A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Holiday Activities Amping Up Already and A Contest

Local Events

Downieville's holiday event always comes the first weekend in December, in order to encourage visitors before winter gets to settled in. The past few years, the weather has been dreary anyway, snowing and raining both on the same day. However, this weekend, although seasonally cold, was clear and dry. Mid-way through the week, our preschool program decided to enter the tree-decorating contest, and spent two days crafting ornaments for our tree. Friday afternoon, we were installing our decorations.

We posed with our decorated tree... hiding most of it. Our theme was "A tree for the birds" and we included pine cones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed along with other hand-crafted (by the kids) ornaments. I have not heard that we won a prize.... I am the adult on the left-hand side in blue, instead of behind the camera lens this time.

I went up to Downieville Saturday to meet many of the same children as we had agreed to carol as part of the event. We had been practicing two holiday songs, "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells" accompanying ourselves with hand bells and would meet up with the younger elementary children, who share the music teacher with us. When I arrived, I learned that the event organizers wanted us onstage, and I groaned inwardly, knowing that children under five would be overwhelmed on a stage, looking at the crowd of about 75 people filling the seats (a magic show and Santa's visit were set to follow). Luckily, we rounded up all the older kids we could out of the audience, and had a crowd of about 25 onstage, helping the littlest through what turned into four songs, including a few others that the older kids wanted to sing. The crowd loved it, and the tykes survived to face less stage fright another day... best laid plans and all that.

There is always a crafts fair, and I found some nice gifts and got to visit with my friend Lisa, who makes body care products as Seminole Herbs... go check out her site. There was a booth with lots of felted knit hats, and another with knitted and crocheted hats and scarves... the boom continues.

After Holiday On Main, I rushed home to get into cocktail party-type clothes (yes, only once or twice a year, and I even wear heels, but I don't have any photos of myself to post). We joined lots of friends from Glenn's black powder parade unit, the Devil Mountain Brigade (named after Mt. Diablo in the San Francisco Bay area) for the annual Christmas Dinner, held at the National Hotel in Nevada City, where the Victorian decor is always beautiful, but especially during the Christmas season. They put together a fancy sit-down dinner for us, including wine and dessert, although that part of the event has been better in past years.

My dear friends Danna and Debbie have just discovered that they are both wearing the same necklace. We had a great evening; the crowd was a wonderful as ever.

A Holiday Contest

I have spent the weekend "getting into the holiday spirit", and will be holding a week-long contest, ending next Monday, December 12th at 5:00 P.M. PST. You can enter by either emailing me or leaving a comment, and I will draw the winning name and post it that night.

What am I giving away? A kit to make a Victorian-style pillow in Christmas red chenille.

I started this project a few years back, planning to make it for my sweetie. I was kind of sporadically knitting it to keep it a secret. However, the real reason I didn't get around to finishing it was that I didn't enjoy working with the yarn. Even though my gauge is correct, the fabric feels loose and slippery. There is enough yarn here to make a child's dress or glam adult top, though, and the Vogue Knitting Pillows book comes with the package. The back (which is plain stockinette) is almost done, so you might feel differently about the whole thing and decide to finish up the pillow.

This is what my pillow was supposed to look like when completed.

Tomorrow's Product Review will diverge from yarn, this week only, into a diffrent knitting product.... stay tuned.


Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Mary from Kings Beach. I found your blog through your son's blog...I was looking for "local" knitters online. Anywho, um, I read the contest but am not sure what I have to do; do I seriously only have to comment/email to enter? 'K. Here I am :).

Cute preschool stories. I like the ornament idea. May just have to use it.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Carole said...

The pictures are great and it sounds like you had a festive time! I'm not crazy about working with chenille either, so I get why you stalled on this project.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Teyla said...

Wow great pictures....I love the fact that the kids decorated a tree in the theme of what birds would like. I like chenille 2 of my scrafs I have made have been with chenille. I am actually working on my third one. I would so love to live in the mountains where you do. Sounds so peaceful

8:29 AM  
Blogger margene said...

What a great way to kick off the Holidays and get into the spirit. I need to pull out the decorations so I can get in a more festive mood.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Pat said...

I'm not that fond of working with chenille but that pillow is pretty.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

I love chenille and have been looking for the book too. I miss the Cal. mountains. Had relatives near your area who have passed on and don't have a reason to visit anymore. Thank you for the lovely pix and the contest.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Love the pictures and their stories! I think holding a contest to give away an "I'll never acutally make this..." project is a wonderful idea and I might just have to steal it. :-)

10:10 PM  

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