Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lewis Strikes Again...

"Yes, I too think there is lots to be said for being no longer young; and I do most heartily agree that it is just as well to be past the age when one expects or desires to attract the other sex. It’s natural enough in our species, as in others, that the young birds should show off their plumage — in the mating season. But the trouble in the modern world is that there’s a tendency to rush all the birds on to that age as soon as possible and then keep them there as late as possible, thus losing all the real value of the other parts of life in a senseless, pitiful attempt to prolong what, after all, is neither its wisest, its happiest, or most innocent period. I suspect merely commercial motives are behind it all: for it is at the showing-off stage that birds of both sexes have least sales-resistance!"
-C.S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Pajamas

Last night I put the finishing stitches on the pajamas I made for Suzy. I'm pretty pleased with them, even if lack of time and skill made them not quite how I pictured. Then, I carefully laid them out on cute backgrounds and took pictures for this post. My computer ate those pictures! So what you see her are the pics I quickly took with the last battery juice of my camera. Not nearly as cute, but at least you can see what I'm talking about!

This is the Bonne Nuit Chickadee. Isn't it cute? I love it! I had fully intended to embroider "Chickadee" under the little birdie, but time got the best of me. If you don't speak French, "bonne nuit" means goodnight - "nuit" sounds like "nwee," so it's a rhyme! Here's a close up of the little chickadee:

Still, it wasn't quite what I designed:

I don't usually embroider, so I had no idea how to get my design transfered onto the fabric. So I came up with the supposedly great idea of simply writing the words out on paper, pinning the paper onto the fabric, then stitching over the paper. In theory, I would then gently tear the paper away, revealing the lovely words. In theory. However, though it might have worked with tissue paper, it does not on printer paper! I couldn't tear it out without damaging the stitches. I had to WET it, scrape as much of the gummed paper off as I could, and dry it, hoping the dryer lint grabber would do the rest. I still had to pull micro bits of paper out from under stitches with tweezers. Do any of you embroiders know how to transfer a design?

Here's the next pajama set:

Again, the pictures aren't great, but it gives you a rough idea. I really like the print on this flannel. It's actually a DKNY pillow case I got on clearance from a design store for $1! I was so excited. It was just enough to make the pants, and the 5 bunny appliques it took before I got one right. Curse you Wonder-Under iron-on adhesive! I had learned my lesson with the chickadee, so I very lightly penciled in the words "Fais dodo" on this and then stitched over it. "Fais dodo" means "Go night-night," roughly.

Isn't he the cutest? Excuse the water stain. This was taken after Suzy tried them on and then wiped chocolate on them. So I frantically tried to clean them with a wash cloth. I realized after I started making this that "fais dodo" and "bunny" don't have the same charm as "bonne nuit" and "chickadee." So I have named him Pedro. Fais dodo, Pedro! I like the French and Mexican aspects of it. If I ever have nieces and nephews from my sister, who has started her own Frenchish/Mexican family, I imagine there will be many a blanket and onsie embroidered with little Fais Dodo Pedro. But even Pedro was not quite what I planned:

I think this is maybe the cutest thing I've ever drawn. But it's hard to transfer that to fabric!

Here's my sweeite pie in her new Jammies:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Devotional Mad-lib

“When God hath done so much for you, will you leave it in the power of an unconstant creature to trouble you and rob you of your peace? Is the joy of the Holy Ghost so subject to the malice of [insert name of whoever] or the weakness of [insert name of whoever] ? Delight yourself in an all-sufficient constant God, and he will be to you a sufficient delight.” (A Grief Sanctified, pg. 78)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

I love my Christmas tree. I love decorating it every year. It's a red and gold color scheme, with lots of holly berries, pine cones, and ribbons. Nate and I have tried to find or make ornaments that are symbolic of the real meaning of Christmas. I thought I'd show some here, if I can figure out how to do the photos with captions!

I made lots of little scrolls with Scriptures about the birth of Christ or prophesies about Him. I attached red ribbon to them and put them all over the trees.

I made some unopened scrolls too. I thought I was being clever, but someone mentioned they look like two cigarettes tied with ribbon! Not the look I was going for!

"Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright!" Around the house I like to sing "Oh little star of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie..." and Nate will invariably say, "Town! Town of Bethlehem!"

“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" So said John the Baptist...and in Revelation Jesus is pictured as the Lamb. So we made this. It was really hard work molding the clay and painting it realistically. Just kidding! We got a toy lamb and put a hook in it's back, which I then covered with ribbon. It took two minutes.

Revelation 5:5
But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” We made this the same way as the lamb.

A dove for the Holy Spirit that descended on Jesus at His baptism. "Behold My Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased."

Not a symbol of Jesus, but a picture of our biggest little blessing!

A little French pride and a nativity scene.

And of course, we needed a cross!
Galatians 6:14
"But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. "

1Corinthians 1:18
"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Colossians 1:20
"and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."

1Peter 2:24
"and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."

There you go, a little tour of our sweet little Christmas tree!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Paper Plate Christmas Wreath

Today Suzy made a paper plate wreath. She painted it green yesterday, which is always a thrill for her. Not only does she love painting, she loves it that when she's done, I send her to wash her hands by herself while I clean up the paint. She usually spends at least 10 minutes washing/splashing!
Today she glued the leaves and berries on. I usually water down the glue in a little bowl and she puts it on with a brush. But today I just gave her the bottle. She loved using the glue bottle like a big girl.
I love seeing how her ability to do crafty things increases. I just love doing things with her! She's so bubbly and curious. She makes everything fun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baking Fail, Preschool Win

In Suzy's preschool lesson today, we were going to make Christmas cookies. Nothing elaborate, I thought. Just plain cookies, in circles and hearts, with green icing and multi-colored sprinkles. Just an easy, relaxing Christmas activity or mother and daughter. Except I totally failed, and for the first time in my life, my trusty Fanny Farmer cookbook let me down! There was nowhere near enough flour in the dough to roll it out, so I kept adding it in nervous scoops until it got thick enough. When it was time to roll it out, I had a plan. That also failed. I've read that if you roll out the dough on the cookie sheet, you can cut the cookies out directly in place and simply peel up the scrap dough. So mess-free and simple. Except, of course, that it didn't happen. Suzy and I took turns with the rolling pin to smooth the dough out into the pan. Then She got to work with her cookie cutters. I went to peel up the dough, and it just smushed and smeared. I tried lifting the cookies out with a spatula, and they too were destroyed.
By this time I was seriously frustrated. But I tried to put a positive spin on it for Suzy. "Hey, Suzy, would it be fun to squish up all this dough and pat it out onto the pizza stone?" "YEAH!" "And make one GIANT cookie that you can cover with red sugar?" "YES!" So we did that, and she had a blast. And it was not bad tasting, for all it lacked in looks.