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?