Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Week Fragments

Let's see... it's Friday... so that means I can post a bunch of random disconnected twaddle and call it a blog post, because that's what Friday Fragments is all about, right? So... here we go...
You'll be happy to know that Bernadine and Beauregard Bearsaltandpepper now have company in the Downstairs Northwoods Bathroom. The new inhabitants aren't directly descended from the Bearsaltandpepper family line, but they are distant cousins way back. They brought their own sleeping bags, and they've decided they are quite comfortable and will stay awhile. We haven't yet discovered what their first names are, but the Mrs. does like to read by flashlight while the Mr. cuddles his teddy bear. (This darling figurine was a Christmas gift from my own Mr.!)
Speaking of the Northwoods... and reading... I just finished reading Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss. Great story! I'll be posting my review later, but for now, suffice it to say it's making me want to visit Alaska. But in the summer, please.
This is plenty of winter for me! Our front yard has looked like this off-and-on for a couple of weeks now. I'm willing to give it another week or two, but then I'll be ready for spring. *sigh* You can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl, I guess. At least it hasn't been all that cold... which is why the snow has been on-again/off-again. It keeps snowing. And melting. And snowing. And melting.
A beautiful Christmas Eve bouquet from my daughters has been a good reminder that winter doesn't last forever. The fragrance of fresh flowers smells like spring every time I walk into my office and notice the arrangement on my desk.

Plus. The days are getting longer now. Have you noticed?

I've been staying busy, though, as always. This week my goal has been to get my lesson plans ready for the upcoming winter trimester at our homeschool co-op. I have 6.5 of 8 done, so I'm making good progress.

I also want to clean out Fibber McGee's closet (aka the catch-all closet in the family) sometime this weekend. Maybe today?
Now that the pre-Christmas rush has dropped off, I've been working up some new colors for spring in my mug cozy line for my Etsy shop... including a series with adorable cupcake buttons! I'll be listing them shortly after New Year's.

If I don't manage another post again before Tuesday, have a Happy New Year celebration!
Mommy's Idea

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas with the Bearsaltandpeppers

Bernadine and Beauregard Bearsaltandpepper here, but you may call us Bernadine and Beauregard Bearsaltandpepper.
You probably haven't met us before, but you may know our more famous cousins, Brunhilda and Borris Bearsaltandpepper. They even have their own blog. While we love reading about their antics, we don't have any such ambitions. However, when Miss Karla asked us to do a guest post showing some of her Christmas decorations, we couldn't say no. After all, it gave us a chance to venture out of the downstairs "north woods" bathroom where we live-- which badly needs to be dusted, by the way-- and see all the pretties in the upstairs living room. And goodness knows, she hasn't been doing a very good job of blogging this month!
 Our first stop was at the Christmas barnyard on top of the "school shelf." The barn and trees are ceramic, but most of the animals are from Becky's Schleich collection. We are kinda out of proportion to the other animals, but that's okay, because they aren't exactly in proportion to each other either. I mean, those chickens are practically as tall as the calves.
 Next, we popped over to visit the Sarah, Plain and Tall village on top of the piano. This special set was a gift from Miss Karla's friend, Kay Conner, who has been in heaven for several years. We are even taller than the buildings there.
Here we are, swapping howdy-dos with the Precious Moments people. Miss Karla has had the shepherd boy with his lambs, and the little Santa pets on the bench for many years. The little girl reading to her dolly and the little boy warming his backside by the wood stove are "new" to her this year. Can you believe she found them at a garage sale this summer for just $1 each? The lady was selling them real cheap because they had broken off their bases. That didn't bother Miss Karla any. She just glued 'em back together. She's frugal like that. Plus she's always loved Precious Moments figurines.
 Our favorite stop was getting to worship Baby Jesus in the stable. This is Becky's toy "Timothy" set. Of course, we know that there weren't any Bearsaltandpeppers in Bethelehem. At least, the Bible doesn't mention it if there were. But since this is the Reason for the Season, we wanted to worship, too.
 Just for fun, we stopped by Santa's workshop, which he set up on the edge of one of the bookshelves. The Victorian hardbacks in the background don't exactly fit in with the North Pole theme going on, but whatever.
 Time for a quick cuddle on the couch with Miss Karla's Christmas throw pillow. Her kids gave it to her for Christmas a few years ago because the cute little pets look an awful lot like Cookie and Tabitha, the real-live animals who live with us.
 Our next visit was with the Freaky Dolls on the mantle. They were given to the girls several years ago by their great-great-aunt (originally belonging to the great-aunt we used to live with-- but that's a story for another time). The girls like the dolls and enjoy putting them on display each Christmas, but they call them the Freaky Dolls because they move. You see, they are mechanical and their arms move in and out... and when visitors first notice them they usually say, "Oh, that's freaky!"
Time for a cuppa Christmas cocoa! Miss Karla got this beautiful Christmas cup-and-saucer from Miss Farrah at the tea-themed gift exchange during the Christmas Baking Day a couple weeks ago.
The Cook family received this pretty basket with a trio of holiday cocoa from some other friends. The basket was so pretty that Miss Karla has made the family wait until Christmas Eve to enjoy the special cocoa. That's today... so it's time!

