Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Great Unveiling

Who is that? Oh, it's a little green alligator I made for my brother, Elsworth. It was part of his Christmas present. He has a future goal of having a Christmas tree entirely decorated with homemade ornaments, so I thought this could easily be an ornament, or it could just be a decoration any time of the year. The pattern is from a fantastic book called Irresistible Gifts To Knit. The best part of the alligator is the scaly texture on its back. So realistic. Well, as realistic as you can get with yarn...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care

Last spring, I started on what might have been my biggest knitting undertaking yet: making stockings for my whole family. And here they are! Left to right: Mom, David, Amanda, Elsworth, Hanna, Karl, and Lia. I swear they are not as misshapen in real life as they look in this picture... 

I decided to make stockings because my grandma passed away last May, and when each of us were born, she made a stocking for us.  They are very beautiful with hand-sewn sequins, beads, and lettering, but they are falling apart.  The ones I made aren't meant to replace Grandma's, of course; we treasure the ones she made!  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Want to see something cute?

Seriously.  Could he be any more adorable?  That's my sweetie, about 30 years ago.  

Marathon Training Update

Guess how many miles I ran today.  Just guess.  Okay, okay, I'll tell you: 
Now, I know what you're thinking:  How do you run twelve miles in below-zero December in Wisconsin?  Well, if you are me, you go to the gym and slog it out on the treadmill.  Not the most fun, but my new best friends help me through it.  Want to meet them?  Here they are: 

Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear

Niecey from Clean House

I'm pretty slow, so for me, twelve miles equals about an hour and twenty-odd minutes.  That's a lot of cable.  I feel like I'm becoming an expert on how to de-clutter a house, and on how to choose clothing that flatters any figure.  Plus, today I learned how to make a pear tart.  Speaking of pears, we have this fruit CSA share that I totally love.  The only thing is, we get a lot of fruit from it, and it comes every two weeks, so we're not really that good at using it all up by the time we get the next box.  And on top of that, we just got a winter vegetable delivery.  So basically right now we are rolling in produce.  Our fridge is insanely full, considering that only two people live here.  But don't worry; we're taking action.  Today I made an apple pie to take to my friend Lindsay's parents' house (she's visiting from San Diego for Christmas), and at this very moment I've got squash curry simmering and mixed root vegetables roasting.  Mmmm.  Karl is napping.  I hope he's hungry when he wakes up!  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's the holiday season!

Here are Laura and Kristen, showing off my Eskimo mittens! We went to the Capitol Holiday Pageant last week-- so fun! You can see the top of the holiday tree in the background (we were on the second level).  

Just in time to beat the below-zero temps of the last few days, we did the Jingle Bell Run/Walk on Saturday.  It starts and finishes at Vilas Zoo, so we got a peek at the animals too! The polar bears have never looked so happy! 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Secret Santa Finale

This is what my Secret Santa is getting for the final gift. It's a stained glass panel of a turtle. Last year, Karl and I took a stained glass class together. This panel was a team effort between the two of us. Oh, and the reason it is a turtle is because that is our school mascot.

Twelve Drummers Drumming

There you have it! With another peek at the BSC in the background... it's a little drum ornament, but it's also secretly a box. The top comes off, and inside are little chocolates.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eleven Pipers Piping

Okay, so this one is kind of weak... it's make of pipe cleaners. Pipers piping... pipe cleaners... My original intention (inspired by my friend Kate who is very crafty) was to make a tree ornament with pipe cleaners that was in the shape of someone playing a pipe. But nope, my SS is just getting this candy cane.

Ten Lords A-Leaping

If you're a Lord and you're Leaping all over the place, of course you will need a Burt's Bees foot care kit, right?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nine Ladies Dancing

Who could resist dancing to the Jackson Five's Christmas album? Not my Secret Santa!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Eight Maids A-Milking

Due to a special request by Lia, I'm posting the Eight Maids A-Milking gift a little early... Isn't that the cutest Milk Duds container? When did they start making such adorable packaging?

Seven Swans A-Swimming

Small wrench in the plans: My Secret Santa wasn't at work yesterday, so the Six Geese A-Laying egg carton is still in her mailbox! I don't want to overload her! Hmm... what to do??? Here is a picture of the Seven Swans A-Swimming gift:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Six Geese A-Laying

Here's what my Secret Santa is getting today... filled with gold-wrapped chocolate coins! Below is a look at the inside of the carton, plus a little bonus peek at a prized posession in my office. The BSC loves Secret Santas too!

Five Golden Rings

Hee hee hee...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Secret Surprise for My Husband

Every time we make pancakes or waffles, Karl says, "Do we have any maple syrup?" And we never do. But over the weekend I secretly bought some real maple syrup and stashed it in the pantry, right by Karl's beloved Krusteaz mix. So next time he goes to make pancakes, he'll find it! I love surprises!

Four Calling Birds

This is my favorite of the twelve gifts my Secret Santa is getting... it's a package of notecards with birds on them. Get it? Calling birds?

What I Love

Snow falling softly outside... and seeing it out our front window, where the stained glass piece Karl made for our wedding is hanging.

Our pantry... this is my favorite shelf, with the strawberry jam Karl and I made this summer, plus one jar of raspberry, waiting to be made into some special Christmas cookies for my mom!

All of the laundry washed and put away...

All of the dishes washed and put away...

And cookies in the oven while I have some time to work on reading for the Newbery committee. Here is a picture of our living room wall, which is totally taken over by books. I know Karl loves it, but I'm sure he'll be okay when February comes and we can give all of these books away!