Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays!

From my little family to yours! Everything on my list that isn't done this afternoon will be scratched off until next year, because we are leaving for the holidays bright and early tomorrow morning. We'll be Christmassing it up until the 26th and then on the 27th Aaron and I will be heading up to Lake Shasta to go houseboating with the high school group at our church. "Houseboating? In December?" you say? Yup. Should be interesting and beautiful, so when I come back Jan 1 expect some pics!

Coming in January!

Holiday Recap

Shasta Pictures

More Brooches and Hairpins

Clothespin Circus Clowns

Monkey Boy's Birthday

Valentine's Crafts Preview

Vintage Beauties Swap

and more!

See you in 2007! (aack! 2007? Really? *Gulp*)

So, dear blogger friends goodbye until after the new year! I have loads and loads and then a few more loads of laundry to do, a fridge to clean out and rooms to straighten up before our trips. Both my kids are sick today so I am crossing my fingers that they feel better before Christmas. I feel bad for my babies, but when they are sick they sleep tons leaving me plenty of time to finish my chore list. I am excited for them to get bouncing again because their big gift this year is one of those Little Tikes play sets for the backyard. I cannot wait to see Monkey's face when he first lays eyes on it!

Now off I go to clean clean clean! Don't you just love coming home from a long weekend to a clean house? I love it! Goodbye, lovelies!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Elves have been busy at our house....

Baking and
Decorating and

Wrapping and

Embellishing Snowflakes and

Wrapping our Snowflakes and

Sewing Christmas Jammies and

Making 1st Christmas Ornaments and

Making Hairpins and

Fancy Brooches and

Now this is what my craft room looks like! I'm almost done with all the projects I listed earlier and as usual I added a few last minute projects. Why I do that I have NOOO idea. SOmeday I'll stop!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Stolen Questionaire

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Our kids are too little to really know who Santa is, so we wrap everything and put it all out Xmas Eve

Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Colored on the tree. White on the house

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Excluding dessert?!? Well, that just isn't fair... My granny's potato rolls. They are to die for!

Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
One year my parents let us stay up and watch all the Christmas specials that were on tv on xmas eve and then sleep on the pullout couch as a family. It was my three brothers and my mom and dad stuffed on this couch. They waited until we all fell asleep and then quietly put all the presents under the tree, soooooo careful not to wake any of us up. I'm pretty sure they went to their room to sleep and then came back to the couch in the morning, though. It was so amazing to wake up in the morning and see our tree stuffed with presents.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yup, our Christmas jammies, or something so extra special it just can't wait (like jewlery for mommy)

How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Jimble jamble of storebought and handmade ornaments, the kids toys and their old baby booties.

Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it, but it dosen't snow here

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Eggnog Poundcake. It is so good its evil! I'll give the recipe sometime soon.

What is your favorite Christmas Song?
All of it! Especially Bing Crosby songs

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

Favorite Christmas Tradition growing up:
Cutting down the tree and having a cookout dinner at the tree farm. I wish we still did that.

Least Favorite Christmas Tradition Growing Up:
Fighting in the car on the way to Granny's house.

Breakfast or Presents First?
Depended on who we spent the holidays with. Usually presents first.

Fun little poll, which I stole from Pixiegenne's Blog.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Check out these diva christmas trees...

Over at Bad Fortune Cookie. If I didn't love the trees, I might have sent people over just because I love the name! I came across her blog the other day and fell head over heels for the trees she made. I spent all afternoon looking for the site I saw them on and couldnt' remember whose it was. Just when I gave up and published my entry today without the link info in it, she left a comment on my blog! Love it when things work out so wonderfully. So, yeah, go check out her loveliness. Thanks, dear!
Two lists...

Seems like I am not the only one whose holiday has caught up with them, she is and she is and her, too! Nice to know I'm not alone. So here is my holiday to do list (which keeps getting longer the more I read blogs and see other people's great holiday projects) hopefully it will all get done!!

