Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas sewing projects

I thought I'd feature some of my handmade Christmas gifts. I had so much fun planning and making these gifts. And it was even more fun to see my relatives' reactions when they received their gifts. I wish I had had time to do more! Next year, maybe...

First up were matching Christmas outfits for the cousins. I finished them around Thanksgiving. Ian had a white corduroy romper with piping matching the girls' dresses, but the little bugger grew too fast and it doesn't fit anymore! I'm already formulating some ideas for spring. Top of the list - larger size for growing Ian!

Autumn had a special request for some sleep masks. It's hard to find masks that aren't frilly or too "adult". I had some great fabrics in my scrap pile that were just perfect. I drew the pattern from an adult sleep mask that I own, lined it with dark fabric inside, and backed it with super-soft flannel. She loved them.

And this - a doo-rag for my Harley-ridin' Papa. This was the hardest project I had, partly because I had never made anything for a head and partly because I had no pattern. I wound up buying a doo-rag online (for $4 - shipping and all!). I ripped it apart and used those pieces for a pattern. I cut the fabric generously and it was a little big. The next one will be just right. (My Mimi Lee had no idea what a doo-rag was. I think she's saying, "It's for what?" I love you, Lee-Lee!)

Emily requested some of my favorite recipes. Because I always feel more successful when I look like I know what I'm doing, I thought an apron was the perfect addition to a recipe book. I had fun making this. I didn't have a pattern for this one, either, but I had no trouble finding tutorials online and in craft books. I love the ruffle trim at the bottom. I hope there are many, many yummy dishes that come out of her kitchen!
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas! I'll upload pictures of our celebrations soon...

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
-John 1:14

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gearing up for Christmas and the end of 2007

We're busy, busy, busy here at chez Garrett. I thought I better take a moment before I go to bed to reflect and write down some of the things that have been going on.

Kevin's been quite the jet setter - two interviews in two different cities in one weekend. Oh, and the airlines lost his luggage once and misplaced it once. Whew. That's a lot even for Mr. Even-Steven to deal with! I know he'll be glad for some time off this week.

I've been busy in the kitchen doing my yearly baking - but not as much as I have in the past. I decided to stick with the things I like most - Mimi Lee's peanut brittle, Swedish Spritz, Pepparkakkor (Swedish ginger cookie), chex mix. When I was a girl, I cherished those special family goodies my mom made only at Christmas. I know her mom made them when she was a little girl. And now - joy, oh, joy - I get to share them with my own little family and make our own holiday baking traditions.

Caroline is the biggest blessing of our lives. She changes daily and I try so hard to savor every moment. Maybe not the bad ones as much as the good ones! Every day is an adventure.

Her favorite Christmas activity is driving around after dark looking for Christmas lights--blue ones specifically. I never get tired of hearing her say, "Oooo! Wow! Cool! Neat!" for miles all around the neighborhood. I've got to get it on video.

She loves singing and music, especially when someone else is doing the singing. But she adds words here and there when she knows them. She loves looking for where the music is coming from in the grocery store. She puts her hand to her ear, looks excitedly around, and says, "Mommy, whissen. Hear music?"

She can fill in the important words in all her favorite books (Good Night, Moon; The Going to Bed Book; Hug; Go, Dog, Go). She loves looking at books and reading them. Sometimes we spend 20 or 30 minutes just reading in her rocking chair. I attribute books (and Sesame Street) to the fact that she already knows how to count to 10 and her colors.

Caroline loves having everyone do something. If the Little Einsteins are shaking their whole bodies, be assured that Mommy, Daddy, Caroline, and Tigger are all shaking their whole bodies, too.

Caroline's favorite game is hide and seek. She hides an item or body part or person. Here's how a typical game goes...
Caroline: "Hand! Where are oo? Where is it?" (hand in coat pocket)
Mommy: "Where's your hand?"
Caroline: "Hand. Hiding in dere. (pulls hand out of pocket) Here is! Hand! I find it! Yay, Tine!" ("Tine" is how she says "Caroline".)
Mommy: "Silly Caroline!"
Caroline: "Silly Mommy!"
So silly!

One of our favorite things is seeing her pray with us. She bows her head and holds our hands, eyes peeking up at us to see exactly what it is we are doing. And there is always a small-voiced, but hearty "A-men!" at the end. We ask her who we pray to and she says, "God," in a very awed and reverent whisper. We pray that there will never be a single day when she doesn't know the love and grace of God.

Well, I didn't intend to ramble on. But I think I'll be glad someday I wrote all this out. Next post - a picture or two. I promise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday happenings

We had a little Christmas party at our house recently and I wanted to show you some of the ways I decorated and entertained our guests.

These apple candles were quite the topic of conversation. They are real Granny Smith apples. Kevin bought me a special tool last Christmas that cores out a hole perfectly for a tea light. I've used it on pumpkins and pears, but my favorite fruit of choice for candles are apples.

I love lime green (in case you hadn't noticed). So in addition to my lime green apple votives, I filled a vase and a candy dish with fresh key limes.

And this cake was really fun for me, a wanna-be pastry chef/baker. I saw it in Southern Living and thought it was so cute. It's a 3-layer red velvet/white swirled cake with peppermint cream cheese icing. The ribbon is made by using strips of "Fruit by the Foot" sprinkled with sugar crystals. (I had no idea what "Fruit by the Foot" was before I made this cake.) I think it added a very festive touch to the table. Who doesn't like an edible present?

And to top it all off, we all had a wonderful time at the party!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My pretty girl in her pretty dress

Here is my gorgeous girl in one of her Christmas dresses. This is her "fancy" dress. It's the same pattern I used on this fall dress. I am so proud of the work I did on this, especially when I look back on the trouble I had last Christmas. And the icing on the cake is seeing Caroline's sweet smile in these photos.

The back

The front
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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Trimming the tree

Kevin and I are so excited about Christmas with Caroline this year. She helped us decorate the tree. I remember this snowman from some of my early Christmases.

Daddy puts the star on top.

The trimmed tree - in our dining room this year
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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Zoo lights

The Memphis Zoo has special holiday hours and lights. We had a great time. The camera battery died after these two pictures, so no reindeer pictures. Boo...

Snuggling with Daddy on the train
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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I found this snowman gel kit and knew Caroline would have fun putting it on our front window. She loves it. She rearranges the snowflakes 100 times every day.

Finding just the right spot

Putting the nose on Frosty
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Monday, December 03, 2007

It's snowing!

OK, not really. But making these "paper" snowflakes almost makes me wish it were snowing. (Almost - Remember, I'm a summer kind of girl!) There won't be any paper to pick up when you're done, either!


Or, if you really want to play with some snow, go build your own snowman from the comfort of your heated living room!

Snowman Builder