Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Valentine's Gift is in the Mail! (No Peeking Jen)

I signed up for my first online "swap." I have a buddy from Buda, Texas, and our mission was to swap valentine's goodies that represent "All that we love" like craft supplies, household decor, handmade or thrifted items, that kind of thing. I hope she likes it! I am happy that we are starting February tomorrow---I've been feeling blue for long enough and am ready for PINK!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wrapping up Blue & White January

It was almost the end of the month before I found the idea to make an inspiration board! This is all new to me, ha ha!

At the start of the month, I scoured my stuff looking for light blue things. I was surprised at how inspiring it was just to group things together. This simple grouping planted the seeds for a lot of ideas for me.

I started to see inspiration all around me.

Several blue projects, including the bon bon rings and the candle project. I've always wanted to be more creative, and I never considered that simply doing another person's project idea from a book, magazine or blog could jog my own creativity as much as it has.

A card and tag I made, inspired by all these great blogs I have been reading.

My blue guy, partially inspired by my YOC swap partner who is into felting, and partially by my son, who thought it would be cool if I made and angel out of it.

Another craft idea from the YOC blog.

A blue pirate layout, in progress.

A sweet tin of bird stickers I found at Paper Thread on a lovely shopping trip with the girls last weekend at Polaris Mall.

The afghan I made for my older son as a baby.

I have been learning how useful an inspiration journal is. I did one a long time ago when we were first furnishing our house, but now I am seeing the use of trying to do a page a day.

The print from a vintage day dress I own. I know that I never considered these prints as much as I do now.

Cover of a bulk lot of vintage sheet music I acquired. I copied and used the bird image in my inspiration journal. I never realized how beautiful sheet music can be in crafting.

Natural beauty. This month's artistic pursuits have kept me uplifted. This view from my back window a year ago would have been, well, rather oppressive considering how cold and snowy it's been. Now I see it all in a new light.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Monday was Chinese New Year

Welcome to our 5th snow day of the year. It's getting old. This week, to combat the boredom of being stuck indoors I came to the decision that as a family we are going to celebrate all the holidays! Actually it's an easy way to teach the kids about different cultures.

We spent our morning watching "Kung Fu Panda." I applaud Po the Panda, because for the first time ever the boys want to try Chinese food, esp. dumplings. So probably Saturday we'll either head out for Chinese or pick up some carryout. I'll also try to pick up a cd from the library with traditional Chinese music.

Earlier in the week we made these cool paper lanterns. We got the basic idea from Ni Hao Kai Lan's website on, but used red paper that we stamped with Chinese characters that Auntie Caroline gave mommy earlier this year. Then you just fold the paper in half and clut slits into it. You can get lots of ideas on for all kinds of kids crafts. Here are Chinese New Year Ideas from Kaboose.

I got the idea for this banner out of my own head! We took a piece of felt and glued an old chopstick to either end, rolling the fabric to look like a banner. Then we colored a picture of an ox that we found on Activity Village and cut that out and pasted it to our banner. We used some gold glitter glue to write ox, because it is of course the year of the ox. And then tied it up at the top with a bit of gold trim. We also printed off several more coloring pages.

I thought I'd throw in this pretty picture of a koi pond we saw when we stopped over in Chattanooga, Tennessee a couple of years ago. It is part of a garden area at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, which is a hotel now.

I am starting to see a real need to celebrate every day in some way with the kids, even if it is by doing something very small. You don't need a lot of money. All the things I mention in this post were made with stuff we already had, and were fairly easy to make. Also, the projects are easy to put together quickly, and young children really like things like that.

Finally, where would we be without Wikipedia? Read all about Chinese New Year, or "Spring Festival" here. As I gaze out over the frozen landscape, I absolute love the idea that somewhere it is spring.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Finally, a snowball fight!

A lot of snow fell a couple of weeks ago, but since then the temps have been dipping into the low teens or lower most days, rendering the snow into useless powder even if the boys were allowed to go play in it. Finally we got some good packing snow! We built this snowman and named him Edward, before I taught them how to have a proper snowball fight. Edward was built on a 50 degree day, and how lucky is he that the temperature dropped into the 20's for the weekend? He should be with us at least until Wednesday, I figure.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blue crafts

Part of my goal to make a craft a day, and all of these are from the past week or so. The image of the Victorian lady was from the Year of Color blog, so I made a blank card from it. I think I will do that every month.

These are called felt bon bon rings. I'll probably make a few more and save them as gifts.

This was my favorite thing. I was trying to have an "old fashioned" morning with the boys the other day when school was out, so I decided to make a little blue guy out of felt. Zack asked if I was making and angel and I thought, hey that's a great idea!

Today will be hard to scrape a little time together. At 9:15 the school called to tell me to come get my sick son, so that's not great. Today we have a short doc appointment and tomorrow is my son's loooooong ophthalmologist appointment to endure. Hopefully I'll still be able to do a couple of things while they sleep.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow and Ice

My goal has been to do a craft project every day. Some days all I can come up with is to hang a few doilies.

Today the outdoors was utterly more inspiring than the indoors. I should have liked to take a winter walk, but was glued to the televison, you know, watching history and all.

God Bless America, God Bless President Obama and his family, and God Bless President Bush and his family too.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Paper Snowflakes

Zack and I decorated the window yesterday; snowflakes to match the snow outside. Thank goodness they had school today. Hey, it was "only" -1 this morning!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Icy blue days

It's an icy day in Columbus. If you like fractals you might like my photos of the little tree outside.

I also finished my first project from Kari's "Year of Color" blog, this candle luminary thingy. My goal I think is to make these little projects throughout the year so that I have a stash ready for gifts next Christmas. I was recently reading that ladies of the Victorian era started planning their Christmas gifts in July, because they had to make everything. What a pleasant thought!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On the twelfth day of Christmas...

...we put our last decoration, the manger, away.

I hope everyone's Christmas tide was as fine and excellent as mine was!


This month we are doing the color blue, so I am trying to get into the mood. Husband and I went on our first date in 8 months the other night, and ended up at Easton, where they just built a Tiffany's! I had never been to Tiffany's before. The blue awnings are part of my blue inspiration. There were all sorts of sparkly things inside too, but the small army of guards really was opposed to the taking of pictures in there, lol.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A blog group

I joined a blog group this year! It is hosted by Artsymama (Kari) and is called "A Year of Color." She will be doing different activities and tutorials every week, all based around a color or color scheme for each month. If you are looking for a bit of inspiration check it out!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Only New Year's Resolution

My one and only resolution this year is to focus on abundance and not on lack. In other words, I never want to be so consumed with things that aren't going my way that I become blind to all the wonderful things around me. When you focus on lack, you attract more lack. And I especially have no time to go back and rehash all the past things that didn't work out either. I am here, now, and here is good! 2008 was arguably one of the best years of my life, and I look to 2009 to continue that trend. All that I have is all that I need, and for that I thank the Lord.