This year I decided to get an early head start on my holiday gifts. The idea was that I would be able to shop sales, budget better and have time for crafting. I think it really paid off. I managed to make several gifts for my loved ones and wanted to share how they turned out!
Embroidered Names for Friends
Embroidery is something that I stumbled into on my own several years ago and became absolutely smitten by it. I had a ton of floss, so I picked up some frames and linen and got to work. Most of these patterns are free hand with a couple of exceptions (like the foxes).
I have one more that has yet to be gifted, so I will share that later too :)
A Little Bit of Love Ornaments
I took an old sweater of my Mum’s that I loved (and she had loved), but I just couldn’t wear. I had never been able to donate it or give it away, so instead I decided to share a tiny bit of that memory and love and share it with family. I cut the sweater into pieces, and then using a cardboard template, cut hearts. I sewed the hearts together and Liam and I then stuffed the hearts.
Castiel Tree Topper
I came across this amazing post on Lattes and Llamas, which features a knit Castiel Tree Topper. As a huge Supernatural fan, I was completely amused by it and then remembered how Cass is basically my SILs Husband, so I texted her a picture. She nearly died with a desperate need, so I knew I had to get to work. I only had a little bit of time left before our holiday celebration, so I hunted down a crochet Amigurumi version of Castiel (available here) and altered it. Please see my Rav page for all details on my changes. SIL informed me her bestie NEEDED one, so I made two. One ended up being a bit fatter than the other, but overall, I am very happy with how they turned out. Took me about a week to make both using scrap yarn.
We had a lovely day yesterday. Pat is off work for two weeks, so the pace has slowed significantly around here. We’re hanging out in pjs, eating comfort foods and not worrying too much about the mess.
Our tree and some of the presents. We are blessed
Couldn’t help but share this one…Apparently, Liam isn’t fond of my new Dr. Who shirt
Liam enjoying his new bubble maker
After a day of rest, coffee and presents (oh, and bubbles. So many bubbles), the darkness started to fill the house and I prepared Liam’s paintings for a transformation into our Yule lanterns. I got the idea from this great post.
The finished lanterns
We then took some time to talk about winter, about solstice, about darkness and the return of the light and what the lanterns represented.
Talking about the candles and how they represent light returning
Lighting the lanterns
Saying a blessing
Today, we are being covered in more snow and freezing rain, so we are hunkering down and making a list of last minute things we need to pick up before Christmas. I have some baking plans that should be interesting! Let’s see if my in laws enjoy these creations :D
I hope Yule was as beautiful for you as it was for us and may we all enjoy the slow return of longer days and sunlight.
Sorry for the silence again. I had a hard time trying to find my words after my last post. Thank you to everyone you sent me their support and comments. I appreciate it <3
As usual, we’ve been puttering along here. Life continues to be busy and I continue to add little projects to the mix.
With the seasons changing, the weather getting cool and christmas music playing on the radio at work (Ah, the joys of working in retail during the holiday season), I’ve been thinking about getting my decorations out. The christmas season is a hard one for me because it was SUCH a big deal for my parents and my Dad’s kids. I’ve been trying to reclaim the season by starting our own traditions and by encouraging some cheer. I’ve never done the Christmas With a Toddler thing before, so I’m a little concerned about Liam attempting to climb the damn tree or smashing ornaments. As a result, I’ve been thinking about using mostly hand crafted decorations. Depending on whether I can find the time, I’d like to try to make the following (patterns, pin, etc… are available on my facebook page for those who want to make them too!):
The other big crafty thing on my mind lately as been waldorf crafts, specifically Waldorf Dolls. Don’t know what I mean? Well, one of the most popular waldorf doll out there, at least in the Mommy circles I travel in, are these beautiful creations by Bamboletta.Aren’t they lovely? I would love to have one for Liam, however I find the price just too steep for us. (They range from 130-270, depending on the type of doll). Plus, I’d love to learn how to make such beautiful little things. I think it would make the doll that much more special for our family, you know? Hopefully a local waldorf school will be doing a course soon. I’m already scoping out suppliers for fabrics and hair :D
The other waldorf critters that I want to make are these kind of peg dolls:And needle felted creatures:
Aren’t they lovely? I so desperately want to learn! Wish me luck :) I always get so excited when a new craft crosses my path. Can’t wait to give it a try.
As I approach the holidays, I find time almost seems to speed up, picking everything and everyone up as it goes, getting more and more intense and busy as we near the centre.
Firstly, Happy Yule to everyone!
We’re not doing anything specific to celebrate, though I did throw the fixin’s in for a beef stew for tonight, so I think that’s a great feast dinner. We also have some left over holiday baking, so we’ll have some tasty mint brownies for afterwards.
