Thursday, December 9, 2021

Rain's Thursday Art Date: Christmas past


It's Thursday, which means it's time to join Rain's Thursday Art Date, which this week is Christmas past.  I considered showing how I decorated my home for Christmas in the past, but decided to share this post from a previous Christmas instead.

I called it "Christmas Joys and Woes."

I'd like to begin by explaining how I created this spread I named "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 to share Christmas at my house.  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 contain 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 of breakfast.

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

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 card, 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 I was 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 my tools.  It didn't take him long to fix the problem with these handy vice grips. However, 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 that featured Christmas and our over-the-top meal we all prepared in my tiny 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 pies 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.

As for my camera?  I took the camera back to the place I purchased it, and they replaced it with a new one exactly the same as the one you see in the photo above.  The same thing happened with it.  I'd had it less than a month when the second camera wouldn't charge.   When I took it back, they didn't have any more of the same model, and since it was right after Christmas, their supply of cameras was nearly non-existent.  However, they had one they thought I wouldn't like.  It used REAL AA batteries, and I was over the moon with happiness.  That's my "NEW" camera I love so much.  It will always be called my NEW camera (also a Nikon) after the lousy ones I had in the past.  Even though it cost $130.00 (USD) more, they gave me 100% credit for the defective Nikon.
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.

I'm delighted you joined me as I looked back at a homemade Christmas past. BTW, my "new" camera (Nikon Cool Pix 820) is no longer working properly, so I am using the one Scott brought me, which is very similar to mine, except with more features and a better zoom (Nikon Cool Pix 840).

Thank you beyond belief for stopping by.  I am truly grateful to you, my dear friends, followers, readers, and lurkers for visiting.  Please also join Bleubeard and me at Rain's Thursday Art Date.


20 thoughtful remarks:

Elephant's Child said...

WOW. What a delicious day and what precious memories - despite the frustrations which you didn't allow to derail the joy.

Iris Flavia said...

Great idea and you SO made me laugh with the smart people staying home. Oh. Reckon I´m not smart then. This sounds like a fantastic idea!!!

Love you ate too much and had dinner late - the fun of times!

You make me hungry!

Funny you. I always was and likely will be the dishwasher. Still hope for becoming a millionaire ;-)
Uggh with the camera!

Men DO cook! Bro, Hubby, BIL, so many men at Volkswagen! A whole cookbook we created and sold (money went to kids).

Yay for Scott!

LOVE your "Notes"!
Yes. Please come over with a napkin. Drool is all over! ;-)
Yay for the new cam.

Valerie-Jael said...

Fun post, I am sure your visitors enjoyed it all! Hugs, Valerie

CJ Kennedy said...

that must have been a fun day. Good food, good company, and wonderful memories.

Mae Travels said...

You make me realize that I don’t really know what people necessarily eat for Christmas. My daughter’s family love sausages. I know of others who have individual family traditions. But if you. asked me if that delicious-sounding meal was appropriate for Christmas I would think “Why not?” I know that British people eat something similar to Thanksgiving dinner but with Brussels sprouts, but still, “Why not?”

best… mae at

craftytrog said...

A wonderful post Elizabeth, and what lovely memories you have, in spite of the lack of photos.

Jeanie said...

This is without doubt the best Christmas idea I've heard of! It sounds fun, great camaraderie, wonderful sounding food and loads of memories. I have to say, you had your share of problems that day and I'm sorry you don't have more photos but really, the memories are the best part. And somehow you survived! (AND, got a new camera out of the deal!) I loved every word and image.

Divers and Sundry said...

What a thoughtful idea, but the "made from scratch" rule would've kept me away. The food does all sound delicious!

Christine said...

What a lovely idea for a homemade Christmas, so very special thanks for sharing. Too bad about the camera woes though.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

the meals are delicious and I know the friendship made all the troubles
go away; well, you know. May your Christmas this year be filled with good food, good company and great memories ♥♥♥

bleu and squiggles we hope yur stayin in trubull ;) ♥♥☺☺

My name is Erika. said...

That sounds like a great holiday. You had a good idea. And your food sounds delicious too, even for carnivores. Butternut squash lasagna is one of my favorites. I bet everyone had a great time,and you have some wonderful memories too. Too bad about the camera though. I'm glad you shared this festive story. Hugs-Erika

Jenn Jilks said...

A lovely adventure! So sorry about the camera! I guess you can laugh about it now!

Tammy said...

What a great idea and a very special way to spend Christmas! Making everything from scratch is my kind of party and the food sounds delicious, so many items on the menu that I love! I bet everyone had a wonderful time!
Take care & hugs, Tammy

Gillena Cox said...

Great Christmas past memories


Tom said...

...Christmas and food seem to go together. We always look forward to Christmas Eve dinner at our daughter's home and Christmas breakfast at your son's home and dinner at ours. Enjoy this joyous season.

DVArtist said...

Great menus. I wash dishes by hand by choice. I hate the dish washer. I have a brand new one in my house that has never been used. Well it was new 7 years ago when I moved in here. I use it for storage. LOL Ohhh camera trouble. What store did you go to that they actually replace the camera? Scott is a good guy, you are lucky to have him in your life. Have a great day.

NatureFootstep said...

now, that was two good stories. :) Glad you got yourself a great camera. :)

Debra said...

Your posts are fun. The menus are amazing! Wow. I hope you are feeling better!

Sharon Madson said...

What a fun Christmas past story and pages! Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth!

Rain said...

Elizabeth that was so nice to read. I loved everything about your past Christmas memory...the goat cheese and the lasagna intrigued me the most!!! :)