Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Four Sleeps!

Only four sleeps until the big day! Our village has snowy trees::

The presents are wrapped {we went with a red and white theme this year ~ using a lot of brown craft paper, a bit of red and white paper from Ikea, and some baker's twine left over from the wedding crafts}::

And there's a steady rotation of Chieftains on the iPod::

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Citrus

This week our Sunday was a bit busier than last!

A batch of grapefruit marmalade was made for the stockings, although I'm a bit worried that it didn't jell. If that's the case, I'll be looking for some creative uses for grapefruit syrup ~ perhaps over vanilla ice cream? I remember having this same worry in the past, and things have always worked out. Fingers are crossed.

After the marmalade it was on to candied rinds, or rather the gummy worm candies according to Calder ::
So far I've made some lemon and grapefruit rinds. This was my first time making the lemon rinds, and now there's no going back, they are the tastiest gummy worms ever. I use Martha's fool-proof recipe, and they turn out perfect every time.

Ca$h was busy too, rather than sleeping the day away, he stole the cat's seat by the window, and did a bit of squirrel watching...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Soundtrack

Oh people, it's time to bring the music back!

It sure has been a dry couple of weeks around here, all of that traveling didn't leave much time for listening to new stuff {it's hard to get pandora while in flight, and in Germany they're still listening to David Hasselhoff}. Now that it's Christmas I can play the good stuff that I try to ration all year, but before I smother you in the Chieftains and George Winston, I have something fun and new to me.

Song: Christmas in the Ashram
Artist: Chris Rosser
Full lyrics can be found at the bottom of this page. My favorite lines:
The guru must be out of town
There's tinsel in Vishnu's crown
Someone hung a Christmas star
From one of Shiva's extra arms

I love Chris' version, but couldn't find one that I could share, so here you have it performed by Tom Prasada

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Sunday

It got a bit lazy around here yesterday afternoon::

I had plans to bake some cookies and finish up a few presents, but found myself under a pile of Calder and Ca$h! Luckily my hands were free to work on a knitted Christmas gift, and the computer was within reach to catch up on Bones!

Hope your weekend was just as relaxing*

Friday, December 09, 2011

Decking the Halls

The ribbon candy is in the tree:: A trick I learned from my mom. It's fun to tell people they can eat the ornaments, and even more fun to catch Calder taking a nibble!

Above the hutch, and near our Sibley's bird poster, is the little village of bird houses:: Another great idea from Design Sponge. I picked up the birdhouses at Micheal's, and drilled holes in the back for Christmas lights:: Since my village is placed high in the room, I drilled the holes near the bottom of the houses, so that you can't see the lights when you look up at the village. I used some old coffee sacks for the burlap surface. I love this little village, and think it's going to make an annual appearance, but next year it might be fun to add some sparkly white snow and icicles to the roofs!

A couple of grey army blankets, saved from our wedding, have become the tree skirt:: I'm loving the rustic yet cozy texture.

And finally, we've started a little village above the kitchen cabinets:: I think we need some Christmas trees and maybe a streetlamp or two to really set the scene...

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hey! Ho!

It's been a whirlwind of a month. The big picture: there were three weeks away from home, and one crazy week at home.

You know about the work trip in Germany, but I forgot to show you some of my fun purchases. The theme here is enamel. Somehow I never noticed all of the enamel goods available in Germany shops, but this trip they really caught my eye.

I picked up a couple of white enamel cups, planning on keeping them in the van for our road-trip camping. Even though they aren't the most sensible for winter camping because of the lack of insulation, I couldn't resist! The green sugar container and pitcher are for the house. C loves using the picture when he's steaming milk for morning coffees, which warms my heart and cup. And finally, possibly my most favorite purchase of the trip ~ that's an enamel lunch container on the left. It has a rubber seal and tight locking lid ~ perfect for preventing leaks as I bike to and from work!

Guess how you spell/say enamel in German? It's the original email!

You also know about the new four-legged addition to our home. But I never told you how we found him.

We have to thank these guys::
That's my sister Kris and her BF, Ryan. I think they're each other's bff, and they're the proud owners of this pup, Dutch::

Don't let that sleeping shot fool you, she was wiped after a weekend of hiking and camping {she had a lot of hikers to keep track of}. Dutch is an active and uber smart Australian Cattle Dog. In addition to Dutch, they like volunteer as a foster home with their local shelter, and that, my friends is how Ca$h came into our lives. He was their latest foster pup, and they realized that he was just too good to let go. C and I weren't actively looking for a dog at the time, but we knew we wanted one, and we're smart enough to know that you don't let a good one go! We also have Ryan to thank for the creative spelling of Ca$h's name, I guess Ryan's the dog-father.

Here are the two pup bffs together::

And look, some knitting! While we were out on the walk, I noticed that Kris and Calder were wearing some of my knits gifts. Warms my heart as much as the steamed milk in email!

And the hats bring me to week three, because unfortunately during all of the fun and adventure of Thanksgiving C's hat was left in CA... in fact, he had already left it in the Bay Area by the time those pictures were taken, so now I'm scheming up a new one in time for Christmas.

Speaking of knits, the two projects in this post have traveled with me from place to place. I'm happy to report that both are almost done, but have to stay under wraps until Christmas!

So, that brings me to this past week. A week spent in all-day meetings, many in rooms without windows. At night my brain was a zombie, but I was still able to fit in a good amount of holiday knitting. Along with the secret projects, I put together some jingle-bell garland. I tried to take some evening photos in the dark hotel:: Um yeah. This was an easy and fun project. I'll give you more details and better photos soon!

Wow, it was fun to catch up! But now? The next month is going to be spent at home! I have plans for decorating, baking, and of course, a bunch of present crafting. Let the holiday fun begin!