When Spider Webs Catch The Light and Friends Make a Fuss

A wonderful package arrived shortly before my birthday, all the way from New Zealand. Pauline of the Contented Crafter says it’s been in the making for a while.


Beautiful package

She decorated the box with her own customized decorative tape which you can read more about here. Isn’t it cool? She created the art for the postcard as well using postage stamps from my dad’s collection. The original hangs on my wall. It’s quite special.

Now look at what she tucked inside:


An enchanting spider web light catcher

This isn’t any old spider web. It’s a hand-crafted, bead-encrusted, gem of a birthday/Halloween gift from Pauline. I love it!


Faceted glass spider

My special spider web arrived with an impressively sized, faceted spider with its own hook (but no fangs). You can move her around the web, then watch it catch the light.


In the center of the web

Guess what else was in the box? A Halloween-themed light catcher. The charms include spiders, witches hats, cats and brooms.  Did I mention the pumpkins? There are several of those too.

The reflective nature of the faceted glass makes it difficult to photograph, so I took some video as well. It will give you an idea of the light and movement.

Mike installed hooks in the nook above the sink so I could hang the web near the light. Interestingly, the web is just as beautiful at night. The lower light mutes some of the colors, while the facets shine.


Halloween-themed light catcher hanging in the kitchen window (Mouse the Cat looks on) Thank you, Pauline


Gathering friends with the years


The stunning sunflowers are a gift from Laurie, surrounded by birthday cards and condolences on losing Slinky. The sunflower painting was a gift from Kelly last year.

My mother never liked a fuss on her birthday, so I grew up following suit. A few close friends sent greetings through the mail or by phone which I loved, but I otherwise kept my birthday a secret.

I’ve come to realize that I like a bit of a fuss. Not a loud, brash, in your face fuss, but the warm greetings that arrive by post. I love receiving cards in the mail. Happy birthday wishes via Facebook and blogging are a delight as well. I  smile at the beautifully animated e-cards and the thoughtful friends who send them. My friend Carrielin calls me on my birthday every year and has since we were in college. Each greeting is a reminder of the richness of friends and family, relationships that have grown and deepened with the passing years. I feel loved beyond measure.

Thank you all for making a fuss.


Did I mention the second spider?





26 thoughts on “When Spider Webs Catch The Light and Friends Make a Fuss

    • Isn’t it the coolest? I love it.

      Mike does such a good job finding the perfect Halloween card for me each year. The vintage vibe and the model in the dress are exactly my style. Thank you for saying she looks like me. You are so good to my ego. xo


  1. It’s a beautiful work of art Alys, and such a thoughtful gift! I love the last spider especially… looks quite realistic! I am glad you had such a lovely birthday this year – I am also not one for ‘a fuss’, which is why we went away for my birthday this year, but it is still wonderful to receive good wishes from friends and family and to be reminded of how much they care. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy, the spiders are such fun. My boys used to have black plastic spiders lying around the house this time of year, and even though they are so obviously fake, I would still find myself startled a time or two. Most of California’s spiders are a variation of grey, with the exception of Black Widows. I’ve encountered them in my garden and our garage. They’re shy and unassuming, and most bites are delivered when someone presses up against one in a shed. Still, I give them the respect they deserve. Fortunately they like dark, quiet corners so I’ve never found one in the house.

      I’m glad you got away for your birthday. My friend Laura calls them “zero birthdays” and always suggests something special to commemorate the passing of another decade.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those are great photos Alys – I should hire you as my Official Photographer!! [My current one seems to have gone on strike!] Thank you for the abundant praise – I am just thrilled that you liked it so much, I hoped you would. I especially love seeing the large tarantula sitting on the pumpkin, that is a great Halloween vignette!

    I used to keep quiet about my birthday once – as a child and later as a teacher my birthday always fell in the school holidays. Then my world changed and we moved from a three term year to a four term year and suddenly my birthday was on a school day and I learned to allow the celebrations to happen…….. Now I love it and keep right on announcing the fact on my blog before and after the event 🙂 The older we get, the less birthdays are in store, so why not make the most of each one! And it’s a wonderful opportunity to allow your friends to celebrate with you. xoxo

    Thank you again for your lovely post, I’m so happy it got to you safely and is hanging just where I envisioned it might. I forgot to say today that I’m going to issue a challenge to both you and Sharon to wear your danglers as necklaces to one of your Halloween events one year, seeing as how both of you wrapped them round your necks on opening. I shall send a message to Sharon on face book……… ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline, I love my beautiful web and light catcher. It’s like nothing else. Thank you for the special spin on Halloween. It’s a treasure.

      Here are a couple of things I’ve learned while photographing these beauties: outdoors is almost always better, and if possible, an uncomplicated background. Whenever I try photographing them with a tree or plant, I’m unable to focus or I focus and the light catcher blends in. Beyond that, dumb luck. 😉

      The tarantula is quite happy sitting on that pumpkin. Most of the pumpkins are tall and narrow, but his one is the perfect orb, providing a nice seating area for the spider.

      I’m glad you’ve grown to enjoy the celebration of a birthday. People like knowing and celebrating birthdays, and often feel disappointed that they didn’t know. I’m the same way. So I’ve come to realize that it’s okay.

      Challenge accepted! Stay tuned.


    • When I opened Pauline’s package and found four separate components, I wondered if that had been her intent. I wrapped it around my neck (it has a hook I might add!) and it looked amazing. It’s fun to see where our minds go when we are left to our own devices.

      And yes, gorgeous!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pauline never fails to outdo herself each time. She has made yours so personal for you and your love of Halloween. It’s quite stunning. I agree that birthdays should be well celebrated but not over the top. Not everyone gets another birthday so I’m always happy to have another. That tarantula with the crystal body is…incredible!!! Couldn’t find words for it. Have a lovely week. Hugs. M

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gob Smacked! As they may or may not say in England! That must have been a labour of love because it’s so intricate. Cheers to lovely lovely Pauline for building you such a thoughtful and cool birthday treasure (and sending it well ahead of time). OMGosh! Does it weigh a ton? Look at all the sparkling danglies! You are easy to love, this is obvious when I see all those nice birthday cards. Why? Because you’re joyful, thoughtful, kind, generous and I’m so blessed that I will know you the rest of my life and so many more birthdays will be celebrated. As for my package, I do hope it arrives soon to add to the birthday cheer. You are so loved my dear! xo Kelly

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love the expression ‘gob smacked’ but I didn’t realize it came from England. Good to know. Pauline was also worried about the delivery time, but arrived door to door in ten days which I think is pretty darn good given the distance. The dangling part is lighter than the ones we each received in Virginia since it’s smaller beads and charms, but the web itself weighs about a pound. I can’t wait for you to see it on your next visit.

      I’m exciting to see your special creation. I have my cat eye lights up around the mirror and your sunflower piece is ever present, both special reminders of your last visit.

      Thank you for all your beautiful superlatives. I’m looking forward to doubling down on birthdays, and hope to spend many more of them with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is a beautiful spiderweb. What a generous soul she is. And being able to move the spider around will appeal to your delight in creating small environments.
    I have always loved birthdays, mine and others. They are a wonderful reason to catch up with others, and celebrations of my own birthday can last weeks as friends and I get together for dinner. Hope there are many more happy birthdays in your future, X X X x


  6. Wow, it’s beautiful and the video gives a much clearer idea of how it sparkles in the light. Glad you’ve come around to the idea that birthdays are to be celebrated – since I lost my brother and father close together, I give thanks every time I make another birthday.


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