Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry 7th Day of Christmas!!

Can you tell how thrilled Kieran was about Christmas? This described his attitude the whole day. He doesn't seem to care much for social engagements. SO I am very late with my "Merry Christmas" but thank goodness there are 12 days of Christmas. We have been having a cozy and relaxing week with Nick home from work. The weather has been spectacular! We had snow, and now its 60 degrees. Really, who could ask for more!?With each child Christmas becomes a little more magical! It was funny how long it took the girls to remember it was Christmas morning, and to check to see if Santa drank his milk and ate his cookies and left a few packages behind. But the excitement for them to see the tree filled with presents when there had been nothing the night before brought so much joy to my heart! It reminds me that the first gift of Christmas was a child. And every child added to the world seems to make Christmas more exciting and beautiful.Isabel loved her cat toy, which was her one desire from Santa, and Anastasia got her Tinkerbell doll and friends which she immediately shared with Isabel. I think they were really most excited about these lollipop shaped soaps and the bath they took with them:Isabel carried hers with her all day on Christmas day in a little zippered pouch. So so cute. Sadly I didn't get enough good pictures! We spent the day at my parents house and enjoyed a delicious meal! And I made pies! Our neighbors stopped by with gifts and holiday cheer! We also got to spend a couple days with "Unka Andy" (my brother) who came in from Montana and blessed the girls with a very exciting book about poop: So we had a little bit of everything this Christmas! My sweet husband gifted me with fabric, and music and some of my favorite soaps! We have been enjoying cookies and coffee by the hearth reading our lovely books from Santa. Wednesday we went out and enjoyed a day of walking through old town Occoquan and drove into DC to our favorite pizza place, Armands and took the kids to see the Zoo Lights at the National Zoo! It was great! Now we are back to relaxing before another big weekend. It is a much needed rest after a lot of preparations for Christmas! And tomorrow begins a whole new year, another chapter of our very full and beautiful life! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Now I must get a bandaid for Isabel, calm my fussy baby and figure out some sort of dinner to accompany my peanut butter balls (aka buckeyes!) yum!

<3 Clare

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gingerbread Playdough and things...

It has been a rough past week. Rough I say. The kind of rough that makes you wish you could trade places with someone for a day (or week!). On Monday we had to go to the Ear-nose-throat doctor to have a bead removed from Isabel's nose. It went smooth once we finally made it in. I worked super-duper hard on my Etsy shop, making and packaging and shipping. And my littlest ones got sick. Kieran had a fever and slept for a day. He and Isabel and myself have been completely sacked by a cold. And then with orders, custom orders and a healthy Anastasia who has not stopped BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS, all I could do was give up and make some gingerbread play-dough. It was a fun activity. I made each girl a ball, of each color and they each got their own cookie cutters and a container of fabric scraps, yarn and buttons for decorating. And they were happy. I saw the idea for Gingerbread playdough somewhere last year and thought I was a genius for coming up with the decorations... but of course I was beat to the idea by Melissa at Chasing Cheerios. Anyhow, I loved her idea of using yarn for icing!! How much fun! And look who is 5 weeks old:

He outgrew all his 0-3 month items and was 12 lbs at his appointment at 3 weeks! Woah! He is a big boy! So we seem to be on the mend, and I am trying to clean the weeks worth of mess that has accumulated and really wishing for a clean house for Christmas. Kieran is still stuffy and that is making him a little bit miserable so I feel like I am in S-L-O-W motion. Most of my handmade gifts are going to be late, and honestly I am okay with that. I just want to make it until Christmas with my sanity intact and a bill of good health! Happy elving everyone! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Handmade Holiday for Children

I have visions and dreams of a completely, or mostly handmade holiday. Every year I spend months gathering ideas... and give myself 2 weeks to do EVERYTHING on my list. Well the good news is, there are 2 weeks until Christmas to finish those projects... or if like me, you don't have time, there is still a bit of time to purchase through most Etsy shops!! I personally think the above Fairy and Snow Fairy playset above would make an adorably perfect stocking stuffer! (I am only slightly biased!) Right now they come packaged in a little organza bag, ready for play or display! :)
Or how about some homemade snack sacks? My good friend Wendy makes these darling little treat bags and sells them in her brand new Etsy shop, Momma's Little Lunch Bunch!! I ordered my own custom set with a different fabric for each of my wee ones! And I have to say they are very well made and so, so, so much cuter in person. They will most likely find their way into some stockings... and be filled with treats and candy! Oh how I love Christmas morning!! And how perfect they will be for filling with snacks for trips in the van. The trick to 3 kids is to be organized! This is just one more step in that direction. Or if you are handy, make your own!

