Monday, December 01, 2008

what's black and white and red all over?

Iggy! I saw this spotted guy running up and down our street this morning. Our street's not especially busy, but it intersects some very busy roads and it was a very busy time of the morning. I ran out onto my porch and called him, and he came trotting right up to me and politely stepped onto our porch (yes, the same little porch that was the kitten nursery last spring). He was very friendly. I love how it looks like he's a mutant with two tails in this pic. Not really a two-tailed dog; he just wagged it really fast! It was too early for the animal control folks to be on duty, so we called the police to report finding him. A few minutes later, his desperate owner also called the police. They hooked us up and we met our new neighbor and made a friend. An unexpected way to start the day, but a happy ending!

Hey, what else is black and white and red all over? Santa Baaas, a silly Santa sheepie stitch marker! Scott made this glass bead stitch marker yesterday morning, which happens to also have been the 3rd birthday of this blog, so we thought Santa Baaas would be a fun freebie.

Leave a comment with a short description of one of your family's favorite Christmas traditions. Next Monday, December 8, at 5 p.m. we'll do a random drawing from the comments for someone to win this guy, who will be strung on a head pin and ready to use as a stitch marker or event a pendant by then. And if, just if, that commenter was a good little knitter this year, there just might be a few other glass bead stitch marker goodies in their stocking on Christmas morning. ;-)

Please make sure you're logged in and/or leave a way to contact you when you leave your comment!

BTW, Santa Baaas looks bigger than life in the picture. He's actually only 17 mm nose to tail and 13 mm tall. He's sitting on a spool of sewing thread, if that helps you get some perspective on his dimensions. Hand sculpted in our home studio from hot colored glass, without use of molds or presses, he's one of a kind and, yes, he's the real Santa Baaas. 


Leah's cottonhollow Ravelry account has been brought up to date. A tiptoe through her projects page certainly illustrates a knitter whose skills have come a long way in the past year! Off to update my projects next. (edited to add: My Ravelry projects page is up to date now too.)
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Anonymous CTJen said...

Um, hello?! How freaking adorable is that sheep with a santa hat?! If I don't win him will there be others to buy??


4:14 PM  
Anonymous CTJen said...

omg, in my excitement, I forgot to describe a favorite tradition.

Every year since I was a baby, I've gotten a new ornament to hang on the tree. Now I'm doing this with my own children. I love seeing my old ornaments (that have been on the tree every year for as long as I can remember) next to the new ones my kids have picked out. It makes me smile. :-)

4:19 PM  
Anonymous sittinknittin at gmail dot said...

Totally cute! I think your glass
creations are getting better and
Our tradition was midnight mass and
then a huge extended family meal immediately afterwards.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One tradition (we have many!) is making plum pudding sometime in late November as it needs time to rest in brandy-soaked cheesecloth. Served flaming in a darkened room on Christmas day with a generous spoon of hard sauce....yummy !!

Love the beads and reading about Leah the super knitter - she's an inspiration !

Liz in East Berlin

5:20 PM  
Blogger Delaney's Duds said...

Holy Moly you guys are in a creative frenzy!
I am starting a new tradition this year. I made a special advent calendar and there is a special activity associated with each toy in it. (Some of your suggestions are included.)
Love the santa sheepie. Baaaa humbug. ha ha.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite Christmas tradition was reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve - I remember sitting around my mother, who read it to us before we left cookies (always chocolate chip that we baked that day) out for Santa. Since we'll all be together on Christmas Eve this year, I'm hoping to revive the tradition with my niece and nephew.

The sheep, BTW, is adorable. I love the picture -- could never get one that close up of my little glass "painted sheep" and have it come out clear.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

If I post a comment, do I get a brandy-soaked cheesecloth? :)

I really adore this sheep (and everything else you guys do). I don't even know which tradition to mention (Canadian French catholic families have more traditions that you can imagine). But I suppose the one that has the most meaning to me nowadays is the weekend before Christmas, my dad and I help out at the local food pantry. My grandfather founded the pantry in the 70's and it has continued to thrive and help families in my hometown. So, on the Sat before Christmas we go and help hand out and deliver donated food, jackets, blankets and sometimes donated trees and wreaths to families who really need it. I have been lucky enough that I have always had a tree and a warm cup of good cheer at Christmas, and I couldn't imagine the heartbreak of a hungry belly on Christmas (or any time of the year). My holiday wouldn't be the same without it.

