December 29, 2013

handmade holidays part two

For the little girls I made earwarmer headbands and beanies. I love how the crochet flowers turned out. For the flowers I used a tutorial  I found on youtube. I tried to follow a written pattern, however I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. I am a visual learner. Anyways, I really like how these earwarmer headbands turned out and I think once the holiday rush is over I'll make myself a pair.

December 27, 2013

Handmade Holidays

When it's cold outside, there is nothing better than cuddling up for a long winter's nap. This year our family decided to do a "nice" white elephant gift exchange. When shopping for white elephant gift exchanges I love looking for unique - but nice - items. I'm not fond of gag gifts - I hate giving them and I hate receiving them. They are a waste of money. I had everything I needed to make these lovely little pillows on hand. I think they turned out nicely and I might go ahead and make myself a set for the guest room.

December 26, 2013

Family Zoo Day

The day after Christmas we woke up early, packed Lucas up in the car and drove down to the San Diego Zoo to spend time with family. It was a beautiful day, with perfect weather and sunny skies. Many of the animals were out and about soaking up the sun. Lucas enjoyed running, jumping and quacking at the ducks. By late afternoon, Lucas (and Mommy) were exhausted and ready for the long car ride home.

Merry Christmas from the Harrisons

If you didn't get a Christmas card from the Harrisons...don't worry, we are still friends. This year I really dropped the ball on the Christmas chores. We did get the house decorated, the tree set up, and the outdoor lights up, however the Christmas cards, baking, and gift shopping was put off until the last minute. In addition, I have completely ignored Thursday's Child. This year our Christmas celebrations stretched over a period of two days. Christmas eve day we spent the afternoon with my parents, than Christmas eve we partied with my husband's family. On Christmas day, we quickly opened gifts at home before jetting off to brunch with Dadi and Dada. We ended Christmas day with a family party at my Grandma's house. It was truly a Christmas miracle that I made it though the past couple of days with my insanity intact.

With everything we had going on, I became a grumpy, stressed out Mommy. Just ask my husband. I was so stressed about making sure I got gifts for everyone on my list (within our mere budget), and that those gifts got to the intended recipient, that I never got the chance to sit back and enjoy Christmas. So now...on December 26th I am going to sit back with a cup of hot chi and relax by my beautiful tree and enjoy what little I have left of this holiday season. 

November 30, 2013

Church Advent Calender

One year ago I had never heard of an Advent calender. Now I know too much about Advent calenders. For an example, the tradition of the Advent calender started in Germany in the 19th century as a way for people to count down the days until Christmas. A couple of weeks ago I agreed to create an Advent calender for our church's Sabbath school program. I did some research and decided to recreate a calender from The Land of Nod. Each day 1-24 has its own pocket. I made the pockets extra large because it was for a church program (church program + lots of kids = a need for large pockets). I'm happy with how this project turned out, and maybe...maybe...after I recover from the frustration of cutting and sewing 25 pockets I might make myself a calender for my family. :)

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving with the Harrison's

Happy Thanksgiving ya'll. 

My mom has a Thanksgiving tradition where every year we write what we are thankful for on a table cloth. This tradition started long ago, and has continued to this day. As I sat down for Thanksgiving lunch, I saw my clumsy seven year old handwriting scrawling across the table. I was thankful for my dog Honey, my pony Bambie and for my family. Later, while indulging in a delicious slice of chocolate pie topped with a slice of pumpkin pie I read another entry on the table where I was thankful for new opportunities. This entry was dated November 2007. I was in college and I was having a rough year. So what am I thankful for now in 2013? 

I am thankful for my family. 
I am thankful for our home. 
I am thankful for our friends. 
I am thankful for our parents - who guide us with their wisdom. 

November 23, 2013

Song of Solomon 3:4

After months of planning and preparing, I finally took the plunge and started this project.  I haven't painted on canvas since high school. I'm not naturally artistic, and I can't draw to save my life. However, I did not let my lack of artistic talent deter me from creating this fine piece of art! As much as I love 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, its been done. I wanted something unique, especially for my bedroom. I chose Song of Solomon 3:4 because it truly expresses how I feel about my husband. He is my soul mate, one of my greatest blessings and the best thing to have ever happened to me. 

November 21, 2013

it's fall ya'll

With cozy sweaters and fuzzy boots, warm drinks and pumpkin pies, fall is my favorite time of the year. About a month ago I stumbled across (on pinterest...of course) some cute fall activity to-do lists for the family. This inspired me to create my own list for my family. Now that Lucas is older, he is able to enjoy and participate in our family outings which adds to the fun! So without further adieu ado here is my list...

1. final trip to the San Diego Safari Park....

....go to a pumpkin patch....

....have a photo shoot in a leaf pile....
it was the best I could do

....Pumpkin Carving....