On my list of things to make are some Hudson Hats for the kiddos! I haven't even started and am hoping to have time this week, with bulky yarn, to do so! Ugh. But I have a hat for Nick and a pair of longies on the knitting needles... which haven't been picked up in a while. If you can't knit, my friend and neighbor Sharon makes ADORABLE gnome hats (seen above). Made from really soft, wool yarn!! How sweet are those? Can you imagine a little family of children running around so sweetly in those on Christmas morning?

Another goal for me is to make an apron and chef hat for each of the girls. I love the above one from Mon Petit Poppet's Etsy shop. I am hoping to use the pattern from the Sew Liberated book, and find a place for a couple of apron hooks in the kitchen. And it would be perfect to pair it with a sweet, child-size set of cooking tools, wooden spoon, mini-whisk, etc. I know it would be loved to pieces. If you are a seamstress, there is also a tutorial online here. Other ideas for the girls include the wooden castle Nick is "supposed" to be building and I want to buy an unfinished stool from Michaels to paint like a mushroom. Obviously. It would be perfectly paired with some small round pillows with a big flower appliqued on it. If you can't picture it... I MUST make it, and will share pictures when I finish. It will be perfectly adorable set up under the Christmas tree with a tray of wooden food!! Now all I need for Christmas is MORE TIME. My plan is, if this all doesn't work out, I will just make little or big handmade gifts for the 12 days of Christmas... that is my creative way to make up for my year of procrastination!
And Kieran really wants one of these mushroom teethers. He didn't ask, I just read his mind. I do that a lot. But really, have you seen a cuter baby toy? And it isn't made in China so I don't have to worry about him eating lead... it was handmade and in the lovely shop Maya Bella. And it will match his mama-made onesies perfectly! Oh, Santa, please bring one to my little boy. Its all he really, really wants. And some socks too.
Of course I hope to make some fairies, furniture, and princess bendy dolls for Anastasia and Isabel to go with my last mushroom stacker that didn't turn out so hot. There is a wellspring of patterns at Wee Folk Art, most of which require a few basic skills and many, many toys on Etsy. I still have a slot or 2 open for custom orders that can ship via Priority by next Friday if you are in need of a last minute stocking stuffer or gift. :)
So what are you making for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

About a Boy

They don't tell you how different baby boys are. No one tells you how they eat more and pee more and pee completely OUTSIDE of the diapers. They also don't tell you how to respond to your baby boy peeing across the room on their big sister. Ha. And there was a lady who worked at the hospital who after we told her we had a boy, said, "aw, well maybe you will get a girl next time." WHAT? We told her we had 2 at home... but who says that? Boys are great. No one mentions how cuddly and sweet baby boys are and how much he already loves his sisters and of course his mama. Mama's boys are so ANNOYING... unless you are the mama. :) And no one tells you how even at 2 1/2 weeks they are far less emotional and dramatic than their sisters. And let me also say, in all my life no one prepared me for this: Can you just see the sugar plums dancing in their heads? *sigh* So I have learned a few things these past 2 weeks or so. And my girls have had a brief 2 and 3-year-old appropriate anatomy lesson about the difference between princes and princesses. And a very exciting thing was discovered when Kieran's umbilical cord fell off last week, he in fact now has a belly button. Anastasia went ahead and let EVERYONE know that. "I have a baby brother now! And HE HAS A BELLY BUTTON NOW!!" Oh, the things that are wonderful to know when you are a couple months short of turning 4. So, something else I learned about boys... when they grow up, sometimes they are right about things. Things that seem scary and overwhelming when you are a mom of 3... things like completely re-arranging the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. This is half of our little woodsy kitchen. Nick moved the fridge which was just beside the counter with the kitchen aid... and our little kitchen seems 10x bigger and I have lots of counter space for holiday baking! It was a great idea... but I was quite grumpy that Nick was rearranging things when we should have been decorating our Christmas tree. I am glad he had the vision. I couldn't see it...
So I can't believe how slowly time is quickly passing! Every day seems quite long yet weeks go by unnoticed. Today I pulled out the Playmobil Advent calenders... and I have a long list of holiday crafts and handmades to make before Christmas... 24 days left! Yikes! Hope you are all having a lovely time of preparing and enjoying this "most wonderful time of the year!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Three is a crowd!

