Friday, November 20, 2009

Gentle Pleasures

from Emily Bryan

I'm in the middle of revisions for STROKE OF GENIUS (June 2010) and trying to come up with the next premise that will propel me 400 pages. But this morning, I'm calling a halt. It's time to do something mindless and soothing.

I'm making origami Christmas ornaments.

This too is writing related because I need to send them out to the readers who participated in NightOwl Romance's virtual signing for A CHRISTMAS BALL. With my apologies for taking so long about it. Thank you to everyone who was part of that virtual signing. (If anyone would like a signed copy, please see The Book Oasis. I've just made an agreement with a local indie bookseller to provide signed copies of all my books online!)

I learned to make origami cranes when I was in 5th grade and when they're done with foil paper, they're perfect for the Christmas tree. When my DH and I first married, we lived very lean (young people wildly in love can do that without realizing it at the time!) so our first trees were always decorated with homemade ornaments. I still have a few of those early ornaments to remind us where we've been.

If you and I were sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of my DH's delicious fresh ground coffee, I'd show you how to make a Christmas Crane. But alas, we'll have to do this virtually. Here's the link to the best directions I've ever seen on how to make these. Enjoy!

What homemade Christmas ornaments are special to you?

PS. If you haven't entered my MERRY CHRISTMAS BALL CONTEST, there's still time. The drawing for the $100 gift card will be held December 1st! Please tell your friends!


Jane L November 20, 2009 at 6:45 AM  

Ok Emily! I am exhausted thinking about keeping up with you. Let's see she writes great stories, she blogs like a crazy woman and she is crafty to boot! Hmmm maybe we could all hire you! LOL! I have to say I am not very crafty as far as creating cute little things, but I can bake Christmas cookies like there is no tomorrow, I have already started! I so enjoy it!

Amanda McIntyre November 20, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

A woman after my own heart ;) Whern I go to decorate the tree now, I pull out all those handmade ornaments that my kids have made over the years. My MIL gave me a cottonball snoman on skis that my husband made when he was young and that too, gets packed lovingly away in its own treasure box.

I can remember our earlier "lean" Christmas's when I sewed like a mad woman. One year everyone in the family recevied tree skirts with sequins and embroidery--I find handsewing extremely soothing;)

Then there was the "year of the puff wreath"-and the toll painting on small handheld chalkboards.

It does my heart good to go to these houses,, twenty + years later and still see them hanging in promoinent places or being used at Christmas.

Kinda makes me get a bit weepy thinking about it LOL

I think aside form dh's fragile little snowmen are the strange looking little ornaments my kids made through the years-the odd pinecorn adornments, the ribbon and laced picture frames and the macaroni ornaments ;)

And more recently, I was given the most treasured gift of all with recieving my grandmothers Christmas decorations..priceless.

Great topic, Em!

Amanda M

Janet Kay Gallagher November 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

Plastic Canvas ornaments were one of my crafts until the fingers could not do that any more. Friend made Quilled ornaments.
Macaroni angels were big for awhile. Lots of memories in all those past Christmas preperations.
Hope you will enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

EmilyBryan November 20, 2009 at 1:01 PM  

Jane--Oh no! I'm not crafty. Some women knit. Some paint. I fold paper. LOL!

Mmmm. . . . Christmas cookies!

EmilyBryan November 20, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

Amanda--I have a little old Santa Clause with articulated arms and legs that was under my grandparent's tree for my father's first Christmas. It's always fun to get him out each year to live under mine, even though his face is a little smooshed and his felt clothes are wearing thin.

Fortunately my dad is in much better shape than his first Santa!

EmilyBryan November 20, 2009 at 1:25 PM  

Janet--Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas, too.

librarypat November 20, 2009 at 8:37 PM  

Thanks for the link. They are good directions. Even I may be able to follow them.
When the kids were much younger, we usually did a different handmade decoration each year. Since I was a scout leader for both boys and girls, my troops were usually doing the same craft. One year we did rudolph out of dog biscuits, really cute. Did the cloths pin reindeer, shrinky dinks, plastic stained glass ornaments, sewn and stuffed ornaments, walnut shells done as baskets or dioramas, bread dough ornaments, lifesaver dolls, etc. Don't know that I had a favorite. Each one was perfect for the year we did them.

EmilyBryan November 21, 2009 at 4:14 AM  

Pat, I didn't think I could improve on those directions. I made almost 50 cranes yesterday so I'll have some to give away at my book signing on the 12th.

When we moved to Boston, we left lots of things in Missouri (where we hope someday to retire.) So all our decorations here are new and downsized. Time to make some new memories I guess!

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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