Posted in Week 13 - Christmas Trees (11/27/16 - 12/3/15)

Week 13 – Christmas Trees

Typically, it is traditional for my family to put up the tree the first weekend in December. Lately, I’ve been doing it right after Thanksgiving but before my parents return home. The reason is that my husband is really not into it. At all. I get ZERO help from him.

I’m not sure what his deal is. I don’t know if it’s because his family never made a big deal of it…or if his mom always made it a miserable time for him …or what. I was born to Mr. Christmas, so this is important to me.

And although I try not to “big deal” it, it’s frustrating, but he gets annoyed if I ask for his help, but he also gets annoyed while I’m doing it alone- and taking up space, and making frustrated noises, and taking forever. (Of course, if he would help…)

And I love doing it, but it is SO much work, and I especially hate assembling the tree. And hauling stuff up and down the basement stairs. And finding places to put the “rest of the year” items. And the animals aren’t very helpful, either. Between that and a busy debate tournament schedule in December, I try to employ my dad’s help.

This year, my dad’s game (he has Hawkeye season tickets) was on Friday instead of Saturday, so they left a day earlier than usual. Otherwise, my tree would have been up Friday – or at least yesterday – but I’m feeling cruddy (I even skipped working out yesterday.) and my husband and I went to an arcade auction out of town.

I’m supposed to have a tournament next weekend – which is the traditional tree weekend. However, I’m hedging some bets. I only planned on taking students for student congress – it’s really far away, and I can’t cover judges at that distance  for more than one event. (My dad, sometimes mom, helps judge public forum when it’s close to them.) It used to be a huge tournament, but over the last few years, attendance has really dropped. We didn’t even go last year, and I know some years they don’t even run a congress. (The last time we went, it was only 9-12 people, which is tiny for that event.) I’m banking on there not being one this year. The host was feeling out for entries in an e-mail last week, and of the few that “replied all” none had congress entries. 

So…long story short…I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll save some team money, some drive time, and some sleep, and get to put up my tree next weekend when things are a little less crazy. (Without having to do laundry at the same time.) It would be a shame, since I have a student trying the event for the first. time, and state might be too overwhelming. Even if we do compete, it might still be a good day to put up the tree. He won’t win, so we don’t have to wait for awards unless we can get good comment sheets. (Remember – I save Sundays for video games…)

Now – to the art. This week, in honor of the traditional time for decoration, I’ll be doing Christmas trees. Today, I started more with an ornament and a few branches.


It’s done in oil pastel (one of my favorite mediums) and didn’t turn out too badly. It’s based off someone’s acrylic painting I found on Pinterest. The top and middle branches got a little crazy, so they don’t look quite right, and you can see some of my drawing marks, which I don’t like. But to me, the top of the ornament is the weakest part.

You can see some of my pencil marks, but at least I’m learning to sketch first!

I am pleased with the blending overall. It’s not perfect (is anything, ever?), but considering I’m working from a model in another medium and not using a how-to, I’m happy with it. It means I’m showing progress.

This theme will continue this week, and it will also give me a chance to use my new black sketch paper, which I’m really excited about. I might even try my hand at soft pastels. I know I keep promising that, but I have to take the plunge sometime, and I think this is a good subject that might be a reacheable goal. The colors I have should work well, and if successful, I actually have some “fixer” spray to hold the image.

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I'm a humble little Anglophile with obscure talents.

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