Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Truly Charlie Brown Christmas!

If I hadn't been here to see this with my very own eyeballs, I never would have believed it! I was feeling pretty good about myself, as I was able to get my Christmas tree up and all my decorating done the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The reason behind all of this was that I was going out of town to visit some of my friends/family in Phoenix (not to mention Spellbinders' Headquarters - which was in the process of moving. For those of you don't remember, I was recently selected to be on Spellbinders' Designer Team for 2008 - but I digress . . .) Anyway, I came home last Sunday night (December 2) exhausted, with a touch of a cold/flu thing that I picked up while I was there. (This first picture is my tree BEFORE I removed any of the ornaments/lights . . . keep reading.)

When I walked in my back door, my first thought was, "What in the HECK have they been cooking in here???" It was kind of a sickly sweet smell. After I had been home for a while, my husband informed me that we had a problem with the tree - it was dropping needles. Well, DUH! Isn't that what Christmas trees do??? He assured me that I needed to see it for myself. Holy cow! He wasn't kidding. You know what it is like when you run your finger across a dusty surface and you push the dust as you go? That is what the needles were like on the tree. Almost as if they were abandoning ship. This is where my husband admitted to me that the problem had actually begun the previous Tuesday, one day before I was scheduled to leave, and only four days after we got the tree. What??? He didn't want to stress me out (which, I'll have to admit, was nice of him).

I decided, as exhausted as I was and as crummy as I felt, that the tree HAD to come down. The tree lot where we have been purchasing our trees for YEARS has a policy that it will replace any tree you are not satisfied with (like, I wonder how often THAT happens . . . not many people would be willing to undecorate and then redecorate their tree!). I got up at 5:00 a.m. last Monday morning to begin the nasty process of removing all the decorations and lights. UNBELIEVABLE. It was like rain . . . needles falling off by the hundreds . . . thousands!! If I hadn't seen it for myself, I would NEVER have believed it. The weird thing was, the tree wasn't even dry! It was actually still drinking water, and the needles weren't even brittle!

Then, my husband picked it up to take it to the car. I am surprised that I could even laugh at this point, but it was sooo absurd. You could hear the needles just POURING off the tree as he carried it to the car. He tapped it on the ground, which was pretty much the death knell . . . we were both laughing so hard as he was tying this poor bundle of twigs atop our car. You would not BELIEVE the looks I was getting as I drove around town with this sad tree on top of my car (it made Charlie Brown's tree look like it belonged in Rockefeller Plaza!).

As I pulled into the parking lot at the tree place, my car was almost ATTACKED by three of the guys who worked there. They couldn't believe what they were seeing. The first thing one of them said to me was, "WHAT HAPPENED????" I told him that he was supposed to tell ME! They were surprised at how springy it was, and that the few remaining needles (and I do mean FEW) were still green. One of the guys broke open a branch and showed the others that it was still sappy inside! Weird! They couldn't get that tree off of my car fast enough!! (After all, I wasn't the only one there, and it was NOT good advertising!!) I practically had to tackle the kid that was disposing of the tree so that he would stop for a photo - this one!). The only good part about all of this is that they replaced it with a very lovely $70 tree (which was more than I wanted to spend, so that was fun!). I told them about the smell, too. It was kind of like rotten bananas. They were going to break off a couple of the branches and send them to a lab to be analyzed, as they admitted that in all the years they had been farming trees, they had NEVER seen one do this.

Needless to say, between my trip to Phoenix, my cold/flu thing and my Charlie Brown Tree Adventure, I haven't stamped much, but I DO have a few things to share (and if that wasn't the longest intro you have ever seen to the projects on someone's blog, I don't know what is!).

I made this card as part of my "Follow the Butterflies" challenge I started at the end of August. I'm really glad that butterflies are so popular, as I have been finding A LOT of butterfly images - many of which I didn't realize I had - plus many of my stampin' friends have sent me some, so it's been fun. My mind may change as I get farther into this, as there will be 104 cards total! Here's a link for more details:

I did this at about 12:30 a.m. after I had arrived at my friend Melissa's house on Wednesday the 28th (Hey, Mel!) I was tired, but was able to whip this out rather quickly. It was done as part of one of the Challenge Chasers challenges on SCS (STSC06). Mel had "Just Like You", which I DON'T have, so that made it fun. She also had some of this great ribbon (it comes in one of those very expensive packages that SU sells with a combo of ribbons - you know the ones I mean - the ones I swore I would NEVER buy or use??? - the ones I will now probably have to GET??). I just used some markers to color the "grass" and flowers, then I "rock and rolled" the butterfly. It worked up really quickly, and I actually USED one of those cute little binder clips.

