I am finding that as the Christmas season is getting closer, it is getting a bit harder to write here and to talk about what I am up to. The days have been busy, but most of what I am working on is ‘secret stuff’ and I don’t really want to put pictures and stuff up here. Too many of the people who are getting things are those who read and I am finding that it is difficult to be a secret elf and still write about my day every day.
All I can say is “I have been busy.”
I spent the day yesterday organizing and getting things ready to send out. I brought all the wrapping materials in from the car outside and needed to go through that. I also needed to sort all the stuff and take an inventory on what I am sending to whom. I have made many things for others, as well as picked up little somethings over time and it was time to gather everything in one spot and see who gets what.
It really is quite fun to do and the cats are fascinated with all the boxes and wrap and ‘things’ to investigate. I think it is more work for them than it is for me.
I also added a lot to my little tree. It now has red beaded garland, some candy canes, several silk poinsettias and a few red clip on birds with feathered tails adorning it. There is only one ornament on it so far – a hand-blown glass tiger that my son and his wife sent me last year from Brookfield Zoo near Chicago. I used to be a member of the zoo for over 20 years and took Phil there frequently from the time he was an infant. I love the zoo because it was one of the first zoos that set the animals up in habitats instead of cages. It was large and spread out and we used to go there just for lunch when he was still in a stroller. We would bring out own sandwiches and picnic by the large fountain and enjoy the outdoors. It was a great way to appreciate nature even though we lived in a heavily populated area.
Phil is still a member of the zoo, and every year he tries to attend their Holiday Magic celebration where they keep the zoo open later in the evening and the entire place is decorated with lights, trees from the many local suburbs and schools, and ice sculptures. There are carolers and hot cocoa and it truly is a different place at night and one of my favorite memories from when the kids were small. Below are some pictures of the event:
Their website is here if you want to read more about it:
I suppose that I owe a lot of my deep love and appreciation of animals to the zoo. I remember going there for field trips when I was in grammar school. Seeing the magnificent creatures at an arm’s distance was an amazing experience and taught me to respect and value their role in our world. They were and still are a wonderful inspiration for me in both my wood designing and also in my painting. One of the first ‘real paintings’ I did was that of a snow leopard, as they are my favorite of the big cats. I did this painting the year I came to Canada, in 2004, and finished in 2005t. It is still one that I am quite proud of.
It is funny how one ornament makes my mind wander and go back in time. I suppose that is what ornaments are supposed to do. While many of my traditional ornaments are still in storage, all it took was one special ornament to bring me back to a place long ago.
I may just leave one ornament on my tree this year. I find no need to add any more. Between the lights and birds and garland and candy canes, it looks plenty full. And the tiger ornament my son gave me certainly fills it up with enough memories to last the season.
Have a wonderful day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"