MORE MAKING

I’ve been working hard this week to finish up and hopefully wrap some Christmas gifts! I saw this little tutorial for a fabric headband over on Meg’s blog. We’ve never met, but she is my friend Joey’s fiance. I’ll be meeting her at their wedding in May! From what I can tell, we will get along just fine. She is all sorts of crafty and as cute as can be. Go look at their engagement photos: she made her dress, her hair piece, the quilt (GORGEOUS!) and revamped the chandelier. Wow! I wish two things: one, that I was that awesome, and two, that when Dave and I take photos for couples, that they are that awesome too. So far everyone we have photographed has been awesome, just to clarify ;-) I love that she planned some props for the day. That makes it personal and heart-felt to boot.

Anyway, when I saw how simple the hairpiece was, I knew it would be a great project and gift for my nieces. I was tempted to buy new fabric, but tried to convince myself otherwise to save time and money. Upon digging, I came up with a few forgotten fabric pieces I really liked, and I think the girls will too. They are almost 6 and 4 but aren’t really into the sparkly, frilly girl things. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a rhinestone on either of them. So I knew I could get away with a possibly more sophisticated color palette. In one of them, I even snuck in a couple of clippings from one of the fabrics from my wedding dress. She might not be interested in wearing it long enough for that to matter to her, but it still felt special to me :)

HOLIDAY CHEER

We don’t have much for holiday decor, but it is nice to still get a little festive. We FINALLY got a tree. I had my heart set on a vintage tinsel tree, but I just couldn’t find one for a decent price. You can’t really tell, but in the background of the reindeer picture, you can catch a glimpse of a tiny tinsel. Her name is Bernadette, and I am oh, so happy to have her. Since she is so tiny, we also got a real tree, small still. We swaddled it in lights, a few knitted garlands, the ornaments I made earlier, and then filled some clear glass ornaments with tinsel or old jewelry. It will be nice to someday have a collection of ornaments, but I think it is a collection we’ll grow into. I’m not rushing to have the same tree my mother has, but it is nice to know that in 27 or so years, I might have something just as special.

OFF THE NEEDLES

I have been busy knitting since about my second month on crutches. Before I started any new projects, I made myself finish two I had been neglecting. One is kind of a weird hat for Dave (not pictured) and the other is the circular scarf below. I’m really happy with how it turned out, but let’s be honest, it was kind of a boring project. This might actually be the first time I intended to make something for myself and kept it. It was such a dull project, I knew I wouldn’t want to make myself another if I gave this one away, haha. Also pictured is a tiny baby beanie for my friends’ son, arriving in February. I had never made anything for an infant, so I had to visualize (and google) dimensions. Otherwise it’s just an adaptation of the hat next to it for my older brother’s birthday. Here is the original pattern for these hats, but let me warn you, I had to significantly reduce the number of cast on stitches.

There are still some mittens sitting on my coffee tables, whining to be finished. Then, I’m going to attempt a slouchy hat for my younger brother’s girlfriend, and maybe a crocheted circle scarf like this one for a gift exchange (if you don’t follow Lindsi on People Webs you should! She makes the most beautiful crocheted pieces, has awesome hair, and has sweet vintage taste all-around). And just to remind myself of the other projects I may not finish for a while, I need to work on mitten #2 for myself and mittens for Dave. Whew! Hopefully I’ll be able to get most of it done in time for this gift-giving holiday fast approaching.

GIFT TAG DIY

I made these little guys a couple of weeks ago and have been wanting to share! Since Dave is at a lunch meeting and the mouse is here…

I’m not one to worry too much about gift wrapping. I love the look of craft paper which is fortunate because I’ve always been keeping it around since about middle school when I had to cover my textbooks. It can be spruced up just about anyway. I usually grab some pretty ribbon and skip the gift tags, but this year I decided tags might be a nice step up from the usual penned name on the bottom of packages. I saw these tags on Etsy a while back and made a mental note to make some myself. Simple!

