Color Me Magenta

Sunday, October 31, 2010
I love bright colors and this columbine comes alive with the magenta petals around the core yellow.  How does Mother Nature do it?

"Color Me Magenta"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Merry Christmas Cats


Ho Ho Ho and Jingle all the way!! I laughed when I saw these adorable little cats! I hope they make you smile today too!!
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Time to get serious!

 String Of Lights   Well, today is Halloween. For me tomorrow is the start of the race for the holidays. I've decided it's time to get serious about the house cleaning in preparation for the three big holidays that are ahead. I went out and bought a Bissell scrubber to clean my carpets and furniture. I have three pets and it really needs done! I will probably be shocked when I see what comes out of the carpet! So I have a busy day ahead of me. I'll turn on my television Monday morning and I think they will be playing Christmas music on the Sounds of the Seasons channel. They usually do right after Halloween. So now it's time for me to get serious about cleaning my house!! Busy, busy, busy!

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Organize to Get Your Holiday Cards Out On Time

Christmas cards with angels, scandinavian “nis...Image via Wikipedia   Here's an interesting article I found at

Some of you may have taken our advice in July and already snapped up Christmas cards on sale, but if you skipped over that article while sipping lemonade, don't worry. We're here to tell that you a little planning now will keep you from freaking out once December rolls around. We're not saying that you need to actually mail the cards now, but taking a few steps to get yourself ready will definitely save you some time, and a headache, later.

Sarah on "making traditions work for us"

"My husband and I both have large families, so I always groan a little when I realize that Christmas is coming. Between all of the parties and gifts, we've decided that trying to get out cards is impossible. The problem is, my husband and I love creating our card and sharing it with family, so we decided that doing away with the tradition isn't going to happen. Instead, we're starting our own new tradition and sending out New Year's cards instead. After the holidays, January can be quiet, so it's a perfect time to sit down and do our cards. We're finding that people pay more attention to them after the holidays because they actually have the time to look at them."
Alicia on "card craziness"

"I am a sucker for anything festive and so is my husband, so we take our cards very seriously. Each year, we try to outdo ourselves from the previous year. We do a different theme each year, so the year we moved to California we superimposed our faces on the bodies of Malibu Beach Barbies (my husband's head was superimposed on Ken's body). Everyone got a kick out of it and it was a fun way for us to mark the year's transition. I'm not telling what we're doing this year - you'll have to wait and see!"

Three ways to Get Organized in October:
1. Select Cards or Photo.
Unless you have a tiny infant, you're not going to change much between now and December. If you're creating a photo picture, take your photo now and have it ready. You can even order the cards this week and have them ready to go in early December.

2. Get that Address List in Top Shape.
Now is the time to gather those scraps of paper with new address labels and put them all together in one spot. It's ok if you're not putting them in an Excel spreadsheet, but just be sure that all of the addresses are together in one place.

3. Address the Envelopes.
Don't stamp them, since postage rates can change, but it's ok to go ahead and address the envelopes to the people on your list. Not only will you be ready to pop them in the mail before most people have even started thinking about Christmas, but you might even have legible handwriting since you won't be rushing!

Buttoned Up is dedicated to helping stretched & stressed women get organized. Co-founders Alicia Rockmore & Sarah Welch team up with a group of Gurus to give you tips & products for all your messy, stressed needs & introduce "imperfect organization." Visit see which Guru matches your style & get info on Everyday Life, Life Essentials & Life Events

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Patriotic Pants

Friday, October 29, 2010
They may have been hanging in an Italian seaside town and who knows, they may belong to an American, or maybe a French man.  Perhaps someone from Great Britian or Australia.  Hmmm... How many other countries use red, white and blue for their flag?

"Patriotic Pants"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Christmas Elf Origins

Queen's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle 1848,...Image via WikipediaThe modern Christmas elf appeared as early as 1856 when Louisa May Alcott completed, but never published a book entitled "Christmas Elves". The elves can also be seen in engravings from 1873 in Godey's Lady's Book, showing them surrounding Santa while at work. I tried to find an image of this book, but could not. There were a lot of other images of her books, but not this particular one. I am always worried about copyright also. You get a lot of "images may be subject to copyright".  Additional recognition was given in Edward Eggleston's 1876 work "The House of Santa Claus, a Christmas Fairy Show for Sunday Schools".

