Friday, December 31, 2010

Art of the Month: December

I want to share some of the lovely gifts both received and given this month.  I feel so privileged to be around so many creative women and talented artists.  Fostering this creative spirit in Kyan is a joy to me.  I don't structure our art sessions much yet as he is only 3, but when he sees me painting or drawing he asks to do it too and that says to me that he sees merit in it and enjoys the process of creation.  Our gray skies have cleared up and so we've got sunshine but it has brought with it much colder temperatures.  Well, much colder for the west coast anyway.  I can't believe that the New Year is upon us.  I hope to fit in my yearly tarot card spread this weekend.  Usually I do it in November around my birthday but I didn't fit it in then.   I hope to share a bit about this tradition with you in the new year.  I stole the idea from Heidi Joy many years ago and it never ceases to amaze me how looking back over the year and reading the results of the spread reveals so much about what occurred.  And now for some of the results of gift giving and receiving.

 Kyan's crown that I showed in progress in this post.  I can't say he has warmed up to it yet but it's there for whenever his future self is inclined to be king-like.

I received this lovely Soul Sister from my wonderful friend Sarah who is journeying with me through pregnancy at this time.

 Some handmade pot holders from Heidi Joy.  Such a lovely combination of fabrics....I almost hesitate to use them.  And below is the finished doll house.  Ky has played with it and I just have to make some cushions for the sofa and some blankets and pillows for the dolls.

 And I put these drawstring bags together to house a bamboo game of Tic Tac Toe and the blue bag has a good luck charm in the pocket.  Drawstring bags are useful for holding so many little things together whether for child's toys, for traveling or any type of storage.  I'm contemplating making some to just have on hand out of odd ends of fabric.  Maybe after the thousand or so other projects I have in the cue.  This year has been a success for many projects and I've had a blast getting some started, a few finished and dreaming about all the rest.  In a few short months my life will be graced with yet one more distraction from this work that I love but I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.  And the days that I devote to the new baby will be brief in the grand scheme of life and I'll get back to a semi-regular sewing/creating schedule eventually.  May 2011 be fruitful for you in whatever you choose to create.  Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Making Merry

Our days have been full of creating, enjoying and resting.  Resting more in the last two or three. I feel so grateful for the gifts we've received and the times we have shared with loved ones.  Oh, and the meals...well they overwhelmed me more than once.  Something about holiday meals and a smaller stomach due to carrying a baby inside your womb does not go together.  I hope your holidays have been wonderful.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

our weekend

Happy Solstice to you all.  I wanted to share some snippets of our weekend.  Ky had his birthday bash a week early so that he could have a party like the real kids born on the other 364 days of the year.  I will drop in this week with photos from our days of making, both merry and gifts.  We have our special family of three dinner and gift exchange tonight.  This will be the first year that hopefully begins to instill this day as a tradition that we will carry with us throughout our family time together.  

more to come soon friends.  hope you are all having a merry week.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Top Ten Holiday Movies

I've compiled this list from movies that have stayed with me over the years. This time of year is my favorite.  I love snow drifting softly, holiday songs in the background and the hazy glow of Yule tree lights. Again, this list may be missing your favorites so add them in the comments if you think they shouldn't be missed.

10.  The Man Who Saved Christmas
This is a T.V movie that I watched last year.  Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame stars as a man who runs a toy company in the early 20th century and perseveres through adversity.  The writing is good and the message is one that shows the characters learning from mistakes and evolving.  A positive one and as I remember it it is family friendly but is more for older kids.

9.  The Family Man
Normally I'm not a huge Nicolas Cage fan but I like this movie.  The contrast of this man's experience when he is taken from a corporate highballer to a "family man" is somehow believable in Cage's portrayal.  I am a sucker for the second chance to see how things might have been.  There are several films on this list that fit into that theme.

8.  Elf 
This movie is so funny.  Will Ferrell has this genuine sentiment in his acting that comes across so strongly in this one.  The plot is charming and corny but I love how he believes in all things Christmas.  There is also a great version of Baby it's Cold Outside, one of my favorite holiday songs.

7.  When Harry Met Sally
Now you may be thinking is this really a holiday movie?  And I say why of course it is.   There are several scenes as the years pass of Christmas holidays and New Year's celebrations.  This is one of my top movies of all time.  It has it all, witty humour, romance and a certain '80s flair for fashion.  Getting the xmas tree is a central part of the plot since you see Harry and Sally getting it together and separately and it makes the connection they share obvious and poignant.

6.  A Christmas Carol /Scrooge 1951 version
There are many versions of this film/story.  I think this one is the one I like best and that is because I love the Ghost of Christmas Present's scene.   To me he is like the Green Man, a figure of abundance filled with the essence of living in the moment.  A hearty laugh, feasting, spreading joy and good cheer....what else could you ask for?  This story is a classic for a reason, the original what could be if you don't change your ways tale.

5.  Little Women (Collector's Series) 1994/ Little Women 1949
Here I just have to list two versions of this movie because I love them both and they both have wonderful Christmas scenes.  The 1994 version has a great cast and Susan Sarandon's portrayal of the Mama is very empowering.  The 1949 version with June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor is the first version I learned to love as a child.  It has the charm of the 40's style and you can feel the wholesome love the family has.

4.  It's a Wonderful Life 
Do I really need to explain this one?  It's a classic, so American, heartwarming and full of vintage charm.

3.  One Magic Christmas
This is another classic from my childhood.  The story is touching as a mother who has lost her joy of the season from all of the struggles of daily life raising a family learns how fragile each moment is with the help of an angel.  Simple and compelling.

2.  A Muppet Family Christmas
I love this one so much.  All the muppet characters from The Muppet Show to Sesame Street to Fraggle Rock show up in this one.  I haven't watched it with Kyan yet but I hope he loves it as much as I do.  Regardless we're going to be watching it many times as the years progress.

1.  White Christmas
The songs in this movie are the ones that everyone loves.  The story is entertaining and this movie moves at a good pace to keep you interested.  Dancing, Vermont lodges, train travel, Bing Crosby....I could go on but if you haven't seen it check it out.  If this doesn't get you in the mood I don't know what will.  Happy viewing!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

blurrrrrr.... I'm a bit busy with stuff.  Things here and there, finished, unfinished, pending, processing, becoming an Auntie, slowly gathering bits and ideas to make the holidays festive for little $$....planning the first big party of Kyan's birthday history, being annoyed by things beyond my control and in the case of last night waking at 4 a.m to ponder it all.  As you can imagine that has brought about some highs, lows and many emotions in between.  The highlight of the week has been knowing that my sister and her little baby boy are healthy and made it through the first arduous journey that they'll face together.  Another was visiting with a dear friend and her son.  Sharing our lives now and laughing about our lives then and how ten years later we've turned out pretty well.

 A package sent and wrapped with love and lots of help from the artist in residence.

WIP based on the pattern in: The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections

And the doll house that is slowly coming together for the boy of the house.  I know he'll probably only use it as a car garage but I feel proud to supply him with his first bachelor pad.  The fun of decorating is next.

There is so much holiday magic out there in the blogs.  Really an inspiration to behold.  I'll soon be sharing more festive spirit myself.