Every year Christmas seems to come up so quickly and we all try to fit in so many things that last two months of the year. I really want Christmas to be calm and peaceful and a time for reflection and family and friends. So this year I am prepared, or at least getting that way. I am going to work on a project every month to make next Christmas easier. I can see how this could very easily turn into making it more stressful by adding so many projects that it just gets out of control, so I am making an effort to keep this simple and remember my ultimate goal, simplify and de-stress Christmas. This month I started a small notebook in which to organize my thoughts and write down things that might be good projects or gifts for next year. I have the ideas and where to find specifics, if I’ve already found directions somewhere. I can gather info and as the year progresses narrow some of those things down as I decide exactly what I’m doing. Each month on the 25th I will share with you what my project was for that month, and have some giveaways along the way. I’m really excited about this as next December I shall be fully prepared (in theory) and on track for a simple, beautiful Christmas. I’d love for you to join me, it would be great to have a whole bunch of ideas on the 25th of every month. Even if you get one thing done during the year in preparation for next year it should be a help, no pressure here. This is absolutely not meant to be a way to overload and cause more stress. Ok, so laundry calls, have a great day everybody. I’ll see you in a few days with a fun little Valentine’s project.
Archive for the ‘home’ Category
Receiving brown paper packages tied up with string Reminding my children that my mama made these ornaments when I was still in her belly Tucking into the most gorgeous oranges that Grandad brought back from a business trip to California Seeing all the beautiful handmade ornaments that hang on our tree Hanging our super-bargain $1 handmade winter wreath I found at a thrift store last year We’re very much getting into the Christmas spirit around here. Packages are being assembled to ship, sweet treats are being made, bowlfuls of hot soup are being devoured and Christmas music is playing. We’re also making plans to go visit my brother in Oregon after Christmas, which has all of us a little giddy. Hope you all had a restful weekend and are remembering to be still and breathe in a season that can quickly become overwhelming if we let it. What are your favourite Christmas traditions?
Last year I came across a crib sized duvet cover at the thrift store. It is the perfect size to snuggle up under in the winter so I snapped it up for $1. I needed something to fill it with so I also grabbed a comforter for another $1. I cut out two pieces of the comforter and serged them together to fit the duvet cover. It’s wonderfully soft and cozy and the perfect price at about $1.50. Here are some trousers I made for my older daughter when she was two. I had forgotten all about them until I dug them out for the babe. I used an old denim skirt of mine and used the existing leg seam and hems for the legs. I have skinny babies and skinny kids and this is one of my favourite waistbands to make. I took a strip of knit fabric measured to fit their little waists and serge the short ends together. Next you fold it in half lengthwise and serge the cut ends to the waist of the actual trousers. Very easy, and a very comfortable, custom fit. The babe needed some new shoes so we stopped at a little children’s boutique store on our way home from the cabin and found these delicious shoes. She loves her “ballet-rina” shoes and wears them every waking minute. Well, I have lots more to show you guys, several projects I have been working on and some different things we use in our homeschooling. I’ll get to that next week, but in the meantime have a wonderful, and hopefully restful, weekend.
Making bread bags has been on my to do list for well, ages. Considering it only took me ten minutes, with distractions, I should have done it ages ago. I have been wanting to come up with a more natural storage solution for keeping our bread and had decided on cloth bags. Shortly after, I saw Mousy Brown’s tutorial and decided that was just the thing. Funnily enough, I picked up these tea towels to make them when we were at the Ikea in Philly. When I went back to the tutorial, I realized that I had bought the exact same ones. I love how they turned out, they are a good weight and should be just right for keeping our bread fresher, longer. If you are looking for a new way to store your bread, give these a try, they are quick, very easy, and really nice to look at.
My seven year old loves blankets. He is buried or snuggled in one most of the time during the winter, and fall, and spring. I have to fold them and put them away during the summer and he has even been known to dig them out just to snuggle up. I have been wanting to sew each of my kids their own special quilt and I finally finished his. Most clothes that are grown out of around here end up at the thrift store. T-shirts that are too worn and/or stained get cut up into cleaning rags. I’ve always felt a little bit bad about jeans though. With a torn knee or a worn cuff they can’t be donated, but I didn’t want to throw them out either. So one day it came to me, make a strip quilt out of the decent pieces. I have to say that it turned out even better than I imagined. I absolutely love this quilt, and I hope he will too. The jeans were well worn so they are so soft, not stiff at all, perfect for snuggling up in. I used a thrifted sheet for the back. For the inside, I used the other half of that sheet (it had a few small tears and stains) and a large piece of flannel that had been given to me (I didn’t care for the print). It ends up being a nice sturdy weight and the grand cost was $1, for the sheet. Everything else I had, which makes this quilt all the more exciting to me. I really do love taking things that are no longer used or loved and turning them into beautiful things. So here we are, a well loved denim quilt for a well loved boy.
