Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmastime Is Here...

Christmastime is here and NOW I'm Feeling it... I can't get into the Christmas Spirit until Thanksgiving has passed because I don't really like rushing or blurring my Holidays and Seasons.  I like to Savor them, Thanksgiving included, and I think it is often one of the most neglected of Holidays since it's squeezed inbetween two wildly popular and more extravagant ones.

I Love the time between Halloween and New Years because it's chock full of Fabulous Celebrating and Holidays... and yet, because it is chock full of so many Celebrations, it can also be quite the whirlwind and playing catch up if you don't prepare for each adequately, can't it?

Now, when I was Younger, I could keep up with the Pace of one Holiday Celebration right after another and not feel quite so exhausted by it all... now I definitely have to Pace myself rather than attempt to keep up with the Pace!  *LOL*

And since I Enjoy Creating Vignettes and Decorating so much, even tho' I don't go quite so over the top as I used to, I still can't bring myself to scale down the Holiday Decorating and Vibe to a Minimalistic or Modest amount because it wouldn't Create the Atmosphere I want and Enjoy being around throughout the Holiday Season.

Our Home becomes my little Holiday Coccoon and Sanctuary, so to speak, during each Holiday Season.   I find a Joy, an Enchantment, a Peace and a Comfort being surrounded by whatever Holiday Vibe is being Celebrated when I Create the right Atmosphere for it in the Home.  It brings it to Life fully in my opinion when it's not just a nod to the Season.

We've had Children in our Home for several Decades now and to me it's Important to Create that Atmosphere of Childlike Wonder during the Holiday Seasons.   I'm Hoping that even once all of the Children we're raising are grown I'll still feel compelled to Create that Atmosphere every Holiday Season, even if just for myself!?  *Smiles*

In some Homes everyone gets in on the Decorating for the Holidays because they're all just that 'Into' it.   That is not the case in our Home even tho' they all Enjoy what I Create, I'm usually the one who takes the lead and ensures it gets done.   Over the years I've tried to be Inclusive in the Process, but realized that the majority of the extended Fam are just not that 'Into' it when it comes to the Decorating of anything.  Princess T is about the only one who digs it as much as I do, so it's 'Our Thing' to Create the Magic.

And since I want the Process to be Fun and Joyful, I'd rather just not have Helpers who are doing it under protest or because they feel an obligation to help... if they just move aside and get out of the way, so as not to hinder those of us who really dig it, I'm Golden!  *Winks*

So this year, with everyone out of the way and doing 'Their Thing' I was able to ramp up the Process into Hyperdrive and get it all accomplished in just half of a day!   Even the Tree only took less than 45 Minutes to Decorate... but then, the middle set of lights went out after I finished the whole thing... and so Today I had to install another set of Icicle Light strands on a fully decorated Tree without having to start over!  *Whew*

Yes, the Champagne Pencil Tree we keep up all year and just decorate for each Holiday was a Prelit one, but one by one the sections of permanent lights on it burned out and had to be replaced and I found that Icicle Lights that you usually suspend from the eves of a house work perfectly for a quick fix and a Wow factor when lighting up a Tree... especially in sections.   You can Thank me later for that tip if you have a Christmas Tree Light Malfunction of your own! ? *Ha ha ha*

We came across a bounty of brand new Christmas Lights one Season well after the Holidays had passed and I'd sent The Man on a dumpster dive Mission to find me some Storage Boxes.  A Store had just thrown away all of their unsold boxes of Christmas Lights rather than Donating them!  *Gasp!*  

He Saved the perfectly good boxes of Lights from being Landfill bound and we just gave them out the next Holiday Season to needy Families and kept just a few for ourselves.   I abhor waste of Resources like that... just sending New Stock to the Landfills rather than Donating them to Charities!  But it is deplorable what gets thrown away and Wasted.  Those of us with a Salvage Mentality just need to Rescue it when we come across it!

Stepping down from my Soapbox now... *Winks*... so... I still had all those boxes of New Christmas Lights from that 'Score' in an Outbuilding that WASN'T the Seasonal Storage Cottage I couldn't get into because I'd misplaced the key for the Padlock  *Whew*... and the Tree got lit up again without incident and Thankfully without having to take any Decorations off of it.

I liked how it all turned out with the Vintage Blingy Show Ribbon Collection, Peacock Feather Mardi Gras Mask Theme... everything was large scale enough that it didn't take forever and a day to Decorate and cover the Tree adequately and will take no time at all to take down later... Booyah!

