Thursday, December 29, 2011

the magic of christmas day

there is nothing more magical than christmas morning. it's like time stops. you are surrounded by family and everything is warm and cozy and there are treats all around, people are laughing and it is the heart of winter and you are snugly wrapped in bliss.

we woke up late on christmas morning after a wrapping extravaganza the night before. joey and i made monkey bread and my little household relaxed waiting for the whole fam to arrive.

i went and put on the dress i've been saving for the big day. i procured this pretty gunne back in the summer i think! the velvet trimming at the bust is a deep forest green, set against the scarlet red calico, in the classic gunne prairie-girl style...she's my ideal holiday frock! 

beattys begin to gather....

ready to hand out gifts....

being older and wiser gifts to each other is super fun in a whole new way. nothing too extravagant, a lot of special handmade items, and always hand picked for the individual in mind. 

one of my absolute favorites this year, that brought tears to my eyes, was a photo album darin put together for me. all the photos were from recent trips and excursions, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with the whole family, sometimes just me by myself in nature. looking through it, i felt like a queen or a famous person, like a goddess, so loved and blessed by all the beauty i've encountered. plus, we never print out our pictures anymore so it was just so fun to see them there in front of me in a little book, each hand chosen by my husband with his artistic eye, and with a beautifully textured and hand-drawn cover and binding that he designed. here's my dad looking at it....

he made a little album for joey and em too, choosing his favorites of photos he has taken of them on our adventures.

and mikie made this rad wood-engraved frame for addie, which brought tears to her eyes. we are nostalgic and sentimental folk, through and through.

by this time it was late afternoon. we all headed down the hill to sacramento where my 99-year-old grandma georgie is in a care facility because she fell and broke her arm. she looked so old and fragile in that bed without her glasses or her teeth, but her spirit was just the same as ever! she was coherent and funny and cute and talkative.

here she is cracking up with addie and joey.....

mostly she was just thrilled to see her little room so squished with family.
she has always been the most family-oriented person i know. she has about a hundred grandkids and great grandkids, and she knows all their birthdays. we are all eagerly awaiting her big 100th bash this feb!

back at home, it's getting late and we set right to work making out big mexican feast!
i made veggie enchiladas, joey made a mexican style frittata, mikie made spanish rice and black beans, and we chopped up a whole ton of salad fixins on the side. plus dad made two huge containers of his famous salsa! by the time we ate we were so starving that we polished off plates as high as hillocks.

everyone stayed late playing Seinfeld Scene-It, laughing, and eating all the leftover fudge and goodies.

what a day. it is enchanting to have a whole day like that. darin and i slept out in the living room by the fire, and i felt so blessed as i snuggled in to read, look through my photo album one last time, and finally rest my head.

hope you all had the sweetest christmas ever!

Friday, December 23, 2011

have a holly jolly christmas

all kinds of goofy celebratory festivities are going on round here....
solstice night i baked. the perfect long-winter's-night cozy activity. 

it rapidly became clear what my favorite baking ingredients are...
butter, coconut, chocolate, nuts, more butter....

it is widely known that i love aprons, so naturally i have a collection of vintage or homemade christmas aprons. they remind me of being a little kid and helping my mom bake plates of goodies for our neighbors. in fact, i use her old one all the time and it makes me feel just like mrs claus! for baking night i pulled out my Holly Hobbie christmas apron, sorry i didn't get a good picture.

while i baked away, darin made a fire and stayed busy doing this:

next day we finished up our christmas shopping on main street. i decided (following a similar holiday dressing rule as sasha) to throw on everything green in honor of winter and the evergreen.
clashing shades welcome!

i just got this wonderfully festive patchwork vest in a surprise package from brigit!
just in time, and soooo cute, thanks b!

the wrist warmers were an early christmas gift from my mom and i love them.
although it was sixty degrees out...i just like to pretend its wintry here...

