Friday, December 18, 2009

Punching a Hole in Tradition

As I look outside, at the bitter cold and grey skies, it makes me so happy to look upon my Blobbies, all cozy and warm, content and safe. And gooey. I was able to snap this photo of Scruffles, aka Scruffallupagus Rex (he's a curly coat) or Scruff (for short), eating a breakfast of scrambled egg nestled in his nest. He's still a little bleary eyed from just waking up to munch. Ah, breakfast in bed. Life is rough being Scruff.

I'm starting to gear up for Christmas in earnest, and have immersed myself into the painting of the annual Christmas balls for some dear friends. These are a lot of fun -- cartoony and quick, they're a nice departure from realism. I'm playing Mystery Science Theater's "Santa Claus" on a loop, and even though I've watched it probably twenty times, I still crack up. "Santa's army of walking corpses," drones Tom Servo. Now that's what I call the holiday spirit! You can even catch the episode (in segments) on YouTube.

Speaking of Christmas spirit -- sometimes it can become, well, monumentally boring. In particular, the food. After thirty years of memory, it became unbearable to cram turkey, ham or capon, and all their various manifestations, down my gullet one more time. So last year, I put the kibosh on the traditional Christmas dinner, or rather, I was able to convince the rest of the family that we could no longer beat this dead tree anymore. So last year we opted for a Polish Christmas and this year
we decided on a German theme (and Hubby is blissfully happy about this!). We decided on rouladen, close/knodel, spaetzle and roasted asparagus (that last bit was my rather un-German addition just for kicks). For dessert, we'll be making these dollops of devilish delight, rumkugeln. For an appetizer, I'll be making my popular camenbert pastry puffs with cracked pepper. they're not classically German, but they're good and I know how to make them blind-folded.

So on the 23rd, Mom is coming over to do some pre-preparations, like wrapping up the rouladen, "sampling" the rumkugeln (I suspect I may have to quadruple the recipe for this) and finalizing plans. Mom and Hubby got our tree lights going today, too, and my plush Emile now sits atop our tree, grasping his wedge of cheese, as our Christmas angel. One of these days, I want to sculpt an angel rattie, using the slab technique with my slab roller, for atop our tree. I think this might actually be a fun sideline -- fun, whimsical angel animals to top Christmas trees.

And speaking of slabbin' -- Barry from Bear Cast LLC came over yesterday to drop off what's probably the last of my "Reflective" plaques and I showed him what I was doing with my slab roller. Because of that serendipitous decision, I noticed that I'd forgotten to punch holes in an entire batch of tiles! I'm just not ready to figure out what to do with thirty-six tiles with no hanging holes! But they were too dry to use the tube -- drat. So I ended up having to drill (very carefully) holes into either corner of all those tiles. That's seventy-two holes. Yow. It did create a different look to the back, but golly -- what a mess with all the clay "chips" from the drilling. I much prefer the tube! But they have holes now and all is right with the world again. Phew.

Anyway, I do hope your Christmas preparations are going as smooth as eggnog, and you're staying cozy and warm, too!

"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together." ~ Garrison Keillor

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