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.