It’s Been Awhile

I know, I know…it’s been awhile. I’ve taken a break to spend some quality time with the family. Our Christmas was great. And we’re looking forward to a fantastic 2007.

Happy New Year everyone. I’ll be back soon with another post and some pictures.

For Unto Us a Son is Given …

It all began in a manger.
May you find peace, love and joy today — and always.

Making Cookies Today

The boys are anxiously awaiting Santa’s arrival. And now, it’s time for making cookies!
Cookie dough recipe is Martha Stewart’s [Sugar Cookies II; Page 531 in The Martha Stewart Cookbook], cookie cutters are from Wilton (the best!). We bought the small rolling pins for the boys a few years back. The large rolling pin belonged to my grandmother. It has a wonderful patina.

Making cookies.

Making more cookies.

Hot out of the oven. [We'll decorate them tomorrow.]

Chocolate chip cookies my wife made yesterday.

What Does Creativity Look Like?

Do you ever feel like you’ve run out of ideas? Just how does this thing called ‘creativity’ work?

According to Alison Lee

“Struggle is a part of it. Struggle is a big part of being creative. You can’t leave that out. If you’re not stuck in the struggle for awhile, you’re not being creative. Creativity isn’t always a pretty little picture. Sometimes it’s muck, mire and cloudy days. And you just keep going through it and you come out the other side.”

Check out her site. She podcasts, too.

Holiday Greetings

Sad Time Tonite

Miss Angel died tonite. She was a huge angel fish that has been with us for over three years. I’m not sure how old that is in ‘human’ years, but I gotta believe it’s very, very old. The boys were both in tears over the event. We told them that perhaps she’s a Christmas Angel Fish and she’s on her way to heaven.

Life is very tough sometimes.

Good nite.

Project: Crochet Hook Roll

I was inspired by Toni to create this handy crochet hook organizer. The striped fabric is actually a Crate and Barrel napkin I recently found at the Goodwill Store. I think I got five 20×20 inch napkins and a (matching) drawstring bag for $2.00. I thought they were perfect for this project. Partly because I like stripes and partly because the stripes make great sewing guides to stitch a straight line . (Lazy, I know…but hey it works!)

::Crochet Hook Roll:

Fabric choices are up to you, but here’s what I used:

Solid Color Fabric
1 – 20″ square
1 – 20″ x 4″ strip

Patterned Fabric
1 – 20″ square

1. With right sides together, sew the two 20″ squares together. (I used a 3/8″ seam allowance.) Leave a 4-5″ opening at bottom.

2. Turn things inside out and press.

3. Machine stitch the opening closed.

4. With the 20″ x 4″ piece, fold each long edge to the center and press.

5. Fold long edges together again and press. You should end up with a strip that measures 20″ long and about 1″ wide. Machine stitch as close to the open edge as you can. Tuck in the ends of the strip and machine stitch closed. (This will become the tie to keep your case neatly wrapped up.)

4. Back to the square. With the solid color on top, turn up the bottom edge about 4-1/2 to 5″ and press. [See photo.]

5. Fold the 20″ strip in half longways and press.

6. Here’s the tricky part. Carefully tuck in the folded edge of the strip so it’s between the two layers of the square that you just folded up. [See photo.] Sew all the layers together. This becomes the edge of the main “pocket” to hold the crochet hooks.

7. Sew the other edge of the turned up edge. This will complete the main “pocket”.

8. Decide how many “little pockets” you want your roll to have. I used the lines on the fabric as a guide and ended up with 20 (I think) pockets to hold the hooks and a pencil.

The finished project all rolled up:

Cute Packaging Idea …

We had breakfast at the Essenhaus last Saturday morning. We live very, very close to the Amish community here in Northern Indiana. The Essenhaus is one of our favorite places to visit. The food is wonderful and they have some great home decor items for sale. There are several shops on the property, and we checked out our favorite one. Tons of cool Christmas stuff and a really large display of Jim Shore’s creations. That man is very talented.

[The Bakery at Essenhaus]

These dishcloths caught my eye while we were shopping in the Bakery at Essenhaus. It was more the container and not the dishcloths that grabbed my attention. And…so we just had to buy some. The container is too cool. (Sorry for the crappy pictures — I was in a hurry!)

As Promised: Sweet Treats for Classmates

Santa is over-flowing with treats for the kids. My wife made these up for all the kids in my sons’ clasess. A yummy candy cane, a simple jingle bell and some red ribbon and you have a great Holiday Party treat!

[Treats for Son No. 2's Class]

[A closer look. I think these colors look so good together.]

Here are the treats for Son No. 1’s class. Same basic idea, but she used gold cord instead of ribbon. (I really like this photo!)

[A box of goodies for all the kids.]

Christmas Goodies for Teachers and Students

Stay tuned for some great-looking photos of gifts my wife made for the boys’ teachers and fellow-students. They are awesome!

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