Wednesday, December 28, 2011

… handmade christmas gifts

pencil roll

i am so glad i had a chance to make at least a couple of christmas gifts this year. it seemed like i had all the time in the world and then, whoosh! christmas was here and all those things i wanted to finish had to be set aside for another time. was i still sewing on christmas eve? you betcha!

pencil roll

but i squeezed in some time to make my nephew his own pencil roll. i made one for his sister last year, and he seemed to like hers quite a bit, so i figured this was a guaranteed winner.


pencil roll

i tried to make sure i didn't use any of the same prints for the inside that i did for my niece's pencil roll, and without checking first it turns out i only used one--the same print i used for white. i have very few white-dominant fabrics, it seems.

pencil roll

the outer fabric is by kokka, something i've had in my stash for quite a while just waiting for the perfect project. and i found the perfect red twill tape at joann to finish it off.

25 weeks

fabric: nancy mims of mod green pod poppies in aqua (from the pick a bunch collection)

and, oh my goodness, suddenly my baby looks very grown up! how and when did this happen?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

… holiday baking

cookies

at last, i got a chance to do my holiday baking. i know everyone gets overloaded with sweets around christmas, but i just can't help myself. i like to bake some nice things for our lovely neighbors to enjoy to say thank you for being such terrific friends.

cookies

this year i found some cute little martha stewart crafts boxes with four little divided sections at joann. i only started kicking myself for this yesterday, though, since i realized i committed myself to having to bake four different things. it was a baking frenzy, i tell you.

cookies

this year i made:
nutmeg sugar cookies with eggnog frosting
chocolate-covered caramelized matzoh crunch
cherry rum shortbread (the original recipe called for cranberries, which i don't like, so in went the cherries!)
apple cider toffee (this should have been apple cider caramels, but i suspect my candy thermometer is malfunctioning, since these came out rock hard. oh well, they are still delicious when called by a different name!)

cookies

everything was delicious, but the eggnog cookies were a big hit with c and his brother. i made some extras for us with a moose cookie cutter.

cookies & candy

cookies

so much butter. and that's not even all of what i used. yikes.

cookies

and even though i do love baking, i am glad it's done.

i thought i might come back here and post tomorrow, but now i think i'd rather just relax and enjoy the day with my little family.

merry christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

… the christmas boats

Christmas boats at Portage Bay

tonight we went down to portage bay with our friends j & t to see the christmas ships. this picture just doesn't do justice to the festive, bright, light-bedecked boats that filled the bay. i had never seen them before and it was just lovely. the seattle girls' choir sang carols from the main boat that played out over the water and at the end they invited everyone on shore to sing along to silent night. it was so heartening to see so many people out on the street and everyone so happy.

at the end of the singing they declared "ahoy to the world!" and the giant parade of christmas boats departed for the next stop on the caroling tour.

ahoy to the world, indeed!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

… holiday sewing

rainbow

ever the optimist, i have taken up a couple of projects intended for christmas gifts. i just can't help myself.

flannel love

wish me luck, i'm going to need it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

… wrapping presents

Wrapping presents

Wrapping presents

tonight i am wrapping presents…

Wrapping presents

… and watching the shop around the corner.

Wrapping presents

… and drinking cocoa.

Wrapped presents

… and enjoying the view under the tree.

Monday, December 19, 2011

… a baby christmas

24 weeks

fabric: vintage

i don't have much for you today aside from ingrid's weekly photo. but isn't it a good one?

and here are some outtakes from our photo session today. just to show you how many flavors of awesome this baby is.

and also how much work it is to get a good photograph of a baby in an ill-fitting santa hat.

x-mas photo outtakes

x-mas photo outtakes

x-mas photo outtakes

x-mas photo outtakes

x-mas photo outtakes

x-mas photo outtakes

x-mas photo outtakes

merry christmas, baby!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

… a winter walk

Winter walk

i love me a good walk. and even though it isn't summer and i can't just throw on some flip-flops and take a stroll with my baby dressed just in a onesie, i still try to get out at least once a day. today we ambled through the woods and enjoyed the brisk winter air.

Winter walk

Winter walk

Winter walk

Winter walk

Winter walk

Winter walk

today was a good day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

… a holiday dress

little sister dress

whew! i finished knitting this little dress for ingrid just in time for christmas. looking at my ravelry page for this one, i'm embarrassed to see that i started it way back in april. that only took me eight short months.

little sister dress

don't let my slowness fool you, though, this dress is easy peasy to make. it's knit in all one piece from the top down, so there's no pesky putting-together-of-the-pieces at the end. i like that very much.

Christmas dress

the end result makes the perfect little christmas dress for the snowdrop. and it goes great with some ruffle-butted winter tights. adorable, i tell you, adorable.

Friday, December 16, 2011

… candy cane lane

candy cane lane

tonight we went for a stroll to candy cane lane. every city has one of these, right? ours is a sweet little tudor neighborhood that, lucky for us, is just a few blocks from our house so we can walk there. it's so popular that traffic can back up a half mile in either direction down the boulevard. people love candy cane lane. i do, too.

candy cane lane

candy cane lane

candy cane lane

candy cane lane

candy cane lane

candy cane lane

candy cane lane

the only thing that could have made this any more lovely was if it was snowing. [sigh]

Thursday, December 15, 2011

… doing good

(whoops, it appears i missed posting yesterday. let's pretend i've just been sitting here with my feet up by the fireplace and somehow forgot to post in my happy blissed out state. sure!)

improv quilt

but here's some good news! i finally finished the august improv quilt for the love circle of do. good stitches. just in time for some warm holiday fuzzies. because one of the many great things about christmas is spending some time doing something good for others, right?

improv quilt

for this quilt i asked for improv-pieced blocks in browns, creams, yellows, and pinks. didn't everyone do a fabulous job? after much hemming and hawing i finally decided to go with that lighter linen for the sashing. i have come around to loving it, but honestly, it took me a while.

improv quilting

i also spent countless hours quilting this and then ripping out said quilting. some of that was due to my own stupid mistakes, and then some was due to me changing my mind repeatedly. i thought i'd try a kind of squiggly quilting within each of the blocks, but let me tell you, that looked terrible. so i went with a straight line grid. a double line around each block and a triple line on a diagonal running through the centers of each block. what i especially love it where all those lines intersect at the corners of each block. that makes me very, very happy.

improv quilt back

you can see the quilting even better on the back. yay!

for the back i made a long improv strip with leftover scraps, and then used that awesome joel dewberry herringbone in two shades of brown. wow, that's a lot of brown.

improv quilt binding

and hey, the binding is even more brown! but it's a super duper awesome alexander henry heath.

improv quilt binding

ok, so here's where i went photo crazy and started taking pictures in front of the christmas tree because i want to photograph everything in front of the christmas tree right now.

improv quilt

and here's one more, because when you've got a chance to photograph a finished quilt in the golden glow of a christmas tree, you take it, right?

and a bonus since i forgot to post yesterday, here's my little snowdrop's 23 week photo. i love this one because it looks like she's breaking down some serious dance moves.

23 weeks

fabric: ikea by s. edholm and l. ullenius