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On Hand

January 17, 2010

I like having things on hand. It’s taken me a long time to get around to it, but after reading a couple of posts several months ago, I decided this was something I wanted to work toward. As life gets busier and busier, I really want to try and streamline things and organize as much as I can around here, the kitchen being one of the prime areas that needs focus. At the same time, I have a strong desire to cook from scratch and still be able to access food conveniently and quickly. It’s all starting to come together now, and it mostly revolves around jars.

After reading Tonia’s post here about planning ahead, the wheels started turning, and I decided to invest in a dozen wide mouth quart size canning jars. One morning, I just mixed up several batches of all the dry ingredients for blueberry muffins, pizza dough and biscuit mix and put them in these jars. I labeled them with a dry erase marker, stuck them in a basket and put them on a shelf, ready for action. They have proven to be very useful. This”resolution” (if you want to call it that) is going to stick.

Reading Aimee’s post about jars also got me thinking about all the things I could store in them and so I started collecting. (By collecting, I mean saving them once we empty them…a pickle jar here, a jelly jar there. And oh, the salsa that gets consumed in this house. Those jars are the best!) So slowly but surely, things around here are finding glass homes and it feels good. (I even have a jar for stray Legos that get missed when it’s cleanup time and we end up pulling them out of the baby’s mouth.)

Now that things are being organized, I would actually like to make these jars more aesthetically pleasing, like this. Not that there’s anything wrong with having our math manipulatives labeled as ‘mild’….but that’s for another day.

What do you have that needs a home?


Home Sweet Home

January 15, 2010

I know, I know…she doesn’t post for a week and then all the sudden there’s a deluge of crafty craziness on here! Sorry, but I just want to get this last post about my Christmas sewing done, so I can MOVE ON. I’m ready to move on. But before I do, I just have to share it with you. I have been wanting to make this fabric dollhouse for a long time, and finally followed through in time for our family gift exchange. Ah, it feels good to see a project through to completion. This was fun, but definitely something that required time, effort and patience. The delight with which it was received was totally worth the work.

Okay folks, that should do it for now. See you next week for something new, fresh and totally unrelated to sewing.

You have my word.

For My Knight in Shining Armor….or is that Polar Fleece?

January 15, 2010

Fleece it is, my friends. Remember this banner? It came from a fleece blanket we had around the house for years, but never really used because it was a weird size and had some imperfections. I cut into it once again over Christmas to make my little knight some proper attire. Coupled with this simple sheath, it made for a real keeper. He couldn’t be happier, or look sharper in his “new” ensemble. This year, the gifts that we spent the least on ended up being the favorites by far. This one was no exception.

The Ugly Monster Doll

January 15, 2010

I know you’ve seen them. They’re ugly, weird and oddly lovable. They’re also a great project for using up scraps, and so easy to make, if you’re so inclined towards a knock-off. I was interested and enticed by the prospect of not spending any money, but still making a nice gift. I just pieced together some scraps to make 2 squares, cut out my body shapes from those squares, stitched on a face, sewed them together, turned, stuffed them and closed them up.

It was a big hit, I tell you…

Feel Better

January 7, 2010

This turned out to be one of my favorite projects as far as Christmas gifts was concerned. We have been big fans of the hot water bottle over the last several months. (especially hubby) So, when I remembered this project from Soule Mama’s Handmade Home, I thought it was the perfect fit for my “old man.” (I like to tease him about his elderly ways, and YES we do own a Snuggie)

Nothing makes my heart sing more than something that is handmade, practical, pretty and easy, all at the same time. (not to mention, nice and cheap–ZERO DOLLARS SPENT!) Hence, the water bottle cozy. Laugh if you will, but it has definitely been the most used gift of them all!

Silence is Golden

January 5, 2010

Coming out of hibernation to say hello today…

As we ease back into real life, I have to say that this holiday season has been absolutely precious to me. We have been able to spend so much sweet time together–just our family, and it’s been really nice. We’ve played games, read books, watched movies, eaten more than our share of bounty, anticipated a new baby nephew, played more games in order to be patient while waiting for said baby, enjoyed snow and warmth, candles and cocoa and time with extended family and friends (and still more to come!) We may never experience another Christmas like the one we’ve had and it’s been so lovely in all its simplicity. I put my camera aside for the most part, and just enjoyed. I don’t know how many times I just curled up in a corner of our old couch with a hot cup of something, breathed a sigh of contentment and did nothing else but watch my kids play. Bliss, I tell you!
While we did break out the books for a while today and yesterday, our outer-world commitments don’t resume until next week. What a season, and what a year it has been for us! I’ll be sharing some of our merry making projects in the weeks to come and some of my goals for 2010 as well, but for now… I’d like to breathe one more sigh of contentment before life goes on.

Last Little Bit

December 24, 2009

We spent the day finishing up some wrapping, each in his own little corner of the house. It’s been a lazy, but delightful day. French toast for breakfast, BLTs for lunch, playing, creating, watching this (always precious!) and fixing to deliver some sweet treats to some neighbors. (side note: as I began tying up the packages for the neighbors, I noticed that the jute I was using smelled like cow manure. Ewww! I had to go with plan B) Anway, I feel blessed today indeed.

As I write, two are napping, one is reading, and one is in the bathtub singing Jingle Bells at the top of his lungs, “Jingle bells! Jingle bells! Jingle bells away…” No correcting is allowed. Next year, he’ll have it all straight. Sad, but true.
Here are a few more lovely pictures and simple thoughts that capture the spirit of the season. Enjoy all the delights of the holiday, my friends.