Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
One of my favorite Christmas movies "Elf" was lost until we just found it last evening in the pocket of my car seat! So I guess I'll watch it... better late than never! ("I'm a cotton-headed ninnymuggins!")
More fun stuff that came over the holidays...
Babette... my French persona...
Caroline has been painting a little on break! I just love the creativity that occurs on these new art tables I got for my birthday!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
It was a good Christmas this year. Caroline and Nathaniel played Mary and Joseph at Church on Christmas Eve! They did a great job and the little angels and shepherds were adorable too! Of course Nathaniel caught his yearly Christmas cold! I don't know if it's the excitement or the lack of sleep on Christmas Eve but he always manages to catch one. He told us he was up at 4:30am to check and see if there was something in his stocking! We had a leisurely morning opening presents and watching the kids play with their new things. Or listen to another fact about owls from Caroline! My favorite present was my new iPod nano. That was a total surprise. Since I seem to be on a music kick for the past year, it was perfect. Now I can run/walk with the little red shuffle and use this one for trips or around the house! For some reason I'm listening to Sugar Ray, especially "Fly". Guess it's just the contagious good mood of Christmas (and too much Christmas music lately!). I got to talk to my family in Florida and in Cincinnati too, which is always a good thing :) I tend to doodle when I'm on the phone and I talked with Jane for over an hour!! That's me below, with my cool bead medallion I got through etsy. I've kind of gone Boho lately... Craig had no idea what that means!!! Just part of my 21st century hippy craze. Now we are winding down and cleaning up. I made another awesome Sara Foster meal...mmmm... I couldn't even eat dessert! (we have tons of it and I lost my sweet tooth... great timing!)
Hope you had just as good a day as I did! The most exciting thing: back to doing art and things I want to, just because!!! The Christmas stress is gone! That must be why I'm dancing today! ;)) I better go upstairs and check and see if the oven is still there. Last thing I knew, Craig was burning cookies!!! And the dishwasher went out. Ah well... I'm still happy!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I did this illustration in memory of my dear Grandma who passed away at Thanksgiving. I wanted to show her love, a mother's love, that was passed down to my mother, then to me, and down to my own children. She was my role model and why I believe in love. It reflects Mary's love for Jesus... the miraculous love that God showed us, and that Mary had the courage to say "yes" to.
I wish you and your loved ones a very, very Merry Christmas this year and the best for 2008!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I didn't know if I should post this... sometimes there are things that are fixed along the way and I didn't want to show anything I didn't like-- for instance those rings around the candle are showing up dark on the scan but on the print they are more subtle. But I am slowly getting there. Hmmm... I didn't necessarily think this would be me, but obviously it is!
Some of you know that Caroline spent the whole night at the emergency room last night. We thought it was appendicitis, but luckily it wasn't. We didn't get any sleep so today is not too productive. I am trying to answer all of my emails and nice comments but it's going to take me a couple days! Just know that I truly appreciate each one of them and can't wait to catch up on your newest activities.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
For Caroline's big birthday present, I commissioned Eva to make Caroline a custom mushroom! Well, she ended up making two, I couldn't choose and Caroline got BOTH!!!....
Caroline turned 12 today AND it decided to snow for her birthday, which she's all smiles about! She requested an oreo ice cream cake (brrrr!) and her favorite spaghetti carbonara for dinner. She was allowed to open two presents early this morning but the others are still waiting! I can't believe I have a 12-year-old daughter now... but at the same time, I love who she is as a young woman and I'm so proud that I'm allowed to be her Mommy!!! (for only 6 more years at home!!!! yikes!).
Happy Birthday Sweetie!
We Love You!!!!!
Monday, December 15, 2008
I finally knew what I wanted for the front illustration on my Christmas card! I wanted to dedicate this to my Grandma, but I wanted it to mean something more than just baking cookies or sewing or gardening. I wanted it to show the love I felt from her. It is a mother's love, passed down through my own mom, to me, to my own children. Just like Mary's to baby Jesus. I am so excited to ink this in. I am in love with the feeling I get from looking at it. At least I will love it!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
My friend Terri tagged me for this game:
You're supposed to do the following:
1. Open the 4th picture folder on your computer
2. Open the 4th picture and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same!
Hee hee! This photo was taken back in 2003, I think. That was our wonderful cat Apricot and her favorite napping position-- on Caroline's head!! I love this picture but it makes me miss her and makes me miss Caroline being so young!!
