tis the season

…to be over.

i know it sounds awfully Bah Humbug of me, but honestly and truly: i woke up this morning and realized “it’s the day after Christmas“. a huge sigh of relief. i know i can’t be the only people pleasing, filled with guilt if you can’t get it, type mother who gets harried during the holidays.

don’t get me wrong. i long for the long strings of holiday lights upon rooftops as i’m driving around town in the early evening. i like the array of colorful wrapping paper and shiny bows. i look forward to weather changing and with it, new holiday menus offering Gingerbread Latte’s and freshly carved turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce. i love the smell of the Christmas tree lots, especially after an evening rain. my heart melts when i hear people singing carols, ringing bells in front of grocery stores, and all the movies that make Christmas so magical.

but then there’s the other side of the holidays. there’s the financial burden. filling a room full of toys and treats for two children, these days, is much more difficult now that it’s a one income home. there is so much more pressure. this year has been particularly difficult because of the adjustment in moving residence in the beginning of the month, and the transition of Scout’s Kindergarten class. we’ve also had the pleasure of catching a cold, (Scout and i primarily).

i’ve learned from this holiday season. i’m going to make adjustments for next year:

1. knit my mom a Fair Isle sweater

2. our “holidays” will be spent at Disneyland on Thanksgiving weekend (we will celebrate both Scout and my birthdays early)

3. we will be volunteering at a soup kitchen to serve Christmas dinners to the homeless

and i’ll wrap it all up in a big red bow.

Merry Christmas.

(glad it’s over.)

Countdown

Last night Shawn and I were having a discussion about how Christmas really isn’t as much fun as it used to be. The holidays are much different for me as an adult as compared to being a child. And hugely different from being an adult as compared to being a child who still believed in old Saint Nick. The most stress I experienced, as a child, was figuring out what to tell Santa I wanted. My list changed daily weekly. The proverbial pony was always at the top of my list. So was a piano and a turtle. Santa must have put me on his naughty list because I never did get a pony, piano or turtle.

But things have changed. Commercialism is alive and kicking. Jem and Scout both find themselves glued to the bright colors on TV. A commercial describing the newest and best toys. Forget that they will play with them for five minutes and then all is lost. Or better yet, the boxes and wrapping paper will bring much more joy to Scout than what was in the box.

So this year we are doing a small Christmas. A Christmas about being with family and friends. A Christmas about baking, (and even eating), cookies, peanut brittle and Chex Mix. A Christmas about making gifts that will last longer than any other store bought toy. A Christmas where hot chocolate is dessert nearly every night. A Christmas where we sit together, crowded on the couch under blankets, watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or “A Scooby Doo Christmas”, (more of the latter than the former as it happens). A Christmas about turning on the little colored lights and watching people’s faces aglow. A Christmas where our cards are already sent. A Christmas where the tree is trimmed and stockings have already been hung.

A Christmas where I can look at my window and appreciate every second, minute, hour, day, week, month and stitch that I put into it.

A chaotic mess:

A chronological materpiece, in my humble opinion of course.

I am . that close to being done with the knit presents. In fact, I’m so close that I decided to add a couple smaller things for the kids. But you’ll just have to wait, just like them.

Paper and Glue

Every year, since I started to scrapbook, I have always gotten creative and made our Christmas cards. And since I only make them for family and close friends I don’t have to worry about making dozens of them for people who might only look at them and then store them away. I try to avoid thinking about my pretty little cards in the trash amongst an abundance of wrapping paper, tape, or fruitcakes.

But this year I wanted to keep it simple because, really, do I need to make two dozen? I certainly don’t. While Scout was painting with her new Crayola washable paints I started making a mess with some scrapbook paper, brads, buttons, glue, distress ink, stamps…

and came up with this.

So even if I can’t afford forty four cents for every person who comments or for every person whose blog I read, I’m giving you holiday wishes via my blog. You may not get it in your mail but you can always look at it on your computer. I think that’s just as good. Don’t you?

