Saturday, December 8, 2018

After the Rain

Friday has been a sunny, mild day.  The rain has moved on and there is no rain in the 5-day forecast.  

Today, I worked on my "ugly Christmas sweater".  I don't know if there is a tradition of ugly Christmas sweaters in other countries, but they are sweaters that are a bit over the top when it comes to Christmas themed designs and decorations.   I used to have an ugly Christmas sweater (a cardigan, actually), which I bought several years ago.  I wore it on several occasions, but then, it sat in the bottom drawer of my chest of drawers, unworn, for several years.  Finally, a couple of years ago, when I did that big decluttering, I decided I am not likely to wear it again and donated it.  Then, the lady hosting the December prayer gathering asked us to wear ugly Christmas sweaters to the prayer gathering!  Oh, no!  Not now that I've given away my ugly Christmas sweater! 

I had another holiday sweater, which I've worn several years, but which had got a bit too big on me.  It had escaped being donated during that earlier decluttering, but, I had put it aside to be donated during a more recent decluttering round.  However, when I heard my friend mention having an ugly Christmas sweater prayer gathering, I pulled it out of the donations pile!  

Front of Sweater

It is a cream colored sweater with gold and white snowflakes embroidered on the front and one gold snowflake on each sleeve.  The back of the sweater is plain:

Back of Sweater
I thought I could turn it into an ugly Christmas sweater.  Of course, I could go out and buy one, but, I didn't want to spend any money to buy something I'd probably not wear again for several more years, if at all!  I suppose I could have bought one from a thrift store, for around $5, but, again, I didn't want to spend any money!  

So, this afternoon, I pulled out the Christmas suitcase, where I store various items like the holiday crocheted throw that can be seen on the back of the sofa, the red plaid table cloth, the holiday placemats, the stockings, etc.  They are the items I don't want stored in the garage with the rest of the holiday decorations.  The suitcase is kept in my closet.  I took out the contents of the suitcase and spread one or two items, like the crocheted throw, around the house.  Then, I gathered two of the stockings I stored in the suitcase and sat down to transform my snowflakes sweater into this:

Ugly Christmas Sweater Front
Ta da!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Back

These stockings are older than my daughter!  I bought them during an after-Christmas sale, one year; for my mother and one for me!  At first, I just wanted to pin them to the sweater with safety pins, but then, I changed my mind and hand-sewed them to the sweater; they can be  removed without any difficulty to wash the sweater.  I decided to have a little fun with it and added the decorative buttons to the cuffs (had the buttons in my button collection), and glued some sequins, too, to add a little sparkle.  It is not quite so over the top as some ugly Christmas sweaters I've seen, but I think this is about as festive as I want to be!  Best of all, one ugly Christmas sweater put together using what I had on hand and $0 spent!  

Friend M came to do the garden in the late afternoon and did some weeding and pruning for me.  It is a good time to weed as the ground is soft after the rain.  

Today, I was craving a hamburger for lunch, and was tempted to go out and buy one!  Instead, I cooked a pot of rice, pulled out packages of chicken curry, dhal, and green beans from the freezer, and had that for lunch.  There are leftovers for tomorrow's lunch, too.  For dinner, I made some fried rice with some of the rice, some ham, an egg, green peas, and roasted cashews.  Again, using what I had on hand and $0 spent!  I am not saying I might not still give into the craving and buy a hamburger another day, but I managed to avoid doing so, today.

Later in the evening, I bagged up three of the jars of jam to give as gifts at Saturday's prayer gathering.  There will be a white elephant gift exchange, so one jar of jam is my contribution to that, one jar is for the hostess, and one jar is for my friend who leads the prayers.  I reused/recycled gift bags I received last year!  And the jars I used for the jam are also reused/recycled (I'll probably need to buy new jars, next year, though).  

