Saturday, November 30, 2013

sweet november: you {me}

Well what do ya know? It's the last day of November, the last day of sweet november and the prompt for today is you. I have other, more flattering photos of myself taken this month but thought to use this one from today, you keep it real. Today was a bit of a crappy day. My allergies decided to throw and all-nighter and I woke up feeling like someone held me under a vat of glue. I managed to stomach some pancakes and then had a crying fit before I went back to bed for another four hours. After much panic and deliberation, I decided to hit up my last pack of steroids and I have to admit that six hours later, I am feeling a smidge better. Let's cross our fingers tomorrow is even more so. I'm wary of taking them because they leave my immune system more open and vulnerable to all the ick around me but at this point, breathing and sleeping are at the top of my list. Let's hope I can keep the kiddo germs at bay and extra hope my flu shot sticks (knock on wood). So this is me, two hours or so after I woke up from my nap, chapped lips, no lippy, and no make-up or moisturizer even. Just me in my pjs and thrifted top...happy november!

If ya wanna see all my other sweet november 2 posts, click here.

Friday, November 29, 2013

sweet november: shadows

This is about as good as it gets folks. It's been overcast all day long so the only shadows to be found were in the homestead and other than the chaos in the room that shall not be mentioned what is left is this...three wee bells for my bell collection. It's about as small as you can get. I need more bells!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

sweet november: family

This year's dinner was so much better than last year but last year was fantastic in that we spent time together hiking ourselves silly all over Sequoia National Park. An auntie a-go-go put together a feast and we hopped into Eleanor for the short sprint on a favorite road to hang out with some of the mister's family. No drama just good company and eats and pie but of course. I brought my instax to document the evening and since I am a natural light snob I won't have a photo of the photos until tomorrow. Tomorrow will be spent at home eking out a smidge of chaos in the scary room, making pom-poms, cooking pancakes, and putting together next week's lesson plan for the kiddos. If any shopping needs to be done it will be for mini gingerbread men (and not any black friday deals) as next week is all about the Gingerbread Baby.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

diy a quick and easy centerpiece

I had this idea for a string art pumpkin back when we lived in L.A. but I never got to it. I almost did not get to it this year either but today I got the crafty bug and got to it! All you need is a pumpkin, dressmaker pins, and embroidery floss.
My wee white pumpkins have since yellowed in our warm, warm autumn. To create your base for design, push a pin into your pumpkin and continue until you are ready for string. I really like the way they look without string too so left one of them all pin happy. Knot one end of floss to a pin and get to wrapping. Tie off at end and trim. Make sure not to push your pins all the way into the pumpkin as you will need some wiggle room for your floss. If your pumpkin has super firm flesh, make sure to have a pair of pliers nearby to remove pins if you need to fix your design.

last minute napkin rings for your holiday table

These simple napkin rings were made from yarn, wire, and washi tape. Easy to make in just an hour two (it depends on how many you need) so get to it!
I used a small pom-pom maker to create my poms.While I think it is quicker to use your hands for pom making, a pom maker will keep your poms more uniform with less trimming needed so there is less waste. So make two poms for each napkin ring, and leave your yarn ties long.
To create the ties, you will need washi tape and wire. I found my wire in the floral section of a craft store. You are basically creating a twist-tie which will make your napkin rings not as permanent as other methods but they do work in a pinch. Lay a piece of washi tape down ticky-side up with a length of wire on top. Complete by sandwiching another length of washi tape on top of the wire, trim end with scissors. Adhere the pom-poms by tying them to the washi tie with the yarn tails.
Wrap one twisty napkin ring around a napkin and get ready to dine in fun fashion!

