elf on the shelf

Jolly, our Elf, concludes by Carey

How does that phrase go?  A day late and a dollar short?  Well, I feel like I'm constantly 10 days late and two hundred dollars short.  Nothing in my world is accomplished when it should be, and it is most certainly not accomplished to the best of my ability.  This is so counter to my personality and it is eating me alive.  I'm stuck in a chronic state of being behind.  One day I hope to crawl out of it.

Now that we are well into the new year, let's revisit Jolly the Elf.  Shawn and I enjoyed all of Jolly's antics this year, but the kids?  I think apathetic is pretty apropos.  I have absolutely no idea where I went wrong.  All this effort and they couldn't have cared less.  Perhaps next year he'll just plop himself where ever and they'll be beside themselves.  Worth a shot, right?

One more thought before we get onto Jolly's adventures.  Obviously I love the idea of being creative with your Elf on the Shelf.  We don't do the behavior component since we don't do that part of Santa.  But most others who Elf on the Shelf do.  I must say that I don't understand how an Elf, who is supposedly watching and reporting on your behavior, can simultaneously engage in disobedient and defiant acts.  I feel there is a line between being fun, perhaps even mischievous, and being outright defiant.  Perhaps I've spent a little bit too much time thinking on all this?  Taking it a little bit too serious?  Probably so. : )

 

Day 17:  Jolly felt homesick and put in Rudolph to watch

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 18:  Jolly helped the kids have red noses like Rudolph

I was SOOOO excited for this one.  And it ended up being the biggest disappointment.  Before I headed to bed, I put the paint on the sponge brush and headed to their rooms.  I did Little Buddy first.  It worked perfectly.  Did Little Lady next.  Flawless.  (I used regular acrylic paint.  I learned around Halloween that a lot of face painters just use regular acrylic paint. Dries super fast and washes right off with no staining.  Just ask Shawn about that time in college when he and three other buddies painted their entire upper bodies, entire, with red tempera paint to demonstrate their loyalty to NC State for the Carolina basketball game.)  Couldn't wait for them to wake up that morning.  The lady was first... and the paint was gone.  Apparently it comes off if you rub your face.  And apparently my children rub their noses a lot.  Grumble.  The smallest speck of red was left on Little Buddies nose, but not even enough to try to capture with a photo.  This was a huge letdown for me!!!  And I honestly don't know what I could have done differently to make it work better. Bummer.

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 19:  Jolly uses the Helicopter

Jolly pulled all of these out of rotation toys out of the attic!  I used some leftover ribbon to create a makeshift harness for the helicopter hook.

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 20:  Jolly takes a Marshmallow bath

We must have a huge sink, because this took a TON of marshmallows!!!

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 21:  Jolly helps the kids start getting dressed for the day

Jolly moved the stocking holders to the tv for this day and hung up their underwear!  A few years ago the daughter of a friend pulled a stocking holder off the mantle and it hit her in the head.  She had to have stitches.  Ever since, I've never used the stocking holders.  This year, they got a HUGE lecture and were told never, ever, to touch the holders.  They got a nice big reminder this day.  I was nervous all day!

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 22 : Jolly plays with a leftover Lego house

This was "Kitty city".  No humans are allowed in Kitty City.  And apparently the kitties are the Elf's pets.

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 23:  Jolly needed some help flushing the toilet

You knew Elf pee was green, didn't you?

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 24:  Jolly trapped the Meat Eating Predators

This one was Shawn's idea.  Little Buddy is fascinated with trapping creatures.  This was perfect for him.  We used a clothes pin at the end of the makeshift fishing pole, and attached one of Gizmo's (the dog) Greenie treats to it.

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

Day 25:  Jolly bids farewell

At our house, Jolly hangs out in the tree to watch the festivities on Christmas morning and then disappears sometime while everyone is contentedly playing with their new things.  Back to the North Pole he goes, until next year.

Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace
Elf on the Shelf images by Carey Pace

I truly did have so very much fun creating and shooting all of these this year.  I'm planning to do a Blurb or Shutterfly book of them to have for the future, to remember all of the fun Jolly got into, the year the kids didn't care.  Let's just hope than in the future, Little Buddy doesn't realize that Jolly's handwriting is eerily similar to Shawn's and mine!

Lastly, about halfway through I used this method for 'hacking' my elf.  Definitely recommend.  I had already sewn velcro on his hands, so I had to remove that to insert the wire, then re-sew it.  But it was awesome in positioning him for those later days.

 

Jolly's antics continue by Carey

People often call me creative, but they are very wrong.  I am not creative.  But I can copy and tweak like nobody's business!!  I suppose that is where the engineering part of me comes into play.  Generating that initial idea will keep me paralyzed.  But if someone else can just get me started, I can take the idea and run... making it better than it already was, or I can just copy it as is.  That has been my approach to the Elf on the Shelf this year.