Jenny at Frazzydazzles
Olivia at jojo-caramel (I just HAD to... sorry!;)
Debbie at Gotta Knit
Willow at Willow's Cottage
Friday, December 12, 2008
Eva at Effunia tagged me yesterday... for 6 random things about me! I haven't done this in awhile so here it goes... (just for you Eva because I idolize you!!!):
1. When I was in elementary school one of my favorite sections in the library was "poetry". I was a deep thinker at age 8! I would read encyclopedias and my mom's college psychology books. I read "Siddhartha" in 6th grade. I don't think my teacher knew what to make of that!
2. I always thought my name sounded like I should be a cowgirl or something: Bethany Jane. I never liked horses so there was no chance of becoming one.
3. I hate having my fingernails painted but I love having my toenails painted! The redder, the better. Or pink in the summer. I have an aversion to long fingernails.
4. I think I like cold weather better than hot weather. I think it's because I like to snuggle!
5. I can't stand having dirty dishes on the counter or especially in the sink. When I stayed with my sister, I was cleaning up all her dishes. She almost kept me!!!
6. I can't stand someone else sleeping on my pillow! Okay... this list seems to be about my pet peeves now!! But I love being in bed. Maybe because it's rare to actually be in bed! I'm not a morning person at all.
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Now I'm tagging:
Olivia at jojo-caramel
Clara at la boite bazar
Linnea from linnea paulina
Di at Woolie Wanderings
Nathalie at kennedy & friends
Erinn at happy living design
Now go have some fun and have a great weekend!!!
I got a wonderful surprise in my post box a couple days ago! My two favorite girls in France sent me their wonderful creations!! The beautiful tag and card is by Olivia at jojo-caramel and the fantastically drawn card is by her talented daughter Clara! My favorite thing at Christmas time is to receive cards from all the people I love! I keep all of the handmade ones and even some that aren't if they are special (like from my Grandma). I am so touched that Olivia and Clara took so much time to do this just for me!! I think I better stop before I cry!
Love you both so much!
I wanted to write a post about the "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008" . It has been mentioned on quite a few blogs of friends lately because it is going to effect the toy market. If you do produce toys or playthings for children, then from what I understand, this act will require third party testing for safety. I do not have most of the facts about this but from what everyone is saying, this could really hurt the cottage industries and our etsy. It also makes it harder for all of our friends in other countries to import to the U.S. We all know why this happened-- the scare of lead in toys made in China. The encouraging thing here is that it sounds like there's been a major movement by crafters all over the world to band together and make this right for all the people who can't afford to pay for testing like large corporations. Here is an article by etsy staff which addresses the Act: click here.
If you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet, check out etsy for some great ideas! I've gotten a lot of my gifts this year through artists and it makes me feel good to support the people who always put in that little extra effort and love that you don't get when you buy mass produced items! We'll all stay tuned for what happens next! In the meantime, support your fellow crafters!
My favorites: Cakies by RubyEllen, Kennedy & Friends by Nathalie, Effunia by Eva, LizzieJane by Kathy, Frazzydazzles by Jenny, Belle & Boo, Ravenhill, Cupcakes for Clara, KnittyDirtyGirl yarns, Rob Ryan's art, Elsa Mora, Chelsea Ann's shop... I might be forgetting someone (I'm sorry if I am!). The links to all of these can be found on my sidebar! Happy Shopping!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This is basically a posting for my family since they are all out of town! So bear with me if you have no interest in school news!
Caroline had her orchestra concert last evening. The chorus sang too. This is a picture of how large it is! All sixth graders. She had the absolute best music teacher this year. Caroline came home telling me all about how much she loved the operas they were studying!
Here is a very blurry photo (we didn't get any good ones) of the sixth grade orchestra! They were absolutely fantastic! For some reason this particular grade of kids has many talented string musicians. I had goosebumps through every piece they played. Caroline's favorite was The Ukranian Bell Carol. They also played Rondeau, Theme from Canon in D, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Contredanse and Trepak from the "Nutcracker Suite"! I was so proud of her!
And her classmates!
Here she is! I made her stand there to get her picture taken... she's laughing at me!
