Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I can't think of a title for this post

I'm really not sure what day it is.

December feels like a blur. Usually I can't wait for Christmas to arrive and this one whirlwinded by leaving debris ankle-deep on my living-room floor.

I remember baking. I remember reading through Advent scriptures and reading the Christmas story to my children. I remember wrapping gifts and must have unwrapped some because where did all this new stuff come from?

But days? I'm not really remembering.

Part of this amnesia is probably due to 4 really crummy, broken nights of sleep at my parents' house and then driving home today.

Once this fog clears I'll tell you all about it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21: Teacher Gifts

Ready to go.
(and yay! I took the picture and posted it on the same day!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Decorated Initial

I got these metal letters at Michael's for really cheap. I thought I could "do something" with them.

I started out by stashing them away for 4 months.

Then I thought, I could give that 'b' to my niece for Christmas.

So I put them in a box in the basement and sprayed them with this:

Upon closer inspection, they didn't look too good, but I planned to cover them anyway.

(I sprayed the backs, too.)

I traced it on this paper (from The Girls Paperie, called On Holiday)

Used a little modge podge to hold it in place.

I thought this method would help this paper strip stay straight

but it didn't, so I covered part of it with the flower.

After I modge podged, before I embellished, I sanded the edges to give it rough-rusticy look and also to get rid of any overhanging paper.

Then I scrabbled around in my stash and started adding things . . . all these embellishments are from Close to my Heart* except for the tape runner rub-ons which are Daisy D's.

And here is the finished product:

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. I went a little crazy with the tape runner rub-ons and had to cover up part of it with the ribbon.

Someday maybe I'll get to the K.

*I am a "junior consultant" with CTMH but don't have a website (if you like that special they're offering). I tried for awhile to sell it but I'm not pushy enough. I do have quite a lot of their stuff and really like it; when it comes time to embellish, I usually reach for their stuff first.

Linked to:

December 20

I feel like a lot of these pictures are of Kate, but that's because she's around more during the day.
Here's one of Sam.
This is the website he's on.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 19: cookies

Getting ready to bake some cookies with my adorable helper. In our matching aprons.
I really have to learn to take a picture without pulling my chin back like that. I think it makes me look like a heifer.
Must remember Tyra's* turtle.
*last paragraph

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18

A work in progress.

Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17

Yes, I'm cheating. I've been taking pictures every day but not been able to post them every day. I really don't know why I thought I could take a picture (and not just these 'chronicle the event' pics I've been posting the super-cool artistic ones I wanted to be taking) and post every day.

In December.

As in, the month that Christmas is in.

A friend asked me to make some bedding for her daughter's American Girl Doll bunkbeds that she got at the unfinished furniture place.

We went to Joann's and picked out the fabric and then I went to work. It was really fun and easy - 2 mattresses, 2 quilts, and 2 pillows. I can't wait to see the finished project (she's painting the bed) and *hopefully* she (the daughter) will like it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16

Sam's Lego League team, the Jedi Warriors.

Their model - a hospital, an ambulance, and a helicopter.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15

He brought it back.
The camera.
I was going to threaten him with "come home with the camera or don't come home at all."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14

The moral of this story is this: If your child names the stuffed item before reaching the register, you might want to just buy it then.

She picks up things all the time. I hand then to the register person and say, "we're not buying this," and that's the end of it.
But this . . . "I don't know what kind this is (it's a pokemon); I'll call her Love Hug."
"Love Hug?" I asked, slightly disdainful.
I had to pry it from her hands at the register. There was not tag on it and I was not going to wait for someone to find another one to scan. I was done.
Plus it's 11 days from Christmas.
She talked about it all afternoon and night. Occasionally crying.
Finally at 7 (bedtime!), Craig said he'd take her back to get it.
Kate prayed that they could find it.
And they did.