Our friends brought us dinner on Sunday. Not only did they drive over an hour to bring us delicious food and cookies, but my friend Andrea Read took these amazing pictures of my children! She said she is still getting established, but I think she has such an artistic eye that she really doesn't need much establishing! And she just so happens to be Kieran's God-mother (or will be when we get him baptised here soon...)
And so I am thankful for my three little children. After Anastasia I could never imagine any more children or loving them half as much as her, but now I can't imagine my life any other way... and it seems my heart grows bigger and has more love to give each and every one of them. I was told by my friend Regina who also brought us food and has 8 children, that when you have 3, your life really slows down. This seems to be very true. Everything must be carefully planned and not crammed and suddenly I have time to really focus on the little people in my life. For that I am thankful.

And I am thankful for this little red head... her beautiful locks and smile... even when she drinks out of the toilet and turns simple hand-print turkeys into a paint your entire naked body project. Speaking of hand-print turkeys... it is very hard to do with a newborn. Actually, impossible would be a better way to describe it... and its very messy.
Now off to finish a custom order so I can take the kids outside and tend to the animals... Maybe I will put diapers on the line... maybe we will get the laundry put away... maybe we will do some Thanksgiving crafts... and make our pies as a family of 5... Maybe. But I am not counting on doing everything and that is just the reality of life with 3 children. No more super-mom. I just have to get by and do all things with love and that will be enough. I am thankful for that too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kieran Nicholas

Our new little baby boy has arrived! He came early Sunday morning, November 14th at 6:09am. He is our biggest baby yet weighing 8lbs 6oz. He is oh, so sweet.
Kieran made his debut after I had had irregular contractions for about 4 days (starting on Nov. 10th, his "Due Date"). I would get fairly regular contractions for a few hours everynight, only to have them stop suddenly. I tried every trick in the book to get them and keep them going. Black and blue cohash, long walks every day, pineapple, kiwi, pizza, spicy food, and lastly nipple stimulation. Not sure if any or all of those worked, or he was just meant to come on the 14th. Either way I was getting really frustrated as each day the contractions gained intensity and I started fearing I would be at the hospital, or feeling really large while having contractions on Thanksgiving. Thankfully after a few hours of really irregular contractions on Saturday night, they evened out and were intense at 3-4 minutes apart. I woke Nick and we arrived at the hospital around 3am, where my parents took the girls to their house. I have to say, after 2 pictocin-induced babies, the contractions really didn't seem all that bad, so when I went in, it was so exciting to find out I was 8cm!!! 3 hours later we met our first baby boy! :)
I have to say my first natural birth was by far the most peaceful and the most exciting! And quite a bit more painful, but the recovery has been way smoother. And little Kieran is a very peaceful, healthy baby and has two very adoring sisters. So all is well over here and it feels good to not be waiting anymore. I am already working on gnomes and things... because I can only sit still so long! Be prepared for more baby pictures than you can stand! :) Hope your week is going as well as mine!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Falling Leaves

Fall is such a colorful season. We have had a very long autumn this year it seems, and with bouts of 60 degree days, one can hardly complain. I have been trying to take walks everyday, with hopes of inspiring a little one to make his way into this world. These contractions are getting REALLY old. Thank goodness for the beauty of fall colors, and local gardens to enjoy.
Is there anything more magical to children than water? It attracts them, inspires them and I really just can't keep them out of it. It keeps us alive. It is a part of us. We have been enjoying the last warm days where we can play in the water.
And there are leaves or fairy boats, or blankets for bugs, or a small piece of a big pile for jumping in. Leaves are the best part of fall. And pumpkin pie.
It is somewhat amusing that we had to wait until fall, and cooler weather to spend adequate time outdoors after a terribly hot summer. I am usually a spring and summer person, but I have never been so happy to see fall.
And lucky for a little boy who will have his little birthday when the leaves are in their full glory! Now if only he could have that birthday sooner, rather than later. ;)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I have been nesting like crazy over here. Really, really crazy. I don't hardly recognize myself! I cleaned under all the couches, beds, cribs, and was on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor last week. I have been organizing baby clothes, finishing up projects I never imagined I could finish before the baby came, and knitting baby pants in my spare moments. Oh, and did I mention of have 2 kids and an Etsy shop that has a lovely flow of holiday shoppers now? So even though I don't blog much now, I haven't stopped being, and making and crafting and doing fun things with my kids. Instead I have been packing bags for the big night, finishing up the last baby projects, preparing the moses basket, and placing all the little gifts he has recieved (the above burp cloths and little boy doll) in special spots.

