december twentieth

It’s been a super-quiet day here. Nicholas has some sort of germ invasion, so he’s been in bed most of the day, napping with the older cats curled protectively next to him. Meanwhile, Buddy and Tim and I have been holding down the fort in the front of the house, trying to keep chaos at bay so N. can rest.

The Gingerbread House…

click to embiggen

…is done!

Nicholas has steadier hands than I do, so he was in charge of doing the icing. I gave Creative Direction, and put all the little candies in place. We both think this is pretty darn cute for a kit from Michael’s!

And the joy it gave us to do something playful together was, of course, priceless.

People always think I’m the funny one in the family

However, Nicholas has a very mischievous sense of fun…so much so that sometimes one has to keep an eye on him. I was happily putting the candy “lights” around the front door of our little candy cottage, and I, uh, neglected to keep track of what Sir N. was doing on the back of the house.

Sir N. is not religious AT ALL, you understand, but he reasoned that since Christmas was for Christians, he wanted other folks to feel welcome in our gingerbread cottage, so he decorated it with a couple of crosses AND a Star of David (bottom right) AND a Wiccan pentacle (bottom center) AND if I hadn’t stopped him, he might have tried to write something in Islamic on the roof.

The windows on this side spell out "JOY"

That little bit of ecumenical welcoming taken care of, Nicholas proceeded to check the kit instructions to see if there was anything else we were supposed to do. The kit offers you a choice of three different house designs, the Lattice Diamond Lodge, Pinwheel Peaks, or the Candy-Covered Cottage. Because this is a kit to be sold in Canada, the packaging is bilingual French/English.

Nicholas studies the instructions for a bit, then…”I’m not sure if we’re done or not. Which one are we making, the Maysawn day bawnbawns? Or the Spyralayz Hi-ver-nawlayz?”

His French, eet eees impeccable.

On this side, shutters and a window box

I just kind of stared at him for a bit before I said, “Honey, you’ve already put a Star of David on the back wall. I think you can pretty much freestyle it from here.”

He thought for a few minutes before I got worried and asked him what he was up to.

Him: “I’ve got to think about this one before I try it. I’m trying to get a good mental image of a skull and crossbones first.”

Me: “Honey…No pirates in the gingerbread house. OK?”

Wintertide gift!

My Wintertide gift arrived today, in a four-foot long box, no less!

The gift was (ahem) from Nicholas to me, although I confess I had to tell him this little salient point. (Details.)

It’s a Schacht inkle loom! Wooot!! Now I can make even more trouble with yarn.

Also in the package was the most adorable, colourful sheep mug ever.

This is handmade and handpainted by Amy King of Spunky Eclectic; there are rainbow-coloured sheep all over it, and one little woolly mischief-maker on the bottom who apparently thinks she’s hiding.


I also got three cones of cottolin to make Something For Nicholas. (Shhhh.)

While N. slept today, I made great progress on his Super Seekrit Gift. I was sort of hoping it would be done by tomorrow for Solstice, but I think it might be his Christmas Eve gift after all.

Today’s Random Good

Yesterday was the first day that really felt like the holidays this year. We made an effort to make it festive, turning on Christmas music and ignoring the computer for most of the day.

Of course, the Christmas music comes via our satellite dish and our TV set.

OK, so a bit odd; but really, you haven’t seen odd until you’ve seen this:

That’s the Yule Log version of the Bell Fireplace Channel! It is on FOUR channels: two in English (one SD, one HD), and two in French (same). At first I thought having it in the two languages was strange…because there’s no narration, no commercials. Just a burning fireplace, and background music. The difference is that on the French channel, they play French-Canadian music and on the English channel, they play English music. (Oh, and the channel guide lists the French name for the French channels.) The music changes to non-holiday music when it’s not holiday time.

Fans of the channels (yes, there are forums) note that there is a special button combo on one’s remote which one presses to get the actual crackling fire sound. Also: Fans will watch for hours waiting for the elusive hands that add new logs to the fire or poke it with the poker.

I cannot make this stuff up, people.

My favourite part is that at some point in late spring, The Fireplace Channel becomes The Aquarium Channel.

I like that someone at Bell actually had this idea, presented it to a committee, got a budget, and did it as a Real Work Project. I also like that the Higher Uppers at Bell agreed to fund this silliness on four channels, in two formats, and in two languages.

You’ll agree this was much too good not to share.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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11 Responses to december twentieth

  1. Naomi says:

    So, which language of holiday music did you listen to?

    Also, my housemate says she approves of skull-and-crossbones imagery on gingerbread houses, but I like the decor you ended up with.

  2. Lynn says:

    OK, I’ve been thinking people in Canada have it pretty good, but that fireplace channel? Um, get a life, people. Go knit something.

    Hey, do you suppose if we pitch a show televising a grandmothery type knitting a looooong garter-stitch scarf, they’d go for it? We could get rich from the residuals!

  3. limijas says:

    LOVE the Gingerhaven. SO well done. Sorry N was taken hostage by the germ invaders.

    We have Comcast, (X-finity, whatever), and they also have On Demand several screensaver-type things to have on t.v, currently 14 to choose from. There is the standards: Yule Log, Santa on Radar, Snow Covered Bridge, but then they added a Jellyfish Dance, and yes, Psychedelic Yule Log, and seriously, I am not kidding, an Albino Pit Viper. who knew.

    And oh, by the way, CALL YOUR SISTER – WILL YA??!!!

  4. april says:

    nice house. my kids and i did one a few years ago. funny how they never quite look like the ones on the box, but thats ok. they are still fun to do.

  5. stitchesandwords says:

    One of the niftiest parts of your Advent-blog-adventure-challenge-thing is getting to know Sir Nicholas, the funny and charming 🙂 Very nice job with the gingerbread, both of you.

  6. Mardi says:

    I want a fireplace channel! if I can’t have the real thing…

    The gingerbread Ecumenical House of Joy is adorable. Just like its makers.

  7. Ann Williams says:

    I am laughing out loud at your TV fireplace comments. Love the gingerbread house. Hope Sir “N” feels better soon!!!

  8. Karen says:

    Great job on the gingerbread house–Love it!

  9. Natalie says:

    What? You didn’t provide the special key combo for the fire crackling? Must google it before my folks arrive in 2 days so I can impress with this knowledge.

  10. Anne says:

    My girlfriend group (we’ve been getting together for almost 40 years) met last night for our Christmas get-together… was at one member’s home – and she had the fireplace channel on her TV – with the sound turned up so we could hear it crackling…..

    Every time the hands appeared to adjust the fire – we’d go – who is that – he’s intruding on our girls night – but thanks for the fire LOL!!!

    Only in Canada ??? Not sure…..but I think it’s great!

    Enjoy your first Canadian Christmas – hmmn, this is your first Canadian Christmas isn’t it?

  11. Laura says:

    Very nice gingerbread house! And the fireplace channel cracks me up (pun perhaps intended).

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