The place is a happy mess. Wool strands are stuck to my glue gun nozzle, my slippers are splattered with spraypaint. Black plugs of leather from my new punch tool are lodged in my laptop keyboard and tiny glass beads have rolled into every corner of the apartment.
There is some method in all this mad, frivolous playing and decorating, but I only see the playing with ideas after the fact.
Turns out my spontaneously created (ie. still in pajamas) 'copper pipe' wreath (sliced wrapping paper rolls and copper spraypaint) was a practical exercise in understanding patterns of circles within circles — the focus of a major project next year.
Crocheting chunky-wool slipper booties had its own lesson in scale; in this case, what looks cute in a kiddie size looks hideous in an adult version. (Breathe easy, teenagers.)
The gingerbread A-frame cabins involved more industrial design than I anticipated and more geometry than I normally like to endure but was essential for gaining the most area out of four cookie-sheet squares of dough. The possibility that math can be fun is matched by my new-found fascination of some basic chemistry that reveals the power of heat to turn granular sugar into glass, and the power of water as the only solution for pots cemented with rock-hard sugar syrup.
I can't rationalize the pounds of candy and icing sugar I bought for the four kids to decorate the gingerbread camp. That I would ever indulge in that sort of seasonal folly is a freakin' Christmas miracle.