Dad's a hero.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12

We used to buy gingerbread house kits, but last year I started baking the gingerbread and making the icing myself. This year's gingerbread was delicious (I'm pretty sure it wasn't the same recipe as last year). Sam and Kate were very into decorating and had their own ideas . . . Craig and I think that maybe we'll do another one, just us, no kids.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 11

I feel like the whole point of the December Photo Project is being lost here because I don't have the good camera and I'm just shooting a picture and not making it artistic or anything.

Sam and Kate on Saturday afternoon.
Sam wore (by his own announced decision) his pajamas all day.
They were playing Maternational together and then for some reason Kate had to do something by herself (accompanied by lots of giggles) and Sam ran in circles around her.

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10

Sam wanted a costume party for his birthday.

Here's Jango Fett painting a mask (the best costume-themed activity I could come up with).

I guess this is the hot thing right now. He got a drum set, too, which is good; he and Kate can jam together.
I seriously whipped up that shirt at 2:00 that afternoon. I didn't sew around the edges in case he didn't wear it and I could maybe pull off the number (I imagine that it would not come off, even thought when used on something you'd want it to last on, like a quilt, it pulls off and doesn't hold).

I felt bad because this party wasn't super-elaborate like most of his other parties have been, but he had such a good time with his buddies and that's what matters.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9

Salt dough ornaments and glitter.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8

Kate's gingerbread decorating party at school.
I need to say that Craig took the nice camera (he referred to it as "my camera," as in mine, Sarah's; not mine, his; or even ours) to work and it hasn't come home yet. So I am reduced to using our "old" camera, a 7.2 megapixel Sony cybershot (I am too tired to link. It's an old model anyway).
Furthermore, I haven't had a chance in almost a week to head over to View from the Prairie Box to check out anyone else's pictures.
Just thought I'd let you know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Home Linky Party: Quilted Ornaments

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be participating in this linky party.

A few weeks ago, I started catching up on The Lettered Cottage (a blog I found from Priscilla's blog). As I was drooling and plotting how to get some of her style, the first two installments of the linky party were posted. I didn't have a great mantle in time. And my vignettes are tiny. But the craft . . . the craft I can swing.

My craft was going to be the quilted stockings I was making obsessively last week but then I thought how that was potential plagiarism since the directions came from a book and I can't pretend they're mine. Also, you have to cut a template so it's not like you could make your own from just looking at my pictures.

But this . . .

This I can tell you how to do. Because I made it up.

I had a lot of fabric scraps and batting scraps lying around and wanted to make candy cane decorations (not necessarily ornaments) like ones I'd seen in Country Living. Like, 4 years ago.

So I did a little google search and found this, which I really liked b/c of the slanty fabric strips. But I didn't want to stuff it with fiberfill, I wanted to use batting. So I did this:


Plan B ended up being these quilted scrap ornaments.

I'll take you through my process.
I collected my scraps and some ribbon.

Then I layered the fabric and batting like I would a quilt.

I used my water-soluble marker (can't find a link) and traced a cookie cutter.

After I traced the star shape, I marked a 1" grid for quilting. The other stars I just sewed straight lines from the points to the other side; the candy canes have slanty lines.

Then I added a piece of ribbon to be the hanger. I almost forgot this step and in fact did skip this step on the other two stars.

The I "quilted" by lengthening my stitches.

I used a regular stitch for the star outline. I didn't backstitch anything or tie knots so there were threads everywhere. I figure the outline stitch will hold down the quilting stitches.

After quilting, I trimmed around the star shape. It's a little tricky getting the layers where the hanging ribbon is, so try to not snip through the ribbon. Then I pulled out or trimmed the excess thread.

I haven't gotten around to spraying the blue marks with water to dissolve them (that's why all the pictures of the finished product are of the other side), but that is easy enough to do. Sometimes you have to spray three times or so (in fact, if you look closely at the picture of all the ornaments, you might see some blue still hanging around on the the pink candy cane).

I think the open-layer edges give these a rusticy feel. They're fun and easy plus I got to use the rest of the April Cornell fat quarter bundle I've had sitting around here for a good 3 - 5 years.
I can't wait to see what else is linked up at Centsational Girl. Happy crafting!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6

I was so ready and on top of things to begin some holiday baking. First up, banana bread. Because the bananas were going bad, quickly, again. Then chocolate chip biscotti.

