(an informative post brought to you by BratzBasher)
The making of the communal Yule Goat is a popular Danish tradition. A ginormous goat is constructed out of straw and rope in the middle of the town square. Then all of the children offer up carrots and vegetables (and all those things that they normally don’t eat) to the goat, in hopes of a good year to come. In addition to the giant, straw goat, families make little goats to put on their Christmas trees. On Christmas Eve, they set out their wooden shoes, filled with straw for the goat to eat. Then, on Christmas day, their wooden shoes are filled with candy and sweets. A parent, or other relative, will dress up as a goat and go around terrifying the small children. The children are supposed to give the goat candy to appease its rage and to make it go away. Kind of the opposite of Santa.
I made an adorable, little Christmas goat out of red yarn and whatever this stuff is that my mom gave me to use. It looks like straw, but it isn’t. [note from Foo4luv: It's raffia.] The horns are posable, and it has this curious expression on its face — as if it’s going, “Ooh! What’s that? Is that for me?”
We have dubbed him “Herr Ziege”. That’s German for “Mr. Goat”.
Our ward had a lovely Christmas program/mixer, complete with homemade nativity sets made by the attending families. I wish I’d remembered to bring my camera so I could show you all of the creative ideas, but you’ll have to settle for these pictures I took of our nativity when we got home. The origami was BratzBasher’s idea.
Here’s an overall view. Ignore my cluttered table, please.
A closer view of the stable, shepherd, animals, and angel.
Look at those wise men on the camels — they’re actually samurai! (I couldn’t find a pattern for wise men, and these guys fit on the camels.)
For those of you interested in where I got the patterns…(Unfortunately, I can’t just give you links. If it’s YouTube, it’ll show up here as a full video. Oh well.)
- modular 5-pointed star
If you watch this on the YouTube site, it’ll have the links for Joseph and Baby Jesus on the side, or you can click on the link to danbergam’s page and look for them there. I used the same pattern for Joseph and the shepherd, but I gave the shepherd a crook.
- donkey — This one’s a bit tricky, as there is only a drawn diagram.
- samurai warrior — This one doesn’t even have a diagram, but it’s fairly simple. It starts out a lot like a cootie catcher/fortune teller. I altered it a bit by folding in the top corners of the arms, folding the head backwards to the other side, and cutting a slit on the bottom to divide the legs so they could ride the camels.
Sorry I can’t provide a link for the camels, but the page is gone. There are other neat camel patterns, but I liked these the best.
I did cheat and use glue dots to keep some parts together so that they would stand better. (The camels’ front legs kept splaying.) I also used glue dots to mount the star on the stable and add strips of cardstock to make stands for the angel, Jesus, and Mary.
I’m nearing completion of my wedding dress refurbish. I’m sewing the shrug now. Well, not right now. Right now I’m typing this post. I’ll finish it tomorrow and post pictures either tomorrow or Saturday. That is, if I don’t forget.
My dad and stepmom came and went. We had a great visit, and Grandma S got to take BratzBasher shopping for makeup. Yep. Makeup. She’s starting to tentatively embrace her girly side. She’s a bit worried about what Merkin thinks, but he’s assured her that he’s fine with it.
Anyway…that’s what we did the day before BB’s birthday. I can’t believe she’s already 15. Where does the time go?
We spent BB’s actual birthday at the City Museum. She got to hand out cupcakes to all the staff. It’s a tradition for our family. A good time was had by all. Dad enjoyed himself immensely. (It was his first time.)
So who’s ready for some random facts about BratzBasher?
- She likes to eat her fortune cookies stuffed with rice. She says she enjoys the texture.
- She sleeps with all sorts of hard objects in her bed that she can’t be bothered to move: books, water bottles, whatever.
- When she was a baby, she had two dimples, but a third one would show when she smiled really big. Now there’s just the two.
- She reads. A lot. Fanfiction, popular teen fiction (if it’s not too girly or vampire-y), Homer, Stephen Hawking…she’s well-rounded.
- She sneezes really loud (and high-pitched). Eardrum piercingly loud sometimes. We’re working on that. Especially in the car. *wince*
- She prefers to sew by hand because my sewing machine scares her. In her defense, it does make loud noises. Hey, it’s old — the same age as me, but that’s old for a sewing machine.