I have also been bitten by the cloth diaper bug. I am addicted to buying soft, natural little nappies to swaddle my newborn's behind... I might have too much as Isabel is well on her way to being potty trained (she only uses diapers when we go out now!). But at least I won't run out! I have some Sunbaby Pockets (cheap ebay diapers that work really well), Tiny Tush one-size cotton and hemp fitteds and quite a few prefolds. I am in the process of knitting and making some wool covers as well. Who knew diapers could be so much fun!

After reading this article about "Mother Roasting" on Rhythm of the Home, I decided to make and buy a few luxury items for those lovely post-partum resting days. I decided to buy a scarf to use as a belly wrap and made the bath tea. I bought some of my favorite soap (the Mama Bar) and my friend Marie gave me one of her homemade lavender candles as a shower gift. I also bought a 1/2 lb tub of Shea butter from ebay. If you haven't used Shea butter, you are in for a treat! It is so thick and moisturizing and supposedly helps with stretch marks... not sure if thats true or not... but just so you know. And I made this quilt:
Well, it isn't the best picture, but I picked up a charm pack of "Wee Woodland" by Keiko for Moda. I love how cute and foresty it is. Not sure about the flowers and the pink thrown in there, but I am sure my little boy will be secure enough in his masculinity to handle it. Overall it looks very boyish to me. And this is why my old Moses basket didn't last:
These things make the best boats! I have to hide it in my closet until the baby comes... and then it will be his sacred little nest of blankets and a sheepskin. And a beautiful, blurry moment from my life:

We moved the girls into the same bed! We really don't use the crib around here and Isabel had to get out of our bed! She was keeping me up at night, and I was so uncomfortable and there is NO ROOM for another baby! So I had read that sometimes kids sleep better in a bed together, and since it is almost winter, the timing was perfect! They are so cute all cuddled up in there each night and they rarely wake up and come into bed with us (which was really becoming insane!). So now we all sleep, and the kids look really cute.
So yeah, that has been my life in a nutshell... in between bouts of contractions that never seem to amount to anything, and all this nesting I finally have a moment to blog! Hope you are all having a nice Monday. Hopefully next time I post I will have baby pictures to show... but I am not counting on it as all my predictions have been wrong! I am starting to feel like a time bomb...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween was so much fun! I finally finished the costumes on Saturday. We had a bit of an adventure friday night after a couple hours of pretty intense contractions. They went from 10 minutes apart, to 7 minutes apart and once we hit 6 minutes apart, we loaded in the car for the 40 minute drive to the hospital. WELL. Once inside the hospital, the contractions just stopped. I had maybe 3 the entire time we were there... and well, after being monitored for nothing, calling my Dr, and atleast meeting some nice nurses... we were sent home. We were home in bed around 1am, and exhausted. My mom had the kids, and so at least on Saturday I had several hours of quiet and peace (and a bit of soreness and tiredness) and I finished the costumes. Maybe the little guy knew that I hadn't finished the costumes, and how much I wanted to take the girls trick-or-treating. Maybe he was not coming into this world yet because I had forgotten to pack the camera, and there would be no first pictures of the little guy. Maybe he knew how long last week was and how tired we were. I don't know what the false labor was all about, all I know is that it wasn't meant to be... and we are going to have a November baby for sure! :)

Isabel didn't understand the whole halloween thing, but she had so much fun filling her bag with candy! I wasn't sure she would keep her costume on as she kept ripping it off beforehand when we were *trying* to get pictures. No matter. She was perfect at trick or treating, even though her hood fell off and everyone mistook her for a princess.