Here she is! I made her stand there to get her picture taken... she's laughing at me!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The elementary school's holiday concert was last evening and the band, string orchestra and chorus performed. Nathaniel is in the chorus and sang his heart out! What a handsome guy! He's on the top row, third from the right! They had a little kazoo action going too for fun!This photo only shows half the chorus. There are other boys in it too. I thought he winked at me at one point, but after the concert he said he winked at the girl he likes two rows behind me!!! He's not trading in being his mommy's son for girls now, is he? Aaaaghh!!!
You have to see Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson's video for "Winter Song" on YouTube! I can't copy it here, but it is really, really cute animation! I had posted the making of the song earlier. This song can be found on "The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs" cd, along with a bunch of other favorite song artists: KT Tunstall, Colbie Caillat among others. The bad news is that I missed Sara & Ingrid's duet on Jay Leno last night. The good news is that you can see the episode on the internet site! Click here. They looked beautiful! Now I need to find out who did the animation for that video... it's seriously too cute!
My daughter has a new obsession which just turned huge after reading this book:
You would not believe how loving owls can be! I need to read this book because the things she shared with me were fascinating! So I got out my sketchbook while we were all watching tv together and started doodling owls. I'm thinking of making one for her out of felt or crochet...
In the meantime we'll be listening to our own owls out back. We haven't figured out what kind they are but we know they're BIG! They are loud and Craig saw one when he was out in the yard with Ellie one night. It silently swooshed right over his head! We think that's why we don't have a rodent problem even though we live by the woods. That and our resident hawks. It might be hard to raise chickens this spring!!!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I thought I'd show you what I made for my niece Lauren. She's getting some teeth pulled on Friday so I thought she could use a little bear to cheer her up!:
And here is my ONE panel that I finished for the side window. I have two to do for the front, and then I think I need tie backs or something. I haven't put on the finials on the rods yet, so I can't pull it open all the way. This is the fabric that Anna Maria designed that I bought earlier this year. It's called Sketchbook and I thought it would be appropriate for our home, with drawings of birds and plants! It also has about every color I use, so it will go with all seasons. Plus it just makes me happy!
Yes, I am so awesome-- I learned how to line a curtain! Now don't go saying that you don't know how to sew and couldn't do this!! I just learned by reading a book and following directions. That's why it took me months to actually cut the fabric!!
Someone is waiting for Santa...
I'm sure he's coming Ellie... you've been such a good girl!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I wanted to share something that's been special to me since I was a little girl. This is a Christmas Carol book that was printed in 1966 (my birth year) for a Christmas Sing sponsored by The Dayton Power and Light Company. I grew up playing songs on the piano from it and singing along to our Christmas albums. I love that time period when it was common to go caroling in your neighborhood and times were a bit more simple and the holidays more meaningful. There were not so many electronic distractions like today. Just like now-- I'm sitting here typing on my computer when I could be playing the piano! If you noticed, I took advantage of Blogger's new feature to keep track of the blogs I read. That way I won't spend as much time pulling up everyone's blog if it says that they haven't posted anything new. I'm also considering only posting once a week! I don't know if I can do that!! I just think I need to focus more on "doing" than wishing I was doing something.
I am totally enthralled with Tasha Tudor and how much she accomplished in her life! That made me reconsider my priorities. Just some of her daily activities included: caring for her animals, gardening, cooking, weaving, sewing, basket-making, woodworking, knitting, embroidering, pottery, painting illustrations, writing stories, candle-making, spinning wool and preparing flax for spinning, dying yarns, canning, cider-making, lace-making, soap making, dairying with fancy pressed butters, drying herbs, raising corgis, and of course making toys like her marionettes and the fantastic dollhouse. She did all of this while maintaining a lifestyle like that of the late eighteen hundreds, without electricity and by making most of what she had. She also loved the traditions of celebrating the holidays and holding afternoon teas. She played with her children and made their childhood magical. She just passed away in June of this year at 92 years old. Here is a page of a children's book of poems that we read as children and the illustrations she did which I think of whenever I hear "Twas the Night Before Christmas":
If you want to read more about her, The Private World of Tasha Tudor and Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts are great, or either of the DVD's about her life: Take Joy: The Magical World of Tasha Tudor or Take Peace: A Corgi Cottage Christmas with Tasha Tudor.
Last evening we pulled out our favorite Christmas Children's books and read some together, taking turns. Even though everyone is older it is still fun to read them together. Which are your favorite books to read at the holidays?