Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Crafted

I hope you had a merry, relaxing Christmas.  We did.  I had a hard time getting ready this year.  I didn't have much in the way of plans early on.  Once I had ideas, I also got distracted with a quite different project.  But I did craft a few gifts.
On the phone one day, my sister Vae said, out of the blue, "I need to get a door snake."  Once I oriented my mind to what she had said (Door?  Snake?), I thought I could do that.  So here's her snake, demonstrating its usefulness.
Thinking LaBeq's apartment could do with some draft prevention as well, I sewed her another snake.  They proved difficult to wrap, so I whipped up some bags with these Christmasy panels I'd found in Grandma O's stash.

I took breaks to crochet gifts for a baby shower (I used this pattern for the flower and this pattern for the booties) . . .
and a birthday party for a Pokemon fan.  I mostly used this pattern, but modified it for the chunky yarn I had on hand.
I machine-embroidered these towels for my mother,
and these washcloths to go to some friends with this jam.  I admit that I actually did think way ahead on the jam, but I did the cloths on the spur of the moment.
This, however, was my big project:  Knight Hoodies for all four boys.
Since I ordered the main fabric on a Black Friday sale, this endeavor included planning, waiting, and last-minute sewing.
This is the first time I've downloaded a PDF pattern.  Taping and tracing were just as tedious as I'd expected.  Of course, I would have traced a paper pattern, too, to make the different sizes. 
Other frustrations were more my fault.  I bought just enough fabric, and had to get creative to get all the pieces in.  The ancient laptop that displayed the instructions kept switching off, until I thought to remove the battery.  And there was too much time between measuring the boys and tracing and cutting--I started doubting that any of the jackets would fit.
But they all do.  And the boys love them!  So it doesn't matter that I didn't get the pajamas made, and hopefully no one minds that I didn't bake quite so many cookies this year.
My Christmas crafting was a success!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Wise Men Journey, by Joyce Tremethick

They journeyed far to seek the Light,
a star their compass through the night.
Their dearest hopes and dreams, could all
be brought to pass by one so small?
The majesty of earth and skies
were kindled in the baby's eyes;
the power that ruled the heavens, crammed
into a tiny infant hand.
Wise men bow to a humble King
whose love gives life to everything.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Musical Monday

They aren't wearing green sleeves, but the Harp Twins play a lovely arrangement of "What Child is This?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Advice

The Caterpillar begins his busking career

Ever feel stressed about Christmas preparations?  D2 had a great idea the other day:
"Why don't we just let Santa take care of all the presents this year?" 
It would be easier, wouldn't it?  I told him that giving builds character, though.  He's not off the hook yet.

I don't feel stressed so much as occasionally paralyzed.  I love to make gifts, but the process usually includes some time for doubt.  Am I doing this right?  Will they want it, anyway?

I had a great idea, and started right off on it.  After a while, though, it wasn't going my way.  Scoot happened to come by.  I showed him the problems, and he had a helpful idea.  Then he said,
"Just do it, and you can fix it later."
Sometimes children's confidence can be a bit overwhelming.  Mine believe that Mom can fix (almost) anything.  I wasn't ready.  I set that project aside for a while. 

Today I decided to believe in Scoot's belief.  I fixed one problem, then two.  A big one remained, so I stepped away again, thought about something else.  And then I thought of the solution.  So I finished the project, and I think it will do.  

You can succeed, too!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Musical Monday

Good wishes from some very merry gentlemen!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Musical Monday

For a silly start to the season:

The Caterpillar loves the Carol of the Bells.  He's read up on its Ukrainian spring-time origins, and loves it for Christmas, or any other time of the year.  Here is a version he discovered recently.