·:*¨Etsy Shoppe¨*:·

Monday, November 16, 2009

O Cris-Ris Tree!

The Christmas Season.

It's my favorite time of the year- hands down.
(Favorite holiday is Halloween though!)

Anyways... I've been looking around for about the past 2 weeks for these earrings.... I finally found them. Not in my truck, where I could have sworn I had seen them a week ago. Nope.
Not in the craft box I know I have other things in- and where they should have been. Nope.

Instead, they were found tucked inside a box that had miscellaneous odds and ends that I've managed to collect and keep contained into a single, small box. Trust me- that's a huge feat!!!

I like working with semi-precious stones from time to time- I'm not a huge fan of them. However, as you very well know that wandering through somewhere items sometimes catch your eye- this was the case here. However, so that I don't take credit for having such a moment in this case- I would like to thank my wonderful Mom for finding these! Moss Agate, and had I seen them... I'm certain I would have picked them up too!

If you ever wonder where I get a lot of my creative influences... It's definitely from my Mom. She crafted these little beauties two years ago and sold quite a few pairs at a local craft show. Similarly, at the same time I had just discovered Etsy and was eager to try and sell some items. These made it on initially, but I have to admit... Horrible camera = awful pictures.

So, this time around... I apologize- my really good camera I purchased was stolen back in September, and while I'm quite upset about it... I have another one that my brother is letting me borrow until I can get mine replaced. It's all good. I do have to say though, the camera really isn't formatted to take high quality detailed pictures (as in jewelry), but it's done an ok job so far. Better than nothing, right?!

I freshened these little Christmas Trees up, made them into the Changeling
charms that I've been making... And Voila! A fresh start!

Oh, the name of my blog tonight? Yes, it's a version of "Christmas Tree"... However, silly story behind it. When I was little, Mom and Dad had the bright idea of getting a video camera when I was about 2 years old. Couple this with Christmas Morning, and my Nonnie Pep (Grandmother, Dad's side) being there... I was the typical excited toddler waiting to open presents. I don't think I really cared what I was getting- tearing open the pretty paper packages was what I was aiming for. Aside from... Singing.

Yes, that's right. The majority of the video is me going "O Chris-rissss treee! O Chris-rissss tree!"

After about 5 minutes of recording this... My parents laughing in the background... This ensues:

Nonnie Pep: "Amanda!"

Me: "Yes Nonnie?"

Nonnie Pep: "Be QUIET!"


There you have it. My funny Christmas Story from when I was a baby, and the title of the blog.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Travels: Occoquan, Virginia

Out and about wandering... There are days I'm restless, and I just want to go to a familiar place and walk. So... That's exactly what I did yesterday.

I thought I'd share a little photo-collage with everyone..... Considering this is one of my favorite places to escape to down here in my "adoptive" home of Virginia. Yes, yes, yes... I'm a New England girl through and through- and I have to admit, 70 degree days in Virginia is NOT normal.

Not for me at least.

But, I've been quite sick lately, and just had a string of bad luck from end of August until now.

I needed to just get out and bumble, as I like to call it.

You'll see in the collage, there's a few photos of "Gingerbread" houses. I call them by the name since they all are different, yet the same... The colors are whimsical, the brickwork amazing, the entire look... Enchanting. These ones, however, you cannot eat!

Sitting atop the banks of the Occoquan river, once Gaslight Landing is complete there will be four units with houses available in each. These homes are absolutely gorgeous. The front units face Main Street in Occoquan- so parking is available right in front of them. Of course, the homeowners have their own garages under their houses- but that's private parking! The back units sit right on the banks of the Occoquan River, and the wharves are right there as well. Overlooking the water- I can't think of a more perfect place to be. Someone wanna lend me a million so I can get one? hahaha... Big dreams, for a little person... But we'll see.

