Do you know what I love almost as much as a gift? Awesome wrapping. I rarely have time to put much detail into it...and I really regret it because I love good wrapping. It doesn't even have to be beautiful...just unique. It can be funny, or pretty, or crazy, or sentimental. Laurel and I did this one for her Uncle Erik (since I know he will appreciate it). I like the simplicity of the brown paper, and the monochromatic details...and then the slight glitter of the sequins. (Laurel and I had fun doing this one)
I also revisited my resuble tags, but this time in felt. I cut out the tag and the letters and let Laurel glue them on. She also tried the stitching herself, but got frustrated after a little while. Cut and glue and there you go...instant cute. Plus if it's gifted to someone out of the household it's like a second mini-gift. Ok...so I can't spend too much time wrapping because I'm not quite done with sewing. I still have (at the very least) two sisters and a brother to make something for. But sometimes it's just worth it...look at the pride in that little face. (Alright...technically she's squinting from the sun, but you can tell there is pride underneath that squint)
I really jumped into sewing today...maybe it's because I started packing the garage/studio for the move and suddenly found a path to the sewing machine again...hmmm...maybe. No matter what the reason, I've been thinking I just wouldn't be able to sew all that I wanted to (and that's probably still true) BUT I jumped in and got some done. (not just partly done either...totally done) After the day was pretty much over and the kids and I were just hanging out, I suddenly remembered a piece of fabric I had that might work for something. So I grabbed it, cut it, found another piece and cut it. Then I put them together...and piece by piece this project came together, including toggle buttons. So, now it's done. And I'm sitting here looking at it thinking is this a really nice gift or a really strange gift. It doesn't look right on me, so I can't even keep it. You got to have some spunk to pull off the pleated-teal-batik-toggle button neck cuff. I have three people in mind that could pull this off. (thankfully none of them read my blog) Of those three I think only two might wear it. And of those two I can picture one actually wearing it. Ok...I think process of elimination just decided who gets it. Now, it's up to anyone who might read this to tell me if I'm off my rocker and NO ONE would wear this.
(Either way it cost a total of $1.78) Plus it goes into the category of projects you can complete with a random fat quarter you have lying around. (and only takes 20 minutes)
After a week of extreme cold and sickness passing from Luke to me to Laurel...we were ready for some holiday cheer. Laurel went shopping with her daddy and got to have some special one-on-one time with him. And I got to do the same with Luke. He and I went to the store for ingredients for some holiday baking, then came home and made cookies. What a blast to have just him. He got to do everything from cracking the eggs to operating the mixer (without having to share with a certain bossy sister).
(You can tell he is VERY generous with the M&Ms)
Once Daddy and Laurel got home we made a special Christmas card to send to a special family...can't show too much...don't want to give away the surprise. BUT...we had so much fun doing this project together, and I think it will get giggles from the receiving family. Now THIS is what Christmas is about.
And here are some extras from the Christmas season so far...
Christmas season is upon us and I swear we have already watched every Christmas movie (I have converted my daughter to the dark side and she now loves Smoky Mountain Christmas...HA!), sung every carol (including some we made up), our tree is up (ornaments have already been broken) and I've finished my Christmas shopping. Yep. Done. (well, ok not totally there are a few stragglers...but I'm done for my family) It helps to have a pretty much $0 Christmas budget. I mean that in a good way. You don't fret about this and that. My children were very specific about what they wanted from Santa, and I got them something else that would be cute and practical for our day-to-day camper living. Plus some small stocking items (thank you Target and your $1 section). Shopping lasted all of 30 minutes. Plus, after a fair amount of research everything we bought at Target was quite a bit cheaper than what I found at Amazon and Walmart.com. You never know. I do know that while people are talking about the stress of the Christmas season...I can't fathom what they are talking about. I do still have some handmade decorations I want to make for myself as well as some handmade gifts for the kids to round it all off. (plus I promised Christmas PJs and pillowcase covers) I also wanted to try some new recipes, we bought some lemon butter at the Yellow Daisy Festival and I really want to learn to make it. So...besides sewing and cleaning and trying new recipes all I have left for December is to pack up this house and prepare to put it on the market. That seems like it should be a big thing, but I'm not feeling that way. Must be the Christmas spirit.
1) The top of the woodstove makes an excellent coffee warmer. This is especially true if you nurse your coffee like I do, and if you happen to be spending the morning in front of the woodstove reading and sketching. (But don't tell Jon, he babies the woodstove like it was...well...his baby)
2) You cannot remove the stink of fish oil from your husband's uniform shirt no matter what you use! I've tried vinegar, baking soda, toothpaste, borax, washing soda, soap...and now have tried bleach...which I so rarely use I had to dig it out. So for starters...don't wash your uniform shirt with a fish oil capsule in the pocket...and secondly...there is no secondly...just don't do it. I can smell fish everywhere. So take a look at this little beauty. Like the true freaks of nature we seem to be turning into, I think we are going to install a wood burning cook stove into our kitchen. We found this particular one from a manufacturer in the southwest with REALLY reasonable prices. And it includes the water jacket, so hot water for cocoa or tea any time. Plus it will heat our kitchen, and has 6 cooking eyes and an oven and a bread warmer for good rising even in the winter months. LOVE IT!
I was reading an article about the way men tackle things (versus women) and I came across this quote which so simply put what I think we all realized but never REALLY do.
"They're [men] wired to concentrate on a single thing, whereas the female brain evolved to approach tasks from a wide perspective," according to Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, New Jersey.
I'm forever confused that my very intelligent and capable husband doesn't think through what is needed for the day. Simple things...like he will go all the way to a destination and complete a task, but not realize that there was another task that could be completed at the same time in the same place. So he'll come all the way back home and get chastised by his uber lovely wife that he should have thought that through. Or why he'll agree to do a diet or exercise plan with me...but can't seem to keep up with the details of the plan. We've done South Beach probably 6 times in our marriage...but he will still call me from work to make sure the food he wants to eat is on the plan. Or why men want to solve problems for you...women just want to talk, but the man wants to solve it. Well now I get it. They're SUPPOSED to do that. Just like we're supposed to think through the whole day, every angle, juggle many tasks...they're supposed to pick one, complete it and move on. (I think I'm starting to like their way better) It also explains why my husband seems like he's going to melt down when there are too many things to solve at once...while I'm at my best in the same situation.
Becoming Maggie Blue is the journey to becoming the person I want to be. After many years of living a conventional life, we decided to move to Alaska and live on a boat. Currently we're traveling full time in a camper with our two kids, exploring North America. We have no plan beyond going slowly and seeing all there is to see, and taking the time to connect and be together as much as possible in these special years.