Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Creations

I haven't exactly been frequenting my blog much lately. The holiday season and the growing demands of my growing boys has stretched me slightly thin. However, I do now have a moment to share with you a few reflections of Christmas time in our home.

 This wreath was a pain in the neck and I nearly gave up out of frustration as I was making it. We recently had quite a wind storm. So, as a result, there were branches on the ground everywhere. We piled several together and I started overlapping branches and tying countless times until it was long enough and thick enough to compete the circle. 

 Still, once completed, it wasn't holding together as had envisioned to begin with. I then decided to cut some strips of red fabric and tie the fir needles together externally in 5 places. I completed the hanging by doubling the thickness of the fabric strip to strengthen it, as the wreath ended up being very heavy. After hanging it, I trimmed the wreath and added pine cones. Voila!!

This pillow beautifully matches the incomplete quilt that I made (I have been so busy that quilting has been very hard to do, so I am letting go of perfection and accepting the fact that we will have it absolutely ready next Christmas). I love the array of fabrics!

And here is the back of our Christmas throw pillow. As you can see, it is a pillow sham essentially, so the cover can be washed and the pillow itself can have interchangeable covers representing all seasons, holidays, and general decor. I didn't follow a pattern on this one. It was more on a whim. :)

 We simply made this Advent calendar by cutting a rectangular piece of burgundy felt, several olive green triangles suitable for the given squares made by using black permanent marker, and some small rectangles for the month label and for the pocket holding the "Christmas trees". Every day, Jared pulls out the corresponding tree and places it on that day of the month. Ah, the magic of wool felt... It just sticks to itself. Less effort on my part. :)

A while back, when I received all of that fabric and quilting supplies from my aunt, I noticed this "Coca Cola" cool polar bear fabric. Usually, this is not my kinda thang, but it is definitely reminiscent of my father, who passed away almost 10 years ago. He is so special to me and I haven't enough to sufficiently remember him by. So, being that him and my also deceased Grandma were so absolutely into the Coca Cola thing (seriously, they loved it!), I decided to quilt a stocking in their honor. Unfortunately, I used fleece for the inner lining, so for me, it was extremely difficult to sew with. It was another pain in the neck. The other less than fortunate aspect is that it looks to me like a stocking-shaped oven mitt. I guess that is what happens when you try to entirely create your own pattern. Oh well... It has grown on me.

 The boys have been working hard using their hands for the purpose of Christmas, as well. Jared used beeswax to create the big tree shown above and the man. He also helped me with the toboggan. Dylan created the snowman with a little help, as well as the little Christmas tree. Fabulous! I love beeswax!

Jared created this snowman in one of our many homemade play-dough sessions. What detail!

We went to one of my dear friends' houses for a gingerbread house party. How cool is that? So, each of the boys were able to construct their own little gingerbread house with frosting and a variety of candy. Problem was the little ones kept eating the latter! I suppose I wasn't too worried about it. They know they normally do not have access to it, so I am lenient when we go to parties.

 3 Brothers: 1 snacking on a candy cane and expressing his joy with his hands like the little boy with the Italian genes he has been partially given; 1 overseeing the others' work in progress like a concerned parental figure ready to guide the little one on command, standing with arms akimbo; 1 meticulously engineering his architectural masterpiece with intention and gumption.

This train set was a hit for all 3 boys after they completed their gingerbread houses. I was pleased with how well they worked together and helped one another. Fun times!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Autumn Leaves

You have all heard of the cliche of making piles of leaves and jumping in them, or perhaps you have read children's books with portrayals of raking Autumn leaves and playing in them. Well, unfortunately, growing up in my suburban neighborhood made this annual ideal a mere fantasy. However, living in the mountains has offered our family several natural opportunities, such as Autumn leaf play, familiar to the children of yesteryear. We have so many trees, and thus leaves on the ground, that it doesn't take much raking to create huge piles for playing with and burying little children. We quite enjoyed this day. Plus, the boys even buried Mommy, which was warm, cozy, and just plain delightful to be one with nature.

These are merely but a glimpse of our leaf-play, but I thought I would share anyway. I really enjoyed their natural exploration and ultimate joy. What a good day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Wow, I am long overdue! We are well into the Christmas season, but I have been slacking a bit...for the legitimate reason of spending undivided time with the boys, I suppose. I made several Harvesty edible things, but, like with our bacon and harvest apple omelet on Thanksgiving morning, the pictures did not turn out so well. So, I will show you a glimpse of what turned out okay. :)

This was our breakfast pumpkin spice oatmeal morning dish on the morning of Thanksgiving. It was accompanied by, of course, our bacon and harvest apple omelet. Super Yummy!

And here is a quick peek at our pumpkin streusel.......

Hard at work making turkey art with dried beans, bark, and leaves......

Dylan is scoping out which beans to utilize for his unique turkey. 

Nice turkey face....with help from Mommy a bit.....

