Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Holiday Party, Photos by Maureen Cotton

More pictures from the Old World Holiday Party, courtesy of the talented Maureen Cotton (visit her website, blog, or film project site):

Just the top part of the invitation I made.

Mo's photos commence...
St. Nicholas and Santa Lucia
I see you have been very naughty this year...!
Note that Stefan is holding Maureen's manifestation box.
Got to love the wallpaper.
Singing! It was the second best part of the evening.
The tall men refuse to sit down and are
forced to read the music from way up high.
Stefan's dancing in the background is not to be forgotten...
Yes, they were really funny.
Very warm and fuzzy...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Traces of Christmas

Though I haven't been up there yet to visit them, this year some of my handmade felt ornaments were featured on Jiminy Peak's tree up at the Berkshire Musuem's Festival of Trees, Pittsfield, MA. Sadly that meant my mom only had a couple to put up on her own tree this year, but they'll return home before next year. Within the next week I'm bound to go see them before the exhibit closes on Janary 4th, 2009.

The one thing I've realized with my animals is that if you've never seen them in person they appear much larger than actual size when photographed. Most of them are barely two to three inches in size! Some of the ones pictured here are new this year, including the fox, baby sea otter, and red bellied woodpecker, while the rest of this year's batch are up at the museum along with some oldies.

Mr. Fox
Baby Sea Otter
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Mr. Bunny
Oscar, My Mom's African Grey Parrot
My mom made this circular one in the 1970s.
Some of my mom's more current work. She made a pretty tray out of ice, pine cuttings, and cranberries to hold the star-shaped ice she had been preparing over the last few weeks. She was very inspired by my friend Lena's blog and started researching more Scandinavian ideas.
Some ice stars in ginger beer! Mmm...
We also had a lovely hand-made beeswax candle from the Hawthorne Valley Yuletide Fair, that burns down into the shape of an angel.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

This Christmas eve was spent with my brother and my parents, eating delicious cheeses from Locke Stock & Barrel, a gourmet grocery store in Great Barrington. We were eventually joined by some members of the Witri family, a fun addition to the evening!

My mom made a Scandinavian-inspired centerpiece.
She's very inspired by my friend Lena's blog.


My mom claims her first batch of spekulaas came out better, but here's an example of her dragon cookies. We don't actually have any Christmas-themed spekulaas molds, so dragons, ships, and acorns it is!
Behold, the beauty of the apple star!
( not such a great pic ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Light After the Storm

On Friday, December 12th I had a little old world holiday party at my home, with such delightful visitors as St. Nicholas and Santa Lucia. The week beforehand, everything was going as planned with the preparations, until I until I read my horoscope as I occasionally do for fun at This time I was sincerely forewarned about a very angry full moon on this exact date. I always take such astrological advice with a grain of salt, and was decided that the party would be the perfect opportunity for everyone to happily avoid this potentially angry full moon in each of their lives. However the day before the party we were hit with major ice storm, and as I went to bed on Thursday night to the sounds of icy trees crashing over in the woods, I began to think this angry full moon had nothing to do with the actual happenings at the party, but that it was not going to happen at all! Despite the fact that this ice storm caused much havoc all along the Northeast, and many of my party attendees almost didn't find my home due to a barricade of fallen power lines, the party prevailed and was indeed a success...

View from of the backyard after the ice storm,
not nearly as bad hereas in the surrounding areas.

Even the night of the party, the clouds
looked threatening, but quite beautiful.
The potluck arrivals...

Santa Lucia and St. Nicholas had personal greetings for everyone!

Sometime around this point many people started
singing, and I played some accordion accompaniment.
Mmm, this girl looks familiar...
The leftovers of my rainbow veggie
torte made a yummy lunch the following day.

On Sunday, I went for a walk with Hannah (who mysteriously looks very much like Santa Lucia) up the Appalachian Trail to Ice Gulch on East Mountain. Though we hiked for a good 1.5 hours, we were forced to turn around before reaching the top as the trail became to too icy.

Some interesting ice formations...

There was much fallen debris.
Hannah in the entryway to Narnia...

The sunset that same evening was quite stunning.