Things have been getting awfully festive at our house lately! We put up our tree last weekend (after way more drama than I anticipated to get some white wire tree lights). Fred remembered just after we were done decorating that the box of presents his mother sent were not for under the tree, but on the tree. We opened them up, and amongst our annual ornaments, a gorgeous set of red crocheted snowflakes!!!! (you can see part of one in my new header). So. Excited.
There was also snowguy building! We had our first snow a week or two ago and the boys immediately got out an built a "snow guy". As you can see, 5 is pretty enamored...
Until he finally melted away a few days ago, every exit and entrance included a stop to put an arm around the snow guy. What a good friend my little dude is.
Need any last minute kid gifts? I've got a super fun one for you! Make your own set of ABC, 123, or whatever type of blocks you want!
To make these blocks you will need:
::Unfinished wooden blocks, however many you choose- I got a set of 26 from ems woodbydesign on Etsy.
::6 images per block, cut to fit the size of your block face- my blocks were 1.5", so I cut my images to 1.25". I got my letter and number images from Leo Reynold's flickr page- he offers his images free for download and use under a Creative Commons' license. You could use magazine images, scrapbook paper, any kind of paper products as well.
::Mod Podge. I'm sure there are other mediums that would work just as well, but this is what I used.
::Scissors. Sharper the better.
::A foam brush. Other brushes would probably work too, but I like the foam brush because it leaves less of a brushstroke.
Repeat for all sides of the blocks. Give them at least 24 hours to dry and cure not touching anything else. The more dry time you can give them, the better. Enjoy!
Are you going handmade this year? What are you making?
It's been two years. Two years with the sweetest, funniest, smartest little boy a mama could ask for. Definitely the two best years of my life.
This boy enjoys the simplest of pleasures.
Balloons? Coolest thing in the world.
Breakfast smoothie followed by getting to do the dishes? A real celebration indeed!
We celebrated with a little party for family and friends. There was bubble wrap to run on, tamborines and kazoos aplenty, and a cardboard tunnel leading to a balloon pit. 5 was into it. That alone made every minute of planning and cooking etc so very worthwhile.
And, there was, of course, cake. Chomp!
One of the most important things that my husband and I have in common is that we are both complete and unapologetic dorks. We are not terribly romantic nor are we cool enough to reject such notions altogether. It's clear that we are not alone.
I love the NPR valentines (find them here), I sent some last year, but this one kind of embodies everything I love about my marriage. We occasionally listen to the news on NPR during the week, but mostly, it's our Sunday.
We drop everything to do the puzzle with Will Shortz at 10:40.
I sing along with the guest musicians and Fred laughs at the stupid jokes on Prairie Home Companion.
I get most of my current events knowledge from Wait Wait Don't Tell Me .
But the best part is the sponsors. Guessing which shows were sponsored in part by Lumber Liquidators and what completely random sounding things each foundation supports (preventing homelessness, tooth decay, child abuse, and nuclear weapons..?) Worthy causes all, I'm super not trash talking, we are just fascinated by what these philanthropists hold nearest and dearest.
I also made Fred one of these super cool pixelated popup heart cards, but on macho granite-y looking paper. And instead of writing a deep and meaningful message, I let 5 color on it.
Keeping with the spirit of dork love, we sent each other Declarations of Romantic Intent from the Bureau of Communication. They have all kinds of fun forms you can fill out and send.
Most years we try pretty hard to have a nice V-Day without spending very much. We have found we enjoy it more if we just make each other a little something and spend an evening together.
I know it's such a cliche, but since we became parents, the moments we share with each other as a couple tend to become few and far between. It makes this holiday a lovely excuse to drop everything, even if only for a few hours, to obsess over this man with whom I plan to spend the rest of my life.
How do you like to celebrate (or un-celebrate) Valentine's Day?
The Cats are Out of the Bags!
Whew! I hope everyone had a lovely xmas/new year's week! We returned home from our travels on Dec 30 and were SO glad to be in our own cozy bed again. Now that the holidays are past, I'm so excited to share some of my handmade gifts with you!
This is the Black Apple Doll that I made for 5. Isn't it cute? I had such a fun time picking fabrics out of my (many) scrap baskets, and then agonizing over drawing a gender-neutral face. I think it's adorable. 5 thinks it's delicious. He likes to give it big kisses (and bites)- you may be able to see the gingerbread smeared on the chin... I also have to do some handstitching on the hair already. His little teeth have done quite a number on the hairline. If you want to make one yourself, you can download the pattern pieces and instructions here. You can also purchase an already-made, super nice one from the Black Apple Shop.
This is our new rug. I made it. From old sheets. Yeah, it took a long time. No, 5 was NOT a big help. We worked on this every day for MONTHS and as much as I love how excited 5 was to crochet, he mostly just pulled stitches out which really sucked.
I stored the rug in a transparent bin in the dining room all while I was making it. I was so sure that Fred had figured out what I was making, but he didn't! It was a surprise! On Christmas Eve morning, when we decided to do our little family gifties, I went downstairs first and laid the rug down in front of the tree. So great. I still have some pretty weird calluses from crocheting so much with that ginormous crochet hook for SO LONG....
This is the mobile I made from the crocheted bracelets I talked about way-back-when. I love it! I got some kind of stove accessory to hang them all from for 25 cents from Vinnie's which was the full extent of my cash investment for this bad boy since I used yarn scraps and bracelets I bought more than 10 years ago. Yahoo!
I think my favorite part was wrapping the metal with yarn though. I got kinda Zen about it. Good times. I was DEFINITELY in need of a little forced meditation in those last few days before xmas.
Finally, I thought I'd share this Christmas Eve morning pic- it's not great, but I love that he's JUST opened his mittens (he figured out how to get them out of the toilet paper roll all by himself!) and some of my other handmade gifts are strewn about in front of him. I made the mittens from leftover fleece scraps, rick-rack, and fuschia ribbing, not even realizing that they would coordinate with his hat that you can kind of see at the bottom of the picture but can see better here. And of course I had to make him another pair of flannel pants with some Anna Maria Horner LouLouThi flannel (and Good Folks scraps for the cuffs).
Did you survive the holidays?
My name is Ansley Knoch. I am the creator of Rispok, a line of accessories for big and little people made from repurposed materials. I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband, Fred, and our son, also Fred, better known as 5.