whew. I finished all my gifts last night/early this morning, and this morning I worked on wrapping everything, and getting my orders out and ready to go. It took forever, I ran out of paper, so my parents got fun polyester fabric wraps, which I do like, I don't know if my dad will love the pink, but his present isn't pink so that should be a relief. It's been fun to get everything together and think about different projects for each person.

We are getting ready to leave for NYC tomorrow, we get a little time in the city before we leave for Iceland+Denmark. I've got some nervous butterflies, but it should be lots of fun. I can't wait to see Copenhagen and see my friend. It should be a winter wonderland. I've been waiting to be snowed in somewhere, we've had hardly any snow all season.

I hope everyone has a great holiday break, I may not be around until my vacation is over. After a few months of non-stop working, it will be nice to step aside from everything for a couple weeks.

I do want to say a huge thank you for your kind words on everything that's been going on this fall. I was really hoping that 2010 was going to bring new and exciting opportunities and I think it exceeded all my expectations. I was so nervous to launch something new, and the response I got I didn't even expect. I am excited to get back and work on new things, and document lots of DIY projects on here that I've been dying to work on. Look forward to lots of tutorials in 2011, something I hope to have more of on the blog.

I will have posts up after Christmas revealing some of my handmade gifts this year.  Merry Christmas!


one more thing off the list.

This time next week we'll be in iceland, eek! I'm slowly buying some things I need, I don't feel 100% prepared, but I think that's the fun of it. Last night I bought a couple pairs of smart wool socks. I was first drawn to the black/blue combo, but I put them on today and they are the best socks I've ever worn. I got a swim suit too, but let's just say right now I'd rather wear the socks than the suit. Yikes.

There's a few scarves left in the shop and you can still get them in time Christmas! (US purchases)

I'll be working on finishing gifts all weekend, I'll have a show-and-tell after Christmas.


tiny memories.

Since opening up my ornaments, I have put up a select few on my garland. I think homemade ornaments really are the best. When my parents gave me my ornaments, I sorted through them. I had no idea where and who gave me the store bought ones. But the handmade ones are like tiny time capsules.

The top one is made by My House Party. I loved their stuff at Little Winter, and I knew I had to get an ornament. I love their house lamps, and I mimicked that by putting a light through a window. I suggested that they make ornaments where you can put a light inside, maybe someday? The design is minimally beautiful, but it also is a reminder of that life-changing weekend and the friends I made there.

The other ornament is a gift given by my Uncle and Aunt who live in Hawaii. I don't know if they made it themselves (correct me if I'm wrong) but it is definitely made by hand. One memory I have is opening that Christmas gift sent every year from that tropical place. My uncles always gave us really memorable gifts. This ornament reminds me of them, and I love that it is made from a shell.

I plan on only having handmade ornaments on my future trees. I need to work on making some! Do you have any homemade favorite ornaments?


jangle bells.

christmas records
Since getting our record player, we have been hunting for records to add to our tiny collection. We really wanted some Christmas records. We went this weekend to a thrift store and found a few, most notably a Barbara Streisand one. That one is gold. Yesterday we got a package in the mail from Tyler's dad, who sent us the Christmas records that Tyler grew up listening to. Tyler's dad has an amazing record collection, and an awesome knowledge and love of music. I was so thrilled he shared a little of his collection with us. I know what we will be listening to this week!

Do you have any favorite Christmas records?

**another side note about my shop, it will be opening back up Jan. 10.


snow clouds

I have a camera again! Huzzah! No more iphone pics. Thanks for hanging in there for the month I had to do without. It felt so bizarre. There was only one thing that I thought was fitting for the return of actual photography, and that was my cloud. I love my cookie cutter from Herriott Grace so much, and this weekend I made a huge batch of sugar cookies. I took them to a party, and it's not like clouds are super Christmas-y, but I call them snow clouds. So I think they are perfect.

**Also of note in my shop: I will only be taking orders for scarves that are ready to ship after today. For example if you wanted a gray or white one, you need to get your order in before tomorrow. I will make them after ordering and I will ship them by the 20th. My shop will close the 19th at midnight EST.


happy birthday old lady.

I almost forgot, but it was Gigi's birthday yesterday. The lady is 12 years young. We decided to celebrate by coming home, because to her that is the most exciting thing in the world. We gave her lots and love and scratches, pretty much everyday is her birthday.

The top photo is my favorite picture of her, I've taken maybe a few photos of her....
The other picture is from yesterday. One of her favorite things is to jump on my lap and then jump behind my back while I'm driving. She'll just sit there all cozy (squished, really) until we get home. The first time she did it I was really surprised. She keeps my back really warm though!

I love this dog.  Adopting her and knowing that we would only maybe have a handful of years left with her really breaks my heart when I think about it, but I just try not to think about it. Adopt older dogs when you can, they are truly the best.

