Sunday, December 26, 2010

On the 1st Day of Christmas... true love gave to me
a partridge in a pear tree!

I'm going to be posting some 12 Days of Christmas freebies over on my digital scrapbooking blog.

The Gift of Music

...and other fun things.

Haven and her friend Hannah at the Stuttgart Christmas Market.

Haven got her first guitar a few years ago from my dad. It was a fun little beginner's guitar that she loved. But since she has been taking lessons she has outgrown the beginner's guitar. But we weren't quite ready to invest in a really nice guitar yet. Then this little baby just dropped in my lap. Her instructor told me that a mutual friend was selling her Big Baby Taylor to make room for a new little baby who would be joining their family in a few months. So Haven got a new guitar.

What I didn't know was that Rob bought me a bass! I have long admired bass players and recently our friend started showing me some of the basic things on his bass. So now I have my own!

My mom sent Ethan some new drum sticks and Haven a set of guitar picks in all different weights. That was super cool because we had just been discussing guitar picks with the instructor and talking about when you use each of the different kinds.

Rob's big gift (which turns out to be fun for the entire family) is Apple TV. It is awesome!!!! We can load it up with stuff on its harddrive, pull from any of the family computers that have iTunes open, or download from the iTunes store. I'm especially looking forward to renting movies on it. It was also great for piping music through the sound system. It just pulls from the iTunes library.

We're really not Apple fanatics, but Rob did have an Apple Christmas. He also got an iPad cover with a built in blue tooth keyboard, and our friends gave him this iPad stand. The manufacturer intends it to be a display stand, but Steffen (being a preacher) thought it would make a perfect podium! So Rob can pop his iPad in it and have his music, or his Bible study notes. Fancy shmancy!

There were lots of other fun things from the family and friends. We're very thankful for everyone who thought of us and sent gifts! We love you all very much! We know it's not the gift that makes us blessed, but the people who love us.

And for those of you who have listened to me whine about the snow... here's proof that I'm not exaggerating.

It took us FOREVER to dig the car out of the snow this morning to go to Church! I got out a huge broom to push the snow off of the car. And on the left, that is the street we live on. Well, under that snow is our street. The snow plow operators had a couple of days off, which was nice for them, but very challenging for us on the days we had to go out. :)

Happy 2nd Day of Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Handmade Holiday

This was one of my favorite pics for Christmas. The bag was almost as tall as Ethan! :) And just in case you're curious, it had a remote controlled BMW inside.

Today's post is about the handmade goodies of this Christmas. I have a few more pics that I want to post later on. First off, my new best friend in the kitchen... I bought a stand mixer earlier this month to get me through December baking. I love it! I tried a new recipe this year - marshmallows! The pic on the right is Haven cutting out a bunch of snowflake marshmallows. They were surprisingly easy and fun and TASTY! If you want to make them yourself you can find the recipe here. I also made a ton of gingerbread cookies. So this year instead of a gift box of cookies we gave hot chocolate, snowflake marshmallows, and gingerbread cookies. A couple of people also got mug rugs, but I was so busy sewing I forgot to take pictures!
To my peeps at the store, don't worry, cookies and marshmallows are coming!

Next up from my sewing machine, an iPad bag for our friend Ariane. I also included a matching key fob. I made up the pattern. She can take the long strap off and carry it by the handles if she wants. There is a velcro piece on the inside to hold it closed. There's also a zipper on the back side to hold cables. She loves orange, and she loved the bag!

Some handmade jewelry. My mom sent me a macrame bracelet from one of my cousins that she said is somewhere around 40 years old! Vintage macrame! Sweet! The bottom pic has a bracelet made by Jennifer and some super cool guitar pick earrings I picked up from the craft show for Haven.

Rob's Mom sent these handmade lovelies! The pillow is beautiful and the tissue covers are really fun. The direction of the stitches changes the sheen of the yarn and makes it look two-toned. Pretty cool.