The listed gift tags are very affordable, but why not make your own if you already have the supplies? Oh, because it’s really tedious. I used my mother-in-law’s punch to make the brown paper gift tags. Then I cut triangles from assorted paper, arranged pieces, sewed, and voila!

I didn’t fuss with making them Christmas-y. That’s not really my thing, and this way I can have a stock to use throughout the year. But, go ahead! There are even sparkly papers at the craft stores, so these could get all dolled up.

Blast!

I was being oh-so-sneaky taking some new photos of things I meant to show you that got lost in the computer trouble. A friend is lending me a keyboard for “my” laptop. It has water damage, and several of the keys don’t work. It is kind of ghetto; I’m not going to lie. So here I am, ready to show you some photos of our tree, the gift tags I had already made, and at least one of the knitted projects I’ve been working on (two of the others have already been  shipped off and gifted with their portraits in virtual purgatory), when I realize, “blast!” this laptop doesn’t have photoshop!

Next, mischievous Mariah thinks she could use Dave’s computer before he gets back! But wouldn’t you know, that bugger took his computer mouse with him. No, he didn’t take it so I wouldn’t use it. I even briefly recall him asking if it was ok. Oh well. I could show you naked pictures (er, unphotoshopped); I’ve done it before, but maybe we’ll wait.

How is everyone? Crazy-busy weeks?

I asked my friend Sarah while she was cutting my hair if they had a busy week planned. She told me that was the biggest understatement. ever. She and her husband have three little ones that steal my heart with each passing glance. They host the awesome food blog 1 Cup Awesome and also lead worship at our church. We have two services this week on top of a normally full schedule, on top of Christmas craziness. I know they are busy. Awesome families like theirs makes me want to have a baby or four, but I know we need to wait. Dave would just have a cow, and we are slowly but surely getting our business off the ground. It would just be a little bit nuts to add another Poyzer into the equation at this point.

THE FULLNESS OF DECEMBER

I had a slew of photos of some knitting projects I wanted to share, along with some yummy food things, and who knows what else. Well, at the end of last week, our laptop came down with a viral infection. I already ruined “my” laptop earlier this year (water damage) and had been using “Dave’s”. Our plan is to back it up, and then reinstall the operating system. All of that is to say, I am without computer, and therefore mostly without blogging capabilities. Dave is basically on his computer all of the hours of every day. Right now he has stepped out for a meeting though, so I am taking full advantage.

December has been speeding buy. On top of normal work things, we have been enjoying parties and friends. I’ve been to:

1 BABY SHOWER. (photo of knitted baby’s cap is somewhere on previously mentioned laptop)
1 GRADUATION PARTY. (aka Jeni’s ice cream party) We tried Black Currant Lambic Sorbet, Cumin + Honey Butterscotch Cake, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Frankincense + Almond Cake, Goat Cheese with Cognac Figs, Smoked Tea + Plum Pudding, Spiced Pepita Brittle, The Black Forest, Vanilla Cedar Wood, and there was also a yummy pumpkin one, but I cannot remember its proper name.
2 CHRISTMAS PARTIES. One was for family and the second was for the ministering prayer team we are apart of. There was a ridiculous amount of food, and it was so good. We feasted, spent some time worshipping together, and then prayed for some folks for healing. In our midst, one person’s back was healed, and there were many other things we prayed for that couldn’t be immediately tested, and we’ll just wait to see! Man, God is awesome!
1 STAR OF BETHLEHEM VIEWING. This is a documentary I saw maybe four or five years ago for the first time. I’m not sure when it was aired on tv so I could be a bit off. We were talking about it with some friends, and they decided to buy the dvd and invited us over for a viewing! It is really powerful, and brings new depths to the stars proclaiming the glory of God. I’m curious if this will become an annual tradition.

We have a few more (5) family Christmas parties coming up, three birthdays, three more services where people can come for healing, and so many friend faces coming to town that will without a doubt mean impromptu parties.

Now that December is half over, I am wishing we had had more time for decorating, and hoping there will be enough time for knitting! I have at least four projects that I am trying to finish up for gifts and certainly some shopping to do.

