Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

One More Zipped Pouch

Normally when I start working on a project, I know where it is going. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started embroidering this fabric. It sat around for a while while I tried to figure out what it was going to be. Then I decided that hey, a girl can never have too many zippered pouches, right? I use them for lots of things. They are perfect for throwing a chapstick and a couple of dollars in. I used to use one with the babe, for carrying a couple of pacifiers. They’re good to hold coupons, or use for a makeup bag. I even have a bigger one that contains an entire clean outfit for the babe in the diaper bag. They are so versatile, you can make them in any size and I find myself using them all of the time. Our thrift store sells bags of 3-5 vintage and new zippers for a quarter, so between that and the scraps of fabric to make the bags, they cost pennies. They make fantastic gifts, especially if you make two or three in graduated sizes. Do you use zippered pouches? What do you put in them?

gifts, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Monday, January 25th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

One Small Change

For the most part, I consider our family pretty green. We try to eat organic as much as the budget allows. We use cloth diapers, cloth napkins, and hankies. When the weather allows, I dry our clothes outside on a line. We keep the thermostat low and just add a sweater or an extra pair of socks. We shop for most of our clothes at the thrift store and donate the things that we don’t use anymore. When we are in need of something I try to find it used before resorting to buying it new. Like anything, there are always ways that we could improve. I recently joined up for the One Small Change challenge. Each month from now till April we will be picking one area to focus on becoming greener. The summer before I got pregnant with the babe, I made a bunch of cloth shopping bags and we were really good at using them all the time. I even made the kids their own kid size cloth bags. They loved carrying their own load of groceries, and they always got lots of comments. Since then, I have been getting lax and though I still do use them it is not every single time we shop for something. So, January is our month to make sure that we do not use any plastic bags at all. I have my stash all ready to go and so far, so good. The hard part for me is to remember them. We have them in the van, but with getting four kids out of the car, watching them in the parking lot and just generally making sure they don’t get run over, sometimes I forget. They say it takes a month to develop a habit, so here we go. I was so good before I got pregnant, but lots of things changed very quickly and now I want to get back into the habit. I would highly encourage you to join the challenge and make one small change that can make a world of difference. Hope you all had a good weekend. We’re still not sure about the van, but it is looking like it is a much more minor problem, so fingers crossed.

gifts, green, thrift store finds • Monday, January 18th, 2010 • 12 Comments »

Learn Your Lessons Well

I just love this beautiful old postcard, I found it at an antique store for 50 cents. I just love that the flowers on the front are slightly raised and and textured. It’s beautiful, and so well preserved since it was written in 1908, which means it is over 100 years old. Learn your lessons well, is all it says. A great message, and what we are striving for at the moment. Sometimes it’s a little tricky to focus everybody in the right direction when there is a babe who is getting into everything ( it seems to take so much energy and focus away). Despite this, I am glad for her curiosity and we will continue to learn out lessons well. Hope you all have a great start to the week. What is your favourite subject now that we aren’t formally in school? Mine is definitely history. I’m not quite so sure how all of my teachers made it seem so boring.

gifts, homeschooling, thrift store finds • Monday, January 11th, 2010 • 10 Comments »

Very Domestic Indeed

rolling pin There are some days where it seems that all I do is make sure the kids are fed, and some learning is accomplished. Where I spend my time breaking up fights and calming frustrated little ones, while balancing a fussy toddler on my hip and trying to get some laundry done. Yesterday was the complete opposite. I was able to bake three loaves of bread, make two quarts of yogurt, wash diapers and gets lots of schooling done. I felt very domestic indeed. We read about St. Alban and Hadrian’s Wall (I just love being able to tell the kids that I have been to some of these places, they get so excited). The children went outside to play, and despite being bundled up like eskimos, they came back in rosy cheeked after only twenty minutes. We had lots of snuggles and were even able get some extra reading done before supper. We are reading The Wishing Chair Collection by Enid Blyton. I loved these books as a child and now my kids do too. They are magical tales that are calmer than a lot of fairy tales, which is really good for my kiddos that have less of a tolerance for scary. Overall it was about as close to domestic bliss as we get around here. Definitely a very good day, especially when all the children were snug in their beds by seven o’clock. Check out this beauty of a rolling pin. It was another gift from Christmas, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It was handmade in Breckenridge, Co. and I’m so glad it found it’s new home with me. Now I really need to bake a pie and try it out. What is your favourite domestic chore? Is it baking, folding laundry, or doing a big spring clean?

family, food, gifts, home, homeschooling • Thursday, January 7th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

My New Best Friend

big bowl This was one of my Christmas gifts, isn’t it great? It’s huge, and I mean huge. The diameter is 12 inches and it’s about 6 1/2 inches deep. I have been using it constantly since I got it. It is perfect for mixing up a cake and because it’s so big, even the most exuberant of mixing by the kiddos doesn’t splash outside of it. Yesterday I used it to serve up mashed potatoes and they were dwarfed by the size of the bowl. I love it, it has become my new best friend. It has so much more character than a plain glass bowl, don’t you think? What are your favourite kitchen items?

food, gifts, home • Monday, January 4th, 2010 • 16 Comments »

