Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Craziness

Here's a little look at some of the busy things we've been doing the past couple of weeks...

Made some scarfs for a couple of last minute family gifts. The good thing about procrastinating is that holiday fabric was 50% off. This is the from the Sherry Berry Holiday line with fleece on the back side.

And there were birds. Lots of birds. This was only the first batch of hatchlings. Used the pattern found here. Kind of addicting.

For neighbors, teachers and friends a little feathered friend with a sign saying PEACE.

More for nieces. This is "Lemon" and "Lime" after their pet parakeets.

Also made some for my kids, although her favorites were the the ones for my nieces. She kept on running off with them.

I am one of the party moms in my daughter's 2nd grade class. I read about a creative mom making scarfs for a class party and thought it was a fabulous idea (although we did them a bit differently). I bought fleece on sale - one girl pattern, and one boy pattern. We cut them in 4" strips, width wise (so they were about 58" long). Then we cut fringe on on the end and the kids tied knots.

It was fun, and instead of taking home a disposable craft, they made something they can use all winter.

I heard the boys were wrapping them around their heads and pretending to be ninjas at recess. Check out the little guy in the background...

Finished the table-top quilts. My mother-in-law was making table top quilts for her mother for every month of the year. She had ideas for all of the holiday months, but didn't know what to do for June, August & September. So I volunteered to do those months. I completely forgot to take a picture of the June quilt (I was still sewing the binding on Christmas Day), but it was a pinwheel runner. Here is August...

And September...

We gave them to my husband's grandparents at his grandfather's 90th birthday party on December 26th. Here he is helping sing Happy Birthday to himself. He would say "Oh Yeah" after every verse. So cute!

So yet another Christmas has come and gone and I find myself wishing there had been more peaceful and reflective moments, and less distractions and stuff (stuff to do, stuff to make, stuff to buy). Way too much stuff. Christmas would seem more authentic without it. However for our kids, it is a magical time and that somehow makes the craziness seem worthwhile.

Right before bed we remembered the cookies for Santa. I wasn't about to make frosting at this hour, so we improvised. Nutella with sprinkles - yikes!

Nestled all snug in his bed. Can you see just how excited he is?

And for once, we actually finished wrapping gifts the night before, so sleep was part of the Christmas Eve equation - Heavenly Peace, indeed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Haul Out The Holly

I think we finally have our home dudded up for the holidays.
I found some beautiful garlands at JoAnn's last week (60% off!). One for the mirror in the formal living room.

And the china cabinet as well.

We love the bird nests on this one.


Our tree is a "family " tree, with the kids being in charge of decorating. Every year they receive a new ornament from my parents on Thanksgiving. Also new this year are home made bird ornaments.

And a souvenir from our trip to California.

Nothing better than cuddling up under a quilt in front of the fire.

This quilt is made from the Moda Peace on Earth fabric line.

I made 5 of these Christmas stockings a few years ago when I was pregnant with my 3rd and absolutely sure that baby would be our last. Yet, I still saved the pattern and extra fabric - just in case. I think this is proof that deep down I knew we would have one more...and we did (she's almost 2!).

The little blue chalkboard (that was never hung on the pantry door like I intended) has been spruced up as well.

And a little belief in the miracle of the Savior's birth. So grateful we can spend this time of year celebrating Him and his life.

Merry Christmas!

To see more (700 + more!) beautiful holiday homes check out the Christmas Tour of Homes at the Nesting Place.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Painted Plates

I've been playing around with the china cabinet again. Well not so much the cabinet itself, but rather its contents. I thought it needed a new color palette for the holiday season. And well, I just can't seem to leave things alone.

This is how it looked before...


I put away most of the dishes and plates on display and started fresh. The good news: I didn't spend any money, just made-over stuff we already had.

For instance, we had an old scratched up platter. It wasn't much to look at, and we never used it. So I spray painted it red (with paint from the garage stash) and then antiqued it.

Also had a thrifted Waverly tablecloth I found a while back. Wasn't using it either. I cut out part of the floral pattern...

And Modge Podged it onto the platter.

Earlier this year I found some plates at the Salvation Army that were 25 cents each. They had a few minor chips and scratches, but really pretty details. Also not being used.

I spray painted some of these red, like the platter, and some Sea Glass (also left over from previous projects). Then they were also antiqued.

There were a couple of old frames collecting dust in storage, so they too were given a fresh coat of paint.

And set on top of the china cabinet.

A whole new, budget friendly, look.

I still want to embellish it with a pine garland laced with clear lights, just as soon as I catch my breath. So much to do - concerts, recitals and parties...and oh the shopping that still needs to happen. Tis the season.


Happy Holidays!

Ruffle Skirt

The other day I was sorting through stacks of fabric in my craft room and I came across a couple of fine wale corduroy remnants - a rectangle & a long skinny piece. As I was looking at the pieces, an idea popped into my head (scary, I know).

45 minutes later, a ruffle skirt was born...


Straight-laced & sassy. Perfect for my 7 year old daughter. After seeing the selection of girls dress clothes at the department stores (short, tight, strappy & yucky), I'm predicting many mama-made skirts in her future.

Prudish moms rock...right?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

California

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...

First stop in California was our hotel to check in, and then we were off to find food and the beach. In that order. After being in the car all morning long (and all afternoon the day before), the kids needed a place to run wild. Huntington Beach was one of the closest beaches to the Disneyland resort area where we were staying, so that's where we headed.

The sand was awesome and the waves big.

Our youngest was a sand magnet. It stuck to her face, her hands, everywhere.

Wait a second, what's that over her shoulder in the distance?

Seriously!?! Right off the beach? Should I be worried about my children sprouting extra limbs or third eyeballs from swimming in contaminated water?

Obviously we didn't we worry about it too much, because we stayed until the sun set. Which, come to think of it, wasn't late at all. I would say this picture was taken about 4:45.

Next up...2 days, non stop, Disneyland action. When our 4 year old saw the Mickey Mouse flower bed just past the entry, he said "This is where the fun-ness begins!"

I'll be honest, this is the part I was nervous about. 2 days at an amusement park with 4 kids didn't sound like fun to me - it sounded like work. But it actually wasn't too bad. We were fortunate to have our good (Disney die-hard) friends there to help us get up and running in the right direction. We all had a great time, and the kids LOVED it.

On the 2nd day our little guy (4 year old again) had his picture taken with Lightning McQueen and my hubby said to him, "Can you believe you saw Lightning?" And he replied, "Yes, because this is the place where dreams come true." Cute.

Definitely something to do again - just not until we've all outgrown the afternoon nap!

On a side note: My dad was telling me of how, when he was a boy and went to Disneyland, it was out in the boonies, surrounded by orange tree orchards, and he could smell the scent of orange blossoms while he was at the park. How cool would that be? Sadly, the orange trees are long gone. Anaheim is nothing but So. Cal. sprawl, but there are still palm trees. Rows of huge specimens on the streets surrounding the park, and this tree loving mama thought they were pretty cool. (here's an out the car window shot)

Next up was La Jolla (San Diego area). We spent the day driving down the coast and exploring the local beaches. First we went to the La Jolla Shores Beach. The kids didn't want to waste any time putting on swim suits - they jumped in fully clothed.



Then we went south around the bend to the La Jolla Cove Beach, which was beautiful!

The kids could have spent hours exploring the tide pools and looking at the crabs, anemones, and other marine life.



The views were lovely every which way we looked.



We kept on walking south until we reached what was once known as the Children's Beach, but has since been overtaken by the local seal population.

They were fun to watch, especially the little ones.


Then we walked back and waited for the sun to set.

So pretty. Loved the La Jolla Cove area.

The next day we hit Sea World. It was such a wonderful experience for our animal loving kids. Everything was very interactive. They were in heaven picking up the starfish (you had to keep them underwater).

Petting the dolphins.

And the bat rays. Our 7 year old daughter loved these!

And of course seeing the whales was such a thrill.

Funny story: When we were at the Arctic Encounter, there was a large Beluga whale pressed up against the glass and all of the sudden, our 4 year old, shouts, "Look mom, I see its "gina" (as in va-____)." Talk about making mom blush! He kept on pointing and saying it, rather loudly. People were laughing and he wouldn't stop talking about it so we hurried up and moved on. So no pictures of the Beluga whale...we were just trying to "Get Out of Dodge". Seems as if this kid had all the memorable quotes on this trip.

Next day we hunkered down for the big drive home - all 11 hours of it. For a while there, I wasn't sure if we'd survive the Mojave Desert, but WE DID IT! Barely.

We came home to snow and an indoor temp. of less than 50 F. Outside was freezing! BRRRR. This is what our valley looked like when we were driving to Sunday dinner at my in-laws the next day.

Brutal. Missing that legendary San Diego climate already.