Thursday, December 31, 2009


I have been reflecting over the last few days about this past year. It was definitely a year of challenges and tests for our family. Christine's illness, my husband's months-long absences, a move, and loss which I had not yet shared here. . . it was a lot.

But it was also a year of awakening and blessings. I learned to appreciate our health, even when it is not quite perfect. There are so many others that have bigger crosses to carry.

My new friends

Why didn't I know about these guys sooner? Since I've been aquainted with the Jean-a-ma-jig / Hump Jumper, I no longer cringe at sewing over thick (denim) seams. My blood pressure thanks you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Meet the Happy Chef

I'd say the apron and toque went over very well with Monkey 7, wouldn't you? (Sorry for the crummy mobile photo. . . my camera DIED on Christmas morning, of all days.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last minute Christmas sewing: Peek III

I'm in the home stretch. I finished three of these sweet little skirts for Monkey 5 in just a couple of hours. I used the free Lazy Days Skirt pattern from Oliver + S. SO easy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last minute Christmas sewing: Peek I

Every year, I start with the best of intentions, even as early as October, hunting down patterns and tutorials, sketching plans, buying supplies. . . and then nothing. December comes, and I avoid looking at the untouched piles of fabric, balls of polyfil and unopened padded envelopes from Etsy suppliers stacked on the corner of my desk.

I'm very, very late in crafting our Christmas gifts this year. But I am determined to make a handmade gift for each of my Monkeys! I am keeping it simple, and am making gifts that I know my children will like. . . no risky, over-complicated plans this year.

I just began last night.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fairy Drop Cookies. . . a family favorite

We like to try at least one new cookie recipe each year during our Christmas baking marathon. This year, we picked Fairy Drop cookies -- and I'm happy to say it has earned a spot on our yearly Must-Make list! It's a buttery cookie, with a shortbread-like crumb/texture. It's also very easy to make. One of my sweet teens made the above-pictured batch with the help of her 8 year-old sister.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chocolate chip scones

Chocolate chip scones from the recipe below.... 
the scone on the right has a drizzle of peanut butter glaze.  YUM!

No secret around there that scones are a family favorite -- and a staple. They are simple, quick and quite adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Mind you, my scones are not the fancy wedges you see at the bakery, although I suppose I could shape them that way. Being lazy, I just drop the dough onto a cookie sheet, like a drop biscuit, and they still turn out delicious. (And if you compare scone recipes with biscuit recipes, they are really quite similar!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some autumn swap goodies. . .

I received a sweet little package the other day -- all the way from Australia! -- from Harvey, who volunteered to angel for me after I was flaked on in the Can't Wait for Fall Swap. It arrived just in time! It brightened my day, and I love what she sent. . . .

A cute bracelet -- very pretty colors!

Some hot pads that I desperately needed. And I mean desperately! I had been using some several-year-old Christmas hot pads (year 'round) that were just plain ratty. Now I have these lovelies!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hard work

Pilfering Christmas cookies is really hard work.

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