Every year the G-Kid Force tell me that they think this year's Theme is the best ever... and I must admit that every year I've been completely satisifed with how whatever Theme has turned out and been Memorable in it's own way.   Sure I have my Favorites by a slight margin, but overall, I Enjoy any Christmas Decorating Theme I've ever seen and all Inspire and Bring It with the Enchanting Vision in some way! 

I don't know about you, but I thoroughly Enjoy seeing how Inventive and Imaginative folks are with Decorating their Christmas Trees and the Themes they come up with?!?   This year my Vote of Fav Idea goes to my Imaginative Friend Myko who came up with the brilliant Vision for the Vintage Blingy Show Ribbon Ornamentation for a Christmas Tree.

I'll utilize these for Displays and Decor long after Christmas has passed, I just Love how they look and since I Collect both Vintage Show Ribbons and Vintage Bohemian Bling, putting them together was just Idyllic for me as an Instant Collection to Gift myself with this Season.

What has been your Favorite Christmas Decorating Idea for this Season my Friends?   What has been so Fresh and Creative that you've never seen it before and thought it a Brilliant Idea?

What has Inspired you the most for your own Christmas Vision?   Who has Inspired you the most?  Or are you one to just hunker down and brainstorm something totally Unique for yourself to Create something Magical from the Canvas of your own Imagination?

I will continue to add little touches here and there over the coming weeks to our Christmas Vignettes... I recently found some of my Bobeches to put on the Altar Candlesticks.  I had Sold Off most of them so didn't think I had any more, but luckily I had kept a few and stashed them away... I had just forgotten about the Stash!   *LOL*   I do that a lot!

In fact I'm a Masterful Stasher and hide or store things away so well even I can't find them!  *Winks*  I have to be Masterful at it because I have some Inquisitive Types in this household that will go to any lengths and tear the place up looking for Lost or Found Treasures and things they shouldn't be getting into or finding that is supposed to be a Surprise!  *Smiles*

Sometimes I even Succeed at keeping things a Secret and successfully hidden away from prying little eyes and hands.  But not this year, this year I made the mistake of giving the entire Home an Overhaul and De-Stash recently... and had completely Forgotten about some Hiding Places and thus uncovered some things, with the Kiddos Assisting me, that were Gifts for them that I'd lost track of coz I bought them Months ago for Christmas!   Yeah, I know, it seemed like a Set Up that they just happened to be Helping, huh?  *Smiles*

But the good thing is that I also uncovered things I'd forgotten about for Decorating... such as these Wonderfully Realistic looking Faux Fruit Tarts for the Altar!   I used to use Real Food Offerings but then everyone was Tempted to eat them and I didn't want to lure Critters to knosh on them too, so I went with Faux Altar Foods instead.  *Smiles*

I think all of these must have come from a Pastry Shop Display because they are Magnificent and so I was totally Jazzed to get a bag of them while Goodwill Hunting for less than two bucks!  The only thing I have to monitor now is if we have Wee Guests that will assume they're the Real Deal and take a bite outta them?!?  *Smiles... it happens, what can I say?*

And we'll be having some Wee Guests since a Niece from out of State will be visiting with her Children this weekend and taking the G-Kid Force out for a Pizza Party.  I haven't seen her Newest Baby in person yet and am anxious to see the two older ones again, I've missed them so since they moved to Texas!   And they all Grow Up so FAST!

And being the total Pushover that I am, I allowed the G-Kid Force to just go ahead and play with the Gifts they uncovered rather than insist they be wrapped and Torment them because now they know and want desperately to play with them!  *Smiles*   The Young Prince being Fourteen I even let him pick out most of his Gifts this year... and so then of coarse Princess T insisted on picking out just a few of hers to be Fair!  *LOL*

And being the total little Gypsy Negotiator that she is, that one Conned her way into some pretty nifty picked out Presents that wouldn't go under the Tree, by saying she'd Assist Gramma with the take down of Halloween and the putting up of Christmas if she could get a lil somethin-somethin Extra for her Toil and Troubles!  *Smiles* 

And since Clearly she's the only one who would even be a Willing Volunteer to Assist with the Gargantuan Project Gramma was contemplating during their Winter School Break and to get done in a day mind you, it was a Mutually Beneficial Deal we Agreed upon!  *Winks*   So she has three Woodsy Shops and some LPS she didn't already own... which I didn't even think possible given her extensive Collection of them!?!  *Ha ha*   And she made Good on her Promise to be my Staff of one.

