The afternoon was dedicated to another long held tradition... a family movie. For years we have enjoyed a family movie on Christmas Day and obviously this is getting to be a more popular idea around here since at today's showing of National Treasure II it was a full house and that was on two screens at the same time!
So now we are back home and gearing up for the last tradition of the day... Christmas night is for Roast Beef hash served with a fried egg on top. Yes, it's a bit odd but another of those things that the kids hold dear and it makes for a nice relaxing dinner time that is not bogged down in pomp and circumstance. A nice break indeed.
It's a break I need since in the net day or so I swing into what might be my most productive time of the year. .. ORGANIZING SEASON... yep.. It's the time I clean, purge, and put right the house in the vain hope of starting off the year on some note of organization. I haunt the Container Store website looking for just the right products and make my annual pilgrimage to the store in Atlanta to pick them up. I dust, I fluff and if you are not careful I fold your underwear into tidy Origami shapes!
Oddly enough I LOVE this time.. it totally brings out the "Martha" in me. While it would be hard to tell looking around my very busy home. I love things tidy to the point of OCD but I don't live that way and honestly don't think it's healthy in the big picture. When my house is totally spic and span you can be sure I am not spending at much time with my kids as I should. So for 11.5 months of the year I live to live and tidy as I can but for two weeks all bets are off. I shall post up some photos as I go :)
Tooooo cute.. I am loving the time I have spent crafting and the stuff I have made. I had to be up early this morning to take Doc to the airport so thought I would steal some early morning hours to craft alone. That did not really work out since 9 year old son got up and wanted to work on a project and be with me. This was really ok and he worked on a new Christmas stocking while I worked on this very cute bib for a rockin little baby of a sweet friend of mine. ( So if you happen to petite, cute, have a baby girl and a husband who is a doctor drop by some time.. I have a bib for your sweet baby!) The bib is made from some of my vintage sheets and was fast and easy to make and I might just have to make a few more!
The rest of our day was spent hanging with my " sister of the heart" ( Hi Kay!) and her wonderful kids. It's never enough time and I totally understand the kids when they whine that "we just got started" even when we have been together for 4 hours!
The evening went by quick and more crafting was taken on with one fatal flaw being that I have run out of crafting funds! *pan to quick shot of Maddie with hands on cheeks in OH NO! ~ala, Home Alone pose*. Yes, dear reader Maddie has blown the December/holiday crafting budget and is now firmly in the *shop at home* zone. This is not the worse thing that could happen and anyone who knows what sort of crafting supply stash I have knows that I am not exactly sitting on my last spool of thread or anything but geesh!..
So in the *Use What-cha Got* spirit I pulled out a pack of charm squares ( don't know what a Charm pack is?... well.. A charm square is a square piece of fabric; it can be any size, but is usually 2 to 6 inches. A Charm Square Pack is a bunch of charm squares. Currently, charm packs from the fabric manufacturer are popular. The packs include a square of fabric from each material in a fabric line. For example, Moda's Chocolat line has 50 prints, so the charm pack includes a 5 inch square of each print. It is an easy way to get variety in your projects. If you love a fabric line, it's a great way to get a little piece of all of it. )
This charm pack happened to have 42 prints in it and had been resting on my shelf for the better part of a year just waiting till it was called into action. Well tonight was the night and I started making some very cool retro-looking drink coasters. This of course meant I needed something to line them so once again I drove back into my wreckage of a studio and came up with some heavy flannel that had been there so long that I *think* it might have been some of the flannel I had used to sew hourglass diapers for the boys. ... For those handy with the math that means that this flannel was quite possibly 18 years old!.. but still looking good it was pressed into the service to be the lining of my coasters. They turned out great and I even took some shots along the way so I can put together a quick tutorial if I can find some time the the next few days.
But now the hour draws late and my pillow calls to me... good night sweet friend and crafters... we shall meet again tomorrow!
What i can show you is a project that has been languishing for a while but that I can now cross off my " I will do that someday" list. It's my Oh-so-very retro yardstick holder. This project was a real low key affair but ever since I found this piece of needle point at the thrift I have wanted to make it into something useful but cute. It finally occurred to me that it's shape was perfect for making a yardstick holder very much like the one my mom had in her kitchen for years. Of course mom's was made of burlap with little ceramic mushrooms down the front. Just give it time.. it will also come back in style.
