Ten things I loved about 2008

1- the inspiration I got from Amanda Soule to start taking daily pictures

2- the blog I started to post those pictures, but that has grown into a place where I can share some thoughts and craftiness too

3- the friends I made blogging, some visiting and commenting almost daily (hi Elizabeth) and some dropping in regularly (uhm, is it wise to name people? I don’t want anyone to feel left out – just know all your visits and comments are appreciated very much)

4- the house I love becoming more and more the home I wanted it to be, wooden flooring and the (fake) fireplace being on top of the dreams-come-true-list.

5- the good amount of sunny weather we got this year and also how I learned to appreciate other types of weather (ha! I wanted a sunny picture to go with this, but New Year’s Eve is traditionaly foggy – the cobwebs look great though)

6- the thrifty finds (latest one: this colorful apron)

7- the excitement of preparing a book to be printed (continuing in 2009)

8- watching my kids becoming the adults they soon will be, but still being able to guide them a little (or at least that’s what I hope I’m doing)

9 – watching my husband enjoying the growth of his business

10 – the completing of so many crafting projects, the fun I have using some of them and the fun of giving a lot of them away  (I’m saving a big giveaway right here for my first year blogaversery though). I am so glad I stopped trying to sell them (but never say never…) and instead gave most of the frustrating bags away. That feels so much better!

Wishing you all a wonderful 2009!

Some sewing

Can you have too much weekend? Well, I never thought I would say so, but yes, you can! After two days of Christmas (two and a half actually, because preparing for Christmas Eve started early) and a lazy Saturday, I was bored beyond telling with having weekend yesterday.

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Of course I could have started cleaning (very necessary, the cat is spreading hairs all through my kitchen following the sun around). Or doing laundry. Or keep knitting (I’ll show you the very, very big project I’m working on later and the finished poncho too). Knitting is usually fun and relaxing. But my head needed something else. I’m a bit on the worrying side lately and endless stockinette knitting is not helping to stop thinking.
So…after a while I decided to try sewing. Just for fun. Not the big ideas that are slowly building in my mind (giving totes away with my book on the presentation I am planning for February 4th or maybe even starting up the shop again). Not finishing the quilt also (because that means I need to spread it out to pin it, which means I need to move all the furniture aside and I even think it means I should vacuum before spreading it out). No, just plain fun. Just hauling my very heavy vintage hand sewingmachine (Theo was working, so the other –noisy- sewing machine was no option) to the living room and start making something.

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I wasted some time staring at my fabrics and finally deciding on cutting into the bright blue I had been saving to make a skirt off someday when I loose that weight. But than there will be some nice vintage and new blue dresses waiting for me, so I might as well make a happy bag to go with those. I also had some scraps of a vintage sheet left that combined perfectly with it.

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It was fun. Just cutting and deciding what to do on the way. The bag is on the small side, but I love it. Two open pockets and a zippered pocket on the inside, the lovely blue on the outside.

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Oh yes, I needed that!

You might have noticed the little bits of frost going on in the pictures. Yes, it’s true! Winter has struck early and hard for the first time in years. The canal is freezing and we should be able to go skating in a few days.

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We had a wonderful Christmas! It was quiet and peaceful, just what we needed.
I had a lot of fun cooking good meals (but forgot to take kitchen-pictures) and we had even more fun sharing the food with family.

On Christmas Eve we had a nice diner, just us and the kids, and we shared some modest presents (a book for Theo and dvd’s for the girls).

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Of course we listened to my favorite Christmas music. I love Jim Reeve’s voice, but the record also holds special meaning to me. My parents have one too. They played it every Christmas and each time they did, they told us kids they bought it at the first Christmas they spent as a married couple. As a teenager I thought that was so romantic!

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We don’t have Christmas-stuff that goes back to when we first were married, but that tablecloth is from the first year we really started celebrating Christmas again (1996, the same year we bought the tree).

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Christmas Day we had a slow breakfast at home, than went for coffee and a quick lunch to my sister-in-law’s who had the whole family over. At four we drove home again and I started cooking for diner with my parents. I had the biggest turkey I ever cooked (4,2 kg) but it worked out very good in only two hours thanks to Nigella.The cat also thought it smelled great…

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The tablecloth we used for Christmas diner is the one my grandmother used on the kid’s table when we had family Christmas diners. I can vaguely remember those, I think they stopped when I was about ten years old. The tradition of giving a book or music (or dvd – “something meaningful”) was also initiated by my grandparents. Traditionally in my family and the village we grew up in, it was not done to give presents at Christmas.

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The second day of Christmas (yes, that’s an official holiday here! We also have two Easterdays and two Pentecostdays) we stayed at home and lounged all day. Just reading, watching a few Christmasmovies, knitting, taking a quick walk (it was sunny but sooo cold), relaxing, eating christmas cookies, drinking hot chocolat and soup.

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It was good!

Solstice thoughts

I was on the look out for a beautiful sunrise this morning to share my way of celebrating Solstice with you. But it was so cloudy that it just changed from orange warehouse shine (yuck!) to gray overcast morning light (also yuck, but better than that artificial shine we get all night since someone near us decided to start growing roses).

So we’ll have to settle for last night’s sunset, which was just magical.

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At our home we do not really celebrate Solstice, but it is important to me.
The solarfestivities are my own little reminders of the greater cycles of life. Wintersolstice for me is the start of a new year. I also celebrate the new calender year like everybody else does and I even make resolutions but Wintersolstice holds special meaning for me in a more spiritual way.
The cycle of the Sun for me represents the way ups and downs are all part of life. So today I am reminded of the way the sun always returns and grows stronger again after a period of darkness and weakening. I always feel a bit lighter of heart after Solstice.
It is also a reminder that there is no quick way to change things. Wintersolstice means we’re slowly heading to lighter periods again, but the dark days aren’t over until Imbolc (1st of Februari).
I really needed to remember this today. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t feel renewed and clean and over stuff this morning, but waiting for the sun to rise reminded me to take it slow. Like the days growing a few minutes longer every day, we can work on bettering ourselves, just one small step after another…

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I saved this post as a draft and left to interview a DJ. When I got out off his dark studio the sun was shining and the sky was blue! So I took a little detour.
I drove home after a brisk walk in a small nature park and felt so grounded en refreshed. I can’t imagine a better gift for Solstice!

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Cozying up

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One of the things we really want to change in our house is that we would love a fireplace or at least a woodburner. But there is no chimney and putting one in is so expensive that it is just not happening soon.
So when I saw this fake fireplace at the thrifstshop I could not resist. And luckily Theo liked it as much as I did, so it came home with us. I think it looks like it belongs there. So cozy!