Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Whirwind Recap

It's always a whirlwind around here- but Christmas time takes the cake in the running-around-with-little-ones department. I will say though, that this year was the smoothest so far (I guess it gets easier as the kiddos get older?

Anyhow- this is another quick- mostly photos post since I am currently enrolled in my first on-line class...its an undergrad psych course that I need for my Masters- I signed up for it thinking...I can do it at home- it's 4 weeks long, how bad could it be??? WELL- let me tell's kicking my A**- hardcore! I am really struggling- mostly to find time in my already crazy schedule for the work load. If you ever think if taking a psych class through a CT community college- run it by me first- k?

Back to Christmas: I made some of this for gifts this year
It's a recipe I found online for Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Garlic Onion Jam (I've posted about it before-it's one of my favorite pizza toppings.) and I will say- this recipe is pretty darn close to the real deal- only issue is, it's not really a jam-thickness, more like a sauce-thickness. I will try making it again and possibly upping the pectin level- when I have the perfect recipe- I'll post it to share:)

Zel also did some crafting of her own.

We had a packed schedule with 3 days straight of semi-local traveling
This gift was beyond fabulous. My uber-creative mother came up with the idea to make the children a "Sturbridge Village in a box"- it's so great she should really market the idea. My parents take the children there periodically and the kids adore it. So- the box includes hand stitched clothes from Shuggie, hand stitched logs for a "fire", kettles, baskets, wooden spoons, vegetables, wooden eggs. SO AMAZING.

Little Sis with Z-Booty in her colonial clothing

Big Sis with Mo-Man (and his new drill that he literally did not put down for 2 days straight)

There was a lot of family time...and it was so nice to see relatives we don't get to see very often.
Baby Ben is now 1!(he's the youngest baby on my mothers side who was only 2 weeks old last Christmas....)

Moses nearly tackled Santa this year-it was priceless.

Christmas morning pre-present excitement.

Oh- and of course- the food was INSANE!!

I've decided that Christmas dinner is my favorite food of the year- hands down!

So Grateful

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Project File: Bamboo Bench

I started this project waaayyy back in the summer....and it's really somewhat sad that it's taken me this long to finally finish it! That being said...I am glad that it's done, love how it turned out- and it's pretty comfy to boot!

Here's what I started with:
It was a $30 antique store steal that my mom and I found while on our beach vacation (read more about it the initial process here)

I started with a coat of spray primer

Then 2 coats of peacock blue spray paint
Then I bought this insanely amazing fabric , Oceania in Aqua, Lewis and Sheron Textiles

I have been drooling over it since I first layed eyes on it- because the above pic from the website was simply a closeup of the octopus- I figured it was a bunch of peacock blue octopi(s?), but was pleasantly surprised to see all the other fun creatures when the fabric arrived!

So- after the initial spraying, the project sat in the garage for MONTHS.
Then, last week, after paper writing, and working all weekend- I felt a need for creative expression. I had D cut a piece of plywood we had in the basement while I was at work.
Then I rummaged around and recycled some carpet foam and a piece of a mattress pad I had left over from another project- and went to town!

The electric knife I borrowed from my parents was a dream at the cutting foam- highly recommended!!

Then I folded the fabric over the foams, pulled taught, and stapled all the way around.

The corners we a little tricky. I trimmed them...

Then folded them over and stapled into place

TA DA!!!

I had a little helper boy!

and here's the finished piece in front of the Christmas tree:)
Oh- and we put 4 L-brackets on the bottom to attach the seat to the bench!

Another look at the lamp I mentioned in my previous post. It's from West Elm- here's the link.
I was conflicted about which lamp to get- (I had it narrowed down to my top 2 choices). I went with the lamp below for a couple reasons:
#2-cheaper than the other one
#3- more casual/modern vibe for the room

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmasing, Topless Baking, and New Dining Room Light

Lots to do still, but lots has been done. Between cookie baking, cleaning the house for tomorrows' holiday guests, and finishing up the semesters school work I wanted to type up a quick's a pictorial review of the past couple weeks- 7 words or less per image:) Merry , merry!!

Meet Sparkle- Z's Bday gift to me:)

New light, in dining room

Geepee's (great grandmother) old Christmas village

Insanely good pumpkin

House pieces

Topless baking and pants switching:)

A whole lotta candy

A new family tradition

I promise a couple posts will soon follow (give me a couple days) they will include the pumpkin recipe and a Project File post on the bench!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Beach Donut Type of Day

Yes indeed it was!
Beach Donut is located in Clinton CT, on Rt.1, in a little strip mall...and it is worth the trip (45 min. for us)...even in December. It's worth the trip if you are a donut lover like me-(and I mean real donuts, not from a mix Dunkin Donut Donuts type of donuts). You can tell I am serious about my donuts!
One day- when my life is less insane- I will teach myself how to make real donuts...but until then- I have to drive.

Mom- this cinnamon cruller was devoured in your honor;)

The only thing that trumps my love affair with Beach Donut- is my love affair with the actual beach:) I love going in all seasons. When I woke up this morning and the sun lite up our bedroom- despite the blackout roman shades- I had a feeling it would be a good winter beach day- and was it ever...
The life guard stands were the first thing we ecountered. They were being stored for the winter in the dunes near the parking lot. (The kids immediately figured they were climbing structures), and climb they did indeed!

We even stopped a second time before going back into the car:)

My little red riding hoods quickly warmed up in the December sun.

the tiniest tinkle shell ever

my winter beachy Angelbabies

and we also brought along the old boy- my original baby- Beau. He's been having some trouble getting around lately (old age related issues- he's 11). But he loves the beach almost as much as I do- he was so happy to run around in the sand with us.

I took the following 3 shots of him after reading Erin's post the other day on Elements of Style. I love the idea of having a huge closeup shot of him in our house. Which shot is your favorite?

 He has the sweetest soul.

Below are my two most recent paintings. I finished them last month- dreamy, watery landscapes. I was inspired when driving to work one weekend morning.

While I really wish I could spend my days painting, and playing on the beach with the Angels- instead I am sequestered each night in the dining room/office I have set up- meticulously studying object relations theory for an upcoming presentation (next Tuesday)- wondering if deciding to go back to school was the right one...

it's not easy, or frequent- but I am still attempting to squeeze in some artistic time to myself- otherwise I would loose it completely. I am working on a dyptic right now for a family member/client, and I am super excited about a mural project I'll be doing on Sunday!! I'll be sure to share some shots next week after my presentation is done!