My grandfather has Alzheimer's now, and is not part of the pantry anymore...and two years ago we brought him in his wheelchair and he got an ovation from all the helpers. It just warmed my heart. Even though he couldn't really carry a conversation at that point, he still wanted to wish all the families a merry christmas.

Yikes! I wrote a novel. I am off to check out your project page and get inspired... :)

P.S. - Did you check out the moon and planets tonight? Super cool!

6:48 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Thank you to Elizabeth--we saw but didn't realize that was TWO planets. It looked like a picture postcard.

A favorite holiday tradition with my own kids is making our red & green paper chain to count down the days until Christmas. We also did this when I was a kid. I can remember how it started out so long it draped over the entire kitchen doorway. We must have made it in November! I make it with my kids usually on December 1, but we're a little late this year.

7:16 PM  
Blogger RC said...

every Christmas morning, I make french toast with Panettone (and a few times in the week following) Its the only time of the year I buy the cake, so its extra special and yummy

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

As a child my favorite traditions were lighting the advent candles and being able to open one present early on Christmas Eve.
I haven't made any new traditions as an adult but this will be the first year to decorate a tree with my children.

Pyro AT hotmail DOT com

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

ok it must be time to go to bed if I can't even type my email address correctly.

pyro_98 AT hotmail DOT com

9:54 PM  
Blogger Aster said...

When my parents were young, they made a pottery nativity scene together. We set it up every year, but remove the child Jesus and wrap Him in a box that we put under the tree. On Christmas morning, it is the first present opened and one of the children sets Him in the manger. We usually say a prayer and thank God for the Christmas miracle before beginning the festivities.

Your sheep is adorable, by the way.

11:18 AM  
Blogger wenat said...

Aww, that's totally adorable!

I've borrowed a tradition from a friend -- on Christmas Eve, everyone gets new pajamas, so that on Christmas morning, all the photos are taken in new-ish pajamas! Plus it's a nice way to let my two little boys open something on Christmas eve and then look forward to Christmas day.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

How cute! I'm not sure if this is really a "tradition", but on Christmas morning, my family takes turns opening gifts. Each person opens one, it is ohhed and ahhed over, and then the next person opens one etc. So rather than everyone just tearing into everything, we get to draw it out and see people appreciate what they receive.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Again - such talent there Scott!

Hmmm - we have a bunch of traditions but the ones that stick out the most are all food related. Shocking - isn't it???

We make Italian cheesecake and we eat it every Christmas morning for breakfast. And there are the cookies that my grandma used to make that we look forward to.

1:36 PM  
Blogger quinn said...


Shopping for the tree was one of our best family traditions. My Dad, now 88, was talking about it last week. Two adults, with 5 kids running around on the tree lot, each calling from a different direction, "Daaad! Maaaaa! Come look at tHIS one! I've got a BEAUTY!!!"

3:02 PM  
Blogger katerina said...

What a super cute stitch marker!! It's just great! :)
One of our family's Christmas traditions is that someone gets designated each year to play 'santa' on christmas morning and pull presents from under the tree and hand them out to each person. Unwrap a present or two, hand another round out. It makes it fun and lively for the family!!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Sharon Rose said...

Absolutely adorable!! I NEED that sheep! Will a doctor's note help me win? :)

My favorite family tradition: We pile a munch of people into the car and drive around looking at decorations and lit up houses. With Christmas music on the stereo, of course. We have an old London Taxi so people tend to look in as much as we look out. :)

5:40 PM  
Blogger Sharon Rose said...

Oops - a *bunch* of people...

Oh - and I'm Needlegrrl on the Rav

5:42 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

How cute! My favorite tradition is opening up an Advent calendar every morning until Christmas with my two-year-old! (sicilianbuttercup on Ravelry)

6:33 PM  
Blogger ikkinlala said...

One of my family's favourite Christmas traditions is playing crokinole after Christmas dinner and throughout the holiday season.

8:43 PM  
Blogger morgaine24 said...

my family christmas tradition is to get together eat dinner and than play mancala and drink egg nog

9:19 PM  
Blogger Turtle said...