I feel like I am cheating when it comes to gardening when I plant already started plants into the ground. I have resigned myself to the fact that if I want to grow anything, this is the way it will have to be. Forget greenfingers, I have gardening fingers of death. Do you remember all of my beautiful seedlings? Want to know how many survived? Not one single one. After lovingly looking after them for months, they just stopped growing. They weren’t big enough to transplant, and I have no idea what I did wrong. It is so disheartening for me, as I really, really want to be able to grow things from seed. We ended up going to the garden center and purchasing already started plants. I got them in the ground and have high hopes for them producing. We shall see though, as I can manage to kill just about any plant with a single glance. The decluttering is going well, I have a whole van load to head to the thrift store, a stack of books that I am selling, and a few things that are going on ebay. I still have so much more to do, but I am finally seeing some progress. Oh, and I am finally getting sleep. If the babe takes a late afternoon nap, she doesn’t go to sleep till about 9:30pm, but she doesn’t wake up during the night. I’m still trying to decide whether I want calm, quiet, child free evenings or a decent nights sleep. Some days it’s a toss up.
Hi everybody! I feel bad as I am almost constantly taking little breaks from my blog. Such is life with four little ones though, I suppose. I am in the middle of a couple of projects, one which is some serious decluttering of the house. It is taking up all of my time and I am feeling so ready for it to be done, that I really need to be able to focus on that and the family for the next few days. I will be back on Monday, hopefully with a much calmer house, and mind. Have you recently decluttered, or do you need to? What’s your favourite tip for decluttering? Do you feel so much better when it is done? How do you decide what to keep and what to let go?
You know it’s finally a gorgeous spring day when the temperature hits 72 degrees, and you are able to spend pretty much the whole day outdoors. When you can plant flowers in a pretty hand painted thrifted pot…. when your most energetic boy can finally really work out some of those wiggles on the trampoline…. Well, let’s face it, they all have wiggles, and the tramp is the perfect spot to get in some exercise. I should probably get up there, but I’m not convinced I would be able to move the next day. When it’s warm enough that they all have rosy cheeks, and are just about completely covered in layers of dirt, which makes the perfect time for a mango strawberry milkshake (just frozen mangoes and strawberries blended up with some milk). What a gorgeous day it was. By the time we came in and got them all cleaned up with hot baths and warm food, their little heads hit the pillows and they were out. I am so ready for all of our days to be like this, though of course, it’s supposed to snow again on Friday.
We had to drive down to Denver yesterday as that is the closest Apple store and we needed to take our computer in for repairs. It was a perfectly grey, and drizzly day (I must admit, I do love a good rainy day). The sky was so many different shades of grey and blue and the ground was still partially covered in snow, which made the mountains absolutely gorgeous. Have a great weekend everybody!
I made this string bag a while ago, but promptly forgot about it in shuffle of everybody being so ill. I used this pattern, which was a breeze to crochet. I did add some extra rows in the middle as I wanted the bag to be a bit bigger, but otherwise it is the same pattern. I had lots and lots of natural cotton, but I am thinking of dyeing it a brighter colour now that it is done and my stash is almost gone. This is the biggest bag (though it’s not huge) I’ve done and I really like it. I have intentions of getting one more bag done before the month is out, and I hope I’ll be able to get to it. I love making my own bags, and this has been such a fun challenge as it is not something I’ve done before. Even though I have not had luck in finding a pattern to match what I need for big shops, these smaller bags will definitely have their place. For one, they’ll be easier for the kiddos to manage. They will be perfect for produce bags and also little gift bags. Several different little handmade string bags would also be perfect tied up with pretty ribbons for a gift. Well, it’s supposed to snow again today and tomorrow, I am thankful that we are having days of springyness in between the cold, grey weather, but I will definitely be glad when it is more consistently warm. No real sign of spring here in the form of buds or anything green, but I am keeping a keen eye out. What are your favourite signs of spring?