Friday, November 28, 2008

So I have been working on some Christmas presents. I made a couple of Garlands with dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon sticks etc. I will have to take a picture of one when it's finished and post it. I also made a couple more wooden snowpeople for my's a photo of the two I made for her and the ones we made last year (the "cool" looking dude was the one manly-son made...)

Here's my collection of 'gift wrap' so far. I've got tablecloths,
curtains and just some scrap fabric pieces.
Now I have to figure out the sizes of the gift bags
I will need and I can start sewing them up.
And I wanted to show you this cute little tablecloth I found
last year. I wanted something to make a new tree skirt and this was perfect. It is a round tablecloth. It already has a finished edge, so all it requires is a hole cut out of the middle and a slit up to the center hole. I LOVE the cute little elves and I think it will be so sweet under the tree!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cows are Cool!

Meet my Neighbour! Mooooooo

Monday, November 24, 2008

We've set up a bird-feeding station and it's seen a lot of traffic...
including 3 red squirrels. But there's lots of feed for everyone. I bought some suet this weekend and hope to get that up for the Hairy Woodpecker who has been coming around. So far we've had chickadees, nuthatches, goldfinches, bluejays, mourning doves and the hairy woodpecker. The feeders seem to be busiest when I first get up in the morning. I imagine they will get busier still, when the snow arrives.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stefanie is at a little gig tonight

Stef is off to the Walmart Christmas party to perform with Amanda's other singing students. I'm not there to see her perform which is weird for me. She is singing a Ron Sexsmith Christmas song..I think its called "Maybe this Christmas" and she is playing the guitar too. Then she is singing a jazzy version of "Rockin around the Christmas Tree" while Amada plays guitar. Sounds like fun and I wish I could be there.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

volunteer work

Lee here...This is a picture of Kate and Annie helping out at the book sale fundraiser for the Alzheimer society. I have always done volunteer work and think its important that kids do the same..That sence of community and helping out reminds us that we are all in this together and that we need to look after each other...we are our brothers keeper. Stefanie had her first volunteer job when she was 7 years old and helped out at a learning/drop in centre that we always went to. She had to report to the director once a week...if she couldnt come, she was expected to call Ginny the director...she had a list waiting for her of things she had to sharpen pencil crayons, water plants, help unpack craft supplies and then got these things checked off when she completed them. At the end of the year, she got a thankyou letter and a refrigerator magnet that says "volunteers take the time to lend a helping hand" that she still has. I think any little volunteer job is valuable and I hope that my children grow up feeling that is part of their responsibility to help others in whatever way they can.

New windows

Lee in the house...I dont quite feel in the Christmas mood yet because we have some construction going on at our house and everything is in disarray....I get more into it come Dec 1st when they start playing Christmas carols on the satelite dish..and we bring out our seasonal CD's. Kate is in a Christmas Ornament 4H club at the moment too...bringing home all kinds of awesome ideas.
The guy doing our windows is so great..our neihbour told us about him and we have had him do a few little jobs for us and now the windows...he is so funny, polite, punctual and tidy and thorough. The windows are such an improvement over the single paned ones we had that let in all the cold air! No more ice on the inside of our house!! No more putting up plastic every fall! It really makes me feel good seeing some progress in this old house!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kathee here...taking a quiet break after a HUGE decluttering job. I have had sewing fabric, craft projects, and lots of Christmas craft items packed away and stacked in the small bedroom,( now our 'guest' room) I started going through all the boxes and bags and organized and sorted them. (some is going to the Goodwill, some to the rag bag) Now I know what useable material I actually have. I also have all my Christmas fabrics and crafts sorted and ready to use in the next few weeks. I want to make somemore Christmas cloth bags again this year. (We used no paper last year!) I have quite a few from last year, but some did actually leave the house, so I will need a few more. Every time I go to the Goodwill or Salvation Army store, I am on the lookout for any old Christmas tablecloths or just red and white pieces or even some type of checkered piece that would make a good giftbag. This year I found a tablecloth with a xmas scene all around the outside edge, so when I cut it, the scene will be at the bottom of the bags. I also found a red and white striped valance that I will be able to make a few bags out of. Last year I bought some cute napkins and used them as the 'wrap'....2 gifts in one, and I did this with a cute tablecloth too, making the 'wrap' part of the gift. I'll have to keep my eyes open for some more of those too. Not only is it much better for the environment (not using paper, and reusing goodwill items) but it's actually a lot of fun searching out possible 'wrapping' ideas
Now that I've got everything ready, I'm going to start thinking about what crafts I want to make this year too. What a good feeling to get all that decluttered and organized!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our day

Lee on board.....Today was one of those really great days that you wish you could just stretch out to last. It was so quiet and calm..the house was already tidy so there were no big chores to do. Its friday so it has that whole TGIF element..Annie and I went to the library and hung out..talked to the librarian..checked out some books, magazines and movies and partook in the highspeed available there. The weather was perfect, mild with that smell of decomposing leaves. We got out some embroidery to work on. Made pizza dough to make panzerotties for supper. It was such a melow day..Stef was at work so she missed out on it but I know she enjoys being away sometimes. I will finish my book club book tonight. So glad Ive been able to be home with my kids! Its all good!

