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A group of retired teachers and administrators from my old high school gets together on the First Wednesday of each month to try out a different restaurant, eat too much and talk a lot. The person who is almost single-handedly responsible for keeping this group going is my friend Irene. It is she who makes the reservations, tracks down everybody each month to let them know where we are meeting, including other retirees who might not know about the group, etc.

She was also my son's high school Spanish teacher, and is a great person. I made a country Christmas dome for Irene in 2007.

Since this was a Christmas present, I decided to use a reproduction of an old Christmas postcard as the "rug." I cut a circle of acid free scrapbook card in green to fit the wood base, then, after trimming the white away from the edges of the design, just laid the postcard on top. The red and green poinsettias on the card determined the color scheme.

In one of my Cheap Thrills purchases, I found some little white picket fence sections at a local Dollar Tree. I removed the Christmas swags for later use. Well, here is the later use of one of those little swags! I cut away the blobs of excess glue and restretched the swag to fit the back of the Bombay bench.

Trusty hair clips hold the swags in place while the glue sets up. I was thinking about using the Christmas tree in the white box, but it was too tall. A bench and coffee table from Bombay Furniture Company (too bad they quit selling miniature furniture!) worked perfectly. The Bard's Display Dome used for this scene was purchased from Miles Kimball, http://www.mileskimball.com. (Type Display Dome in the search box.) At the time of my last order, the 8 by 6 1/2 size, not normallyu easy to find, sold for $34.99. The base is included, which makes it the best price I have found anywhere.This size dome is great to display a couple of pieces of furniture as I have done here, or for a low-height scene.

I decided the seat cushion would benefit from tufting and tacked through from the back then down again in the same spot from the front to create three tufts.

Red pulled bunka was used to edge the soft chenille throw.

To achieve the natural look I wanted, I first coated the back of the throw with Tacky glue and finger pleated it. Then I began draping as if it had been thrown across the back and over the side of the bench.

I added the poinsettia pillow and a Department 56 bear to complete the bench.

With this close-up you get a clearer view of the tufting on the bench cushion. A Jeanetta Kendall doily was used on the table to offset all the wood.

The red platter for Santa's snack is a red wooden button, and the chocolate cake pieces are made on wooden plugs. The frosting is dimensional paint; chocolate chips are chopped Fimo. The peppermint sticks are cut from striped paper clips and the whipped cream on the hot chocolate is a bit of styrofoam.

The Christmas card was cut from the center fold of a real Christmas card. The wreath picture was cut from an address label and I wrote a personal message to Irene on the inside.

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