Friday, December 19, 2014

Five on Friday....

A happy Friday to everyone today!  I would like to thank Amy from Love Made My Home for setting up this fun Friday event for us all!


My apologies for not being around much this week.  These beans are keeping me busy with Christmas activities and runny noses!  Every year I try to capture photos of them taking in the magic of the season!


A weekend away to celebrate our anniversary in the city.  The hotel we stayed at was built in the 1920's and the city was so stunning all dressed for Christmas!


Been looking and dreaming about land lately and what we could do if we had some!



I am done with Christmas shopping for the most part.  The wrapping will be finished up this weekend.  And this vintage garden sign will be tied with a bow for my mom and pop!


My love of the garden in photos from December....

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing Friends!  
A wonderful weekend to you all!  Thanks for popping by!

I am joining in Five on Friday, taking five minutes from our day to enjoy five things.  Please go and visit the other people who are also blogging about Five on Friday this week.

Amy from Love Made My Home
CJ from Above The River
Jill from Emerald Cottage
Beth from The Whimsical Dowager
Alison from Life at Sylvan House

Thursday, December 11, 2014

repeat the sound in joy...

branches from the garden for the gate

pinecones, branches and lanterns for planters this year

the sweetest handmade Nativity scene in town....made by big bean

memory Christmas cards made and played

9 cups of flour for a double batch of cut out cookies

Christmas potpourri for teachers made and delivered

1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 orange sliced
1 Tbs of cloves
4 cinnamon sticks

Simmer with 3 cups of water to add some outstanding holiday aroma to your home 

My favorite line in "Joy to the World" is repeat the sounding in joy.  Very suiting for this time of year.  Through the busy rush of holiday preparations I have been repeating the sound in joy!

Merry Merry Friends!

*And as a side note I have not been able to follow any new blogs through GFC.  They capped me at 300 so when I can remedy this through blogger I will be following along with the new blogs that have joined me in the journey!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

hugging trees....

Happy December dear friends!  I have been enjoying seeing the season come to life on your blogs!  Boy you are a talented group!!  

The act of doing is my motto for December.  My little beans have started pulling their activity cards out of their Advent sacks every night.  They look forward to this as do I.  It makes Christmas sweet!

December Advent Activities for 2014....

 Illumination at the Morton Arboretum  If you live in the Chicagoland area you need to visit the Morton Arboretum to see this light show!  We were hugging trees to watch the colors change, turning cranks to change the lights of vignettes, enjoying music set to dancing lights through the was a feast for the eyes!  

{via-Morton Arboretum}

Santa Parade-Our town puts on an annual Christmas parade and this year my best pal and her family came along with us!

1.  Ornament making-I have a few of these planned for the month.  These were just little dollar ornaments that you fill with beads and bake.  A great one for little hands.

2.  Letters to Santa-An easy one....we did this tonight.  I laid out paper, stamps and other decorative bits.  The beans took it from there.  We helped them list a few items for Santa and then stuffed them in envelopes for mailing!

3.  Make Christmas play dough-we use Christmas cookie cutters with our play dough
4. Assemble our teacher gifts-this year we will be making these potpourri jars


5.  Library stop for holiday books, CDs, and Movies
6.  Cookie making with Grammy and Gramps
7.  Naper Lights at the Napersettlement
8.  Christmas movie and hot coco by the fire
9.  Make our own holiday memory game
10.  Play holiday memory by candle light
11.  Cookie making with mom
12.  School Musical
13.  Lego Train Show


14.  Night drive to see Christmas lights around town
15.  Christmas sticker books
16.  Dinner and Santa
17.  Work on Grandparent gifts-we'll be making popsicle stick picture frames
18.  Deliver neighbor gifts
19.  Deliver gifts to our church
20.  Make these for our outdoor friends-

21.  Make gingerbread houses with family
22.  Night time walk with flashlights
23.  Wrapping night!
24.  Mass & Christmas Eve Party
25.  Christmas!!!

A little bit of doings over here.....what are you working on?
Wishing everyone a wonderful week of creating!

Friday, November 21, 2014

seasons doings...

It has been cold here in Chicago.  And when I say cold I mean COLD!  With the holidays in front of us here are some of this seasons doings...

~Christmas touches have been added around the house....I got these great brass candlesticks from this Etsy Shop
~I've been picking up evergreen branches from around the neighborhood to use for my winter planters (more on that in another post)
~Planning out this years Advent calendar activities
~Prepping for Thanksgiving.  I'll definitely be setting these up for the kids' table this year....

and making these for dessert...

~Working on Christmas lists and Christmas cards....

What are you working on for the season?

Have a wonderful weekend friends!  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

phones and old things

One of these will be making its way into our living room.  Do you remember phones like this?  My folks always had one phone in the kitchen where the six of us received all of our calls.  In this day and age it brings me peace of mind to have a phone that stays in one place.   In the past I have thought about quitting my blog as I'm not a huge believer in too much technology.  A contradiction I know, but the old ways just seem to sit better with me.  I want my beans to feel the turn of a pencil sharpener, engage in imaginary play without screens, and learn about traditions and customs of the past.  Ironically, it is through blogging that I've met so many wonderful people that feel the same way.  Maybe it's a shift in what we value and a slight movement to slow down.  But after reading an article recently published in the Chicago Tribune about the "making movement," I have to believe that people are looking to keep the past alive.  

There is a shop by my house that has the most fantastic and affordable antiques.  It is one of those places that can completely transport you as it has everything and anything you can imagine.  With the weather shifting in Chicago and snow in the forecast my energy has been redirected inside.  Cozy spaces and vintage holiday warmth is what I seek!   

I came home with a framed oil painting for my girls' room.  It was only 17 dollars.  A steal if you ask me and it looks so pretty in their space.  A fun folk art tray and 5 glass vintage ornaments to add to my collection.  The last piece I purchased was a little winter print for 10 dollars.  It is by Grandma Moses and is too sweet for words.  I look forward to finding the perfect spot for it this season.

So old things are good and new things are good.  I suppose it's finding the right balance with it all.

Thank you for inspiring and sharing the magic friends!

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing!  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

MAKING Mondays.....wire & cord star branch

I do most projects in stages.  This goes for organizing, crafting, baking and gardening.  So yes, I have started thinking about Christmas and because I like to make things I usually start little projects in November.  So here is a quick one for you today!  

I found this great branch in my backyard and knew it would be pretty for the holidays.  It literally has been propped above my kitchen sink for a week now...only a few comments from family about why there is a gigantic branch in the kitchen!  

I love mixing organic items with simple design so when I saw this vintage silver cord at the paper store I knew it would look pretty with my weathered branch.

Here is what you need....

thin wire
silver cord
a branch
and that's it!

Begin by cutting some wire and simply shape it into a star.  Take your cord and wrap over the wire.  Make sure to leave a bit for hanging and you're done!  A bit of whimsy and yes folks I feel like I am doing my dishes under the stars!!!! 

Happy Baking, Making, and Growing!!!