Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

To end 2010 which has been a wonderful year I want to share this photo with you. I took it on Christmas night. The sunset was just so beautiful, my photo only shows part of its beauty.
Have a Spectacular 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This has been us lately

A whole lot of painting and fixing up to end the year. Our guest house is now empty and we are getting it ready for the new renters, whomever they may be. It needs a bit of paint and polishing before its ready so we have been busy doing just that everyday this week, after work of course.
More of the same planned for us for the New Year weekend, but I plan to fully loaf for at least an hour to watch the Rose parade!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hope you all had a Great Weekend

We sure did. It was a weekend full of amazing food, a fun time, and great gifts.

Rory and I enjoyed our 3rd year in a row of our traditional homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast Christmas morning. Baxter really enjoyed his traditional Christmas breakfast of a Prime rib bone from our dinner the night before.

We opened our gifts, one of which was a Wii from Rory to us! It's so much fun actually and here is a Wii version of Baxter and me.

From all the rain these humongous toadstools have been growing on our lawn, this was right as we left for our long morning walk.

The rest of our day consisted of relaxing, eating and another walk. The perfect lazy Christmas day. Hope yours was great as well!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas cookies

It's the night before Christmas Eve, & I've been cooking most of the day and will be cooking all day tomorrow. In preparation of our traditional overnight cinnamon rolls I have 4 unused egg whites. I made a huge batch of "white cookies" which usually consist of egg whites, lemon zest, sugar and mini chocolate chips. This time I piped them into Christmas tree shapes after I tinted them green for a holiday theme. We sprinkled them with red, white and silver dragee balls as little ornaments.
Here they are in the oven slowly cooling, they'll stay here till tomorrow until they harden up all the way.

Oh, I got my Manger! Rory built it right after work, and I just finished up a Shepherd and a little fluffy sheep.
And a felted star above the manger leading the 3 wise men to the baby Jesus.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Almost a Nativity

I have been working on getting my felted Nativity set done by Christmas Eve, but with that in just a day I am not sure I'll meet my goal. I still have a shepherd and a wooly lamb to felt, and I also need to build a manger out of something. I have tried to pawn that job off on Rory but it hasn't worked, maybe some bribery will be in order.
Here is the latest, I have a Camel (definitely my favorite) a lamb, a donkey, 3 wise men carrying a gift each, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. I think in the right setting, like faux hay and a wood manger they will really look in place. The large pine cones kind of throw me off, so I'll stage them the right way once it's all done.

My mom sent me this last night and I have to share it. It's the story of The Nativity in a modern twist. It goes fast, so watch close!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Felting, it's time consuming

I finished 3 animals so far. The lamb of course was my first, the burro next and then the camel. Each getting more and more elaborate. I am now going to start the people, I have 3 wise men, Mary and Joseph, baby Jesus, and possibly a shepherd and an angel. Wish me luck getting those done before Christmas.

***Edited to add! Here is the first person I've felted. I did it last night and he only took me about an hour. So much faster than that Camel!!!
He is one of the wisemen with a small chest of gold.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Proud owners of a Mantel

Yesterday Rory finished installing our fir wood mantel he built. He really did a great job building it despite all the tough elements, like the fact that its 9 feet long, curved, huge and the delicate mitered seams.
You can't even tell its not a solid piece of wood.

Here is a shot of the inside, its a plywood box with an inch of solid fir wood over it for the outside.

The estimate from the custom woodworker in town was $1610.00 to built it the same way out of Fir. It was going to be $2163.00 out of Walnut. We decided to make it out of Fir from the lumber supply for about $40 with the plywood.
We figured stain would do the work to make it look how we envisioned, an old world Spanish beam. So once it was installed and done we got up close and personal distressing it, Rory used his electric wire wheel to speed up the process, we even put in faux termite damage, and the usual dings bangs and scratches.

In a flash it transformed into a dark, and beautifully rich looking beam with just a little bit of walnut stain. We plan to finish it with an old world look using Briwax or a satin varnish tomorrow.

Here it is spills and all, of course we are going to completely resurface the stucco so those spills and test spots will soon be all one color. But doesn't the wood look great?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Felting, a new hobby

I know, I know, I need another new hobby like a hole in the head don't I? Well I think I found a really cute one that will hopefully produce a Nativity set before Christmas. Its pretty fast too, needle felting. I saw these adorable little guys on Etsy, and I had to try my hand in it.

Here is my first felted animal, a little lamb.

It's pretty simple really just make a form with pipe cleaners, then add un-spun wool and poke it with special needles until you get the right form. I bought a how to book and the supplies yesterday and had the lamb done in about 2 hours. I plan on starting a 'burro' today.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Decor obsession?

I may or may not have a little thing for Burlap. You may remember our Holiday decor from our first Christmas in our home last year. I bought a large artificial wreath and garland that I decorated with fresh greens and silver bows.
Well this year it's all about Burlap. I made a Burlap tree skirt in January of this year, that I plan to add some "flare" to, so as soon as we get our tree I'll post pic's.

This is the "new" (Craigslist) entry table with the garland I used last year to make a mantel for our fireplace. Since the fireplace is still under construction.... I am using it here. Its the first thing you see in our home so I find it to be the best place to decorate for the seasons.

I added a large burlap bow, and pine cones from down the street, & some fresh cut juniper for fragrance.

Here it is with the lights on!

Our wreath with a new look, a much better sized bow than last year, I think.

I haven't gotten around to cooking my pumpkins yet, so here is one sneaking into December with a bit of red and green to camo it in. These red berries are Pyracantha, and I was going to use them inside but feared they might be poisonous, so with Baxter I didn't want to chance it. I googled them and they are not, so for now they are outside, but they might make their way indoors.

Here is our old entry way table with a pine display. A tall glass vase filled with pine cones and branches, and my favorite trifle dish filled with glittered pine cones. That little sachet bag is filled with ground fir needles and it smells like a little bag of Christmas, its just heavenly.
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