{ valentines day } making

Fidget's Valentine's day party is tomorrow, on the 10th.  This has completely thrown me off this year. The 14th seems like sooo much more time to get things done, somehow.  At any rate, this week I went in to panic mode, because

a) Valentines are due on friday

b) No candy is allowed (so no awesomely easy photo w/ dum-dums this year.  drat.)

c) I'm head room mom so I have a party to throw.  Tomorrow. So I'm blogging.


I totally could have gone the easy route and printed out valentines, especially with this year's mandate of 'No Candy!!'   However, that Fidget is used to mom being all crafty, and I wasn't crafty enough to talk her out of felt and thread and irons and what not. Oy. 

So just in case you DON'T have to turn in your valentines tomorrow and DO have the weekend to work on them and you're a little bit crazy like me, you could do what we've decided to do:

rose barrettes from the purl bee for the girls:



pirate eye patches from ashley ann (at under the sycamore) for the boys.

We printed out some little cards to hand them out, all legit-like.  And now we're going to throw a party with homemade picture bingo cards -- because there is a chance some kids don't know all their numbers, five kinds of hypoallergenic treats -- so no one feels left out, a photo booth-- because that's what people are doing these days, and musical chairs. I think next year I'm going to let the excited first time mommies take over. 

And then I'm going to take a nap.  (But not before my dear friend, Lina, makes fun of me...I'm sure.  I'm laughing, too, lady. Happy Valentine's Day.)

The end.

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

Part four of the slowest holiday tour ever!

I took photos weeks ago, started this post and never got around to words... so this one will be photo heavy and light on explanation.  At this point, who cares?  I will say that this year was the first with my new kitchen, so I did have fun with it.  In the past I really didn't want to draw attention to my shiny dark den-like space.

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

 The deer and ornaments were above my pantry on the right.

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

 I made some boxwood wreaths from the overgrown shrubbery in my yard and hung them over the stove, which now has the new section of cabinets above.  I cannot believe how different this space looks now.  (before)

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

The kitchen got the tall skinny tree that I've had for 12 years... it's so short that I prop it up on canned goods every year under that skirt.  This angle shows the (1985, free to me) black pedestal table that I painted black. The aluminum chairs and garage-sale-still-needing-slipcovers parsons chairs all fit nicely around it, and we could easily add another 4 narrow chairs around the sides if we needed to.  This works so much better for our large-ish family, friends and littles that are always in and out.

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen


{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

This shows off the new cabinetry in its entirety.  If I were to do it again, I'd have added lighting in the top cabinets, but I still love the extra storage.  (before)

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

From this angle, you can see the now-black secretary and hutch, which looks so much better as a stand alone piece.   I kept my original cabinet stuff up there and added a few ornaments and boxwood sprigs for Christmas.

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen


{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

One of my favorite things was the glass jar with lights. 

{ holiday tour } The Kitchen

If I had time to do only a few things, this would make the list.

I hope your holiday season was full of sparkly moments. 

(if you're curious about the kitchen reno, it starts here.)

{ holiday home tour} the living room

I know I said the kitchen, but it's a disaster. And the slipcovers aren't done. I'm thinking about taking those photos tomorrow, slipcovers or not.  For now, how about the living room?

This is the view from the entryway.  Yes, it's a fake tree.  I have had to get over this with all the allergics in the house, me included.  We deal.

Wait.  The door wreath is real.  That counts for something, right?


Last year I decided to move all of our red decorations to the basement and swap in some lime green, peacock blue, gold and white.  Our main floor is very light and I like it that way ... bringing in too many traditional dark colors makes it feel heavier than it needed to be.  The whites and blues were a welcome change.

bannister garland

The bannister is a combination of long-needle pine garland (that I got for a stupid good deal for $2 each and am kicking myself for not buying the case), cream burlap, and ornaments.  I have found so many at thrift stores in bags for $1.  Do yourself a favor and pop into a thrift store next November for decorations.  One of my friends picked up a 6' slim pre-lit tree for $12.  Stealio.

You can kind of peek into the kitchen in this photo.  I made those boxwood wreaths from the overgrown shrubbery in our yard. And there is a slim tree to the left of the cabinets.

The pink bag behind the couch is where my afghan lives when I'm not working on it. The bag was a gift from Beki last year.

through the LR

I found so many glass (and plastic) balls that put them everywhere.  On top of candelsticks...

in bowls...


on the piano...


and even in a vase (with marshmallows) on my dresser. 

