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

Halloween Countdown 2017: My Brother’s Handmade Yard Decorations!

Cutouts jimmy.jpg

Do you ever have decorations from any holiday that you take out, year after year, and they get a little shabbier, a little more worn out and fragile, and you just can’t part with them or fix them up because they are so precious to you, you wouldn’t want to change their original charm? Do they bring back memories of holidays past? Or maybe someone long since parted from this life made them, and you don’t want to cover that person’s craftwork? Are those decorations practically like part of the family? Well, I certainly can identify with these sentiments, and my oldest brother Jimmy sums it up very well with these wooden cutouts his late father-in-law made. I’ll put in his original words:

Back around 1992, my father-in-law Harry M—- bought a really fancy scroll saw. Another addition to “Harry’s Hardware Store”. He quickly put it to use making these cut-outs for the family. In addition to the Halloween ones here, he did some for Christmas and Thanksgiving. He made sets for us, my brother in law’s house and for his house. After he passed in 2004 we got his sets of cut-outs.

Here they are for their 24th Halloween (have more in front of the house) and they still get great comments from the neighbors. They need repainting but I really don’t want to paint over Pawpaw’s art.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Halloween Countdown 2017: Doombuggy Maintenance Technician Costume!!

I had dearly hoped to have a Halloween party this year, but…it just wasn’t in the cards. To make up for it, our friends Kenny and his son Kent had us come over this past weekend for a Halloween-ish get-together. We worked on costume and craft projects and watched Harry Potter movies (which always seem to be on TV whenever we go to their house) and had good food and fun.

kenny party2.jpg

Usually they set me up in front of the tv with a table, since I am almost always drawing. Right here we were watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the best, as far as I’m concerned) and I was catching up on my Drawlloween entries.

kenny party.jpg

Kenny and Kent went all-out on the decor; note the Darth Vader pumpkin as the centerpiece, R2-D2 brownie and light saber pizza cutter. 😀
I am SERIOUSLY jealous of that tablecloth.

Continue reading

Halloween Countdown 2017: The One-Eyed Halloween Beast!

One Eye Beast 2017

 

Here is the One-Eyed Halloween Beast for this year, and what a beauty. She is made from a giant yellow pompom, one bloodshot wiggle eye, a felt set of eyelashes I had lying around, a hair bow, and I cut up a Publix shopping bag with my pinking shears for her limbs. It’s a little tradition I started a couple of years ago, and as I expected, I’ve run out of room for my growing family of creations.

I have christened her Beauxdacious.

See last year’s here!