-Crochet slippers for husband
-Make 4 pairs of Christmas jammies for Christmas Eve (well, just the pants)
-Make LP her first Christmas ornament (which was last year)
-Make Ornament boxes for the kids (I embellished upon this idea of wrapping ornament boxes for next year. I'll post pics when I finish)
-Finish up all those hairpins and brooches
-Embellish the ornaments I got for friends (no time to make my own from scratch, so I'm gonna fancy up some store bought felt ornaments)
-Finish up my Stichette pillows
-Make as many of these coasters as I have time for (you might have to scroll down some to see them)
-Finish the pom-pom wreath (but apparently I need a tutorial on making pom poms. Mine are LAME)
-Bake Christmas cookies
-Other duties as assigned (don't you just love that in a job description? I had a boss whose "other duties" were dry cleaning pick ups, coffee runs and business trips I didn't really need to be on. I would say something about it and he would just point to "other duties as assigned". Just grand, huh?)

Things I don't have time to make this year, but have every intention of making next year:

-Fun Pom-Pom garland ,cute, huh?
-All of these (but probably just the trees)
-This holiday planner really rocks my socks!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What I have been working on...

A bouquet of future hairpins and brooches...

A yummy scarf.

I didn't make these. Nope, my eight year old sister did! I love that she makes things and I love even more that she saved the best ones for me!! My mother tried really really hard to get them, but my sister insisted they were made especially for me. Isn't that just the best?
Fave Holiday Movies

Below (in no particular order) is a list of the movies I love to watch at Christmas time. Not all of them are actually Christmas movies, but they either came out at Christmas or make me happy like Christmas so in my world they become "Christmas Movies". I know. Weird. But I'm ok with that.

1. A Christmas Story -- Ok, so this is actually my favorite Christmas movie. It is just too funny and I think it perfectly describes what a kid who really really wants something will do to get the perfect gift. And the one-liners in this movie are good all year!

2. Elf -- SO FUNNY. I love it when really great movies that are totally kid friendly and adult friendly come out. That doesn't happen so much anymore.

3. Christmas in Connecticut -- Great old movie. I love it because it's funny, romantic, and holiday all in one.

4. You've Got Mail and 5. Little Women and 6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- K, so not so much a Christmas movies, but Christmas is in them and they are one of those ones that just makes me happy. HP came out during Christmas and we saw it on Christmas day, so I will always think of it as a holiday flick.

7. Holiday Inn -- It's been ages and ages since I saw this one, but I love it because it hits all the holidays (major and otherwise) and has Bing Crosby.

Which Brings me to 8. White Christmas -- Do I really need to say why I like that one?

9. A Hobo's Christmas -- Bet you never heard of that one. It was a made for TV movie in the late 80's. When I was a kid we lived in Hawaii for a few years and the only way to get tv where we lived was to get cable (there was a mountain blocking the signal where we lived) and my folks couldn't afford cable. So my grandparents would record movies and tv shows during the holidays and send them to us in VHS. The Christmas episodes of Amen, Golden Girls and Cosby Show also make me really happy because they were all included on the tapes...hahaha!

10. An American Tail -- Also sent by the Grandparents during xmas while we lived in Hawaii. My brothers and I would cry and cry when Fievel Mousekowitz got lost and again whenever he would just barely miss finding his parents. My mom would get so frustrated with us and tell us of we didn't stop bawling every stinking time we watched it we wouldn't be allowed to watch it anymore. I still get a little choked up during that one. (ps. one of the bawling brothers is a Marine now, hahaha!)

11. The Polar Express -- We can thank my son for that one. He loves to watch it over and over again, but is actually good so I don't mind. Besides it's a 1000 times better than Barney or Thomas. Plus, it's just plain cute.

There you have it. Does that make up for the fact that I hate the "classic" kids movies?

**Update** Faithness reminded me about Millions, which is completely fab! And I did mention it earlier as a fave, but forgot. Thanks for reminding me, Faith!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm tired!

And I am going to whine about it. My kids have woken up at ungodly hours of the night/morning two days in a row, refusing to go back to sleep. Yesterday morning both Aaron and I got up, but this morning Aaron was a sweetie and let me sleep in. Ok. I'll be honest, it was less him letting me sleep in and more me refusing to get up. But anyway.

