Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Jingle Bells on the Porch

Our cute little front porch is not symmetrical.  I wish it was.  But I work with what I have.  After I removed the planters filled with dead annuals, it just looked bare...and the asymmetry bothered me every time I looked at it...or even thought about it.

They've been pruning the boulevard trees in our neighbourhood lately, so one day I pulled over into an alley and dragged a bunch of branches from one of the piles into my van.  The back was filled with groceries, so I put them in the front seat.  The ends rested on Nick's lap behind the driver's seat.  He was so proud to help!

I intended to spray paint them all white, but I ran out of spray paint after doing about half.  I trimmed them down a little, and wedged them between and around two bricks in a plastic planter that hadn't made it into recycling yet.  Then the branches just looked naked, so I hung some jingle bells.  I made these bell ornaments four our first Christmas 10 years ago, and they drove Kevin crazy over the years because there was so many and they took forever to put on and take off.  So we've only used a few on our tree this year and last year.  Eventually I may put something Christmassy around the base to disguise the plastic planter.

We've been having unseasonably warm weather lately, which has been great.  But still, at minus 5 or so, it really wasn't barefoot weather.

Kevin and Juli decorated a "gingerbread man house".  She insists it's not just a gingerbread house.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

CMA Commencement

My husband just acquired three extra letters at the end of his name.  CMA.  I am so very proud of him!  His commencement was yesterday afternoon, followed by a "Gala Dinner and Dance"  Of course, true to nature, I obsessed about what to wear  for weeks beforehand.  I bought a tweed houndstooth dress from H&M that fit me perfectly, and suited both events admirably.

Kevin walking in to Scotland the Brave  "Here come the tatty haukers", accountants!

After the ceremony getting ready to leave for the gala.

Bad picture of Kevin removing the mile-long confetti that had just been shot over the crowd.

Shushant, one of Kevin's group members...this man actually convinced Kevin to dance!  Kind of.

It was way too cold for bare legs.  I got hives on the drive home from the cold.

Congratulations Kevin!

Friday, 18 November 2011

DIY Diamond-Paned windows - just in time for Christmas Decorating!

Our house is 3.5 years old.  I try so hard to infuse some old-house-character into it, but it's difficult.  However, today I finally finished a project that I've been working on all summer.  We have a lovely bay window in our kitchen that just looked too modern.  Luckily, Kevin didn't say no to my crazy idea to add faux diamond-panes.

Back in April, I bought two packs of 1/4 inch vinyl pinstriping from an auto parts store.  That was enough to do the two small windows and about a third of the big window.  But the store was out of the vinyl I needed.  I must have gone back a dozen times over the summer, but they never had any.  They told me it was on order.  The one time I resolved to head to the other side of the city on the chance the other store would have some, Juliana decided to get sick so we went home instead.

Eventually, I dashed in one more time, not holding any hope that the vinyl would be in stock yet...ever.  But they had some!  Yay!  It's been sitting on my counter for a week or two waiting for me to finish.

The diamonds are different for each window, but since each window's pattern is straight and symmetrical, it looks perfectly fine.  But the grapevine wreath needs more embellishment.

We've slowly been adding Christmas decorations to the house.  We got our first real snowfall yesterday and now I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit!

I have yet to start shopping.  I'm dreading it.

I hope you're enjoying the season!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Seven Things

I just discovered that Paige Kellerman has given me a blog award!

Thanks Paige!  I got to know Paige from Twitter.  She's a writer with one of the funniest blogs I've ever come across.  Go check out There's More Where That Came From.  I think in my case, "versatile" is code for "unable to focus on one thing".

Here are the award rules:

  • Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post.
  • List seven things about yourself.
  • Pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.

  • So, here's my seven things:
    1. I'm going to Seattle on Thursday!
    2. I'm a little bit terrified about travelling on my own.
    3. I'm 28 years old and I've never done anything on my own.
    4. Sometimes I prefer YA fiction to adult fiction (for example, Patricia C. Wrede)
    5. Speaking of fiction, I need to bring something to read while I'm away.  I will be spending about 2.5 hours total waiting in airports.
    6. I am currently playing The Game.
    7. I am not getting very good scores this time around.