I've never added anything in our bedroom before but I like it.  We had a lot of vases left over after the memorial service in August.  I like that I can use some of the again.

dressed up dresser

The plastic snowflake was a thrift store snag. So were the cut plastic covered dish and the gold ornaments in the vase... I love it when that happens.

Decorating the house is something we did for the girls.  If it were just the mr and I, it would be difficult to get into things right now.  Setting up was a nice distraction and it was fun to use the same stuff in a different way this time around. 

The one thing I haven't been able to do is hang the stockings.  Fidget is begging me to, and my heart is so heavy.  We were supposed to add a new stocking this year. I go back and forth about what to do.

Enjoy your week, friends.  I know it's hectic and stressful, but I hope you can carve for yourself and your loved ones some time for peace.


{ holiday tour } the playroom

(Thank you so much for the sweet comments. That deer was quite possibly the best spent $6.  Local KC friends, I picked it up this past weekend at a west bottoms first weekend vintage mart event -- have you been there yet?)


I thought I'd start the holiday home tour in the playroom because it is 1) pink and 2) clean.

It is also home to our pretty pink tree. The girls love it, and it really is the best showcase for all of the princess and barbie ornaments they have amassed over the years. The room faces the front of the house, so I was more than happy to put a tree in one of the front windows.


This is also the perfect spot for handmade art.  I love projects that showcase little feet, fingers and toes.





I picked up this little santa thrifting a few years ago.  He is busy flying around the world in his old toy truck.


The storage unit was a craigslist find last year.  Best purchase ever. 


I picked up Alicia Paulson's Santa Lucia dolls kit a few years ago, too.  These little girls make me smile every year when I take them out of the box.


You can kind of see the striped flat/satin wall treatment Ipainted when this was still an office.  This space serves us much better as a playroom, even if it is directly to the left of the front door and is usually a disaster.


The glow of a pink tree is totally, 100% like none other. 


{ december }

I'm feeling quiet these days.  Words are a jumble. I'm keeping my hands busy by decking the halls and making cheer for our girls. Sarah suggested that I share a little of my busy-hands therapy, so I'm going to start a holiday home tour.

Unfortunately, my house is not photo ready.  So how about I tease you with two shots of new-ish stuff and just promise to be back later when the rooms are picked up?  Because that's all I've got.

around the house

(I picked up this little guy a a vintage market downtown yesterday.  He fits right in.)

playroom tree

The playroom has a cotton candy pink tree. It (and the tiny pink glass birds that I picked up at the dollar store 4/dollar) make me smile.


{ giveaway } W O R D winner!

Our family's elf-on-the-shelf, Sandy, has been busy presiding over the house since Thanksgiving, taking note of good and bad behaviors and reporting back to Santa every night.  I honestly wish we could have Sandy come stay with us all year long, as the mere mention of his name quickly turns otherwise normal children into little angels.  I have never heard the words, "sure, mommy" and "oops, I mean, please..."  and "that's ok" quite so readily spoken in these parts.

Sandy, I do believe I have a crush on you.  (Even if you are only a 9-inch felt doll that makes me feel inadequate sometimes.)


At any rate, since he is held in such high regard around our house and this is a special time of year, I asked Sandy this morning if he would care to reveal the name of our giveaway winner. 

And the random integer internet gods have spoken!

Congratulations, Kirsten (December 15, 2010 at 10:20 AM), you have won a copy of W O R D!  I'll contact you directly for additional info later today.

It was fun to read how many of you had specific memories of polaroids as children.  I do remember the thrill of the Instant Photo and the Waving of the Picture and the Awe as we watched those images slowly appear.  It was so very very cool.  I'm so excited to see Jen's book for myself and hold it in my hands!

Here's hoping your holiday countdown isn't too crazy this week.  I have family coming into town to stay with us starting on Wednesday, so we are scurrying about getting last minute things together.  I'm going to remember to stop and sit and enjoy it all.  Breathe it in.  The people, the rush, the food, the laughter, the excitement, the twinkly lights, the celebration itself.  It's all good stuff and it fills my heart. 

happy monday, friends!
miss chris

{ sewing } teacher apron gift

As soon as I said 'this year I'm not going to commit to making any gifts', Fidget reminded me that I always make aprons for her teachers.  Always.  And the thing is, the teachers at her school know this.  Miss Jane might already be expecting one.  I don't know.  (She might be dreading it.)

At any rate, Christmas Teacher Apron 2010, is done and ready to wrap. I added a bit of tif's dottie angel styling to the pocket and used some vintage crochet trim on the bottom.  The pocket itself is made from a piece of an old eyelet bedskirt.  It is one of my favorite items in my stash.  So many, many uses.

