Category Archives: Gifts

Christmas Fail

Christmas Fail #1: Two words: Olan Mills.  OR – Matching Dresses.

Merry Christmas from the early 90s!!!!!   (or was it the late late 80s?  Not sure).  At any rate, I’m the one in the white dress with the horrified expression.

Christmas Fail #2: I’m not going to finish 3 of my Top Secret crochet gifts.  One will live on as a January birthday gift but I gave up on the others.  Threw in the towel.  Since they were extra “stocking stuffer” type of gifts, I’m okay with that.  Two of my bestest friends live out of state and the girls are in town!  I’m not going to be saddled to the sofa with a crochet hook when there is life to be lived and drinks to be drunk.

Happy Christmas from Living Analog (and Olan Mills) to you!!!

Christmas Update

It looks like Santa has been here . . . .

(Or JT and I finally got busy and wrapped some gifts . . . )
And the cards have started to come in so I double-stick taped the photo ones up on the mirror.

The one present I am most excited about is not wrapped . . . . and it’s for the dogs (of course.)

See it peeking out there, hanging out with the Grinch?

It’s the Y Bowl from a great designer in Chicago — Doca Pet.  The dogs will now be drinking their water in style.  (Because you know they are very concerned about being in style . . . or maybe just their owner is).

Sophie and Shenanigan actually received their very own Christmas card yesterday and thanks to a little peanut butter, Shenanigan opened it himself while Sophie looked on and hyperventilated.  I guess this is the point where most people tell us we should just go ahead and have kids.  Yikes.

Christmas with Monograms and Sheepskins (the essentials)

I have a major thing for the letter “T”.  It’s my last initial (now that I’m married of course) and I can’t seem to stop collecting them.  I worked as a graphic designer in college and still do a lot of graphic work now inadvertently for our school clients.  So a part of me has always loved fonts. 

I was meandering around Hobby Lobby the other day, when lo and behold, what did I see but “T” ribbon.  It was perfect and I bought all the rolls they had. 

Now it’s making an appearance on our Christmas presents for the other “T” family members. 

And no, there’s not coal in that bag — it’s gift cards!  I saw it at Schnucks and couldn’t resist.  I have been wrapping all the gifts in simple brown craft paper and I pulled out one of my faux-fur sheepskins for the tree skirt. 

On a side note, I saw this sheepskin blanket and fell in love.  Love.

Soft, turquoise goodness.

It’s $800!!  From a store in the mall!!  I promised JT I would wear it as a coat every day (even in the 100 degree humid STL summers)  and sleep under it every night but no dice. 

So there you have it.  Although I’ve been trying to do some Christmas good deeds (I donated blood on my day off on Monday!)  I also suffer heavily from the “I wants” and other such first world problems.  I’m no stranger to the green-eyed monster.  Just trying to keep it all in perspective.

Is this a dog blog or a decorating blog?

Y’all I know things have been a little heavy on the dog pictures lately but as I learn to use my new camera, it’s so hard to resist photographing their little faces.  My new camera (early Xmas gift) has a cool feature called “Burst” where it takes multiple quick shots with only one push of the button.  It’s great for photographing a moving subject — like, you guessed it —  a dog or two!

Sophie and Shenanigan posed for their photo shoot after a nice brisk walk last weekend.  Since I go to work when it’s dark out and then come home in the dark, weekends are pretty much the only time I have to do any photos.

I’m getting further along on my secret crochet gifts.  I now have 5 complete and one has already been mailed.  Unfortunately I still have 6 more to go.  I’m surprised my fingers still work for typing actually . . .

(Sophie and Shenanigan also want to say thank you to their auntie for coming over and taking care of them so frequently.  Sometimes Shenanigan’s way of saying thank you may be kicking you in the ankles, but thank you is still what he means.)

Santa Came Early!

I guess I was good this year — Santa came early!  A brand new (used) camera arrived from Montana the other day via Amazon.  I love it already and I don’t even  know it that well.  It’s technical name is “Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5S 9MP Digital Camera with a 10x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom”.   I might call it Lover for short.

I tested it out on the tripod the other day.  First I put up the old camera (a CoolPix?  I’m not even sure.  It’s in the drawer forever now.  It’s dead to me.)  Then, keeping the tripod in the same spot, I put up Lover.  See how much more the Wide Angle lens will get ya?

Christmas is here at the Ts.  We put up the tree the other day and have been slowly decorating the room.  Can anyone count the number of Elvises we have in our living room? (What is the plural of Elvis — Elvi?)  It’s like Where’s Waldo but, you know, with Elvis.

So far all our (2) Christmas cards have matched the color scheme.  Those lucky guys get displayed on the mantel.  (Little Jack man, so cute!)  The others will be banished to the refrigerator (fair warning, folks).

We definitely went the faux tree route — it has a narrow profile so it takes up a lot less room in our tiny floorplan but sill looks like, well, a Christmas tree.  Someone told me the other day they were surprised we put up a tree at all, you know since we don’t have kids.  That took me back a little bit — are childless couples not allowed to decorate for Christmas?  Guess we’re breaking the rules.

We do have these two helpful mutts, who posed on the new fleece blanket all day.