sweet november: new

The new year is getting closer every day. I picked up a new day planner and I am super excited to fill it in. Every year I aim to keep better record of my days and every year I fizzle out. Let's hope this coming year will be better. These shoes too, are new. These are my second pair as the first pair positively hurt my heel. Darn me and my wide feet. I ended up exchanging them for a larger siez and while they may be a smidge too big they do not hurt and an easily be made to fit with the help of a heel dealio. Other than that this is about as new as I get. Sure I've acquired all sorts of goodies..all sorts and all secondhand. Oh and can you see? The freesias will be here soon!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

sweet november: tiny

These tiny mushrooms are indeed tiny. Teeny-tiny. I had to lie down on the ground, chin resting on the dirt and pine needles. Taken three years ago, I hope to get back to this magical place after the next rain/ It's supposed to rain on Thanksgiving...perhaps this weekend will be a good time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

sweet november: window view

I love the view outside our sliding door (well, except for the power lines). That big rocky peak there? It's called Bishop Peak and it is a volcanic plug, one of the Nine Sisters. You can hike up to the top of the peak (the mister does it often, I have yet to do it....cough, cough.) At various times during the day, if you look to the top of the peak from the homestead you can see people standing there. Just the other morning I was up around 6:30 and the entire top was covered with a line of tiny figures, while yesterday I watched the moon set over the peak. I really want to go up but always end up so sick now with my menopausal allergies. Sigh. The bird shape is there on the glass so the birds don't fly into the window. It's never fun when the birds fly into the window. The flying saucer is there care of the nephew a-go-go. He is a bit enamored of all things spacey. Just below this is a duet of predator aliens or something. He loves a good alien. To the left is a Godzilla that I have since turned into Minnie Pearl complete with pearl necklace and lips. I often go through the menagerie of space creatures and pretty them up much to the nephew's dismay. I think he has given up on changing them back now.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

sweet november: pretty {and a giveaway}

 I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some may think this wee bit of denim and doily is far from pretty but I like it. I really like it. It's pretty, don't ya think?
I cobbled this brooch together with a bit of burlap, denim, doily, and shine. All small bits randomly cut from thrifted items and folded and stitched together in just a few minutes.
I made  three and so two are up for grabs. If you would like a chance to win a wee bit of handmade pretty from me, leave a comment and share what your favorite thing to make is be it cooking, crafting, or mischief!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

sweet november: on screen

I wore blue and green striped socks. Not a fez or a bow tie but still I was festive. A just about perfect way to spend my hacking day...with a doctor...or two...or three....

Friday, November 22, 2013

sweet november: warm

I picked up this moth eaten cashmere wrap at the Goodwill Outlet. It's a bit swiss cheesy but golly is it soft. Worth every penny...little less than a buck's worth. I'm going to ad some felted sweater patches to it and hope that all this wheezing I've been having is not connected to it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

sweet november: shoes

My walkable school shoes. Though I did just by a new pair of clodhoppers that the sales guy tried to talk me out of by suggesting I look at something more aesthetically pleasing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

sweet november: pumpkin

mr. a-go-go and I went to a pumpkin potluck this past weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday. We made pumpkin espresso ice cream which was a bit on the meh side. I think it needed more sugar. We also brought homemade donuts which I thought were going to be a bust but then they cooled down and were quite tasty. There was not a crumb left. I need to make them again. I found the recipe on pinterest and baked them in the cupcake baker. I think it was this recipe. So good! Oh and that photo up there? That is espresso with pumpkin ice cream (trader joe's, not mine). Also very, very, tasty!

There was pumpkin risotto, pumkin brioche, carrot cake...cheesecake...

Homemade chocolate dipped marshmallows (I had three).

And this fantastic savory bit that was kind of like a bread pudding crashed into a rarebit. Holy moly, was this good!

After we ate and stuffed ourselves silly we headed outside for some festive fun. It was time to make some birthday art....

And as it turns out, while we may be awesome at whipping up pumpkin dishes, we are a little less awesome when it comes to popping balloons with darts.

We managed (I popped two!) and then mister started throwing sticks...

and then everyone started throwing sticks...

and then the birthday girl got right up in that last green balloon's face and gave it some what for...

I want to do this for my birthday...I may need some darts.

