Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sweet Blue August

***Etsy Again***

I was happy to find something cute and fun for Lauren. I could spend HOURS looking at all of the neat pendants at Sweet Blue August made from old Scrabble tiles!

(they'll send me a free pendant for the plug-pretty nice, eh?)(photo from SweetBlueAugust)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


***More Etsy Plugs***

I found the sweetest Linda-perfect jewelery here at SheSells.

(photos from SheSells)

I loved this shop. Wish I were more of a jewelery girl myself.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Valerie's Gallery

***Etsy Plug***

I had lots of fun shopping on Etsy this year for Christmas, and I thought I'd share what I found, now that gifts are distributed and opened.

Valerie's Gallery
I loved these little felted pots, they were even cuter in person. I want some for myself.
(photos from Valeries Gallery)
She kindly sent me a teensy pot and a couple of bracelets as a thank you!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


More fun with felted sweater bits. I made these fun ipod cozies for stocking stuffers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I've been wanting for awhile to try fancy-ing up some onesies, and now that there's a new girl cousin-I finally did it! I like this Ballerina one the best. I left the backs open so that they would still have some stretch-I hope that works.
I think this one is cute too, but the skirt is a touch off-level. Luckily she's too cute for anyone to pay too much attention to silly things like that.

This is really strange, but I wanted to try something with a ribbon. I think it'll be cute with some little pants, but it may just be strange.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pinky update

Matthew's surgery went well, he's resting fairly comfortably.

Dr. said that he got it all out, a tumor in the cartilage, probably benign, pathology results next week. He called it very unusual.

He'll be in a sling for a week, then we have another appointment and physical therapy on the 31st.

Batik Quilt

I got these batiks for Jeanette in the Spring, and couldn't ever figure out how to cut them up--so I decided just to leave them in big pieces to show them off.

I consider this the front, I didn't want the ties to distract from the colors, so I tied it on the other side. I don't think the colors show up well in this picture, it really is a lovely piece in the middle.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I haven't been able to post pictures of all of the fun things I's been so hard!

Anna told us she wanted "Ballerina Stuff" for Christmas, and Grammy Joan found me this tulle at the new thrift shop. It wasn't the easiest project I've ever done, but I think she'll like it. The bow in front is to cover up some strangeness. The back turned out great!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sweater Bag

I made this for Linda's Birthday from an old sweater. I really like how it turned out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

St. Francis card

One of my favorite prayers.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

6 months


Gratuitously sad.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fernando Ortega Christmas Songs

Fernando Ortega has become my new favorite over the past few years, so I was very excited to hear he had a Christmas album coming out.

I got it last week, and it's just what I wanted; Calm and beautiful, gentle and true.

#2, Carol of the Birds, was completely new to me. It is a lovely song.

And he just had a baby!

Surely your local Christian Bookstore would be happy to get you a copy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Brussels Sprouts

Thursday night I made Roasted Salmon with Brussels Sprouts.

(not my photo-from MSLO)
I thought it was all pretty good, but something was a little bitter in the sprouts. The instructions told me to "trim" them, but I didn't know what that meant exactly, so maybe that's what was bitter.
Any help?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cards

I have bunches of old Christmas cards that I love and can't bring myself to send. It's ridiculous and silly and completely antithetical to the purpose of Christmas cards.

Today it occurred to me that I could scan them, and then I would have them forever, and I could post them, and share them with lots of people, and hopefully then actually send some of them out into the world.

So from now 'til Christmas, you'll see some of my favorites.

Here's one I've had about 8 years.

Doesn't it just make you happy and proud?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Harveyville Project

I'm always lamenting that there are so many cool craft shows and camps and clubs in other parts of the world, but not my little corner. But I'd still rather live in a small place than a "cool" one.

But this week on the CRAFT blog, I found out about a camp in Kansas!

The Harveyville Project is a retreat for artists, a home to spinning and yarn and felt craft camps, and poetry readings, and all sorts of fun stuff. It's in the old school buildings in Harveyville.

I missed felt school for this year, but hopefully I can make it next year.

Crafting and Rural Kansas, two of my great loves, together!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas favorite

We have lots and lots of Christmas books, but my favorite continues to be Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. It's a sweet story, with cute illustrations, and just the right number of words.

It's timely too! All about reusing things, trash into treasure, etc. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Get Kansas!

One of the best things we've done in the past few years was to join the Kansas Explorers Club. (Thanks Matthew!)

We have had lots of fun exploring and finding new things to do close to home.

Marci and WenDee started a blog with lots of fun details about Kansas.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wow! contest

Especially for my Dad, and for Linda, and for other word nerds.

Win a complete 20 volume set of the OED!

Just comment with your favorite word and why. I'm number 530. Good odds?

(I'm not sure why my name came out funny, just be careful, I guess.)

