Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Merry Days

I'd like to take this time to thank you all for stopping by my little blog now and again, and for buying Auntie B's Wax products. It's been a very wonderful year, and I hope to see you all throughout 2009 too.

This Christmas season has been an especially nice one for me, and I hope peace, good cheer, sweet goodies, and graciousness touch all of you this season.

I leave you with my favorite (currently) video. When I saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra perform this live I wept openly, like any overly sentimental holiday freak like me would do. It was truly majestic. Paenney and Fojo, if you watch this, take note of the ring (hee hee!).

Merry Christmas to you all, and I'll be back in 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Enjoy The Noises

Oh the busyness of it all! This is the first year I've tried to juggle an online store, all the usual boutiques, stores, and shows I do, and a blog during the holiday season. Seems the blog suffers the most.

I've been busy finishing up some custom orders; when they're done my production year is done. Wow, that gives me a two-week vacation from candle making! I don't know if I'll be able to stay away from it for that long.

I've also been scurrying around entertaining, shopping, gift wrapping, baking, and all the usual holiday stuff. Husbie and I try to sneak in a Christmas DVD now and then. Still on the list of things to see is Polar Express, A Christmas Carol, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

In the way of holiday cheer we've been out and about to many holiday concerts. Paenney and Fojo presented us with their school band concerts, which were fabulous as usual. Fojo made the entire 8th grade band look festive with his Santa hat, and Paenney, well, he's got to watch what he's doing while he's not playing his horn. Black Jack is not an option! (I say that as an adult auntie. I used to know kids like that in high school and I always thought they were the ones having the most fun. I was right!)

Paenney was also a participant in the St. Paul edition of Tuba Christmas. What a fabulous show. Christmas carols played by a band comprised entirely of horns from the tuba family. Tuba Christmas is presented all over the country, and I would highly recommend listening to their annual concert. It's quite breathtaking. It's also quite a lot of fun.

For me, music makes the holidays. A little Bing Crosby singing White Christmas, a little Nat King Cole singing The Christmas song, and a group of a hundred or so tubas playing Jingle Bells. You just can't beat that.

(The preceding video clips are examples of the Tuba Christmas concert played in various cities across the United States.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Paper Displays of Affection

Here's something new - oragami jewelry. Maybe it's just new to me. At Paper Displays of Affection you can get pendants, earrings, and ornaments, all made from paper. Neato Stuff has this ornate works of art as their shop of the day.

(Pictures provided by Paper Displays of Affection)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The First Step To A Cheerful Season

We all know by now I'm not the best photographer on the internet. I have a hard time with digital and haven't really learned how to manipulate and edit the pictures very well. But isn't it amazing how this:

can become this:

in just a matter of hours. 'Tis the season, kids. Make it beautiful, even if you can't take very good pictures of it.

My Record Purse

A purse made out of a record? (Remember those?) You can find it at My Record Purse. It's the shop of the day at Neato Stuff.

(Picture provided by My Record Purse)

Friday, December 05, 2008


Looking for a garment for your little toddler? Mixit has some very unique clothes for your little one. The shop is featured as Neato Stuff's shop of the day.

(Picture provided by Mixit)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

AbbaDabba Bags

You're a busy mom, and also a girl-on-the-go at night. Go shopping at AbbaDabba Bags and find diaper bags, cosmetic bags, and everything in between. Cool fabrics, and lots of different designs. It's Neato Stuff's shop of the day!

(Pictures provided by AbbaDabba Bags)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

They Call It Eustress

Holiday stress. One thing we have to get our heads around is that the word stress isn't necessarily a bad thing. There is a difference between distress and eustress*. The latter is a happy stress, like the arrival of a new baby or...the holidays. While eustress is positive, it is manifested much in the same way distress is. For me that's holding my head in my hands while rocking back and forth.

I've got many tentative dates flying around the ones in ink. I've got a big custom order on which I'm awaiting the go-ahead. I've got holiday entertaining to plan, school concerts to attend, shopping to do, gifts to wrap. I've got a show this week, a store to stock, a boutique to clear out. This weekend I have a nine-foot tree to put up and decorate, as well as get the entire house decorated for Christmas.

Of all those things, not one of them is bad, or makes me feel bad, but I tend to be a little tight in the shoulders. So I announce my feelings as eustress. If I seem a little agitated or like I'm in the midst of a brain schism, just know I'm trying to get it all organized in my tiny head, something I shouldn't really be doing while you're talking to me, but it's going to happen. Things are good. Things are hectic. But you know, I love this time of year. And you know what else? Everything always works itself out.

*I looked up the word "eustress" in the dictionary and it wasn't there. It's a word I learned in a mandatory training session through my employer, the great State of Minnesota. Distress and eustress is similar to the contrasting dysphoria and euphoria. So, if it's a make-up word, I apologize. It's a wonder anything presented in one of those mandatory training sessions stuck with me after all this time anyway.

Bon a Tirer Fine Art Editions

John Holechek has an artful eye and a wonderful mastery of digital photography. His shop Bon a Tirer Fine Art Editions is a feast for the eyes as well as the emotions. I love the softness of these pieces of art, as well as the colors. While I wouldn't really call his work "neato," his is today's Neato Stuff shop of the day. Wouldn't a piece from Bon a Tirer look lovely in your home?

(Pictures provided by Bon a Tirer Fine Art Editions)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


If you're in the market to buy your BFF some earrings for Christmas, you absolutely must shop Etsy. They've got earrings galore, and you can pretty much guarantee they'll be one-of-a-kind. Take, for example, these little numbers by Crostini. It's the featured shop today at Neato Stuff

(Picture provided by Crostini.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Gaia Trove Chicago

Feathers everywhere! I like what Gaia Trove Chicago does with these beauties. The headbands are really fun! Gaia Trove Chicago is Neato Stuff's shop of the day and I can totally see why. Cool going!

(Pictures provided by Gaia Trove Chicago)
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