Still later, I video chatted with my daughter.  She found some money on the floor of the subway station on her way home, tonight.  She texted me a photo of the folded up note and asked me what she should do!  I told her to pick it up and say thank you!  She felt bad for whoever who lost it, but there was no way to know who might have dropped it and it wouldn't have been feasible to walk around the subway station at night, asking people if they had lost any money!  She usually leaves any small amounts she finds on the ground for someone else, who might need it more, to pick up (unlike her mother who picks up even pennies!).  I told her to regard it as a gift from her late grandmother, as we had been talking about her, last night, about life after death, the rituals of visiting the graves of loved ones, etc.  Once before, too, when my daughter needed a new computer and I was debating whether to buy her a new one (I didn't want to spoil her by indulging her too much), I had told her that if her grandmother was alive, she would have just given me the money and told me to buy a new computer; the next day, when I went to the office, I was informed by our payroll section that there was a check for me for retroactive pay for a pay raise I didn't even know I was getting!  The amount of the check was more than enough to buy a new computer for my daughter and, to this date, I think it was a sign from my late mother!  I reminded my daughter of it, and I suggested that, if she still felt bad about picking up the money, maybe she could donate it to a charity, or perhaps buy a meal for a homeless person, or buy some knitted gloves or hats from the dollar store and leave them at a bus shelter for anyone to take.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Waking up this morning
- A sunny day
- Being able to put together an ugly Christmas sweater using what I had on hand
- M helping me with the garden
- My daughter and an unexpected gift she received

Plans for tomorrow include making a dessert to take to the prayer gathering and attending the prayer gathering.

What are your plans for the weekend?


  1. I love what you did to the sweater. I would never have thought to do that - very creative and money saving too. X

    1. Thank you, Jules! I played around with a couple of ideas - attaching some bows or baubles from the dollar store, or cutting out a Christmas tree shape from fabric in the stash and sewing that on. But, the stockings were already there and seemed the easiest thing to do. :)

  2. Before you decorated it, I thought your cream sweater was very pretty. And the stockings were the perfect touch for the occasion. If you haven't sewn the tops closed, you could have some candy canes sticking out of the top that you could pass out to whoever might want them. :)

    1. Excellent suggestion, Live and Learn! The tops aren't closed! I will pick up some candy canes when I go to the pharmacy this afternoon!

  3. I love your Christmas sweater and you were very clever to make it with items you already had. It was a fantastic idea to also add the extra glitter and buttons to dress it up "a little over the top" You did a wonderful job.

    I think I would have kept the windfall if I were your daughter, but she is not me; and so, you were very wise to come up with those wonderful suggestions for her to gift someone less fortunate.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I had fun decorating the sweater!

      I, too, would have kept the money and considered it my lucky day, but, my daughter thinks differently. :)

  4. What a good idea to embellish your very respectable sweater and turn it into an over the top Christmas one! I'm sure it will attract some comments and I agree with you that it didn't make sense to go out and buy one specially.

    I've been bundling up the last two days with the colder weather, but it has been great to have the sun out and today there was "diamond dust" falling down with the sun catching it. I wondered what the Inuit would call such fine snow. I heard that they have something like 200 different words for the different types of snow!

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. Many people asked me if I made the sweater and I was told it was very creative. :)

      Your snow sounds beautiful! I, too, have heard that the Inuit have many different words to describe the type of snow.

  5. What a great idea with the sweater! I'd never heard of it until the last few years, but maybe I'm behind lol. I probably wouldn't have bought one either as, like you said, it's not something you wear everyday.

    Glad you got to talk to your daughter. I skyped with my Mum today. I love Saturdays if for no other reason than that. It's like having a visit with her. Sigh. I miss her.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Mine wasn't the only homemade ugly Christmas sweater there, as some people had pinned some Christmas decorations to red sweaters, but, I was the only one with stockings sewn onto her sweater! :D

      Glad you got to skype with your mum. Hope all is well with her.

  6. I like your 'ugly' Christmas sweater very much. And the best thing is that you can still remove the stocking if needed. You are very creative, Bless.

    1. Thank you, Nil. Yes, I'll be removing the stockings to wash the sweater and, no doubt, they'll be hung near the fireplace, this Christmas!


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