Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

I have so much I want to accomplish in the next year, over the next few years really.

Maybe this seems weird but it was so easy to love my kids when they were little. Babies and toddlers are so easy to love, they let you pull them up into your lap and smell their heads. Big kids it's harder, you can't carry them around on your hip and they don't fit in your lap anymore. Sometimes they don't even want to be hugged. So my biggest intention is to fall in love with my big kids.

I want to get inspired in the kitchen again. I used to love to bake and cook. Over the last few years I just haven't managed much. Here's to yummy food and cooking.

I'm getting a new fiber toy very soon too. I can't wait. I'll share pic when I get it. I've made a very long list of the things I want to accomplish crocheting and sewing wise. I doubt I will get to all of it this year or even the next. It's there for me when I need the inspiration or something creative to do.

I want to get more active physically too. So today, dear hubby and I went for a walk.

All is good.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Late Breaking News!

I've been published!

I submitted one of my freeform designs for a freeform knit and crochet calendar. You can see the calendar here. They published my freeform tea cozy. Just look on April and you will find my cozy with a few other way cool designs.

It's for a good cause too, Global Fund for Women. So get your copy now! You know you want one.

Our Winter Soltice

We had a pretty good Winter Solstice. The only challenge was the kids did not sleep well at all the on the longest night of the year so neither did I. So I was not the most cheery or patient mom this year. Let's just say that things did not go all that well. I feel pretty sad about that but it was what it was. We are going to try to do things differently next year. I do not like being cranky mom during the holidays. I want to be magic mom. I like that better.

We didn't make a big deal out of the gifts this year. Partly because that's our goal as we want to focus on the celebration and not the gifts and partly because we really didn't have the money for it. So I didn't make a much of it for the kids to get each other something or us something, let them lead they way with that. Corbin has not been interested in the gift giving so much. This year he made of package for his sister just before Solstice and after Solstice he put some packages together for me and his Dad. It was so very sweet. So much better than taking him to the store to buy something. Jade made sure mom and dad had goodies in our stockings this year. She bought it all with her allowance no less!

We started the evening by lighting our solstice candle, symbolically catching the light to carry to the the new year. The kids lit their own candle as well. It was lovely to see them embracing the season and adding their own spirit to celebration.

We shared a lovely dinner of cheese fondue and chocolate fondue. Everyone enjoyed it. Then each of the kids opened up a small gift, a mini lego kit and and we opened one gift for the family. We usually buy a few games for the family around this time of year. We got Carcassone. We had fun playing a round of the game then Stephen and the kids went to the Yule Vigil with the pagan group we hung out with lots long before kids. I stayed home because I was tired and wanted to go to bed.

The next morning we briefly woke up the sun and blew out our solstice candle. We bailed on our big breakfast we had planned because we were all so tired. So we plan to do something more simple next year and make the big breakfast on another day, maybe New Years.

I was relieved that the kids were pretty happy with their gifts, since we kept it small. Even though I don't want to focus on gift giving I like giving and want the kids to be happy with what they receive. I like surprising them too. We got Jade a cookie press and she has already made some with it. The bummer part is has stopped working so we will return it and see about getting a different one. One that won't break! Check out these trilobite cookies. We made some but I don't have pictures. We used mini m&m's for the eyes. We got Corbin some stickers for his skateboard and some fun leather stud jewelry. He was very pleased. He wants to be cool.

Jade and I spent the afternoon watching season one of Star Trek Voyager. Corbin and Stephen played on the gamecube. We are saving up for the Wii.

Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm still here, really

I'm alive and well.

There is something about this time of year that has me turning inwards. I've been thinking about this past year and how I would have liked to do things differently. I'm not thinking happy thoughts but they aren't unhappy thoughts either. I do tend to like to share joy and less about the negative. I truly strive to think of my life as half full rather than half empty. I've been feeling a bit out of sorts, and not so full. It's not a good feeling but I find I need to embrace it a bit.

I will be back. My head is clearing from the the holidays, from the joy AND the stress. I have all kinds of things I want to accomplish creatively and with my family.

I should be back soon. I have read many books in the last few weeks and want to share about that and about our holidays.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Making cookies

We finally got around to making cookies this weekend. We followed the recipes from a Good Eats show here.