Hey there! kathee here with some photos...
I found this Butterfly- (a Polygonia comma) on the floor near the front window over a week ago.
It did not look good and barely moved when I tried to pick it up. (I had no idea how long it had actually been in the house).I didn't think it would survive outside, so I let it stay in the house and decided I should try and feed it. I tried an apple, but it couldn't get it's proboscis into the apple, so I tried a clementine and it stayed on that piece for a while, 'eating', I presume. Anyway, it still seemed pretty lethargic and I didn't think he was going to make it, but today he was flying about and was very fast and seemed strong. I realized that he likely wouldn't do well living in our house all winter and seeing as it is already 13 degrees out today and sunny, I let him go...he flew off over the house. I know he won't last the winter, but he really wasn't meant to, and at least he can have one last 'fling' before it gets too cold!
This morning I did the last pages of my sister's Altered Book! It was a HUGE job, but I actually loved going through all the photos that I put into it.I also went through the journal I kept when we went to England, and it was fun relieving that whole time together and then putting all that into her book too. These are the last 2 pages...I wanted to sum up all the things we have done when we get together every year for our "Sister's Week". I did one of these pages in my other sister's altered book and it is so much FUN! Wouldn't it be great to be able to make a living do this all day... maybe a "Ransom-Notes-R-Us"....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Cake

This is what Kate and I made to take to the Sister's Dinner..It was Kelly and Mickey's birthdays so what a treat!! It was delicious..all brownie with layers of buttery chocolate decandence. Kate did all the looked totally professional!

Sister's dinner

Lee here....After thanksgiving when me and my two sisters had dinner together with our families, we decided to make it a bi monthy thing...figuring we really should make an effort to know each other more and hang out..have yummy food and wine. Its a great way for my girls to see an aunt uncle and cousin and his girlfriend that we might only see at Christmas otherwise...a shame considering we dont live far apart. So on the left is my older (by 2 years) sister Kelly and my little sister (by 7 years) Mickey.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Seemed like a good idea at the time.........

Driving by a house one day in town, I saw a cabinet at the end of someone's driveway and pulled the truck around to take a closer look. It was a Hoosier cabinet! A Hoosier was a cupboard built in the early 1900's. Houses of that period were not equipped with built-in cabinetry, and the lack of storage space in the kitchen was a problem. The cabinet had three basic parts- the bottom consisting of compartments and/or drawers, the top which was not as deep and had shelves and in the middle where the top and bottom were joined was a slide out counter, sometimes with narrow drawers or a cutting board. The coolest part, was that the top usually had a combination flour-bin/sifter, a tin hopper that could be used without having to remove it from the cabinet.

They were many different styles made over the years. My grandmother had one. I remember hers had a flour sifter and a bin for flour that didin't pull out like a drawer, but rather tipped out so you could scoop out your flour as needed. Hers has an enamel pull out counter and was much older than this one. The one I have is not one of the old models, but it's still really cool.

Needless to say, as soon as I saw this one, I knew I had to have it. It cost me $50. Lucky for me, I was driving the truck that day and we were able to fit it into the back. Now I am in the process of stripping it so I can get it into the house before the winter hits. I have only ever stripped one other piece of furniture and now I remember why.......I hate doing it! It is an AWFUL job! And very slow, and I don't know why I thought I wanted to do this...But after 2 days I am much closer to be done- the outside of it anyway. The inside will have to wait until another time (ie: it will stay the way it is) And I do LOVE this cabinet and have the spot picked out where it will go. (oh by the way, anyone looking for a FREE piano?!) Here's some photos taken just as I started stripping it and a few in the middle of the mess. I hope to someday have "after" shots to post as well...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kathee those are sooo realistic looking!!!

and so yummy too!!
Here is Stef enjoying the leaves!
Me at the compost...

Lee here.....

I took Thai and Minh, Stef and Annie out and they seemed to have fun:) Chris was here to pass out goody bags and a can of lemonade to the 3 kids (from the same family) we usually get. It was such a beautiful night out for a walk!

During that beautiful day, I managed to clean up some of the yard..dug some leaves directly in the garden to decompose. I put leaves in my composter so I can start adding kitchen scraps again...the kids filled the leaf composter that I use as an addition to my food waste composter. I just add an armful of leaves whenever I empty the kitchen compost bucket. I bagged up some leaves to use in the spring. I hate to see leaves blow out of my yard..they are such valuable organic matter...I love the smell of them this time of year...and the cruchiness as you walk through them or as the wind blows them around. I have a vivid memory of helping my grandmother spread bagged leaves in her spring gardens for mulch.