On xmas eve the family gets together and puts their new pj's on (lol, the one gift i allow to be opened early), drink nog, eat taco pir for dinner and listen to xmas music or watch xmas movies while playing hawaii-opoly. Goofy i know but it's what we do since we moved from the island. We used to dress up warm, take the top off the jeep, play xms music and drive around the island drinking cocoa and looking at the xmas lights.(it was usually a chilly 72)

9:24 PM  
Blogger Turtle said...

oh yeah,.....i so love the sheep!!!

9:25 PM  
Blogger |chee-uh| said...

Ok...when I can take him home!? My favorite tradition is a Chinese hot pot because surprise...I am chinese. It's hot broth that simmers in the middle of a table and everyone throws in what Chinese meats and vegetables that they want to cook in it. When it's cooked you take it out and dip it in a variety of sauces. Repeat until full, then at the end the guests can drink the now seasoned broth.

11:59 PM  
Blogger AJ- said...

My favourite Christmas tradition happens in July. I'm an Aussie and Christmas is hot here. My parents wanted us to experience Christmas in a cold climate so we always celebrated an event we called "Middle Christmas"

A week or so before Middle Christmas, we would drive 2 hours to Mount Macedon to collect holly with red berries and to find a christmas tree. Once we were lucky and it snowed lightly while we were collecting the tree (I didn't see snow again until I was 18 and went skiing). On another occasion we found some small brown pellets on the ground, my brothers and I puzzle about them until we heard a noise overhead and we looked up to find a very sleepy Koala.

We would lug the holly and tree home and decorate the house before we prepared all the traditional winter Christmas fare (plum pudding, roast goose, mince tarts), we would make paper chains, christmas crackers and other home made decorations. We would set out the nativity and decorate the tree.

Middle Christmas morning was always a Saturday (my parents work didn't recognise it as a real holiday) We would get a small present, usually a book or a jigsaw puzzle and prepare for lunch with another family who also celebrated Middle Christmas.

In someways Middle Christmas was more special than the december celebration, it was less commercial and without the hype that surrounds us in December. Most of my early christmas memories are from the quieter Middle Christmas, rather than from the hurly burly regular Christmas.

It is a celebration that I've kept up with my children, they also love the quieter, more traditional christmas mid year. The only change I've made is that all gifts are made at home. Over the years we have made games, wooden animals, toys out of seed pods etc and I've knitted many warm hats and mittens.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous bunnysquirrel said...

that sheep is really cute!

i have two christmas traditions to share. the first is that for as long as i can remember i've had a little yellow bear that has gone with me on every road trip or vacation i've ever taken. each christmas my bear gets a little present of his own (either from santa or my mom, but lately from me) - usually a new sweater or a new friend!

the second is that every year on christmas eve we go to midnight mass, followed by a stop at some friends of the family. we only live a couple of blocks from the church so we walk to and from. it's always quiet and peaceful and especially magical when it's snowing! afterwards we share hot chocolate or a champagne toast and open one present each before bed.

on christmas day, we do kristin and katarina's traditions too!

(i can't seem to log in with my usual account, but i'm bunnysquirrel over on ravelry!)

6:01 AM  
Blogger Deeners said...

My favorite tradition will actually only be in its second year. When I was growing up, my family always had the "Martha Stewart" Christmas tree. Perfectly coordinated bows and bobbles and whatnot. I never had the awesome kitchy family ornaments that I've always been jealous of.

Last year was my husband's and my first Christmas at home (2nd married) and so his mom gave us a huge tote full of all of his ornaments he collected/made over the years. So last year I was able to decorate the tree with those fun, completely mismatching ornaments. Some he even made in kindergarten. Of course I cried because I was so happy to finally have that kind of tree and also because I had nothing of my own to add. So we started the tradition of each of us getting an ornament that is opened and added on Christmas Eve (me, him, and the cat and dog). I can't wait to do this year.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Nacole said...

I am amazed with glass workers! I do not think I could do that! It looks so hard! But you did a great job. The winner will be VERY lucky.

What is my family tradition? Well my Nana bought me a baby's first christmas ball when I was born. That is the first thing to go on my tree. Before the lights,icicles or anything else. That ball goes on. It might be 28 years old this year but it looks brand new.
Also since I meet my loving husband 5 years ago this coming Feb. we have bought and/or made our own new ornament every year. So by the time we get to 50 years we will need about a 10 foot tree. lol Right now its only 3 feet. (No children yet.This is just us starting a life.)

