Just popping in to let you know our Christmas was great and Miss A seems to readily agree. We are still in party - entertaining mode so I'll be in and out for a few more days.  Hope you holidays are festively filled with family and friends :) 





christmas tree

bear nativity

tis the season

From our home to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday time with family and friends.


contageous crafting

The J-man wanted to make a Christmas gift for his sisters and decided it was going to be a softie.  This is where I gush and insert "what a wonderful big brother" :o)   I suggested he dig through piles of his art work to make one of his own characters.  He loved the idea and got started by creating a pattern.  He enlarged his original drawing, then traced it onto another sheet of paper for labeling and cutting.

j-man sews

This stage was a first for him, using the machine.

j-man sews

Even my close-up, over-the-shoulder-picture-taking didn't frazzle him.  That boy has nerves of steel.  After whipping off his project on the machine I helped him with clipping curved edges and turning his creation to the right side for stuffing.  We laughed and giggled the time away while we stuffed this little guy to capacity.

j-man sews

Now the pieces were ready for the final step: closure and assembly.   He caught onto slip stitching pretty easily and only managed to prick his finger a couple of times.  What a trouper!

j-man sews

You'll have to wait for the final product as the J-man still needs to attach the legs.  I'll be sure to take photos of it when it is done for more "show and tell".


banana madness


Do you think my bananas need some help?   I found them like this in the morning, they just fell off their stems while their stems kept hanging on.  Me thinks its time for banana bread.


I found some time to write up the recipe I mentioned yesterday for my chicken pot pie.  I'm not sure what the origin is, though I'm sure it could easily be googled.  All I know is my sister gave me the recipe when I first got married and I've been making it ever since I embraced domesticity. 


1/3 cup margarine, butter or chicken fat
1/3 cup all-purpose flour*
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2/3 cup milk
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
1 package frozen peas and carrots
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

margarine over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, onion, salt and
pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is
smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.
Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
Stir in chicken and frozen vegetables; reserve.

Celery Seed pastry (see recipe below). Roll 2/3 of pastry into 13-inch square on lightly
floured cloth-covered board. Ease pastry into square pan, 9x9x2 inches;
pour chicken filling into pastry-lined pan. Roll remaining dough into
11-inch square; place over filling. Roll edges under; flute. Cut slits
in center to allow steam to escape.
Bake, uncovered, in 425 degrees F oven until crust is brown, 30 to 35 minutes.



2/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 Tablespoons water

shortening into flour, celery seed and salt until particles are size of
small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, tossing with
fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl
(1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if necessary). Gather pastry into



Yesterday I had an appointment with my massage therapist for some deep muscle work.  I'm a knotty girl so the rub down is both enjoyable and painful, but mostly enjoyable.   I arrived home to this sight:



Seems the wee girlies were all played out from our family partying over the weekend.  The crash on the living room couch was unavoidable.   I was going to wake them so they didn't nap too long making bedtime a difficult event later on, but I didn't have the heart to.  They looked so peaceful thumb sucking and all.

chicken pot pie

While the girlies slept I got busy making chicken pot pies.  My kids love this meal and I have a celery seed dough recipe that just makes my mouth water.

chicken pot pie

I'll see if I can post the recipe sometime this week when I have a wee bit more time.  That's it for today now I need to get back to gift making.  How is Christmas prep going on your end?

Toodles, xoxo 


quiet monday

our weekend was full.


attending my sons' piano recitals. they both did really great.


family party for two siblings now 17 years old and 14 years old.


at home puzzling




and gingerbread dipping


oh my...

digital rebel

Santa came early and I am a very lucky girl!

digital rebel goodness

You know what I'll be doing this weekend.  How on earth am I going to finish my Christmas gifts??

Have a happy weekend :o)


i must be nuts

I am currently washing my clothing with nuts!

bag of nuts

I'm also desperate.  I have eczema and it is currently driving me crazy.  The cold weather change and constant heating of the home is drying me out.  As soon as I put on lotion, my skin sucks it up and is begging for more.  I'm itchy all the time, flaky (no jokes people) and now my little eczema patches are beginning to spread.  Using conventional laundry products is no longer an option.  Last night I did some research on natural products and there are a good number of health & environmental alternatives.  The one I chose which was the most "natural" to me was the soap nut which grows on trees and has a miracle cleaning agent that is all in the shells.

soap nuts

The shell of the berry contains saponin, a natural detergent.  You throw a few of these nuts in a wee little cotton bag and then into the washing machine they go.  Depending on the temperature of your water you can get one, to a few wash loads out of the same nuts.  When you are all done with the nuts they can be thrown in the compost pile.  Very earth friendly.  You can find out more about the soap nut here   

So if being nuts isn't enough, I picked up some dryer balls as well.  They'll be used in place of fabric softener minus the fragrance and itchy additives.


