Tag Archive | Christmas

December 14: Handmade

Now here’s something you probably thought I had forgotten about. Never fear, I’ve been slowly working on it.

IMG_6429This crocheted gingerbread house was one of my many UFOs. Now it’s a mostly-finished object. It still needs additional “candies” on it, but I haven’t made those. Again, Baby Sprinkaan has affected my ability to craft. Track with me: The little house stands about 7.5″ tall, so the candies are quite small. Little items like that are easy to misplace. Baby Sprinkaan is an expert at finding tiny things that the big people have lost. And then he eats them. So the embellishment part of the project is on hold. Maybe I’ll add a few new bits every year?

December 13: Tree

Baby Sprinkaan is a busy baby. Maybe I’m just old, maybe I just forgot, but he seems busier than any of my other babies. All of them, being born in the fall, were right about the same age at Christmastime and yet, this is the only baby who forced us to cage the tree. Even that is not foolproof because he manages to push the rigged-up baby gates until he can reach ornaments through the bars. Busy, busy baby.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, I'm sorry we had to fence you

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, I’m sorry we had to fence you

December 11: Blessings

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Vintage O’Keefe & Merritt

I easily could have just recycled the pic of my kids for “blessings,” but there are plenty of other blessings to choose from, so why not highlight one of those?

Yep, my oven. Having lived without one for two years in the cabin, I’m grateful everyday to have one now! And I went ahead and left all the used pots and pans up there because I was in a hurry to represent the blessing of ample food for my family.

December 5: Ornament

There are so many ornaments to choose from that, at first, I thought it would be difficult to decide which one to use for today. But once I went out and looked at the tree again, I knew exactly which one to show.

This summer, my grandpa passed away. It was both unexpected and not. His mind and spirit were fully intact, but his physical body took a rapid decline in health, frighteningly so in the last week. Of course, we all know that our time here on earth doesn’t last forever, but it was hard to imagine that someone as strong, stubborn, and ornery as my Gpa could ever succumb. He was a fixture, the patriarch. A man like that doesn’t just… leave. While we know he is with his Savior in heaven, we still feel the hole of his absence here as we continue in life.

Yet, we find ways to remember him.

IMG_6302I am the first grandchild, the firstborn of a firstborn. I had the privilege (unbeknownst to me at the time, of course) of transforming my Gpa and Gma from parents to grandparents. That’s pretty exciting stuff. My Gpa loved to tinker and create and try new things. He cut out this heart-shaped ornament from some kind of plastic resin stuff and etched in my name and birthdate and then made a hook to hang it with twisted wire. I know he made ones for my next two siblings; I’m not sure if he still had the supplies once my cousins began entering the world (anyone?). Hanging this ornament was extra special this year. I’m thankful that he made it for me and thankful that he passed on his love of creating and experimenting to me.

I love you, Gpa!

December 1: Red & white

This blog was birthed in May 2011. Three and a half years ago. (Is that all?) In May 2011, Konik was 19 months old. He had started walking right around his first birthday, so he was definitely mobile and surely got into things. But oh my word. Maybe it’s that Sprinkaan only just turned one last week or maybe it’s the personality difference, but whatever the case, I have zero time to blog. Either I make stuff or I write about it. Not both. I’ve had seasons like this before and I’ll come out of it again. I have made a few things and started a few other things and getting close to finishing some things. When will I get a chance to share them with you? Good question. So in the meantime, Imma resort to what I did last year at this time just to keep the blog active. And ‘sides, it was fun. I’m participating in The Idea Room’s photo challenge for the month of December. Each day, I’ll post a picture that has something to do with the prompt given for that day. Today is “red and white.” Fair enough. Since Sprinkaan is part of the reason I’m doing this, I took a picture of his stocking. Have a great day!

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Christmas gifts: They were cones!

The last of the Christmas gift round-up! This was another Rana project and definitely not something I would have done with the younger kids. Finding homemade gifts for men can be tricky — it’s easy to find all kinds of cutesy, frilly, girly projects, but something that a man might want or find useful can be a real challenge. Rana had pulled one of her uncle’s names for this last one. Knowing that this uncle uses a wood stove to heat his house, when I found this project for pine cone fire starters, I thought that this was something we could do.

First things first: you need pine cones. Pine cones are plentiful on the other side of the state, but over here on the Western side of the mountains, mostly all we get are fir cones. Fir cones, while bountiful, are worthless, acidic clumps of mush. Some people have to rake leaves from their lawns; we get to rake fir cones, or else they burn up your grass and you have no lawn. Actual pine trees are in sparse supply around here, so in order to get the aforementioned pine cones, we used several of those cinnamon-scented pine cones they sell around the holidays. One advantage to this versus foraging for cones in the wild is that the cones are already dried and opened up.

Other supplies you’ll need are wax (we used an old candle) and wicks (cotton yarn). The basic idea is, you put a wick on the pine cone and coat it in wax, then you chuck the whole thing into the fireplace to get your fire going. We melted down a white candle in our pseudo-double boiler (tuna can in a pot of water). Little known fact: tuna cans float. That made the whole cone-dipping process more exciting. Bobbing for pine cones.

Rana did make a cute video for this, too, but Konik is yelling at me in the background while my mom tries to shush him. Oh well.

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I had visions of the cones looking as though they had been frosted with snow. Unfortunately, white wax doesn’t look white unless it’s in a solid chunk, so our pine cones just looked kind of greasy. Hm. Another one of those “live and learn” moments, I guess. Even if they didn’t turn out as pretty as we had counted on, we hope that they are at least functional!