So Festive!, originally uploaded by ducksRfriends.

costume ornaments work as tree decorations too!

I really thought I wasn’t going to get a little tree this year. After all, there’s not that much left till Christmas, so there *might* not really be a point in buying it. I have, however, been missing the festive feel even such a small tree brings to the house. Today while running errands, we stopped by Trader Joe’s…. and Chris beelined to the rosemary trees. “Do you want a tree?” What a silly question! Of course! I felt like a little kid, I kept hopping around, super excited about my little tree. Funny how such a small thing can really make the weekend. Now the house smells like clementines and rosemary, the lights are glowing and all is well.

Now we have a house full of cookies (from the trade at his family Christmas on Saturday), some fancy festive beer and a hockey game to watch. Great way to head into Sunday night.

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I’ve been dying to share these projects, but I’ve had to wait until they were gifted.

Sneaky Snakes Hat

First up: a super soft, rather luxurious hat made for Alexis. And then me, then Lou, Tina, and soon Michelle (that one’s in progress right now). I fell in love with this yarn (Ella Rae bamboo silk), and when Alexis asked me to make her a hat, I knew I had found the perfect project for it. And now I can’t stop making them. After wearing mine, I think the yarn is a bit too slippery for this pattern… it gets stretched slouchy pretty quickly. But on the hats after that I used smaller needles for the first half of the band, so they should stay a little tighter around the ears. I didn’t photograph any of the other ones I made, but Tina’s was fun and stripes (my first striped anything!) and Lou’s was a lovely icy blue color.

embroidery for the glasses case

Next: a glasses case for Tom. I got some fusible fleece that I accidentally melted the first time around (that was no fun to get of the iron, let me tell you!) Once I got the fleece part figured out, it was a relatively simple stitch-job. Though I complicated the whole thing by embroidering his initials… I think my embroidery has much improved from the Christmas stockings I made for me and Chris a few years ago! Perhaps I’m just more patient with it. The embroidery hoop I now use probably helps a lot, too! I was worried it would be a little too small, since I did a bit of a miscalculation with my seam allowance, but his glasses fit perfectly.

Woven scarf

Third project: Mom’s woven scarf. I saw a girl with a nice loose woven scarf when Chris and I were out at breakfast about a month before Christmas, and thought “I could do that. Mom would love it!” Once that seed was planted, I just had to follow through. I found some instructions online, and got mom to bring me a huge piece of cardboard when we went fabric shopping for the yet-to-be-finished window blanket. I didn’t tell her what it was for, because I wasn’t sure how the whole thing would end up. I used some of the sparkly Noro that we rescued from that strange three-holed-shawl purchased at the VNA, red yarn that I bought for Chris’ scarf but ended up not using and a cool sparkly fabric ribbon from Nangellini. I’m overjoyed with how it came out. I lent her a broach that Tina gave me way back at Pennsic… she looks like she’s straight out of a fairy tale. (Send me a photo of you wearing it that way, mom!)

LED bracelet

Last up, another present for Mom… this one is another LED bracelet, made using the instructions from the last one, but all my own materials. Mom likes the way it sort of shimmers, and I agree that it looks pretty cool, but it wasn’t supposed to, so I have some troubleshooting to do. Alexis gave me a great book (Switch Craft) which should help me actually understand what I’m doing with soft circuitry.

So this year I made: (1) hand woven scarf, (1) embroidered glasses case, (3) sneaky snakes hats, (1) LED bracelet with snap switch, (1) holiday mix, and I have 2 hats left to finish… a second for Alexis (warmer than the sneaky snakes, but not as silky soft) and one for Michelle. Also Chris’ scarf, but that I have some time for, it wasn’t really a Christmas present anyway. Not a bad holiday craftacular list!

It is nearly 4 on a Friday. I am not at work. Wonderful day. Lovely breakfast at Carman’s Country Kitchen. A walk to Ultimo for reading and iced mocha. More reading out in the back yard. When checking on the progress of my cucumbers, a lovely suprise! I don’t know how this guy eluded me for so long, but he’s well on his way to ripe! My hope is that I have cucmbers and tomatoes ripe at the same time and can make a nice fresh salad.

cucumber!

cucumber!

Today is really a perfect summer day, and it isn’t even over yet!

This year was a small turnout for decorating, but led to some very interesting cookies. Best viewed from my flickr album here. Jen O. brought her lovely puppy DeeDee, and she Mom and I started the decorating. Chris R. came over later, and man is he good at decorating those cookies. Always impresses. Even did a re-creation of last year’s Christmas tree, Tony.
What a lovely Christmas it was this year! Minimal as far as gift giving, which was great. Everything that exchanged hands was appreciated and meaningful. True spirit of giving this year. It seems everyone is trying to clean house, and I was lucky enough to get some of the spoils… enough yarn to attempt my first sweater! I’m going to try to make the uber-buttony sweater Miss T made, I just need to get the right kind of needles….


Holiday cheer

Originally uploaded by ducksRfriends

I wanted to decorate another rosemary tree this year… and this time I wasn’t going to be a huge idiot and throw it away when it died. Uh, yeah, cause you can still cook with dried rosemary. (Which I realized right as I let the last tree go into the gross dumpster). The signage was bad at the store, and Chris ended up bringing a real christmas tree home. Well, I can’t cook with it, but its still something to put lights on. You can’t really see it in this photo, but the ‘star’ on top is a sparkly butterfly fairy wand from some halloween past (not sure whose though….) Yay for holiday decorating!


thanksgiving traffic

Originally uploaded by ducksRfriends

Ah, a weekend full of food and family. Always fun, but it is nice to be back home. I drive every year on Thanksgiving to make it to all the family events…. but traffic this year was worse than I’ve ever seen it. I’ve been told it was due to black friday sales… people lining up the night before. I know there were great sales, and budgets are tight, but I would much rather have fewer Christmas presents or just less in general than deal with those crazy crowds.