technically, this was sold as a peach-colored begonia but I’m calling it orange until the end of the month.

I have a gargoyle named Trevor who lives in the backyard. Next year I may festoon him with colored lights.

Lani Longshore Trevor the gargoyle

Luck and wisdom – and happy Halloween!

Finishing a Few Things

October 7, 2015

Week two since we returned from vacation, and I’m almost back to a routine. I finished two things – or at least brought them to a point to meet deadline – and that’s enough of a victory to break out the ice cream.

Two Cubas

Two Cubas

This is the Challenge project about Cuba. I have an idea for beading, but have to quilt the project first. However, the rules only require that I finish the top, not the quilting and embellishing. The piece shows two images of Cuba – one desolate and alone, the other the workers’ paradise.

A wedding canopy

A wedding canopy

This was for a wedding. There are life symbols in abundance – the tree, the ring of blue for air and water, the ring of orange for the sun.

There are a couple more projects sitting on the sewing table that I would like to finish before the holiday rush commences. If all goes as scheduled, I might even get the Halloween decorations up (and down) before December 24th. Yes, I can hear the universe laughing.

Luck and wisdom!

Solstice, Santa and SAD

December 24, 2014

Aside from the spiritual significance of this time of year, for me it’s the season of the solstice, Santa and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I love the holidays, but lack of sunlight is a problem (the cold doesn’t help). This year, I decided to take the advice I’ve given to others and began a yellow project.

Another of my grandmother's UFOs

Another of my grandmother’s UFOs

Apparently surrounding yourself with yellow helps with mild cases. Getting more light does, too, but if you’ve got more than the winter doldrums give yourself the gift of medical attention. We spend so much time taking care of others, we need to remember to take care of ourselves.

Jingle them bells!

Jingle them bells!

Some people collect Santa figurines – I collect reindeer and moose (although the kids swear I only have moose). This year I also acquired a jingle ring that is less fun to wear than I expected. It now graces this reindeer’s antler.

My colors of Christmas

My colors of Christmas

Years ago I made Christmas stockings for the family. I really like the one I made for me, but I saw this purple stocking in the grocery store. On sale. “Self,” I asked myself, “how can you resist?” I decided I couldn’t, and bought it.

Beads and markers can do anything

Beads and markers can do anything

After I finished wrapping and baking and cleaning, I had a few minutes to myself. The small black canvas reappeared as I was searching through one of the piles, I had some beads out, and I found the right glue (and my copper marker), so I entertained myself with a little solstice decoration. Take time to enjoy whatever holidays you celebrate in your own way!

Luck and wisdom!

The Year In Review – Take One

December 17, 2014

This is the time of year for reviewing the balance sheet of projects completed versus projects attempted. I expect that I will reframe my achievements and shortcomings more than once before the end of the year, so here is The Year In Review – Take One.

Not quite clear enough for dancing, but I can get to my fabric

Not quite clear enough for dancing, but I can get to my fabric

The sewing room isn’t entirely organized. I’m beginning to think the universe will end if I ever get everything under control, or maybe that’s just the excuse I use to justify the continued chaos. Still and all, the floor in front of my fabric drawers is navigable, and has been for nearly two months. This is a major victory.

Yes, that is the diary of River Song - holding my space Viking notes

Yes, that is the diary of River Song – holding my space Viking notes

The third installment in The Chenille Series – The Chenille Ultimatum – isn’t done, nor is my planned novel about space Vikings. I have, however, been organizing my notes, making better scene outlines, filling in holes in my character profiles – all things that will make for better writing. This may not be a victory, but it is progress.

Not a partridge, not a pear tree, still fun

Not a partridge, not a pear tree, still fun

We have a decorated Christmas tree. There was a question about whether we would have one, since our daughter is the one who does the bulk of the decorating and she won’t be home this year. The joy of the season won out over my natural laziness, and I brought out the decorations. In the process, I also found the box for the Easter decorations. After I finished trimming the tree, I put away the Easter eggs that had been on display for the past two years. This is also a victory, although if I had any sense I wouldn’t admit to it.

Luck and wisdom!

What I Did On Halloween

November 5, 2014

This was the Halloween without a pumpkin. Since the weather forecast was for rain all day, I figured carving a jack-o-lantern would be a waste of a good vegetable. Instead, I put out a staff from a weird costume one of the kids wore long ago.