Today is my last day of work before the holidays. The college is closed until the 2nd, so I’m looking forward to a week of sleeping in, decluttering, preparing for baby and getting things done that are often forgotten (for instance, changing my name in all of my official documents!)
This weekend is going to be busy for sure. Tomorrow I’m baking for gifts and parties. Saturday we’re celebrating Christmas with some family, Sunday we’re celebrating Christmas with my girlfriend S and her family, and then on the 27th we’re getting together with my in-laws for a casual holiday celebration.
Pat and I aren’t doing much in way of gifts this year, as we just can’t afford it. I have a secret planned for him, and he got me some things that I’ve been eyeing for ever:
So excited! :D I don’t talk about it much, but I love make up. Love it. Especially eyeshadow. I have a really hard time justifying the cost of good quality makeup, so its not often that I go out and buy something for myself. I will make due on most things. I’ve wanted the Naked Palette for as long as I’ve known about it. Black Honey was brought into my world by the amazing Pixie, and I was finally able to have one for myself! :D
We also splurged and got him some pampering at a barber shop (he always shaves his head, and while it’s not very fancy, he loved the attention to detail that this barber gave him) and got my eyebrows waxed by one of the specialists at Visage. It was awesome! Again, such a little thing, but I always feel so much better about myself when I have that sort of thing done by a professional.
Aside from shopping, I also recently had an appointment with my midwife and I can’t believe how quickly this pregnancy is flying by! Seriously, we’re already talking about what to do when we get to the hospital, what to pack, circumcision and what tests and scans I have left before baby. In fact, I only have one more appointment at our monthly intervals before switching to every two weeks! Eeep! And we start prenatal classes on the 3rd! It’s super baby time all the time now!
Meanwhile, because, you know, life isn’t busy enough, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of learning to quilt. I’m thinking I might try to take a class after Liam is born to get me out of the house every so often. I’ve been sewing for most of my life and I LOVE quilts, so it’s a natural progression for me. I have to scope out some of the class options in town.
Anyway, whatever you celebrate, may it be awesome and full of love and laughter!
Sorry for the lack of posting. My sister’s visit was lovely and I put all of my attention into spending time with her and the rest of my family (comprised of the in-laws and my dearest friends).
We had a great time, though it was far too short. We were spoiled with gifts and good food. I’m sure I’ve put on 5lbs the past week alone :)
I can hardly believe that the new year is already right around the corner. I can’t say that I’m sad to be parting with 2010. This year has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, with the greatest and the lowest moments of my life. Further to that, I can hardly believe that the decade is coming to a close as well. I remember the approach of 2000, and how scared and excited people were. I was 16, full of plans and dreams. I had just fallen in love and would shortly thereafter have my first heart break. My friends were number one and I was sure that everything would work out. This decade my life has completely changed. It was a time of much growth and self discovery. I am a very different person today, but I look back with fondness.
I miss my parents very much, but am glad to have the memories that we shared. I know that I will forever have their love and that we will meet again one day. I am thrilled that my sister and I have become best friends, and that I’ve found a love that fulfills me. I still hurt from the loss of those who one could call family, and those who had been my best friends. I’ve gone through so many jobs. I’ve attended and graduated university. I’ve met my very closest friends. I’ve redefined my priorities and my goals.
I have become an adult.
My plans for New Years Eve is to celebrate Hogamany. We’ve started some of the cleaning, but I plan on finishing tomorrow afternoon. We’re going to a friend’s place in the evening for a potluck (eating early, but that’s alright. I’m making “cakes” for our post-midnight feast). Nothing too fancy, but just perfect for us. I’m going to leave tokens of what I’d like for the new year on my makeshift altar. Maybe make a list of goals. What are your plans to celebrate?
I wish you all the very best in 2011. May we all give honour to the time that has passed and move forward with hope and optimism. May we learn from the past.
I feel like I just wished you all a happy Samhain, and here we are already! We’re not planning on doing much until my sister arrives from Calgary, so it will be a relatively quiet night for us (unless you count driving a car with a faulty transmission across the city twice to transport a Queen sized bed). Once my sister is here and nicely settled, we’ll have a nice dinner and maybe even do a small ritual.
Today is my last day of work and then I am off until the 3rd. I’m really excited to spend this time with my sister and my husband, which for me, is what the holidays are all about.
As usual, here is a link to my friend Laura. She always writes the most beautiful pieces on the sabbats and esbats. This is certainly no exception. Here are two great articles on Yule and the importance of embracing your darkness at this time of year. I’ve also included a link that she makes in her piece to a wonderful article about respecting both the light and dark at Yule. Enjoy!