And speaking of time, now that we've had our adventure, it's time for us to scuttle back down to the bathroom to "settle our brains for a long winter's nap!" Maybe we'll see you again sometime.

"Happy Christmas to all! And to all a good-night!"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Game Night

Last week we invited several families to join us for a fun evening of games and snacks.  They all have children similar in age to ours, so it was a lot of fun. We had a silly gift exchange and lots of laughter. Then the younger teens/pre-teens went downstairs to play Wii games, while the young-adult age group played Apples to Apples in the kitchen.

Once again, I failed to get pictures, but Farrah didn't let me down! She's actually the only person (besides my girls and my "almost-daughter") who attended both events we hosted. One might think I just invited her because of her photography skills, but that's really not the case. It's just serendipity! Check out the party pictures at Light in the Sphere.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Baking Party

The girls and I hosted a Christmas baking party earlier this month. My friend Farrah was great about taking pictures and she has posted a full report on her blog, Light in the Sphere. (And yes, she took the picture for this post, too. I just "borrowed" it!)

Maybe she'll do a post about our other party, too. You'd think I'd be more diligent about taking pictures, knowing I'll want to blog about it. Too many things to think about, I guess.

Anyway... thanks, Farrah!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Catching Up

Only one post in December so far? Oh, my... that's quite sad, isn't it?

My crochet orders have begun to taper off, and my fingers are happy to be on the keyboard again, rather than wrapped around a crochet hook. Can you believe I have actually developed calluses from crocheting so energetically? When I finally took time to tally up my Etsy orders from the past few weeks, it's really no wonder. I have crocheted (and shipped) approximately 180 mug cozies and 75 washcloths since the first of November. I knew I was staying busy, but I had no idea it was that many! I have been so grateful for the orders and extra income this time of year. It's been fun to fulfill the orders, but definitely a challenge to keep up. It's nice to have a break now... but I already have some fun new colors to add to my spring line-up.

We've also had a little flurry of Christmas-related social activities the past couple of weeks. We've attended a ladies' brunch, hosted a holiday baking day, driven around with friends to look at Christmas lights, hosted a party, and attended a Christmas program. It's all been fun, but I am happy now to turn my attention towards our family celebration and enjoy a week or two of a more relaxing pace.

Maybe I'll be able to blog a little more. Did you miss me?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Hooking

Lately I've had a little flurry of orders with my Etsy shop. That's been keeping me busy, but it's a fun, relaxing kind of busy-ness as it mostly involves sitting around crocheting. It's the slow season for my "real" job with Sonlight, so it's nice to have a little extra income.

One of my friends asked me recently, "What is an Etsy?" For others of you who may not know, Etsy is an online community of "shops" specializing in hand-made or vintage items. It's a wonderful place to find unique gifts... thus the little flurry right now before Christmas.

My shop is primarily stocked with small gift items that I've crocheted. I'm what you might call an obsessive crocheter. I do crochet every day... and yes, I carry it around with me. I enjoy working with a variety of fibers (though cotton is my favorite) and love trying out new patterns.

Here are a few of the items I currently have posted:

Mini stockings...
Regency-style reticules...
Wash-cloths...
Mug cozies...
It seems like quite a few people have decided that these would make great stocking stuffers... so I'm staying busy fulfilling orders.

And that, my friends, is the primary reason I haven't been blogging this week.

Just in case you missed me, and wondered.

I'll be back soon. I promise.

P.S. If you're still shopping, it's not too late to get your order placed in time for Christmas!