24 Days of Christmas

Over the weekend I stumbled upon The Purl Bee’s blog and checked out their Felt Advent Calendar Tutorial. I really like The Purl Bee. They have tons of interesting projects be it knitting or sewing. I decided to make us an advent calendar too. I didn’t want to do another one like the one I recently finished, but something more practical for the kids.

I came up with a red/green/white calendar that Jem and Scout can share.

1advent

This project was perfect for all the little extra felt scraps from my other projects. But I admit, I had to drag Shawn to the craft store to buy six more pieces. This weekend, (of course), they will be on sale 6 for $1 as compared to 6 for $1.88. I’ll be stocking up!

And then out of the blue, DMC floss was on my mind. Felt? No. DMC floss. What could I possibly do with the embroidery floss. Why, cross stitch of course!

cross-stitch-1

The story behind this is simple. When I was 15 years old I took the bus to the, (at the time), local Michael’s to buy something to do. I chose cross stitch. I got halfway into this very pattern. When we moved it vanished. Then I got together with the mom’s group and one of the nice women let me borrow a Precious Moments book. And wouldn’t you know? The very same pattern I was doing. About a month or two ago I decided I would do this. I wanted to replace those very long months where I painstakingly worked on this cross stitch sampler. Yesterday began my journey. I forgot how much work goes into those little x’s. My age must be showing when I look at the pattern. My eyes squint and I have to count the numbers a few times to make sure I’m counting correctly.

But it will be worth it to remember those moments from 13 years ago. Almost 13 years ago. I have 3 days to go and I’m enjoying the remainder of my 27 years.

TGIF

Do you remember when channel 7’s Friday slogan was “Thank Goodness It’s Funny”? Well I still prefer Thank God It’s Friday! Though most of my weekend will be spent away from Shawn I have some plans for the next few days. But today, today is a good day. I finished another project last night. In fact I actually accomplished two things.

First is something for Shawn that I can finally show you.

shawnstocking

We’ve been through three Christmases already and he still doesn’t have a stocking – til now. I hand embroidered everything. It was a lot of work but totally worth it.

Close up of the embellishments.

closeupgreen

I love the buttons! I used buttons from my scrapbook stash. I have lots of buttons. Jars of buttons.

I had a chance to work on Scout’s sweater too. I finally got to the cabled section in the back. Just a few inches and I’ll be ready for the fronts and sleeves. I’m not too excited though. You see, when I finish knitting I have to sew a zipper in the front.

cabledjacket1

I’m not anticipating that in the least. But I know once it’s finished it will look beautiful on her. Though she doesn’t need anything to make her beautiful, she’s already trĂ©s jolie!

tv

Lately she’s been entranced by the Disney Channel. She loves “Imagination Movers”, “Charlie and Lola”, “Handy Manny” and “Pup Named Scooby Doo”.

My other finished project included finishing a quilt top and backing for the Under the Sea Quilt. I plan on basting it tonight. I’m excited to have this done, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

So Happy Friday everyone. I hope you all have a chance to work on what you love.

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Friday Fill In #99

1. The last band I saw live was Eminem, Xzibit, Ludacris, and Papa Roach, (same concert).
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is my mom cooking for my birthday, (same day this year).
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is nil.
4. Thoughts of turkey and turkey gravy fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear boots.
6. Bagpipes are awesome!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to basting my quilt, tomorrow my plans include taking a bead class and Sunday, I want to hang out with my mum.

!

Kitty Cats and Calendars

Last night while finishing up the advent calendar Marilyn got cozy and decided to keep me company. I then realized I haven’t shared any of her pictures lately. And she’s gotten so big and nutty!

marilyn

She must have motivated me or brought me some luck because by 11:30 last night I had the advent calendar done. I still have other items to make but this seemed to the most time consuming. I had to cut all the felt, whipstitch around 25 pieces, add buttons to each piece, crochet a little bit of yarn to make the ties, embroider each number and then assemble it with jute and ribbon. It’s quite lovely, but I think I’m going to modify it a bit when I do ours. I decided to only do a 12 days of Christmas one for us. Either way, the tutorial was clear and easy. Just tedious.

adventfinished

The things I do in the name of Christmas!