JT joined some kind of Maker’s Mark club, so a little sweater arrived for his whiskey bottle the other day.  How nice.  The wreath on the console table is made of white plastic grocery bags.  I had found a little metal stand at Goodwill a while back for $1 and it turned out to be just the right height to be a nice wreath hanger for my free wreath.  Pretty sweet.

Looking at everything through my new camera lens, I already see a few things for my list in 2012.  #1, the accent wall behind the fireplace is history — in 2012 it will be white!  #2, something needs to be done with the fireplace — it had a horrible brass and glass surround on it that we promptly took down but the concrete is stained where that used to be and #3 I will be painting the heating vent over the white floating shelves to match the wall color because it sticks out like a sore thumb now. 

Back to my new camera manual I go.  Have a great week everyone!

Has everyone done their Christmas Good Deed?

With all the celebrating that goes on this time of year, I realize again and again how lucky I am.  When the holidays roll around, I always wish I had more time to volunteer — maybe that will be one of my resolutions for 2012.  However, I still like to find other ways to give and do my Christmas Good Deed.

This year’s Christmas Good Deed is sending a twelve-year-old girl in Foster Care to the City Museum.  If you’ve never been to the City Museum, it’s amazing — a visual wonderland of junk crafted together into a playground for kids of all ages.

So when I saw that the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition was granting children’s “Little Wishes” (their big wish is to be adopted), and that one little girl was interested in the City Museum, I was all in.  They still have a lot more wishes to fill  — it’s fun, being someone’s fairy godmother in a way.

Another great charity to consider supporting is the one where we got our very own Sophie dog (once named Butterfinger, you can read her rescue story here), Stray Rescue.  Not many animal shelters actively feed and rescue street dogs, have a hospice program to give dogs a quality end of life and help nurse so many animals back from death’s door. 

This is Daddy Lab (before and after), a rescue from a few years ago.  It’s amazing the number of animals Stray Rescue brings in that are so emaciated and ill like this — and they all turn out to be happy, healthy dogs who make great pets.  Stray Rescue has received a $100,000 matching donation from an anonymous “fairy godmother” for the Stracks Fund.

The Stracks Fund goes to cover medical expenses for dogs like Daddy Lab.  Stray Rescue spends up to $150,000 PER MONTH on medical care for their animals — they get the best care possible.  So as our second Christmas Good Deed, we are also donating to the Stracks Fund. 

What’s your Christmas Good Deed?  Mine is definitely small fries in the grand scheme of things but it feels like my cosmic thank you to the universe for all my blessings.  (Cheesy but true). 

On a Christmas Crafting update, I am stalled.  But, I may have invented a new crochet “thing” to be revealed at a later date that will make me a fortune.  Probably not.  But if it does make me a fortune, I will be able to do so many more Christmas Good Deeds!!  More updates soon — the Christmas tree went up!  Going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark has not made for any good picture-taking time at home.

Behind an Eight Ball

You guys, I am so behind!!  We have less than 30 days to Christmas and I have just completed ONE of the NINE things I told myself I had time to make.  Granted #2 is about 75% done, but it is time for Pedal to the Metal.

In case anyone was wondering what to get ME for Christmas, I saw this great article a while ago on Apartment Therapy for the “cash strapped collector“.  It’s an interesting list of 10 classic items for under $200.  Actually I heard Santa may be bringing me a new camera.  Three cheers for better pictures on this fricking blog!

I’ll report back if and when I get anything done I can share around here.  At some point I’ll have to decorate for the holidays. I’m thinking of borrowing a few ideas from Emily Henderson’s holiday “Secrets from a Stylist” episode.

Namely this —

We’ll see how it translates.  Love the wall color!  Teal/sapphire blue and lime green and white and wood?  Don’t mind if I do.

It’s Hush Hush time.

Interwebs, it’s about to get a little quiet around here.  You see I’m starting up (hopefully not belatedly) some gift projects and I can’t exactly be posting those, not with all my gift recipients as readers.

(Yes we did have Elvis as our tree topper last year and we very well may do it again.  Elvis is the King.)

To which my family probably says “Oh no, not more scarves!”  Yes more scarves!  Deal with it. 

Ok, it’s not scarves.  But I’m not going to divulge anything here til after the holidays. 

So . . . . hmmm (crickets chirp).  I did start one other much belated project.

JT’s dad and step-mom gifted us this armoire when they sold their house and downsized over a year and a half ago.  Yep it’s been in the basement that long (and there are drawers, they just got taken out for moving).  In that year and a half the elder Mr. and Mrs. T have completely refinished and redecorated and reupolstered almost everything in their new house.  I should get some pictures for the blog —  the amount of work they have successfully undertaken is inspiring.  And this poor armoire?  It waited oh so patiently for me to get some motivation. 

I highlighted its new location on the bedroom floor plan in orange above (and no, the armoire is not staying orange, I’m thinking a nice white with some details.) That way we can have the little TV and all it’s pesky wires tucked away out of sight and the bedroom will be one step closer to being complete(ish). 

Has anyone else started working on their holiday gift scarves?  Just me?  That’s cool.  The smart people probably started those back in June anyways.  Sigh.  See you around interwebs.