Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Few More Christmas Things

We are busy getting ready for our Solstice celebration tomorrow but I still wanted to post these few Christmas things.
I've been trying to spend some time in the kitchen making my usual Christmas cookies and other sweets. It's a lot more challenging than I pictured. April usually needs something (a nurse, a diaper, a walk, something) just as I'm starting to melt chocolate or just before I need to take the cookies out of the oven. This new level of multitasking is taking longer to adjust to than I hoped. Non-the-less I've made some yummy peppermint bark and I have some gingerbread dough in the fridge waiting to be cut out and decorated. I also have plans to make some Coconut Oat Balls and a Buche-de-Noel for Christmas dinner.
I wasn't sure I would have the time for this next one but I did! I actually got the chance to make April her own special Christmas dress. It really only took me about 2 hours to put it together once I got the right fabric for the lining. The main fabric is some Anna Maria Horner fabric I got back in the summer and I used this pattern from Etsy. I used the size 12 months for most of the dress but cut it to the 6 month length so it wouldn't trip her. I'm actually really thrilled with this little dress (aside from a buttonhole incident). It's festive but that fabric allows for it to be worn after Christmas too.
Finally, I made this darling cross-stitch ornament I saw on the Purl Bee for her very first Christmas ornament. I like it because she can handle it as much as she wants and it isn't going to be damaged at all! I used a darling "Let it Snow" fabric for the back and that sweet polka-dot ribbon for the hanger. It has been a really long time since I did any cross-stitching but I really enjoyed this. I might need to make one for everyone!

I don't think I'll get a chance to post again before Christmas so Happy Holidays to you all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decking the Halls

We've been busy decking our halls. We've been taking advantage of the glorious sunny days and gone to collect berries and greens from local parks. Holly is an invasive species in our rain forests so we have been doing our part by removing it from the outdoors and bring it in for decoration.
We had a few very windy days this December so I've been using fallen greenery this year. I did have to collect a couple pieces from the tree but not much. The wind also knocked loose some lovely pine cones that are now on display in my home. I've thoroughly enjoyed the hunt for little treasures that will add the the holiday spirit already taking hold in my home.
Our tree day was as lovely as ever. I love tree day even more than Christmas day. I love bundling up and going to find that perfect tree. We all discuss what we think the perfect tree will be like on our drive out. The lot is lit with lights and smells heavenly. The hunt begins. Here, somewhere, is the tree that we were meant to have. There is always a small debate over which tree is the most wonderful but we never leave with a tree than someone doesn't completely love. I look forward to welcoming the tree in my home. It's like having your favorite friend come to stay. We carefully string the lights and sing carols as we hang our cherished ornaments. We finish just as it is time for bed. We turn off all the lights and watch our perfect tree glow for a moment or two and then we are off the bed. You can still smell the intoxicating scent drifting into the bedroom as we all fall asleep. Tree day is the best day.
Again this year, I took part in the wreath making class at a local nursery. I always have a really good time. It is such a creative process and every year I learn something new. It was a nice two hour break from being mommy. I was just me, expressing my love of the holidays with the local foliage. I'm so pleased with the wreath I made this year.
During these cold, dark months having pieces of nature in your home deepens your connection to the earth, to the natural rhythms taking place. The lush greens and vibrant reds and purples now liven my home. Even the wonderful smell of the pine, fir and cedar lighten my mood. We are looking forward to solstice and planning quite the welcome for those longer days.

Friday, December 16, 2011

This Moment

{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.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fall at the Lake

These photos are from a trip to the lake we took a month ago but I just got a chance to really look at them the other night. It's been a beautiful fall. The air is clean and crisp. Even though it's been colder than usual, I haven't minded because it's been more dry and sunny than usual as well. April and I go for walks every single day but our walks out in nature are the ones I really treasure. I feel calm and balanced when I out in the natural world. I adore the "silence". No cars or motorcycles, lawn mowers or leaf blowers. It nourishes me.