Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas joys and woes

I'd like to begin by explaining this spread I call "Homemade Christmas."  I concocted this idea one night while preparing to invite a few of my dear friends who do NOT have children or family close by.  I sent individual invitations that read:
Dear __________,

You are invited to a unique Christmas.  My home will be open any time after Sunday, December 22, so feel free to arrive any time.  Please let me know the approximate time you plan to arrive, so I have adequate sleeping arrangements for you.

I will provide Christmas breakfast, and will provide a ham for the carnivores, but I ask that each person bring or make at least two dishes they would not normally prepare for Christmas.  In addition, these dishes must be homemade only.  By that, I mean no canned food, no mixes, no boxes that have ingredients none of us can pronounce.  Keep food choices as fresh as possible, and please let me know what you plan to bring.

Now smart people would stay home.  After all, we had just had a huge snow storm that blanketed the midwest.  And I was asking that friends bring only items that had to be made from scratch.  What can I say, other than they appeared to be adventurous and willing to accept the challenge.

I planned to show photos. but when I turned my camera on, the battery was dead.  I knew it would be at least three hours before it was charged, so I decided there would be no photos for breakfast.

I personally thought I prepared a modest breakfast, hoping it would fill everyone up enough to last till dinner could be served.

I guess I overdid it, because everyone was so full after breakfast, we decided to turn Christmas lunch into a late afternoon meal.

After I plugged the camera into the battery, I noticed the little light was not coming on, which meant it was NOT charging.  I scrambled to find the old camera that has no settings.  It's more or less a point and shoot camera with no corrections whatsoever, not even a flash.  Since it has no simcard, I knew I had to have fresh batteries.  But the only ones I had were rechargeable, and the instructions warned to NOT use rechargeable ones.  Still, I had to try.  It was all I had!

To take my mind off the camera problem, I started the dishes.  This is the first house I've owned that has no dishwasher, so every dish, pan, etc., is cleaned by hand.  As we were washing dishes,

Sherry (who does not like to be photographed) yelled that Scott was here.  I quickly dried my hands, found the camera, and proceeded to take the very first photos of the day.

Scott had brought a ton of food.  And some people think men don't cook!

After greeting Scott, I went back to washing dishes, and that was when I realized my sink wasn't draining properly.  What else could go wrong? After all, I had just had a plumber in to unclog the sink about a month before.  But this time, I had Scott.

And Scott had tools.  It didn't take him long to fix the problem with his handy vice grips. But, that was the last photo I got because the camera started beeping, which meant I had to get the photos off the camera or else they would die with the batteries.

So off I went before these few photos became history.  Then, try as I might, none of my AAA batteries were charged enough for the camera.  It refused to turn on, even though I put fresh (rechargeable) batteries in the camera three different times.

So even though I have only a few photos of the day, I created a spread in my altered book of Christmas and our over-the-top meal we all prepared in my kitchen.

I will leave you to drool over this meal.  I'm still drooling over it.  It's a vegetarian's dream meal (other than the ham, of course).  There were appetizers and dips to die for, along with homemade kale chips (which topped my list of favorites).  There were soups and salads and potatoes and cooked veggies.  There were main dishes and pie for dessert.

And other than a few traditional favorites, like pumpkin pie, deviled eggs, and mashed potatoes, these were not traditional Christmas fare.  And no carnivore went hungry or complained about the lack of more meat.

Now that I have to return to scanning pages, I am sorry I picked such a large book that doesn't fit on the scanner bed properly.  As for my camera?  I have no idea what my options are, since I have to call Nikon and find out if it's considered my fault or theirs.

As for my book spread, I started with gesso, then I scrunched white tissue that I had dotted with white pearl paint that doesn't show in the scan.  I added computer generated text that I tore and colored the edges using my new ink pens I got for Christmas.  I added some green holographic ribbon and confetti snowflakes for decorations, along with a tree I sewed and dotted with paint from a previous project.

