December 27, 2010

December 20, 2010

what it's all about.

My friend Alison kindly gave me a little gift this year:

You open the ribbons on top, and it unfolds into this:

"The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:23

Isn't that clever? She said she didn't have a sewing machine, so she hand-stitched all of it. How sweet is that? And a nice surprise, because I didn't even know she had an interest in sewing or anything like that. I like surprises. I look forward to putting it out every year and showing it to Livvy as we teach her what Christmas really is all about. This year she just chewed on the ribbon a bit. :)

I've found this year to be somewhat simplified--with a new baby, I just haven't had the time or effort to do a lot of the things I normally do. But paring down has been refreshing; I've only put out about half our Christmas decorations, I've only made a couple batches of cookies, and I'm going to be creative with wrapping this year, only using what I already have on hand. I've been thinking a lot about new traditions we can start with our little family, and how to keep the focus on Christ instead of being consumed by busyness and shiny, sparkly things {as fun as they are!}.

I've been reading through some little Christmas books I've collected over the years, and appreciated this entry from David Jeremiah's The 12 Ways of Christmastaken from the chapters entitled Wonder and Reflection:

A good place to start this year is to spend some time reflecting on the wonders of the true Christmas story. Raise the questions, study the Scriptures, give thanks for what you know, and pray about what you don't. Wonder and marvel at what God has done....

In the darkness with only the twinkling glow of the Christmas tree lights, it's fun to sink into a chair, hand curled around a cup of cocoa, and ponder the ageless wonders of Christmas....

How wonderful to reflect on the timeless story of Jesus, keeping it in mind and pondering these things in your heart {Luke 2:19}.


December 14, 2010

stitches on stockings

I've been wanting to learn how to embroider for a long time, but I've never taken the time to actually try it, until this last weekend. I started with Dex's stocking first, in case of mistakes... :) Simple chain stitch.

I did the same thing for Raul's name, except that I added whip stitch on top of it. I like the look of this a lot, as messy as my version is!

Now I just need to do Olivia's. I'm envisioning settling down with some hot cocoa and marshmallows and a good old movie for that; we watched It's a Wonderful Life when I worked on these two. 

Speaking of hot cocoa, here's a cute entry from knitting author Susan B. Anderson. I love the idea of spending time after school with your little ones, chatting and enjoying them. I watched a video of hers on you tube to learn the embroidery stitches--very helpful! You can see it here.

In other Christmasy news, I'm kind of dragging on the Christmas cards, but they're getting enveloped and addressed today. Liv has been busy with her own projects, including making some gooey handprints for her grandparents with daddy!

December 11, 2010

christmas cards and such

Finally I'm getting around to posting these! Some cards from the show {click for a closer look}:

As for the Christmas cards I will be sending this year from our family... Half will be greeting cards from a portrait studio {they were free!} and half will be homemade. But I have yet to work on these. Always last minute this time of year, eh? :)

December 10, 2010

simple baby hat.

Knit for little Merjen.

December 6, 2010


This last Saturday began with a loud alarm clock ringing at 5AM. I was exhausted, but I jumped out of bed with butterflies in my stomach and scurried around getting ready. Thankfully, I had stayed up until 12:30 the night before, organizing everything and placing it by the front door to load. I ate a bowl of oatmeal and had some tea, and soon an excited Bea was tapping on the front window. I knew that even if I didn't finish my tea, Bea's enthusiasm would be enough to wake up the two of us!

Craft fairs are a lot of fun, even if you leave with a good chunk of inventory. I have never sold anything of mine, cards, knitting, nothin', so that first purchase was special. It was from a nice woman asking for Christmasy Thank You cards, and I was glad I had made a bunch {and that my bf Leanne sent some adorable snowman thank yous along with me}. She bought two packs. I think I actually felt an endorphin rush after that.  There were a lot of compliments, a lot of silent looking and polite-but-i'm-not-interested smiling, and a couple of purchases made after chatting. There was an abundance of Christmas sweaters and jingle bell earrings and cute older lady friends spending the day together, hopping from booth to booth. Lots of mother/daughter pairings too, which was nice to see.

I made enough to cover the entrance fee, the materials, and ended up with a little extra for both Leanne and I, so I am ecstatic. Bea and I worked really well together and had a good time pitching our goods. She said in another life, instead of being a pharmacist, she would choose to be a saleswoman; I believe her, she would sell like crazy! So many people came up and oohed and ahhed over her bags--it's funny that people naturally have to touch everything. Even if they weren't serious about buying, they couldn't resist the urge to hold and handle the purses. She was throwing her business card around like crazy, and has actually received a couple of special orders already, which is awesome.