down on main street, some high school kids were playing music.
the shops were jam packed. there was nowhere to park.
and the merchants were smiling.
i love holidays in a small town.

we visited zack at his shop, which is doing quite nicely through the holidays.
i think artwork is the perfect gift if you know someone's tastes.

for example, wouldn't a Zelda lover go nuts for this giant map printout from the original nintendo version? 

rebecca and sylvan were also getting decked out for some holiday shopping.

we met my dad for lunch at Old Towne Grill, home of the famous Earthburger, mmmmmm.

darin left us and my dad and i finished out the afternoon shopping. i am helping him discover the joys of shopping local :)'s a hit! he found everything he needed, santa filled all his lists, and the elves are now busy wrapping up packages.

hope you all are having a marvelous countdown to the big day.
i am wishing you the merriest, most joyous, peaceful and magical holiday ever!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Back with a Bizarre Bang!

Spent another magical day at the Nevada City Winter Bizarre.
A perfect welcome back into blogging, and by the way, sorry for my unintended absence. Lots of wintry Christmassy goodness has indeed been happening, and this event takes precedence on my list of fun stuff I've been wanting to post.

Becky and I were back in our corner booth, flanked by outrageously stylish and cool neighbors vending things like colorful hoods and the raddest crochet pants.

I got to spend the day with the cutest fam on earth....

Surrounded by gorgeous vintage goodies....

And meeting up with all kinds of friends old and new.

We were just a hop and skip away from Amber, yippee! Always the purest delight to catch up with a kindred spirit sister.

And to see heartfelt individualism on so many levels....

I love these dear ladies. They make my spirit glow.

This year a lot of my Placerville friends set up booths of their own. 
Here are Chelsea and Jen, who were just around the corner and passing out homemade cookies along with their vintage frocks.

Zack actually closed down his own shop to come set up here for the day...

it was a family affair...

and Sylvan got to do a little shopping of his own; as a curator of interesting odds and ends he found many a bizarre ware to strike his fancy.

cmon, look at this kid. so rad.

Another sweet Placerville friend is the lovely and talented Monique, who came all the way down from Covelo, California where she has her own amazing little shop called Red Moon Arrow. You can read all about its beginnings here

She is such a crafty creative soul. She came up with the idea for her racks, shaped like teepees on the ends with the rustic wooden bars ending in arrows. Her boyfriend Gus is a builder extraordinaire and helped make her lovely idea a reality!

She also makes amazing handcrafted jewelry and accessories.

It is so fun to see your own creative friends and comrades in action with their beautiful wares!
Amber discusses the obvious benefits of the perfect red crochet dress:

Check out her festive signage:

How could you not be joyous surrounded by faces like this?!

Some of the fun in our own little corner included beer drinkin:

a wild dance party next door:

playing in Violet Folklore's sale bins:

and lots of rapid-fire crawling action, with a breakdance style turnaround that would blow your mind.

All this entertainment equals happy ladies.

not to mention trades that involve the most exquisite vintage afghan dress:

I got to take a wee break to see my own sis perform!
Coal Beautiere was lovely as usual even though she thought it went terribly. She's just dramatic ;) Or maybe I only got to witness the three best songs, all I know is, I was swept away into a world of swirly cocktails and daydreamy housewives and 60s innocence and desire. Her songs tell the most delicious stories.

After which, she hung out in our booth sipping whiskey and getting tipsy.

Warms your heart right up, you know?

Twas truly a beautiful day and this is just the tip of the iceberg my friends. There were sooooo many other amazing women, and men, and booths and handmade items and creative innovations and stories going around that I could tell. I didn't even get a photo of some of my favorite ladies, like Sasha or Suuzi or Kerry who I finally got to meet in person tho it felt like we go waayyy back! It was all around inspiring to be surrounded by such amazing sister souls in such a fun environment with good food and drinks and live music...what a day. What a perfectly festive and joyful day!