Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hunter's Compound

Hunter has just recently started really making his own things with Legos. And he wasted no time going big. He is super proud of this massive compound he's created. He doesn't call it that, but I do.

Also, yes, we live in pajamas most of this time of year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winter Love

Winter is here, with temps dropping into the single digits a few times this week- there's no denying it. Some of my favorite things about winter include:

Knitting! This luxurious creamy white scarf is a custom order for my mom. She's going to be goregous in it!

I'm so excited to have windows with ledges large enough for candles! Have real candles in most of the windows downstairs. Found these green votive holders on 90% off clearance last year.

And fudge!

Made my first batch: a white chocolate vanilla mint variety.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Couple of Bozos

Home sisk? Mellow, mellow day? Legos.

And, of course, tons of bugging mom.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hunter's School Picture

I am so glad that they do school pictures for the preschool students. Here is my handsome Hunter's very first school pictures.

Mommy, whoops: I think I put him in the same sweater that Ben wore in his kindergarten pictures. Haha!

Goodwill Find

My very favorite good will find in a long time!

These boots were $4, and looked barely worn. Yay.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The more I think about it, the more I love making things with my own two hands.

Pillows. Fudge. Curtains. Cookies. Cakes. Hats. Scarves. Mittens. Cards. Scrapbooks. Ornaments. Painting.

Perhaps it's the economic situation we're in, or the disdain I have for big box stores. Maybe it's just the idea that when a crafter is paid for their work, money goes straight into the hands of a consumer who values handmade, homemade, not into the abyss of corporate America, values unknown. No matter what, I think it is safe to say can feel good about buying handmade. And I feel good about making homemade.

This year, I won't have the time to make handmade gifts. And I'm bummed about it! The last few Christmas's I have given mostly handmade gifts. I made scarfs for everyone a few years ago, and last year I gave a mish-mash of hats and fingerless mittens. I've also made dozens of ornaments and these Victorian cones:

I kept this one for myself. I used the cones to house the ornaments I made, as a giftbag of sorts, but also suggested the cone itself would be a great tree ornament. I use bits of pieces of wrapping and tags from other gifts, plus supplies from craft stores. I hang my cone on our china cabinet.

Another Christmas craft I love: Santa hats! I made this green one for jamiesierraknits, my Etsy shop. Hunter is modeling the hat for me.

And after an invigorating trip to Archiver's where I actually had time to do a free make-and-take card for my mom:

I came home and took about a half hour to whip out a few Christmas cards for close friends and family. Bummed you can't see all the glitter! But, trust me, it glitters!

Happy handmade Holidays!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Halls are decked.

I put my new cabinet in the living room. Not the most ideal spot, but this house is pretty small- and I filled with craft goodies I need to keep close by my work space- the dining room and living room. I love how festive it looks, all sorts of ornamentations from different eras smooshed together. Eclectic.

On top o' the fridge you'll find my gingerbread men and women.

Cluttered dining room/craft table. Little bit of crystal, mercury glass, glitter, lace, fake berries, mish mash perfect.

The tree doesn't quite have all the ornaments on it yet, but good enough.

Dining/Craft Room again mishy mashy festive wonderfulness.

It is not hard to be inspired here! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

So, I made the cover...

Every year I try and do a Daily December album- a mini book documenting everyday family and holiday related things. Traditionally, I make the album before December arrives, pre-making the pages and slapping in commentary and pictures later. This year has been such an insane whirlwind that I made the album cover quickly December 4th- and have yet to write single thing in it, or even make a page. Nevertheless, I know I will get it done. I cherish these albums, and the hobby of scrapbooking so much, and with my mom coming soon I know there will be TONS of great things to document!
Here's the cover... wish me luck to working on the rest!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lake Sunset

Half frozen... winter's coming.

I love living by the lake.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Who run the world? Felines.

Or Hunter. Depending on how you look at it.

A short pictorial essay on sunbathing cats, featuring our cats' biggest fan, Hunter Joe, a.k.a. the giant kid.

A peaceful day, Toby's just enjoying the heat from the sun and the heater. Mama cat is behind him.

All was right with the world, until the giant kid showed up.

He tries to see what the big deal is?

Schmoopy watches from the safety of my heated lap blanket, recalling the wrath of the kid.

Schmoopy retells the story of the giant kid who snatched Toby from a sunbathing slumber.

This is the dog toy basket. Surely every cat wants to nap in the dog toy basket.

It appears Toby is being held against his will, only when the giant kid tires of torture...

HOURS LATER: I think he killed him. Quick, help me get him out of the basket.

Have you seen how fat he is? There's no way we can get him outta there.

Quit licking your butt, and listen to me.

The end.

Friday, December 2, 2011

School Pic

For the second year in a row Ben had to do make-up day school pictures. Last year it was pink eye, and this year he was just sick. I had to share this picture because I am sure his grandma is dying to see it right away!

Pretty cute first grader!

Newest Addition

I'm a believer in good quality pieces of furniture that last a lifetime.

When my husband and I married we spent a hefty chunk of money at IKEA, furnishing nearly our whole house, er, apartment. Since then, I've watched one by one, the pieces fall apart during our many moves and daily use. My favorite story: when our then-two-year-old Ben cracked our Levsvik coffee table in half with his head- and barely shed a tear! True story! In fact, the only crap pieces we have left are shelves- two I had to re-back, and one is barely standing...

