Friday, December 30, 2011

{this moment} - levitating paperclip

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. See Soulemama to play along.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

handmade Christmas

Well, the handmade Christmas presents have been distributed and well-received, which is always nice to see. I finished the last of the socks just in time, around 8 pm on Dec 23, which was a close enough call for me.

Here are all 5 pairs of socks for my family. In order of appearance and size, you see Paul's, Paulie's, Philip's, Elizabeth's and Finn's.

I was extremely pleased with how they all turned out and I think the decision to do the largest 3 pairs in sport weight superwash wool yarn was a good one. They are nice and thick for the colder weather.

Look at all of those cute feet!

And then there were the hats, most of which were knit back in the summer so I could barely remember what they looked like before I pulled them out to stuff into stockings.

Paul loves his socks as well and commented that he wishes he had 20 pairs, not that he'd want to become a knitting widower for that long. Ha! Size 13 feet make for looooonng knitting when it comes to socks.

Philip really loves his new knitted blanket as well. He's already napped and curled up in it several times, and I can tell it will be well-loved.

And on the handmade-but-not-by-me front, these earrings, which Elizabeth thought of, and she and Paulie searched the internet for, until they found these cute little handmade beauties. I couldn't be more touched by their thoughtful generosity. ♥

I hope your handmade gifts were just as loved!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

a Christmas birthday

On this, Finn's 5th birthday since his early Christmas morning arrival, we celebrated in the tradition we've built since having a Christmas baby. First thing this morning when he woke up, we celebrated his birthday first, over breakfast and with birthday presents, before breaking into the Christmas spirit.

I can't believe there are now *5* candles glowing in the darkness on Christmas morning. He's getting so big!

He was thrilled with his "gnome house" as he calls it, as I hoped he would be.

I'm so glad we made the choice to celebrate his birthday first and foremost on this most special and popular of holidays. He glows with delight every Christmas morning as we celebrate his birthday before moving on with the Christmas celebrations.

He ate his requested birthday breakfast of eggs, biscuits, and fruit salad as quickly as possible because presents were waiting!

Since Finn's siblings were with their respective other parents this Christmas morning, his grandparents came to celebrate with us, bring a Lego set which thrilled Finn!

Finn then opened a few more presents of a paintable ceramic bank, a wooden truck and a few books.

Then, of course, he needed to set to work straightaway. With a bank to paint, legos to build and books to read, no boredom for this birthday boy!

I hope that everyone has a merry Christmas on this beautiful day, and that my newly 5-year-old Finn has an amazing Christmas birthday.

Friday, December 23, 2011

a morning with Rembrandt

Elizabeth and Paul are both great fans of Rembrandt so when we heard that Rembrandt in America was coming to the NC Museum of Art, we knew that we needed to take a morning to visit the exhibit. Today, Paul conveniently had the time off from work for the holidays so we took a break from our Christmas celebrating and headed an hour down the road to see Rembrandt's work. Of course, they wouldn't actually let me take pictures in the exhibit so you'll have to go check it out for yourself, but suffice to say we had a wonderful time. And the rest of the museum wasn't bad either. They even have a great room of American artists including many NC artists which really drew Elizabeth's attention. A pause in the middle of the holiday craziness was a marvelous on with the rest of the show!

{this moment} - Santa sighting

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. See Soulemama to play along.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

::right now::

::waiting for the end of the advent calendar::

::watching Finn's watercolored stars spin over our heads::

::creating snow-covered pinecones::

::playing games with grandparents::

::eating dinner by candlelight for solstice::

Happy solstice to all! Enjoy the cozy warmth huddled around fires, and remember that every day from here on out will have a bit more light. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yarn Along

First off, I'm sorry that these photos are so terrible. We are having dreary dark weather and good photos in natural light are impossible so...I did what I could.

Anyway, my Yarn Along for this week is still The Christmas Almanac that I've been reading stories from and trying recipes for the holidays. I love this book with it's many ideas and vintage Christmas pictures! I'm also still working on SOCKS! Big surprise since I bit off more than I can chew trying to make 3 pairs of socks in less than 3 weeks. I'm on the last sock now though so I definitely see the end in sight! Paulie's socks are knit in Knit Picks Felici sport in the Recess colorway. The sport yarn is definitely helping to finish these socks quickly just like the ones I was showing you last week.

And the 3 finished pairs...

It's nice to see all the accomplishment of this knitting craze. I'll have to take some feet pics one everyone has all their socks on feet. :)

I also just received another box from Knit Picks full of fun girly colorways. Elizabeth's birthday is 1 month away so no rest for the knitting-weary. (Shhh...don't tell my knitting-widower of a husband.)

Do you have any last minute Christmas present crafts to finish? Good luck to all of us in the last-minute crafting boat!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

advent spiral and crafting

This evening we held our annual advent spiral and holiday crafting time with our little festivals group. Having learned our lesson in the freezing wind last year, this year we planned a small tabletop spiral for the children to travel with their hands, placing their apples along the spiral path after receiving light from the angel.

The newest member of our festivals group made her first appearance. So sweet to have a new little one in the group!

Before the advent spiral, we had time for several crafts. This year we made stick trees with inspirational sayings, wool wrapped star ornaments, glittery pinecone ornaments, orange clove pomanders, and we carved our apples for the spiral.

So many busy hands while our hearts fill with love for these dear friends and how much joy they bring to our celebrations each season.

After all the hard work on so many crafts, we took a break for a small snack of holiday treats.

What is it about cherub-cheeked children eating Christmas cookies and giggling around the tree? *love that*

Each family privately went into the room with the spiral and traveled the spiral then placed their light along the path.

When each family had a turn to let their children travel the advent spiral, the entire group squeezed into our little library to admire the light and warmth.

Then we sang a few Christmas carols together. *completely magical*

Silent Night. Holy Night. All is calm; all is bright.