Happy Holidays to you all!
Nacole (AbsoluteTreasures on Ravelry)

12:54 PM  
Blogger marina said...

Every year, I make an ornament for each of my children, and sign it with their name and the year. My plan is that when they move out and have their own trees, they can take these ornaments as the basis of a collection. In the early years, they were mostly sewn or cross stitched, but lately they have been knitted ornaments.

3:41 PM  
Blogger squiggi said...

my dad was always a last minute shopper, so, every christmas eve, he would smuggle my mother's present in for us kids to wrap.
We were never allowed to LOOK at it, just wrap. It was a lot of fun trying to guess what it could be.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Marilyn said...

Favorite Christmas tradition - dad cooks breakfast.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

That is way too adorable! My favorite Christmas tradition is on Christmas Eve. My mom makes lasagna. And then we go to Christmas Eve service church while the lasagna is baking. We come home and the house smells so yummy!

10:15 PM  
Blogger Darcys Knotty Knitter said...

I love the sheep.
I have always taken my children to the hallmark store to pick out their own ornament each year and when they start families of their own they will get to take their ornaments to decorate their tree and always have special memories of home:)Hugs Darcy

3:02 AM  
Blogger RoamingKnitter said...

Love the Santa Baaas!

One of our favorite traditions is to gather the family around the tree on Christmas morning, distribute all the presents, then starting with the oldest or youngest, each person opens one gift. That gift is passed around for everyone to see and comment on. It may be tried on if wearable so we all see how it fits. Then then next in order opens one and passes it around. So on until all the gifts are opened. Everyone shares in each others' gifts that way and sees how the recipient reacts to the gift you gave.

Merry Christmas

9:54 AM  
Blogger Timiae said...

That is so cute! I would love to have him...

My favorite family tradition is to open our presents on Christmas Eve night and get Santa presents Christmas morning. I love it and plan on continuing in this way with my own family one day.

A newer tradition... my fiance and I get each other an ornament for Christmas every year. We've done this since our first Christmas as a couple so that we'll have something to put on our tree when we're married. We plan on doing this after we're hitched also.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Marce (BrownBerry) said...

One of my favorite holiday traditions is forcing my younger sister to sing "Oh Holy Night" with me because she knows this awesome melody she learned in high school chorus. Even when we're not together I call her on the phone, we have our giggle, and then - we sing!

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every year the day after thanksgiving my family decorates the Christmas Tree together. My mom, Sister & I. We listen to Elvis Christmas hits on 8 track!
That is my favorite holiday tradition.
ashlomb at yahoo dot com

10:40 PM  
Blogger ChillyFreeToes said...

I remember having my own first Christmas ornament. That would be the 1 ornament that I would always get to put up. My sisters and I would just do the others randomly. I also remember opening pajamas on Christmas Eve so that we could look cute for pictures as we opened our presents the next morning.

(also chillyfreetoes on ravelry)

1:57 PM  
Blogger Kellycat said...

My family loves that I make up little presents on Christmas Eve. Each different. We play holiday music, and the first to guess the singer wins a prize. It's a tough game, but everyone looks forward to it.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very cute! I make cinnamon buns christmas morning.
Daughter moved away and came home one year for christmas wanted to know if I was making them in the morning.

Cindy W.

8:41 AM  
Blogger knittinbabci said...

Totally adorable. Would be my mascot on future Christmas knitting. Every year I surprise a person who I normally would not exchange with, with a handknit gift. Might be something they admired or mentioned, but never anticipated getting.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our favorite tradition is cutting the tree down. We have done it in snow, rain with mud almost 6 inches deep, freezing cold and so warm you hardly needed a jacket. We are going to wait until college son comes home so we can all go together again this year.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sheep is adorable!! What a talented husband you have!!
Mary in Plainville

10:28 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Oh, that little sheep is adorable! Maybe he can come home and live with me...

10:51 AM  
Blogger tripletsmom said...

Santa Baaas is too cute!!!

My girls birthday is only about a week before Christmas. We always buy them Christmas pj's and they get to open them on Christmas Eve and wear them to bed. They also get a new ornament every year, so when they are grown they will have a good start on their tree. I also trace their hands so that I can make a tree skirt and thanksgiving table cloth that follows their growth :0)

3:48 PM  

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