Someone else had a birthday yesterday, my new online blog friend Tamera! I didn't know it at the time, but her sweet husband had bought her a scarf and she got it as a surprise gift. Totally a highlight of my week. She posted her birthday outfit yesterday and it made me so happy. She's so stylish, I love her blog and her dreamy Vermont woodland wedding was seriously unreal.


wreath diy

wreath diy
wreath diy
We used the last bits of our garland to make this wreath I've mentioned before, here it is finally up on the wall. I got a grape leaf garland to use as the form. We wove in tiny battery operated led lights, and Tyler attached a pants hanger to the back. It worked out really well and it only took about an hour from start to finish. It's not perfect looking, but I like it that way.


getting ready.

snow tease
snow tease
Yesterday we got  a little tiny bit of snow. It was more of an insult really, if it snows, I want it to really snow! It's been in the 20s here, so it's almost been too cold to snow. This is okay, for now.

I got my boots in the mail today, they are vintage sorels I got from ebay. The color isn't the greatest, but they fit perfectly, and they are waterproof and lined in shearling. I really wanted good boots to travel to Iceland and Denmark, I didn't want to be clunking around in makeshift rain boots. These are actually really comfortable, and I have enough room for thick socks. Thanks 1970s!


handmade christmas 2010

Every year, I make handmade presents for my family. I work to make sure that either I make it, or someone else handmade it. This year I feel a little behind, and I think I'm going to be working until the last minute. But I love doing it. It makes me feel like I've worked a little harder to really think about the other person, and hopefully it's a little more meaningful. I've been knitting the last few days, and I'm working on making personalized presents for everyone on my list. It's come to be something my family expects (hopefully in a good way), I'm always working to be better than the last year. This Christmas will be my 5th year of handmade gifts.

I've got a shorter deadline, because I have to mail everything away, and also because of our trip to Iceland coming up! I still can't believe that we're going, it should be a pretty fun adventure.

I hope your Christmas prep is going well, and maybe you're making something special for people on your list.


feeling the glow.

flash back
Last night we added to our Holiday decor by making a wreath from the rest of our garland. They were all out of wreath frames, so I bought a grape leaves wreath and we just attached it around with floral wire. I think it worked even better, there were so many little twigs to attach to. We also wove in some battery operated tiny led white lights. It looks rustic and imperfectly perfect.

I pulled out my ornaments that my parents had brought me on their last visit. I have all my ornaments even the ones I made with pasta and glitter. This one is so adorable from the very early 90s, (hello bangs!!!) but the longer I looked at it I wasn't really sure it was me. It's a little odd when you look at pictures and can't even tell if it's you or not. After conferring with my twin, we are 85% sure it's her, she didn't even know for sure! Oh the bizarre things about being a twin.

Since we aren't getting a tree this year, it is nice to have some lit greenery in our house, it feels just as festive. Do you have any tree substitutes?

*little shop reminder, I updated with lots of new colors available!


shop update!
shop update!
shop update!
I've finally got my pictures taken and my shop is updated.  I've got my full line of colors available, ready for the Holidays. I finally have my favorite colors in stock, like gray, and mauve. Eggplant is also my new favorite, such a beautiful color on everyone. Go check it out! Have a great weekend!


the definition of handmade.

I was lucky enough to meet Nikole from Herriott Grace this weekend at second storie. I have adored her lovely things for a long time, and I've been wanting to get a cloud cutter for ages! I finally got one, and the handle was really special, the only one she had like it.

Her father makes the most beautiful wood-turned objects. I would just sneak a wooden spoon from her table just to hold it in my hand, so marvelous. All her things are really precious, and she has a gift for putting things together and styling.

It was so much fun to have a table next to her and we had a really fun weekend. She's a gem, and I'm glad I made a new friend.


warm crackle.

record player
record player
record player
I'm borrowing a friends camera for a couple days so I can get pictures for my shop update, but constant rain is foiling my plans. Oh wait just now it turned to snow! It's been pouring rain for over 24 hours, I'm so happy to see the first snow finally.

On our way out from Rochester, we stopped by an audio store that was suggested to us. We were greeted by two huge chocolate labs, which is always a good sign. Also a good sign, his work table, and the place was a mess. He kept getting phone calls from "mother" and they were getting in arguments. I maybe took us 15 minutes to hand over cash. No hesitation. The owner had some great record players, and this one was absolutely perfect for what we wanted. Something small, and portable so we could put it away if needed, but in great working condition. This record player used to be in schools, and the owner of the shop has fixed it up so it plays like a dream, and loud too.

We came home and first thing put on our Pittsburgh record purchases, Chuck Mangione was the first. And totally fitting because he was born in Rochester! We love "feels so good," it's a song I've always known, and we listened to that record a lot while we were dating. It's just happiness in a song.

We are so happy to finally have a record player, and I can't wait to go back to Pittsburgh and get some really great albums. I need Carpenter's Christmas asap! And some Abba Gold. And some Queen...
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