And so it begins…

IMG_4424When we were kids, there was no decorating until after our December birthdays were over.

I always though it was because Mom wanted to make sure our birthdays didn’t get lost in the Christmas rush (and that was part of it), but as I got older, I discovered Mom just doesn’t like Christmas that much.

Oh she likes the gift giving, and having the family around… but all the stress, drama and anxiety… when we were kids, Mom would go full out with Christmas baking. She’d start weeks in  advance – our unheated back porch was filled with cooling macaroons, sugar cookies, nanaimo bars and more. Then there were pies… and Christmas dinner.  On top of that… Christmas Eve at the paternal Grandpa’s, a Christmas day visit to the maternal Grandparents, and Boxing day at the paternal Grandma’s. And that was on top of five December birthdays (me, my brother, cousin, Dad and Grandma)… all on a  shoestring budget.

I can understand why Mom was never a huge fan of the silly season. Then I met Dave, who could easily be called a Grinch when it comes to Christmastide… and he brought with him a whole other sort of family Christmas drama.

It took us a few years to find our stride with our mutual Christmas tradition, but now I think we’ve found the perfect compromise. Christmas Eve with Dave’s grandma and Mom (and whoever else in the family drops by that night), and then a dinner with my family (Mom & Dad, and Ron & Jenn and the girls) whenever we can arrange for all of us to get together. No stress, no pressure – we do it when it works.

We don’t go crazy with presents. We stay in budget and keep it small. As you know, a lot of gifts in the family are homemade, making them extra special.

At home, I do a little decorating, and I don’t wait quite as long as Mom did. Because of space, and my army of furry tree assassins, we just have a small, pre-lit two foot tree. It goes up in 10 minutes (including decorations).


Skiing sock monkey helps us count down the days. And I think he’s my favourite of my few decorations.


Out front, my chilly little polar bears greet visitors.


And thanks to neighbour Krista, this little Christmas elf crash landed in my ivy pot. I was planning on getting some winter greenery for these baskets, but because I was sick, I didn’t have a chance. But so far, the ivy is holding up quite well.


And lastly, this pretty little candle is keeping us warm and cheery inside. It was my birthday present from Dave, and he insisted I open it early (still a few days to go until my birthday.). These are my favourite candles and this one yielded a very beautiful surprise….


Just perfect for this December baby!

So welcome December, welcome Christmas! I’m ready!

FO: Zelda hat

I told you the next hat would go quicker!


This one for a Legend of Zelda fan. Zelda patterns were slim pickings but I managed to find one I liked. Sadly, it wasn’t until after I bought it that I realized it was for sport weight and the yarn I had was worsted. (I blame the cold meds). It’s ok though, I was able to mod the chart to work and I was off and running in no time.

It’s a fun textured stitch after the colour work band (which is lined and nice and thick. I modded the decreasing to get the nice square beanie style. The yarn was some leftover pea green from my Agatha cardigan, and some bright gold Big Cat I’d dyed up ages ago – perfect for Zelda’s triforces!

Now the third hat is on the needles and moving right along. I hope to have something to show you soon.

FO: Scandanavian Sugarskulls

Here it is!

While it is a bit of a complicated knit (you have to pay attention), it is a fun one. The combination of a gradient yarn and a cool design really keep things moving. You want to keep knitting to see the colour and picture emerge.

The gradient yarn was some handspun Mom gave me. I got just to the start of the green when I finished. It would have been nice to get through all the colours, but oh well. This works.  I may actually have enough left for another hat, but I won’t be knitting one any time soon.

Now, the rest of my Christmas hats should go much quicker. They are all worsted, and far less involved. And hopefully the doctor prescribes me some good meds this morning, so  I kick this sickness right out the door.


My camp-out on the couch continues…


At least I have good company. Though he insists on playing bed mice with my toes when I’m trying to nap.

I did manage to finish my hat, but I haven’t had enough energy to make it up to the sewing machine. And that’s bugging me, because I’ve just learned of two new babies on the way. One to a coworker out west, and one to a cousin! These babies need quilts!

But all I can do is think about what I want to do…


I have this cute fat quarter set in the stash – and there are so many possibilities with fat quarters. But it also came with this little panel…


I’m thinking maybe cut those squares apart, and surround them with some simple block sashing… what do you think?

For the second quilt, I’ve got this sweet little charm pack full of adorable little bears


I’m thinking maybe another Moda love… or something similar.

Either way… I can’t do anything until this darn virus passes. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s morphed into bronchitis… I’m back to the Dr. tomorrow for confirmation. Wish me luck!