December 02, 2016

Making a List and Checking it Twice

It's a cloudy morning here and I don't mind a bit. I have candles lit, a pot of ham and beans simmering on the stove, Christmas music has been playing all morning, the downstairs is clean and tidy and I have plans to wrap some more Christmas presents, knit the heel of a sock and make a list of Christmas cookies I want to bake this season.

 We are recovering from last weeks festivities and a wonderful Thanksgiving in our tiny dining room crammed full of friends. It was just the very best of days and all the work that went into making it happen was so completely worth it. I can't tell you how many full heart moments I had that day.

The day after Thanksgiving we went to our favorite tree farm with the same friends who came for Thanksgiving. This tree farm is such a magical place and I love having it as part of our holiday traditions.

I love having all three of my beautiful girls there to help cut down a tree. These are the things we will always remember. I'm sure of it.

I had an email asking if I would share some ideas for Christmas wish lists for you guys. It's one of my favorite things to do. Since I was a little girl I have absolutely loved making my own wish list and since my birthday is 5 days before Christmas I get to make a double list. I have also always enjoyed hearing what other people have on their lists. Today I'm sharing some of my favorites, as well as some things I'm wishing for. I would LOVE for you to share what's on your list either by writing a blog post and leaving a comment and link or just commenting. By the way, none of these are affiliated links, I just really like sharing things I love with you guys!

I am so loving my Dark Aqua Filofax for organizing my life. I wish I had gotten one years ago. I've got this fountain pen on my wish list to go with it.

Pens and paper are always something I want more of. Lately I'm obsessed with Frixion pens which are great for writing as well as crafting. They are erasable gel pens that REALLY work and also disappear with heat for crafting. I love these and am hoping for some of these and these.

One of my favorite places for buying and receiving gifts is Anthropologie. I'm crazy about their candles and mugs in particular and they are actually two of the few things I will pay full price for in that store, although a good sale is always preferred! This is my favorite candle above. It's Fir and Firewood and you can buy it in this container and also in votive form. It may be considered a seasonal scent but I stock up and burn it all year especially in the studio where I consider it the official scent!

This is my newest mug and I'm so in love with it. It's worth the effort to hand wash. It happens to be sitting on top of one of my other new favorite things- Making Magazine Issue 2 Fauna. Honestly most of my wish list is crafting supplies and books. Those are the material things that make me happiest. Well, aside from stationery supplies and candles which I think we've already established!

Speaking of stationery...I'm really hoping Santa brings me this journal. Because I'm sure I need another journal. Or maybe I'm just sure I want another journal.

As for things I don't need more of but can't resist...These Champagne truffles are amazing and such a treat in our house. You can find them here but I find them occasionally at Homegoods where they are much more reasonably priced and only slightly splurgy. But amazing and worth it.

Jewelry is always a fun gift. I don't really need anything fancy but I love necklaces from Nest Pretty Things. I like to buy a couple of pieces from her with bithday/Christmas money every year. I'm waiting on a delivery of this and this.

I have so many books on my wish lists but here is a favorite decorating book and crafting book I am hoping for. There is just really nothing like the joy of a new book and the gift of time to read it.

Aside from that I just have so many crafting supplies on my list: markers, watercolor paints, a yarn swift and winder, interchangeable needles and book upon book about sock knitting. I have a problem.

If you are thinking about gifts that teach you something, you could ask for a year of Creative Bug classes (I'm loving my subscription) or maybe a photography class from Kim Klaassen. I think I'm going to use some Christmas money to sign up for her Be Still Fifty Two class which I have a feeling is going to teach me more than photography and re-center me. And I really need to be re-centered.

We all know life isn't about the stuff but who doesn't love the occasional pretty trinket? I also know we all have different budgets so I tried to find things for every price range. Our budget is but a fraction of what many people spend but it has never bothered me. I do believe that when I have less to spend, I tend to put more thought into it and to this day, my girl's favorite gift every year is the one I make them. 

I'm off to fix some tea and make something lovely. I hope you have a weekend full of holiday happiness.  

November 18, 2016

The Quiet Life

Life has been fairly quiet lately, by choice, and I have found myself introverting on a larger than usual scale. I think it is due, in large part, to the ugliness and negativity in the world. I also know from experience that part of it is the change of seasons which always bring on a need to quiet the noise around me. This year there is an additional reason.

I am in the midst of the most creative season of my life. I'm not really sure where it came from. There aren't enough hours in the day to get all of the creative ideas I have in my head finished, and because of that I find it incredibly difficult to tear myself away. It is at once an overwhelming and exciting experience. I told my Sweet Man that I think this might be my midlife crisis. How lucky is he? I feel like I am having an affair with creativity! The most fallout there might be from this crisis is a surplus of pretty things around the house and possibly less cooking and cleaning going on. I'm pretty sure he can live with that and maybe even be better off for it.

The down side to this creative fire is that I have a hard time shutting it down for the day. The up side is that most nights feel like Christmas eve to me and I can't wait to go to sleep so I can hurry up and wake up and start creating again. I find that I'm pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and tackling things that I've been afraid to tackle before like sewing zippers, learning crochet and knitting socks.

ALL the socks. I'm obsessed. It seems a very odd thing to be obsessed with. Like 40 is the new 70. I just wish there were more hours in the day and also that I had an extra set of hands. It's all consuming for me right now and I've just decided to give into it. I'm really enjoying this place just out of reach of my comfort zone and I love the satisfaction and pride that comes with pushing through obstacles and teaching myself a new skill. It feels like a gift I am giving myself, and one that was very needed right now.

Actually now that I think about it, I'm sure this must all stem from giving myself the gift of my Sacred Day. Of course! I'm not sure why that didn't occur to me before. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Preserving that time for myself has given me permission to open myself up to all of the ideas and apparently they were just looking for an opening. I'm so thankful for this particular season.