Continuing on through the town, there are so many shops it'll make your head spin! There are a few really nice antique shops- set up and ready for Christmas already... What happened to Thanksgiving?! It's ok- the setup is so whimsical I can't help but walk by and admire. There are jewelry shops, and one such is comprised of local artists. I haven't yet brought in any of my things- I'm watching how much sells there, and who it is before I "take the plunge".

There's a lovely little Christmas Ornament shop, with lights and miniature town set-ups, stained glass boutique, acupuncture therapy, spa treatments, general stores... And one of the best Apple Pie's I've had since I've been down here which is incorporated right in to the General Store. They're located at the top of the hill when you drive in! Clothing stores- some consignments, some bridal and special occasion, and many specialty stores for women to find the perfect accessory to any outfit. A little Irish store packed with traditional and authentic items from Ireland, painting pottery, a bookstore you can quickly become engrossed within, and plenty of little café style eateries that you can stop in for a bite once walking the circuit around town.

There's a wine tasting shop, and a girlie sparkly one with all sorts of cutsey and fun things to pick up for that quirky girl you know! The gelato one is my absolute favorite in the summer... Grab one of those to go, and walk around the streets! My local bead shop is here too- the woman remembers me every time I come in, because my roommate will sit outside in the rocking chair and wait for me... Rather than poke his nose into a shop where all the ladies are "ooohh-ing" and "ahhhh-ing" to all the beads! Typically, I do order online... But I get some great finds in there too!

My favorite place to admire, even though I've never been into it, is Rockledge Mansion.

It's a big, old, stone mansion that was built a very long time ago at the end of the walkway through town. You can't go any further, since the water reservoir is up there, and it's fenced off. But once you walk up and see this building- it's hard to keep curiosity for what's over the hill, instead of the hulking stone structure you gaze at now.

The mansion itself is nestled right into the hill, an what I wouldn't give to get in there!
Occasionally, you'll see a car or two up there... But as far as I can tell it's unoccupied by residents. I did find, however, that the mansion and hall are for rent for events... Yay! The pricing isn't bad... But I'd need to find a way to host something worthwhile in order to do so... I think a masquerade ball would be so much fun!

Occoquan was once a bustling little town- and I was amazed at reading some of the history when I first moved down here. There are quite a few haunts, since most of the buildings are original, and their past owners and caretakers are still doing just that... Watching over their shops.

So this was my little outing... Perhaps if you're looking for an interesting place to go, this will strike your interest!
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween's Over Already?!

I can't help it... Halloween has to be my absolute favorite holiday of the year.
Even better than my birthday!


It's the cool, crisp fall days that begin to have a hint of frost in the morning hours.
The clear nights, with a sharp cold wind that if it catches you right,
will send a chill up your spine.
The smell of drying leaves, falling from once vivid trees to make a carpet of red, orange and yellow hues on the once green grass. The way the dirt even smells cold.


It's the little kids dressed up in all sorts of costumes... Trick-or-treating with little pumpkin baskets or pillowcases. Mom and Dad taking them from door to door, depending on the weather they may or may not have a coat. Candy fangs, and princess tiaras, a little hummingbird set alight on Dad's arm. A little Frankenstein, and a Barbie Doll....


Glowsticks and flashlights, to light the way in the dark... Door to door collecting the sweets, and sometimes other treats, that are passed out during the evening.


Pumpkins carved out- silly faces, scary smirks and ghoulish specters flickering with soft candlelight. (Yes, I'm fan of those- as long as they're monitored so there's no fire hazard!)
They especially are delicious when you sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg on the top of the pumpkin- so as the candle burns, it lets off a smell that just beckons people to sit and stay a moment to chit chat about how to best decorate.


Yards decorated with white sheet ghosts, and hanging bats... Fake spiderwebs set upon corners of porches with equally fake spiders nestled within them. Garages transformed to house coffins and vampires instead of the family Volvo- unless, of course you're a Cullen!


Ah.... Halloween.
I must wait for my friend again next year.



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