The image of the elves in the workshop was popularised by Godey's Lady's Book, with a front cover illustration for its 1873 Christmas Issue showing Santa surrounded by toys and elves with the caption "Here we have an idea of the preparations that are made to supply the young folks with toys at Christmas time". During this time Godey's was immensely influential to the birth of Christmas traditions, having shown the first widely circulated picture of a modern Christmas tree on the front cover of its 1850 Christmas issue.

 St. Nicholas as an elf:

In Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas (more commonly known today as Twas the Night Before Christmas), Santa Claus himself is described in line 45 as "He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf".

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Orange Beauty

Thursday, October 28, 2010
I can't explain it but for some reason I'm attracted to orange flowers every time I start to design a painting.  I suppose it's because of the virbancy and richness of the colors.  I keep saying I'm not go to paint another orange flower but here I go again!!

"Orange Beauty"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Christmas Postage Stamps

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Image via Wikipedia
1973 Christmas stamp

German Stamp



Hungarian nativity stamp, 1943

UK Christmas stamp from a 1983 set of five.

It is not unusual to see leftover stamps appear on regular mail during the first months of the new year, Except in Australia where Christmas stamps are only valid during the holiday season and cannot be used for regular mail, but only Christmas cards. This is because the Australian Christmas stamp is valued 5c lower than regular postage stamps. Interesting!

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Pink Umbrella

It's a unique place to hang an umbrella to dry but it works.

"Pink Umbrella"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Lotus Flower

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
They look a lot like waterlilies, they grow i water, have big pads and similar flowers except the stems are a lot taller and the centers of the flowers are very unique and when dried, they are highly prized for dried flower arrangements.

"Lotus Flower"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Belle Angel

Designed by Karen Booy

Materials Needed

8" of 3" wide Sheerstar Wire-Edge Ribbon*, White w/Gold Stars and Gold Edges
24" of 6" wide White Tulle w/Gold Sparkles*
3/4 wooden bead
Mini-Curl Hair
6" of 1/4 wide gold ribbon                                   
1/4" wooden star, sprayed gold
1-1/2" Gold Elastic Cord
Q-tip and pink powder blush
Black Acrylic Paint
1 Novelty Wedding Ring
Low-melt Glue Gun
1-1/2 inch gold liberty bell


Gather the 8" of Sheerstar wire-edge ribbon along the top wire by pulling on both ends of the top of the wire ant once and gather fabric to the middle to form a small circle. Twist the two wires together and cut off excess. Glue center back of dress. Glue the 1-1/2" gold liberty bell to the inside of the dress.
Glue the wooden bead to the top of the dress for head. With black acrylic paint place two dots for eyes on the head. Use a Q-tip to apply pink blush for cheeks.
Cut a 5" white pipe cleaner. Bend in half and then bend each half in half again to form elbows. Glue first bend in back of angel's head. Glue wooden star spray painted gold to center of arms.
Glue mini-curl hair to top of head.
Glue the wedding ring to top of angel's head to form halo.
Fold gold elastic cord in half and tie knot at end. Glue to top of head for hanger.
Fold 6" tulle with gold sparkles in half to 3". Tie a bow measuring about 4" Across and glue to back of angel to form wings.
Tie a small bow with the 1/4" gold ribbon. Glue under angel's chin.

I love angels. My mother made me several for my tree and I even made a couple myself. Credit for this one goes to

Zuzu Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.

Livingston Christmas Train Village in Texas

I think Christmas Train displays are awesome! I'm sure they are a lot of hard work too! This village has a little of everything. Ball room dancing, carnival rides, sledders, Santa in a hot air balloon, popcorn machine, Walmart, parade on  the street, and it's all lit up at night! My younger brother would love this. He used to set up his own train display years ago. My son used to put a small train set around his Christmas tree and his girls were fascinated with it.

Christmas Light Displays

Monday, October 25, 2010
I'm always in awe of a beautiful light display! It's magical to me. I'm always looking for pictures of those magical displays and have found a few that I thought were great. I can't imagine the amount of time it takes to set these displays up for the holidays, but I'm sure they must start really early to get them done and just think about replacing burned out bulbs! But these days they have the LED bulbs which last much longer than a regular bulb. Every year I'm always having bad luck with lights!! Enjoy the pictures. If any of these images are copyrighted, I will gladly remove them.

