Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Second Evening in England

It was a day filled with laughter, although it got off to a rough start. The snow here caused many roads to be slippery and there were many accidents so we decided not to go to Stonehenge. Instead we went over to Glastonbury, which Paul and Chris said was a sort of magical, mystical area and they were right. There were lots of shops selling crystals and the like, and I absolutely fell in love with something I found in a shop window. It's a little door that you attach to the wall baseboard and it lets the fairies in and out of your house. I had to go in and look at them, and while we were in there we struck up a conversation with the proprietress, who was actually wearing pointy elf ears. I'm a woman who looks for the magic in the world...how could I not LOVE that?
Anyway, she was a lovely woman and easy to talk with, and she spoke of her son's girlfriend who was the model for her drawing of a faerie in a book that she has helped to write. She said the young woman was an actress and I might have seen her because she plays one of Bella's friends in the Twilight movies. It turns out the woman she was talking about is Anna Kendrick, the Oscar nominated actress from "Up in the Air!" and it turns out that her son is Edgar Wright, the director of "Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz" and " Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World!" Amazing. She told us about the British premieres of those movies and how she'd gotten to meet such stars and Brandon Routh (Superman!), Bill Nighy (Davey Jones from Pirates of the Carribean) and Michael Cera. She also has met Peter Jackson, the director of the "Lord of the Rings" movies. It was just a total hoot talking with her and listening to her stories. It was just a complete twist of fate that I should go into that shop and meet her. Oh yes, and she said her other son's name is Oscar, and I told her that Edgar and Oscar are the names of my hamsters and that they were named for Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde, and she said that's who her sons were named after. That was just too funny!
After that Paul and Chris took me for real English Fish and Chips and we ate so much I thought I would roll out of the restaurant. We are all so excited about the concert tomorrow. So far 243 people are confirmed to come and it's just going to be terrific! It's so nice to feel so welcome, and to have them be so excited to have me here. I intend to do a wonderful job for them tomorrow night....and no, "All I Want for Christmas is You" will NOT be on the program!
Good night!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hello from England

I decided on the plane that the posts I would make during this trip would be more than just informational. I think I owe it to the people who have made this journey possible (that's YOU!) to dig a little deeper and let you know what I'm feeling and thinking. So here we go....

The past couple of days have been a blur as I rushed to make final preparations for the journey. Such a combination of emotions: excitement, worry, and sadness as I knew it would be nearly a month before I saw my whole family again. I cried a lot more than I thought I would over this mix of feelings swirling around. I've never been away from my family during the Christmas season, but we all discussed this some months ago and agreed that it was worth the risk if the goal, to make The House on Christmas Street a mainstream hit, was achieved.

The first concert of the tour got off to a rough start on Saturday night as we discovered a piece of equipment missing. The radio receiver which would have allowed my sound system to broadcast the music from the decorators' computer systems was missing. It's still missing. We've looked EVERYWHERE but it seems to have vaporized. This was especially awkward and upsetting as it had been a gift from my first host, Brian Mitchell. Brian is a very nice man and sort of a man of few words, so he didn't say much but I'm sure he was upset, and of course the whole situation was not the best way to begin a performance. Then, just as I was about to begin with the first song, the music wouldn't start. I'd been looking for two weeks to replace the piece of equipment that caused THIS problem but had been unable to find anything suitable. Finally it started and the show was off and running and I felt good and smiley. There were, I thought, a good number of people there but I found out later that the snow squall that had happened while I was driving to Claremont had iced over the roads and because Brian lives at the top of the hill there were many who had to turn around because they couldn't get up that hill.
The next disaster happened when I made the poor decision to sing a song I'd only learned over the past two days. It was "All I Want for Christmas is You," and though I thought I knew it, all of the lyrics just FLEW out of my head nearly immediately. I couldn't see the faces of the audience in the dark and so I don't know if they were laughing or disgusted. I was quite angry with myself. The last time I saw a performer botch a song that badly I talked about it for weeks, and now here I was guilty of it myself. Anyhow, things got back on track after that and the lovely little girl who came up to sing "Frosty" with me was a delight!
This was my third annual concert at the Mitchell home and they are the nicest people in the world. If you folks are reading this I want you to know I am very grateful for the opportunity and thankful for your friendship.
NEWS FLASH: just read a great write-up in the e-ticker news of Claremont. You can read it here (you have to scroll down to p. 8) and they have a video on their facebook page here
Sunday I had a fun ride to NYC with my daughter and two of her friends, and I got to the airport in plenty of time. The flight left at 5:40pm and it was a seven hour flight, then I had an hour layover in Dublin and another flight of a little over an hour to get to Birmingham, England, where I was greeted by Paul and his partner Chris. They were just delightful and we hit it off immediately during our two hour drive to Wells (which I learned is called Wells because of the wells! Makes sense, huh?). I visited Paul's home and met his lovely mother and got to see his display and have a photo op there. I also had a telephone interview with someone from the local paper. Then they brought me over to the beautiful b&b where I am staying. I'm in the master bedroom with an amazing canopy bed that looks like something fit for a Queen. There's even a cradle in here in case I decide to have a baby while I'm here! HA HA! The bathtub is huge...it must be six feet long...and nice and deep so I decided to have a bath and I fell asleep in the tub. Here we are five hours ahead of the eastern US so it is about 10am as I write this but 5:00 EST. OH yes, and there's a bidet in the bathroom but I have no idea how to use it and I'm afraid to turn it on lest it spray all over the bathroom. Perhaps, if I am feeling adventurous, I'll try to turn it on later just to see how it works.
Paul and Chris are very gracious and even provided me with a cell phone to call home because mine does not work internationally, so I got to speak to Philip but was unable to reach Emma or Louisa.
In the late afternoon we visited the Wells Cathedral which I'm sure is the oldest building I've ever been in. Walking through it felt like walking back in time. Plus there was the added bonus of meeting the Cathedral cat, Louis, who was curled up by a radiator and was very happy to be petted. The Cathedral is built by the well of St. Andrew, and I found it an amazing coincidence that Google just informed me when I signed on that today is St. Andrew's Feast Day.
Paul and Chris are quite knowledgeable about the history here and they've just filled me up with facts. Today I am waiting for them to arrive for our trip to Stonehenge and Glastonbury. It's snowing lightly outside which they say is very unusual. It snowed when I was in Claremont too. Do you think it will snow in Texas when I am there??????

