Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back at 2009

2009 was an exceptional year, it really really was.

:: 2009 brought us our little ladybug... baby S if you will (the unattended home birth was a bit of a shock but just as wonderful as she was!). I didn't think that it was possible to love anyone as much as I love Sweet Pea but my heart surprises me sometimes. Sweet Pea also became a big sister and her own heart and capacity to love at such a young age surprised me, but more than that made me one proud mama.

:: I celebrated 4 years of marriage with my high school sweetheart. Who said puppy love cannot last?

:: I did make those two quilts that I had hoped to... and I have plans for many many more!

:: I reconnected with some lovely friends and wish I could have spent more time with others. Hopefully you all know who you are - I do love you and value your friendship!

:: I finished so many things including my CAPPA course and my dream of working from home became a reality as I opened the virtual doors to beebee buttercup
Here is wishing you and yours a lovely and safe 2010. I am off to make some more memories with my wonderful family!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Traditions Exchange

This year I participated in Meg's Holiday Traditions Exchange and I was really excited to be able to participate - last year I missed the sign up deadline. The idea behind the exchange is to send your partner one handmade holiday decoration, your favourite holiday recipe and a "tutorial" describing your favourite holiday tradition. It is so fun to find out how others celebrate the holidays. I was surprised that my traditions and those of my partner were quite similar! This is what I received, a beautiful crocheted snowflake garland and a recipe for some yummy Magic in the Middle cookies! (I can't wait to bake these)

This is the package that I sent off to my partner a few weeks back:

Included were 2 handmade potholders, some Christmas recipes and a letter describing my families favourite holiday traditions. I'll share the recipes:

Ginger Snaps
¾ cup butter 4 cups flour
¾ cup shortening 2 tspn. Baking soda
2 cups white sugar 2 tspn. Cinnamon
2 eggs 2 tspn. Ginger
½ cup molasses 2 tspn. Cloves
Cream together all ingredients on left side first then slowly add in flower and spices. Mix well. Cool in refrigerator about 1 hours. Roll into balls and dip in sugar. Do not press with a fork. Bake a t 350 for 10 min.

Freezer Cookies
2 tspn. Vanilla 2 cups white sugar
½ cup butter 5 tbspn. Coco
½ cup milk sprinkle of salt
3 cups oatmeal 1 cup coconut
Bring ingredients to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups oatmeal and 1 cup coconut. Cool slightly then drop onto wax or parchment paper. Let stand for 5 minutes, the freeze.

Oatmeal Cookies
¾ cup butter softened 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar ¾ tspn. Baking soda
½ cup white sugar 1 tspn. Cinnamon
1 egg 3 cups Oatmeal
2 tbspn. Water 1 ½ cups raisins or chocolate chips (optional)
2 tspn. vanilla
Beat the first 6 ingredients with mixer until creamy. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Drop dough by tablespoon onto greased baking sheets. Press flat for crispy cookies or leave mounded for chewy.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden (check after 8 minutes).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy - peaceful - holidays

I have had a wonderful couple of days with my little family - and I hope you did as well. Nick and I have been working so much we have hardly connected for the past couple of weeks so I took a little break from everything else (except laundry, cooking, and writing an exam) to soak in the joy of my beautiful babies and my wonderful husband.

I also indulged in a little reading time. I was gifted a copy of Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell and I have to say I loved every inch of it. I am feeling so completely inspired, I am regretting packing up my sewing machine (it is just temporary - as an incentive for me to finish writing my exam). Not only are the projects lovely, but the way this book is written speaks to me and just sets something off inside of me. I especially love reading about the various grassroots charities that are features in this book. Pure Heaven!

That being said I am going to go enjoy my own little peace of heaven and spend a few more days with my lovely family while we still have some time off together.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Celebrating... again

Today is another day for celebration in our home. First and foremost this is the wonderful day that gave us this man

Photo credit SC Photography

He is a husband, son, father, best friend, and the kindest soul that I know. Happy birthday hun! We had a lovely evening with most of our family last night and tonight will be a much quieter (ha! with 2 babies?) evening spent with our wee family of four. Chocolate pie is on the menu as per his request, I suppose he is tired of birthday cake already? Its only been one week!