Rockefeller Center
Mormon Temple
And of course, the Christmas Vacation house!

Luberto Home
Hunter Valley Gardens, Australia

Luberto Home in Boston, Mass.

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The White House

It doesn't look white, but the upper cliff dwelling was covered in white at one time, hence the name.  This is just one of many cliff dwellings that dot Canyon de Chelly in north eastern Arizona.  Located on the Navajo Reservation, this is a unique National Park in that it is jointly managed by both entities. 

"The White House"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Pumpkin Pumpkin

Sunday, October 24, 2010
One more week until Halloween.  Are you ready?  Have your pumpkin carved and out to greet guests?  This guy was hiding under big leaves in the pumpkin patch.  I wonder whose home he'll wind up in.

"Pumpkin Pumpkin"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Glass Tidings and Joy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Making of a Glass Christmas Tree from Richard Holdman on Vimeo.

This video is about 19 minutes long but really very interesting. The end result is a beautiful hand blown glass Christmas tree they made for the Festival of Trees in Salt Lake City, Utah. The tree is called Glass Tidings and Joy. It has thousands of small pieces of glass melted together at 2000 degrees and hand blown to create 60 branches, the star, and around 150 ornaments. It was created by three brothers, Tom, Treavor, and Richard Holdman whose father taught them art at an early age. The blown glass tree was sold within hours of the festival opening and 100 % of the money went to support the Primary Children's Medical Center. I think that was a wonderful thing to do. Here is a link to their main site.
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Friday, October 22, 2010
I just love the name for this tiny car.  And I thought the Smart Car was small.  But this one person vehicle takes the honors.  I wonder what kind of mileage it gets. 

"Pasquali"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Santa Maria della Salute

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Since we're doing church tops I thought I'd add another.  This one is in Venice, right on the point across from St. Mark's piazza and at the entrance to the Grand Canal.  I love the "curls" just below the dome.  John Singer Sargent did a wonderful painting of this church, as has many other great artists.  I haven't yet but plan to some day.

"Santa Maria della Salute"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Santa Maria della Scala

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This is the dome of the beautiful duomo in Siena, Santa Maria della Scala.  The exterior is an architectural festival of green, white, pink and gold and dates back to 1215.  Inside you'll see the heads of 172, who've reigned from Peter to the 12th century peering down from above.  It's a spectacular church with many art treasures from Michelangelo to Bernani.

"Santa Maria della Scala"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Clifton Mill

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of this
 Christmas display with over 3.5 million lights.
 The water source is the Little Miami River.

Oh my gosh!!! I thought this was so
 beautiful to
 share with everyone.
I would love to see this!
 Found it at
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Pretty in Pink

The ruffles of a double hibiscus add to the beauty of an ordinary flower.  The deep color in the throat of this one adds another dimesion.  It's it fun to find all the ways Mother Nature intrigues us.

"Pretty in Pink"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Themed Christmas Trees

Monday, October 18, 2010
My Christmas tree is very traditional. I will post some pictures of it and all of my other decorations when the time comes. Though mine is traditional, I do love all the different themed Christmas trees. They are very beautiful. I came across these pictures and thought I would post them.  I found them at 

Update: You can find my second post on themed Christmas trees Here

Vintage green, gold & silver.
 Vintage red and gold with carolers.

Gold & white with white flowers, santa's, golden butterflies & glittering gold ornaments.

Glittering tree ornaments with little elves & angels.

 silvery mauve, sage-green & silver, gold mesh ribbon & sprays of dried flowers painted silver.

Purple peacock feathers and blue butterflies. Now this is quite different!

Rustic autumn with copper & gold and splashes of pink and turquoise.

Icicles, white angels, white roses and pine cones.

 Silver & white icicles, silver ribbons & icy ornaments to compliment the blue.

Country Cabin tree with birch bark, mini knitted sweaters, plaid bows, hearts.

Baby's first Christmas, with baby snowmen, baby slippers, stuffed rabbits etc.

Here's your traditional red and green with snowmen, elves, & candycanes. So cute!

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