Be Still

be still necklace A new year, so full of possibilities. I must admit, after all the gearing up for Christmas, it is sometimes a bit of a relief when it is finished. I immediately think of the spring coming (though that won’t be for many months here), and new life and warmth. I look forward to celebrating a new year of birthdays starting with all of my boys in the spring. Thoughts of what to plant, where to plant it, and how much to plant. Dreaming of picnics every week in the warm summer sun, having it be warm enough to let my kids play for hours outside every day. We have serious cabin fever by this time of year. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just cold, but the wind makes it unbearable. I’m not such a huge fan of resolutions, but a new year does make me reflective over how I would like to do things this year. Much of this past year was spent physically, mentally, and emotionally recovering from the previous two years. This year I feel a renewed vigor and enthusiasm, and I am excited for the possibilities. This necklace was a gift from Hubby. It was made by Lisa Leonard and is called Be Still. I absolutely love it, and it is a constant reminder to be still. Being still is sometimes a little difficult with four children. This year, I want to live in the moment more. Enjoy each and every hug, story, cuddle that I am blessed enough to have. I want to enjoy cooking more, so often it’s a matter of just trying to get a nutritious meal on the table while stopping a squabble, holding a fussy babe and trying to think straight and stir at the same time. I want to be outside more, and truly enjoy the beauty of the world around us. To visit family more as time goes by so quickly, and the children are growing at the speed of light. I want to lie in the grass and read stories to my children, make them picnics to have on adventures in the back yard. Then there are the more domestic things that I want to accomplish, such as being more organized, getting some sort of chore system worked out with the abilities of everyone in the family. Being really good about making a big shopping trip and then only going out when we need milk and fresh veg/fruit. I could go on forever as there are probably hundreds of things I want to do, but my overarching goal is to be still, enjoy what God has given me, and make thousands of new, fantastic memories with my family. I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful new year and are able to accomplish all that you want. Happy New Year!

books, crochet, family, food, gardening, gifts, green, home, homeschooling, kid's art, nature, sewing, thrift store finds, travelling • Friday, January 1st, 2010 • 11 Comments »

Laura Jammies

laura jammies Isn’t this the sweetest little Laura nightdress you’ve ever seen? We love Little House on the Prairie and it just so happens that my mother-in-law is a wonderful seamstress. This is the second year she has made gorgeous jammies for my kiddos for Christmas. This is the first year that the babe has gotten some proper bigger baby jammies, and aren’t they beautiful? You can’t really tell in the picture, but there are matching bloomer style pants that go under the dress. There is even a mop cap, though we forgot to put it on when I snapped the picture this morning. She doesn’t wear it to bed as I’m afraid she would wake up scared if she had it fall down over her face, but my five year old dons hers every night. I absolutely love them, and the girls do too. This past summer she made a summer version for my five year old, and I think I might just have to ask really nicely to see if she’ll do a summer nightdress for the babe as her birthday is in July, so perfect timing. I’m hoping that this is now firmly a tradition, as I know we all love the end product, but also the time and effort that went into creating these wonderful gifts.

family, gifts, sewing • Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 • 6 Comments »

Settling Back In

star garland Well, we are finally back home and getting somewhat settled in to our normal routine. It was such a rush when we got home to finish up last minute Christmas gifts, not to mention all the laundry etc. from being gone for two and a half weeks, that I am just now feeling like I am able to catch my breath. It was really nice to get away for a while and visit Hubby’s family. Some of them had not yet met the babe, so that was great. Apart from the really bad weather while driving (we drove through three different blizzards), everything went smoothly. It always makes me nervous as sometimes with different routines, or no routines at all, things can be hard on the little ones, but I didn’t need to worry, they all took it in stride. Granted, they all had a lot more sweets than normal and not nearly enough sleep, but despite this things went really well. It’s always good to get home though, and tomorrow needs to start our normal days again. Back to schooling, cooking, lots of snuggles and reading, and good amounts of resting and sleep. Unfortunately the babe has gone back to waking up a lot at night, so not much sleep for me, but one day she will be older and I will miss these times. I wanted to show you one more gift I made for Christmas. This was one of the garlands I made out of these Grandma Twinkle Stars. I really love how it turned out. The pattern is from The Royal Sisters, and is so hugely versatile. My daughter wants some for her room, so it looks like we will have some fun picking out colours for her star garland. I hope everyone had a really nice Christmas. I am looking forward to this next year and can’t wait to share lots of things with you. Thanks again everyone for taking the time to visit every day and for commenting as well. I truly appreciate it.

crochet, family, gifts, home • Monday, December 28th, 2009 • 6 Comments »

Merry Christmas!

elf stockings Merry Christmas everyone. I just wanted to say thank you very much to all of you who take a moment out of your day to stop by and especially for all of the wonderful comments. You all have made my foray into blogging, extremely enjoyable and satisfying. I have met such wonderful new friends, and I look forward to continuing on in 2010. Have a wonderful, very merry Christmas!

gifts, sewing • Friday, December 25th, 2009 • 7 Comments »

A Tiny Stuffed Snowman

stuffed snowman ornament This year for our tree, we are using only handmade ornaments. The kids have loved working on all kinds of different ornaments. Our oldest made this snowman. This little guy is full of fantastic details, a pointy 3d nose, a separate thumb on his mitten hand. Such wonderful detail and all on a snowman that’s only about an inch tall. I’m so proud of my kids and I love that they have such creative imaginations. It just really hit me today that we only have 3 days until we leave on a trip to visit some family for the next couple of weeks. I have tons to do, and am just hoping that it all gets done. I am looking forward to being able to relax a little bit though. I also wanted to let you know that after a few inquiries about how I made my vintage button heart, I made a tutorial here. Hope you guys have lots of fun making them. Have a fantastic day, I better get back to the laundry and packing.

gifts, home, kid's art • Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 • 10 Comments »