Stamps: Just Like You, On the Spot
Paper: Always Artichoke, So Saffron, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Always Artichoke, So Saffron

This card I made for a shoebox exchange I was doing with a bunch of my SCS friends while I was in Phoenix (hi girls!!). It was kind of intimidating meeting so many fun people I had only "seen" online, but they were a hoot (and it was raining cats and dogs!!). I love the "Big On Christmas" set. It is really fun. I used my white gel pen to "faux stitch" the edges and to color the holly on the snowman's hat, as well as to fill in the word "SNOW". The holly itself was colored a bit with a Garden Green marker. I only embossed the largest snowflakes with white ep, while I stamped the other snowflakes after the embossing was done. I love the two-tone white effect. I also used some Stickles on the snowflakes I punched out (Emaginations), and on the "let it" part of the sentiment.

Stamps: Big On Christmas, Snowflake Spot
Paper: Blue Bayou, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
Ink: Whisper White, Black Stazon, Pumpkin Pie, Garden Green

Here is card #14 for my "Butterfly" challenge. My son keeps getting all these "girlie" butterfly cards. He says he really looks forward to getting them, though, so that makes me smile! I was trying and trying to figure out how to make a wintery butterfly card. I just got some of the Wintergreen Designer Series paper from SU (which is AWESOME), so I started there. You can't see it in the photo, but the butterfly is embossed and sprinkled with Iridescent Ice. The little snowflakes (a very old Marvy punch) have a little bit of Stickles on them, so they are sparkly, too! I did this in conjunction with SC153 on SCS. I also really enjoy "hanging" tags with hodgepodge hardware. It adds a fun touch, I think.

Stamps: Butterfly (Stampendous), Small Sayings, Snow Flurries
Paper: Always Artichoke, Sage Shadow, Soft Sky, Whisper White, Wintergreen dsp
Ink: Always Artichoke

Please pray for my new tree, as I absolutely REFUSE to decorate one more tree this year!!


KOstvig said...

OH wendy,,,Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! LOL

Love the cards also very nice have a good weekend and coming week Hope your tree makes it this week.

Judy in Indiana said...

I came over from SCS and your tree misadventure makes me happy I am allergic to trees and that we don't have a real one. Oh my. It really did look like Charlie Brown's tree.

Jenn said...

That is just way too funny, Wendy! It sounds like your tree lot did the right thing, though. You're going to have to go back and ask what they found out in the lab tests!

Craft Accident said...

funny story! so odd!

I love your blog too... you are super talented!

Craft Accident said...

funny story! so odd!

I love your blog too... you are super talented!

Donya said...

What a great story! Poor tree.... fingers crossed this one the last one you have to decorate for the season :-)

Kittie said...

Wendy, that is the funniest tree story I have ever read. You should send it to Reader's Digest. It sounds like something they would make a Christmas movie about. I had a hard enough doing my decorations this year...I don't know if I could have stood doing the tree two times.

Becky G said...

Sorry to hear about your Charlie Brown tree. Hope the second one goes better for you.
Your cards are all wonderful. I especially like the last one. I like the way you place the hardware.

Anonymous said...

Wendy...........I laughed so hard when I read your post! I made my husband and my mother read it, too- it was HYSTERICAL!! I'm so sorry that happened to you, but it's the funniest tree story I've ever heard!!

Anonymous said...

hello wendy , im a new follower and fan .. i too used to every year for decades get frasier fur trees .my favorite ... i once had this same thing happen and the banana smell is dead on .. i paid 90+ dollars for that tree and it was yrs ago ..big and beautiful .. i too watered and took care if the cut tree .. got an tree man to look at it .. said it was cut at least two mos.. before i bought it .. wow who knew .. i was so sad .. and i remember the sound of the raining of needles ..its just sickening :(