Tuesday, November 30
This year I came up with an idea. Why not make a super long trivet for all the food? So, that is what I did. I pretty much followed my trivet/pot holder tutorial, but just kept the bottom part. Our table can very comfortably seat 10 when the extensions are in place, so I made sure it was long enough to accommodate that. I quilted the insulated batting straight up and down so that the ends would fold over neatly, and so that it would roll up nicely for storage (see the photo above).
This really came together pretty easily - aside from the biased tape. I swear, I hate the stuff. I just can't ever get it to look nice. The fabric, again, was from Granny Grace, so the total on this project set me back I'd say about $5 or $6.
The photos below show how it's used. Unfortunately, I decided to start making this the night before Thanksgiving, and was still working on it when my family arrived. Thankfully they're pretty laid back, so the fact that it still had pins in place, and long threads hanging off the sides didn't phase them :)
I finally sat down and finished this yesterday afternoon.
Thursday, November 25
I'm grateful for so many aspects of my life and my family, but for today, on the blog, I want to express my gratitude to you. I appreciate the few minutes (or perhaps more) you spend reading what I have to say. This is my outlet, a place to express creativity, and to focus on the joy in my life. My life is not perfect, as no one's is. So here, I like to keep the focus positive for those days when my world feels like it's spinning out of control. It's a quiet reminder of the good, and I can visit it whenever I need to.
Thank you for watching these moments with me, and for sharing some of your own.
I wish everyone a peaceful, warm and rich day!
Wednesday, November 24
So with that said, I'd like to talk about this fun little project I came across on craftster the other day. Pom Pom Plants! Maybe I'm a little goofy (ok I am a little goofy), but I just love these. If you ignore the poor photo quality, these really do turn out cute - and it's a great use for those twigs that are all over the place right now. Not to mention a great way to use up yarn scraps.
It's super simple to do. Just collect some medium size fallen twigs, make pom poms, and then glue the twig inside the pom pom. If you're not familiar with making pom poms, or would like to see step by step instructions, you can view that here.
Tuesday, November 23
Here's a few more photos from that day...
Monday, November 22
Oven Roasted Veggies
1 Acorn Squash, seeded and cubed (we leave the skin on)
1 Butternut Squash, seeded and cubed (peel the skin off)
3 Carrots cubed and then cut in half
2 Potatoes Cubed (skin on)
1 Onion Sliced
1 tsp Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sea salt and Pepper to taste
1) Put all of the veggies in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil over the top. Add the garlic and salt and pepper and stir a few times to make sure the veggies are evenly coated.
2) You can leave these in the bowl in the fridge to marinate for a few hours if you want the onion and garlic flavors to be more prominent. Otherwise, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the veggie mix evenly over the surface, making sure it's in one layer.
3) Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the veggies are lightly browned and tender.
Try it, you'll be amazed how good it tastes! I'm pretty sure I could live off this side dish alone. Well, maybe...
Have a great day!
Friday, November 19
Thursday, November 18
I've been working on putting together a quiet place for my children over the last week or so. You can read about the beginning of this here.
It's amazing how noisy a little one's life can be if you think about it. Background media noise, crying children, noisy pets, constant bus or car chatter, classroom activities, and flashing gadgets are just a few. None of these things on their own a necessarily a bad thing, but combined together into one full day can be stressful. I know I can't handle constant stimulus, so I don't think it's fair to assume my children can handle it either. Which leads me to their "Quiet Space".
We had a tent set up for the kids to play in, but it ended up just turning into a catch-all for a bunch of stuffed animals, that really, no one ever went near, except for the dog. I cleared all of toys out and only held onto a few favorites. I put a few of the most loved books inside the tent, along with one or two stuffies, and a really soft "Sherpa" rug (I don't have the funds right now to buy anything new, so I had to scavenge around the house and found this scrap piece of fabric from an old project), which in time will be replaced with the real thing.
I also compiled a bunch of books to keep in a wooden box outside of the tent in case they want more choices.
