Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I have *most* of my presents finished and wrapped! And I even succeeded at making a good portion of my gifts (I finished some handmade goodies for the girls last night!) And I am really excited to see my brother (from Montana) and to spend a cozy Christmas morning in our own home! I know it will be very exciting for Anastasia... and her excitement is very contagious... especially to Isabel so it should be a very fun day (even if we get ice and are "iced-in"). Tonight we are having a very traditional fancy meal... of take-out Chinese food and Cherry pie! And to top it off we are going to celebrate our midwest heritage (mine by marriage) by watching A Christmas Story while eating the Chinese food. Fah-rah-rah-rah-rah-rah. ;) So besides 2 apple, and 1 cherry pie baking today, I get the night off. But Santa will be working extra hard tonight. He totally deserves those milk and cookies.

Hope you get to share the love and joy of life and family, and rejoice in our salvation, originating in poverty... a newborn in a manger. How blessed we are to have our lives, our children, our families, our friends and our salvation. Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Window Shopping

Last week my mom and I took a stroll through downtown Fredericksburg and did a little Christmas shopping... and a little window shopping. These pictures are from the windows of a shop called Whittingham. I love the store, but the windows are just AMAZING. They always have something nice up their sleeves for Christmas!
They need a sign reading, "and this is why we bought a cat."

I also love that on the same street, there is a cat store, and a dog store. This completes the circle.

And completely besides the point, have you seen Gingerbread Snowflakes yet? And her sweet, sweet, oh. so. sweet, advent calender??????? I really am just in AWE at how beautiful it is!!! And there are pictures coordinating with holidays like St. Nicholas on the 6th, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St Lucia!!!!!!!! Ah!!!!!!! I am so in love and want one too! And so many of her posts have a lovely, Mexican feel... which melts my heart too! *sigh* Window shopping is just so much fun! No money. No pressure. No problem.

Snowed In

(The above picture was from the previous snow.)
I cannot believe how much SNOW we got!!!! This is Virginia! And we got a blizzard on Saturday! Atleast 20 inches or so!!!! We were pretty much snowed in all weekend (except for going to church last night)! And it is so insanely deep! Here is our house in the snow:

I took Anastasia in the snow, sadly we don't have appropriate snow gear because it never snows here. It was so deep, and cold we were out for maybe 20 minutes before declaring it too cold. It was too dry for snowmen and sledding. But it was perfect for making snow ice cream (lots of snow+milk+sugar+vanilla) that tasted better when it melted a bit as a "shake". Can you believe how deep it is?

I love snow. We haven't had a blizzard here since '96. I love being cozy, and warm and "snowed in". I actually have been getting some Christmas presents finished.
And we made "gingerbread" houses out of graham crackers. I included all the details at Sylvan Hollow. So check it out!

Today is the first day of winter... and only 4days until Christmas!! Woohoo! Can you tell I am excited? We are going to probably have a white Christmas if this snow sticks around. I really want to watch "White Christmas" in the worst way too. I love snow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Traditions Swap

I participated in the Holiday Traditions Swap at Sew Liberated. I am so glad I did!! My partner, Rebecca, from California sent me this lovely package: Can you see the amazingly cute chickens on the cloth napkins? I absolutely love them. Especially because we have been trying to make the switch to cloth napkins... and have been pretty successful. It will be made easier with an extra set of super cute napkins now!! Hooray! I also recieved a recipe for potato latkes that I will have to try out sometime soon. And the girls went nuts over the dradle. Isabel laughed her little head off with every spin. It was so cute. Especially because she has fallen ill with croup the past few days. I put our two humidifiers in our room... and it helped so much last night. We slept pretty well until about 6am. But while she is awake, she just sits pathetically on my lap and won't be put down. I guess it is going to be a baby-snuggling day! Oh, and back to the swap... I made these shoes and a simple apron for Rebecca:
I used the elf clog pattern from Allsorts and shrunk the pattern by half I think. I was trying to go for the European tradition of St. Nicholas Day that we actually celebrated this year! The pattern was really easy and I want a pair in my size to wear! Last night we took the girls to a Winter Wonderland light display at a local park. It was a little chilly, so Nick gave Anastasia his warm shirt and she looked really ridiculous.

The fresh. cold air is supposed to help the croup cough, and it must be true because Isabel didn't cough once during our walk. We even got to see Santa!! A very unenthusiastic Santa. Ugh. He was the worst Santa I have ever seen to be honest, but since we missed our chance to see Santa a few weeks ago because of snow, that might be all the Santa we get. Atleast she was able to tell him what she wanted for Christmas: a Milo cat (translation: a black beanie baby cat that she lost on our trip to the dollar store). Hopefully Santa's ebay purchase makes it here by Christmas! haha.

And so it has been icky sicky around here. No storytime for us this week. I have not done any of the activities on our Christmas-countdown chain. There is always next year right? Today I am sending out one of my last two items in my shop! And I am hoping Anastasia and I can make Nick's Christmas present todady. Oh, I came up with a great gift idea for our dog: a loaf of bread shaped like a bone!! lol. I swear our dog would turn her nose up at a steak in favor of a loaf of bread, fresh from the oven. And one last picture to insure your cute quota is met today:

Happy third week of advent!!! Hope it is a good one! 9 days until Christmas! Woohoo!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday monday.

