Friday, December 25, 2020

My Grandma Rocks & A Wonderful Wonderland Tree

Merry Christmas, bots! I thought I'd share a little happy nostalgia with you today, plus some Wonderland eye candy.

This Story from last week jogged a lot of memories out there; I got so many great messages! How many of you have relatives who made/make beaded ornaments like this?

I'm also getting requests for a tutorial - so Grandma, when you read this, have Uncle Russ film you making one for us, K? :)

Grandma is my only living grandparent, and I just want to thank every one of you who messaged to encourage me to call her more often, and to never take her for granted. I'm going to try, I promise. (Also giant squishy internet hugs to those of you missing your grandparents and parents today.)

This year I tried not to buy anything new for Christmas: I wanted a low-key, low-cost holiday using stuff we already had, and maybe crafting a few new things for fun. This is our first Christmas with the new Wonderland room, though, and while we had a little 3 foot tree for the table, I didn't have anything to put on it:

This was a fun challenge, and let me tell ya: $3 at the Dollar Tree goes a long way. I grabbed 2 garlands of red tinsel and a deck of playing cards, and just those filled the tree most of the way:

I used the rabbit ears from John's Birthday Hop last month as a topper, then hot glued some of the playing cards into long fans and tucked them into the branches. I used other cards to make little flowers:

These are actually mistakes; I was *trying* to make this flower on Instructables, but botched it pretty badly, ha. Once I realized the petals could work in single layers like this, though, I glued some plastic rhinestones in and called it a day.

My grandmother's ornaments were the finishing touches: I decided her light blue one would be the "Alice" ornament, and added a little print out of Alice falling through the tree to make it more obvious:

Then her red and white ornament is tucked up top.

It's seriously so much fun finding low-cost ways to decorate trees. Later I'll try to remember to show you my friend Karen's tree, which we decorated with just what we could find in her craft room!

This little vignette is like a cozy Christmas postcard to me; I get a little giddy every time I see it. Plus I'm still in love with my barrel chairs; they're just so comfy. John and I sit in here all the time to talk.

 Oh hey, so many of you liked our new resident flamingo, I think you'll appreciate his new hat:

I still have lots more decorations I want to show you; our actual full-size trees plus some random silly stuff - so I'll try to round that all up into a photo post in the next week or so.  I meant it when I said we were extending Christmas this year, so if you're feeling like you missed out or didn't have enough time to do all the holiday things you wanted to this year, then please, join me! Go ahead, rock that ugly Christmas sweater, watch Home Alone, bake the cookies, and heck yeah, hang some twinkle lights or put up a tree to decorate. It's not too late, and you don't need anyone's permission but your own to let loose and celebrate anyway you like.

There are actually a few things I'm a little sad we didn't do yet this year, so in writing this post, I've just convinced myself it's not too late. And just choosing to believe that I didn't miss my chance, that there's still time to do that nice thing for that person, to make that call, to send that card or bring over those cookies to the neighbors - that's honestly the best gift I could ask for today. No regrets, y'all; we've still got time. So rest up, be kind to yourselves and others, and have yourself a merry little rest-of-2020.



  1. Nollaig Shona Daoibh! Merry Christmas! There's an Irish tradition called Nollaig na mBan (pronounced, roughly, nullug na mawn) or Women's Christmas. We celebrate January 6 in honor of all the women who have worked to make the holiday season so special. It's also called Little Christmas, and it's when decorations come down. So keep those cookies coming and queue up some more Christmas movies- we've still got 11 more days of Christmas to celebrate!

    1. What a great tradition! Here in Sweden Christmas lasts until the 13th of January, "Tjugondag Knut"(Twentieth day Knut). On this day Christmas is thrown out and we have the "julgransplundring" (Christmas tree plundering). The tree is danced around and the children get to plunder it off of all the edible ornaments. My maternal grandmother used to pipe a frame of royal icing on to bookmark angels. When we finally got to plunder the tree these ornaments were rock solid. We'd still eat them though!

  2. I know a number of people who are saying, "Eh, the 12 days of Christmas *start* now, we've got time." :-)

    Also, yes, the flamingo hat is excellent. Thank you!

  3. I'm a huge Alice in Wonderland fan and I immediately zoned in on that flamingo in the first photo. He is the perfect final touch to your Wonderland room! I also love his festive little hat. ^_^ The tree is gorgeous and even if it weren't in that room, I think the theme would have been clear. Really well done.
    This is my first year with a big (well, 5ft but that's nearly as tall as I am, so big for me) tree. I had to add a string of white garland around the inner pole to hide it and I didn't get in the lights I ordered until two days ago but I *love* it now that's it all done up. I think I'm going to leave it for at least a week.
    Happy holidays!

  4. Dear Miz Jen,

    *Today*,Dec. 25, is the *first* day of Christmas.

    Everything prior was just Advent.

    Officially, you have 11 more days to go nuts!

    I trust you to do so responsibly 😂

    Yours in insufferable-know-it-al-ness*,

    Mrs. Hobbit

    *Totally a word.

  5. Your grandma rocks. Also her beaded decorations are just *chef kiss* amazing.

  6. Love your Wonderland tree! Those card ornaments are genius. (And Sarah from Labyrinth fits in perfectly, since she is the "modern" Alice!)

  7. I LOVE this room!! It just gives me the biggest smile, and that tree is decorated perfectly for the room.
    Merry Christmas!!

  8. I'm currently brainstorming a project I'm going to call "Alice 3 Ways" using vintage Alice in Wonderland books. One will be a straight-up altered book, with original illustrations; another will be a collage with the actual book cover as the substrate and the third is going to be a miniature room with the open book as walls. Fun to see your Wonderland room today as I'm getting started on this project! It's very inspiring.

  9. So, I no longer have the grandparent-y neighbors who made us beaded Christmas ornaments in my childhood, nor the ornaments they made, *BUT* then I found someone on the FoE Discord in November who was willing to work on commission to make me two ye-olde-vintage-style (but with not-plastic beads) bells for Christmas, which were my favorites of all the bead ornaments of my childhood:

    Thus I bought two, and our Christmas tree now has charming, super-sparkly (so much sparklier than the originals - the website photo truly does not do them justice) bead bell ornaments that are cheerfully residing over twinkle light bulbs for maximum glowiness. *And* it turns out that the maker lives in the same state as I do! In other words, if you don't have someone to give you delightful bead ornaments, see if you can make them yourself; if you can't make them yourself, then there are lovely people out there with clever brains and hands who can manage it, so maybe see if you can locate someone who make the sort of ornament you like best, and then you can put them on next year's tree...


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