It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas 01 - tree

It’s beginning to look pretty Christmas-y in my apartment these days, thanks to my trusty old Christmas tree and other little decorations.  Before I head home for the holidays, I thought I’d take one last look around and enjoy my festive little studio while the holiday buzz is still a-buzzin’.  : )  My Christmas tree is practically an antique (Santa used to leave *my* presents under this tree as a kid) and is decked out with some serious fiber-optic fabulousness.  Truly a sight to be seen.  A few years ago I made a bunch of handmade ornaments for it, and I’m happy to say that they’re still making me smile this year.  This tree is so me – I love it!

First up, my favorite ornament on the tree: “Baby’s First Christmas 1980.”  Aww, how sweet.  : )  This ornament is 31 years old and still going strong.  I don’t know how I managed to acquire this treasure from my parents’ collection, but I’m sure glad I did!

Christmas 02 - 1980

A little heart made out of strips of pink paper, and a bright red origami dove:

Christmas 03 - heart and bird

More paper goodies: a holiday bauble and an origami crow.  The crow holds a special place in my heart, as my grandfather (who passed away a few years ago) taught me how to make these guys as a kid.  Apparently he learned while overseas in the Army.  The wings flap up and down when you pull the tail.  How adorable!  I remember my grandfather teaching me when I was young, and I always think of him when I see this guy on my tree.  : )

Christmas 04 - bell and crane

A snowflake made out of silver pipe cleaners and some clear plastic beads.  Don’t be fooled: this guy took me forever to put together.  Not sure why, but this was a pain to make!  It looks cute, but notice how there is only *one* of them, haha.  I also made a simple garland with some white pom-poms and sewing thread.  Cuteness!

Christmas 05 - snowflake with beads

To soften up all the origami and pipe cleaners, I sewed a bunch of yo-yos with a bundle of coordinating cotton fabrics and some star-shaped buttons.  Love them!!  I think they really make the tree homey and welcoming.  : )

Christmas 06 - star and yo-yos

Like the pipe cleaner snowflake, I made exactly *one* wrapping paper star.  This thing took me TWO HOURS to put together, and I was pretty cross-eyed by the end of it.  Note: Do not make this star with very small pieces of paper, trust me!  Go larger and save yourself the drama.  Only elves with tiny, tiny fingers and proficient taping skills should attempt such a feat on a small scale.  Srsly.

Christmas 07 - wrapping paper star

Moving on from the tree, some candy canes from my advisor (from a little shop in Cape Cod, MA).

Christmas 08 - candy canes

A wreath made out of miniature Christmas presents, inherited from my grandparents with the Christmas tree.  I *love* this wreath.  It’s unusual, colorful, bright and cheery, and it reminds me of my grandparents whenever I see it.  Aww.  : )  The clunky mechanical peep hole can give you an idea of just how old my building is.  It actually opens up to reveal a three-inch wide HOLE in my front door.  No glass, just a huge hole in the door.  Weird.

Christmas 09 - wreath

A paper snowflake that I made from this tutorial.  Love it!  I would have never come up with this beautiful design on my own.  Thank goodness for the internet.  : )

Christmas 10 - paper snowflake

And finally, Maggie posing next to the tree while stalking a squirrel out the window (you know, the usual).  Does anyone else find it strange that there are still orange leaves on the trees and yet Christmas is upon us?  This warm November is really throwing me for a loop… but I’m not complaining!  The warm weather was beautiful.  I’ll take an orange Christmas over two feet of snow.

Christmas 11 - Maggie

That’s about it!  I’m ready to head home, do some serious holiday cooking, and catch up with my family.  My grandmother’s recipes are all packed, and I’m ready to put on my apron and channel my inner Italian housewife.  See you in NY!  : )

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