As a kid searching for reindeer hoofprints in the snow, I felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have a white Christmas. The idea of a desert Christmas was as alien as a holiday on Mars. But now, having lived in Austin, TX, for a number of years, I’ve added cowboy boots and longhorns to the sleds and snowmen on my tree.
I’m not sure why I made a polymer clay cactus ornament, something I did five or six years ago. Maybe it was seeing mini decorative lights in a craft store or maybe I had an over-abundance of green mokume gane patterned clay. At any rate, I recently decided to create a tutorial, something simple enough for a beginner. And I discovered a way to make a garland of harmless faux barbed wire.
As you can see, four different desert critters cozy up to the cactus: coyote, armadillo, gecko and bat. Bat? Austin prides itself on hosting the world’s largest urban bat colony. On any given summer night, folks crowd the Congress Avenue bridge to watch the bats fly out to feed on insects. It’s no wonder the bats have found a place in our lore and decor.
If you’d like to add a whimsical touch of the southwest to your holiday trimmings, here’s a link to my tutorial on Etsy.