Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

December 16, 2011

Peeking in

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:03 pm
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Having a peek – that’s what I’ve been doing this week.  As we approach the holidays, my days seem to get busier, but I’ve still been trying to peek in on all of you.  And here we are at the weekend before Christmas already!  We have a Christmas party to go to tomorrow, and I am at the point where I really need to take inventory of what I have purchased so far and what I still need to get.  Anyone else ever do that?  Forget exactly what you’ve bought so you have to refresh your memory to make sure you didn’t forget anyone?  I suspect I will be full of “to-do” and “to-buy” lists over the coming week.

Continuing with peeking in, here’s a little peek at some of those details that I love so much about my Christmas village.  As I explained in my previous post, I try to change up the look of my village each year by displaying a few different pieces and arranging them differently.  Different this year is my dining room picture-window display, which I imagine as a quiet seaside town in Maine.  I showed you this picture in the last post, but here it is again in case you don’t want to scroll back to have a look:
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Here’s a piece I haven’t always displayed because it doesn’t always have a place to fit in:
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This ice fisherman didn’t come with the frozen lake, but I thought they worked well together.  Can you see there are actually fish there under the “water”?  If you look back up to the first picture, there’s an ice fishing shack in the background too.

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This skating pond has been a favorite of the cats in my life for many years.  When clicked into the “on” position, motorized magnets make the skaters swirl about their frozen pond, much to the delight of mischievious kitties who enjoy swatting the tantalizing figures.  Cedric has already been “cow tipping” by the dairy barn this year, by the way!

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Here’s a piece I don’t think I displayed at all last year – “Vineland Estates Winery.”  Here you will find details you might not expect in the typical lit village houses, such as:
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wine bottles and glasses

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and grapevines

I meant to show you this picture in my last post, but somehow it got away from me.  You don’t mind if I add it now, even if it has nothing to do with what I’ve been talking about right?
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This is what happens when you accidentally leave the shutter open for 8 seconds while pointing the camera at your silly dog dressed up in Christmas lights.  It’s kind of cool, though, isn’t it?

Then that picture made me think of this one:
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I had seen both Robin and Holly trying out this form of abstract art done with Photoshop, so I decided to play too.  I started with a picture of my glowing snowman and followed directions given in a tutorial.  If you’d like to try too, Holly has a link to that tutorial in her post to which I linked.

My whole family is actually home tonight – hubby and both daughters- so I’ll be stepping away from the computer and chores and shopping tonight for a rare family movie night.  Hubby seems quite excited about it and has gone out and bought us boxes of movie candy to enjoy, despite the fact that he’s making us spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tonight.  I guess I’ll just have to find some room to fit it all in!

December 11, 2011

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling too…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:46 pm
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Can you believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away?  The past few days have been a flurry of activity in preparation for the upcoming holiday.  Many miles have been logged by hubby and me as we’ve gift shopped, Christmas tree hunted and made multiple trips to get  what we needed for decorating.  Had there been snow on the ground, a sleigh ride probably would’ve been more efficient!  As we got busy putting up the tree, I put my iPod on Pandora and chose Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” as my “station”. That’s one of my favorite Christmas songs.  Want to see a clip of one of the cutest dances ever to that song? Okay:

Yes, that’s my Meghan, about 5 years ago.  I wish I had video available to post of the whole dance – it was adorable.

Okay, ahem, sorry about that little diversion. I still have “Sleigh Ride” stuck in my as I heard it in many variations throughout the weekend, hence the title of my post tonight.

