Christmas Crafting!

I have a confession to make: this is my first year ever actually doing Christmas decorations. I used to like them as a child. Particularly though, I liked fidgeting with the little wooden snowmen and angels and Santas in the Christmas tree.

When I left my parental home to go into independence training, it never occurred to me to decorate for the holidays. Besides, I was back with my parents over Christmas. I never celebrated Christmas in my independent living student accommodation and once in the mental hospital, I hated decorations with a passion. During my first year there, I even ripped them all off. I don’t think my husband cared much for decorations during the years I lived with him either. Then when I went into the care facility, for the first two years, apparently I wasn’t feeling stable enough to decorate my room. In fact, I never quite considered it “my room”. Now I sort of do. I consider that a major win, since it means I’m beginning to feel safe in the care facility. Maybe the fact that I started decorating for Christmas, has some symbolic meaning.

I don’t have a lot of decorations. I have a store-bought, simple, ready-made Christmas tree and a couple of smaller decorations here and there. The point is I have something though.

In addition, this is probably the first year I’ve genuinely crafted something for Christmas too. I mean, during the year I did card making (around eight to nine years ago), I did create Christmas cards too, but these were so ugly a five-year-old could have made them. This year, I actually added my very own home-crafted piece to my Christmas decor.

First, several weeks ago, I created a cookie cutter polymer clay Christmas tree charm. I fully intended on finishing it off with gold Fimo Liquid after adding the balls, but decided after it got out of the oven that I didn’t really like the way it turned out after all. I don’t have a picture for this reason.

Then, last week, I found out how to make an actual three-dimensional Christmas tree. I made it using the same color (Fimo soft Emerald) I’d used for the cookie cutter charm. It’s a shame Fimo doesn’t offer Christmas tree green! I added two colors of balls (Indian Red and Metallic Gold) and added a Metallic Gold star for its top.

Later that week, one of my staff told me about a project she’d been working on in which she’d used a metal ring, a part of a tree trunk, a string of lights and some washi tape to create a Christmas decoration. I thought to myself, how fun would it be to glue my polymer clay Christmas tree onto the tree trunk and work from there.

On Friday, fully having the tree trunk and metal ring project in mind, I created a polymer clay snowman too. That was a bit harder, because it had to be smaller than the Christmas tree and of course the snowman includes more intricate features.

On Saturday, when the staff who’d talked about the tree trunk project came by, she showed me the tree trunk. I think here’s where my concept development is a bit lacking, as I had absolutely no idea how huge a tree trunk would be. In my mind, I had imagined a small piece of wood, but it was the actual trunk of an actual, large tree. Yes, she’d said a tree trunk, right? Needless to say my Christmas tree, which isn’t even 10cm high or 5cm wide, would be invisible when used on this trunk.

Instead of the trunk, we decided to use a small piece of cardboard to stick the Christmas tree and snowman onto. I am not sure how well they will remain secured, as I’ve heard mixed messages about glue and polymer clay. The fake snow we used to spread around the tree and snowman, also hardly stuck at all, but for now, it’s in its place.

We decided to use a much smaller ring than the one my staff had had in mind, because of course the large ring would again drown out my polymer clay sculptures. Since the string of lights was meant for the large ring, we couldn’t use that, but we could use some mini Christmas balls and washi tape.

I couldn’t do much in creating this final project, as most of the parts had to be glued together using a glue gun, but I don’t mind. I like that I at least did the polymer clay crafting.

Do you usually do any Christmas-related crafting?

Linking up with Inspire Me Monday and #LifeThisWeek.

An Unexpectedly Productive Monday

Today, I’m feeling better than I was expecting when I woke up this morning. I mean, I didn’t sleep well last night. I was ruminating a lot into the wee hours of the night and then kept being woken by a fellow client’s screams. This client can’t speak or use any form of alternative augmentative communication. The staff think he was in pain, but they couldn’t figure out what was bothering him. Thankfully, he seems calmer now. I hope he actually is.

I had a pretty productive day today. In the morning, I went to my GP. I had to discuss how I’m doing with respect to my abdominal discomfort now that I’m on one magnesium tablet a day. Together, we decided to leave it at this for now. I’m not totally well, but I’m as well as possible.

I also asked him to do a breast exam, because I’ve been feeling some discomfort. I felt okay with a male examining my breasts, after all he’s a doctor. Thankfully, he found no abnormalities, but he referred me for a mammogram just in case anyway. It’s been scheduled for this coming Thursday, which I consider really early given the state of healthcare and the pandemic and all.

In the afternoon, I decided to sort through my polymer clay stash to throw out the clay I can no longer work with. I mean, I know all clay can be made workable if conditioned enough, but I just feel that it’s too much work for me given how totally crumbly some of them are and how some of them literally get shredded by my pasta machine.

