Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gifts Given

I love giving around the holidays more than I like receiving.

When you choose to do mostly homemade, though, you always run the risk of creating something not-quite-right for the recipient.

I hope I did okay this year. I chose to give my sister, sis-in-law, MIL, and mom their own custom-made brooches as part of their gifts. I used this tutorial and made a few modifications, then covered a scrapbook album page {made of thick, sturdy chipboard} with fabric for presentation.

Here are only five of the eight I made. I quite fancy them myself and have been wearing them on my jackets and sweaters since November. I have one of almost every color. Wouldn't they look great on a headband, too?

I'm also quite happy with how I packed up Rinda's and my mother-in-law's gifts:
It took about 20 minutes. The gluing and cutting takes all of ten, but figuring out placement and drying time eats up the other.

These are simple, inexpensive 8"x12" muslin bags that I purchased in bulk for another project. They were just perfect for their gifts this year and I saw the pennant idea elsewhere {believe me, I'm not that creative} and fudged it.

I think I need to make a few more of these bags.
Cost is comparable to a gift bag you'd buy at the store, too

Did anyone make something that was a big hit? I'm looking for ideas for next year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday House 2010

I'll admit it. I wasn't really in the holiday spirit this year. There, it's out there.

We didn't really have any snow.
We didn't go out of town for the holidays.
{although we had some great visitors and great fun was had!}

And we didn't have a tree. {WHAT?! No CHRISTMAS TREE?} I know, I know. It seemed too daunting of a task at the time. It's not enjoyable when it just seems to loom over your head as a box needing a 'check' next to it.

So, I skipped it this year. Plain and simple.

Instead I opted to go au naturel with greenery and a few touches here and there.

I loved it.

I didn't miss the tree, actually.

And I didn't take many pictures! {oops!}

We hung stockings over the fireplace and stacked gifts underneath them. I made my cute little house in a jar and had fresh sprigs of pine boughs tucked here and there.

I think I'll try it again for next year.

Maybe I'll be less scrooge-y with my time. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sometimes We Need to Poke Fun

I love a good joke. Last night {at craft night} I was talking to my new friend Kate about feminism and when I was growing up that guys would tell jokes with punchlines the likes of, "why is she out of the kitchen?" or "so they match the appliances" and most of the girls in my peer group would get offended while I'd be laughing raucously along with the boys. Why? I don't know. I'm not easily upset by this kind of humor. I have a man's sense of humor, for sure! (for shame?)
{Just ask my husband - he'll say I'm much more crude than he is.}

It must be tough to be a feminist and be a member of the Church. I'm not, so I won't even pretend to understand the feelings one might have, but I can get an idea of the line of questioning: priesthood, authority, etc.

But I just don't get it. It's not me.

When growing up I would always respond to the question of what I wanted to be with one word: mom. That's it. That's it? That's not it, though. Don't you understand how many jobs a mom would have? I do, and I'm not one. So really, I guess I don't.

{I should ask my sister. She's a great mom and in this world, she does a good job of it. Her kids might be a little spoiled, but they're kind and thoughtful and they know their parents love them. And did you get a parenting manual with your newborn? judgements.}

I love the ideals of a 50s housewife. Hell, I'm kind of living the modern version of that: no kids, no job, great husband, nice home. I'm truly blessed. {But I'm messy and I hate cleaning and I'm disorganized} I don't take it for granted, believe me. Or maybe I do sometimes. No one is perfect.

But! This is the life I chose for myself. This is what I wanted. What I want. I don't care if you want to work for a living. I appreciate that sense of fulfillment from a job well-done. I just don't HAVE that desire to work outside of the home.

So back to what started this line of thought. This video:

I LOVE IT. There. Disagree if you will.

Isn't it great when a stereotype is exaggerated! I'm not going to list the few that I just started typing out, but you know what I'm talking about, right?

I went to BYU. I lived in that bubble. I knew/know girls who are like that. I probably was one. I had self-esteem issues that I nursed with an overactive lipservice. I married my hometeacher. {he wasn't at the time and I don't remember him as my hometeacher, but he swears he was} I met Rooster at a ward opening social. It was lust at first sight and all that.

But here's what's funny. This little spoof/parody, if you will, has created so many back and forth comments on other LDS women's blogs. Some girls are pissed about how grossly misrepresented mormon girls are. Some laugh hysterically and recognize the sarcasm. {chalk me up}

It makes me remember the days of seminary when I was the only girl laughing.

And I kind of miss those days.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Holiday Cards from Two

This year I'm trying to be a responsible holiday adult and send out Christmas cards. It's taken me almost 5 years because I've always thought we should/needed to have children to qualify the need for Christmas cards.

I've changed my mind.

There are so many cute options available and with our recent pictures and our fertility issues {they're still issues three years later}, my mind has been made up. THISISTHEYEAR. For Christmas cards, of course.

