Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Prettiest Little Recycling Project!

Do you have a great many catalogs or old magazines around the house?  Are they piling up and you haven't put the recycling out yet?  Good.  You're going to be needing them to make some super cute trees!

I was recently gifted a Christmas book from my grandmother.  She knows I LOOOVE all things creative and handmade, so she always provides me with new inspiration.  This idea came from  Southern Living's 2011 Christmas book. 

As you can see by the cover there are MAANY scrumptious ways to celebrate Christmas involved in this little book!  There are recipes, decor and craft ideas.  But the one that grabbed me first, (probably because it seemed like the simplest thing in the world to do with littles running around...)  were the trees.

Here are a few of my 'naked' Christmas trees.  They are quite cute just as they are, but I decided to add little pretty things to mine.  See my can of spray paint there?  Shiny excitement in a can!  Oh, the things you can do with a little spray paint!

So go gather up your pile of catalogs and old magazines and put in a good movie.  Get a hot cuppa to keep nearby and start folding pages.  It's that easy!  You may find that your littles will want to hop right in and fold along with you.  And that is just great because you will have more trees to play with!  And their little hands will be very busy for a period of time actually making something. 

I liked to use books of various sizes.  I love the tall trees, but the shorter ones are so cute and fat.  They were made using some of those smaller cooking/recipe magazines.  I found that if you fold two books of the same size and then put them together you will have a much nicer, rounder tree.  Otherwise, you may have a 'flat' side on the back.  Of course, that's ok too since some will sit flat against a wall on a mantel. 

We took our trees outside and gave them a little spray.  Then we arranged the crochet trimmies and buttons that we wanted to use for our decorations while the trees dried.

The Button Selection Process was of extreme importance here.  The whole jar had to be dumped to get a proper look-see at what was in there so we could collect up all the best ones!  And did you know how well and how fast buttons go sliding across hardwood floors?  Amazzzzzing! 

Look at that CUTE little FAMILY of TREES!!!  Are they not adorable?!  Are they not the CUTEST little trees ever?!  I mean especially since they are a virtually free craft idea using Stuff On Hand and the gazillion books that come in the mail. 

I had fun crocheting different colors of trims for these little guys.  I started out thinking the traditional colors would be best... gold, white, red.  But somehow a bit of pink got in there. 

Then that led to the pink and green tree, which I LOOOVE.  Then it became more fun to find buttons that were flowers or butterflies since we were gettin' kinda girly...

This tree in the center has the button garland.  I strung lots of buttons (especially red and shiny ones) onto my yarn and as I crocheted a chain I slipped  buttons up and hooked around them.  I added a button after every eight chains.

So as of yesterday we were up to 46 catalogs here in the Hearthroom.  I'm sure they're not done coming yet, so I'll probably go make a few more button garlands and crochet doo-dads to dress up a few more trees.  Two of these little trees have found new homes, so I'll be needing to add to the family.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving - I hope you had a Wonderful one.
We have so much to be thankful for here in the Hearthroom.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Itty-Bitty Crochet Decor

I haven't forgotten about sharing my recycled paper craft with you.  I'm just trying to finish them up before the big reveal...
 So here is a bit of my button garland and crocheted goodies to decorate my little recycled paper project...

 One more little shot...  Oh, those cute little hooky pieces!!!

And then I end up with something like this... But you do deserve much better pictures so I am working on finishing that up for you! 

In the mean time, the Rippling has been slow.  Very slow.  I do love it and really want to spend some more time with my new blankie, but just now I've been into crocheted button garlands, etc...

And making a couple of cards for some of my lovely SCS friends.

Just sweet notes to say hi. 

So I hope to get very comfy with my Rippling later and hope to finish up my recycled paper beauties to photograph for you!  

 As soon as I find a dash of energy to do it all.  You know those kinds of days when you get frightening phone calls from family?  The kind that involve medical terms and symptoms?  It's been that kind of day here.  And honestly, I think all is well, but in the process I feel like I've aged a year today.  And I will continue to pray for these dear people that I love.

Hoping all is well with you and your loved ones!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Historical Adventure

Not that our adventure was historical by any means, but rather that history was our adventure. 
 I just LOOOVE going back in time (you know what I mean).  Visiting places of importance and trying to get just a glimpse of what it was like, what it felt like for the very people who lived in that place, at that time, making monumental and trivial decisions alike.  

Did we walk in the very footsteps of George Washington or Martha? 
What little children really slept in that little wooden bed frame on the floor?

And isn't that an idea that could be considered here in our home?  Instead of enclosing our littles into cage like cribs, providing a safe little bed low to the floor where they can easily curl up when tired or step out when ready.  Deserves further thought at least...