This is what we made on day one of cookie making:

Cookies - Yummy Cookies
Corbin's cookie creations

Cookies - Yummy Cookies
Jade's cookies creations. I ate mine already so I don't have pictures to share.

The decorationg of cookies:
Making Cookies

Making Cookies

I made some too and dear hubby even took the picture to prove it. Usually I'm the one on camera duty.
Making Cookies

The feasting of the cookies:
Cookies - Yummy Cookies

Cookies - Yummy Cookies

Here's what we accomplished on Day two:

More Cookies
The peppermint pinwheel cookies. I don't care for them much but I'm not a peppermint candy fan. I like peppermint tea and that's about it. The dough was a bit too dry so the cookies aren't as pretty as as they could be.

More Cookies
The cookies Jade's decorated. I don't have pictures of the cookies Corbin decorated because he ate them already.

More Cookies
These are the ones I decorated.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Enough is enough and some fun too

I am so done being sick! I'm currently sniffling through my second cold, maybe even my 3rd cold of the season. Done, I tell you. Finito. Enough said.

Yesterday, I manged to have some fun finishing up an audiobook. I'll tell you more about that when my head clears. I've also read a few other books along with crocheting for the the holidays, visiting with family, and buying a yule tree.

This is what I had fun doing Thursday between coughs an sneezes:

Paper Stars

The star in front, I made with xmas cards I found at the thrift store. The star the farther back, I used pages from a flower arranging book.

Paper Stars

I found the pattern for it here from a way cool craftezine found here. I see lots of possibilities in the future.

I used double sided tape to put the points together and most of the base. I finished off the base with hot glue. I used hot glue to glue the points to the base.

3 great iPhotos
Corbin insisted I take a picture of him holding the stars. The first one he is practicing what I think is his punk look. Below a smile for me.

3 great iPhotos

Friday, December 15, 2006

Doilies, Doilies, Doilies

I have finished the doilies I planned to make for gifts this year. I might make one or two more small ones, maybe.


I frogged this several times before I finished it. ( Note to self: Do not drink wine while trying to follow complicated doily patterns.)

found in Extra-Special Doilies by Mary Werst
I use #20 twenty Cebelia pink thread

I gave this one to my Dad and his wife last weekend along with a few bookmarks. I want to make this one for myself too.
found in Coffee-n-Cream by Patricia Kristoffersen
#10 Opera thread

This one is for my mother-in-law. I hope she likes it. When I make this again I will use a larger hook size than suggested as I crochet on the tight side. It's a bit wavy in the center and I don't think it's supposed to be. It looks good all the same so I'm calling it a design element.
found in Extra-Special Doilies by Mary Werst
Cebelia #10 - off white

A small doily for a niece.
Small Doily
found in 99 Little Doilies by Patricia Kristoffersen
#10 Cebelia thread in pinkish

Another small doily for another niece
Small Doily
found in 99 Little Doilies by Patricia Kristoffersen
#10 Cebelia thread in a green

I really like the small doilies and want not make more for me next year. A great way to add some beauty here and there.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The getting of a tree

Getting a Tree
This is the one!

Getting a Tree
Cutting it down

Getting a Tree
It's my turn now!

Getting a Tree
Everyone takes a turn carrying it back to the car, everyone except me. I'm on camera duty.

Getting a Tree

Getting a Tree

Getting a Tree
Corbin takes a break to be cool dude with the scarecrow.

Yule Tree 2006
All decorated.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's beginning to look....

a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.....

2 great iPhotos
The first try at decorating the mantle

3 great iPhotos
Looks even better after jade added more to it.

3 great iPhotos
Our Nature Table displays some of our favorite books for the season and a few gifts.

Decorations on the tree:
3 great iPhotos
flower fairy

4 great iPhotos
Indian corn and shell bead ornament

4 great iPhotos
Peace Dove made with flower and salt dough painted silver.

4 great iPhotos
Sun ornament made with yellow and orange paper pulp

2 great iPhotos
tree made with flower and salt dough painted gold

2 great iPhotos
Christmas Spider

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Some Favorite Winter Holiday Books

Some of my favorite books to read at this time of year.

