Thank you for entertaining my little "I can't do it all" soapbox I hopped on yesterday. I feel worlds better today, it was a temporary whine. Admitting it all could not be done (by me anyway) was the biggest part. Once I did that, everything fell into place. My Christmas gifts are this close to being wrapped, everyone has been accounted for, and we are leaving soon to go for a drive and look at Christmas lights.
I spent the better part of the day with friends. Two different houses that are each lovely and inspiring in their own individual way. Wandering around with my camera, I loved the light in these two photos. The top one is an amazing chandelier with a silver drum shade surrounding it, hanging over the table at one friend's home (there has been some discussion over on Flickr of a D.I.Y version of this if you are interested, I am.) The second photo is from another friend's home, of some working sketches of costumes from an opera house. I couldn't take my eyes off the reflected light from the bank of beveled glass windows on the opposite side of the room. Serene and beautiful.
Friends, I thoroughly enjoy you and this little corner of my world. Thank you for listening to another year of blathering and daydreaming, you make days bright and merry for me all year. Happy Holidays to everyone! I, as everyone else, will be taking a little time off to just hang out and be. Back after the holidays with more adventures.
Today, sitting in the middle of my studio, surrounded by miles of embroidery floss, fabric scraps, tracing paper with pattern templates on them (some needed, some not), I crashed. I hit the crafting wall. I cried uncle. I threw in my cards. I threw up my hands. I gave up.
I cannot possible get all this done before Christmas!
Its been such a weird season for me this year. I can't explain it, but it crept up way too fast and feel as if I've been chasing my tail since Halloween. I really don't like that feeling. This post over at Siri's really struck a chord with me today. I absolutely loved it, for so many reasons. It made me think hard about what makes our holidays special. Laughing with family, watching my children get excited over new pjs, sitting down with family over a great meal and getting in a heated political discussion that everyone actually enjoys (although if you didn't know us you wouldn't believe that). Things like that. Yes, that's the good stuff. I really don't want my kids to grow up and discuss the Christmas that mom went ballistic because she didn't have the right ric-rac trim to finish a project.
So, thinking about all this, reflecting on Christmas and feeling every so slightly woe-is-me, I did what anyone in my position, who was me, would do today. I went shopping at Anthropologie.
Yes, it can be overpriced and usually out of my budget, but I do so love that store. And I needed to love that store today. I needed to be surrounded by things I could make if I had the time and resources. I needed a smiling someone to hand me a ball of soft blue yarn at the checkout counter, which I later unfurled to reveal a felt snowflake, and a message to "live for the present". Little things like that spoke volumes to me today.
All this and an eggnog latte later, I am feeling much much better. I've accepted that our Christmas cards won't get to their recipients until after Christmas. That some of my gifts won't get shipped until after the new year. I think I will sit on the floor with Emma and make pom-pom garland. And that's all...
Thanks for listening. xo
You can tell winter solstice is fast approaching, this picture was taken at 4 in the afternoon.
Just a photo to prove that four days without power doesn't prevent the craft-obsessed girls at our house from getting creative. That's Emma gluing up some little craft kits I bought at Jo-Ann's to help pass the time. We made the most of the past several days and stayed positive. However, as the temperature dropped, it got a little tougher, so we decided to have a little overnight adventure-
That's a blurred Peter in the down vest, checking us into the Westin, the only inn that had any rooms.
Thanks you guys for all the nice comments on the truffles, on typepad's feature, everything. Thank you to Seattle Public Utility and Seattle City Light workers for tirelessly working around the clock to restore power to record numbers of people in our city. How do you take your coffee? (Seriously.)
See those evergreens? Majestically above our house? They are both our treasure and our nemesis at times like this. We love these trees, our neighborhood is full of them. My kid's friends have described it like being in a forest when they come to our house. Its unusual to have these and be in the city. But when 60-70 mile/hour winds sweep through, all those limbs you see fly through the air like feathers, its terrifying. We usually always lose our power. But its events like this that bring remind me of our good neighbors. Over the past several days, we have all checked in on each other, shared generator power to warm our homes, shared food, kept watch over darkened homes of those who stayed elsewhere.
I am keeping my fingers crossed everyone's power is back very very soon.
Its good to be back. More soon. I'm going to go and reacquaint myself with my sewing machine now.
Hi everyone! I am here, just without power. I'm sure many have heard about the windstorm that blew through the pacific northwest last Thursday. It left our house completely without power, but all has been pretty manageable. We have a warm house, we have the ability to cook, eat, hug, and laugh. It could be much much worse. I have missed talking to you guys, but promise to be up and running back on my beloved computer any day.
I did want to say a big thank you to typepad, I am honored and excited to be a featured blog on their homepage today. If you are a new visitor here, welcome, I'm glad you stopped by.
Hope to be checking in with everyone soon! xoxo, Blair
Emma and I finished up the truffle idea we had for teacher's gifts (Ian was not interested, too messy for him). We ended up with four varieties of truffles- coconut, pistachio, peppermint, and cocoa covered. They are so delicious, but they are RICH! Crazy rich! It was definitely a multiple step (translation= multiple day) process, but I'd kind of thought it all through realistically in my mind and was ready for all the steps. Plus, knowing Emma, I knew what she could handle. And remember how I love eight? Well, making these proved my love for eight even more, she was a champ.
When Emma came home, I did what was left with her help. Crushing up the candy canes and pistacios, washing up the dishes (Emma's a big help with this and Martha's recipes always use an insane amount of dishes), melting the chocolate in a bain-marie.
Here's the assembly line in progress. We made four dozen truffles, a dozen for each box (3 of each kind). Emma was the main candy artist at this point, rolling and dipping and putting them in little paper cups. We put one of Abby's deer cards with each one (Abby, it was hard to use them, but Emma insisted on those).
Teachers gifts- ✓
Thank you guys for all the nice words on the advent tree. I must admit that over the past week I've been in a bit of a slump over the news about the Kim family, I didn't do much emailing, struggled to post, and basically abandoned my sewing machine. Thank goodness for a new week, a renewed week.
Other things going on in my life-
Emma (reluctantly) and I sat outside for several minutes the other night, in very strong windy rainy weather. I insisted. My point was to help Emma understand what it must be like for the kids that are sleeping in Tent City every night. This is one of the organizations we're giving to this season, and until we did that little exercise, Emma thought the best thing we could give them were homemade Christmas decorations. Sweet, yes...but now I think she understands.
This weekend we are hosting a Belgian waffle and beer party for Peter's cycling team. I've learned this is traditional celebratory end-of-season fare for many cyclists. And that cycling team is just about the nicest group of people around. It will be a treat to have them over.
Today is kind of a free day, meaning no running to do this and that. I'm thinking a trip to the park, sewing, truffle making. Listening to Neko Case, I Wish I Was the Moon in particular. Enjoying all that makes my life full.