Also, someone posed the question where to go for good prints because where they got theirs from {mal-wart} were awful, apparently. {Insert my need to help}

So, I have been looking around and found these cute ones:

jovial and cheery

the colors are such great tones - not too in-yo'-face Christmas but still Christmas-y enough
love the colors on this one

pink and red - perfection!

this is the classier side of me - timeless and clean. love it.

and just all around fun!

I found these all here at Shutterfly. Who knew they did more than just print photogifts and pictures?! {okay, you guys all probably did, cuz you're smarties}. Ohh, and they have awesome calendars!

Which one did I choose? You'll just have to wait and see!

Also! {and this is of UTMOST importance} If I didn't get in touch with you on Facebook because you're too cool to be on fb or too cool to be my 'friend' on fb, please email me your mailing address if you'd like to receive one of our first-ever, limited-edition Christmas cards.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Preserving Pears

I've been on this kick lately to start learning more skills that seem to be from days gone by: knitting, gardening, canning.

I haven't had much success in the knitting yet, and gardening this year went to pot {I'm so punny} but this canning adventure has been successful so far!

I scored big time by waiting until after canning season to pick up some items. The key is to go to stores that don't normally stock canning supplies; stores like Target. I found a canning kit (a HUGE canner and jar lifter, wand, etc.) on clearance for just over $4. Four DOLLARS! It was marked down from $35. Sweet action Jackson.

So with my new supplies and some gorgeous, locally-grown pears {that were free - even better}, I attempted my first whole fruits that weren't destined for jam. About 4 hours later - 3 to peel, slice, and core; an hour to make the sugar syrup and process - and the fruits of my labor.

I got 5 quarts of lovely pears. I just think they're so pretty!

Anyone have a good recipe? These are just in a light sugar-syrup, but I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christmas in a Jar

I'm still alive and kicking, just not in the mood to post anything lately. Meh. Case of the yips.

I did make this and I'm proud enough of it to share!

I just LOVE this little scene.

I found a chipboard church at a craft store either last year or the one before, painted it various shades of blue and white, glittered it, then hot glued it to the bottom of this cookie jar from IKEA {I've had it lying around since my wedding in 2006 - I'm okay with not being able to use it for anything else now}.

The trees are your standard holiday green bottle-brush trees that I soaked in bleach for 10 minutes until they were white, then covered in white craft glue and doused in glitter. And I painted their bases a light pink.

The Season's Greetings sign is from some old gummed letters I found in a box of estate sale finds. I used lollipop sticks covered in seam tape as poles and just used regular paper and glittered the edges in clear.

The deer found its way into my stuff from last year's advent-calendar-making day and I chopped off the little plastic ring that made it an ornament, slathered on some glue and tossed it in glitter {notice a theme here?}.

Then I just glued it all to the bottom of the jar, poured in some Epsom salt and voila! Winter Scene in a Jar.

Oh, and the snowflakes are mini buttons I've had in my stash for 5+ years that I glued together with some fishing line sammiched in and then glued the other end of the fishing line to the lid {hot glue=awesome}.

It's cuter in person. Trust me.

Or don't and just come over to hang out and see it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Sleigh Bells Ring....

are you reading?

Lookie what I found today through my google reader blogs!

So many beautiful ideas to make my own. Some are more my style than others, but this is a pretty fabulous little magazine!

Brought to you by this talented lady. Pop on over!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

You Know, Summer is Over.

I bought new winter pajamas at Costco today - grey with white polka dotted fleece. SO soft. I think I need a backup pair. I love them that much.
They look like this, but the perfect grey instead of blue.

{I tried changing the color on this one. Disregard the oddly-colored neck. But this is what my jimmy-jams look like, thus the excitement}
that is all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chelsea = 1, Gym = 0

*I posted this on my weight loss journal, too. I thought I'd link up here again since it's been a few years. And I don't have it listed in my profile. For obvious reasons.

Or is that supposed to be the opposite way around.

I got up and got dressed today to go lift weights or do cardio or both. I took one of my morning prescriptions and started sipping on a protein drink on the way there and whatdoyouknow, I started feeling queasy.

But I drove there anyway.

Almost there.

I got to the point where I could make a left turn to the fitness center or go straight to the store.

I went straight. I needed new tires on my car and today seemed to be a good day {since I have been feeling crappy, of course}.

$200 later and I have two things: a car that drives like a cloud {I bet that would be really in Mario Bros. where you can kill the koopa and take their cloud}, and a still-upset stomach.

I am supposed to take 3 of these a day and I've taken them before without issue but now they're making me sick to my stomach. Two down, one to go. For today. If I don't puke, that is.

Maybe I should talk to my gyno and have her give me a smaller dose.

Since I didn't go to the fitness center, I'm forcing myself to finish painting my room today. Lots of crouching, bending, stretching, fumes, arm reaches, etc.

All baseboards and trim are done. One wall down. It's going to be a long night. And I feel like poo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Need a Photographer?

Look no further. Amber at BellaRay Photography is seriously amazing. Look what she did for us!

I mean, we're not chopped liver, but still...miracle of miracles, we look cute!

You can find her here and here {on facebook}.