So here I am today, with a big ol' laundry list of things to do (including the laundry!) and two tired grumpy kids to drag around. So if you are at the post office, Joann's fabrics, or McDonalds at some point after 12 noon today and see two tired grumpy, (but exceptionaly cute) kids and their equally tired, grumpy mom, it's probably me. Hopefully by then we'll be happier. We'll see.

I am starting to feel the Christmas push now. Before Thanksgiving I had gotten all my shopping done, which is a double edged sword. On one hand I'm done and have no worries, on the other it leads to more buying for the kiddos when I see something "just perfect" that I hadn't seen before. Alot of the said shopping was for craft supplies, also. So basically I got the shopping done, but not the crafting. Busy busy busy till Christmas to get it all done. The story of my (and every other crafter's) life, right?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More Christmas Cheer

Last night after dinner we put jammies on the kids and got in the car to go check out the neighborhood Christmas lights. Not far from our house is a street where every single house has decorations. The street is well known in the area for their lights and it has been a favorite holiday stop for years. Before we got well on our way we stopped at good ol' Starbucks for hot chocolate. Our son has never gotten hot chocolate before and I knew he would be impressed by the cup, let alone the chocolatey goodness inside. He equates the cup to coffee and coffee to grown ups, so I knew getting his hot chocolate in a grown up cup would be a pretty big deal. I was right, just check out this smile! He was such a good boy, no mess or anything.

Normally when we go to this display we get out and walk. Many of the homeowners are out to chat with the kids and hand out candy canes, but when we got there it started raining and being the babies we are, we decided to just drive slowly down the street and then go check out some other lights in the area.

Doing so brought us to this house in one of the more fancy pants areas of town. The owners decorate their lawn with every cartoon character known to man (and child) which makes it a kiddie favorite. Our monkey boy really liked pointing out his favorite cartoon friends, which was really cute.

After we got home I had a very productive evening making brooches and hair barrettes for various swaps and gifts. I'll snap pics of those later. My mother in law kindly gave me gads of vintage seam binding and lace and bias tape, so I had so much fun adding them to my own crocheted flowers. I almost didn't want to go to bed, I was having such a good time!

Later tonight when Aaron gets home I am going to take off to the grocery store (yuck!) and the craft store (yay!) to get supplies to make an ornament for Little Peanut's first Christmas last year. Hopefully I will have time to work on it tonight, but most likely it will be a project for tomorrow.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Swap Pins
Corduroy primitive pin with a bird emdroidered on. The back of the oin in the smae as the fabric in the background.

Patchwork square flower with vintage and new button trim. I adore these pins. They are fun to make and sooooo fun to wear!

Simple Croched Flower with button trim. Next time I think I will mount it onto green felt leaves. It needs that extra oomph, I think.

None of the pictures came out very good. I have a small camera and I just haven't mastered the light in my house yet. I took them in my sewing room, but I think my kitchen gets the best light, but if I am going to take pictures in there regularly then I need to keep it clean regularly!
Christmas Cheer

A few of my favorite Christmasy things...

The elf is a vintage find from this year.

Santa is a childhood ornament that has withstood the test of time and is probably my favorite.

Mr. And Mrs. Claus are sock bunnies given to me by my mother in law. I adore them!

The beaded Miss is an ornament my Granny gave me this year also.

The box is an ornament I made for my son's first Christmas. At the time I hated it but now I am kicking myself for not making one for my daughter last year. I guess I could still make one and just not say when I did it.... I used torn up scrapbook paper and wrapping paper to decoupage the box and then added little pics of my son cut from pictures I couldn't scrapbook. It is unbelievable how much I love that box now.

Back to Reality and Other Trivial Things

Sigh. It was a lovely, fun weekend. Aaron and I went to San Francisco for much needed grown-up time away. We stayed at the Monticello Inn, a small boutique hotel about two blocks from Union Square. We window shopped. We ate at places that didn't have kiddie menus. We stayed up late and slept in later. Sigh. It was wonderful! One of the best things about trekking into the City is the architecture and cool signs on the buildings.
I have a weird thing for signage, especially old signs. I think I like that they have withstood the test of time and still manage to beckon patrons into their establishments. SF is chock full of great signs with tons of character. Our hotel had a great one and a liquor/cigar shop a few blocks away was particularly eyecatching.

