Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My Christmas Decoration

Astute readers will have noticed that the title of this post is singular -- as in one Christmas decoration. I seldom haul my Christmas decorations out to clutter up the house nowadays. Nigel and I prefer a simple, quiet Christmas celebration, with a good hearty meal on the day. As adults, there is really nothing special that we need or want Santa to bring, so we usually buy an expensive something at some point during the year, and say "That's my Christmas present." Mine was a brand new freezer back in August, which I needed to store and preserve my garden produce.

But even though I'm a minimalist with regard to Christmas decorations,  I'll never say no to an invitation to a Christmas party! Especially one where the party favor is a handmade glass Christmas ornament.

Last week I went to Barbara Sanderson's Glass Gardens Northwest Christmas party at her studio in Mukilteo, where each of the guests was given the opportunity to make a glass ornament. I attended this party two years ago, and wrote about it here.

What fun! One of the party-goers this year was Karen Chapman, one of the co-authors of one of my favorite books, Fine Foliage. I managed to capture some pictures of her and her daughter making glass baubles. Karen and her co-author Christina Salwitz write a blog called Fine Foliage as well, which you can find here.

Karen Chapman, right, and Barb's assistant Kate (whose nickname is Kate the Great)

Karen uses tongs to shape the ornament as Kate rolls the tube

Kate reheats the glass

Now it's Karen's daughter's turn

Kate on the right and Karen's daughter in the glow of the glass furnace

Karen blows air into the hot glass while her daughter shapes it, and Kate rolls the tube

On my way to the glass blowing studio, I had stopped off at Molbak's Nursery, which is on the way. While I was there, I noticed a display of wood-turned ornaments from Stumpdust, which is serendipitously a company owned by Karen's husband.

The Stumpdust display at Molbak's

These ornaments are created from wood salvaged from fallen limbs

When my own turn came to have an ornament made, I decided to let Barb and Kate make it for me.  We were given a choice of several different colors, and I chose red and white. I had to go back a few days later and pick it up. The first thing I did when I got it home was to hang it on various limbs out in the garden to see how it looked.

My red and white bauble looks very much at home on the branch of a red twig dogwood.

It also looks good nestled into the branches of my dwarf blue atlas cedar.

Merry Christmas!

Have you been to any fabulous Christmas parties? Do you go all-out in decorating and celebrating, or do you prefer a more quiet holiday, like me?

Whatever your merry-making entails, I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas.