Saturday, December 24, 2011

where are those elves?

The elves are missing in action!  I'm busy in the kitchen today, getting food ready for our Christmas celebration, and I wanted to pop in and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.  It's the season of preparation and giving, a very busy time of doing and going, but in the midst of all your preparing and wrapping and baking, my prayer is that you take time to enjoy the gift of Christ. 
 "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children." Galatians 4:4-5

It is because of His coming and His sacrifice, that we can enjoy fullness of life as His children.....    Merry Christmas Friends! We have much to celebrate....
even if those elves never show up! 
free printable: here

Friday, December 16, 2011

closing in on Christmas

As we get closer to Christmas, I find myself trying to snatch away moments for savoring the season.  I'm certain that the hours fly by faster in December than in any other month.  In between school, basketball games, and practices we've been:
***learning how to play chess....John and John Samuel have been challenging each other as often as time allows (this is a teaching set and it shows you the moves and directions you can make for each piece...very helpful for me!)
***putting finishing touches on my decorations....this little tree was blank and boring so I hot glued wooden hearts, gingerbread men, candles and pine cones to it.  I tied some homespun fabric to the branches and now it's perfect! 
 ***cracking up at our dog....the kids found her laying on the remote, looking at the TV and they said she was watching Animal Planet! (I think this whole scene interrupted our math one day! )

***adding Christmas lights to more and more corners of our's just so magical with all the beautiful lights.  It's so special to check on my boy and finding him sleeping in the glow of his Christmas lights.  (I always unplug them before I head to bed :))
***reading mysteries and taking notes as we go...after listening to Andrew Clements' Room One, my boy decided to solve the mystery of his chapter book in a similar for me, I just like to see him reading and having fun at the same time

 ***for book club we read the light-hearted book: A Redbird Christmas...perfect for holiday time!  One of the ladies at book club gave us each a box loaded with an assortment of cookies that she prepackaged and labeled for us in little cello bags!  What a work of love...a delicious work!

And I've been knitting some little last minute gifts....dishcloths and toasty fingerless mitts....nothing like watching TV by the glow of the Christmas tree and knitting.  Some of our DVR'd favorites include:  NCIS, Person of Interest and Blue Bloods

So how have you been savoring these days before Christmas?  I hope you're finding time to enjoy the moments before they fly by!  It's closing in on Christmas...stay merry!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

celebrate everywhere

I love this time of year, when the house is all decorated for Christmas and the lights bring such warmth and coziness to everything.  We decorated right after Thanksgiving and have been enjoying the magical feeling that the house takes on during this time of year.
 I took a ton of pictures as I decorated so that next year I might be able to 'recreate' my decor more easily next year.  I tend to be a fusser.  I put something somewhere, walk away and then return to move it around until I get it right where I want it. 
I figure if I can look at pictures I might save myself some fussing next year....right!?  I'll let you know how that works out. 
We are an artificial tree family....Maggie and I get awful allergies and sinus infections from having a real tree in the house, so I've learned to find the positive in our 'boxed tree'.  One things I hate though, is the stem that shows down at the bottom.
 It's long and skinny and looks really ugly.  So, I hide it with our wrapped presents.  It looks so much better with all the gifts piled around the bottom.  (this also helps motivate me to wrap my gifts early)
I also love to decorate our outside.   I put pine and boxwood in baskets and watering cans and create little vignettes of beauty along the way.
 Whether I'm bringing in the mail, welcoming guests or looking out the kitchen window while washing dishes I get glimpses of beauty that make me smile.  (and when it snows...they even look prettier!)
How about you?  What do you do to transform your home during this magnificently wonderful time of year?  The Savior has been born....celebrate everywhere you can! 
****Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts on my last guys are hilarious!  And just so you know....I've decided to keep the sausages for myself. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the scarf dilemma.....yes or no?

When we went to the beach this summer I found the best knit shop....organized, loaded and full of inspiration!  I bought the yarn for this mohair scarf with plans for it to be a gift, but as I've been knitting it, I've been questioning the 'giftability' of this particular scarf. 
 It's a bit off beat as far as scarves go. I like it.  It's soft and the colors are very fun.  But when I've shown it to some of my friends and family I get a mixed reaction.
 They've made comments like : "Oh, that would be cute on someone younger...I think I'm too old for that style"
  or "I like it, I'm just not sure I'd wear it, but it looks cute on you"
  or my favorite: "It kinda reminds me of sausage links"
So, what do you think?  Go honest, I can take it. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ready and thankful

The cranberry sauce is cooked and is getting happy in the fridge
The turkey is awaiting its moment of glory
The platters are ready to be filled
The apples are sliced and the sauce is perfect
The table is all set
We've been getting the house cleaned and the food's been a busy day....
Well, for most of us....(you just can't get good work out of some folks)

We're ready for our Thanksgiving's one of my favorite holidays.
It's been a week full of mixed blessings...some testing and much grace. I'm ever thankful for His grace - for my Heavenly Father's unconditional love.  I'm thankful that my Hope is in Him.  I pray that your Thanksgiving day is full of blessings and wonderful times with family and friends.  That each day is a celebration of thanks!  I'll be back after the feasting with some fun, festive ideas....Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Monday, November 14, 2011

stitches and stuff

Working on a bit of this and that....enjoying my days

~a camera strap cover using this tutorial

~reading this with my started out slow, but now we can hardly put it down

~working on a secret's so fun, like sewing rainbows

~gearing up for the basketball season

~working on Christmas gifts

~slowly working on this knitting project and trying to decide how I feel about the way it's turning out

`~watching my favorite the shots that won the game went through the net!

Hope your day is filled with happy stitches, fun stuff and game winning shots! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

saturday sewing

I had some sewing time last Saturday and it was just what I needed.  Some people shop for therapy.  I create for therapy.  It's a good thing when I get some sewing time....You know that saying about mama being happy?  Well, when this mama is sewing, it's all good in the house!  You'd think they'd be pushing me into my sewing room but no, I've got to wait it out and carve out sewing time here and there.  When I get a whole's like Christmas. 
OK....I'm not complaining...just being silly.  My family is fabulous about allowing me some time to create and they are always wanting to snatch something that I've made.  Especially these pretties.
Jodi from Pleasant Home has a fun Etsy shop with patterns and fabrics.  It's like a perfect storm.  Just the right amount of goodness ready for a day of sewing therapy.  I purchased these patterns and some fabric from her and after a day in my craft room studio.  I emerged triumphant and giddy. 
I'll be making some more of these wallets as gifts for my girl's friends.  I think a gift card inside one of these wallets would make a sweet little gift. 
Out of the two patterns I thought the wallet would be the hardest, but I think it might have actually been a bit easier than the note holder.  Neither of them was hard though.  The directions were clear and easy to follow. 
The note holder is similar to the mini notebook covers that I made earlier, it just has a bit more pizazz to it!  There's a tab to keep it shut and a handy little pocket in the front for notes and stuff.
I love how it turned out but I think it could benefit by being a bit sturdier.  I think the next one will get some heavier interfacing for stability. 
 These projects would both be a great way to use up some scraps and try out some new color combinations.  I've never been a big pink and red girl but I love how the fabrics and trim all worked together to make this so fun and girly.  I also love the red and turquoise combo....I'll be using those colors together again.
How about you, do you have a favorite color combination that you love use?  I'm loving the fresh look of these two projects and it's got me thinking about some new color combos. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

the soup bowl

I'm hooking up with Jodi for a soup swap.  The idea is that everyone who participates, posts a delicious soup recipe and we're all blessed in the sharing.  Click here to find the links that will take you to all the recipes. 
My soup is a fall favorite.  My mom's church served this every year for the Mother-Daughter Thanksgiving tea. I begged the lady who was in charge of the menu for the recipe and apparently it was the recipe on the evaporated milk can.  No matter,  It's got the perfect blend of savory and the pumpkin adds a hint of sweetness underneath all the flavors. 

2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder ( LOVE this stuff!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (I don't have white pepper so I just use my regular pepper)
3 cups chicken broth
1 15oz can pumpkin (make sure it's plain pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie pumpkin with spices)
1 12oz can of evaporated milk

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes or until tender.  Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute.  Add broth and pumpkin; bring to boil.  (keep an eye on it while it's coming to a boil)  Reduce heat to low; cook stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes.  Stir in evaporated milk.  Transfer mixture to blender and process in batches.  (Be sure to leave a vent hole when processing hot me!)  Blend until smooth.  Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream if desired. 

Enjoy!  And thanks to Jodi for hosting the Soup Bowl....we'll be having lots of soup in the coming days!