The weather was great, only showering on us a little bit and the sun showed up for a while in the mornings. The window shopping was fun! Macy's has gorgeous Christmas tables arranged in one set of windows and darling SPCA pets to be adopted in the rest of their windows.
Can you see all the loveliness on this table? Probably not, I took this
during a rare sunshiny moment and was awarded a nice glare.

One of the mechanical pups at Macy's.
They had plenty of real puppies in the windows all waiting to be adopted,
but they were too wiggly for me to get decent pics.
After a full day of window shopping and walking around the square, we dashed to go see A Christmas Carol at the ACT. It was an updated adaptation, rewritten to have more humor than the traditional play. Aaron really loved it and I enjoyed it, though I am a bit of a traditionalist because I like the original version a teensy bit more.
Can't go to SF without getting clam chowder in a bread bowl! YUM.
This was our third trip to SF and we marveled at how different each trip has been. We have seen completely different sights each time and still have so much more to see without ever repeating ourselves. I'm sure that is true for any big city, but it really never ceases to amaze us, considering you can see all there is to see in our area in about 24 hours. Ok not really. Maybe 72.

When we got home we were greeted with kids happy to see us and babysitters happy to be off duty. My brother and his wife were kind enough to come stay the weekend at our house and watch our kiddies. Of course they were angels the whole time we were gone, but erupted into little demons once we got home. My cousin was also over getting her baby fix (I'm the oldest and the only one with kids in town, so all my cousins/siblings come to me for their baby hugs and kisses). Since she was there and my brother and his wife were not (shockingly) in a hurry to get home we had them over for dinner and somehow along the way added another of my brothers and my cousin's boyfriend to the mix.
We pulled out our Trivial Pursuit 90's edition of which my husband and I are embarassingly good at (thought not as good as Pop Culture edition. We kick butt at that one). He knows all the wired, news, politics questions and I know the tv, movies and fads questions. We tend to purposely play opposite each other because when we play on the same team the domination is just too great. My team got a few wired and news questions too many because the guys beat us even though we got our first three pies in our first turn.

A full, fun weekend! I am a lucky girl!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Holiday Blasphemy...

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the movies, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, and Elf being three of my particular favorites and after seeing it recently, I think the British film Millions will also be up there for me as a holiday film. I remember watching White Christmas as a kid when we lived in Hawaii and loving the songs, dancing, and snow at the very end. A Christmas Story just cracks me up ("You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" Fraaageeelay, that must be Italian or something! Honey, I think it says fragile") and even more fun for my family is that the main character, Ralphie loooks exactly like my dad did as a kid. Exactly! And last, Elf. A newer movie, that in my mind is destined to become a classic. None of the usual Will Farrell potty humor, just sweet, cute, holiday fun. And I love that I can watch it with my son and he likes it, too.

Now for my blasphemy.

I've listed the movies I do like, but the ones I really can't stomach are the good old stand by classics! I know! I'm terrible! But Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and Rudolph do absolutely nothing for me. The animation is totally cool, but the stories themselves, to me, well, kinda, The animation dosen't outweigh the fact that they are boring! It's not just me, my husband isn't a fan either. Just call us grinches, which, for the record, I love the original (but can dump Jim Carrey's version)!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

2 1/2 weeks?!? Really??

Is there really only 2.5 weeks till Christmas? What happened? Where did my head start go? No fair! I have to say that most if not all my Christmas shopping is done, the Christmas crafting is another story, however. My son who is almost 3 (in less than a month, Ack!) is very very into trains so he was easy-if it has Thomas on it we are good to go. We don't really buy presents for our kids until they are threeish anyway, so our daughter was easy! The Grandmas can spoil them.

I have some crochet projects I should be working on right now, so I really must dash! What projects are you in the bloggosphere working on? Links, links ladies! I want to see your work and gush over it!
Sad News

I was so sad and disapointed to hear about James Kim not being found alive and well. I had such high hopes for a safe, happy outcome. It was so nice to see how the world really seemed to wrap this family in collective hugs and prayers. The news of this family's struggle and ultimate loss touched me deeply. My prayers and love go out to them and I do plan on participating in the upcoming fundraiser being put together for them as I type. If you are at all crafty I hope you will be able to as well.