Sunday, November 28, 2010

Recap of the past few weeks

OK, OK. I realize that I just disappeared from blogland for the past few weeks without so much as a by-your-leave or any word of explanation. Honestly I didn't mean to be gone that long... but life happens! It isn't that there was nothing blog worthy happening around these parts, rather there was so much happening that I barely had a chance to sit down, much less time to compose a nice coherent blog post about everything that was happening! While I am making no claims on being coherent, here are a few highlights from the past few weeks. :-)

The Niña and the Pinta (of the "Christopher Columbus discovering the New World" fame) came to town and we got to go on board for a tour with our homeschool group.

We went to the zoo on a beautiful warm and sunny autumn day. Rodrigo had to work so I was alone there with the kids... normally that would not be a big deal, but the zoo here has a free admission day once a year and I think the entire population of the city we live near showed up that day!!! It was a bit overwhelming, so I didn't get many pictures, since I had to keep such a close eye on the kids, I didn't feel comfortable with the camera stuck to my face the whole time!

We found Logan's "Secret Spy I.D. card" from when he was 6 years old... wasn't he a cutie?!? Still is I think!

Family came over one evening for Guatemalan Tamales and Ponche Navideño (Christmas Punch, hot, spiced and heavily laden with fruit!) and a bonfire.

This picture doesn't really do the bonfire justice... it was huge! The flames easily reached 15 feet into the sky!

We have been busy crafting for Christmas! Making gifts and ornaments! These pictures are of one afternoon we spent over at my mom's house working on ornaments.

I have been working on many of handmade gifts for my loved ones, I'll try to take some nice pictures of those to share with you all tomorrow when the sun is shining again. But some of my favorite things that I have been working on I can't share here... those are gifts for family members that read my blog, and I don't want to spoil the surprise! So you'll just have to wait until after Christmas to see pictures of those!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Warm and Wonderful Gifts in the Mail!

Yesterday there was a box waiting for us in the mail with "New Zealand Post" printed on it! What a fun surprise! It was packed full of adorable gifts for us from dear Marie of Softearth's World. I began following her blog right about the time I first started my own blog. She is a very talented wool needle felting artist with an Etsy Shop full of beautiful needle felted treasures! (If anyone is looking for something beautiful, natural and handmade to give as Christmas Gifts, be sure to check her shop!)

She is having a giveaway on her blog this month for a beautiful Nativity Scene. So be sure to go over there and leave her a comment so you can have a chance at winning!

You should have heard the boys' excitement as we opened the box. Speculating as to what it could be inside... all the way from New Zealand! That phrase was repeated about 50 times, while Ethan had to get a map and look and see just how far this package had come to make it's way to our home.

The boys loved these sweet Toadstool Babies! She sent us 4 of them, so now each of the children has one! Aren't they adorable?! They are on our nature shelf right now, and will probably stay there for a long time. :-)

We also discovered this pretty little snow white bird, and a tiny wee baby nestled in a soft little cradle of her own. Ethan said he would let Claire play with the baby as soon as she's a bit bigger... And the bird he informed me will have to "nest" in our Christmas tree, "so we can remember the nice little lady from New Zealand who sent us all of this fun stuff!" as he put it.

Marie also included several lovely photos and postcards of her work. My favorite one of those is this print of the Nativity scene she created.

Thank you Marie, for sharing such lovely gifts with our family! We will enjoy them for many years!

P.S. Everybody make sure you do go to Softearth's World and sign up for her giveaway! It is such fun to get things from far off places in the mail! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP Wednesday ~ more handmade presents

I just wanted to share the sweet little needle felted terrarium I made for my sister-in-law for Christmas. I found this adorable apothecary jar one evening when Rodrigo and I were out on a date and knew as soon as I saw it, what I wanted to use it for! I finished it up last night... what do you think?

The boys and I dyed all of the wool using Kool-aid and food coloring... I love how many of the colors turned out mottled looking with different shades running all through the wool. It made for lovely moss and rocks!

I decided to make my terrarium look "realistic" (well, if of course you can consider a tiny wee rabbit inside a terrarium realistic!) So I added dirt under the moss, as well as several wool stones.

The following is the project I spent all of my free time working on today:  A little cape for Claire out of the same fabric as the one I am making for me. The closer I got to finishing it the bigger it seemed. I don't have much experience sewing for baby girls, and the patterns have different sizes than I am used to seeing for baby's clothing... The pattern was for toddler's sizes 1/2, (one half), 1, 2, and 3. I was assuming by the measurements on the back of the pattern that 1/2 was equal to a 6 month size, and size 1 was a 12 month size. Here is the cape nearly finished, it still lacks the closures ... Since Claire is nearly a year old (!) and wears a size 12 months clothes I used the size 1 toddler's pattern.

And here is the cape being modeled by Ethan who is 7 years old!!! It's huge!
There is no way my poor little Claire is going to be able to wear this any time in the next 2 years (or possibly more!) I really can't figure out how this happened! The size 1/2 wasn't that much smaller (maybe an half an inch shorter, or so.) They don't make patterns in size one tenth.... so now what?  At least it went together quickly, during both of her naps today! And someday she'll be big enough to wear it...
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