As promised, a few of our favorite memories from Mt. Vernon

 It just needs to be experienced.  I only wish that you could have longer to tour, time to linger.  I wish the tour was a little more informative.  I know it's one of the most visited places in our country and they have so many people to accommodate, but I just wish there was more.

Of course not everyone ponders the same things that I do, and then there are many who are much more thoughtful about things than I, but I would love to be able to just sit quietly in these rooms.  I would love to have more time to look at mouldings and trims, paint colors and woodwork, the furniture...  To imagine the people walking through this home performing daily activities.  To have the time to envision what it was like to sit in these rooms, at the dining table or at Mr. Washington's desk, all by candlelight.

Not to mention the beauty that surrounds.  You really should visit.

And as I sit here, Hubby grumbling in the background about gloves that are absent from the Hearthroom's hearth (because I put the filthy things out into the garage, of course)...  I am pulled back to reality.  I'm enjoying a really rich cup of coffee as I write this.  A wonderfully thoughtful person gave a bit of Ugandan coffee to dear Hubby for us to try.  It really is a wonderful treat.  Even if it is accompanied by a Tootsie Roll.

The trick or treating stash is really ridiculous this year.  Young Man does not devour candy like some, so that really isn't such a worry.  It's my addiction to Tootsie Rolls that seems to only occur at this time of year, every year.  That's my concern.  At least I have a good cup of coffee to go with it.

And as it's Harry Potter Weekend on TV, I am totally comforted by familiar sounds, music, and voices from these movies that I will leave on for the duration.  Even though I have seen these movies more times than I can count, I love the familiarity of them.  I know, it's a simple thing, but there you go.  I adore the story. 
 The whole 7 book, 8 movie thing, deleted scenes and all. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


First, I just have to say how special it is when my Young Man wants to have a cup of coffee or tea with me.  Ah, I just LOOOOVE it!  Of course, he is not allowed to consume any real quantity of either, but we fix a special mug, (Darth Vader on this day), with lots of milk, a fair amount of sugar and a splash of coffee.  Or we opt for decaf tea.  I just love my time with him and it's so great to see him enjoy that special time with me.  I will continue to foster this with the hopes that as he grows older he will continue to know that we can always take time to sit with a good cuppa and chat about whatever is on his mind.  And have a cookie...

I see YARN!!!
Well, you know how I think.
Actually, we had a spectacular, cool day at Mt. Vernon and I can't wait to show you some of the pictures from our day.  The views are almost as amazing as the history.  I'll try to get that together soon. 

But for now just a peek at my tiny bit of Ripples....

Remember the Ripple-A-Long?  Here is my first post about it and Here is where it all started at Attic24.

I will tell you that I was struggling with which color next?  Does that look right??  Oh, I just don't like how that looks!  Etc....


 I kind of like it now.  I mean, maybe I'm just bonding with it because it spends so much time in my hands and I've gotten used to the colors I've chosen.  I don't feel that I've gotten very far, but that's not important.  It gave me something to do on a recent car journey and I love always having it close by in it's basket waiting to be picked up. 

Ok, so looking at it now, I'm still not crazy about how it started out, but I have lots to learn about using colors together and I'm on a Color Journey.  I will sit and ponder my next few color choices and hopefully will surprise myself.  And you!

Lastly, I just have to say I'm always amazed at the amount of catalogs that come in the mail as the Christmas season approaches.  This is my stack so far.  I have decided to watch the stack this year and see just how many catalogs make their way to the Hearthroom .  Of course we recycle here at the Hearthroom, but I just found a great little new-to-me idea for these babies. 

My grandmother gave me an early Christmas present when I went for a visit this past week.  She is the one who years ago instilled in me my LOOOOVE for handmade everything.  And she continues to bring me great ideas and inspiration.  Although they mostly involve YARN . . .  this little craft helps you recycle.

I'll be back to show you what you can do with your stack soon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Busy Happy Days

Every day is an adventure around here, but sometimes we actually get to go out and have some fun with a Young Man kind of adventure.  This fall he has given us ample opportunity to get outdoors and do things we wouldn't have otherwise.

October 1st was blustery cold here and we did have a little bundled-up sort of picnic by our fire ring.  The usual fried chicken, potato salad and fruit accompanied by the family dog, drooling of course.  For us it's just a fun way to welcome fall.

Then we went on a little camping trip for Young Man.  Just one night and we knew it would be a little chilly, but we were excited to go as it would be Sweet P's first camping trip. 

It was fun setting up our little 'home' for the night.  Sweet P.  enjoyed every bit of outdoor time spent toddling and trying out her new 'run'.  Young Man had lots of friends and activities to enjoy.  We rarely saw him actually...

