January 29, 2012 § 4 Comments
Since our recent snow days, the girls and I have been obsessed with this great owl Valentine’s Day project. My friend Stacy made the template from a felt owl decoration she’s had for years. The best part of this project – once I precut a ton of owl bodies and wings and beaks and feet and eyes – is putting the pieces together. It is so fun to mix and match all the great Valentine’s paper I’ve collected, and each owl looks so cute and unique. “The possibilities are endless!” said Stacy to me in one of our many phone conversations back and forth about this project. (Yes, I’ll admit it: we spend A LOT of time talking on the phone about crafting.) We’ve been mass producing them for friends and family, and my Sophie is going to make them for her class Valentine exchange with sayings like “OWL always be your friend” and “WHOO loves you?” on the back.
I absolutely love the fact that my girls have inherited my craftiness. We even kicked Drew out of the office (he didn’t really need it anyway) and have turned it into a full-time craft room. I don’t think he knew what he was getting into when he married me, and my girlies are just the same. I have to ask Bella where craft supplies are because she is constantly working on her own little projects. She has a sewing machine and loves to knit and stitch as well as do paper crafts. And Sophie usually always has a painting going at her easel or is building some kind of elaborate 3D model using paper and glue sticks. It’s not unusual to hear me yell out across the house, “Where are my Cutter Bee detail scissors?” or “Has anyone seen the Diamond Glaze and Modge Podge?” followed by girls’ quick responses and retrievals. Poor Drew had better just stand back – in this crafty house he is seriously outnumbered. We’ve got Glue Dots, and we aren’t afraid to use them!!
January 21, 2012 § 5 Comments
This week was so unexpected and such a gift. The crazy Seattle weather caused a “Snow Week” here at our house. Our normal, rushing school routine gave way to hours of sledding, hot cocoas, crafting, playing games, reading and baking. Being trapped at home seemed to send us back to the pioneer times – “It’s like Little House on the Prairie around here,” my husband commented as I finished a batch of blueberry muffins and the girls and I settled down to make dolls.
Growing up in Florida, the snow is something new to me, but my North Carolina boy says that some of his favorite memories were of snow days when he was little. He can still remember the excitement of having school be canceled, of playing outside all day with his friends and coming in to his mom’s comfort food and “snow cream.” She would make homemade loaves of bread which the family would eat hot, fresh from the oven. Now having experienced it ourselves, I can see it – the ebb and flow of our snow days this week: the girls playing outside until they were freezing then coming in for homemade treats and quiet indoor play to warm up, then doing it all again – so nice.
We definitely did get a little cabin fever by day four, but I must say now that it’s ending and we are looking at a full week of school and routine and rushing, I feel as if I’ve been given a gift. It felt like borrowed time – the kind of quiet week we all needed to reset after the holiday season – and I know that in a few weeks when I’m back in our full-speed routine I can remember our little lost week and smile. Snow days are amazing!
January 14, 2012 § 2 Comments
Surprisingly, it took 10 years of party themes before I got the idea to combine Bella’s January 2nd birthday with New Year’s Eve. The results were lovely, I must say. We started with an adorable shirt from Crewcuts – with a picture of a girl in a ball gown – as our inspiration. Bella wanted to incorporate masks and have an elegant Cinderella-type theme. She also wanted a disco ball and dancing – hey, she’s her mommy’s girl! We had lots of fancy appetizers, of course mac ‘n cheese, and for dessert: red velvet cupcakes with sparkler candles.
Every party has special memories, and with this one I’ll always remember the children (and some grown-ups) dancing around like crazy under the disco ball in our living room, the girls sitting under that same disco ball playing cards later in the night when they got tired of dancing, and all the kids running around our front yard in their fancy party clothes at the end of the night waving the gigantic sparklers we got – fun!!
I think I put so much time and energy into my girls’ parties because it lets me explore my creative side and be crafty which always makes me really happy. But I also love that they’ve become “my thing” – something special I do for my girls that I hope they will always remember. I spend a lot of time working on the invitations, and I keep them all. They remind me of the little details – and especially all the love – that went into marking each year of my darling girls’ lives.