I’ve been praying a lot about being able to deeply connect with God during this season. There is something about hearing the same Bible passages every year for 26 years that makes it easy to check out and just be caught up in the busyness without remembering that we are celebrating someone’s birthday. It’s the time of year that even the unchurched come to church. Currently, I am completely caught up in gratitude that prayers I pray are being answered and that my heart is more full this year than last.

 

WE HAD A PARTY

My friend Allison came to knit with me one evening while I was still home bound, and she began showing me some of her lovely Christmas inspiration board on Pinterest. We knew then that we needed to have a Christmas craft night! A week or so later, she invited some friends over from the neighborhood, and we got crafting! She had also warned me to come hungry, but I had no idea she had prepared a feast similar to any Thanksgiving spread! I was so impressed, I snatched Dave’s phone for a couple of pictures to share.

I love her table with all of the different wooden chairs. Vintage dining chairs are on my Christmas list. I currently have “vintage” (or old!) chairs, but they aren’t exactly what I want. Allison said all of her recipes came from Bon Appetit. The turkey was the best I’ve ever tasted.

Oh yes, I really intended to share our lovely yarn globe ornaments. This is an idea I’ve had for a long time but on a much larger scale (light fixtures or wedding lanterns). I noticed them on Allison’s Pinterest board too, so we gave them a try! We were a gluey and glittery mess afterwards, but it was worth it! Both Allison and our friend Emily added glitter to theirs, which looked awesome. I went with a more natural feel because I knew the decorations I already had for Christmas were more natural and mostly made of yarn. So far we don’t have a tree so I may need to think of another way to display or hang them. Such a fun project! Just be sure to allow the glue (or whatever mixture you use) to dry thoroughly before deflating your balloons. I poked my balloons in the unstretched part near the knot. This allowed them to deflate slowly, and I was able to help unstick any part that seemed extra gluey. I love how they turned out!

What have you all been crafting for Christmas? What DIYs should I be taking on next?

An Invitation

I can’t help but send a quick invitation out there into the vastness of the Internet. In case someone not too far from Des Moines finds this blog post, know that you are invited to join us December 23rd. We’d love to have you come for worship and/or prayer. Directions can be found here.

(Dave did take this photo, and my friend Carrie did the graphics)

Celebrating

I can promise you my lack of blogging has nothing to do with doing nothing. We have been busy! Now that I am up walking on this ol’ foot, we’ve been out and about. It was about two weeks ago that we celebrated my birthday. I was enjoying a nice lazy morning when Dave kept asking if I was going to get cleaned up. I thought, “It’s my birthday! I don’t want to!” He kept bringing it up, and I figured that something was going on so in a panic, I quickly took a shower. Twenty minutes later my father-in-law pulled up and helped Dave carry in something special for me :-) This lovely sofa!


Our current sofa is getting kind of pooped out. It won’t be long before we give her the old heave hoe, but for now, I am enjoying having a lot of seating space.

We met our friend Seth for lunch at a nearby Chinese place (you know I love it), then spent a few hours hitting up some of our favorite thrift stores. Dinner with family, and then we brought our parents back to our demolished apartment for milk, eggnog, and cookies. It was really a great day. On top of that, some lovely folk, gave me some lovely gifts. This book by Colin Meloy from the dear one herself, and my first sister-in-law (because she married my brother before I married into Dave’s family ;-) ) gave me some cake pans! It is hard to believe I had made it to my 26th birthday without them, especially after working at a bakery. I quickly put my skills to use and made the Maple-Walnut Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting from Everyday Food‘s November issue. IT. WAS. GOOD.


Now Dave, in his ultimate wisdom, knows that most of my cognitive life, I have not liked to make a big deal about celebrating holidays or birthdays. I would generally feel utterly depressed the day after any celebration because I spent so much time looking forward to and yearning for it, had so much fun with friends and family, and then it was over. Honestly, this year might have been one of the firsts I felt fully satisfied the day after. But lo and behold, Dave surprised me with a few stems of flowers, a humongo cinnamon roll, and some pretty candles I had been pining over for a few years. I felt loved and celebrated, and it was another good day.