Some of you saw I created this book spread in time for WOYWW 239 .  Since the batteries were freshly charged, after I took the photos,

I decided to show a Christmas present I received that I opened late Christmas day that everyone could enjoy.  It was sent to me by my dear friend Joseph from Amazon and it arrived via UPS before Christmas.  Yep, this camera sucks!  But everyone sure enjoyed the truffles far more than I did.  I even gave Scott one 1.1 lb package (there were two in the box).

BTW, even though she's probably nowhere near a computer, I want to wish my friend Annette (Voodoo Vixen) a very happy birthday today.

16 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

When things happen to you, they really happen, don't they?! I love the sound of your open Christmas - was a wonderful idea. Hope you get your camera sorted soon.

Vicki Miller said...

What a day! but you all seemed to have a great time, and you know, those are the day that we remember and look back on with fondness years later.

Karen Gist said...

What a wonderful lady you are to do this for your friends! I love your menu and did dribble at the ideas on there haha! It sounds much nicer than the traditional roast turkey we had. HUgs xxx

Corrine at said...

So you have a "send adventure" sign in your front yard, because it sure seems like you have your share, especially camera ones. That's some menu and so nice that it was all home made.....xox

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Despite not having a functioning camera at the time, you still managed to make a beautiful spread in your book that will remind you of this year's celebration.

elle said...

aw! How special, Elizabeth. Bless you and your friends!

Halle said...

Looks like you all were very well fed. You must be a wonderful hostess! Fun that you comemorate the day with a special page.

Monica Smith said...

Memories are better than photos, you can always find them

Denise Price said...

What you have made looks suspiciously like a 2-page scrapbook spread to me, Elizabeth. :) Oh, I know it doesn't have photos, but it has all the wonderful memories of your open house, carefully documented. And my goodness, I am so hungry now!

Glad you had a nice Christmas! Hope your camera woes will soon end.

PetraB said...

What a feast! It sounds very tempting and mouthwatering. Hope the problems with your camera will soon be resolved, it is always such a pain when these things happen. Good luck.

Nan G said...

Wow sounds like a day full of wonderful and some not so, memories. :) a fab way to spend the day with friends. And this is your new camera too?! Yikes! Hope it's resolved quickly for you. Hugs

Jane Wetzel said...

had to comment...what a delightful must be an angel... :)

Carol said...

It never fails that my camera is dead when I really want it. Nice Christmas spread and sounds like a lovely day!

Dianne said...

oh my dear...those meals sound scrumptious! what a brilliant idea to make the invitations for homemade foods only...the trials and tribulations of cameras...I am lucky to remember to get mine out & charged before the guests arrive -- or even remember to take pictures when they are here! hope you get it figured out. I am trying to decide what to do about my lost phone. and there are sooo many options. some quite expensive. the joys of technology. loved visiting you and adore your altered book1

dawn said...

What a wonderful post this was to read. First though, I'm so sorry about your camera, how awful. I hope you can figure it out soon or get it replaced??? I know you loved it so much and used it daily. Not sure what I'd do without mine either.

WOW, what a beautiful day of friends and food. I love how you invited them and how they came even in the snow and homemade food. This was such a fun idea, glad it turned out well.

Great art journal page to remember it, doesn't even need the pictures, it already tells a great story of it.

Hope all is well other then the camera. No mandala for me tomorrow but if the weather doesn't knock out my power I will be doing a T time post.
Here in Ohio it's suppose to be very cold and school is already canceled for tomorrow. It was going to be the first day back, looks like they are stuck with me for another day or two.
Take care and see you soon. HUGS!

~*~Patty S said...

You certainly know how to plan a fun event...this sounds great and very tasty with lots to please everyone!

Camera woes ... sorry you have to deal with that!

I take so many photos that we got a second battery so one is always charged and ready to go...

Hope you had a nice weekend and that your weather is calm...