- She’s very creative. She writes, draws (mostly manga style), sews, dances (to the beat of her own drum)…the list goes on.
- She still likes to be tucked in and kissed goodnight (on both cheeks so she won’t be lopsided). In the winter, she prefers the cocoon style of tuck-tucks with the blankets all tucked under her sides and feet and up to her chin.
- She hates Twilight and other books that make vampires out to be cool. She prefers the original Dracula that was all evil and stuff.
- She’ll watch Bleach all day and night if we let her, and she rereads the manga version over and over again.
- Merkin gave her roses for her birthday, and she almost cried. It was sweet.
- Shenandoah makes her cry, too.
- She prefers to play the tuba rather than sing and was very put out that they wouldn’t let her do that at the most recent Young Women in Excellence night.
- She makes weird faces when I tell her she’s cute.
- She’s 15 and five days today!
My dad and stepmom are coming for a visit next week, and I’m in a mild cleaning frenzy. I actually tackled the worst room we have upstairs (aside from BB’s, that is): the computer/craft room. It will be finished tomorrow, but the big victory came when I was finally able to close the craft closet doors for the first time in years. Years, people. This room hasn’t been properly cleaned since the last Harry Potter book came out. I know because I made myself clean it before I would allow myself to read the book. Also under the category of “good news”: I found my piggy pen!
Aside from the cleaning, I’m refurbishing a wedding dress for a friend. She found it at Goodwill for an excellent price, and I volunteered to
- re-secure beads
- replace buttons
- replace hook/eye closures
- repair seams
- add straps
- raise the hem (she’s petite)
- sew a matching shrug (minus the beads, of course — I’m not that crazy.)
I thought it would take me forever to do the beads, but it turned out that only a small fraction are loose — yay! I should be done with that part in a couple of days. I suppose I could do it in one, but that would require me to stop cleaning in the meantime. Don’t worry. I’ll post a pic when everything is done.
Did I mention I’ve caught a cold? The darn high school football team is determined to stick to their no-loss strategy, and now they’re in the playoffs. BB and the rest of the marching band had to play pep music and perform for the halftime show on Wednesday. (Who schedules a high school football game on a school night?) I bought BB some new long johns for the occasion, and they kept her toasty warm. She recommends the Cuddl Duds at Walmart. (No, that’s not a typo. They really did leave off the “e”.) I, on the other hand, caught a cold. I’m hoping to beat it before the folks show up next week. Wish me luck. Oh, and did I mention that we get to do it all over again Monday night? Yeah, another school night, another playoff game. Sigh. I’ll dress even warmer this time.
Yesterday, BratzBasher brought home a poem by William Ernest Henley that they read in English class. It was entitled “Inviticus”. No, that was not a typo. At least not on my part. That is how the title read. Also, at the top of the page was a little blurb about the poem that also referred to it as “Inviticus” and informed the students that the word was Latin for “unconquerable”. This is not the teacher’s handiwork. The worksheet came from another source as part of this year’s curriculum. For those of you not familiar with “Inviticus”, perhaps you’ve heard it by another name.
BratzBasher had a dream the other night. I don’t remember all of what she told me about it, but there was a part when she had to go down in a sort of elevator and meet with Death, who demanded she pay a tithe in fabric. This was a regular occurrence in the dream, but she was surprised one day to find that Death was not waiting for her. Then she heard a flush, and he later came hurrying into the room. I hope he washed his hands. Here is a picture she did on the computer, inspired by her dream:
Click on the image for an enlarged view. The script is worth the trouble.
Just a quick note to brag about BratzBasher. Her marching band won 2nd place in their class at their first competition! They were only 3/4 of a point behind 1st place, so they’re really proud. BB complained to me that she got a cramp when she was in the middle of kneeling, but she felt good about everything else.
I volunteered to help out with uniforms and such. It was pretty crazy. It felt like everything was hurry-hurry! and then wait and then hurry-hurry! again. It was fun, though. Merkin finds it amusing that I’m calling myself a “roadie”. Hey, I even have the official show shirt, which is awesome.
Next Saturday is another competition, and we get to do it all over again. In fact, they’re booked for the entire month. If it’s not competitions, it’s football games and homecoming. I think I’ll be glad when marching season is over, but I’m trying to appreciate it now instead of griping about all the time and energy it takes. Wish us luck for Saturday.