She and Santa even Conned Gramma into getting into the Free Santa Pixs at our Antique Mall... I'm always a bit hesitant only because I'm usually Fluffier than Santa and that's pretty discouraging when I'm trying mightily to get my Girlish Figure back!  *Le Sigh*   Hey Dan, couldn't ya Photoshop those extra chins outta there my Friend, coz other than that dead giveaway I looked Skinnier than Santa this year!  *Winks*

But hey, with Glitter and Glam abounding even a Fluffier me Feels positively Radiant this time of year!   And the serious Dietary and Lifestyle Changes can be the New Year's Resolution that I'll have to remain Accountable to in 2015, right?   I'm not exactly going Vegan, but I am increasing my Plant and Fresh Food intake and lessening my non-plant or processed intake considerably.

Better Pray for me on that Resolution because I really like Meat... and Bread... but I think if I don't totally deprive myself of it I should be Okay and just eat less of it than the other tasty Veggie and Fresh Stuff that I Enjoy equally well actually, so it's no big Sacrifice that should send me over the edge of Sanity.

Besides, there are plenty of other things that can do that for me, right?  *LOL*  But at least it will be a more Svelte me that careens over the edge if that happens... and after all that hard Work to get to be Healthier and Leaner, I doubt I wouldn't resist a Free Fall more strenuously.

With the Niece and Family visiting... and another of the Youngest Daughter's Childhood Friends coming by to join the Pizza Party and Help with the G-Kid Force... and The Man and In-Laws getting back in Today... we should have quite the Full House so it's nice that it's Holiday Ready to Receive everyone now.

I Enjoy that during the Holidays we often get to see Relatives and Friends who we don't get to see often... especially those visiting from out of State.   We haven't been able to Travel much after The Man's Tragic Accident so it's good that he's taking the leap of Faith to go on Road Trips again and realizing he can do it and Enjoy it still.

We sure missed him joining us for Thanksgiving Dinner... but knew he was Enjoying it with his Extended Family in Utah and most of his Brothers and Sisters were going to be able to make it this year for a Family Reunion for the Holidays.   We had an Amazing Thanksgiving Dinner at 'Cracker Barrel' this year, with Ham and Turkey on the plate...  no fuss, no muss... plenty of good food and leftovers to take Home... at a Bargain Price that included the drinks and Pumpkin Pecan Pie!

And of coarse that also left Dad's Coveted Recliner empty for others to kick back on...  *Smiles*

It's Okay, I Promise we won't Tell!   Besides, Dad never visits Mom's Cute Lil Decorating Blog so he doesn't have a Clue what I really Blog about!?!  *Bwahahahaha!*

And after Thanksgiving Dinner when the Guys went off and did their 'Thing' together... us Gals went off and did our 'Thing' together, which usually involves Shopping!  *Smiles*

But tho' I Helped his Beloved with crossing off some of the things on her List, I had already Completed mine... with the exception of sending about a Dozen of the G-Kids who live out of State or the Country their Cash Christmas Gifts... since that's always the right size and color.  *Winks*  And if I can manage not to run over any more screws left in the road by this annoying never ending Construction Project the City has going on I might not even have to replace the other three tires on the Jeep right before Christmas?  Lord have Mercy I've run over three screws in less than two weeks already... it's ridiculous how messy these crews are!
Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Transitioning From One Holiday To Another

Transitioning from one Holiday to another is helping to keep me Grounded and Focused in the Moment... rather than worrying about what the Future holds for ourselves and those we Love.   We've had a flurry of bad news piling in from Adult Children and the Extended Family, everything from job losses right before the Holidays to extreme Health Crisis... doesn't it always seem to happen that the worst of things can happen at the best of times?

But I am determined not to allow the devil any due to attempt to put a damper upon a Holy time we should Celebrate wholeheartedly regardless of Circumstances and the Issue of Life pressing in and down upon us.  And so with reckless abandon I threw myself into the Transition... of Transforming the Home the day after Thanksgiving into a Christmas Fantasyscape.

When I have the weight of grave concerns upon me a very strange thing actually happens as I block them out and set about with busyness... I get a startling amount accomplished in a relatively brief period of time!   It's pretty remarkable really how I can convert Negative Stress into a Positive Energy Force if I make up my Mind to!