This piece has a very Japanese craft book feel to the design but alas it was never finished and over time it has taken on a very serious wonk to the shape. But never mind.. I paired it up with some nifty quiting cotton and zipped it together and hung it up. I then went and dug up a yard stick and we will call this project done!
As I age the changes in my body and it's mechanics have been less than enjoyable. Over all I honestly don't mind aging and am looking forward to me 40th Birthday in a few weeks. What has not been so fun is the headaches, water weight gain and all the other details that have to do with "being a girl".
While it's commonly thought that the small statue known as The Venus of Wilendorf was a tribute to the feminine divine I personally hold the theory that this was a woman 2 day before her cycle. Two water logged cranky days. She is naked because not even her loin cloth fit since she was retaining more water than the Fertile Crescent during flood season and she just could not take it anymore. I feel for you sister!
Last night was "date night' here at Chez Kertay so that means that the Doc and I headed out for 2 hours of kid free eating. This means we are also free from poop jokes, nose harp playing and all the other joys of our usual family dinner time.
Normally we are not too adventurous and stick to a very nice local Thai place or a lovely restaurant down town. It's not that we don't like to eat, in fact we pick both of those places since the food is always good and it's QUIET. Most restaurants these days are so loud that you can't even hear yourself think. For this reason we avoid most chain restaurants. Last night was the exception. We had two hours within which to eat and to do two errands and make it back to pick up our fencer from practise. This meant that we needed to eat on the side of town where the errands were to be run.
This put us out in the mall area. Now anyone who knows me knows that I would rather chew off my left arm than to go into the mall, I will avoid it at all costs no matter the season and the holidays makes it ten times worse. Needless to say I held out little hope for the mall area restaurants but PF Changs did not look too busy. Now this was odd. Since the moment this massive restaurant opened it's been packed to the gills with 1-2 hour waits at a minimum. I will not wait that long to give birth so I sure an not going to wait that long for food not matter how they mix my "Chang sauce"
As blessings would have it is was awful out last night. Cold, wettish and windy. With just enough of all three to make you really want to stay home. So I guess that is what people did since there was NO wait. We walked in and were seated in less than 1 minute. This was my first time at "The Chang" as my teens call it. Yes, I know. I might be the last person on earth to have eaten there. Please refer back to my "mall issues" and "noisy restaurant issues" for further clarification on the matter.
Once seated a very nice waitress greeted us promptly, got our drink orders and was back in a proper amount of time. This was a nice change from my typical experience in a large chain restaurant ( insert horrid flashback to Cheescake Factory meal of two years ago). It was loud but honestly I will chalk that up to the dinners around us. WHY OH WHY people must you talk on your cell phone while eating dinner??.. I looked around and there was not a table where somebody was not conversing into a borg like appendage hooked to their ear or crooking their neck to pin their phone between ear and shoulder so that they could stuff their face at the same time. WHY ??????????????????
Anywhooooooo.. I was not overly hungry but the fried dumplings were calling my name so I got those with some nice brown rice. I had forgotten how much I love brown rice on a cold wet day. I mean it's fine on any day but a hot bowl of brown rice when it's cold and wet... heaven! Les got one of their flat breads stuffed and then grilled... Asian soft taco anyone?.. and some Calamari. Everything was hot, well presented and the night made for some interesting people watching and a bit of conversation when things died down to a a dull roar. The restaurant was only half full so I can't imagine how noisy it is on a full night and hope to never find out. But I do hope to go back some time soon. I will just have to watch for another miserable weather night to have my best shot at getting a seat!
If you will excuse me know I am going to roll myself into my craft room and hope that magic pixies were working on all my projects while I was snarking back turkey and some nice wine.
Try for a romantic night with the husband and end up with a stomach bug.
Think you are going to create a *less stressful* holiday by taking the handmade pledge and end up in a quandary of anxiety that you are not making stuff that is *nice enough*
In here some where is a cosmic message but it feels more like telegram from Monty Python.
To do the art we are using another awesome resource filled with some of Eric's best tissue papers all bound up and ready for use in many many many craft projects. We have had this book of tissue paper for at least 6 years and are just now running it dry, but I hope to find another one very soon. Some of my favorite kids art work has been created with this tissue paper. Above are two of today's collage treasures, wonderful, no??
Tonight I spent some time working on the the pot holders of previous mention, and spent even more time fussing at the bias tape I was trying to sew around the borders. This was not going well for a variety of reasons and in the end I decided to hand sew the second side for a smother finish.
