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!!