[You can purchase your own Elf on the Shelf here:  blue eyes, a girl elf!, brown eyes and brown skin]

(photographers out there, I totally realize my reds are CRAZY out of gamut.  My camera hates red.  All of my elf images are batch processed due to lack of TIME.  I've made peace with it.  Just realize that "I" do realize it.  Don't judge me. : )  )

Day 9:  Jolly needed a bedtime snack.

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 10:  Jolly stepped in reindeer poop and needed a shower!

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 11:  Jolly was held hostage by the My Little Ponies and the Squinkies.

(I morphed this concept from two ideas I saw on Pinterest.  This one where the elf is teaching the Littlest Pet Shops, and this one where the toys have tied up the elf.   I searched this house OVER looking for all her "Little Pet Shops" as she calls them and could NOT find them.  I finally gave up.  I found them around 6pm the day of this one... in Shawn's truck in her Hello Kitty metal lunch box.  grrrr.  I used more of the white fabric I used for the aviator scarf to make the blindfold, and I used some pinkish yarn I already had for the tying up.  Notice how the tiny white kitty has the yarn?  It's the details, folks, the little details!).

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 12:  Jolly went scuba diving and played with all of the ocean creatures, JUST like Little Buddy does!!!  He left a trail from the toy bins all the way to the bathtub.

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 13:  Jolly zip lines with a candy cane from the stockings to the tree.  (I totally realized about the time I finished shooting these images that I have him going the wrong direction.... gravity and all.  Thankfully the kids aren't there yet. : ) )

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 14:  Jolly makes smores with the Calico Critters dollhouse fireplace.

(this is another one of my favorites and gets more photos.  It took FOREVER to set up!!!)

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 15:  Jolly went ice fishing with the fishing game we have and blue jello.

(And I soooooooo forgot to take photos before the sun went down!!! I waited all day for the sun to reach the back side of the house, and then BAM! I forgot! Oops... Let's just say I am less than skilled with my flash...)

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 16:  Jolly went hot air ballooning using a paper lantern from the Little Lady's room.

(I made it using pink shimmery ribbon and a pink solo cup, with a rubber band).

As soon as the Little Lady noticed this, she asked him to take Jolly out.  She wanted that Lantern BACK in her room, NOW.

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Do you see the mistletoe??? That's the mistletoe he hung in on the day I forgot to take a photo...

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

I have added a photo to the I Heart Faces Elf on The ShelfPhoto Challenge. I shot these with my D90 Sigma 30mm f1.4

A right Jolly old elf by Carey

I have added a photo to the  I Heart Faces Elf on The ShelfPhoto Challenge.

This Christmas season has just flown me by!!!  I had so much I intended to do and it just hasn't gotten done!  I cannot believe that Christmas is seven days away today!  But Jolly, our Elf on the Shelf, has had a blast at our house this year.  Little Buddy is newly 5 and the Little Lady is 3 and a half.  They will remember to find him sometime after they've been awake an hour or two... no rush.  They find him and "hrmph.  there he is."  That's the extent of it.

Can you say "Disappointed Mommy?"

I suppose the humor and creativity of all of this is just going over their heads.  However, one day early on, Jolly didn't leave a note.  Little Buddy noticed and asked why not.  So Jolly leaves notes every day, now.  I do wonder if this is like so many other things with my kids -- that their 'normal' is this huge 'special' in my book; they don't know that not every child has what they have, gets to do what they do, lives how they live.  At any rate, "I" sure have had a ton of fun doing this this year!  Here are Jolly's antics so far.

[You can purchase your own Elf on the Shelf here:  blue eyes, a girl elf!, brown eyes and brown skin]

(I confess that nearly every single idea I've used has been stolen or modified from ideas I've seen on Pinterest!  Oh, how I love Pinterest!!!  Here is my Elf Ideas board.)

Remember that on Dec 1, he parachuted down the fireplace.

Day 2:  He used a mitten for a sleeping bag.

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Day 3:  He toilet papered our tree, since we hadn't decorated it yet.

Carey Pace lifestyle

Day 4:  He made hot chocolate.

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 5:  He caught the cold our kids had and needed a sick day.

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 6:  He fed the dog using the front loader/bull dozer/whatever piece of equipment that is.

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Day 7:  He hung in the mistletoe that hangs in our playroom... but I forgot to get a shot of it...  Oops.  So, you'll have to use your imagination.  But all in all, this was a boring day.

Day 8:  He flew LB's airplane that hangs from his ceiling back to the North Pole!

(this was one of my favorites, so more pictures.  I made him aviator goggles using some black fabric and two washers!  the white aviator scarf was the selvedge edge of some white fabric.)

Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer
Carey Pace 2011 Kingsport TN photographer

Later days to follow!

I have added a photo to the I Heart Faces Elf on The ShelfPhoto Challenge. I shot these with my D90 Sigma 30mm f1.4