My frustration, and desire to own 'real' furniture began early. I turned to Country Home magazine, and Country Living... envying the beautiful real wood pieces I could fill our home with. Around the same time, Theo and I used to take day trips up to Big Bear Lake. We couldn't afford to stay the night, but we could muster up gas money, and bring snacks and my studies (and magazines). I'd prop my feet up on the dashboard of his dark red truck and read chapter after chapter of grad school books. We would drive around and decide we wanted to live in the mountains, on a lake, in a cabin. We would drink warm drinks in the cold, and browse cabin themed shops. Bring a blanket and lay by the lake in the summer. Then we'd fight reality and head back down the mountain to our two room apartment on edge of sketchy Long Beach.

I found what was the beginnings of a huge antique store being assembled on one trip. I had to stop, and found I wanted everything in the place. I found myself talking the owner down to $80 on an old dresser. He told Theo I had 'a good eye,' and seemed peaved that I worked him down to such a steal of a price. I beamed with pride. I soon rehabbed the stripped dressed, painted it white, and later a stunning shade of Ralph Lauren Paint's olive green. I still have it in our entry hall, housing all my table cloths.

Flash forward to later married years and working at a furniture store in Madison, we soon added nice sofas that hold our large asses to this day. My furniture envy grew even more, spending hours among the real oak attic heirloom pieces for sale. All around the southern WI area I utilized a local furniture store's annual 50% sale, as well as two local antique malls, craigslist, and few dumpsters and curbsides... I've been adding one or two nice, usually expensive pieces of furniture to our home since.

Sure, we still get the occasional IKEA shelf- the kids just got some serious lego storage a few weeks ago, but mostly, I'm adding heirlooms. And I'm loving it.

So... since we moved to Buffalo I've been roaming the occasional sales finding great functional pieces of furniture. A few months ago the boys got a huge set of vintage lockers for the play room from Second Hand Rose. This week, my Christmas present came early in the form of this great red pie-safe-like cabinet, also from SHR.

Still sitting in my entry hall, as I have yet to decide where it will go... but look at the storage room for yarn or crafting items. So. Love. This. Cabinet.

Oh, and I snapped a shot of my knit goodies for sale in the shop this weekend, too. See all the scarves and hats on the wall and on the coat rack in the middle there? Yay. I hope I sell a few things. :)

Back to work, knitting I go!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Irresistable Photo Op

I had some of my knit goodies for sale in a local occasional sale shop called Second Hand Rose today. I went to enjoy the morning chaos of the December opening day, and had a great time exploring, listening to like-minded shoppers enjoy the junk and festivities... it was wonderful. Very nice way to spend the rare couple hours of freedom I get while Hunter is in preschool!

My mom saw some of the cool stuff SHR has on their facebook page, and insisted I get some pictures of her grandkids there. Tonight I took the boys, and showed them where my scarves and hats were for sale. I would say it really helped them understand why I knit so much. I mean, I have showed them the online shop, but they don't really get it- but seeing scarves in the shop- they GET it. Ben was so cute, telling everyone who walked by: "My mom made those!" It was an unanticipated little treat for me.

And one of these must be the Christmas card this year!

*I will share pictures of my new cabinet later!

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Holiday: 'tis the season!

In between knitting projects, when my butt falls asleep (haha), I'm trying to put up some of the Christmas decorations. I am very busy, and I feel so blessed, but I am having craft withdrawl. lol. I miss scrapbooking, and making pillows... among other things. I'm sure in February I can get back to hand crafting some goodies, when knitting slows down... remind me to pull out the christmas music around Valentine's Day. :)
Having emerged myself into the world of the handmade on Etsy I have been paying special attention to the things I have made by hand myself over the last few years. I thought I'd share a few pictures here.
Last year was an ornament and knitting year. I made dozens of these embellished snowflakes and gave them to friends and family.

I also made a handful of these paper ornaments.

A few years ago I made this button tree with a styrofoam tree, vintage buttons and pearl head push pins,

And even longer ago I made this little pillow.

I have dozens of handmade things from the kids, too. I will have to share them soon, also.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lucky Duck

I am so fortunate to live down the street from one of the vendors from my favorite occasional sale shop. Once a month the doors of Second Hand Rose open to junk-lovers from far and wide, and this December 1st I will be lucky enough to have a few of my cowls, scarves, and hats for sale there! I tell ya, I about died and went to heaven when my neighbor Susan asked if I would like to put some of my stuff in there. Truly, a fun adventure for me. Hopefully, a few people find some cowls they can't live without.

Here are a few items that will be there:
This sage colored cozy wool cowl is unbelievably soft.

And I am in love with this powder blue wool blend button cowl:

Wish me luck! And if you're in the area- go shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gift Ideas

The holiday season is upon us, and I am enjoying making Christmas gifts for people all over our country. I love Etsy so much. I thought I would post a few items I can make that are not currently listed in the ol' Etsy shop.

Chunky Soft Cowl in Charcoal. Also available in a brown red mix, bright red, turquoise and green mix, silver and taupe mix, brown, and creamy white. $35

The Super Cowl- available in a wide variety of colors, including this chartruese, and also navy, charcoal, black, red, eggplant, pale blue, ginger, cobalt, blends of brown and green, cream, light marble gray, cranberry, fig, pale pink, taupe, barley, grass, raspberry, pumpkin, spice, and more... $40

The lightweight cowl- available in aqua, purple, black, black and red blends, pink, and green blends. $25

Happy shopping!