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I have worked retail for most of my life up until 2000 (from 16 years of age).  The worst day in all of retail is the dreaded day after Thanksgiving.  We call if Black Friday.  Maybe we call it that as it is the worst day in a retail workers life, that is the color of the sky when you arrive AND when you leave that day?  We hate it, we hope it would be outlawed, and we wish it is just a dream.

I would have to wake up for work at 5 a.m., shower and get ready.  I then had to trudge miles to the place that I worked.  Miles you say?  That is because the shoppers were already lined up for the bargains that started at 6 a.m.  I then fought my way through the crowd to get to the door, tried to get the manager’s attention to let me in the door and then squeezed my way into that very small opening as the manager tried to lock it again before any shoppers got in. 

I worked the last seven years of my retail career in an optical retail franchise inside of America’s Favorite Discount Amusement superstore (you get points from me if you can tell me what I am talking about!).  Nobody wanted glasses for Christmas!  They made us sell telescopes during the holidays in order to get some sales.  I spent most of my day bored to tears until the year they decided to institute the one day contact lens sale.  Then I spent hours upon hours keying the presales on the contact lenses.  Intersperse that with the shopper that didn’t want to wait in the LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG checkout lines so came up to as if I could ring them up.  I had to explain that we were a franchise and that I was unable to do so and they had to get back in the even longer line. 

At Christmas people are not very nice.  Let me rephrase that…frazzled holiday shoppers are MEAN!  They will swear at you, throw things at you, not listen when you tell them something, and then call the manager because YOU were rude!  The best part of this exchange is that all this occurs while you are FIXING the glasses that they DIDN’T buy from you for FREE!  You are performing a courtesy and they are mad at you! 

For anyone working in retail, the most blessed day is January 1st.  When all of the holiday shopping is over, the returns are done and people are home nursing their hangovers.  That is when we get our rest.  So this year be patient, be kind, be nice to the person behind the counter or helping you locate something in the store.  It is their job and they do it well.  We are not there to make you holiday more difficult, I promise!

Where will I be today you ask?  Home watching Miracle on 34th Street (the original), It’s A Wonderful Life and Christmas Vacation while nursing my turkey hangover and eating leftovers.

DSC01414I have a sickness addiction overwhelming need love of scarves.  I have literally tens twenties fifty or more and still cannot resist another cute one.  Especially when it had a birdie?  How could I say no to this one?

I was scoping out Etsy the other evening when I happened upon this one.  It is light so I can wear it all day long instead of only when outside.  The seller is Tacky Top Hat

She was nice enough to send along a little heart brooch (does she know me and my brooch sickness or what?) and a bracelet.  I don’t have the bracelet in the pic as I used the beads for a thrifted necklace I was restringing that I needed a couple of beads that size and color.  It was a single strand without a clasp and I made it a double with a clasp. 

I showed you on Monday the ATC that BrendaLea sent to me and mentioned the 1935 newspaper she sent along.  I clipped the ads from the paper and scanned them.  I will share them here and later in the week on my Flickr page in case you would like to use them in your artwork. 

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Did you see some of the prices?  Wow, that is a bargain!  I don’t see those prices in thrift shops!

Here’s hoping your turkey is moist, you miss the traffic, you have enough to eat, and most of all you are with those that you love the most! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

And, on Thanksgiving, remember that one person can make a difference and give thousands a reason to be thankful!

You can watch the story here

 

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MAMMA is hosting a Christmas bauble swap.  She provided the template and you create the bauble.   There are still a few days if you want to join us.  Let me know and I can invite you to the group.  (Please have them in by 28th Saturday and I will do the draw for the partner(s) on Sunday 29th November 4pm UK LONDON TIME.)  You will swap baubles with artists from around the world.

 

My first bauble is made from fabric.  I sandwiched timtek between the fabric pieces for the heft.  I then adhered bits of holly fabric to small pieces of timtek and then sewed them to the front/back of the bauble.  I blanket stitched a pipe cleaner to the outside of the bauble.  I added some snowflake buttons, glitter and some curled fabric ribbon to complete the look. 

 

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For the 2nd and 3rd baubles I went with scrapbook paper which I adhered to cardstock.  I then inked the edges to age them a bit, added pipecleaner bows, some novelty buttons, and some tiny pinecones.  I added some vintage ribbons to hold them. 

Have you started your decorating for Christmas? 

 

Brooklyn Bride is hosting a holiday card swap.  You will create cards for up to 5 partners.  Hurry, the sign ups end on the 28th (Friday).  You can go here for all the details or to sign up.

Are you participating in any fun swaps for the holidays? 