Now this was ok with me since I happen to be one of those rare birds that really enjoys handsewing. I find it oddly relaxing so did not see the need of doing so as a burden. My exit from my seat in front of the machine into my *comfy chair* was questioned by my youngest budding stitcher-man and I explained that I was going to sew the backs of each of the *new-vintage* potholders by hand. Young stitcher-man seemed to satisfied and went off to find his brother and inform him of my change of plans. Soon I hear him talking with his brother explaining that I was doing a ~hand job~ on each of the potholders to make them nicer for all my friends.
Yes my dear friends.. here at Domestic Anarchy there shall be no pot-holder without a ~hand job~ and that's the way we like it!
Now.. the sun is setting, I am pulling on a sweater, some woolly socks, lighting some candles... yes... you know what's coming... SEWING!... Hopefully some grand photos to show soon.. I am forcing the kids into action to buy my new camera this week..I miss it soooooooo.
To say that I am a wee bit distractable is an understatement, so while being shackled to a silly little digital box is not my idea of high style I really do get so much more done, feel better and am more productive that it's really is my *have to have* accessory for any season. But alas it's missing..gone.. I cannot find it! Oh course I am making due with the kitchen timer but I cannot hear that from all parts of the house and this means I am going to have to go buy another. Of course this also chaps my hide to no end since the MINUTE I buy another one the lost little bugger is going to show up in some odd but evident place. This is the game I play with the universe, and right now the universe is winning.
Divine, is it not? such a devotion to home and how it feels.... I could just read this sort of stuff all day...and even beter she is having a wee bit of a contest!.. For the contest I chose this *puttery treat*
Subtly change the signature scent your house wears to something a little less fresh than that you chose in the summer. Add amber, musk, orange, eucalyptus, pine, cinnamon or other spices to your base fragrance (mines lavender and I use amber, musk and cinnamon) to gently mark the change of season. Bake thin slices of fruit for hours at a time to fragrance the house for a special occasion, or burn incense for the sheer smoky scent of it.
It really was the best of timing since I had just pulled out one of my favorite Fall/Winter home scents. Claire Burke Original home scent , how to describe.... it's how everything Fall should smell when I conjure up *home* in my mind. I really enjoy the timeless scent of roses, lavender and spice blended with patchouli and vetiver. Heck I don't even know what vetiver is but ..it's really working in this combination.
I think that BrocanteHome is right on the money when she suggests that a home should have different scents for different seasons. Of course no scent can be above that of a clean home, but past clean is the feeling that a warm glowing scent gives a home. So while I might not be able to bake bread all day everyday and the dog ate the lavender sachets that I hid under the sofa cushions. I can count on this little bit of oil on a light ring to bring a soothing touch to my home during these colder months.
Me?... well I have decided to have a good time anyway. So some snuggly reading on the the sofa with the drippy nose boys, then a few loads of laundry, finish up the painted hutch.. new handles!... ( it's looking great!)... made some bread, read with the boys some more, did some math with Chris, worked on some embroidery and even snuck in some knitting. For a bad day it does not get much better than that!
Alas this will be a photo-free post since my teens broke my camera...it was an accident and they are buying me another one but for now it means that you will have to use your imagination when I tell you about all the swell things going on here in the Domestic Anarchy workroom. ...uhh Ok..that would be a lie.. I have gotten so little done that it's not even funny and in many ways it throws me into a fit of depression that I am doing my best to crawl back out of.
For me crafting/creating it life blood and to have days and days pass when I have no time for it makes me sad. But never fear I do have some fun times on the horizon since I am hosting an embroidery workshop next week and am taking a card crafting demo in the same week. I have high hopes that these two things will help boost my crafting soul at least a bit.
It's all not to say that I have not gotten anything done. In fact after 5 years of serious hate I finally painted the Oak hutch in my dinning room. Now I will be the first to say that there was nothing *wrong* with the hutch as it was except for the fact that is was Oak.. I hate oak.. in fact I pretty much dislike all natural woods. I am much more Swedish in my tastes and prefer to have my wood swathed in a nice coat of creamy paint. ** we will now take a moment for all tree huggers to cancel their feeds to my blog due to this revelation **.. ok!..