I set the TV to the Music Choice Classic Christmas Channel, brewed some Starbucks, lit some scented Candles in Yankee Candle "Purr-Chouli" and Gold Canyon Candle "Warm Apple Crisp" Aromas throughout the house, donned my Collection of Santa Caps on the Mannequin Gals so I wouldn't Feel like I was doing all this Solo, and set about The Process of Ushering Christmas in at Bohemian Valhalla!

With The Man still on his Utah Trip and the G-Kid Force out playing in the balmy 82 Degree Sunshine we were Enjoying the day after Thanksgiving, it was a Perfect Opportunity for me to Focus without Distractions upon my Mission Statement to put the Halloween and Harvest Theme away and complete the Transition in one fell swoop from one Holiday to another.

Since I hold it down and keep it together by myself here at the Ole' Homestead, I have found that keeping my Mannequin Gal Collection scattered about when I've got a Big Project to tackle has had a very Therapuetic Effect on not Feeling so all alone, overwhelmed and underequipped as I get things done that gotta get done.  Yeah, maybe a little Crazy that Logic, and perhaps Creepy if Mannequins tend to Freak YOU out, but if it Works for me, well, hey, I just Work It!  *LOL*

Besides, it's a Great way to Purpose my Vintage Mannequin Gal Collection other than just with Styling Vintage Clothing and Accessories in the Studio or Modeling in the Showrooms.   When I initially began Collecting them it was with the sole intention of Retail Display.  But I find that Customers always want to buy the Gals... become tenacious to attempt to buy the Gals in fact because they are getting harder to come by... and frankly I wasn't the least bit interested in Selling off my Beloved Mannequin Gals!   

Maybe if I was doing Shows it would be different and Customers wouldn't Jones' so much for my Display Pieces, but in an Antique Mall Showroom setting, that is just too complicated and I  don't want to get calls for Selling NFS Display items, so the Gals stay Home to Work exclusively around the house and Studio.  *Smiles*

And so I put them to Work, especially around the Holidays when they can Model Lovely items, many of which I can no longer fit into yet, but don't wanna part with because it's Wardrobe that still Inspires me or is Visually Pleasing to me and maybe one day I'll wear again?  

And besides, the Gals keep my Santa Hat Collection handy and Displayed until I want to rotate the Collection on my own head during the Holiday Season.   Though I am not a Hat Person in that most don't look that good on me so I don't often wear a Hat, I AM a Hat Collector because I Love Vintage and Unique Hats to use in Display and Design.  I also have had Great Success in the Selling of Vintage and Unique Hats so my Collection Evolves constantly as Hats come in and go out... except for the most Beloved in the Collection.

I do Miss being able to ring the Bell for The Salvation Army during the Season... I used to wear a different Santa Hat every day during my Shifts.   Perhaps one day when the Kiddos are Grown and move out and The Man Recovers sufficiently from his Brain Injury I can do that and other Work again... but for now the Gals can Model them all each Season.
Along with some Killer Vintage Fur Hats that are just too hot to wear even during the Winter in the Desert, but I just Love the look of!  Mannequins don't sweat bullets wearing Furs, even when it's still 82 Degrees the day after Thanksgiving around here!  *Smiles*   This is a Vintage Chinchilla Hat that I 'pet' every time I walk by it because it's so Soft and Luxurious that it's a Sensual Pleasure to Touch! 

Yes, in just half of a day I got the whole place Decorated for Christmas and spent the rest of the Day... and the next... just Luxuriating in the Fruits of my Labor because it was just Magical to sit there listening to Holiday Music, sipping Coffee and just Relaxing amid my Christmas Fantasy brought to Life for this year's Theme.


And yes, I even wrapped the Gifts for the G-Kid Force, since we have been Blessed with so many G-Kids we have to get an early start on Saving up and Holiday buying to ensure the Budget stretches to make it all possible and Wonderful.