Friday, November 26, 2010

The House on Christmas Street Tour in the News Update

My hosts on the tour have been doing a bang-up job getting publicity! Check out this radio interview on WIXE 'the mighty 1190' out of Monroe, NC. with the Browns of Indian Trail, NC. I will be at their home on Dec. 19th.


Also check out this beautiful ad in one of the local papers in Lubbock, TX. I will be at the home of the Lubbock Browns on Dec. 5th!
It's in the top left hand corner of page 21.

Tour begins TOMORROW NIGHT in Claremont, NH at Mitchell's Magic Christmas! Check them out here:


Friday, November 19, 2010

New Stop Added to the Tour

I'm very excited to announce that I will be performing at the home of Richard Holdman in Utah on December 6th. Richard is very highly regarded in the Christmas decorating community and his videos have been featured on Ellen, Comedy Central and more. You can visit his display at http://http://www.holdman.com/christmas/

I can't wait to see what he does with "The House on Christmas Street!"

Monday, November 8, 2010

The House on Christmas Street International Tour 2010

Make plans now to attend one of these fun and festive concert events during Judy's tour!

Saturday, Nov. 27 6pm
The Mitchell Home
16 Francis Street
Claremont, NH

Wednesday, Dec. 1 6:30pm
The Toole Residence
16 Manning Close,
Wells, England UK

Friday, Dec. 3 12 noon
The Factory at Franklin Mall
230 Franklin Road
Franklin, TN

Saturday, Dec. 4th
10:30am, 2:20pm, 4:40pm

Holiday by the Tracks,
Elgin, TX

with evening concert at the home of
Forest Dennis
806 North Main St.
Elgin, TX

Sunday, Dec. 5th 6:30pm
The Brown Residence
6607 Avenue S
Lubbock, TX

Monday, Dec. 6th 7pm
The Holdman Residence
3183 Millcreek Road
Pleasant Grove, Utah

Tuesday, Dec. 7th 7pm
The Hurrle Residence,
1003 NW 24th St.
Fruitland, ID

Wednesday, Dec. 8th 7pm
The Zembruski Residence
23620 NE 183rd St.
Woodinville, WA

Saturday, Dec. 11th 7pm
The Bicknase Residence
1027 North Hampton St.
Fairmont, MN

Sunday, Dec. 12th 7pm
The Jeffries Residence
2112 NE Waterfield Drive
Blue Springs, MO

Monday, Dec. 13th 6:30 PM
The Jones Residence
11720 Gatwick View Drive
Fishers, IN

Tuesday, Dec. 14th 7pm
The Reph Residence
198 Firehouse Lane
Nazareth, PA

Wednesday, Dec. 15th 7pm
The Moyer Residence
117 West Penn Avenue
Cleona, PA

Thursday, Dec. 16th 12pm
Special Appearance at Paul's "Young at Heart" gift shop
2006 Lafayette Blvd,
Fredericksburg, VA

The Shank Residence
9410 Deep Creek Lane
Frederiksburg, VA

Friday, Dec. 17th 7pm
Driveway Party to Benefit the Peninsula Food Bank
Sponsored by XTRA 99.1
The Joyce Residence
5628 Crany Creek Drive
Gloucester, VA

Saturday, Dec. 18th 6-9pm
The Ennice Fire Department
Sponsored by the Bottomleys
6374 Glade Valley Road
Ennice, NC

Sunday, Dec. 19th 7pm
The Brown Residence
4019 Lake Charles Way
Indian Trail, NC

Monday, Dec. 20th 7pm
The Charpiat Residence
Highway 268 East
Pilot Mountain, NC

Tuesday, Dec. 21st 10am
School Assembly Concert at
Fred A. Olds Elementary School
Raleigh, NC

The Greer Residence
114 University Drive
Conway, SC

Wednesday, Dec. 22nd 6pm
The Drum Residence
4730 Bryn Ridge Court
Cumming, GA

Thursday, Dec. 23rd 6pm
The Walker Residence
1013 Mare Bello Drive
Winter Park, FL