Jewellery as Christmas Ornaments

jewelled ornamentsI like to buy new holiday brooches every Christmas season. My favourite to find (and collect) are the Christmas trees. Next are poinsettias and from there I like an assortment of Christmas things. I do prefer natural themes like birds, pine cones and snow people to the religious themed brooches. That’s just me as an Earth Witch though. Everyone has some part of Christmas which is special for them.

One thing about having a collection is finding a new and creative way to display it and store it (especially if you move often). I have found a few wonderful ways to display, use and show off my holiday brooches – and all my old sparkly brooches if I want to include them.

Decorate with Brooches this Year

You can make a holiday brooch bouquet. I first noticed this as a new twist on the wedding bouquet. Several brooches are gathered up, given a stem and then tied together with ribbon. There are a few other steps, but that is the basic idea. This can work with holiday brooches and be used to decorate inside your home over the Christmas season.

xmas tree broochAnother idea is to create a holiday wreath with your brooches. Cover a wreath form with gathered fabric which you can pin your brooches onto. Add extras and optional ideas like a big bow, some holiday ornaments or pin a few Christmas cards to the wreath with your brooches. Or, use the form of a Christmas tree, cover it with something strong enough to hold your brooches and create a Christmas tree decorated with all your holiday jewels. BHG has a jewelled wreath to give you an example.

A third idea which I have seen is to pin your brooches into the shape of a Christmas tree (use a luxurious fabric like velvet or something sparkly like left over wrapping paper) then place an elegant photo frame around your brooch creation. I found lovely inspiration for this idea at the Moon Diamond Etsy shop.

Merry Yuletide Season

Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display – so much tinsel and decorations. For it isnt the holly, it isnt the snow. It isnt the tree, nor the firelights glow. Its the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again.

– Author Unknown

via The Best Holiday and Christmas Quotes — Yuletide Season Quotes.

Laura name meaning

Laura

Spanish Meaning:

The name Laura is a Spanish baby name. In Spanish the meaning of the name Laura is: Crowned with laurels.

American Meaning:

The name Laura is an American baby name. In American the meaning of the name Laura is: Crowned with laurels.

Swedish Meaning:

The name Laura is a Swedish baby name. In Swedish the meaning of the name Laura is: Laurel tree or sweet bay tree (symbols of honour and victory). The sonnets of 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch were addressed a lady named Laura, whose identity is still a mystery. Famous Bearer: Fashion designer Laura Ashley.

English Meaning:

The name Laura is an English baby name. In English the meaning of the name Laura is: Laurel.

Latin Meaning:

The name Laura is a Latin baby name. In Latin the meaning of the name Laura is: The laurel tree or sweet bay tree symbolic of honor and victory. Old name with many variants.

SoulUrge Number: 5

People with this name have a deep inner desire for travel and adventure, and want to set their own pace in life without being governed by tradition.

Expression Number: 8

People with this name are competent, practical, and often obtain great power and wealth. They tend to be successful in business and commercial affairs, and are able to achieve great material dreams. Because they often focus so strongly on business and achievement, they may neglect their private lives and relationships.

via Laura name meaning.

Where the Wild Things Are: Yule or Christmas

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, November, 23, 2003.

Christmas, by that name, is a Christian holiday, Christ’s Mass is how it started as far as I remember. Also, if you want to get technical, holiday is also a Christian word, coming from holy day, the long, extended version before the remix.

I was thinking tonight, do you call it Christmas or always religiously, in a semi-fanatical way, call it Yule? To me, I don’t think the small things are worth fighting against the tide over. I don’t mind calling it Christmas or a holiday. I know what it means to me. I know where it comes from, historically and spiritually.

I also know how I celebrate it. I don’t go to a church, not one recognized by the average Yellow Pages phone book. I live in my ‘church’ it’s always with me and all around me. Mostly, I just like being outside. That’s when I feel closest to everything that matters and makes me feel good.

So, for me Yule or Christmas, is about time outside as well as our family traditions. The Christmas tree, singing carols, the exchange of new pajamas on Christmas Eve, the big dinner, making bread together, driving around admiring the fancy coloured lights, and so on. My favourite things are fresh, new snow on Christmas day and admiring the tree all lit up and decorated with ornaments we’ve made and kept from year to year and relatives past.

However you feel about Yule, remember the spirit of the season. Don’t insist people recognize you as Pagan, call it Yule whenever you might be listening and don’t make someone feel their Christmas is less than your Yule. Play nice. Religious tolerance works both ways.