Book now for Christmas cards, friends. Or for any of you preggos out there, maybe you should schedule a c-section around her schedule. {kidding}. [kind of]

Monday, October 04, 2010

Other Goods of the Thrifted Variety

Running on the fumes of a good-buy high, I schlepped my carcass to an estate sale in KCMo last week-ish.

What I found was the house of a modern-day hoarder. Walkways throughout the house from room to room.'s a good thing I'm not.

But down to the goodies. No one really cares what one leaves behind at an estate sale, only what is brought to a new home.

Velvet-like ribbon. Technically it's flocked satin, but untechnically it's fab. Bright colors. Unusual assortment. All for $6.

Brooches-cum-magnets. $1.50-$2 each. Pricey, but so much sparkle! I'll repurpose them for headbands. They'll be freaking adorable.

Porcelain plates. Oh how I wish there were four more of these. I'm trying to replace my current salad plates with something more matchy-matchy to my milk glass dinner plates and bowls...these will do for a start. $3 for four.

FRAMES! I can't get enough of old frames. The more ornate of the two needs a little glue and maybe a nail {for good measure} to bring it back to tip top pre-paint shape. Then it will turn into a memo board or calendar and sold off in the spring at our HANDMADE MARKET
Finally, two old mirrors. One spoiled, one soiled. Both will clean up and be the perfect addition to someone else's house. Again, goods for our Spring Handmade & Vintage Market!Those little cardboard boxes used to hold slides. They're a great size and very sturdy. They'll be perfect for altering.
The one on the left is a plastic frame and the one on the right is possibly a resin. Definitely not wood, but I'm not too terribly heartbroken about it. I have an awesome mirror I paid way too much for that has a plastic frame. It's hanging on my mirror wall and has done its job {of being pretty and reflective} perfectly. Two mirrors for $21{? I can't remember}

This is the top half of a rocking chair. I lugged it home from my Chicago Trip and I'm sooooo glad I did! Old Mr. NorthWind on its back, keeping the rocker going with each blow.
I'm debating staining him a darker color or painting him an antique white and distressing him to bring out his details. What do you think?
And these are nothing new, but they kept showing up in the background of my photos today and I remembered I never blogged about them! These are old evidence lockers. Cool, right? They look like they've done some hard time but still stand strong. The sections on the top hold a pair of shoes and the tall lockers are perfect for coats.

I LOVE them. My sister, Tara, was gracious enough to help me pick them up from Topeka when she visited about a year ago. My plan is to make them a barnish reddish color and actually use them as a coat closet in our front room. But...I think the best way to accomplish this is to have them professionally powder coated. I have no idea how much it would cost. Probably a pretty penny. the meantime...they stand tall and stalwart in the garage.

The kicker? They were $10.

Stella the Sofa and a Dresser Named Dot

Anyone who knows me for 5 minutes knows I love vintage and I love good deals. Seriously, it's an addiction. I'm in a twelve-step program...well, I should be.

So it's no surprise when I saw a mid-century sofa on Craigslist I let out an audible gasp. Four email attempts to contact the seller later {she said she never got the first THREE?} and a jaunt to the countryside to inspect Ms. Sofa and SOLD! She was even delivered free of charge. Suh-weet.

Now, don't you mind her dirty exterior or her rough edges. This little lady has a few years to her name. And she gave up smoking a few years ago but never completely aired out her dress. I'll fix that. Right up. (with my handy little steamer Ro-WENTA)

Just give her a month to get into her proper party attire. She'll shimmer and shimmy for all. In the meantime, she's still quite comfortable. She just has to sleep in the garage.

Now Dot. Dot just seems like the perfect little kind of project for me. An old dresser, with nondescript details just so. So you can't really tell when or whence she came. But look at those lines! And that mirror. It took me all of 3 minutes at a yard sale on Saturday to march up to the seller and declare, "I'll take that dresser!" Then sheepishly, "Can I pick it up tomorrow?"

Someone down the line painted Dot an unflattering greenish-blue hue, which has since been stripped off and all that remain are stripes and streaks in the little cracks and crevices, like a bad hair coloring trying to be corrected.

No worries, Dot. I think you are grand.

And you'll look great in white.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Louisburg Cider Mill

I love exploring local events and festivals. I saw pictures from a friend's trip to Ciderfest last year and the promise of Apple Cider Doughnuts! was too tempting not to plan a trip to this year's 'fest.

The weather was gorgeous. The company was fantastic (I'm not posting pictures for privacy of a wee li'l babe). The smell was AWFUL, but the sparkling cider and micro-brewed root beer was redeeming.

There was a fantastic little band playing and haybales to sit on to listen.

We didn't get there today until 10:30am and left around 1:15pm, which seemed to be the perfect amount of time. It was BUSY. The rows were crowded and I think we'll need to make another trip out there without the throng of people getting in the way of cider fun.
Of course, I had to take a picture of the cupcake vendor. I didn't buy any but they were pretty and they seemed like they were selling tons!

Next time I go I want to see some of that cider milling!