Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fairy Lights

Lights are an important part of the season. My Christmas lights had burnt out so I turned in my amazon points for a strand of LED lights and I had enough left over for some Fairy Lights.
One of my mother's handmade soy candles surrounded with pine cones, sweet gum tree seeds, and fairy lights.

I hadn't heard of fairy lights before this but after getting my own I'm seeing them everywhere. A thin copper strand with little dew drops of epoxy covering the glowing filament and two strands with the included batteries cost less than a gingerbread latte.

I've been reading around other blogs about how horrible and sad 2015 turned out to be. With the avian flu making the cost of eggs rise 138%, banana fungus decimating the cavendish banana, all the shootings, the Paris bombings, the European Refugee Crisis, the California drought and record wildfires, and  Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, there is a point. However, now we also have fairy lights and I wouldn't want to live during any other time.

Starting tonight the days will be getting longer, the nights shorter, I'm fondly wrapping up 2015 and looking forward to 2016.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sympathetic Magic

Today is the first day of Winter and I'm growing a bit of springtime inside. Just so it doesn't get any crazy ideas about staying around too long. Also, because winter window gardening is so much easier and pleasant than gardening any other time of year.

As soon as I closed on the house I took a lovely housewarming gift card for the local nursery and bought bulbs. Crocuses in particular but also Dutch Iris and Hyacinth.

In doing this I found that I can plant thirty bulbs in one session and having more than three session worth on hand at once is a bad idea. Noting this now for next fall; make more than one trip to the nursery and don't buy everything all at at once. But with family's help I did get the last ones planted.

I saved some Hyacinth bulbs back for forcing inside. Apparently, I'm doing it all wrong having read the instructions for growing in water weeks after starting but I think it will still work fine. If not, I did hold three more bulbs back in the fridge for a second round.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I'm making a garland of little socks and they are just so adorable that I can't stop. I should have it hung by now but instead I keep making more.


Growing up we didn't have dedicated Christmas stocking but instead used a real sock. When very little we did get to hang our mothers knee high socks but by the 5th grade I was laying out my own white and pink tube sock.

Knitting the little socks from sock scraps has been a blast to the past as I remember what I was doing when I knit each original pair.

The one on the bottom left I knit at the Chicago airport waiting for my father to fly in to drive the moving truck to Kansas City. Joey had been diagnosed with cancer the day before. The pink and black stripped on the right was a Christmas gift to a friend when I lived in Southern Illinois. The red one I knit as I was trying to find knitting groups when I was newly back to Kansas City. The orange was used to embellish the heels and cuffs of a brown pair for a friend that is now gone. The pink at the top next to it if from a baby sweater. 

It's wonderful to be giving each yarn a second life in my home.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


One of the things that I remember fondly from the Christmases of my childhood is the amaryllis bulb in a box. My father would bring home the box and we would plant it together and then it would grow before our eyes in the living room window.

An amaryllis bulb was pretty high on my want list so I was excited to find them in Home Depot on clearance. I was at Home Depot to use the last of a housewarming gift card for a long list of home supplies. While they didn't have anything I needed that day, I planned ahead and picked up a snow shovel (the first one I've owned, ever) and the gift card had enough left for the amaryllis too.

I've never kept one alive to bloom again next year but my neighbor swears it's super easy and all I have to do is keep it on my porch over the summer. I will see. It would be wonderful to have it for Christmases to come.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Making Traditions

In the spirit of only using what I have on hand, I painted my ornaments with glitter nail polish.

While I don't recommend going out and buying nail polish to use as paint it is fantastic. It doesn't show in the photos but they flash like disco balls. Even the white ones are covered in white and holographic glitter and flash the prettiest.

I've already hosted Christmas for my dad and his wife and my brother. We hung the ornaments from the ceiling and put up my garland and Christmas lights around the window

I served a meal every two hours, we exchanged gifts, and watched Dexter. A nice traditional family Christmas. Another tradition I followed, I didn't take a photo of any of the knitted gifts before giving them away.