Monday, December 26, 2005

Holiday Recap

All in all, we had a very mellow and joyous holiday. Santa came, bringing my oldest a pair of Rollerblades, among other things, while the twins got cars, cars and more cars (for Nick) and lots of pink stuff (for Grace).

Here is the upstairs Christmas tree, a labor of love for my husband.

You see, we have two Christmas trees in our house. The one in the family room is "the kids' tree," meaning that the children and I are allowed to decorate it. The living room tree is "Daddy's tree," and he exercises supreme control over it. Tom has a Martha Stewart-type gene which comes out in full force at Christmas time. It is not unusual for him to start a conversation in early November by saying "I have a vision for this year's tree. Two words: Silver organza!" This year's tree was a little less fussy than years past, but quite lovely nonetheless. Yes, you are noticing a slight tilt to one side, but no need to obsess about it.

Speaking of the long-suffering and wonderful husband, Tom really rose to the occasion this year and got me two kick-ass knitting gifts. The first is an autographed copy of Kaffe Fassett's Book of Knitting Patterns. Yes, the very book that my friend Liza recommended a few posts back. Lisa Myers was so aghast that I did not have this book in my knitting library that she insisted Tom get it for me. Thanks, Liza & Lisa (and of course, Tom).

The second was this Lantern Moon basket (in and of itself a wonderful gift) filled with enough Noro Silver Thaw to make a sweater.

Somehow Tom even managed to select the very shade that I'd been ogling at Rosie's ever since the shipment arrived. This shade, of course, doesn't look anything like my photo of it. (And if any of my readers have suggestions on how to improve the lighting on my still life photos, I'd love to hear 'em.) The two colors that jump out are a deep purple and an apple green. I'm going to wind a hank and start swatching tomorrow, but I expect to make a fairly simple pullover so the focus is on the yarn.

In other knitting news, I was able to get a 6-ply sock done all the way down to the gusset decreases between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I'd started it early on Christmas Eve in the hope of having a few spare moments to work on something, and wanting a project that was both mindless to work on and very quick-knitting. It proved to be both, and even though it's what we euphemistically call "OPY" -- "other people's yarn" -- since Rosie's doesn't carry 6-ply sock yarn, what's a girl to do?

It's going to be a busy week since all three kids are off school, so I'll try to post as much as I can, but I suspect I will be rather frazzled. The constant refrain of "Mo-o-m" is already ringing in my ears...


Christina said...

Your "silver organza" comment left me in tears!

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that a man who can decorate a tree in silver organza can choose appropriate fiber gifts.
I'm drooling over the colors of the Silver Thaw.
Ahhh the carefree days when cars (and Legos) and fluffy pink stuff made the kids happy. These days it's all elctronics and gift cards. Sigh, I couldn't put it off any longer, tomorrow I must take the girls shopping. They don't like to shop at the LYS either.

Anonymous said...

My most accurate color photographs are taken in filtered sunlight (through a sheer curtain). I put the camera in "manual" mode, on the "cloudy" setting. I use a tripod to keep the camera steady during the long (flashless) exposures. I also bracket each shot by taking at least 3 different exposures. Sometimes I use the "macro" setting, but I'm not sure that it helps. On actual cloudy days, I put things by as big a window as I have access to (double patio doors, all glass). I use Photoshop to tweak the colors and sharpen the focus after cropping the photos.

Valerie said...

still life photo lighting: google "lighttent". There are a couple easy to make table size ones online. For example:

Ann said...

When I first looked at the picture of the Christmas tree I thought that looks just like my tree--no, not the organza, the kind of leaning.

I looked under the tree yesterday when I took it down and there were 4 boards under one leg of the tree stand, three boards on another side and the darn thing was still leaning.

Ahhhhhhhh...I still love a real tree, and the way it makes my house smell.


Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the Christmas present - the link to Panopticon and Fabulous (Freewheeling)Franklin. Who amongst us is old and depraved enough to get that reference? Your blog is terrifc and now this Franklin, I'm all atwitter. As someone who has can't write well, but who appreciates them what can, I salute you! Have a happy holiday, and keep in mind that school will start again, it really will.

Franklin said...

Your husband has visions of Christmas trees decorated in silver organza?

Your husband knows what organza is?

You have a most unusual (and generous, and thoughtful) husband. Not that you need me to tell you this. I'm just impressed.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so you and Tom have also found a way to manage your individual Christmas decorating neuroses, I'll fess up. Jerry and I have what we've lovingly (?!) termed "The Christmas Tree Blow-Out" every year....starting at the tree farm and ending when the star is placed on top. Sigh. So, we now do EVERYTHING seperately (I get the tree, he puts it up/does lights, I do ornaments...wait...can you hear the Christmas music, can you smell the cocoa? Do I detect 'ZuZu's petals!!' in the background...?) and although it is very perfunctory, we figure at least we're not at that 'oh, the hell w/ it all...ya' just have to take it down in 3 weeks anyway!!' place... We then do appreciate it very much together. Hope your tissues were handy for that moving little holiday tale...

Anonymous said...

Growing up, by December 29th, my Mom would declare that she would no longer respond to the title Mom. We could call her Ethel (her given name), Babe (the name her siblings use for her because, well because of Ethel), or any other name we wanted, but not Mom. My sister and I chose Lilian. I don't know why.

Enjoy the cars, pink stuff, and whatever name suits you best by the end of the holiday. Happy Holidays Lilian