    I'm not sure I have 15 newly discovered blogs since I haven't been browsing much lately, so I'll just post 15 smallish blogs I think you should check out. (in no particular order)

    1. The Koala Bear Writer - I'll be meeting Bonnie while I'm in Seattle.  We're going to the Women of Faith Conference together.
    2. City and Baby
    3. A Pretty Life in the Suburbs - This is my blog doppelganger.  Her name is Jo-Anna, she's Canadian too.
    4. Lemonade Makin' Mama
    5. Buns in My Oven - I recently discovered this blog on Pinterest, and wanted to pin the whole thing.  I'll be making her cream cheese chicken enchiladas for supper tonight.
    6. Five Days...Five Ways
    7. The Happy Book Blog
    8. The Heart of the Home - My friend Jenn is an amazing cook.
    9. Griffintainment - Dustin should get paid to write his movie reviews.
    10. Little Red Hearts
    11. Jillian-Claire Photography
    12. The Real Bliss - Just discovered this one today, and I'm looking forward to having the time to take a closer look.
    13. Papercastle Collective
    14. Heartfelt Devotionals
    15. Patty Froese Ntihemuka

    Wednesday, 19 October 2011

    A Glimpse of Countryside

    I was on my own for my bike ride yesterday.  Kevin was home, so I left him and Juli watching a movie while Nick was sleeping, and headed out. It's amazing how much easier it is to ride when I'm not pulling 100 extra pounds of children and trailer!  I made my way south on 66th street.  I wanted to get to the country.  We live right on the edge of the city, but more and more of the countryside is being eaten up by cookie-cutter subdivisions.  It's depressing.  So, although it was tough biking on gravel, I kept going until all I could see ahead of me was countryside.  No construction.  I came to a field and stopped where a convenient rock marked the entry to a field of golden stubble (right in the centre of the screenshot above, thanks Google Maps!)

    Oh, it was so nice to just sit and let my jelly-like muscles recover for the ride back!  It was warm and sunny, with only a slight breeze setting the treetops swaying...I loved it.  There was a fair amount of traffic on the road--mostly construction vehicles--so I felt too conspicuous to stay long.

    Once I got home I told Kevin where I had gone.  He asked me not to go there again, due to reports of drug deals happening in that area.  That sucks.

    Monday, 17 October 2011

    Fall Art Project

    I think I'm becoming a homeschool mom!  Juli has mastered the alphabet and is now learning her letter sounds, which we review in the van as we drive along with her Wee College memory verses.

    And today we did our first detailed family art project.  I found the project HERE, and decided that I wanted to try it with Juli.  I prepared the background of the pictures last night, one for Nicholas too, although he's only two.

    They make quite a pretty collection of paintings.  Here's mine:  (aren't you proud of me? I mastered a 2nd grade art project!  yay!)

    Here's Juli's: (She did an amazing job, and loved doing it, especially the straw-blowing part to make the branches.)

    And here's Nicks: (He did so well!  He loved blowing with the straw, and when he did his leaves, he said "Pop, pop, pop..." for each one.)

    The background and tree trunks/branches were done with my watercolour paints.  The leaves were done with Juli's tempera paints.  I hung up the pictures using command hooks and binder clips near the back door.  I needed something to put there since I gave away my straw hat (and it's no longer summer), and all my quilted wall-hangings that would fit are wintery.  I suppose I could have just removed the one hook that was there and had an empty wall.

    Sunday, 16 October 2011

    Using what I have: Crochet pouch necklace

    Three years ago, when I was visiting my sister, she made me this crochet pouch necklace.  It was intended to hold a pretty polished stone.

    For the last few weeks, I've needed to use eye drops (for anterior uveitis).  Now, I am horribly forgetful.  If I did not have the eyedrops in my hand, I would forget to put them in.  Every hour wasn't so bad, but every two hours, or every three hours, I cannot remember to do it.

    So I put the little eyedrop bottle into the pouch and tied it closed.  It is perfect!  It swings from my neck as I go about my day, getting in my way just enough to remind me.  Yes, I look like a dork.  But my eye is getting better.

    Sunday, 9 October 2011

    Fall Centrepieces

    I can't believe I haven't yet shared the centrepieces I did for our women's ministries fall dessert night!  We had Cheryl Allen sing and share her story, and Starbucks demonstrated some coffee and dessert pairings (which is apparently all the rage on the west coast)  I must admit that the coffee bean part of the centrepiece was someone else's brilliant idea, while the mason jar idea came from Pinterest.  The driftwood I've had for years, after my mom had it for years, and neither of us ever used it.  Note: most tables had a taper, a votive, and a tealight.  I happened to sit at the one table with two tapers.

    Friday, 7 October 2011

    Regency Hair Style

    Because of, or in spite of, the fact that I'm not going anywhere today.