I have also been finagled into making crocheted hair clips for Fidgie's friends.  That girl.  She can be awfully convincing, especially when she is talking about giving handmade... Fortunately those little crochet flowers whip up quickly whilst snuggling in front of a movie under a giant patchwork afghan. ;)

Happy weekending, friends!
miss chris

ps: and also... if you haven't yet seen this delightful little movie featuring tif, her mossy shed, and the chickens, treat yourself to 3 minutes of happy.  You'll be glad you did.  xoxo

pps: there is also still time to sign up for the W O R D giveaway -- midnight tonight (12/17)!

{ gifting } for the littles

I've put on my elf hat and pointy shoes.


Thought I would share what our little friends will be unwrapping this year:  A little paperback book selected  just for them, topped with sweets: an oversized lollipop ($1, Target) and ringpop ($1 for 3, Target).  Fidge has given them the once-over and approved.  Phew. 

I've been putting that curcle cutter to good use, too... and the glitter.  Life is simply more festive with glitter, don't you think?  And it's lovely how the glitter likes to spread itself around the house once it has been invited to the party.  :)

 psst: one more day to enter the giveaway!

{ december } staying warm

first fire of the season

Saturday night ushered in some crazy cold weather in these parts.  Kansas City is not used to extended periods of blustery winds and temps in the single digits.  (-20F windchill!  Oh MY!)  Hubs decided it was time for our first fire and threw on a log.  We made hot chocolate and switched into our jammies, found Frosty the Snowman Comes to Town on the tv, and snuggled up for a night of staying in. 

Thank you for all of the well wishes!  Things will be slowing down here around the blog for a bit while I spend every minute soaking up the goodness of the season.  I have limited myself to one crafty gift and that is already completed.  What a relief!  I'm going to focus my energy and spirits on making things merry and bright around the house with my girls.  Food and crafts included.

Two easy tree crafts caught my eye this morning:

1) These little pom pom trees for the little fingers to decorate,


2) these little stuffed trees for the mama to make and decorate.  (In white felt!  oooh!)

Perhaps I should add some gingerbread men to the mix??  We have already planned to make our gingerbread houses this weekend.  I can't wait.  :)

Also in my head today, Tif's lovely hearth.  Amazingly peachy perfect in every way!

miss chris

{ making do } thrifted skirt holiday pillow

December always comes flying at us -- like everyone -- with a list of things to do and places to be and rehearsals and functions and wishlists and hopes and anxieties.  It's all with the very best of intentions, too.  We've started our week here with a reminder to slow down, check our priorities and take care of each other.  Everyone at the house is at various stages of some ailment, and today the littlest one is getting is the worst.  I say that, but hubs is at the doc for the flu, so maybe it's a toss up.

Anyway, I'm keeping my spirits up (take that, bronchitis!) and am thankful that it is all hitting us now and not in a few weeks when we have family in town and lots to celebrate.  We may be miserable, but we are all in this together and we'll be better before long.

The ick certainly brings holiday prep to a screaching halt, though, doesn't it?  It's really ok.  Those priorities I mentioned earlier?  I have them fully engaged and my heart is full. 

However, with a few minutes to spare this afternoon (courtesy of a schedule conflict and priority shift), I have a few minutes to sneak in and share a little holiday pillow I made last week from a thrifted skirt and shirt.  It was quick and dirty -- I didn't even make it as a cover, as I usually do.  Just sewed it together and stuffed it closed.  And then I realized it needed something, so I added a little stitchery.


Last night we went to the Christmas Cantata at our church.  (I have three talented friends who sing!  I so wish I could join them.)  Before the performance, there were some slides shown up front. 

Joy is... Dancing. Joy is... Singing.  Joy is..Love. 
Peace is... Joy at Rest. 

I loved that.  Peace is joy at rest.  So true!

Anyway, I'm not 100% sure I love the pillow (could be the ruffles that are throwing me off), but I do love that when I pass through the living room, I have a subtle reminder to exhale and savor it all.  Even the icky stuff.  Extra snuggles, you know.  Soup.  And popsicles for breakfast. 

I'm hoping you and yours are doing well or making it through whatever ick has thwarted your to-do lists... snuggles and all. 

Take care, friends.  I'm wishing you some Peace this holiday season. 
miss chris

ps:  I also finished the afghan I started in September on my dottie angel weekend in Seattle.  She's already in full use and I do love that I completed something our family can use.. perhaps she is worthy of her own post though.  Soon, perhaps.  xo