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.

Thanksgiving is a Hoot

Today is the day that we give thanks. But why do we minimize our gratefulness to just one day out of the year? We should be giving thanks every day. We really should. And I believe today will be the first of many days in which I will embark on my journey.

Sometimes by the end of the day I’m so exhausted that I don’t even say my prayers. Sometimes I get so upset that not only do I dwell on the negative but I can’t even foresee the positive. Some days I don’t want to make three meals a day, plus snacks, and yet I don’t even think of how lucky we truly are to have the resources for three meals let alone one.

But today is different. It’s not just a day where we remember the Pilgrims and Indians, but a day to make peace within ourselves. I think highly of Thanksgiving. Maybe because I was born on Thanksgiving in 1980 and I figure that somewhere in the scheme of things that there was some kind of reason I was born on that day. (My birthday doesn’t fall on T-day this year, but tomorrow.)

Today will be filled with smiles.

Today there will be much to be grateful for.

  • My husband and my children.
  • The good health of my family. Recently I called both my grandmothers, who live in Illinois, who I haven’t spoken to for nearly 12 years since my grandpa died. They are doing excellent as is the rest of the family. I miss them so much and I wish them well.
  • My friends. This means you. I don’t have many in real life friends but my blogging buddies, all of you, are like my best friends.
  • I’m grateful for my new best friend, Rogue. Ever since having to give up Scarlett it’s been very hard for me. But Rogue has come here to replace her in some ways and for that I’m truly thankful.
  • For the gifts that have been bestowed upon me. I’m thankful that I’m smart, knowledgable, and talented. What I’d do without my knitting or sewing I really don’t know.

And because I am feeling so grateful, I’m feeling a bit generous and I have a give away.

{Owl felt kit by Paper and String.}

I absolutely love this kit and have a feeling that I will be purchasing many more of her patterns in the future. They are all just. too. cute. I made this second one for Scout because you know if I make one then I really need to make two.

So as a give away prize I will be naming one winner and gifting them an owl in the color of their choice. Just leave a comment and tell me what you are grateful for. I will choose a winner on Saturday, November 28th at 5 p.m. PST.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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?

Ghosties and Goblins

I did a little creative carving the other night. It was a perfect night to start carving pumpkins. The night air was cold and crisp. The winds were gusting at 40 mph. We were watching “Turistas” (a great scary movie if you have the stomach for it). One might have thought it was Halloween had the date been the 31st and not the 28th.

{Boo!}

GoblinPumpkin

Almost Easter

When I was a little girl, (albeit, I was never really little, but young), I absolutely loved Easter. Any holiday that gives you a reason to do arts and crafts and be rewarded with a basket full of chocolate was a-ok in my book. I loved yellow chick Peeps. And Cadbury Eggs. Who doesn’t crave the milk chocolate with fun fillings?

I remember one Easter, I was about ten or eleven, when my step-Grandmother, my step-Aunt and my twin step-Cousins came to California for a visit. The six of us took a trip to Cambria and San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle, in the pouring rain mind you. On Easter Saturday we spent the night at a run of the mill motel. My cousins and I immediately changed into our bathing suits and spent hours in the heated pool and pretended to play pool in the rec room. The next morning everyone slept in, yet the “Easter Bunny” tracked us down and managed to hide some very lovely baskets. And matching pink fluffy bunnies. My cousins and I held onto our bunnies once we got the castle. Years later I found out the my Aunt, Grandmother and mom had all fallen asleep early and forget to hide our stashes. Luckily one of them woke up early in the morning and hid our baskets among the cheap motel furniture.

It’s years later and I still love to color my eggs. I’ve always used PAAS kits, they bring out such gorgeous color on such a simple object. This was Scout’s first year at really getting into the “holiday spirit” and she thorougly enjoyed the little wire dipper that comes with the egg kit. She stomped her feet and slapped the counter when the vinegar didn’t dissolve quick enough. She tried squeezing the eggs. And then she learned she had to gently put them into each cup. And say the color she was using. Purple, pink and blue were easy. Green, not so much.

eastereggs2

We also braved the early morning crowds and went for a visit to the Los Angeles Zoo. Every year they have arts and crafts for the kids. There’s also a long line for bunny touching. A few children with broken hearts because they can’t take the bunny with them. Others completely disinterested.

zoobunnyears

She wasn’t up for the cardboard bunny ears either. What did catch her attention were the gorillas walking around, the giraffes stretching their necks for some green vegetation in the nearby trees, and…

zooslushie

Yes, a bubblegum slushie.

Oh, and one picture with Daddy.

easterdad

Do you see that delicious little blue and white dress with little birdies? I made that! (I know I haven’t spent much time talking about my sewing classes, as a matter of fact I am not taking them this month or next for Jem is now in football. But I have been indeed sewing and one of these days you will see some of the items I’ve completed. One of these days.)

The rest of the night I’ll be working on Scout’s Easter basket and probably sneaking a few peanut butter eggs, (I’ve traded the yellow chick Peeps for them), and some Cadbury Eggs. Of course.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful Easter.