I woke this morning to the sound of Christmas ornaments crashing on the ground. I jumped out of bed, swept up the broken glass, and Anastasia came in with another glass ball, "Look mommy! I got another one!" I started the coffee, and oatmeal, and fed Isabel some cheerios and she dropped a cheerio on the cat. The food-agressive dog lunged at (and tried to eat) the cat. The dog went outside. I set out my gnomes and freshly painted mushrooms on my sewing table before I went to bed (at 1:30 am mind you) and the cat found them to be an awesome toy. The mushrooms were gone. The gnomes were scattered on the floor. UGH. The cat, and dog spent the morning outside. And Isabel is sick with a yucky cold. So it was a miserable monday morning.

It got better. We went and joined the exciting consumerist society and went shopping for new boots for Anastasia. We had no luck after walking the entire mall (and getting free rides on those moving ride things). She won't wear any shoes except these boots I found at a thrift store for $1. And the zipper got stuck on one of them... making it a huge pain. So we found boots she liked (after looking at like 20 pairs) but they didn't have her size. So after 2 hours of shopping (which was more like looking, and was lots of fun because everyone was happy) we came home and ordered the boots she wanted, in her size online. Hooray for the internet! And I saved $3. It is possibly the first pair of new shoes I have bought for her (her grandparents have bought most of her "new" shoes, and I have really good luck thrifting).

So it was a crazy day, but ended with hot cocoa and a Christmas movie for Anastasia and I. I am sort of celebrating my etsy success... 15 orders in 3 weeks! It was very exciting! Now I am taking a Christmas break, and hopefully will get some cards done, crafts made and cookies baked! And I have some great ideas for January for my shop... so hopefully the excitement isn't completely over for Little Red Whimsy. It is amusing that all the money I have made, I have not even spent any of it on myself yet... and I am itching for a little bit of new fabric for the couch pillows that I am sick of looking at! Hopefully I won't be such an absentee blogger... and I am so glad there is only one monday in every week. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

A few weeks ago, Nick built me my own little craft space in our craft-pantry-pet lair-mudroom! My brother was getting rid of the 2 rolling carts, so I adopted them and put them to good use as well. It was perfect timing with the opening of my little etsy shop and everything! I can see my little craft nook from our kitchen, and it is very inspiring and organized looking (I can't say the same about the rest of the room). And the best thing? We have a baby gate that keeps the kids out of there. (I wish I could say the same for the cat as he has a good time knocking my projects on the floor and kicking them around a bit.) It is SO NICE having a place where I can leave projects, and I don't have to lug my machine to the kitchen for each project I have to do. It is really, really great. Everyone should have one. Sadly for everyone else, I got the only Nick like mine, who builds me stuff. And look what came in the mail!!!:
Thanks to my etsy shop's success, I was able to purchase some wool felt!!! I bought the Christmas bundle from Colonial Crafts and 2-1/2 yards of purple and green. They seemed to have the best prices around, and the colors are so earthy, wooly and just lovely!!! And the presentation made me feel like a kid on Christmas morning! And last year Anastasia recieved a really great cat-shaped tape measure in her stocking. I used it quite a bit, but she made sure it was in her toy box, not in my sewing stash. Apparently Ten Thousand Villages sells them too, and my mom picked one up for me:

So cute, it makes measuring things better than ever!! And its fair-trade to boot!
I don't know about you, but we had the lovliest snow on Saturday!!!

It is so rare in Virginia to get a decent snow this early! We rarely get snow in December, and this one was at least 6 inches!!! And so pretty! We had good sledding, and built a snow man. Even Isabel liked it (which really says a lot!!!).
On Saturday night, St. Nicholas also stopped by:Apparently you can leave carrots for his donkey but we didn't realize that. Sorry for the bad picture, the lighting in here is SO bad. We also visited friends for a gathering for the feast of St. Nicholas and because we were out so late, Isabel slept through the night!!!!!!!! It was the best sleep I have had in 14 months. Too bad Isabel is so grumpy today (and everyday we stay at home). Hopefully we can get some sledding in this afternoon... before the snow melts away! I wish you all a lovely second week of advent!! And soon I will have a break from making gnomes and pizzas and can blog more regularly again!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"...And the darkness has not understood it."

"In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." -John 1:1-5
Reading that is like that first candle in advent... the light in the darkness. One solitary light but the beginning of the "most wonderful time of the year". I finally made our advent wreatah yesterday and a chain of activities:

For a 2 1/2 year old, these were truly exciting. And my mom bought the girls the playmobil advent calender I was still secretly wanting, but unable to justify in my budget:
(The unicorn was not included.) I had high hopes of starting on Sunday, the true first day of advent, but unfortunately I just didn't have time! Today our first advent activity was to take out the manger scene:

I didn't have an actual manger that came with this nice wooden set, but our rainbow worked quite well! I am keeping my eye out at the thrift stores for a cheap manger. I LOVE DECEMBER and CHRISTMAS!!!