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Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Christmas Quiz

Each year I throw a big, blow-out, holiday party with the focus on handmade desserts (I mostly eat food to justify eating dessert).

This years party had:

Cake Pops shaped like Santa Hats and Christmas balls  (from the Bakerella Cookbook)

Apple Pie on a stick (not as hard as you’d think to make),

the famous Kalhua Balls from my sister Paula (whose Christmas party is like mine on steroids),

Chocolate Peppermint Patty cookies,

Cherry Hand Pies,

and, of course,

my mom’s awesome sugar cookies! (my mom used to make, literally hundreds of these each year and the smell of them baking is instant Christmas to me).

My friend Alisa managed to snap a couple of pics with her camera phone before it all went away (I of course forgot to take pictures).

And each year the guests all get the annual Holiday Trivia Quiz which is, mostly, based on my frightening knowledge of all the Christmas Specials of my childhood.  It started out as a lark and now the guests all expect it.

I thought maybe some of you might enjoy the challenge or want to use it for your own Holiday Gathering.

Here are some sample questions and, if you’d like you can download the whole thing (and the answer key) below:

1)   Which reindeer had to undergo years of therapy after being left out of Twas The Night Before Christmas

A)   Dasher

B)    Dancer

C)    Rudolph

D)   Prancer

11)    If your true love had just dumped several girls with their pet cows on you what thoughtful gift could you next expect?

A)        A small, all-girl ballet company

B)        Beyonce’s greatest desire

C)        Some fouls with awesome cell service

D)        Some adult, female, chickens who like wine, cheese and all thing Jerry Lewis.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Holiday Season!


Christmas Trivia Quiz

Christmas has kicked my butt!

(First off, my apologies for those of you who get email notifications of new posts.  I hit the wrong  button a few minutes ago and prematurely published – this is the real version).

Wow!  I thought I was ready and together for Christmas.

I was wrong!

I’m sold out of almost everything I make.  Etsy is empty.  I had to skip the Rose Bowl last weekend because I had nothing to sell.  And I’ve spent the last few days rushing to fill a corporate order that had me making 160 coasters in about two days.

This is what’s known as an excellent problem!

And, even though it’s old news I wanted to get a post in about Unique LA.

It was a great experience.  So many talented vendors, beautifully organized and such terrific (and abundant) customers!

It started off a little rocky (thanks to me) though.

The folks who run Unique take it very seriously and expect you to step up to the plate as far as your booth decorating and planning and such.

So my booth partner Trisha and I decided we would create panels for her products to hang on, frame the sides of the pillar that made up the corner of our booth and coordinate it all in a single color.  Excellent!  I just had to build it.

We also settled on a paint color color – a  vintagy blue green that we got from one of Trisha’s old matchbooks.  She went and got the paint matched I got to work.

The resulting color was…..not what I had imagined.  It was a perfect match to what we’d chosen – nobody did anything wrong.  But when splashed everywhere rather than just on a tiny section of a matchbook it looked as if we either A) sold onesies for babies or B) our store was an homage to 1950s mental institutions.  The former would have been totally misleading.  The latter was, given my lunatic nature, a bit closer to the truth but not really the vibe one wants to project.

But it was up there and it was too late to change it.

Move in day was hectic.  Freight elevator delays, forgotten tools (like my drill!), general panic and I didn’t finish setting up in time so I came back the next morning to finish.

I kinda failed.

So they opened the doors to the event.  The happy crowd swelled in and…..I was on the floor under a table madly hunting for coasters.

So much for a graceful entrance.

But after that everything went great.

The booth actually looked good once everything was up (sorry for the phone pictures but, along with the drill I forgot my camera).

I made this shelving system to disply the HOME signs and boy did it work.  Sold out in about an hour – had to hussle to make more that night (I didn’t know I could make them that fast.  Apparently I just needed the right motivation).

And by the second day I was almost totally wiped out of stock and had learned a valuable lesson about how to prepare for next Christmas.

Now I’m in Ohio for my mom’s 90th Birthday celebration!

My Genius Sister – Guest Post

Unique LA was AMAZING!!!  And totally overwhelming!  I thought i was prepared but….I was not prepared.  I’ll post about it later with pics and tales.

But in the meantime my genius sister Phebe has stepped in to save me with my first Guest Post!

You may recall my last post about my mom’s ornaments.  Well Phebe has come up with a great way to showcase them on their own.  It’s a perfect solution and would work for anyone who had a special collection they wanted to highlight but wanted something simple and easy to store.

So, without further adiue I give you Phebe!

So, the other night (in the middle…yes, I’m at that waking-up-for-no-reason age) I was pondering my brother’s request to write a piece for his blog.  What could I add?  Then it came to me….I’d share the item he highly praised a few years ago when I sent him some pictures!  So here goes…I didn’t take pictures while I did it (no thoughts of publication then), but one of its best features is the simplicity, breakdown and storage, so you’ll be able to get the idea!

One of my holiday conundrums…how to single out my mom’s ornaments without adding a second tree to our, well, cottage-style home in which two trees, even if one was small, would be tantamount to planting a forest indoors?  Also, how to spice up my dining room without going overboard there?

I came up with this flat tree that would go against our French doors.

After measuring for the height and width of the doors and deciding the best distance between branches for the ornaments in question to hang, we headed for the big box store for supplies.  There we found a “forest” of trim and molding and then finalized the look.  I was pleased to find a piece of trim that already had a leafy vine carved into it!

Then my ever-clever husband found the metal pieces to bend and thus render a tree that could be stored flat and narrow and easily re-assembled each year.

I chose to use a green stain on the branches and trunk and a brown stain for the base, but I think a rich wood stain on all parts would be cool.  I also think you could make one for a smaller window (or a bay) and paint it white.  The tree could be up year round, decorated seasonally (an egg tree, red-white-and blue bunting, spiders and webs) or just left undecorated, if trees are your thing.

Of course, before staining, we sanded it overall, especially the cut edges.  We also marked the centers of each limb on the back for re-assembly…the marks have reduced (but not eliminated) the yearly spousal arguments discussions about the equality of the branches.  I keep pointing out that a modernistic version might be intentionally uneven, (kind of cool against a flat wall!) but he will have none of that.

We put a hook on the top of the tree and a small nail on the top of the door frame to enhance the security of the tree’s vertical position (thanks for the vocabulary, Daddy).  Otherwise, it is not attached to the French doors in any way.

Now, the ornament collection.   All of us have unique collections of our mom’s work (“…you have the best Red Riding Hood Wolf!”….”I never got the whole Wizard of Oz group!”) Seriously, we all love them and are especially proud to show them to our guests each year, thus my special tree.

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