And lastly, pillow pets have joined our home. Haven and Ethan each got a pillow pet and a coordinating minky blanket. Haven's is zebra stripe and black minky and Ethan's is frog fabric with brown minky. The sets got some use today while we sat around and watched movies together. Haven thinks I need to point out that I didn't make the pillow pets, but I DID make the blankets, which aren't highly visible... but they are there. :)

That's all for the handmades. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hilco Tunic #2

So, I know normal people probably buy their accessories to match their clothes... but I say where's the fun in that? I make my clothes to match my accessories! C&A has some really great winter tights and I bought these stripey ones to go with something else, but it didn't turn out the way I wanted. So I had tights that didn't match anything. This fabric is Jacobean Jewels by Red Rooster. It's very pretty. Deep rich colors perfect for fall/winter.

You can't really see the tights, but they are stripes with the same colors as the shirt fabric.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern. I shortened the bodice by an inch and lengthened the shirttail by about 3 inches. I think I should have shortened the bodice at the shoulders too. I also lengthened the tie ends (I didn't show the back, but there is a tie in the back.) I think it fits better now. I really like this pattern. It's kind of like the School House Tunic, but more fitted and with more details.

Ethan has been trying to make a snowman for a week now, but the snow is either too dry to stick together, or too dirty to play with. Today he came home with a bitty snowman he made at school!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Visit with Santa

photo by cVcFoto

WinterFest was last night and Santa came to visit! The photographer snagged up Ethan first thing for practice pictures before the hoards of kids came in. Ethan wasn't prepared for the sudden grab so he actually got back in line to see Santa again after he had time to think about what was happening and time to prepare his "list!" So adorable. See that quilt Santa is sitting on? It's MINE!! I FINALLY quilted that sucker!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Outfit

Shirt: Hilco pattern from the fall KnipMode
Skirt: McCall's free pattern (doesn't seem to be available anymore...) from the Grosgrain Frock by Friday
Boots: Dr. Martin's!!!! from Zappos

The KnipMode is a magazine produced by Hilco. I'm not sure how often they put it out, but I don't think it's more than 4 a year. It has several patterns and they are all printed on four pieces of paper. The lines are color coded, so it's not too hard to trace. Just in case you ever use the magazine, it does NOT include seam allowances. I learned this the hard way. The whole thing is of course in German, and it does not have diagrams in the instructions. It was challenging, to say the least. You really need to be an experienced clothing sewer to use these patterns. So this shirt took me ... a while. But the next time around I think it will go fast.

The skirt was from a sew along that I didn't really succeed in. I actually made the top part of the dress, but it was NOT flattering on me. So I used the skirt portion and just made it into a skirt. My favorite part is it has silk lined pockets!

I had to post about the boots. They are Dr. Martin's! I didn't know they made boots without the giant sole. They are really comfy and even fit OVER my jeans even though I have giant calves. They do have a very hard insole. so I wear fluffy socks if I'm going to be standing all day. I really like these boots and recommend them to anyone looking for brown boots with a heel this winter.

Haven took the pic. I tried to edit out the dining room behind me, but oh well. She was funny. She kept telling me to look "dramatic" and then she would tell me the pictures looked weird! Ha! She would act like a photographer, telling me to pose, and then she would listlessly snap the picture, like she was bored. Teens. But she really likes photography. I just hope she will one day take pictures of something other than herself for her facebook profile.... one day...

WinterFest tomorrow beginning at 4pm, then GLOBETROTTERS on Sunday! How exciting! Then maybe after this weekend I can rest a little. Oh, and Diko is doing a fashion exhibition this weekend! Anyone want to go? She left cards at the shop.

It's been snowing steadily, but it hasn't been too cold yet. Yet. But we've already had 2 hour delays for school twice. Of course that makes Haven happy!

I'm now completely addicted to the audiobooks. I'm listening to Book 3 of the Pendragon Cycle: Arthur.