Now that is' just us paint-luvin folk I will let you know that I painted it a very pale gray that has some serious purple undertones to match a small striped in the curtins of the room. Now before you gasp... as I did when first painting it on... it actually has come out looking quite swank... after the paint I distressed it, and then buffed the whole thing with tinted glazed. I must have done pretty good since my 17 year old said that I should consider doing that *stuff* for a living.. high praise from him! I promise photos soon as my rug rats cough up a new camera for me!!!... Next...the table!!!!
Of course I will now have to go back and reread the book since I am unable to think of anything that would ever raise an eyebrow in this book. And yet it seems the posting mother took offense to the fact that one of the children was sassy and the other rolled his eyes at his mother.
Oh shock... sassy pioneer children!... Honestly this seems pretty honest to me. I have a hard time thinking that pioneer children actually lead the sanitized life that we were fed in the form of Little House on the Prairie. I am sure that over the course of history thousands of pioneer children mouthed off, slacked on their chores and had a moment or two of sassy mouthed behavior. To say they didn't and edit it out of history all together is just another form of the white-washing of American history and this does little good for our children or for ourselves.
For our children the removal of any traits that involve negative actions makes these characters so far removed from their life that it makes them difficult to relate to or to learn from. I mean if little Sally pioneer never whimpered a tear even after a rabid raccoon bites her how is the average child to feel when they fall and skin their knee and feel the need to sob about it for a bit?. Are they less than that little girl of *oh so fine Pioneer stock* who is reported to be stoic beyond measure and just fine with helping pa plow the back 40 with just a simple bandage to stem the flow of blood? Of course this is an exaggeration but there is truth hidden in my snide commentary and when children are exposed over and over again to overly perfected characters they are not bettered for it. Better we should see little Sally work through her problems, cry a little, perhaps even say a sassy word or two then work through to a more realistic answer to her problems.
For mothers I think the subject is even more complex and even deeper and darker for those who homeschool and spend their time reading to their sometimes sassy mouthed children about children who never do wrong. It's subtle, but soon after reading to much of white washed childhoods you start to wonder why your kid grumbles when asked to take of the trash when young "Jeth" in the book you are reading to the kids can spend 5 hours chopping wood with nary a complaint. Why are your kids begging for yet another transformer, Lego set, water gun while acting like they are dying when young Pioneer children were happy with just an orange and a new pair of socks at Christmas? Well is obvious your children are ungrateful, spoiled and you yearn to go live in the woods and teach them a lesson!!
Let's get real, Pioneer children bitched, they ditched, and at times I am sure they rolled their eyes and had a sassy mouth. It's what children learn from our response to these expressions that shapes them into the people they become. And I am sure the same was true to pioneer children.
Building on the parts we loved from last year ( literature based learning) and removing the drudgery and adding tons of hands one stuff we are going with WinterPromise http://www.winterpromise.com/ Sea and Sky. Adding the expansion packs for younger and older kids I will be able to do, Sam, Greg and Chris with tons of stuff that appeals to each kid. Gregory is beside himself with excitement about this program and I will totally cop to the fact that it's a very * boy* centered program with lots about boats and planes. Lucky for me this program already uses the Language arts we already have and blends well with quite a few of our on hand resources.
It was not cheap but three kids worth of stuff, including 63 books, guides, and a few computer CD's came in a bit under $800 so about $275 per kid for the year... oh yeh.. then add on 1 MUS book... so about $300 per kid for the year.
Claire is another ball of wax and we are sitting down to look at her college prep course credit sheet and work on how she is going to fill it. She has decided on an accelerated pace and then adding some courses at Chatt state into the mix starting in the Fall. She is going to do 3 credit hours this Summer with Economics, (using the book * What ever happened to Penny Candy as the spine of that course.) English II, survey of modern American writers, and an Elective, Clothing construction 101June July and August will make up our Summer but I suspect we will dive back into a bit of schooling in August. I am sure that they younger one's would like to start back earlier but the mom needs a break and some time to get some work done around the house.
The project at hand was building out the master bedroom water closet. Not a huge space, but one packed with all sorts of challenges. I started with a place looking pretty much like this, slanted ceiling, wonky walls and tons of potential.
The next step was the inspiration. It came from a quilt I had gotten for our bed. Very sweet and very summery with just the right vintage tones and patterns.
Then 30ish hours of work later with a little help from the cats
I bring to you the water closet of our new masterbathroom!
