Friday, December 31, 2010

Simplifying Christmas

This year we decided that we needed to simplify Christmas and get back to the fun rather than the stress.  So, last Christmas, when my family was at our house for the holidays, we decided we would draw names.  The person that got your name had to MAKE you a gift for Christmas.  There weren't any other specifications other than that....nothing was said  about cost or how much of it had to be made by you but you hand to have some part in creating that special something. 

It was really fun watching my two girls come up with ideas and work on their gifts.  I got to sit back and watch them think things through and to see how they were going to do this.  I can't really say anything about Rosie's present yet because she made for lil' Nat and she was in Columbia for Christmas so hasn't opened it yet. I also can't say anythings about DH gift to lil' Nat's mom....she was obviously in Columbia too.  Peanut practiced her drawing and watercolour painting and painted a beautiful Dragon for her cousin (he collects Dragons).  She also made him a decoupaged frame and framed a photo that we took just before our move from Ottawa to Halifax.  The photo was of Rosie, Peanut, Lil Nat and Q in the big tree in front of my parent's house.  She then stamped on the frame a tree with the words "Our Family Tree".  Silly me...I never thought to get a photo before she wrapped it all up to ship to Ontario.  Maybe Q will send me a photo of him with his presents.

I had my mom and struggled over what to make her.  In the end, I decided that since we were simplifying I would go back to the basics.  The first thing I ever made for my mom was a yellow calico apron...I think she still has it 20 some odd years later.  So, I decided it was time to make her a new apron.  She caters and has this nasty white apron that she wears when she is baking but I thought she should have something special for when she is serving meals.

My DH modelling Mom's Christmas present. 
I made the neck strap adjustable by having it all one piece with the waist ties.  If you pull on the ties the neck strap shortens that way I didn't have to worry about length for mom (she is a tad shorter than I am).  My girls kept asking why I didn't put pockets on it.  Well, simply because mom is brutal on pockets!

In the meantime, I was showing friends from church how to needle felt so I had a bunch of little felted gingerbread men that needed a home to love so I decided to put them together into a garland.
Gingerbread Garland with Rag "borders"
....and since I was waiting for everyone to finish little bits and pieces on their presents, I put together a jar of Gingersnap cookie mix for mom since this year we ccouldn't get together to bake this year.

Did she love it?  Yup!...even though we thought it would never get there.  We shipped it from NS to got a call from the companies office in Charlottetown, PEI telling her that they couldn't find her address so she needed to give them directions or come to the office to pick up the parcel! hahaha  Once they tracked the parcel they got it on the right truck to their house only to realize that it wouldn't get there in time SO they rerouted it along with my brother's parcel (that was en route to London) to my aunt and uncle's house (or so we thought)....they delivered them to the neighbours and left them on their porch! hahaha...Next year we are shipping with Canada Post and sending them in August to make sure they are there before Dec 24th!

Tomorrow I will post pics of the gifts that the rest of the family received.  The really cool part of the whole experiement (other than watching everyone come up with ideas) was on Christmas morning.  It wasn't the gifts from Santa that the girls were interested in opening first; it was the gift that was made that they wanted to open and that caused the most excitement.  |We did get them to do their Santa gifts and stockings first just to draw out the excitement and anticipation.  We had so much fun we picked names yesterday for next Christmas...the girls are already planning!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Boomerang Effect

I am not going all "social psycology" or marketing on you here.  My Boomerang Effect has nothing to do with the textbook definition of this phrase; my boomerang is clutter!  It keeps coming back no matter how hard I try and you know that I have been trying because some of you have been very happy recipients of some of my extra stuff from our other house.  First, let me say that I was very proud of myself.  I was actually creating order out of chaos in the basement.  I achieved a couple of my goals that I told you about early on in my blog; the main one was that I emptied the hallway and cleaned out a room in the basement before the end of October.  Now this is where my boomerang has come back and walloped me in the side of the head with one giant "thwunk"....weep with me friends....

We needed to have a heat recovery unit installed in our basement, so a couple of days ago the contractor came and told me that I was going to lose a chunk of my food storage space and that I needed to clear it all out so that he would have room to work.  I also needed to slide my loom a bit to the side.  Well, I guess they needed more space to work.  They just left and my basement now looks like this...pull out the kleenex box....

Okay, so I like my loom here....I may have to rethink my floor plan.
I can't really say anymore than what the pictures say other than I can't clean it up because they have to come back next week to do something.  Actually, I am tempted to ask my sweetie if he would paint the room for me before I put everything back.  Not sure how well that will go over...I am the painter in the family and I am going to be out of commission for a while.  I could use a more inspiring colour. 

Must go and pick up my chipmunks...they have dance and music tonight and then I must rush home to meet up with my sweetie...he is taking us out for dinner tonight.