I'm not the only one who isn't fond of winter. Pearl seems to much prefer being indoors during this very cold (barely 10 degrees on our morning walk) December. Getting her outside is not an easy task. She's learned that her little bed on the hearth is a warm spot, and if she can't curl up with me, this is where I often find her.
Last week I did do something winter-related that I truly enjoyed. My neighbor Pam held a gathering on Tuesday to which she invited about 15 women from the neighborhood and beyond to partake of a holiday crafts day. Pam used to have a business devoted primarily to quilting: quilts, kits, quilt-themed cards, jewelry, etc. She also did a number of paper crafts. Over the past few years she's sold her business to her daughter-in-law. But she's still in possession of lots of goodies and so she set up "craft stations" around the house so that her guests could take turns making six different projects. They ranged from two kinds of folded paper stars (one is in the picture above), a fabric-covered gift box (also in the photo), a luggage tag, gift tags, and the folded-paper tree above.
Each station included detailed instructions and materials appropriate for the project. She had a lot of the preliminary work done (squares of fabric and vinyl for the luggage tags were pre-cut; templates for the gift tags printed on heavy paper; fusible already applied to the fabric for the gift boxes, etc.). It was really the ultimate fun day: like the kid in the candy store, I had to try one of each. I'd spied the lovely little trees in this month's Martha Stewart Living and mentioned it to Pam. Rather than make each of us measure out the graduated circles, she devised a pattern for them that included folding lines. At the end of the day there was a forest of trees.
Everyone who attended brought something for lunch and we had everything from turky-matzo ball soup to red cabbage salad. The sun poured in the south windows at the back of the house as we sat and ate, chatted, and got to better know one another. Our neighborhood is wonderfully friendly and I know lots of folks to say hello to because I walk Pearl so often, but this provided a chance to find out about people's kids, jobs, etc. People who worked outside the home came for whatever part of the day they could (I took the entire day off) and I felt like I was in some kind of women-friendly version of "It's a Wonderful Life." One of my favorite days, ever.