The Table Where Rich People Sit by Byrd Baylor is about thankfulness which is a great thing to be any time of the year. The illustrations by Peter Parnell are superb.

2 great iPhotos

The Christmas Spider by Shirley Clim is another one of my favorites that inspired me to make several Christmas spider ornaments one year.

2 great iPhotos

While the Bear Sleeps is beautifully illustrated with stories from all over the world and from all religions.

The Children's Year is a craft book with suggestions for celebrating several holidays.

Lumina: a story for the dark time of year by Bridgitte Weninger is a sweet story of hope.

King John's Chrsitmas by A.A. Milne from House at Pooh Corner which as many more fun poems to enchant children from 1 to 91

Saturday, December 9, 2006

I'm a Star!

Ahh, I feel much better now. It seems fitting with my blog name and all. I like the idea of being a star rather than expendable! Shine On!

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realized

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.
What Tarot Card are You?

Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Christmas math!

3 great iPhotos

We've been doing some decorating and origami for the last few days. Jade's been making lots of stars using the klutz star kit, very fun. I bought it last year around the holidays and we finally got to it. Perfect timing I think.

3 great iPhotos

Corbin's made some hats and a lobster. Today he made a paper coin purse. Then Jade picked up a piece of origami paper and said something like this: "How do I make this piece paper like a full sheet of paper but smaller?"

I told her we would need find the proportion of the short side of the paper to the long side the larger sheet of paper and measure the small sheet of paper which we got 4.25 inches. I did the calculations out loud using the calculator on the computer.

We know that the longest side of the paper is 2.5 inches longer than the short side.
so I divided that by 11 and got 22.7%
then I multiplied 22.7% by 4.25inch sheet of paper and got of .96 which is almost 1inch so she estimated a little less than one inch and trimmed the paper to size, 3.29inches for the short side.

another way to have done it:
8.5 divided by 11 equals 77.3%
77.3% multiplies by 4.25 gives us 3.28

Why did she want to do this? She wanted to make a mini origami coin purse.

2 great iPhotos

Will the information click? I think so. The coolest part is she already could see that it was a proportional thing but just didn't know the words. The next coolest thing is it was inspired by living our life, celebrating the holidays. The learning was a side effect.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

I'm expendable

You are An Expendable Character (Redshirt)

Since your accomplishments are seldom noticed,
and you are rarely thought of, you are expendable.
That doesn't mean your job isn't important but if you
were in Star Trek you would be killed off in the first
episode you appeared in.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...

My daughter took this too, apparently she is Beverly Crusher

An Expendable Character (Redshirt) 70%

Deanna Troi 55%

Beverly Crusher 50%

Data 45%

Chekov 45%

Uhura 45%

Geordi LaForge 45%

Will Riker 40%

Worf 35%

Spock 34%

Mr. Scott 30%

Jean-Luc Picard 30%

James T. Kirk (Captain) 30%

Mr. Sulu 25%

Leonard McCoy (Bones) 25%

What else does it say about me that I carefully edited the html so I could even post this silly quiz?

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

what we've been up to wednesday

Yesterday we hung out with our local homeschool group. I missed last time 'cause Corbin and I were sick. It was good to be back. T he kids had fun playing pool, air hockey, dolls, and building with legs. I really wish I had brought my camera 'cause all the kids came up with some really great lego creations.

Jade made brownies then we ate them of course. Here's what's left:
2 great iPhotos

Earlier this week the kids made a family of royal puppets out of toilet paper tubes.
3 great iPhotos

and played dress up
Dress Up

and made tents in the family room
2 great iPhotos
Sorry about the blurriness but I didn't want to retake the pic. Yes, I did pick up some before I took the picture.

I introduced the kids to hangman. Jade enjoyed it but Corbin just isn't as reading well enough to enjoy it. He was pretty frustrated.

Jade made some melt and pour soap for gifts. We are almost finished with that. We made some holiday cards. I'm almost finished with my gift crafting this year. Just one or two more things to make and a few more loose ends to weave in. Then I'm done. Phew!

I whipped this up over the last few days. It's for my sister, hope she likes it. It's my own design and I plan to write a up a pattern for it eventually.

3 great iPhotos

Right now the kids are watching Astroboy.