The "on top of things" part was that I measured out the dry ingredients before getting Kate from school. Once I turned on the mixer, she raced in to help me, we added ingredients and mixed and . . . oh no. I put the dry ingredients from the biscotti in the wet ingredients (butter, sugar, eggs) from the bread. Plus, the sour cream was already mashed in with the bananas.

So I added chocolate chips (what's this? none of the chocolate chips are mini. I couldn't have made the biscotti anyway) and poured it into a 9" x 13" pan.

It was a little dense - pretty cake-like, actually, with not a strong banana taste and pretty sweet. It just occurred to me why: there was a cup of sugar in with the flour, salt, and baking powder that was for the biscotti and I blended a cup with the butter and egg for the bread. So yeah. Sweet.

Sam and Craig both liked it. I'm not a huge banana fan so I had a little piece just to check it out. Maybe when I have more time I'll post my "original" recipe. (smiley emoticon)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5

Cheesy grin, forced pose.

This is Kate helping puppy put an ornament on the tree.
Not thrilled with the quality of these but they fill the need for a photo.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December 4: tree

We went to get a tree and Kate was doing this adorable thing with her hands, putting them on a tree and saying "this one!" Even with a prompt to "put your hands on the tree," she moved them just as I snapped.

And really, this is my favorite picture that I took. Just before we left, I was cleaning the kitchen and thought how nice the light was. By the time we got there, the sun had dropped lower and the light was gone.

But we did get a lovely tree.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3 (fail) and an Update (whiny)

I forgot to take a picture today. It's the second (third) day of the DPP and I have my first fail. sigh.

If you must know, I scrapped* with my girls, made a meal for someone in our church, played dollhouse with Kate, missed meeting the bus, went out to dinner, and went to Target for a present we need for a party. Tomorrow. At 9 AM.


I have been wanting to make something for awhile with ruffles. Then I was blog-hopping (I think I started at Embellishing Life) and saw on a link-up a little thumbnail of a stocking with a ruffle on it. So while I would like to credit the original source of inspiration, I can't. It was a glimpse at a thumbnail.

But then I made this.

For my niece.

Whether she wants it or not.

It was tres easy. I took pictures that I may share with you.

These are the originals. The original pattern has prairie points, not ruffles. And if you must know, I made Kate's before she was born and she didn't have a name until after she was born. So her name is not embroidered on hers.

Yes. I have a savings account going to pay for her future therapy.

Since prairie points are easier and I had some fat quarter collections lying around, I made these:

I plan to sell them on etsy. But you know what (now we get to the whiny part)? Images uploaded to etsy have to be 2MB or smaller. These are too big. So the etsy store is "open" with not one thing in it. I looked to see if I could change the size after taking but my limited tech skills could not. So I have to get out the old camera and take them. again. all the bows. all that. waaaah poor me.

*by "scrapped" I mean addressed Christmas cards and quilted.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Photo Project

I saw this on Alina's blog and thought I'd sign up . . . although I'm always hesitant to say I'm "starting" anything because if I don't finish then I'll feel the shame of people knowing that I quit. It's better to just not do anything, you know?

But, I'm on day 85 of P90. So that's gone well, even though I didn't admit for a few weeks that I was really doing it.

The December Photo Project is being hosted by View From the Prairie Box. You'll find DPP links there.

Just typing this now, I'm thinking, what have I gotten myself into?

Anyway, here's my first picture:

His arm hurt so much after his flu shot that he needed to stay home for the afternoon.
"Buddy," I said, trying to trick him, "do a cartwheel for Kate."

"I can't," he replied. "There's all this stuff on the floor (there was) and my arm hurts from my shot."
Phooey. It was worth a try.
Here he is checking out one of his birthday presents, a telescope from my parents.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


He's athletic,



and sweet.

These last seven years have zipped by like seven blinks. We are so incredibly blessed to have Sam in our family.
Happy Birthday, Little Man.