christmas decorations

Terri Windling, untidy desks and the underwater Christmas wedding

21 December 2010
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I just have to tell you, I am so tickled!  One of my favorite people out there in faery tale land is Terri Windling.  She wrote a book I dearly love called “The Wood Wife”.

It is a wonderful story of a woman who journies to the Arizona desert in pursuit of a poet and his story and finds instead magic and a deep soul changing power.  I highly recommend it!  She also has a lovely blog that covers all sorts of manner of things not the least of which is her art (sort of a cross between Susan Seddon Boulet, Arthur Rackham and Brian Froud) and her life with her husband and silly black hound in Devon, England (does everyone wonderfully touched by the fae live there and can I too… please, please?).  She is blogging a wonderful series called “On Your Desk” and has asked for creative types to send in photos of their “desk”, untidied, as-is, in the middle of the creative process, or however it appears to be.  She has already featured many of my heros like Alan Lee, Charles De Lint, Rima Stains and more.  So… on a whim…  I sent in my desk top (workspace) pictures, as it appears in the middle of the wedding I just did, and…  she put it up on her blog!  How cool is that I ask ya!  Here are a couple of the pictures I sent her but please go and visit her site (and look for the blog dated 12-20).

I think it will charm and delight you and you can see yours truly’s completely wiped out work area.

The wedding I was working on that appears in the “desk top” photos was a really fun beachy Christmassy style with tons of red roses as well as other rich burgundy colored flowers mixed with driftwood.   Here are some of the completed centerpieces…

The tent was beautiful both glowing warm and inviting and yet wintery looking up above.  Here are a few shots of the tables and decor…

They also had some fun lounge ares…

The couple also had a thing for hearts so I made two 12′ tall driftwood hearts, decorated them with flowers and a mini chandelier and hung them from the tent rafters.

The tent looked beautiful as the night moved in…

And check out this desert spread!   The worst part was that I had to look but not touch (or eat!)

Now for the “underwater” part.  We here in Santa Barbara are in the middle of a week long deluge with another week or so predicted.  Absolutely everything is soaked, saturated, drowned and in every other way… wet!.  Now this wedding was held in an outdoor venue at the San Ysidro Ranch…  yes I said outdoor.  They had decided right from the off they would have a tent just to keep everyone warm.  What we all didn’t know is that the tent had to work in the driving rain as well.  I mean I think I saw Noah sailing the ark by at one point!  So not only did they tent the reception site and the ceremony site but they had to tent all the walkways and even the rented bathrooms.  They even had to build floors and sub floors for all these tents too!  What with washed out service roads and parking areas and huge tent and party rental trucks, delivery vans with trailers (us), and all manner of support vehicles jockeying around trying to keep to the only narrow road that was left…  lets just say that you could have shot the pilot for “Exstream Weddings” (pun intended) on this wedding!  Now I notice I said narrow service road…  what I should have said was narrow-fast-moving-river-with-rapids.  To unload you had to stand in the rapids with the water sending waves up to your thighs as you tried in vain to keep the items you were unloading dry.  After I set up the ceremony Chuppa I had to take paper towels and dry off the flowers and branches so it didn’t drip on the bride.  Quite the day let me tell you!  The pictures however show a beautiful serene and cozy wedding, which I guess is as it should be.  After all the craziness and a lot of completely exhausted vendors the bride and groom had a lovely time and were completely unaware of all the stress (that is until they read this).  So another wonderful wedding completed and thankfully the next one isn’t for a couple of months…  I need that time to dry out!

Finally… a bit of Christmas!

13 December 2010
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Santa’s helpers finally showed up…

After they helped me decorate a couple stayed behind to hang out on the wreath…

We made this wreath by hot gluing different types of moss to a Styrofoam wreath base.  We then added bits of pepper berry and bark with a couple of beaded flowers for sparkle.

The tree…  we got a tiny one this year (because the house is so full!!)

Sorry I am not a photographer!  I tried to capture the lights at night…  it didn’t work too well.

I love to add natural bits in like Heather, Succulents and Eucalyptus.  It makes the tree look full and pretty even in the day time.

A drawer full of elves and Santas..

A collection of Nutcrackers, some from my mom and snow globes too…

My all time favorite story…  Peter Pan.  This globe is so fun. When you wind up the music box Peter flies around Big Ben.  Wendy, Michael and John are shown on the bottom flying around the buildings of London.

A Santa globe.

A little village scene…

I wish I could shrink down to a pixy size and play in the houses, except my cats would probably catch me and eat me!

There are only two of us but I have stockings for lots of feet!  They are just so fun!  Since we do not have a fireplace I just hang them around the walls.

Assorted books spanning my childhood up to the present.  “The Night Before Christmas” on the right I have had since I was one.

“The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads”

As a kid I used to look at this picture for hours desperately wanting to fall into it…  It is probably part of the reason I am obsessed with faries now.

Anyway just some fun bits to show you…   In the next post I will have a tutorial on how to make custom garland of which I made about 100 feet today!

Enjoy the festive season, don’t forget to go play and have fun in the midst of all the craziness!