Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

We’re Ready – Are You?

Filed under: Daily Life,Gryphon,Holidays,Special Events,Spinning — folkcat at 2:54 pm on Tuesday, December 19, 2006

On Saturday, Gryphon and I got out the gingerbread house kit we’d bought – and the massive piles of auxiliary candies – and decorated it.

Gryphon Piping Icing
Gryphon Knows How to Work an Icing Bag

Gingerbread House - Front Door
The Front View

Gingerbread House - Rear Door
The Rear View

Our gingerbread houses always have a bit of a split personality. Partly from each of us working on opposite sides simultaneously, and partly from our decorating getting sillier and sillier the further along we get.

Starting Sunday afternoon and continuing up until just a short while ago, we decorated our tree.

Christmas Tree Chez Folkcat & Gryphon, 2006

No time for close shots of ornaments now – I’ll try to do that later this week. We’ve got some nice ones there – my brother, who runs Disney’s Photo Library out in California, has sent me some wonderful Disney-themed pieces.

There are presents under the tree as well.

Craft Goddess Presents, 2006
Craft Goddess Gifts

No, the item on top of the center one hasn’t fallen over. That was the first package I wrapped, and I didn’t realize until the second one that I could get those cute little marshmallow characters to stand up under the bows.

Gingerbread House and 'Zzy-'Zzy
‘Zzy-‘Zzy and the House

Then there’s the gingerbread house in its final display spot. The table is dressed with a Swedish handwoven table runner that was my grandmother’s.

And as you can see, the largest gift I’m receiving this year stands in a place of pride, right next to the house. Her name is Dizzy Lizzy, but I’ve taken to calling her ‘Zzy-‘Zzy for short. More about her later!

The final decorative touch we’ve put in place is a new one this year. I was lucky enough to find one of the exquisite paper-cut garlands by Tord Boontje at Target. Before the meager supply sold out and was never re-stocked, that is. It is now providing a very elegant touch around the top of our entertainment center.

Tord Boontje Garland
Paper Cut Swans – Beautiful!

I love these because they are a modern take on a very traditional Scandinavian holiday decoration – paper doll-like garlands of holiday images. Usually full-color printed and die-cut, they probably stem from an even earlier, home-made, hand-cut garland. These laser-cut (I assume) designs by Tord Boontje blend the simple elegance of the originals with a modern sensibility, and an intricacy that would have been almost impossible if cut by hand.

So, there we are – decorated and ready, at last. The Craft Goddesses come for our annual party tonight, and then, Gryphon and I get to enjoy the decor until we leave for Syracuse this weekend to spend the holidays with my family.

It’s hard work, but it’s so much fun. And the results are so beautiful!



Comment by FemaleWriter

December 19, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

I found your blog when I did an image search for “rat burrow” or something like that. I was very interested to read the various entries and whatnot on your site here. So much so that I stayed up all night and all morning. I wish I could continue to read, but I don’t have clear eyelids. (I’ve not read everything and I’m the type that likes to read a person’s complete blog if the person interests me.)

Even though I’m not a “crafty” person, I have enjoyed reading about your amazing talent and seeing the materials, progress, and finished products.

I’ve also enjoyed reading about your wonderful marriage to a wonderful man. Such men are rare (we are lucky ladies).


Star and Sable are beautiful. I’m guessing that they are coming up on their first birthday soon. The first pictures you showed of them, they looked about 12 weeks old (or slightly younger).

The homemade rat cage looks really nice as well. You’re lucky that you have females that don’t piddle (scent-mark) wherever they wander.

Have you joined any rat-related groups online? If you’re interested, there’s a New England Rat Club at Yahoo Groups. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/new_england_rat_club (the picture on the front page is of two of my ratties, pic taken in August’05.) The group is owned by a wonderful woman named Ellen that owns and breeds rats in Derry (http://www.edgerats.com).


I hope you, Gryphon, Star and Sable (and everyone around you) have a wonder and safe Christmas and New Year.

Take Care!



Comment by Valerie in San Diego

December 19, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

What pretty decorations! I *love* the swans, so delicate and snowflake-like. The gingerbread house looks fabulous, and yummy. Though I guess most people don’t eat them, but I would, if I had one. Anyway, have a great party tonight!

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