"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Hand-Carved MINIATURE Nativity Scene

Despite Halloween being just around the corner, I go where my creative spirit leads me. This past week, I was moved to finish carving a miniature Nativity set I started last year.

Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, an angel, two shepherds, and the three Wise Men riding camels were all carved from from Butternut.

After carving all the people, I thought they needed a little stable.

I used a quarter to give you an idea of this set's true size.

Joseph is the biggest, standing a whopping two inches high.

Mary's face is so tiny, I had to leave it blank, going for the "Waldorf" style. Jesus lies in a wee manger and is less than an inch tall.

The shepherds were probably my favorite to carve. It was fun trying to make tiny little details in their clothing. The one shepherd even holds a walking stick.

Each Wise Man and camel are one piece, which was extremely challenging not only trying to figure out how to do it, but also being careful not to break off the camels' delicate legs.

The whole group, including a Waldorf-style angel.

Here is the entire piece. I added a wood star I traced and cut out using my bandsaw. I then painted it yellow and covered it in gold glitter. It's attached to the stable with a wire.

A close-up. For the stable, I cut and glued pieces of wood to make it. Then I embellished it with brick scrapbook paper, wood pottery, striped fabric, hay, and even a tiny little chicken peeking out from behind the fence.

To really get inspired to finish this carving, I kept listening to "What Child Is This?" and "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel." Both are a perfect fit when carving a creche.

A thin piece of wood acts as a base for the entire piece. Only the stable is secured down so you can constantly rearrange the people. The bottom even has "sand", which is a sand-gel mixed with sand-colored acrylic paint. I love working with as many textures as possible.

I think Santa Claus is next!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Harvest Moon Party

While gearing up for our Second Annual Harvest Moon Party, Mary and Nic were really excited to help with the decorations.

Liking the Halloween banners that I have already hanging, they wanted to make their own. The table was filled with Halloween images, scissors, scrapbook paper, and glue.

Nic chose the word, "Boo" to decorate his banner and we hung it up by black yarn on the kitchen door.

Mary chose the word, "Eerie" and we hung hers up on the basement door, which is also in the kitchen.

As people entered the house, they were greeted by lots of Halloween candy.

Ted got a bonfire going, which just added to the cozy fall feel.

Little by little, more chairs and people came out to sit by the fire. By the end of the night, we had a complete horseshoe of chairs around it.

My sister-in-law, Luann, brought gigantic marshmallows to roast. Even the adults couldn't help but get sticky trying to eat them. Somehow, Mary got a big gob of it in her hair!

The fun part about this party, is every family is supposed to bring a Fall meal and a Fall dessert. This ensures that there's not only enough food for everyone, but there's a great assortment to try. And it's a total surprise too!

Our table was filled with huge platters of comfort fall dishes like spicy chili, sweet potato casserole, sauerbraten, meatballs, veggie dishes, wings, potato salad, cornbread, stuffed shells, vodka rigatoni, and shepherd's pie.

And then there was the dessert table, which my friends Beth, Alice and Tim were smart enough to sit at!

We had three different types of apple pie, gingerbread cookies, pumpkin bread and cookies, homemade cheesecake brownies, butter cake, caramel apples, chocolate mousse pie, chocolate brownies, orange cupcakes. Of course, there was also hot apple cider, soda, and different Oktoberfest beer Ted brought home.

One of my favorite parts is just seeing everyone, especially all the little cousins, hanging out and playing with each other.

I figured to put all my old blow-molds and elves to good use. The rest of the yard was filled with the carnival games I made back in June, for the kids to play. I'm sure I'll use these at every party! Why not?

Happy Halloween!