Please step inside, sorry there is not much room in here.. but it's a one seater as they say. Points of interest are....
My too cute toilet paper holder, which began it's life at HomeGoods as a piece of garden statuary I scored it for $20 since it had a small chip out of the back. And while you are looking this way please notice the curtains made out of a white quilted vintage bedspread that I picked up at the local thrift store for a steal of a deal.
Look a bit to your left... see that door in the wall?
Can you guess what that is???
Why yes, it's a place to hide all of those things that nobody needs to see in the bathroom. The Hy-dit was very easy to install and I am going to put one in each of our bathrooms as soon as I get a chance. They are made as a product that goes in AFTER the drywall.. making it an easy project for anybody but the most fearful DIYER.
The biggest compromise of the project was the flooring. In a perfect world I would have wanted ceramic tile on the floor but given the subtle movement of our old house that would not have been an easy option. So I picked out a very high quality (thick) vinyl in 12x12 size. It went it well, looks good and will be easy to keep clean...what more can you ask?
Of course the pay off in any building project is getting to put in the fun accessories. Which of course means a whirl wind shopping trip to my local Antique/junk haunts and of course Homegoods and TJ Maxx!
The ceramic compote was won in a silent auction at a local charity event but the Potpourri came from Homegoods. The metal locker basket (seen furtherback) full of TP came from a local Antique place and I scored it for 75% off!.. Anybody who collects those knows they are getting hard to find and even harder to afford!
The black urn with roses was from Tj Maxx and the little nest was a sweet little bit from on top of a gift I got last year.
As a last peek I leave you with a shot of the ceiling and one of the roses that is making a break for it!
Because life should always be fun.
Oh, oh oh.... I want things to slow down and I want to slow down with them. I want to go work in the garden and to sit in the sun ( over course with SPF 30 slathered on!).. but my day gave me time for neither and once again I am back to the place of figuring out what to adjust or cut out of my life to make some time for my life! ~sigh~
Greg had a great birthday and raised $165 for Heifer International with the donations that were brought by all of his awesome friends. He is still high on the fact that he is going to be able to by a mating pair of goats for some family and that simple act will give them the best chance they have ever had at a stable life. Just think.. if each kid dedicated only of birthday to such an event like Greg did what sort of powerful change would that bring about?
We have just about nailed down the plans for the new pool. This inground pool stuff is complicated business and is taking quite a bit of time but I think will be well worth it. Last step is choosing a slide.. Cha-ching!
I got my hair cut ~ yes I know ~ I very much needed a cut but was having a hard time finding time but knew that it was a code red when I saw that last shot of myself looking a wee bit haggard and split-endy. So envision if you will.. 6 inches less hair and me looking about 5 years younger. It's a good thing! Photos as soon as my little photographer gets up in the morning.
The puppy is growing by leaps and bounds and is now 22 pounds and quite full of himself... at the moment he is running hells-bells around the room gathering all the shoes and taking them back to his cage... pardon me a moment while I go fetch my foot wear!
A bit of thrifting has been happening and I will shoot photos tomorrow... but since I am a tease, think vintage buttercup yellow rick rack, sweet little millinary birds, tatted pillow cases and milk glass in multiple forms!... ha!.. betcha come back to see that!
On the DIY front today was productive but not overwhelming. I hung two windows worth of wooden plantation blinds, installed the Hy-dit in our masterbathroom and installed recirculation vents for Claire's bedroom.
So there you go.. you know it all, now you can sleep with a clear mind and pure soul! *grin*
So here on the homefront things have been intense but in a domestic sort of way. Stressful yes, but easy to deal with in the light of everything else. Workmen will be here again today and I have high hopes that we will soon be done with the renovations upstairs. Wed. is Greg's b-day and his party and today we are going to a train trip. Some time in there I need to get my hair cut and so does Claire. Seeeeee... I told you.. intense, but blissfully domestic.
I give you the wonderful package from Sharolyn... as promised in my last post. I am doing my best to share this photo out of Photobucket since it seems I have no longer welcome to post photos directly in blogger... I have no idea what is wrong!
Here is an upclose and somewhat scary photo of me wearing the great pin that she sent!
and since we are on a roll the apron I made last week from a tea towel.. modeled by my sweet daughter with the demonic eyes ( yes I know how to fix that, i am just to lazy right now :)
And yes, my book cases are that awful... I shall have to get to that very soon!