The dismal stretch between the holidays and summer has gotten quite a bit better since I moved from Ohio to Arizona. No more slopping through grey slush under grey skies with a grey pallor matched by an equally grey mood. Now I have fresh citrus and balmy days lulling me into a false sense of smugness right before I am rudely brought back to the reality of living on the surface of the sun. Life is good, and yet…as happy as I am to have all the glitter-encrusted frippery of the holiday season safely stowed, my food sensible and my house free of the inevitable family gathering flu epidemic, part of me can’t wait until next year.
So let’s not! In the interest of getting a head start on the 2012 holiday card (so, you know, I might actually finish it in time to mail out) I am asking for your help. Do a quick run through of the sketches I posted for the month of December’s sketch challenge, HoHoDooDa, and vote for the one (or two or three) you would like to see as a full blown illustration. Leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook and at the end of January I’ll pick a random.org winner and that lucky, lucky participant will win an archival print of the piece that garners the most votes. Voice your opinion, possibly win free art–it’s win, win!
We did it. Marion Eldridge and Linda Silvestri and I managed to do a doodle a day for the month of December. Well, almost for me. A few days skipped here and there, but given the frenetic pace of the season, I’m pretty proud. And now it’s time to rip everything holiday down and stuff it away for next year. That’s what’s done in this house, as I am firmly in the camp of “once the holidays are over, decorations are just depressing.” You can leave them up, but I will judge you. Years ago hubby had to go to a conference immediately following Christmas, and left me in the grips of the flu and a 102 degree fever. I answered his evening call and somehow he knew. “You’re not taking down the Christmas decorations are you?” “I just want to get it done.” I replied weakly, hallucinating visions of sugar plums. Ever since, my mantra regarding the removal of all things evergreen and shiny the weekend following has been “I just want to get it done.”
While I don’t plan to try and come up with a doodle every day from now on, I am hopeful that I have started a new habit of sketching a bit in the evening before bed. I think I’ve got two or three sketches from HoHoDooDa I’d like to expand upon and that makes it more than worthwhile for me.
I will close with a wish for 2012 to move everyone down the road a little closer to their dreams.
O.K. Yes, I took a week off from HoHoDooDa. Sometimes a family holiday is all one can manage. My big, girl dog had a lot of fun bounding through the snow, laughing with the ravens. Little guy dog, not so much. He prefers ottomans and cookies by the fire.
Please check out the HoHoDooDa fun from Linda Silvestri and Marion Eldridge.
I’m trying to do this on my ipad, since I am without a scanner for the immediate future. It seemed every car on the road today was brimming with holiday cheer. I felt like I was trapped in Santa’s sleigh circa 1975, but that had more to do with hubby’s roadtrip playlist than the season.
Please check out more HoHoDooDa with Linda Silvestri and Marion Eldridge!
One of the traditional holiday decor items of my childhood was a plastic candelabra with orange bulbs. Each window of our house got one and it was my sister ‘s and my job to run around turning them on at dusk and then off before bed. Every Christmas Eve, we were allowed to leave our candelabra on during the night. As a neurotic child prone to insomnia, I loved this. The warm orange glow in my room was the bonfire that kept back the scary creatures of the night that were for sure lurking just beyond its light, ready to spring.
I’m a neurotic adult now, prone to insomnia, and have to keep my bedroom pitch black or sleep eludes me. But tonight, this winter solstice night, I will keep the tree lights burning, my own ancient bonfire holding back the darkness.
Hubby and I came home to such a scene frequently during the holidays with our last dog. He was very well-behaved all year long, but once Santa was watching he turned into Destructo Dog. The first time it was our fault–what kind of morons decorate a tree with popcorn and candy canes with a dog in the house? He ate eleven feet of popcorn, string and all. We eventually also lost several paper mache ornaments, ironically fake gingerbread to satisfy my longing for a cookie strewn tree, and paper bows off of presents. Not the cheap shiny kind you buy by the bag at Walgreens, but those delicate fancy paper bark-like ones. We guessed they were coaxed to hold their shape with some sort of animal-based glue. The day we came home to find almost an entire felt stocking consumed, the holidays moved into the spare bedroom with the door closed. Nowadays we are savvy, decorations are rated by possible toxicity if consumed and nothing is dog-accessible. All holiday flair is relegated to tabletops and mantels and armoires.
I recently entered into a debate on the merits of fruitcake. There seemed to be two camps: those who had only ever had bad fruitcake and hated it, and those who rhapsodized on and on about the divine confections they had known, full of fruit and nuts and rum. I was in the latter. My grandfather had a recipe that was mostly nuts, a bit of candied fruit, and just enough butter and flour to hold it together. He would transfer the baked cakes to metal cookie tins, and they would spend the next six weeks atop the washing machine being soaked in rum. As soon as the cakes had absorbed all the liquid, they were re-filled. As you can imagine these were heady treats indeed.