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December 2009
(Pictures rediscovered November 2010)

Just before Christmas, 2009, we got the message.

Guess what, Nana!

We're coming to El Paso to spend the week after Christmas, if you want us.

Do we!

It was such fun having Joseph and Laura and their mom for that week. Our son Jeffrey drove them down, caught a plane back the day after Christmas, then flew down New Year's Eve to celebrate the New Year and then drove the family home again.

During that week I showed them a tree that I had been working on for a Christmas Tree Shop. "I'm not satisfied with it," I said. "It needs something else. You guys want to help me add some more glitz and color to this tree?"

And they did ...

I got out my stash of glitter stems for ideas.

That one looks like a peacock's tail, somebody said.

Aha! I cried, remembering the three packages of white birds I had found on Ebay. What about making red birds and using those red glittery stem branches for their tails?

So I got out the red paint and some red glitter glue and Laura got busy painting birds.

To make it easier to hold onto the birds while painting, we rolled balls of wax to go on the tip of toothpicks, then pushed the birds onto the wax.

Then she poked the painted birds into the foam base to dry. It is just a circle of styrofoam inserted into a ziplock bag. Normally I use it to pin the skirts when I am draping and shaping the clothing on my dolls.

Laura then coated the top of each bird's head and its wings with glitter glue and allowed that to dry.

The last step was my using wire cutters to cut the tips off the picks and glueing them onto the birds' tails.

In the meantime, Joseph had been making hooks and hanging long gold metal icicles on the tree.

One of the things I observed was how the excess glitter stuck to the wax. I made little puddles of the glitter glue and rolled a bit of the wax in them, thus making glitter ball ornaments for the tree.

The last thing we did was to insert the glitter balls in between the branches, and then perch the birds on the branch tips.

Thanks, kids. That's just what I needed to complete my tree. Can't wait to get it out for Christmas 2010 and every one after that!


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