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I participated in Debra’s Thanksgiving Swap.  My partner was Molly of Fattycake Designs.  You can see what I sent to Molly here

This is what I received from her.  A paper doll dressed for dinner and wrapped in shawl, a turkey card, a recipe for brownies, a fall bookmark, a bracelet, and a tea bag.  Thanks, Molly. 

Do you have grand plans for the holiday?  Does your family “dress” for dinner?

DSC01409 The theme  for this week’s challenge was Thanksgiving.  More than the food and the desserts it is to me about giving thanks. 

For this week’s challenge I decided to create a fabric ATC.  It is entitled Heartfelt Thanks. The fabric is sandwiching timtek to give it some thickness.  I then added bits of trim, a flower button and some wee acorns from my yard.  The image is transferred to the fabric using gel medium.  I then layered some gel medium on top of the image.  A bit of sewing around the image and the edge completes the card. 

I received my card from Viv for the Africa swap.  This is an awesome card and I love the fabric and the elephant button, too. 

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DSC01411While we are talking about ATCs let me share a couple of others I received last week.  First from BrendaLea as a RAK along with a copy of a newspaper from 1935 she sent this lighthouse ATC.  She had no idea that lighthouses are my very favorite thing in the world. 

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And a new crafty friend Alicetoo_99 contacted me about swapping an ATC.  This is the one that I selected entitled The Garden.

I love the world of ATCs.  They don’t take a lot of time and you can collect many, many of them.  You also make such great friends along the way. 

I like her plan!

Thought that title might get you!  This is not a memory of Christmas protests, but a post written while protesting that the holiday has started already.  We have a local radio station that I love and they play all holiday music usually starting on Thanksgiving Day.  For some reason this year it started TODAY!  I have had it on off and on all day as I have been busy creating and have been listening to Christmas music!  It is not even Thanksgiving!  That is next week!  Stop rushing me headlong toward the end of the year already!  Enough is enough!

Now on to the Christmas memory…

My mother was always a big kid at the holidays.  She loved the entire experience of the decorating, baking, cooking, making things, and generally getting really, really excited.  One of our holiday rituals was to cut down our own Christmas tree.  All of the kids would come home to take part and to get their trees, too.  City trees at tree lots were too expensive so we would all pile into Mom’s VW bus and head off to the tree farm where, for a third of the cost, we could pick and cut down our own tree.  Mom always saved this trip for the weekend before Christmas. 

There were 9 of us piled in her VW bus.  We took out the seats in the back and all sat on the floor.  We sang Christmas songs along with the radio, wrestled, and had a great time.  When we arrived at the lot we would borrow one of the tree farm’s saws and then start out on our trek for the perfect tree.  Mom always had to have the long needled trees without exception.  It was her favorite and she had it every year. 

After we identified the tree my brother Pat cut it down and then we took turns dragging it back to the VW.  We would then tie it to the roof with the two other trees for my sister, Debbie, and my brother, Bob, who had their own homes by that time.  We then would head home for dinner and decorating. 

Mom and I were both allergic to the pine trees, but every year we ended up being the ones who decorated the tree.  We would both end up with itchy eyes, runny noses, bumps on our arms, and one lovely tree.  Mom kept every ornament we made for her over the years as well as some vintage ones and new ones, too. We placed them on the tree and reminded each other of our creativity as we went along.  There was the maccaroni stars, the painted pictures, the yarn God’s eyes, and on and on…

We would then, when it was all done, sit down to a dinner of Mom’s lasagna.  Nobody made it like my Mom!   She used mozarella, parmesan, and ricotta cheese.  It weighed about 15 pounds when she was done and you couldn’t handle more than one piece.  She also added sliced pepperoni to it.  It was all the better with Mom’s home canned tomato sauce on it.  YUMMY!

I loved as a little girl laying under the tree and watching the ornaments spin and the lights twinkle.  I still do that today when I am finished decorating the tree.   There is nothing like the tree from the bottom up!

We have since all grown up, gone our separate ways, Mom and Dad have gone to Heaven, and I now decorate an artificial tree.  The memories are always there flooding back as I decorate my tree.  I pull out the Santas I have collected over the years when I travel and when I am thrifting.  They are a diverse group with the lighthouse Santa from my trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire; the various beachy Santas from my birthday weekends at Virginia Beach; the Santas painted onto starfishes I bought on a business trip to Sarasota, Florida.  They all smile at me from my tree and I feel my Christmases past rushing back to greet me. 

So even though this post started out as a protest it has me feeling very warm and nostalgic.  I am also missing my Mom and Dad.  Thankfully, in a week when I put up my tree they will both be there with me again.  If only in my heart.

What is your great Christmas memory?

Quote O’ The Month

"What this world needs
is a new kind of army
- the army of the kind."
~Cleveland Amory

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cindyforeyes at earthlink *dot* net

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1221 Bellevue Ave.
Richmond, VA

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