Hopefully this will provide some quick relief for me so that I can get back to more important things like gift crafting...how many days left until Christmas?? 


one gift down

and many more to go, too bad it wasn't an actual Christmas gift.  Instead it was the birthday gift I mentioned here.  Her birthday is today so it is completed just in time.

gift tote "the steffie" named after my niece's dog

I made the lining out of pillowcase I found on one of my thrifting adventures and added a pocket :)

lining for "the steffie"

A little embroidery goes along way in personalizing this gift.  I found a great little puppy design in my much beloved book "Sublime Stitching"  by Jenny Hart.

a sublime design

The gift is for my niece who has a cute little black and white Shih Tzu dog named "Steffie".

gift tote embroidery all done

While I was busy in my studio over the weekend my wee girlies wanted to try their hand at sewing.  With laces, paper and a big comfy chair they kept them selves very busy and now each day they ask to "sew".  And so it has begun.

starting young my girlies are sewing with laces and paper :)


using what you have

My front door wreath has seen better days, but I really don't like to throw things out that can quite easily be fixed with some ingenuity & fresh paint.  The red berries are fake and with all the opening and closing of the door they've been chipped one too many times revealing their white styrofoam interior.  My acrylics are a life savor in times like these, I keep telling myself that one day I'll get back to painting, in the meantime I'm just happy to use them for quickie repairs.  After a few touch ups and some satin finish, the berries looked as good as new, but something was missing.


Inspired by the Thuja Occidentalis that we planted last spring I clipped some branches and brought a load of them into the house.  After a bit of wiring into the metal wreath frame that I already had, I ended up with a simple yet festive wreath for my front door and one less shopping trip for supplies *yay*


So speaking of using what you have, my niece will be celebrating her birthday pretty soon and I thought it would be nice to make her something from my existing stash.  I'll leave you with a sneak peek for the weekend and show the rest next week.

birthday peeks

Happy Weekend everyone :o)


snowman love

Look who moseyed across my sewing table.


I had the itch to make a snowman and he popped into my head. I'm smitten and I think I may have to make a few more of these little guys. I've never been so warm making a snowman!


oh christmas tree

On Friday it was just me and the girls at home as the boys were off at a friends house.  With decorating our home right around the corner, I thought it would be helpful for the girls if they got to make a few Christmas decorations for themselves.  I wanted to up our usual crafting medium beyond the standard painting and coloring, with glue.  So with foam sheets, shapes, and pompoms we set out to make some Christmas trees. 

crafting christmas

I cut the foam sheet in half to make two pieces and then trimmed it to a half circular shape. 

crafting christmas

Next they monkeyed around with foam shapes gluing them on in various places.  This was a really fun step for the girls and considering how messy glue can get, they did great! 

crafting christmas    crafting christmas

With a look on their face of "hey, I made this..." we set off to the counter work station where mumma's low temp. glue gun was heating up for another set of trees.   I'm not sure how it is in your home but my kids all love pompoms.  They love rummaging through the bin that stores them, they dig them out, squish them, hold them, put them in their pockets and love making things with them.   Thus making trees with (pompom) bulbs was an obvious choice for us.   

crafting christmas

This is the same initial shape as the other tree which is just rolled into a cone shape with a strip of warm glue added to help the tree keep it's shape.   Next I put beads of glue on the tree and the girls went to work adding pompoms.  I really love my low temp. glue gun for crafts that involve the kids and it is really so much safer then the hot glue guns. 

crafting christmas

Just looking at their faces made it all worth it!

crafting christmas

And what Christmas craft would be complete without a set of big furry caterpillars?? 

crafting christmas

The final result is a glorious display of Christmas trees made by my two 3 year olds girlies.   

crafting christmas

You might have to excuse all the bits and bobbles of glue on the trees but for this mumma I think they are delightful!

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