So far, it's worked out really well. I showed both of them the updated tent, eh, quiet place, and what it was for. Explaining that if they want to go somewhere to relax, or calm down, and not have worry about anything else, that's where to go. I have made a promise to both of them that if one is inside and needs to be alone, I will make sure the other stays out until they are ready. I have only had to do that one time so far. Right now, I think they are just both enjoying the "new" space, and have been sharing it well.
Now, if I could just have my own "quiet place"...
Wednesday, November 17
And so, this brings me to the actual fairy part. Though the fairy's made by the same company as the lodge are cute, I had come across some that I liked a bit more in a book called Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor.
Oh how I love this book! Not only does it give great detailed instructions, but the images are just beautiful! Salley Mavor does an excellent job creating scenes from her Wee Folk that instantly draw the reader in. Case in point, my 5 year old, who is sooo not into dolls, as he'll tell you, couldn't put the book down. He sat in his chair, head down, and lightly ran his fingers over the glossy pages, only stopping to look up at me to ask if we could make them. All of them. He's especially drawn to Hanzel and Gretel and the Pirates.
Tuesday, November 16
But, what I am happy about, is that we had a small problem, and I was able to fix it for free, using materials we already had around the house. I get sooo excited about doing things like that.
We recently purchased a lava lamp for my 2 year old daughter. She has been having trouble sleeping at night, and I thought the slowly flowing globs of color might soothe her a bit. If you have ever owned a lava lamp, you know that the bottom gets very, very hot. So hot, that it made me nervous to leave it on at night for her (which was the reason we bought it).
Insulated tiny hot pads!
I made six, even though we only have one lava lamp. I just can't help myself sometimes. But we have found other uses for them. They fit perfectly under my coffee and tea mugs - yea! And if you ask my children, well, they are quite possibly the very best flying saucers they have ever owned.
What have you thrown together in a pinch lately? Please share in the comments section!
Monday, November 15
What you need:
6 Medium Sized Apples
1 Cup Water
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Sweetener (optional - I use 12 drops of liquid Stevia)
Slice and core your apples - we leave the skins on.
Put apple slices, water, cinnamon and sweetener in a large stock pot. Cook covered over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the apples are soft enough to mash.
Friday, November 12
Thursday, November 11
So, here are two of the projects for that room. The hand towels above were super easy, and took about 30 minutes to finish them both (with Hannah crawling up legs and on and off of my lap). To make your own, just measure your hand towel (I found these in our closet, we haven't used them in years. I just got lucky with the color) and add 1/2" in the height to accommodate a 1/4" seam allowance on the top and bottom. Sew across, and once you get to your edges, trim, fold them under, press and then top stitch.
The second picture is a bath mat (a.k.a. the kids old hand towels). I know this project is from Amanda Soule, but I'm not sure which book it was in. My guess is Handmade Home. I didn't follow instructions of any kind, I just looked at it and decided to wing it (I don't own the book - it's definitely worth checking out though. She is a huge inspiration for me, and if you have time, you might want to stop by her blog - it's amazing and full of beautiful photography). I think I'm pretty close to spot on with it, and even if I'm not, I'm happy with how it turned out.
Our local hardware store sells VOC free primer and interior paint and the prices are pretty competitive with the smelly stuff - so we'll definitely be going the healthier route for the paint. I'm sooo excited to get some color on those walls!
I have a few more projects up my sleeve, but more updates on that are sure to come.
Wednesday, November 10
Tuesday, November 9
This was great for Hannah to work on her fine motor skills. We used a strip of yarn with some scotch tape around the edges to make threading easier. She also got in a lot of practice naming colors. She adores pink by the way.
And my Austin. What he's holding here ended up turning into a dragon catching device, with more beads evenly spaced out and the yarn ends tied together. It promptly got taken away after it some how, all on it's own of course, went spiraling into our living room window. Thankfully nothing shattered, but my goodness, I definitely didn't see that one coming. And if you're wondering, yes, he did get it back, but with out it's flying power - where's the fun in that mom?