Foraging 2.0: Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches To Neutered City Trees

Foraging 2.0: Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches To Neutered City Trees: SFist.

This is interesting to me because we gathered apples from abandoned farms and along the roadside from trees which were pretty forgotten. These apples would be heritage seeds and possibly types of apples no longer grown commercially. Yet they were often a stronger or better type of apple, resistant to bugs and disease. But unpopular for some other reason.

The idea grafting branches never occurred to me. It would give you the chance to have apples much sooner than growing a new tree from seed. Also, a lot of trees grown from seed just don’t make it. Grafting would have a better chance for success, though need more time to keep the tree from going back to it’s roots, literally.

Flower Tree

The Flower Tree sounds like it should be the name of one of those soap and beauty shops like Soapberry, a long gone Canadian chain which once competed with The Body Shop. But, this flower tree is a brooch I noticed on Glamour Kitten.

Do you like to get scented soaps and shampoos from places like The Body Shop? I have a lemon body soap for the shower which is really nice. I used to have one which was peach but they stopped making it. My other favourite is pink grapefruit. I bought an orange and ginger shampoo and conditioner from Bath and Body Works recently. I love quality soap (the stuff from the drug store seems to irritate my skin) with a great smell to it. I like natural fruit smells best it seems. Too much floral just seems like a lot of perfume.

A Living Wake

I read about Derek K. Miller’s living wake in his blog. Derek died May 3rd. Jade Walker posted a link to his blog and that’s how I began reading and eventually came to the post about his living wake. It’s a good idea. I’ve always thought a funeral was kind of sad because the person everyone was there to think of, give tribute to, is not able to attend.

I found another post about a living wake on Care Pages, a wife held a living wake for her husband who had terminal cancer. Of course, a living wake would only work for someone with cancer or some other disease which gave them a limited time to live. I wouldn’t want to know when I am going to die, if it were sudden, but having the time to plan and say good bye would be comforting if you knew your time was short.

A living wake is not a life celebration, where people attend after the death to remember the deceased. However, part of the living wake would be to remember the life you have lived, the people you met along the way and your accomplishments, happy moments, etc. Knowing this was the last time for so many things I’d want to take time to plan the living wake and make sure I wouldn’t regret anything I wish I had done at the time, later.

I didn’t find information about planning a living wake so I am thinking of ideas myself and putting them here for anyone who finds this useful.

  • Every holiday, family birthday and occasion can be packed into the living wake. Have a birthday cake,  decorate the Christmas tree, hand out Valentine chocolates, wear New Year hats, cook a turkey and so on. Set out photos of family trips and milestones.
  • Invite as many people as you can find. Host the wake outside if you can or find a place easy for people to get to and drop in. Don’t make it a long event, but something where people can drop in, sign a guest book and visit awhile. Chances are the person the wake is for won’t be a fall of fire and will need to keep it short or take a few breaks to regather energy.
  • Make sure you have something people can take away with them, a signed photo, a poem, something to remember the occasion and the friend/ relative. Also, have them all sign a guest book so anyone who does not get to visit can still leave a note, maybe even a last gift if they happen to bring something.
  • Serve food which can be nibbled on. A mix of hot and cold like salads would give people something to do with their hands when they don’t quite know what to say or do.
  • Set up a display with photos over the years: baby to child, to teenager to adult… have a laugh at old fashions and hair styles and a favourite raggedy old sweater which everyone will remember the family/ friend wearing far too often and far too long.
  • If people will understand the humour, have a roast where the friend/ family member gives some parting shots to everyone who attends (or anyone they have something they want to say).
  • Use digital photos and video to record the event and play the video, show the photos so people can see them as the wake goes along. Let people share them by emailing the best/ favourite photos to each other before they go home. They could be put on an account on Flickr or Facebook to be distributed quickly.
  • Let people stand up and speak if they have something they would like to say, maybe something they have planned or thought of while wandering around the room. Some last words of their own. The plan is for everyone to say goodbye while they can still be heard after all.
  • If there are belongings which will be distributed in a will later why not give them now, when the  stories can be told about the belonging rather than people trying to remember how it all went later. You could even type out notes to go along with each thing and include the story behind it, the reason it’s being given to that person in particular and any other details about how it works and how it was used.
  • Think about favourite music, books, films, any favourite things which you could have at the living wake in person or represented on a bulletin board or some other type of display.
  • Write a short biography with personal notes and commentary added in. This would be a good way for everyone to remember happy times, old jokes and old stories.

What other ideas can you think of?