 Our fun afternoon turned into a bright, chilly night.  It was a great time to sit around a campfire and chat with friends and chase little people who loved the idea of outdoor freedom in the moonlight!  We did wake up with cold noses and very, very, very much enjoyed our morning coffee.  Yes, I did say morning coffee. 
It's still camping - but with coffee!  You've got to have priorities, right?

 A gorgeous, crisp morning full of light.

 It was all great fun for little people and big people.  We can't wait to do it again.

 Next, young man had a fishing trip to attend and we wanted to go as a family.  That meant setting up a little day-camp for Sweet P. and myself.  As she would like to 'be the fish' and play in the water that was much too cold, we had to make an interesting site far from the fishing spot.

 It was a beautiful day to be out.  It was one of those days when the sun felt so hot we would put our blanket just in the edge of the shade, but as the sun moved we began to notice the chill.  It was an afternoon spent moving our blanket many times chasing the sun's warmth.   

This was our view of the fishing spot.  A view dappled with color. 

 But this was our 'close-up' view!  Yarny goodness and happy toddler-time goodness was very much appreciated in our sun warmed spot.  This is a small afghan I made with stash-on-hand. 
And at the end of the day everyone was smiling.  Young Man was successful and had a great time catching our dinner.  Sweet P. was very interested as long as she maintained a little distance from the catch. 

Ahhhh...  It was just so gorgeous!  
Just looking at this picture now makes me feel so relaxed.  I need to make a screen-saver with it.  Then print it out poster size and hang it in every room, lol! 

Happy Day to you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day Trip

 One of our favorite things to do is take Day Trips.  In September we were able to participate in a day at The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia.  It's  a great way to spend some time outdoors and seeing how others have lived.  There is lots of walking and exploring to be done here.  I just thought I'd share a few of our favorites with you.

The English Farm.

Look at the detail in this chimney!  Love it!

Young Man is always interested in Animals of Every Kind.  I could not pull him away from this area.   But it wasn't long after I did get him to wander with me that he made friends with a lovely chicken.

Quiet moments with Sweet P. in her stroller and Young Man running along with a group of boys.

We had a picnic lunch here by this fence with the big friend above.

Simple beauty. 

More Animals of Every Kind love.

The German Farm.  There is a great barn with hay loft here that young men (and little ladies) can enjoy climbing and jumping out of for hours if allowed.

The Museum was decorated up in preparation for their Oktoberfest celebration.

And then we came home and reflected on how simply people lived in those times.  Not that it was easy, but there is something very attractive to me about the simplicity.  They sometimes cooked and slept in the same rooms.  Really big rooms with a rough bed, a large table and a huge fireplace.  A hard life at times, I'm sure.  Their priorities were much different than some of ours today.  No granite kitchens and stainless steel! 

So as we mixed and baked up some molasses bread it was pretty interesting to consider how things used to be done.   And made us grateful for some of the things we take for granted.  But it also impressed upon me the importance of living more simply. 

So, for what it's worth... my pondering today.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Boo-tiful October

A kitty to help decorate my window for fall. 

Our window gives the little ones something to do.  So much to see and play with and rearrange.
See those fabric carrots?  I made those years ago along with a pumpkin. 
I can't believe they are still around. 

A very warm fall welcome on the patio.

Colorful leaves over the patio.

 The beautiful view with cows.  
I just Love cows! 

 One of my favorite spots of color out back.

My completed Very-Retro fall sweater/vest/apron...
 The same basic granny square sweater that I used for Stash Busting Cutie
but with different trim, different sleeves and I did not seam the sides.  

I made these little granny-stripe pieces and crocheted buttons to wrap around the sides like an apron. 

Truly it was just to use up stash and provide Sweet P. with an extra layer of warmth. 
 Can you believe those colors?!  They definitely say "Fall" but to me they also said "1970's, avocado, rust."
This is perfect for the season, but she totally looked like a Pumpkin Fairy!

Halloween goodies for a friend.

Our Annual Pumpkin Carving results:  My very quickly done attempt.

Hubby's carefully planned cutie. 

Young Man's very first ever All-By-Himself pumpkin carving!
Can you see him in the dark?
We have so much fun each year sitting out in the cool air, leaves swirling around, and watching each other carve out a surprise.  I love family traditions and making memories.  Fall is such a perfect time of year.  I think because of the cooling temps and the warm colors it just gets us in a nesting mood.  The thought of time to come in and be close and cozy together as a family just makes my heart sing! 

 Speaking of heart-singing-happiness, here are my tiny few ripples.  I hope to spend some time with this wonderfully soft Cotton-y yarn today.  Now that Retro is done I will ripple away until I find another yarn distraction. 

I love my little family.  I love the season and my yarn.  I hope you have lots of love where you are too.

I love your comments...