Creepy - and the kids loved it

Creepy – and the kids loved it

This little paper tree resurfaced, so I decorated it.

And a jack-o-lantern in a paper tree

And a jack-o-lantern in a paper tree

During the day I almost finished a Halloween-ish quilt, but didn’t quite get to the sleeve.

Crows and bats and moons, oh my

Crows and bats and moons, oh my

This quilt may be displayed next year, if I can remember the very safe place I’m certain to store it once I attach the sleeve.

Last, and for the first time ever, I decided on a project I could easily put down when the trick-or-treaters came – which they did, because the rain came later than expected.

It almost glows in the dark

It almost glows in the dark

All in all, it was a great Halloween.

Luck and wisdom!

The Accidental Halloween

October 23, 2013

The Christmas project schedule is progressing so well I forgot that Halloween comes first. I nearly tripped over the bag of Halloween fabric, which is how I remembered. Those goblins don’t like to be overlooked.


My Halloween collection tucked in a tote

My Halloween collection tucked in a tote


While unpacking my collection, I realized that I haven’t made anything with it because I don’t want to cut it up.


Too cute to cut

Too cute to cut


When I have a creative problem that is turning into a fur ball, I try solving it by the Wandering Method. Amble aimlessly about the house and see what leaps out at you. Usually what leaps out at me is the box of cookies I tried hiding on the shelf, but this time I was lucky. First, I noticed my collection of picture frames.


Lani Longshore picture frames


Then I noticed my collection of Halloween flowers, feathers and stuff on sticks.


The little arrangement that grew

The little arrangement that grew


For the past few years, I’ve decorated the table with a small Halloween- or harvest-themed centerpiece. I folded the small centerpiece into a larger floral arrangement in the living room when it was time to decorate for Christmas. As you can see, that arrangement is spreading out from its vase like the monster that ate Cleveland. “Self,” I said, “it is time to do something different.”


Lani Longshore Halloween decoration


This is only a prototype of a fabric collage. I wanted to see how much space I really have between the back and the frame. The next step will be to experiment with wrapping the back with fabric and placing other fabrics and embellishments only in the area that clears the edges of the frame. While I would prefer to use the glass to protect the piece, it is designed to go over a photograph, not a three-dimensional collage. Of course, I could try gluing things to the glass to get a floating effect . . .


Excuse me, but I think it is time to wander around the house again, this time in costume –






Boxing Day

December 26, 2012

The week between Christmas and New Year holds such promise. When the kids were younger I always planned to do great, fun things on their vacation. When they got older I planned to do great, useful things around the house. But we all know about plans . . .

At any rate, I did manage to do some things in the sewing room. I started a free-form stuffed collection that I hoped would look like Christmas ornaments that I could pile in a decorative bowl.

Christmas puffs

I still like the concept, but I’m going to have to spend some time auditioning embellishments.

My daughter asked if I would make a name tag for her dog’s Christmas stocking. She asked on Christmas Eve. After dinner. Luckily, she liked what I did.

Christmas stocking name tag

The week between Christmas and New Year holds demands, too – specifically the demand to clean up the place. Given that I still have my Easter Egg collection out on the hutch, I’m not holding out much hope for getting the Christmas moose/reindeer collection back in storage any time soon.

Christmas centerpiece with reindeer

Still, it is Boxing Day today, and regardless of what it might mean in the U.K., at my house it is a reminder to get out the boxes and put things back where they belong.


October 26, 2011

This is my second favorite holiday of the year. I haven’t had a chance to be as outlandish as I’d like, not since the kids started making their own costumes. Still, I take opportunities to be crafty and creative as they arise – which is why my stash of Halloween fabric is as large as my stash of Christmas fabric.

I had a meeting here last week, which I decided was close enough to decorate the table for the holiday. My husband asked, with some trepidation in his voice, if this was going to be the extent of the transformation. I assured him the purple fuzzy bat didn’t have any friends lurking in the sewing room.

As to progress in the sewing room, well, I did manage to get a little more done on another project. This isn’t the big project I mentioned last week, only one of the little ones that I have to finish so I can clean off the cutting table for the big project. Here is the lining for a chenille purse:

This is one outer panel for the purse:

I’m making prototypes of purses for a possible pattern line. If that fails, I may copyright the previous sentence and sell it as a tongue-twister.