Tuesday, November 30, 2010

25 days... why now?

Ten years ago, on Christmas Eve, we got the news that my dad had terminal, inoperable liver cancer.
Last night, the phone call let us know that my seventeen year old nephew has leukemia.

I stumbled through my day, trying to keep to my routine; remembering at every moment that my sister has been thrown adrift. Her day, and the many days that follow, will be anything but routine.

Today I hold their family in my heart; a wordless petition resounding throughout my body, to God who can do all things. I cling to the fact that He gives hope. That He is good. That He shines light when things seem very dark indeed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. On the advent wreath, the first candle that is lit is traditionally the candle of Hope.

Hope remembered. The Messiah, the Saviour, foretold by the prophets.

Hope fulfilled. He was born, lived among us, sent the Holy Spirit to remain with us.

Hope looked for. He will come again.

I admit to being optimistic by nature. I can't help but think, when things have gone all pear-shaped, that the situation will improve, given time and (perhaps) effort. I remind myself that things could be so much worse. I choose thankfulness for what I do have.

This year, I'd like to give some of that hope to others who are in those so-much-worse situations. I'm planning for Christmas to look a little different than it has previously. I'm joining the conspiracy. Think about it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

29 days

I'm starting to feel Christmas-y. In fact, sometimes I'm startled by the fact that it's still November. The first of the decorations are up on the mantle.
Now I need to start sewing. Only 29 days to go!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 days ... and another giveaway

Well, that took a little longer than I had anticipated...

I always think "oh, I'll just whip these up in no time..." and it always takes so much longer than I'd thought. You'd think I'd have learned by now...

But anyhow, here's my stack of little christmas banners for (yet another) swap, all ready to be sent out. After I wrap them. Which will, no doubt, take longer than I have left time for.

And I've made an extra one to give away here. Just leave a comment - I love getting comments :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

34 days... sneak peak + winner(s)

some unbleached muslin + a bag of old doilies + random scraps of fabric = ???

And because I got only 3 comments on the ornament giveaway, I'm going to give one to each person who did. Thanks for commenting, y'all!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

36 days... an ornament tutorial and a giveaway

It almost snowed at my house today. The raindrops were thick and slushy. The mountains around town are frosted with white. I stayed indoors and made stuff.

These ornaments are for a swap that I'm part of.

If you want to make one, you'll need:
  • 5 squares of paper... mine are 2.5" square, and are from an old German book I picked up at a thrift store.
  • 2 squares of decorative paper that are one quarter the size of your paper squares... mine are 1.25" square, and made from a piece of red scrapbook paper with a 1" square glued onto it.
  • 9" of 1/8" ribbon
  • a bead... I used a 6/0 Japanese glass bead
  • a decorative charm and jump ring
  • glue/paper cutter/scissors/pliers/needle and thread
To make:
Fold the larger paper squares in half lengthwise, then crosswise, then on one diagonal. Bring the diagonal folds toward each other, sandwiching them between the two square parts of the paper. Repeat for all pieces.
Glue the folded squares together: holding one folded piece, apply glue to the upper square. Lay another folded piece on top of it, making sure that the folded points are together. Repeat till all pieces are glued together in a stack. If you've done it correctly, the pieces should be able to fan out like in the photo. It's very important that the folded corners (i.e., the centers of the pieces of paper) are all together, otherwise it won't work.
Glue the ribbon to both sides of the stack of folded papers, having the cut ends of the ribbon toward the folded point, and looping over top of the open point. Make sure that the ribbon is not twisted. Then glue the decorative paper covers over the ribbons.
Put a bead onto the ribbon: Push the threaded needle through the bead, around the ribbon, and back through the bead. Then pull on the thread til the ribbon comes through the hole. Push the bead down toward the paper.  

Add the charm to the ribbon using the jump ring. It needs to go onto the ribbon loop above the bead, so that it acts as a block, preventing the bead from being pulled off of the ribbon.
 And there you are! You could (theoretically) hang up the ornament as is, all closed up like a little book; or you can pull the bead up to the top of the ribbon, fan open the pages, and put the covers back-to-back, and pull the bead back down to make a 5 pointed star.
This is, in fact, a little book. You could decorate the pages, or make it bigger and put photos into it, or whatever you like. I was thinking it might also be fun to make 24 of them and use them as an advent calendar... just open one a day.

There's one of these up for grabs... just leave me a comment and I'll pick a name in a couple of days.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

37 days

Today I don't really care that it's now one day closer to Christmas than it was yesterday. Not when the sky looks like this:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

38 days


There are only thirty-eight days til Christmas. Excuse me for a moment while I run around in circles and tear my hair out.

Okay. Deeeeep breath.
I'm back.

By this time last year, I had a stack of presents already made.
This year I still don't even have a list.

But I'm still committed to making it a mostly-homemade holiday. Am I crazy?

Well, let's just pretend not.

How about I start with an advent calendar?
Here's some links to tutorials that I found.

 Now to choose which one to make. Aren't they all so gorgeous??

Thursday, November 11, 2010


All rights reservedThis woman brought a handful of medals to the Remembrance Day ceremony today. I wished she could have brought her son. All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

sunshine and shadows

sunshine and rain over the ocean


Need I say more?
This time of year is fraught with emotional ups and downs for me. I hate being so dependent on the weather.

The older I get, the easier it is to recognize. If I don't get enough sunshine, I find it hard to function. Hard to make it through a day. Hard to put one foot in front of the other. Hard to force myself to do the things that need to be done.

I've been supplementing with Vitamin D, when I remember. I don't know if it helps. And when the sun shines, I make sure to get my sad self out of doors. Because it's amazing how happy I feel when I do!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


mystery and promise.
there's no telling where a day will end up.
will the mist clear to reveal a shiny day, or will it grow and spread and obscure everything?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

november day

These colours are SOOC*.
I love days like this.
And I'm always surprised by them at this time of year.
It startles me.
I forget that I don't need a jacket. Or sweater. Or long sleeves.
I had to shed several layers before we got back to the car.

*straight out of camera.
ie, no futzing about with enhancements or anything.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November already??

...remembering a sunnier day...
today it's pouring cats and dogs.