Sunday, December 20, 2009

Piano/Violin Recital 2009

It was a wonderful night! A perfect combination of serious performance in front of an audience, and laid back so the kids felt comfortable. I made a million and two cupcakes for the reception afterward and programs for the performance, and the kids had practice before the recital, so we were BUSY yesterday. So I've declared today stay at home in pajamas day. Ahhhh... laziness, I do embrace thee.

Yesterday was a lot of fun though, in all of its frenzied glory. I didn't take video because the show was recorded and we can buy a dvd of the whole thing. Seemed a lot easier to do it that way, leaving me free to just snap a few pics and then enjoy the performance.

The kids played amazingly. I was a proud mama. I'd have been proud even if they hadn't rocked the stage as awesomely as they did, but it is always nice to see practice pay off. Kind of reinforces the whole purpose of practice and all that good stuff. Afterward we had two rounds of visitors over to snuggle the new puppy and hang out with us. Just a good day all round.

Now, I must return to my day of leisure. I have a sleeping puppy on my lap, the husband is cooking dinner in the kitchen, the kids are playing, and life is good. A great way to end the weekend! Hope this coming holiday week is wonderful for everyone. Relaxing, comfortable, safe and fun!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is the little photo collage that I am including in my Christmas cards this year.  Clicking on the image makes it larger and more readable, though I actually printed it really small as our cards are tiny.

This was about as much creativity as I could get to this week with our new puppy underfoot. We are settling into a sort of rhythm which is helping, but I have to admit I am looking forward to the Christmas decorations coming down soon! Too much temptation for one small doggy!

Happy Holidays everyone! We're almost there, huh?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I know it has been quiet around the blog lately. Blame this...

Well, don't blame the girl with chocolate on her face. But what she is holding. A puppy! The holiday season just didn't seem frantic enough so we thought introducing a baby that doesn't wear diapers and that can chew through cords in the two seconds you lose track of her would fix that for us.

I kid! She is a lot of work, but it has been really fun too. She's a good girl, sweet and mild. A schnoodle (mix of a schnauzer and poodle) with black eyes, nose and fur, so she is really hard to photograph. It has been wonderful to watch my kids learn how to be around a pet, she's their first one! Between allergies and just plain old frantic life, we've been dogless for over eight years.

So between the mountains of snow outside, the holiday season shenanigans and a new puppy - blogging time, heck all computer time, has been scarce. But all the puppy kisses make up for it. Here's one for you!


Meet Poppy Shaboodles Bryant. The newest member of our pack.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Of course that is easy for me to say since I don't have to go anywhere, and in anticipation of the storm I scheduled a free day for our business on Thursday. It is supposed to still be storming on Friday, but living with snow is part of the Michigan package. We can't take them all off in advance. Sometimes we just suck it up, dig ourselves out and go on about life. Other times we take it job by job, hour by hour, based on safety.

“We have a very deep storm coming toward the Great Lakes, one of the deepest ones we’ve had in years... The unusually intense storm system is going to have very high winds, easily 25-35 gusting to 45-50 in open areas." - A quote from our local paper about the storm that has yet to hit. The snow pictured was just the appetizer.

According to the paper, eleven inches of snow had already fallen by 11am and will probably go way past the sixteen predicted inches. And 'the storm' hasn't even hit yet! The schools in the area were closed today and closed in anticipation of tomorrow's storm. Lots of happy kids in town today. That means dance class is canceled for us, which makes me happy! I like to avoid driving until people get their snow brains back on. The first few weeks of winter driving is like watching bumper cars driven by drunk, lead-footed idiots. I wish I were exaggerating. People calm the heck down again after a bit, and then I don't mind snow driving so much.

Today was lovely. (Once the people I love got home from the few jobs they didn't cancel, of course. I get nervous with my boys on the road.) The snow was gorgeous! I wish I knew some of the different words for snow that Eskimos use. This snow was incredibly packable and tinged a gorgeous blue. Shoveling it was easy since it stuck together so well, but wasn't frozen at all. I wish I knew its name. Lumping it together with all the other kinds of snow seems wrong. This snow is special. Heck, I half expected our snowman to start talking after being built with this magical stuff.

The winds haven't started yet. When we were out playing my cheeks didn't even get cold. I am guessing it was barely cold enough to snow, but just cold enough to keep it all snow, no slush and ice. Yet. When the winds start tonight the word cold should really mean something to the folks in my town. But by then we will be well snuggled in with blankets, cocoa, books and movies. Our home warmed with baking. We plan on making cookies, apple crisp and I have a pot roast on the stove right now. Mmmm.... We are ready for some serious snow day lazing!