I found this on the rabbit trail of everything beautiful to intensely trivial to Powell's Books.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

No such thing... too much Christmas. This little sweetie singing under a tree is one of my favorite places to look and smile this year.
And the mischievous elves on the mantel are always fun.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Tree

Friday night Linda came out to help us finally finish the Christmas Tree. Anna enjoyed seeing all of the ornaments and getting to help put them on the tree.I really love our big tree with all of the random ornaments. I like that I can look at it for a long time, seeing different things and remembering different things. We have ornaments from Matthew's childhood, things we each made, things from Mom all the years of my life, ornaments from friends, pictures of Anna, souvenirs, the toys we strung to the tree with dental floss the first year we were married. A 3D scrapbook of life.
Here's a close up shot of a new ornament this year.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A live tree!

This year we got a little live tree from Harry and David, since we need trees anyway around the house, and I was wanting to have something a little extravagant for Christmas time. Everyone at Harry and David was very helpful. I'm excited to have a little live tree, and to imagine it growing in the yard, a little bit of Christmas all the time.
Here's Anna; wishing cousin Luke lots of luck at STATE! (Texas 6-man football) Go Follett Panthers!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Chex Mix

My very absolutely positively favorite Christmas treat is Chex Mix. I only allow myself to make it between Thanksgiving and Abby's Birthday in January, both to preserve its specialness and my health. My recipe:

3 cups rice chex (generic!)
3 cups corn chex (")
(or 6 cups crispix, but it's more expensive)
3 cups wheat chex (alas, no generic)
1 handful stick pretzels
1 cup cashews

Mix together in a big roaster.

4 T Lea and Perrins Worcestershire (it's worth it)
1 stick margarine
1 tsp Lawrys Seasoning Salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Microwave together to melt the butter and stir to combine.

Pour over mixed cereal, stirring to coat.

Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Spread on paper towels to cool.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Pink Tree

For years... I've been collecting beautiful pink ornaments when I find them at Goodwill. Every year at Christmas I open the box of loveliness and look at it and sigh, and dream of my all pink tree.

I was waiting for a house, then I was waiting for a cheap white or silver tree.
This year I have both, and the pink ornaments are nestled sweetly with pink lights amidst white branches.

I'm not very good at taking Christmas Tree pictures. Just imagine a happy sigh, head to one side, little smile. That's the feeling the tree gives me.

There are still lots of things the tree needs. I think a white garland or two would help fill in some of the gaps, and mask the green light cords. Somewhere out in the world is the perfect topper, I'll just have to wait for it. And maybe a satin tree skirt is in order. I'm glad it's not finished yet.
I have a very generous husband, to allow such silliness in his room. It's even blocking the closet, so that we have to go through the bathroom to get to the clothes and hampers and shoes.

Feel free to comment about how nice he is....I have ideas for another tree in the bathroom...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The long walk

I found at Goodwill sometime this year a book that I tossed in with my Christmas things. Guideposts for the Spirit: Christmas Stories of Faith. They're nice, short stories, easy to fit in for a moment in front of the tree. I especially liked this bit in a story by Norman Vincent Peale

There's a story about an African boy who gave his missionary-teacher an unusually beautiful seashell as a Christmas gift that's always meant a lot to Ruth and me. The boy had walked a great distance, over rough terrain, to the only place on the coast where these particular shells could be found. The teacher was touched. "You've traveled so far to bring me such a wonderful present," she said. The boy looked puzzled, then his eyes widened with excitement. "Oh, teacher," he explained, "long walk part of gift."

I think it's a nice thing to remember in the bustle. All of these things we do, they're all part of the gift.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Delurking December

Shauna suggests that this month, you give the gift of comments. No more sneaking around, reading blogs and not announcing yourself. I've commented twice so far. Not that impressive, I know.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

7th Annual

Connect Four Tournament! There must be a home court advantage, because, coming back after many years of defeat--

I won!

And Matthew got second.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

We had a good day.

We had to wait a little bit on the gravy, but everything else we timed out right, and it was all tasty and no one got sick.
Just really full.

Thanks for all of your help in getting things figured out!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent Cottage

Last year after Christmas sometime I found a Martha Stewart Craft Kit to make this little advent cottage. I thought it looked cute and the instructions seemed simple, so I picked it up cheap to make this year.

Abby and I got started, and quickly discovered that it was not going to be easy. Or particularly fun. But we kept plugging.

Eventually Dad came in and sat down to help and agreed that it was awfully difficult. There were a couple of problems with the instructions. First, they were overly simple. "...and then glue together." I didn't think it was quite so obvious where and what we should be gluing.
Second, the instructions told us to put the roof on early in the construction of the house, which then made it difficult to glue on the doors and windows, as there was no way to apply pressure to both sides.

There are things that I like about it. Glue was included, which is a small thing, but it was nice not to have to find anything. I knew I could throw the kit in the car and we could do it at the house without hunting for supplies.

The card stock is a nice, the score lines handy, and the glue adhered well.

It's cute and has nice details.

The compartments are generously sized. We were able to fit small nativity pieces, stamps, stickers, and candy in the different boxes. We also copied down the Christmas story from the advent calendar we three girls all used, which is dangerously near to falling apart.

It was disappointing and a little frustrating, but it's always fun to do something together, and the house is super cute, and I think Anna will enjoy opening each of the little doors to find her treats.