Friday, December 23, 2011

Wishing you and yours a joyful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

dreaming of a white christmas

I'm really missing snow.  The birch branches I used for outdoor decoration look rather bare without a nice coating of the white stuff.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

woven gift wrap

This is an idea I've had for quite a while, and finally got around to doing.  The possibilites are limitless for what could be woven onto the top of a package; initials, shapes, plaid, checks, etc...  Not to mention the infinite number of possibilities for materials: yarn, twine, twill tape, rubber bands, shoe strings...

I'm really pleased with this.  It's a very simple process, it takes a little more time than the average wrap job, but the result is personalized and feels so nice to the touch in addition to looking pretty.

* The first step is to wrap the package in your base color.  
   Wrap as close to the edge as you like, without getting so close that the yarn slips off.

* Next, grab a sheet of graph paper.  (I love graph paper!)  
* Sketch out a rectangle representative of your package.  
   For example, I ended up with 23 strands of yarn on the front of my package, and I wanted a relatively
   square image, so I sketched a 23x23 square.
* Then experiment to figure out what pattern looks good in the space you have.

* Finally, pull strands of your contrasting color(s) through the base color according to your sketch. 
  I used a crochet hook to help with this process.
  Tie the strands off on the back as you go.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the bookshelf for boys and girls

My youngest came home with an absolute gem from our little school library.  Bear in mind, our school is very small with very limited resources, which ends up meaning that we have very old books in the library....I couldn't be happier.  The book is volume 3 (Folk & Fairy Tales) from a series called 'The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls' published by The University Society in 1961.  The illustrations are so sweet, I am completely taken with them...they just don't make 'em like they used to.

Even the inside cover is cute!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

'technic'-ally speaking

My son has an upcoming birthday, so in preparation I asked him what he'd like his cake to look like.  He was thoughtful for a moment and then said, "It can just say happy birthday."  I asked if that really was all he wanted, he was thoughtful again and then said, "Well, I would really like a model of a Lego Technic Motorized Excavator on the cake."  Then it was my turn to be thoughtful (I was thinking, I've got to stop letting the kids watch so much Food Network).  We came up with this idea as a compromise, I made a 2D sugar image of the motorized excavator to place on the cake. 

I taped an image of the machine along with a piece of waxed paper to the counter.

Then I simply traced the image with royal icing (meringue powder, confectioner's sugar and water).

I'm allowing the icing to harden for a day, fingers crossed it will stay in one piece while I place it on the cake!

update: It worked.  The cake I put the excavator onto wasn't that pretty...but my 8 yr old was happy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

let it snow

We haven't had much snow yet, and I am really missing it.  So to help fill the void, I've added some homemade snow flakes to our table.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

advent calendar 2011

Here's our advent calendar this year, it's an advent banister.  I made a bag for each child on each day, labeled with the their initial and the date.  Each bag has a very small treasure inside.  On the way down for breakfast each morning, the kids grab their bags and open them while reading our advent devotion for the day.

Wishing you a blessed advent season!