Everyone knew who Anastasia was. She wore her gown with such royal pride. Also note her lovely trick-or-treat bag that I came up with a couple hours beforehand. Hooray for craftyness when you never got the halloween buckets out of the attic! Anastasia was going to be Snow White. I bought the Snow White pattern... and she changed her mind. Oh well. I didn't really use a pattern, so I am really happy it came out as well as it did! I did use a peasant dress pattern for the top, a little less risque than Belle's shoulder-less dress, don't you think? lol. I would have prefered a more generic princess, something NOT Disney or cartoonish, but I want my kids to feel free to be who they want to be. I am glad I have another year before another round of costume planning. BUT I do know little baby boy will be a gnome.

So now that I rambled on, and also just cleaned my house, I am going to head to bed. I hope you all had a lovely Halloween! And if you haven't become a fan, I now have a Little Red Whimsy Fan Page so please check it out!! Hope you are all having a lovely November, and don't forget to vote!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Just a quick Little Red Whimsy update:

All fall items are reduced $2 or more!

Place an order for $20 or more this weekend and receive a free gnome (my choice, sorry!) and wooden acorn (while supplies last!). No coupon code neccissary! This is also for custom orders of $20 or more placed between now and Halloween!

Trying to find homes for all these autumn gnomes... because Christmas is creeping up so quickly! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It seems that everything has been revolving around pumpkins here the past few days! And my belly is starting to closely resemble the "Great Pumpkin" just in time for Halloween. I am just hoping it less resembles the great pumpkin by Thanksgiving. Oy. On Sunday we were invited to a Pumpkin Carving (painting) party where we saw all of Anastasia's friends that she "missed so much". Food and toddlers and paint make for lots of messy fun.Yesterday we finally went to the Pumpkin Patch. Sadly, our weekends have been so packed and busy preparing for winter, and a late-fall baby, and the like that we weren't able to go as a family this year. Yesterday we went to Great Country Farm with our friends Stephanie, Stella and Charlie. Our group was supposed to be bigger, but it rained on our drive out and most everyone except us cancelled. Thankfully the clouds broke and we had a perfect, warm, day at an empty, fun pumpkin patch!
This pot-bellied pig, Elmer, won my heart. He was the cutest pig I have ever seen. As in, pick up and snuggle cute. Really. And I am not a pig-person.And can I just confess a bit here, I broke the rules and jumped on this pillow:
It said it was for 12 and under. But that is only if you get caught right? I didn't really jump being 38 weeks pregnant and all (not that anyone is really counting or anything...) but it was kind of fun lightly bouncing. It was definitely the girls favorite part of our day! There were many animals (none as cute as Elmer of course) but I was too busy keeping the kids from getting their fingers eaten to photograph them all. But I did get these cuties on the Hayride: Holy cow they are cute. It was a fun day, and the kids slept well, and I got Chinese food on the way home for dinner. And this evening I made Butternut Harvest Soup, Pumpkin Bread and we carved the pumpkins:It was a bit too close to bedtime for Isabel, but I think the girls enjoyed it. And this is how they turned out:Nick always makes the neatest pumpkins! His is the mountains and bats and moon one in the middle. I carved a little face for Anastasia on the right, and an owl (that you can barely see) for Isabel after she went to bed.
Don't you just love pumpkining? Now I just need to make a pie! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

In case you didn't see....

I made my first Gnomey Nativity Set-- NOW IN MY SHOP! It is also discounted $10 due to a bit of a mess-up on my Shellac job. I am so proud of this little set. I hope to have several more available before Christmas... but you know how it goes with 2 little ones... and an even littler one coming soon.
My lovely friend Sharon needle felted the manger and sheep to complete this set and they just add so much! Check out her Etsy shop, WoolenWhimsy for the cutest little hats, hair clips and bags. She can also do custom items for you! :)

I think the elfish looking shepherd is my favorite. Or maybe the 3 Kings...

Can you imagine what song went through my head as I made these?

I am so in love with this, I hate to see it go... but I am sure I will have one gracing our nature table before long.
ALSO, have you noticed my other sale items? Autumn Gnomes and Fall Fairies are on sale until the end of the month! So get 'em while they're hot! I am running low on some of the hat sweaters so what you see may be all thats left! But Christmas gnomes and Sugar Plum Fairies are dancing around in my head! :)
We are finally well. And little baby boy is happy and healthy and the excitement to meet him is building! I am looking forward to another beautiful fall weekend! Happy Friday everyone! :)