....Halloween Costume Photo Shoot/Preparing for Trick-or-Treaters/Waiting for Auntie's and Muncles....

....bake fall cookies....

....attend a fall concert....

....attend LSUC fall festival....

October 29, 2013

Halloween Art

With the weather change, I've been feeling motivated to finish a few of my projects. Last Thursday Lucas turned 18 months and I recorded his little baby footprints on black paper. I was going to use his footprints for my scrapbook, however after snooping around on pinterest I found something better to do with the prints. I painted an old picture frame, drew on on two eyes and a mouth, dated the print and sat back to enjoy my first piece of Halloween art. :)       

October 16, 2013

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

"Fall of Giants" is a fantastic novel by Ken Follett. Set in the early 20th century, this book follows the lives of five families through the first World War, the Russian Revolution, the labor unions and the struggle for women's suffrage.

This is my third Ken Follett novel, and I've come to enjoy his writing style, attention to historical detail and character development. This book is well researched. It does cover a great deal of history and has a large cast of characters. However, even with such a large cast of characters, I never had the problem of forgetting someone or becoming lost in one of the many subplots.

 Earl Fitzherbert's character begins the story as a product of his time. He is a proper British gentleman, and resists the idea of social reform. Aside from his infidelity, he really isn't an unpleasant character. During the war, he fights bravely and with honor. However, as the novel goes on...Fitzherbert's character changes. He becomes more of a villain and his only interest is self preservation.

Maud Fitzherbert and Ethel Williams had a good thing going for them. I wish their characters had been able to reconcile their differences. I feel as if Follett wanted the readers to side with Ethel - the hard working single mothe, vs. Maud - the sister of a wealthy Earl.

In order to include real historical events, some of the happenstance meetings between characters are a bit contrived.  

The book did end with a cliff hanger and I'm looking forward to diving into the second book of this series.

October 10, 2013

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

It has been one year since the death of the Lord Ruler, and already things aren't looking good for Elend, Vin and the rest of Keliser's old crew. This book is all about surviving in the aftermath of the Skaa rebellion and learning that when it's your turn to actually rule its not as easy as it looks. There are three armies camped outside of Luthadel, the mists are killing people and Vin must find the infamous Well of Ascension before it is too late. 

This book has a lot of soul searching, especially between the main characters. The majority of the real action doesn't happen until the last hundred pages of the book. 

As I read this book, I could imagine it as a TV show on the CW network. There is a son-wanting-to-kill the father subplot, the brother vs. brother subplot, the Vin and Elend romance and lastly the Vin and Zane romance. 

This book was predictable. I'm not a fan of Sanderson's method of telling the the audience the story vs. allowing the audience to see/experience the story. Dose that make any sense?? 

I really liked OreSeur's character. His story was the only one that came as a surprise. I hope to see more of him in the "Hero of Ages." 

September 26, 2013

the pj project...

I've been thinking about making pj's for the younger kids in my family for Christmas. Before committing to the project, I decided to make a trial pair of pj's for Lucas. I had just enough left over fabric from a previous project for these pj's. It took two afternoon (nap-times) to complete this project, several ripped seams and poked fingers. However, I'm happy with the end results and now I know that I can sew pj's for children. 

September 23, 2013

Tea Tray

I'm so excited to share my latest creation on this blog! It was a fun project.  I made this tray for my Mother-in-law's birthday. Several weeks ago, Lucas and I were strolling down the woodworking section of Michaels. I was actually looking for shelving ideas and toys boxes for Lucas's bedroom. Although I didn't find what I was looking for, I did come across this little beauty (at the time it was unfinished). I loved the idea of gifting this tray to my Mother-in-law. She is a tea drinker, and often hosts parties where tea is served. After a quick trip to pinterest for painting tips and inspiration, I knew that I had to do this project.

I started by sanding down the edges and surface area of the tray. I did this several times to ensure that I didn't miss any spots. 

 I created the Chevron pattern by drawing three vertical lines. Than I drew three horizontal lines. Next I took my ruler, and drew diagonal lines. 

Once I drew my lines, I taped them off. Before I started painting I pressed the edges of the tape firmly down sealing the tape to the surface of the wood. I painted with the chalkboard paint first. The chalkboard paint needed about three coats of paint. I let the chalkboard paint dry over night, as was suggested by the directions on the paint bottle. After allowing the chalkboard paint to dry overnight, I re-taped my lines and painted with the blue paint. In hindsight, it would have been easier if I had first painted the surface blue, than taped my lines, and than painted with the black paint. However, it worked out and my lines are near perfect. I used behr semitransparent natural ceder wood stain for the top, bottom and sides of the tray. After allowing everything to dry overnight, I sprayed the entire tray with Thompson's water seal. 

I'm really happy with how this project turned out. It is a special, one of a kind gift - for a special one of a kind person!