Friday, December 12, 2008

new deadline

I won't be at the post office today (as previously planned).
There is still much to do, but I'm well on my way. Yesterday instead of sewing I had to go buy some Burt's Bees Lip Balm. It was really important.

Monday. That's my new deadline.

P.S. I don't think Christmas cards are on my radar this year. So dearest friends and family (if you are reading), don't be surprised if you don't get a Christmas card and be surprised if you do. Much love, peace, and merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Check it out.

Joseph Alleman (my brother) is on the cover of Watercolor Artist this month. Go to your bookstore and check it out.

Open up to the 1st page of the article and you will become lost in this painting.

It is cold, gray, and drippy here today. I bet Joe could paint it beautifully. I will try to think of it that way as I look out my window.

Did you want to see ALL the bags?

project notes: patience and pacing, making 25 of anything is a lot, even if you get bored - finish

{These bags look like they are having a little chat.}

The bags were finished last week. Malcolm sat on my lap for the sewing of a few. He would help by adjusting the pressure foot up and down for me. It is a good thing they all fit onto the mantel, barely. They are each filled with their own Christmas Song and as of late before we open one I slip in a treat for Malcolm - a marshmallow or a dried cherry.

The visual countdown is a good thing for me. I feel a little less like time is flying by. Although, now that I think of it, it's the 10th! Wow. Do the days sneak up on anyone else that way?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

numbered bags

I managed to knock some sense into myself and I am not going to be making 25 new ornaments for the advent. I'll just make a few and steal the rest from the tree. I am sewing 25 of these bags though. It's a good thing I can look into the future and see many years of December use ahead. It's one of those things you do once. I'm using the reverse sides of fabric remnants for the bags. You know the samples from fabric books? I got some (for free) when we lived in NY and Dave thought I was mildly crazy for ripping out and hording away all these squares of fabric. Now look, I've given them a new life after all.

I'm glad I realized I could stamp the numbers. Check out my 1st bag.

Imagine cutting and stitching all those numbers. That would have been bad - and the bags (among other Christmas things) wouldn't have gotten done, and I would have felt mildly crazy.

Tonight's song is "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". I like singing the "comfort and joy, comfort and joy" part.

In other news Cleveland was sunny for the 1st half of the day, and that was happy.
(Also, old news, the room that was to be painted yellow changed it's mind and got painted blue - blue like a sunny day sort of blue. And I like it.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 12th.

That's my goal.
I will be at the post office in the morning.

Wish me luck!

I have a few other thoughts for this season to help me keep the peace.

*less is more
*use what you have (yarn, fabric, cards, etc.)
*go handmade
*pace, go slow
*invite the spirit
*do all with love

What are your Christmas goals, thoughts, mantras?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Days 1 & 2

Away in a Manger

{a manger and baby Jesus}
I cut a doll pin for the babe, stitched a square of felt around him, and drew a little face. (As if the picture itself isn't self explanatory.)

The bed of hay is a cut and fringed rectangle piece of felt shoved in this little wreath I found with the Christmas Decorations.

Go Tell it on the Mountain

{a mountain, of course}

The little mountain is made with felt cut into mountain shapes, stitched together with a blanket stitch, stuffed, and stitched some more.

Caroling Advent

Thanksgiving was sweet. I baked rolls and our friends took care of the rest. All we had to do this year was show up, which was good considering Dave's post-call nap I had to wake him up from just before the feast. It was a sunny day.

Welcome to a not too sunny December 1st. On days like this I can keep the Christmas tree lights on all day for extra cheer through our window.

One of my favorite things about this season is song. The songs surrounding Christmas have a way of instantly connecting us with the spirit and with each other. This year I'm putting together a Caroling Advent for the count down to Christmas. Each day there will be a song and ornament to open. For this, I imagine little numbered drawstring bags (yet to be purchased or made) sitting atop the piano. I'm sure Malcolm will get a kick out of it and this new tradition will help us expand our holiday singing repertoire. Of course this idea only started to formulate Sunday afternoon - so I'll be making and putting it together as I go along this month. I'll share my ideas and make note of the progress here. If you want to do this for your own family - the fist thing to do is to make a list of 25 Christmas/Holiday Songs. Find some way to package each song for the countdown. I'm thinking this could be as easy as a paper chain. But here I go making ornaments... (I really am trying to keep things simple this year.) I'm looking forward to looking up songs I don't usually remember or songs where I don't know all the words. It will be good motivation for me to practice the piano and guitar.

Here's the list of songs I put together for this year's Caroling Advent.

1 - Away in a Manger
2 - Go, Tell it on the Mountain
3 - God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
4 - Deck the Hall
5 - The First Noel
6 - Frosty the Snowman
7 - Angels We Have Heard on High
8 - Little Drummer Boy
9 - O Little Town of Bethlehem
10- Up on the Housetop
11- Once in Royal David's City
12- Twelve Days of Christmas
13- Sleigh Ride
14- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
15- With Wondering Awe
16- Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
17- Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains
18- Feliz Navidad
19- Jingle Bells
20- Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
21- Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful
22- Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
23- O Christmas Tree
24- Silent Night
25- Joy to the World

I really, really love Sleigh Ride. What song are you most excited to start singing?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Be Safe

My local yarn shop sent me this email (I don't have the source for the image):

Can’t wait ‘till you get home to knit?

Be Safe
Bring a designated driver!

(Dear Dave,
Thanks for being my designated driver.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yesterday it snowed...

The night before we had read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Somethings just work out perfectly like that. Later that evening when Malcolm was at the chalk board as I fixed dinner I heard him say "Dear Daddy-o, I like snow." (A smile just came across your face, did it not?)