Also on the menu are a few projects for the girls that I hope to have finished and under the tree by Friday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sweet Pea

I am preparing for the launch of the Sweet Pea Collection over at beebee buttercup and here is a little sneak peak at some of the tutu's that will be featured. Unfortunately by the time I can get them out to take pictures, my models are in bed! I expect the Sweet Pea Collection to be available January 2010, and by that time there will be pictures with models!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

26 and 2

Today we are celebrating 2 birthdays. 2 years ago today I went into the hospital being 23 years old and left at 24 with a daughter.... our beautiful Sweet Pea. She is officially no longer a baby, but a full on climbing, talking, attitude giving, beautiful, creative, caring, kind and loving two year old. How does that happen? It gives me so much joy to watch her grown and explore the world around her, she truly is a blessing and I thank the heavens for her every day.

This is her birthday table that she woke up to today. A handmade birthday crown (I used this tutorial and loved it), an embroidered backpack for all those trips to grandma's that an independent two year old can make (grandma only lives 1 km away), and an colouring book made by mama (its really just a pretty cover with a bunch of blank paper that I had bound at the local print shop. On a side note, if I knew that binding was so dirt cheap I would have been making myself books ages ago!).

And while I am on the topic of 2's and things with 2 in them... this is my 200th post! Fitting isn't it? I guess that is also something to celebrate.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Crafting and some links

I am having a lovely morning, Nick has the littles downstairs playing in front of the fireplace and I am doing some crafting in anticipation of a very special birthday around here.

First on my list is a birthday crown using Refugee Crafter's tutorial here. Aren't they the sweetest crowns? I just LOVE them.

In other news did you see that Nicole aka GardenMama is hosting another fabulous giveaway on her blog? You simply MUST check it out!

I'm off to get back to work and enjoy my Chai Latte compliments of Stephanie - how would I ever get my Starbucks fix if she didn't drive 45 min (both way) once a week to bring it to me? Oh, somedays I do think that my little town could benefit from an Sbucks!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Baking

Last weekend my mom and I undertook one of our largest holiday projects... the great Christmas cookie bake. This is a baking marathon (and I mean MARATHON - we should start training for it) in which we literally bake hundreds of cookies to give (and eat) over the holidays. On the menu this year were gingersnaps, oatmeal, chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate freezer cookies. YUM! Usually we do this in a single weekend but its a little hard to find a chunk of uninterrupted time that big these days so we stretched it out over the week.

Sweetpea helped by testing and Baby S stayed close to her mama in the Ergo to make sure I knew what I was doing. What would I do without those two girls?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

For Giving

I just finished this set of holiday potholders using my absolute favourite snowman fabric. I just love the colours. I used this tutorial and tried machine binding again. I was a bit nervous because with this method your stitches are visible on both sides of the binding which is completely new to me and I have to admit a little hard to get used to. Great method, but I think that I need more practice.

All in all they turned out well but the I have decided that I am a hand-binding kind of girl going forwards. It takes a lot longer for sure but its how I was taught and I really appreciate the look of it. Maybe I'll make a compromise on smaller projects and on non 'traditional' quilting projects I may attempt to machine bind again... I'll have to see. Machine binding controversy aside I think they look pretty darn nice! They are a gift and I hope the recipient thinks so as well.

I am hoping that I will be able to pop into this space a little more often in the next few weeks, goodness knows I will have a lot to share - if only I could find the time to take pictures of all of it before it leaves my home!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can you guess?

This is a project that I finished up last week. Unfortunately it left my house before I got a chance to take a picture of it and I will not have a picture with its new 'owner' until the new year. But in the interest of making amends for abandoning this space for so long, here it is as a work in progress. Can you guess what it is? If not, I guess you will just have to wait until January when I have a good photo!