Greetings good readers! Glad that you're with me today. This week has been...ugh. :) Maybe next week will be better. It just felt so rushy rushy. I have a lot going on and a lot on my mind. But there are certainly many highlights, and that is the focus of this post for today! I have ordered some lovely handmade gifts this week, look for those fabulous ideas for your own loved ones below. There's also a few holiday performances this weekend to bask in, and a lovely seasonal feast day. So settle in with your tea, here we go for another 7 Quick Takes Friday!
-1- Everybody put your shoes out on the hearth!
Tomorrow is a feast day that I never paid much mind to until a few years ago, and now I absolutely love it. It's the feast of St. Nicholas:
Last year I had the kids put their shoes on our hearth, and then filled them with chocolate gold coins and a few small gifts. This made a big impression on Henry, and I overheard him telling Anne all about it earlier in the week, he knew the date was coming up. :) This year I have the coins again, all of the pharmacy/convenience stores around here (Rite Aid, Walgreens) stock them around this time. I also have a book for each child and a small saint doll, St. Therese for Anne and Pope St. John Paul II for Henry. Now I just have to not forget to do all this when I get back from dance rehearsal tonight. Speaking of which...
-2- Desperately trying to keep track of when I need to balance what on my head and where to stand...
Our studio rescheduled hafla is tomorrow night and I'm feeling decidedly anxious about the whole thing. We didn't have class last week due to Thanksgiving (thus we're a bit out of practice), and a few groups have dropped out of the show due to the new date. Thus, Claire wants the troupe to fill the gap, and we're dancing four different pieces. I'm also dancing a solo, so...that's a lot of dancing to keep track of. :0 The troupe is performing a Saidi cane number (balancing act #1), a Shaabi pop music piece, a more traditional piece but set to popular Arabic music, and a drum number. I chose to solo to a slower instrumental song and balance my sword (balancing act #2, I must be out of my mind) and I've been running through the music and sticking the sword on my head daily so that I feel as ready as possible. I'll be improvising, which makes things a bit easier, and I have an idea of how I want to break the song up with the sword, no pun intended. :0 I dance with the sword a bit before balancing it, and so I have the song segmented up in my head. I really like the music I chose and I feel good about it, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee an accident-proof performance. Please cross your fingers for me and I will report in early next week on how it went. :)
-3- "Maybe if I just stick the needle over here, I can move this clasp...OW!"
And so last night I practiced up a storm after the kids went to bed, and this close to a performance that involves dragging my costumes out from their storage bin to make sure everything still feels ok. Middle Eastern dance costuming is notoriously non-forgiving in nature, and thus clasps that fit just right one day are too loose or too tight the next. I have a top and belt set that is new and I put the clasps on over the summer. I haven't danced in it yet.
*cue in music of foreboding...*
I tried it on last night, and SIGH. I haven't gained or lost any weight, so it should fit the same, right?! Well, it doesn't. It isn't that it's loose or tight, it's just that the clasps seem ill positioned to keep the thing on. I think I didn't actually practice dancing in it when I did the initial clasp placement, which was a crucial error. I spent over an hour last night sewing and re-sewing the clasps to try and get it just right, and let's just say that was an exercise in frustration not to mention a near occasion of sin. I had to make a special trip to my mother-in-law at 8 am this morning to have her look at it and try to re-position things. I'll be re-trying it after work and I'm feeling decidedly cranky about the whole thing. :-\
-4- The Nutcracker with two kids in tow...
In other performance news, on Sunday afternoon I'm taking both kids to see a local production of The Nutcracker. Henry has come with me the past two years, but this will be Anne's first time. I am SO excited. She has a new dress and silver shoes to wear and I'm hoping for a magical experience. What I'm NOT hoping for is lots of trips to the restroom and the two children fighting from in their seats. We'll see, will be reporting in on Monday. :)
-5- Gifty gift ideas!
Ok, here is the handmade gift idea section. Have you all seen this, a guide to Indie shopping this holiday season? If you haven't, you should go check it out. Handmade gift ideas and lots of giveaways. There are two shops on this list that I am familiar with and I wanted to share. The first is Jenna of Call Her Happy, who makes embroidered hoop necklaces. I ordered a ladybug necklace for Anne (she calls all ladybugs "Florence!" and it's so cute you can hardly stand it):
It arrived yesterday, and OH MY GOODNESS! It's adorable, I absolutely love it, and I immediately ordered two more. :0 A peacock for my dance teacher and a snowflake for, ah hem, myself. ;-) There is a coupon code in the post I linked to for free shipping throughout the month of December. She has flowers, foxes, mistletoe, the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart, a nativity... anything you can think of, plus a custom embroidery option. These are fantastic gifts at about $15 each.
-6- Rosaries, because, you know, it's not possible for me to restrain myself in this arena...
I've mentioned Rosaries by Allison many times before, she's certainly a huge favorite of mine. You'll see her listed in that shopping guide above, and I wanted to mention that she has a current coupon code going for 10% off your order through Christmas Eve, ADVENT10. She has a St. Kateri rosary listed right now that is absolutely gorgeous. I have actually availed myself of Allison's talents once again to create an Our Lady of Lourdes rosary and chaplet for Anne in a "Frozen" inspired colorway, and I am SO excited about this! I will of course post a photo when I receive everything.
-7- Cute bags and aprons, oh my!
Another store that I have purchased from is Designs by Dragon Lily. I bought Anne a child-sized apron during her Christmas in July sale:
It's absolutely darling. She also makes cosmetic bags, small coin bags and tote bags. I've had my eye on the cosmetic cases for some time and ordered two this week, one for me and one for Anne. Anne of course doesn't use cosmetics, but it's a great size for her to tuck her crayons or other assorted stuff that she seems to always want to carry around with her. Naturally, I chose "Frozen" fabric for both of us. :) I chose a Star Wars coin bag for Henry to keep in his backpack for lunch money and things of that nature. Very cute stuff and extremely reasonable prices.
So there you have it, another installment of 7 Quick Takes. Head over to This Ain't the Lyceum for more 7 Quick Takes at it's new host home!
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