Monday, November 18, 2013

sweet november: thankful

I really wanted my words here to be poignant. I'm tired though and busy with the business of life. I am so thankful for this busyness of life. For living in such a beautifully stunning part of this country, for my mixed-up mister and his family. I am thankful for my sibs, my memories of my mother, and the humor she infused in me. I am thankful for friends who get me no matter how far away they are, and I am so super thankful and heart happy to have found such a delightful job working with a team of women who I enjoy at a school that astounds me with its community. Oh...and I am thankful for good music that makes me smile and livens up my heart.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

sweet november: layered

The weather is finally cool enough for tights and socks and boots. This look here, is kind of my signature style and I have not really jumped back into it for awhile as I seem to be in frumpy-mode. But I'm trying, I am. We went to a pumpkin potluck today and I decided to festive myself up. The boots I had just received and was sad to discover that they were not actually the kelly green they appeared to be in the purchase photo. They were a non-returnable order from Zulily and I have to say that good old Zulily has some awesome customer service. I had contacted them to let them know that the boots were not even close to the green they appeared to be in their photo and that I was bummed out and they responded within 24 hours and gave me shop credit. Color me impressed. These boots here are not even as green as my photo shows but they are a bit on the minty side. So this is me in my layered leg look and I think that I may need to get back into it. After all, I do seem to have a thing for socks....and tights...and!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

sweet november: comfort**

Yikes, I almost forgot! Today's word is comfort and while I wish I could re-use my tea photos as a hot cuppa is always comforting I'm going to go with the bed. Good golly do I love my bed. The headboard was made by my brother and I have had it for thirteen years. I absolutely love the uniqueness of it, add a happy pile of vintage linens and a girl just might lounge about all day!
I have not managed to keep up with my making the bed posts. While the bed does get made and the linens changed, I just have not had much time to stage and photograph all the happy not to mention how there is still a box of linens out in the garage that needs to be laundered. I did do the october bed...but I am not sure I posted it...oh and there was a september bed as well...

**well there goes that. Today's word was warm, not comfort, I don't know where my brain is lately.  This post might change if I can get to warm tomorrow...

Friday, November 15, 2013

sweet november: leaves

We have a lovely non-fruiting grapevine on the back patio here at the homestead. It curls around and around our shaded table peeking in and out of the metal fencing that arches over the tabletop and bench seats. It's what we use to track the seasons as it betrays the weather much better than any temperatures tell us.
While the week's forecast shouts out temps in the Hi 70s and we groan and groan because it is November and we could really use a break from this six month long summer already, the leaves on the grapevine begin to change. First the bright green dulls to dark then spots appear in a deep bergundy that spreads across the entire leaf blushing blushing away. The deep bergundy fades to coral and then yellow and then the wind takes advantage of them and carries them away in a dance of swirls and twirls.
So while it has been hot like summer during the day, the dark brings a chill that tickles those leaves so that they show all their colors. And with the variety of leaf sizes I thought I would also take advantage of the show.
To make this garland you will need 4-6 leaves in various sizes, a stapler, needle and embroidery thread. Layer your leaves according to size and color with the largest leaf on the bottom. Use a stapler to anchor them all together.
To cover up the staple mark, top the whole bit of frilly pretty with an even smaller leaf and lace along a length of embroidery thread.
Continue until you have a happy leaf party and hang in cheery space. If you have the time preserve the leaves in glycerin first so that they last and don't give off any allergy inducing fungi. This may make an appearance for the November bed photo but it won't remain up as this bit of pretty has not been treated and is full of all sorts of allergy inducing ick for me. But boy, isn't it pretty?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

sweet november: everyday

We all have our routines. Some of us wake-up and do yoga or meditate. Some hop in the shower, while others cook breakfast for their loved one. Some routines involve listening to favorite music, checking email, or playing Farm Heroes Saga. There are so many tings we do everyday. So many things.
Everyday I check my email, listen to favorite songs, give the mister a squeeze, torment the witch-baby, and think of things to do in the classroom. Everyday I find myself in tears, both happy and sad. I laugh everyday as well. I smile, I wince, I cuss a little and may even play Farm Heroes Sage.
I also drink tea. Sometimes coffee but mostly tea. Green tea, black tea and all of those non-tea teas which are actually called tisanes. I drink them.
A hot cuppa does a body good. It does a body even better when you can smell what you are drinking. Still...I drink a happy cup everyday in one of my happy mugs be it chickenish or a smidge owly. Bottoms up, anyone up for a tea swap? Leave me a comment and let's swap!