Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

It seems I am always late with these holiday posts. Maybe that is because I am too busy relaxing and celebrating! This Christmas was filled with feasting and music, family and friends, laughter and rejoicing. Gifts were given and received, and there was much joy in each. Family pictures were taken in front of the tree, and in spite of the seeming impossibility of getting seven (or eight) people looking good at the same time and in the same place, we actually got some decent photos. Our *adopted* sister Ayu joined us Christmas Day, and therefore was included in the photo madness.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is definitely the music. We play Christmas CD's, Christmas Pandora stations, Christmas radio stations...or we make music ourselves! Christmas Eve, we all gathered in the living room and sang carols, while I played along on my violin and my sisters traded off accompanying on the piano. Christmas Day, we sight-read Christmas piano duets (a Christmas tradition that I love) and my mom got out her flute and played some carol arrangements with me.

And of course, the real reason for celebrating was not forgotten. We pondered how God sent His Son into a world of selfish, ungrateful, wicked people to die for them and save them. He loves us more than we could know. So when He commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, how can we do anything but joyfully obey? And yet we still grieve Him with our sin day in and day out. Oh the riches of His mercy! He loves us through it all. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but perhaps this year I will: to love and delight in God more and more, to turn my every desire towards His will, and to never forget what He has done for me. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Beautiful Things

My dad got interested in woodturning a few years ago. He loves working with his hands and is very detail-oriented. He is also quite a perfectionist. Needless to say, it didn't take him long to get good at woodturning. He has made everything from bowls to apples to a candelabra.

He took the candelabra to one of the local woodturning meetings, and was asked to do a demonstration showing how he had made it. So one Saturday in November, a handful of woodturners came over to watch him work.

For several months, my dad had been talking about having me make him a woodturning smock - something to keep the wood shavings from sticking to his clothes and to keep his pockets clean. I promised to make him one for his birthday. That was back in August. About a week before his demonstration, I finished up a big sewing project I had been busy with and got to work on the smock. I finished it in time! ...well, if you can call minutes before the demonstration is supposed to start 'in time'. Anyway, he was able to wear it for the demonstration, and I had two other wood turners ask me to make smocks for them, thanks to my dad's advertising!

Here is some more of my dad's beautiful work:

Yes, those things on the left are wooden straws. He said they are easy to make. They sure don't look like it!

Some beautiful scoops and spoons.

I love these natural edge bowls - the shape, the color, the edge - everything!

A pepper mill, two vases, and a spindle box.

This was the first bowl he made. Cedar is such a beautiful wood!

This is my favorite bowl. Who knew that wood could be so amazing? I love the swirly grain!

You can't really tell from the picture, but the one in the middle is a shallow platter with a base. I love the sharp color contrast in the bowl on the right.

One of my dad's most recent projects. He carved the face with a utility knife!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Frozen Project

A couple months ago a woman contacted me asking if I would sew some costumes for her. She was giving her daughter a Frozen-themed birthday party, and she and her sister wanted to dress up like Elsa and Ana to surprise the girls. What a fun idea!

She bought the fabric and the pattern, so I could just dive in and start cutting and sewing.

They were so much fun to make! And I loved the cape!

So cute!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Crafting

I am one of those people who wait to play Christmas music or decorate for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. I like to celebrate each holiday separately. So the day after Thanksgiving, I am usually outside putting up lights and greenery and whatever other Christmas decorations I can find in the boxes in the basement. This year, however, I took out all the lights Friday morning and discovered that about 1.5 strands worked. Ahhh! The lights are 70% of my decorating material!

There was nothing to do but head into town to get some new ones. But since I don't like spending a lot of money, I went to the thrift stores instead of Walmart. And since it was just the day after Thanksgiving, the thrift stores didn't have their Christmas lights out yet. Ahhh! So back home I went empty-handed.

I had done some Pinterest browsing to find fun decorating ideas, and ended up finding a lot of DIY Christmas crafts. Since I couldn't do any decorating, I decided to do some crafting. I had so much fun!! It has been a while since I've had the time to just sit and be creative.

Glittery light bulbs:

I didn't have the kind of glitter they used in the picture on Pinterest, but I did have some tiny gold sequins, some tinfoil, and a cheese grater. Yes, I made my own silver glitter!

I used my trusty Mod Podge to glue on the glitter. Once the glue dried, I put on another coat over the glitter to hold it in place.

3D snowflakes:

These are so easy to make and they look so cool! Pardon my mess. I was in the middle of crafting and therefore had no time to clean up.

Christmas tree cones:

I seriously love these trees! I cut triangles out of paper, glued on some fabric or tinfoil (with Mod Podge, of course) and then rolled them into cones. I made some more today to decorate the piano:

Spiral Christmas trees:

I made a much smaller version of the Pinterest picture. They are so cute!

Paper ornaments:

Mine don't look quite as elegant as the Pinterest ones, but they are still fun!

This is all I have done for now, but I am not finished!! I will have to post some pictures once all the decorating is complete. Today, I had fun cutting out snowflakes.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season!!