 The boys' finished, yet undried work...Dylan's is far left, Jared's cycloptic turkey is in the center, and Lukey's is the big, orange-backed, methodical one. I LOVE these!!!

Pre-Thanksgiving dinner.... Garlic mashed potatoes, awesome kale dish from, orange-cranberry sauce, and the Butternut Squash-Bartlett Pear Soup recipe from Yoga Journal. Never fails!

Happy super-belated Thanksgiving!!


Friday, November 18, 2011

A Little More Color

For those of you who get easily creeped out by the supernatural, I would like to lighten the situation with some bright, "lively" colors. Heeheehee.... Here is a glimpse at some of what I have been working on. I will show you more very soon.

These have since become blocks and now a baby quilt top. I still have to make the back and the binding. These were really radiant, fun colors to work with and I love the cute town fabric!!!

These are the unfinished front of my tooth fairy pillows.....

And the backs......

 Here is a larger quilt I am going to frame in grey. It will be a free motion quilting study, whereas each square will have a different experimental threading design.

And here is a glimpse of the first baby quilt top I made for my shop. I love using a little red! Can't wait to complete the entire quilt....

And I thought I would throw in Jared's dinosaur book he made for school. He basically studied the 7 different categories of dinosaurs and how they each differ. As one can see on the cover, he shows them all: pachycephalosaurs, ornithopods, stegasaurs, ankylosaurs, sauropods, ceratopsians, and therapods. The coolest thing about home school is that I am also learning, as well!

Have a great Friday and weekend!!!!

Living in a Haunted House?

Let me start this post by saying that I know I am going to sound like a crazy lady. I am very aware of this. I wasn't going to say anything to anybody, but it is so interesting and intriguing, that I must share with you our discovery. I am a skeptical and analytical person, who likes concrete explanation. I am always open to possibilities, yet I have still found no logical explanation for this. Here it goes... ever since we returned from the haunted castle a couple months ago, we have been experiencing orb activity in our home. I was curious because it seemed like the orb activity increased around the children. So, I took several photos in all rooms of the house, which ended up being orb-free. I was relieved and feeling silly until I took a couple photos when they were sitting in their room. There were some orbs that moved around from photo to photo. I was pretty scared at first with thoughts of other presences perhaps having followed us home. So, I put it out of my mind for a while. I have since periodically caught them on camera, which can be annoying when I am simply attempting to capture a normal, clear photo. Several photos are perfectly clear and yet, several have orb movement. We think it is spirit energy or something along those lines. We are pretty convinced, though entirely open for alternate explanation. All I can say is that they were never present before we went to the castle, and I have thousands of photos in our home from the same that are orb-free prior to visiting the place. Truly, I am not fearful anymore. I am okay with consciously coexisting with these potential spirits. We joke about it now and like to think of it as many of the lonely boys who died at the castle and just want to be around a loving family. This may not be the case, but it is fun to think of it this way. Exciting!!

So, these photos are from merely one day recently, though there have been several other occasions. All I was doing this day was taking photos of the 3 boys playing together. I got more than I bargained for, though. Look primarily at the speaker in the picture below. In other consecutive photos, it is not present there anymore.

Lots of activity in this one. Maybe they feed off of human energy, which is why they are more drawn to children? Maybe....maybe not......
 What is that around Jared's head...and by his foot? Hmmmmm....

They have change locations again, within seconds.......
 What the heck are all of those? Very interesting... By the way, I love the stance, Lukey. Darn orbs are messing up my photo of my son! :)

So we decided to move to a different part of the room to experiment with these orbs. Plus, we just wanted to make goofy faces..... The photo is orb-free from what I can see.......

But moments later...... a couple appeared (look mainly near Luke's head).....

 A couple random spots on the wall that you will not see in other photos as I stood here taking pictures, one after the other.

Cute faces!!!! Look above the desk... that wasn't there before.... nor was it in the corner on the wall by the door.
 A couple vague ones...questionable, I suppose....
 Not much going on, but you will notice 2 random circles on the floor in front of the desk. They are not in the next photo, taken seconds after.
 And what are those huge transparent circles that just magically appeared? Hmmmm..........

Look at all those in front of the curtain!


Where the heck did that bright one come from randomly?

They keep moving as I stand there and continue taking photos... excuse the cobwebs, by the way. I have since cleaned them. ;) 
 Whoa! Way more than when the kids were over there. Huh.......

Cool! Lots of activity now....maybe they are not drawn to the goodness!
 Look on the wall and kinda on Jared's dresser (yes, it is dusty, but you will notice the difference in the next photo)......

The orbs are no longer on the wall and there is now a visible orb in front of the bookcase. Trippy. 

It is obviously not dust, especially with the hit and miss of orbs in photos in any given room. If it were dust, it would be more consistent. Besides, dust doesn't reflect like that when flashed. Furthermore, we know it is not water spots on the camera due to the circles moving when the camera has not moved and the fact that some photos are completely clear throughout the photo sequence. So, what could it be? Don't know for sure, but it is pretty awesome just the same. What do you think??