In the process of putting up the tree, we discovered that my favorite strings of red, white and green lights – alternating on single strings- were burning out and we wouldn’t be able to use them.  This saddened me a bit because I have never been able to find exact  replacements for them.  We bought individual strands of red, white and green to help fill  in a few years ago, but those weren’t working this year.  I don’t know if it was the tree or us, but nothing we tried seemed to make it look right.  Then Meghan offered to pop out  lights from the 3 different colored strands and pop them back together to make 3 new strands of the type that I like.  I sat down to help and got a lot popped out pretty quickly.  Upon attempting put the lights back in, we discovered the different bulbs would not go on the other strings of lights!  ARGH.  We gave up and went and bought different lights.  But not before Teddy had a chance to try out the decorations:
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After much more work than it should have been – there were issues with the stand too **SIGH** – the tree was finally done:
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That was yesterday.  Decorating continued today with putting up my Christmas village.  I told you about my village last year in this post.  The village changes a bit each year in the pieces I choose display and how I choose to display them.  I have two sections of village this year.  The first section is my downtown/suburbs area:
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This year I added a quiet “countryside” area:

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When I get around to pulling out the tri-pod, I’ll show you some of the neat close-up details on some of these pieces.

My back is aching, and Christmas tunes are still playing in my head, but I feel very accomplished at the close of this weekend.  My Christmas shopping is not done, but a large chunk has been taken care of, and the decorating is done.  Unless I decide it’s not.  I have another idea in my head, but time will tell whether I actually do it. We have a party to go to next weekend, and sometime in the next two weeks, this house needs some serious cleaning since we are the hosts of Christmas dinner.  OH, and I still need to get my 4 seasons assignment for Scott posted!

I was going to write several posts tonight and schedule them for later in the week, but I don’t think the back is going to allow.  Hopefully, I’ll get a couple more posts in than I did last week.  I hope your holiday preparations are coming along nicely for you!

December 19, 2010

Welcome to Snow Village

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 3:58 pm
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Even though there’s no real snow on the ground around here (except for what is left of the dusting from earlier in the week), there is always snow in my living room each Christmas.

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I have been collecting the Original Snow Village by Dept. 56 for about 18 years now.  There are many styles of collectible villages out there, but I love the painstaking detail that goes into the Dept. 56 pieces.  I chose this Village from all Dept. 56 offers because of its glossy finish to the buildings, the about 25% larger building size and the huge variety of pieces available.  I started collecting when a local department store went out of business.  I’d estimate my total village size at about 30 lit pieces.  I don’t think I’ve ever displayed my entire collection at once; some pieces have fallen into disfavor or disrepair over the years, and as Dept. 56 improved the pieces over the years, some of the older ones don’t appeal to me as much any more.  In 2008, I displayed the most I’ve ever displayed at once.  There were three “areas” of the village that year: “downtown and the ‘burbs“, “the countryside” and “the boardwalk.”  This year, time got away from me and I downsized to about a dozen favorite pieces with accessories.  I thought I’d take you on a little tour through town.

Like my Christmas tree, my Christmas village contains many pieces that hubby and I chose because they represent some part of our lives.

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Here’s the police station and cruiser for hubby.  After a late night, the cruiser has been known to be found running down various citizens of Snow Village or crashing into buildings.  Hubby’s sense of humor goes there.

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No explanation necessary! 🙂

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This piece was quite the puzzle to get the shot I wanted.  With its multilayer design, I had a hard time getting everything in focus I wanted to show you.  I tried different apertures, flash vs no flash.  I finally got this shot with most of the building fairly focused.  Chinese is a favorite take-out food around here, and I just loved the attention to detail here.  From the gold dragon on top to the table set on the side with decorative lanterns hanging above it, this is probably one of the most detailed pieces I own.

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Of course there is a dance studio, with little ballerinas on their way to class.

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A greenhouse for my love of gardening

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For my love of quilting… and who doesn’t love pie?

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 Cows have crept into my village too.  They are not oreo cows, but I love them just the same.

All these pieces surround a little downtown park area I created with the help of some accessories:

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Accessories really help bring the village to life:
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…Or to un-life as the case may be!  More of hubby’s sense of humor on display here.  A few years ago I woke up Christmas morning to find my village overrun with zombies:

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 Now, I check the village each morning to see  what has come upon the innocent citizens of Snow Village.

I hope you enjoyed your visit!