1. Dreaming in the Solstice Eclipse by Laura Marjorie Miller
2. Blessings of Yultide Light and Dark by Cora Wen
Many blessings to you and yours for the new year <3
Ah, the snow is falling outside and I have a pile of holiday cards beside me, waiting to be addressed and stamped. Tis the season, for sure.
I feel like it has caught me by surprise this year. I guess with everything that’s happened, and especially with the honeymoon, I was so distracted that I didn’t even notice December creep up.
First, I’ll back track a bit and elaborate on Jamaica before moving on to other things. I would definitely recommend not only Jamaica but our resort to anyone looking into taking a relaxing trip to someplace warm where the food is good and the people are lovely. We stayed at Couples Swept Away and definitely felt that it had the right vibe for us. We are not big party-ers, and didn’t want to go someplace that was entirely focused on getting drunk and dancing 24/7. CSA had an adult vibe that focused on letting its guests relax and rest. There was plenty to do, but no one was shoving it down our throats. We spent nearly every day, all day, on the beach. We read, we talked, we swam and we tanned.
The food was amazing. My favourite restaurent on the resort was Patois. It served a blend of local fare and more european dishes. Even the little grill made amazing food, including jerk chicken, patties and snapper sandwiches. Yum! My favourite dish of the whole trip was one of the appetizers. It was a smoked marlin au gratin dip with hand cut chips.
Pat and I had some amazing chats, including one I’ve been wanting to have for a while – Our future family plans. While I don’t want to get into it too much here, we are both on the same page and am hopeful that if things go well for us at work, that we should be able to start thinking more seriously about it soon. So, with that as a bit of a warning, I am doing lots of reading now, so don’t be surprised if I start talking more about baby/birth/family stuff.
Anyway, back to the trip. One of my favourite activities we did participate in was a snorkeling trip to one of the near by reefs. Unfortunately, we didn’t have an underwater camera, so I can’t share anything from our adventure, however I can tell you a bit about what we saw. The coral itself was beautiful a little bit scary. I’ve never been so up close and personal before. I’ve heard stories of people cutting themselves on reefs before so I was really careful. We saw a couple of sting rays. Just little bitty ones. We saw an unpuffed puffer fish, a bunch of beautiful angel fish and the like, as well as some trumpet fish.
For those of you who have never been snorkeling, I highly recommend it. It takes a bit of an adjustment at first to get used to staying near the top of the water so that you can breath, breathing under water and seeing the whole underwater world around you. I love it.
So, to wrap that up, the trip was amazing and our relationship is even better than it was before we left. Yay! In terms of witchiness, I did have a couple of interesting occurances.
1. Nightmares. I don’t normally have nightmares. They are really rare for me. I dream vividly, but not often am I frightened by my dreams.
2. Had a definite conversation with the ocean. She wanted a sacrifice because I hadn’t introduced myself properly when we met (namely, my rings). I refused the rings, so I lost a pair of sunglasses. It felt like it wasn’t enough so we had a chat, and within seconds of this chat, I somehow stepped on a shell or something, drawing blood. It must have been a small shell because it only cut enough to bleed briefly and then shut. This happened once more the following day. At this point I had the sense that we were ok now. Just to be safe, Pat and I kept our rings in our safe from then on.
3. On our way home to the airport I saw something that I can’t explain. It may have just been a strange play of light or something, but I swear I saw a little person in a field. And by that I really mean a full proportionate person who was maybe only a foot and a half tall and completely black. Like, an absence of light and colour. Strangest thing ever. This was immediately followed by a sense of vertigo and my mind deciding it didn’t happen.
On a completely different note, while we were gone, our videographer posted our wedding video. Care to see? It’s here. I’m so happy with the results. She’s amazing.
So on to life now, we’ve settled back in. The snow and the cold aren’t quite as shocking anymore and we’re gearing up for Yule and Christmas. My sister arrives from Calgary soon and will be staying with us for the first time. I’m really excited. Christmas is going to be hard this year, having so recently lost my Mum. It’s the first year since we moved to Ottawa in 1988 (with the exception of one year in Disney) that we won’t be having Christmas in my mother’s house.
Meanwhile, to complicate things, I managed to have a job fall into my lap. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity, and so I start on Monday. The pay isn’t great, and the situation is strange, but it’s work. It’s admin work at a local college, working with employment services (har har, Universe. Good one). The weird bit is that it’s full time until May and then goes part time until November. Not exactly ideal, but it’s still something for now. Hopefully I like the work.
And on that note, I’m off to drink some tea and listen to Laura Marling. <3 Cheers!