When I married DH #1, my MIL (who is STILL my MIL, because SG's mother is deceased. So...when I mention MIL, it's the kids' Granny) intimidated me. This woman has done it ALL - she:
Oil Paints - portraits, still lifes, and landscapes
Stained Glass (FIL does most of the glass cutting, but she designs a lot of the stuff)
Quilts (her passion)
Tats (but not much)
Ceramics (used to have a small kiln, in fact)
In short, the woman is very, very crafty. And her house shows it - TONS of crafty stuff all over the place.
And holidays are.....well, over-the-top. Thanksgiving, for example - she has quilted wall-hangings, lap rugs, ceramic table pieces, cute wooden doo-dads, stained glass turkeys, themed dishes, placemats, napkins; the whole house is decorated to the gills with themed stuff. (And she does this for EVERY SINGLE HOLIDAY. Chrismess is...well, she goes all out for it. It looks like an interior decorator exploded in the house....seriously)(And Halloween is almost MORE SO than Chrismess......seriously. When I say All Out, I mean it - even her *bathrooms* get something themed!)
Now, I come from a house that...well, wasn't like that. Chrismess was the only holiday that was decorated - and it was just outside lights, nativity scene, and tree. So to go visit MIL's house...was intimidating, and awesome, and......I dunno. It was - and is - impressive. You KNOW, the minute you walk in, that we are celebrating something special.
And I wanted that for my house. So...I started making quilted wall-hangings. I only succeeded in making 2 - my first one, which was generic (sheep!), and a Thanksgiving one (turkeys). MIL gave me a bunch of Easter and Chrismess and Halloween ones (plus other assorted Chrismess stuff...if we still celebrated, my house would look like a holiday store exploded in it), and I have the patterns for other holidays. This was about the time I started questioning things.....and I realized that Chrismess et al wasn't "real".
So I started hunting for Jewish decorating ideas - and hit a wall. It seems that there's not a whole lot out there for Biblical Feast decorations. Sure, you have menorahs for Hanukkah, but....it's not like Chrismess, where you have a TON of stuff that you can toss around your house. Passover has the Seder plate...but that's really IT. There's not a lot of "decorating" that seems to be done.....and that bothers me. (Told you I have issues!)
What to do? I got the idea last year to make themed placemats. At least my *table* would be decorated, right? I started with Hanukkah - it's pretty easy to find dreidel fabric. I added a runner and challah cover....and I had a pretty table. If anyone had come to visit during Hanukkah, they'd have KNOWN that we thought it was an important holiday.
I already had Shabbat table-stuff; I made another set of placemats to "match" my Hanukkah ones. I'm trying to figure out a runner, too - again, if people visit on Shabbat, my table (which is right off the entry hall now) will show that we think it's a pretty important day.
I'm working on Passover, now. I have the first placemat almost done - I like it, but it turned out a little narrower than I wanted. My math was right....I just didn't figure the right finished size. :rolls eyes: (They work, the border just doesn't show clearly all the way around the plate. Ah, well...) These will be "10 Plague" placemats - I have fabric for each of the plagues, with Matzoh fabric in each corner. :snicker: (They're really cute - I'll get photos when I finish them.) I already have the Matzoh cover, so my Passover table will be complete (once I finish the table runner - squares of each plague bordered by Matzoh).
RH will be next - red placemats with a yellow honey-bee-and-apple border. Sukkot will be green with the harvest print border - all that's left to plan is Purim. I'm doing matching coasters and runners for these, too.....so I'm busy, but I LOVE how they're turning out.
Silly? Maybe. But it seems that the pagan festivals get a LOT of attention, home-wise, while the Biblical Feasts get None. That...doesn't seem right, to me. Maybe I'm just being weird...but I like knowing that I get to decorate like my neighbors do...only I'm decorating for "real" holy days. If that makes sense. (And no, I don't expect anyone else to feel this way - I told you up front I have Issues. I'm working on them.....but this seems pretty benign. I just needed to write it out.)
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