{Malcolm is having a one to one with his Smiling Snowman.}

(By the way, I get lost in the beautiful pages of The Snowy Day, I just stare and stare. My favorite page is the red snowsuit and footprints.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

OBAMA! Yeah!
Celebrating with TALL Ovaltine shakes.

{Saturday, early voting at the Board of Elections. Malcolm was a trooper - we made lots of friends in line(2 hours).}

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween: when less is more...

BeeBee Bo Bee never did get a body. I stuck his head in a flower pot. He didn't seem to mind. The pumpkin never got carved. I put out some little jack o' lantern candles instead.

I managed to pull on my witch stockings and shoes. We ate scrambled eggs wrapped in toast on the porch as trick-or-treaters arrived. Dave took our little koala around, but I think he had the most fun back at home passing out candy.

The weather was perfect for the night's festivities, for the last big neighborlly hello before winter sets in. Essentially, we hung out as a family on the candle lit porch and drank hot chocolate.

It was just right.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

BeeBee Bo Bee needs a body. (Can you guess who did the naming?)

(Camera found in the GARAGE! No wonder I couldn't find it.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

tomatoes and stand

Now do you know what I mean about the tomato stand? So wonderful. Annie took the pictures with her sweet camera. Speaking of cameras - I can't find mine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

of paint-chips, poetry, and pie

If you hoard paint-chips like I do, here's something to do with friends. It's a Poetry Night, but don't tell them that. Bribe them with pie, they will come for the pie even if it is on very short notice.

Set out a cup full of scissors, a cup full of glue sticks, a cup full of pens, a dictionary, a basket full of paint-chips, and another basket full of blank or pretty paper. When friends come, invite them to create a poem (for pie won't be sliced until they do).

In no time there will be cutting, gluing, shouting out of words like "Silence", "Periwinkle Bud", "Cheerful Hue", "Crispy Gingersnap", "Theatre Lights", and "Serene Journey". There will also be the prettiest mess you ever did see.

Once the poetry is alive and underway, take a moment to present the pies.

After all that rolling, filling, pealing, whipping, and baking, pies should be presented before they are sliced. Now everyone is invited to dish up at their convenience. There will be lots of "mmm-hum-mms".

Believe it our not, but everyone will want to share their poem.

The poems are to be read to a captive pie-eating/enjoying audience. Provide a candle and matches at the designated reading spot so that the candle can be lit during the reading and blown out at the conclusion of each poem. Instead of clapping, snap fingers. There will be much gladness.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Annie was here

Hello again.

I excused myself for one week. I guess I should have made that four. Has that much time really passed? (The HUGE and heavy stack of knitting library books that Annie and I checked out are due back, so it must be true.)

So, do you want to hear about the most perfect week spent with my dear friend? Unfortunately words can't describe and pictures can only catch a glimpse of what time spent with a friend really means. You know. You all know what I mean by that.

Annie said it:
"...create a nurturing environment among women".
We were in the car, I was driving and I stopped her mid-conversation. "Write that down - what you just said." Her words are now sticky-noted to my dashboard. (Side note: my dad's dash board is full of index cards and sticky-notes, I couldn't help but think of him as I stuck the note at the base of the speedometer.)

"Create nurturing environment among women", the conversation was essentially that women nurture, and that nurturing for women is going to come from women. So take from it what you will, but for me it means women need women.

Dave and I were setting up the attic, getting the room ready for Annie's stay. I had to leave to pick her up from the airport and while Dave finished up. As I left I said "that (a small built-in desk in the corner) is going to be a writing desk - so leave it open and bring up a chair". He gave me a look, "is she going to be needing a writing desk?". I gave him a look, "trust me, if I were going away from it all I would want a writing desk". For Annie, I wanted to make that space (her space) feel special, welcoming, nurturing. As her friend, it was easy, I knew just how to do it: extra pillows, scented candle, flowers, hooks, baskets, select books, and a writing desk supplied with pencils, pens, and paper - a nurturing environment.

{Some of my favorite photos of that week. They remind me to open up to the good, take it in, and send it out. Enjoy.}

{I love this picture. The cookie was from Presti's Bakery (in Cleveland's Little Italy) we went there 4 times in one week. Intense. Annie may someday own a bakery - I would not even be surprised - so it was market research.}

{Evening herbal tea with cheese, crackers, and pie crust cookies. Recognize those fingers?}




...SIX in all, don't worry, we shared.}

{Check out this AMAZING yarn Annie picked out for knitting her 1st scarf. The prettiest green - like a golden green apple - and beautiful in a seed stitch.}

{Pumpkin patch. Pumpkins are so wonderful.}

{Glad you came.}

Read about Annie's visit in her own whirling words here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

there will be pie

{Sept. '07, OH}

Annie is coming. Here. In six days. For one week. Sans kids. A birthday gift to her from her husband. There will be pie.

In case you are wondering, here's a brief history of our friendship: co-workers (BYU, 1999), turned roommates (BYU, 2000), (husbands & moves: NY, SC, OH, UT) turned pen palls (2003-present). Annie & Sarah, writers of letters; stamps, envelopes and all.

I'm going to excuse myself from this blog for the rest of the week in order to properly prepare for her arrival.

Take care & bye for now.

Don't get blogged down.

Send someone a letter; stamp, envelope and all.

Friday, September 26, 2008

purple collages

- "What color should we do for art today?" I ask.

- "Purple." He states.

- Simple as that.

watch for scarecrows

{scarecrow AND a saxophone, Cleveland, OH}

down right awesome

(send me scarecrow pictures

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

little sack of sugar

"little sack of sugar I could eat you up"

(wearing the vest, it made it into Fall, I'm considering picking up some stitches at the bottom to lengthen the ribbing so it can get a bit more wear)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


It's a good thing that I picked up this staple remover at a yard sale.



you want to undo what you've done so that you can redo.