So, having some buyers was of course thrilling, but I was most excited about setting up the display. It was like being 5 all over again, setting up your own grocery store to play in, you know? Loved it. I spent a lot of time looking online for display ideas, and came across this flickr group, Show Me Your Booths. {Tons of fun ideas here, check it out.}

I spent around $15 or so for the display materials; Bea found a few items at Savers as props as well, so it came together relatively cheaply. I really think the display is what it's all about, don't you?

I used tomato cages as Christmas trees--I bound the top together with rubber bands and slipped in some sparkly purple flowers, bound with gold ribbon. I actually just pinned the ribbon, so it is easy to take apart. I found some tiny clothespins at Walmart for $1.50, and used those to clip cards around the metal rings, replacing them when they sold.

I also covered a piece of ply wood with wrapping paper, placed it on a lazy susan, and taped one tree to it so it was turnable. I'm glad I included these as I think they caught people's eyes--we were kind of in a back corner, away from the main flow of traffic, so every now and then I'd give the tree a spin. ;)

I also found a festive photo stand, 50% off at Michaels, to post my prices and some gift tags, and used some frame holders. One thing I think I would do differently next time is not put so much out... It kind of looked messy. I was torn between displaying everything to show I had variety vs. only putting out a bit at a time to keep it tidy. Next time, I think we'll have another table, so that will help with space.

Yup, there will be a next time.  If you haven't done the craft show thing, I suggest you do--what fun!

December 1, 2010

winter craft fair - come see!

Come check out specialty handcrafted items from over 85 vendors at the
 16th Annual Bear Creek HS Craft Fair! One day only!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
9AM - 4PM

9800 West Dartmouth Place
 Lakewood CO

I will be selling Christmas cards at the Bear Creek HS craft fair this Saturday--very exciting and nerve wracking and wonderful! My mother-in-law and I are sharing a booth, and will be selling cards and lovely handmade purses from Peru. We would love to see you, so come on out! If you mention the blog, you recieve 10% off your purchase. ;)

I feel a strange mixture of being "on"--inspired and cranking out some fun things I would be tempted to buy if I saw them--and also being "over it." I am spent, but in a good way.

Just a few more things to tweak, a sign or two to print, and I am d.o.n.e. I will show you some cards and how I will be displaying them {the fun part in all of this!} this week... until then, let me show you the nice messes I have been accumulating around the house during Liv's naptime:

 Dining room--cutting Christmas song lyrics and phrases for cards

 Living Room Coffee Table--slicing paper to fit onto cardstock while watching a movie

Basement Ping Pong table, a la, The Studio. :)

I keep telling R that anything goes mess-wise until December 5th, the day after the fair, to which he replies, "Ah, but I was planning on playing some ping pong tonight..."  That day will most likely be my most bah-humbug cleaning day of the year, unless we made out like bandits the day before.

More soon!

November 28, 2010

anthropologie goodness

I love going into this store. {Who doesn't, right?} I had a keen eye for knit things when we wandered in the other night, and found these:

The cowls would be pretty easy to knit in a simple pattern, like the white one above. {Rib knit, K1P1, on 16" circular needles. I like the faux-stockinette-stitch look.} They also had some cute hats/head warmers:
 Is that daisy stitch, above? The knit flower is sweet--I don't see knit ones very much. I wonder how difficult/easy they are to knit.

Cute braided headwrap... I love the cream color, too. And as if things couldn't get any better...they also have a smattering of classic books with "smartly embossed canvas" covers. Love it!

At this point, I don't have one Christmas gift bought, or ready. But it's been fun to eyeball odds and ends to get some ideas, especially for homemade things. What are you making this year? Any inspirations worth sharing?

November 25, 2010

Turkey Day


Translation: Happy Thanksgiving!

November 17, 2010

November 16, 2010

gryffindor & hufflepuff

Harry Potter Scarves
Pattern: House Scarves; Charmed Knits, Alison Hansel
Yarn: Simply Soft in Autumn Red, Black, and Sunshine
Needles: Circular size 7

They are finally finished: Scarves of the house of Gryffindor (red & gold) and Hufflepuff (black and gold). I began these puppies back in July...! Yikes. I needed to get these in the mail asap, so the pictures were taken in a hurry... but you get the idea. Knit in the round, and "sewn" together at the ends with fringe. This is the first time I've ever knit a scarf this way, and I absolutely love it; so thick, fluffy, and soft. I hope they show well at the HP movie premiere this week for my neice and her friend. :)

With my needles free {finally!}, I knit up a little hat for Liv during a movie the other night:

Just simple rib stitch and stockinette. Great timing, as the next day it snowed! It's odd to see her hair so contained, isn't it? While most people dread hat hair, I think it will work in her favor... it was amazingly tame when we took the hat off, haha. I have some leftover red yarn from the scarves, so I'm in process of making a little red beanie to match her coat, with a seed stitch rim instead of rib. Because baby hats make one feel accomplished. ;)

Projects come in waves, don't they? Soak up that motivation and run with it, baby.