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Update on clay snowmen and tree topper...

The snowfamily is all put together and waiting for my girl to paint and felt them into adorableness. Though I think they are pretty cute already.

The finished tree topper.

I did a quick brush of galactic blue acrylic ink (name is fitting for stars, huh?) and then wiped away the surface ink quickly with a damp cloth. My husband has a hankering for a blue and white Christmas tree, and it sort of reminds me of blue and white pottery, so I am happy with the result. Then the girl and I assembled the stars into several different circles before we settled on this one. There were a few stars left over that I'll just string on ribbons for individual ornaments.

Hot glue seems to be the best kind of glue to use on the ultralight sculpey in this type of construction. It held the snowmen wonderfully and I could even make them little bases out of the glue so they could stand up. I had tried two other permanent clear glues on the stars last night and they fell apart this morning. I was glad the hot glue seems to be working since I am impatient and didn't want to wait another day for other types of glue to dry!

Detail of the stamps on the stars. Now I hope we can get it to sit right on the tree. The wire I used might be too flimsy. I need to wait for one of the tall ones of the family and trim the top of the tree and put this up. The teen tall one is out and about and the husband tall one has a migraine. :( Poor guy. He doesn't get them often, but when he does it usually eats up at least one day. So that means lots of quiet crafting for this calm, snowy Sunday.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More Holiday Crafting...

My daughter and I were brainstorming to come up with a tree topper... We thought a wreath of stars might look cool. To make the stars we used sculpey ultralight which I had on hand. I figured it wouldn't hurt to make the ornament as light as possible. After we rolled the clay out and used a cookie cutter for the star shapes, we stamped designs into the stars with little bindi stampers. My daughter also made a snowman family out of clay scraps that she plans to felt scarves and hats for. I love that kid. Always coming up with ideas that sort of blow me away.

I am not quite sure how I am going to make the stars into a wreath. At first I was going to glue them all together randomly, and I still might. But part of me wants something lighter, airier looking. Maybe glue them to a circle of wire? I also don't know if I will add a wash of color to bring out the design or leave them crisp white yet. Or add glitter. Hmmm... so many directions this could go.

No, my advent cones aren't done yet...

My list of projects is growing and the time before Christmas is shrinking steadily. There's a felted Santa I started last year that I'd love to finish. Doilies I won in an auction last year that I'd love to do this with. Cookies would be fun. And of course the advent cones.

Snow is covering the ground outside now, and the air is properly blustery. The time for a busy warm home is here and I am feeling very content. Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Finish it Friday... Better late than never!

I thought I'd use a Friday meme I've seen around the crafty blogs as means of inspiration to my winter slow self. I am trying to finish these little Advent Calendar Cones (yes I know I am four days late). Yesterday was our first snow of the year AND my husband brought home a real Christmas tree!

The kids have never experienced a real tree, and we haven't had one in ten years. So it was pretty exiting! Right now it is drinking water for a day and we plan to decorate it on Saturday. It is a sweet little tree. The branches have already started to drop quite a bit from this picture and it is filling out nicely. Not that I'd really care. I'd be happy with a Charlie Brown tree, if it came with the lovely real tree smell!

So this means the Christmas music is officially playing, the stockings are hung, my entryway is decorated with fresh boughs cut from the tree and cinnamon scented pine cones.

We are officially feeling festive. Snow seems to be the key to the start of the holidays, for us folk that are used to nature providing well defined seasons. A long snowless fall is so nice in some ways, but the darkness and lack of snow sure mess with my internal clock!

Here a few shots from this morning's craftiness...

The pile of triangles I cut the other day. Some of this material is stuff I've had since high school. Some my mom gifted me. Some I bought for projects long forgotten. It is nice to use it all together like this.

I'm set up in the living room so the kids and I can hang out and listen to Christmas music and fight over the sewing machine. They like to try to take it over whenever I bring it out!

A nice mess. I love crafty messes. They are so much more fun than regular messes.

Here is the almost finished product. I think I'll add tags for the numbers. I don't mind so much that this will be 'late', since it will be all ready for future years and I am sure the kids won't mind as they aren't even expecting anything at this point.

All and all a sweet, quiet, and happy start to December. Wishing everyone who reads here the same!