Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Years...This Year!

Happy New Year!  I'm excited to see what God will do in and through me in 2017!  Here I am Lord, do with me as you will.  Let's make this year the best one yet!




Alissa

Friday, December 30, 2016

Finish It Up Friday...Pretty Bird, Pillow.

 Now that the gift giving has happen I can share a finish!
This one was a gift to my cousin...continuing our saga of gift giving jokes.  I went with our previous bird theme and made him a pretty parakeet pillow.
Isn't the back lovely?
 I found a paper pieced pattern for a bird and then did some altering to make it look like our pet now gone, Fred the parakeet.  I didn't want Derek to forget what he looked like ;)  Hehe!
I think my favorite part is the way he "looks" at you.  I probably should have made it bigger and had a bigger form, but now he curves around a bit.  So if you place him on the couch next to you...he can look at you :D
 I gave it to Derek on Christmas, which we spent at my aunt's new home.  It was so neat to get and see her new house :) So happy for her!
Don't these folks look like trouble?  Unfortunately, my cousin wasn't feeling well and had to leave as soon as gifts were opened.
 I hung out with this little dude quite a while.  He's so fun!
 When I went to England last fall I bought some of their gift crackers as Christmas goodies...only I forgot to give them last year.  I remembered this year and they even came with paper crowns.
 Beards were given.
 Hats with light clips were given.
 And games for the little guy...

 Derek is such a good sport!  I gave him a real gift last year...just for the record.
 He really liked the fabric on the back of the pillow which gives me inspiration for next year :)

 There was a bit of a mishap with the salad :S
 I gave this gift...and got to help put it together.
What, might you ask did my cousin give me?  Well, I opened a box of cans.  He gave 10 cans of canned food...all without labels!!
I may have to share the gamble that is opening each can!

Alissa

Friday, December 16, 2016

Finish It Up Friday...What the Doors Became.

So I replaced some of the old farmhouse doors in my house with french doors.
That left perfectly wonderful doors sitting around.  So I got creative and searched for some good projects using old doors. 
First up, I made a coffee table.  It is a big table, but looks great with my uber long couch :)
I didn't paint it at all, just left it as is.  I would like to get a push plate to cover where the door knob is for looks.
My dad is a trooper and did all the cuts in the actual doors.  I did the boards for the bottom.  I bought some sofa feet too, to get it up off the floor.
For the first two projects I set up the saw and such in the kitchen...it was a bit messy.  For the final one I was able to keep it all on the back porch/laundry room.
My second project required 2 doors, a bookshelf.
One door for the back and one cut in half for the sides!  I just used random pieces of press board/wood for the shelves.
It was okay, but I decided it might need some paint.  Brenna helped me out and we just did a quick paint.  Not very carefully, which kind of gives it a distressed look.
There is some sag in my shelves, which everyone points out.  When I get a chance, I'll cut new ones with real wood, but the work for now.

I did both of those right after I moved in, so I could put stuff away.
The final project is a corner shelf out of one door.  I had to go buy more 1 x 2 boards and just kept putting it off.  But last week, I did it!  I used dad's miter box kit and started sawing out those angles.
It went pretty smoothly!  I didn't quite manage to get a true 90 degree angle, but it'll do!
Hurray! I am finding that I kind of enjoy cutting things up with a circular saw ;)
Feels good to have them done!

Alissa

Friday, December 09, 2016

Finish It Up Friday...Project Christmas Tree



While the fam was still here I decided it was time to go get my Christmas tree found!
My mom and siblings were down with colds and I knew the littles needed some fresh air even though it was quite cold!
I told them to keep their eyes peeled for a good tree.
 They were quite helpful and I'm pretty sure my niece actually spied the one we got.
 Getting a Christmas tree is my favorite family tradition and it was another fun tradition to share with these guys.
 Hmm, how about this one...maybe a bit too big!
 What about this one in the fence? Maybe! 
 My sister got to man the camera and told me to go hide in the little protected area.  So silly!
 Look at that adorable grin!
 My oldest nephew was my saw assistant and did a great job.
It takes a lot longer than I thought to saw through a little 4 in diameter trunk!  His advice, "We should have brought a hatchet!"
 A bit of brute force brought it down in the end.
 Now, I don't always think things through.  We had my parent's minivan filled...my sister in law, my sister and 4 kids!  Where exactly I was planning to fit the tree...I"m not sure.
 We laid the back seats down and got it in there...which meant a few miles of squished kids.
 Hehe, I couldn't get the tips in the door so we just shut them in.  Don't they look like grinch fingers sticking out?!  Haha, oh the adventure!
 My youngest nephew stayed in the van but I had to get a picture of his cute little lumberjack vest he wore along!  So appropriate for the occasion!
I pictured a tree fitting nicely in the corner of my living room by the sewing room door.  Wow, this tree is so much bigger than I was picturing.  It takes up the entire end of the room!! I for sure can't start a fire in my woodstove until it is gone. 
Getting a cedar tree from out in a  pasture pretty much guarantees an odd shaped, funny looking tree.  However, the lovely aroma that fills my little house is wonderful!  It wasn't what I expected, but I'm happy with my very first Christmas tree!!
Alissa

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Sharing the Joy of a Stuhr Museum Christmas

 I love our family's annual tradition of attending Stuhr Museum's Christmas event.
I kind of wish I had grown up in the era of the 1890s and it is such a neat thing to step back in time a bit.
 This year we had the privilege of taking my sister-in-law, niece and two nephews along!  It made the experience that much more rich.  We followed the path of lighted candles.  Had to curb their excitement a bit by standing next to one to wait for their mom and Nana :)
 The only drawback to going to the evening event is that pictures are difficult to take well.  I try!  We stopped at one of the cabins we had never been to, first.  It was so cold outside, but warm and toasty inside!  The 2nd cabin the kids got to string some popcorn for a garland.
 The blacksmith shop is always an interesting stop.  His bauble didn't turn out this time, but the process was still mesmerizing.
 We all got in on making tincicles in the tin shop.


 A stop in the railway station warmed us up.  We had to get creative to talk the kids out of buying cookies and hot chocolate.  They were a promised a treat further down the line ;)
 As a family of cyclists, the boys were intrigued by the old bicycle in the crate.  Wouldn't that be fun to climb up on?!

 The wood shop was full of people too!  Each of the kids put together a little train car.  I was impressed this year by the number of young people volunteering and doing the crafts.  They were all so kind and helpful!



 Brenna and mom always look forward to making an ornament in one of the houses.  We were a bit shocked when we walked in and it was set for a Christmas dinner.  No worries, they assured us that the ornaments were still being made...just in the town hall instead.
 The kids ground cinnamon.  Glad it comes ground these days!
 I was excited about making an ornament this year too!  I have my own Christmas tree and wanted more ornaments to fill its branches.

Twas a lovely time!

Alissa