In the evening, I went for a walk, made another polymer clay unicorn and decorated my room for Christmas. Yes, I’m early for someone from the Netherlands, as most people don’t start decorating until after St. Nicholas, but I won’t be celebrating that anyway.

How was your day?

A Good Enough Tuesday

Today is November 2. It’s a Tuesday. A good enough Tuesday, mind you. I didn’t dwell too much on it being the anniversary of my crisis in 2007.

I didn’t really get stressed out about the prime minister delivering another press conference, one in which he’d be announcing new COVID-related restrictions, either. If I’m correct, the press conference is happening right now or has just finished. When I passed by the living room, where the television is, I heard the prime minister say something about “strongly recommending” us to social distance again. Well, whatever. If it’s just a “strong recommendation”, it’s a suggestion, so no-one will do it. Masks are similarly “strongly recommended”.

I didn’t do too much today. Had my blood pressure taken this morning, which was within the normal range (112 over 77) even though I had already been up for a bit. I normally ask that staff check my blood pressure first thing in the morning, because it’s usually up a little when I’ve been active. Not this time though.

I also went to Action, a budget store, to buy some Christmas decorations. I won’t be putting them up till early December, but I wanted to be early buying them to make sure I still had a wide selection to choose from.

I have been wanting to craft too, but that will have to wait till tomorrow. After all, then one of my more creative one-on-one staff will be there for my day activities shift. I will finish the polymer clay owl I’ve been working on.

I did struggle a bit with attachment issues and emotional flashbacks today, but both were manageable. Overall, like I said, it was a good enough day. And that’s totally okay.

Five Things I Love About Fall #5Things

Today’s topic for the #5Things challenge is things we love about autumn. Or fall of course, as I primarily use American English on my blog (as far as I’m aware). Fall is my least favorite season and today is a beautiful late summer day with temps having risen to 26°C. However, there are definitely signs that fall is upon us already. To prepare myself, I’m sharing my favorite things about the season.

1. Fall colors. Like DrTanya mentioned in her original post, there’s something special about the specific shades of orange, yellow, red and green that come with fall. I am of course no longer able to actually see colors, but I can still imagine what they look like.

2. Warm, comfy clothes. Of course, I mentioned that one of my favorite things about summer is the ability to wear skirts and other looser-fitting clothes. However, I also love the feel of my more autumnal clothes. I especially will be looking for a onesie someday this fall.

3. Comfort food. DrTanya already mentioned apple pie. Mmm, how I love this! I also really want to be making pumpkin spiced something at least once this fall.

4. Decorating for a new season. I don’t really have much in the way of home decor in my room, but would really like to change that. One of my staff already offered to make a fall-themed table decoration with me.

I am quite the collector type, so I love looking for pine cones, acorns and fallen leaves.

5. Spending more time indoors. Fall is most known for its rainy days. While I don’t like rainy weather itself, I can appreciate the time to be indoors and read or craft.

What are some things you love about fall?

My Fall 2020 Bucket List #Blogtober20

Today’s prompt for #Blogtober20 is “Into the Groove”. I don’t really know what to do with that prompt, so instead I’m going to share my fall bucket list. September is usually mild here, but by October, fall weather is truly here. That is, two years ago, we had a day in mid-October when the temperature rose to 27°C. That seems unlikely this year. It’s windy and rainy right now. Fall is here! Let me share my fall bucket list.

1. Play in a pile of fallen leaves. I would really like to do that this year. I used to love the colors of fallen leaves. Now, I can no longer see them, but I can still smell and feel the leaves and hear them rustle.

2. Do a fall-related craft. I have been looking at lots of projects to try. For example, someone in a craft-related Facebook group did a needle-felted pumpkin. I’ve never tried needle felting, but I immediately wondered whether it’d be doable for me. I’ve also seen lots of other fall-related crafts and want to try at least one of them.

3. Prepare some fall-related food. I’d love to try something with pumpkin spice, as I just recently learned what it is and that it doesn’t involve actual pumpkin. I think it’s delicious!

4. Make a fall-themed soap. I think one of my favorite soaping suppliers has a photo contest in November – at least they did in previous years. I never participated, as I won’t win anyway, but I want to try this year. In any case, in previous years, all contestants would get a coupon just for participating. I don’t have fall-themed molds, but of course I could experiment with fall-related ingredients too. Otherwise, I could just participate with a different themed soap, as there is no set theme.

5. Read a thriller or other spooky book. I’ve seen a lot of them on people’s fall TBRs. I’m not a big fan of fantasy, but I do like the occasional thriller.

6. Create a fall-based tablescape. Or do some other fall-themed decorating in my room. I’ve not done tablescapes at all before. I mean, I don’t have a table that isn’t used. However, now I do have the small table that I can use until someone else needs it. It has just my essential oil diffuser on it. I would really like to create some fall-related decor on that table.

What’s on your fall bucket list?

#Blogtober20