Post-Christmas..pondering my traditions…

Over the years, I have developed little traditions of things that are usually toys to find myself or ask to receive at Christmas. I am a toy fanatic all year round, but that fanaticism really gets ramped up at Christmas. There’s other things I like, too, as you’ll see….:)

 

1) A Pony for Christmas.

Yep,I was one of those horse-crazy girls as a pre-teen,but, after learning how much space and expense a horse would take up, I thankfully was able to channel that desire elsewhere: Breyer Horses. I have many happy memories of checking off particular models in the Breyer foldout guides that came in each model’s box, planning my “stable” and thinking up names for the new arrivals.

I still have many of my Breyers and I have found older ones from my collecting era on eBay that I always liked but never got around to getting. A true discount buyer, I gladly take the dinged, scratched models that are offered for cheap. And at Christmas, I have found a bit of joy in looking specifically for Breyer ponies– usually older models– and either asking for them or getting them with Christmas money.

Breyer didn’t make a whole lot of ponies, though, especially in my collecting years of 70s—80s. So in looking for old ones, I often have to be satisfied with the same mold of pony, repainted as another release. Breyer’s old Shetland Pony, for instance, comes in many many colors on the same mold, and my 2016 Christmas Pony was one: a 1970s bay I named Cinnamon Roll.

On occasion, though, the Christmas Pony takes a different form and I find it as a plush toy. In 2017, for instance, when I visited Tractor Supply Company to get a gift card for my stepdad, I looked at their Breyer selection, but they were all new models, were horribly expensive, and did not pique my interest at all. I am just not into the new sculpts(not that they are not exquisitely done) done by the artists who took over after Breyer’s original sculptor, Chris Hess, retired.
However, on the way out, I stopped by the stocking stuffer bins and…

25446480_10212289603172849_6071743820135460908_n.jpg
Pizzelle, my 2017 Christmas Pony!

….there he was. My Christmas Pony. A huggable,flopsy “dolly” sort of pony,bay with white socks and a face full of mischief. On sale for half off the original price, the pony was ripe for the taking and I left the store with a gift card and a happy little roly-poly bag-of-beans pony cuddled under my arm.

2)Rescued Teddy Bears.

I usually “rescue” several teddies each year from Goodwill and thrift stores and take them home and give them a good hot wash in the machine. Some I keep, and others I donate. Where I donate them is a closely guarded secret.

My favorites of these are JC Penney’s teddy bears, made in the 90s and sold in their stores at Christmas. They are large, terrifically burly,and cuddly. They also represent some of the last great teddy bears before they all began to be made with much more cheap-feeling plush, became spindly and “beany”, and their eyes all became too close together.

24775014_10212168952116648_5409774127315763011_n.jpg
Steve, me and Big Cinnamon. I got Cinnamon by winning a gift certificate at the flea market holiday event we were enjoying.

 

Continue reading

Advertisements

Christmas 2017 Aftermath: The Christmas Fun Box!

20171229_160923.jpg

Christmas is gone, and in years past, a crushing depression would befall me this time of year. Taking the tree down is almost too much for me to bear; I am a Christmas junkie, through and through, and I don’t like it one bit when my fix is over.
Luckily, I belong to a couple of Facebook groups who are composed of Christmas kitsch collectors, and they have assured me that it is totally okay to want Christmas all year round in some way. They’re a fun bunch.
This year I am doing something new, and I wish I could grab a time machine and go back and tell my 20-year-old self to do it, too. I assembled a “Christmas Fun Box”.
See,I LOVE looking at old Wish Book catalogs,seeing what styles of decor were the thing, and seeing what toys were hot. What were the popular foods for the main Christmas dinner or snacks? And best of all, what sort of fun novelties and toys were the stores carrying that people bought for stocking-stuffing and party favors and last-minute gifts? This is what I wanted to curate; I’m already doing it with Halloween, and I got ready for  my Christmas collecting by getting a small, Christmas-decorated box…..

Continue reading

Christmas Countdown: The Holiday Sucker.

IMG_2270

When I was about eight years old,in maybe 1978,I went with my grandmother to North DeKalb Mall. This was a grand mall, not very big and built in, I think, the 60s. It is barely a shadow of its former self now, but I have an enormous backlog of memories from a lifetime spent of visiting it. Back then, North DeKalb Mall still had a supermarket attached to it—I think it was a Big Star. Anyway, it was Christmastime, and near the registers there were the usual stacks of holiday cookies, crackers and candies. And there was a GLORIOUS display of these giant suckers, flavored lime and cherry,colored green and red, the colors sparkling in the sunlight through the store windows. Each one was different as the colors/ flavors blended together in individual patterns on each sucker.The festive lollipops were beautiful, and I had always wanted one of those giant things—-these were about six  inches in diameter.

They were $5.99, which back then was a lot, and although my grandparents spoiled me, they were still cheap. Still,  y grandmother relented when I asked for one of the suckers. Joyfully I started unwrapping it as she paid for her groceries, and once we got outside the store, I had the wrapper off, anticipating the first taste…

 

…..and it broke into a hundred pieces. Somehow I couldn’t tell it had been shattered inside its wrapper and it simply crumbled into dust in my hands as Grandmother fumbled around in her purse, not even seeing the disaster unfolding.

I am embarrassed to say I burst into tears. Once Grandmother saw the demolished lollipop at my feet, she quickly assessed the situation and hauled me back inside. The next part is a blur—I don’t think she blamed the store, as it wasn’t their fault that some schmoe had busted up the suckers, but she somehow did convince the store manager(?) to give me another one. She made me wipe off my face and thank him, and off we went, me happily unwrapping a new, unbroken lolly and Grandmother probably very relieved that she didn’t have to deal with a crying kid on the way home.

And oh what an amazing lollipop it was. It took me three days to finish it, but it tasted AMAZING.

Christmas Countdown 2017: 25-Day Christmas Art Challenge!

I of course need to catch up on my own challenge. I am settling into making Christmas gifts that need to be made and clearing off my to-do list along with addressing a gajillion mailouts that I hope I don’t get mixed up with Christmas cards..BUT, I have been wanting to do a Christmas art challenge ever since I started doing Drawlloween. I have found a scant few, and I..I dunno…something about the choices kinda bored me or were too family-with-kids-oriented or something. Anyway, I know the point of a challenge is to get outside your comfort zone at times, but I thought, eh, I’ll just make my own, and add another to the mix. So here goes. Nothing very exciting or different from the others, just another medley of choices. Pass it around!
If you do take the challenge, please post them on social media as

#WeirdcrestXmasArt2017 . Thanks!

title drawing challenge 2017 .jpg