Now you might be Wondering why I went with a complete Theme for the Christmas Tree that mostly had to be Store Bought this year when it would have been more economic to use what I already have in Holiday Seasonal Storage and just rotate or Upcycle it?   Since I always Decorate the rest of the Room based on the Christmas Tree's Theme for the year.   Well, it's Simple really... I've misplaced the Storage Cottage Keys that store the Christmas Seasonal Decor and Collections for this Holiday!  *LOL*

It's True... the Key that I thought would unlock the Commercial Grade impenetrable Padlock doesn't work!  And now, after trying every freakin' key I could find around this Ole House and not having any luck unlocking the damn thing... and not wanting to hire a Locksmith... I decided to just start from scratch and not drive myself completely Insane trying to get into my Storage Cottage and not being able to!  Right now I don't need that added level of Stress... and it made me be just that much more Creative about this year's Decor for Christmas!  *Smiles*

Plus, as I said, regardless of Circumstances being WAY less than Ideal right now for us all in the Extended Family... we're Determined to Celebrate and have a Wonderful Christmas and remember the Reason for the Season.    So... after Gramma got Resourceful about Tree Decor since she couldn't get into ANY of her Ornament Collection from previous years... we went to visit Santa at our Antique Mall and get our Free Santa Portrait!

Which turned out Wonderful... even tho' we, nor Santa, could Convince Prince R that it's still Okay for Fourteen Year Old Young Men to sit on Santa's lap and have it immortalized thru the Eye of the Lens, Honest!   Guess last year was the Final Santa Visit for the Young Prince and now I'm down to one whose still Game for it!?  *Pouting*  

But back to the Transition Project's Big Reveal... because I was mighty Proud of myself for pulling it off so quickly and way before The Man and the In-Laws get back from their Trip!   I knew that once I had a house full... and other Company and Extended Family visiting for the Holidays that I'm expecting... some this very Weekend in fact... I probably wouldn't be able to get around to it.

And just having everything ready to Enjoy and Receive Guests for the Holidays makes me Feel like I can now Relax and just Enjoy the Season... as well as find ways to Deal With any Issues and Crisis that have to be dealt with even tho' it is the Holiday Season. 

I don't know about you but I Feel Energized when I have everything in Order, Cleaned and Decorated in my Living and Work Spaces.   There's so much else that I want to be able to Focus upon that is Enjoyable during the Season and now I feel free to concentrate on some of that, with these other things out of the way.

Have you begun your Holiday Decorating yet?  Are you getting into the Spirit of the Season now that the other Holidays have passed and we're moving from an Autumn Vibe to a Winter one... the Transition of Seasons?  

And of coarse for our Family the Primary Focus is upon the Reason for the Season, Christ our Lord and Savior.   Which makes the Issues of Life actually not as Overwhelming when we know Who has our backs and that God is in Control of it all and we Trust Him and find Peace in being in His most Capable Hands.

So even tho' the enemy may seek to devour, kill and destroy... and may lord over instigating Troubles for Mankind and be the master of deceptions and lies... our Destiny is not shaped by such things.  We have Divine Purpose and we'll be about the Doing of it regardless of obstacles put up to attempt to hinder and prevent us from doing what we're Called to do.

I don't think it's any coincidence that the Beloved are often confronted with turmoil and tribulation, the worst of things... at this particular best of times, the Celebration of Christ and His Birth.  Clearly it means we're doing something Right if the enemy is bothering to run this much interferance and not leaving us alone.   And we'll continue to Be where and how our Lord wants us to Be and the devil will just have to Deal With it!

And if you can Rejoice, Celebrate and continue to Worship while Dealing With Adversity... then you've already Won half the Battle over your adversaries haven't you?   So make this a time of Rejoicing... of Celebrating... and of Worshipping... kick it into High Gear in fact and thus give your adversaries, whoever they may be, a kick in the head that their Plan backfired and only made your Faith and Resolve that much Stronger!

This is a time for the Faithful to be reminded about the Work to be done on this side of Time and Eternity to bring Glory to our Lord, to be His Hands, His Feet and His Heart towards Mankind and continue with the Good Fight of Faith and the Great Commission!

I have always Loved the Quote: "Preach the Gospel to all the World, use words if you have to...", even tho' the Origins of it seem somewhat controversial, I don't really care who originally allegedly uttered it... because it reminds me of a Fact... that our Actions speak far louder than any words we might Preach.   I am always far more impressed with what a person does, than by what they may say, because the two don't always line up.  Faith in Action speaks volumes even if there is Silence while the Acts of Love take place.

I'll continue to Share the Lovely Images of the Season... from our Home... our Favorite Spaces and Places... and Hope it all will Inspire you and Delight you as it does us.   I just Love the Holiday Season and all that it Represents, so I refuse to allow anything to Spoil it.

And even if you and yours are 'Going Through' this Holiday Season my Hope and Prayer are that your Faith will Sustain you and that you too will be tenacious about not allowing the Issues of Life to Spoil your Celebration or take your Joy either!!!

Joyfully yours from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl