Warning! This is a long one. Grab some tea (preferably along with a cookie, of course) and get comfortable!
Ah, Christmas. The season in which I am completely overwhelmed with inspiration and devoid of extra time. I've come across some fantastic things over the past week or so, though, and I'm going to make the time. And I wanted to share!
Heather from A Handmade Life is brilliant, and I love her blog. (Thanks, Vickie, for linking to her awhile back!) She is always cooking something amazing with healthy ingredients, or sewing something great from thrifted finds. She recently posted a link to a tutorial for felted sweater slippers, and I nearly keeled over, they're so cute. I just might try to figure out this crochet thing, I like them so much. There's so much you can do with a thrifted wool sweater! Speaking of which, if I haven't mentioned it before, she made the most gorgeous wool blanket out of thrifted sweaters - it's absolutely perfect. I've been thinking about making one for awhile but haven't actually started collecting the sweaters... it might be a nice Christmas gift to make one for each of the boys next year. Hmmmm.
More and more, I feel attuned to the changing of the seasons, and I want to make it a bigger part of how we celebrate through the year. There are some great ideas here for how to celebrate the beginning of Winter next week. I think that we might do a candlelight evening, complete with candlelight dinner and baths - of course, I love and appreciate electricity, but I also think it's a good idea to have an evening without it for a change, to reconnect to the 'real' world, you know? Especially important for kids, methinks. Using positive ways to look and the changing seasons (rather than grumbling about all of the mud and slush and salt and outerwear) makes Winter more enjoyable and bearable, too. (I also just found a new wool winter coat for work at Frenchy's, which also makes things more bearable. It fits impeccably, and perhaps best of all - it has a hood! Extremely practical and appreciated when I'm scurrying to and fro for work. A very good find, for $5.)
Next: I love The Artful Parent. Coffee filter snowflakes. Winter ice wreaths. And soooo many more great, artful ideas to tackle with the little ones. (Pssst. I picked up a set of oil pastels for Phillip (new and in the box) at Frenchy's this week. I'm excited to see how he likes them, and for us to learn how to use them! They may end up in his stocking.)
Plan your Peaceful Christmas post: These string ball ornaments look super-easy to make and would be very, very fun to make with a toddler. And the felted garland looks like something I would love to do, cuddled up on the couch while watching a Christmas movie. Again, super easy, and cheap with the abundance of wool sweaters at Frenchy's! And the best part - they aren't ugly. And I'm instituting #6 - the basket of seasonal books. (I found a few new ones at Frenchy's a few weeks ago, and they'll look great!)
New Christmas cookie to try: three bloggers who I admire posted recipes for Rugelach this week. So I'm going to try making it. And that's that. Yum.
And if you haven't gotten your tree up and gorgeous yet (ours fell over the day we put it up, did I mention that? It's fine, now) here's instructions for an adorable tree skirt. It's not what you think - it's simple and burlap and beautiful. I'm thinking this might be a good way to go for next year - I'm currently using a thrifted table cloth.
And if you're still looking for gifts, here's an excellent list of clutter-free gift ideas. I don't know about you, but I'm really, really hoping that we don't end up with a ton of cluttery junk after Christmas. I am planning on going through the boys' toys with Phillip after the holiday to evaluate and decide what can be given away. I've been doing this with him every now and then since he was really young, and it never goes as terribly as I imagine it will. It usually goes very smoothly, actually.
So. I hope that you're having a pleasant pre-Christmas week!