Thursday, December 26, 2013

how to create the perfect holiday stocking

so as you may or may not know, we're celebrating our holidays a little late this year.  not till the 28th.  right now we get away with just not doing anything on the 25th, but in later years we're going to use the "Santa asked for volunteers to celebrate later so that he can get to more people in one night".  that means that i'm just now getting around to getting the stockings finished.

but they are AWESOME.

so here is how you create absolutely perfect holiday stockings:

step one :
              have access to an amazing embroidery machine....  or my mother. seriously, she has the most outstanding skills in the embroidery department.  she does it all, tshirts, blankets, polo shirts, even patches.  she has mad skillz.

step two:
              take down the hideous curtains in the man cave, do not let your husband know what you're doing with them, just mysteriously walk out of the room.  put up new curtains.

step three:
              get embroidery files that perfectly encapsulate the inner Santa of each member of your household.  for this, i went to UrbanThreads and downloaded their Santa Surprise design pack and a freebie that they offered a few weeks ago.  (honestly, if you like embroidery even a little, check their website every week, they have amazing freebies ALL THE TIME)  have your (my) mother embroider the files onto the horrible curtains.

Astro Santa for Bam

Pirate Santa for Hubby

Sparkly Japanamation Santa riding a Unicorn for Dallas

Skellinton Santa for me

 Shameless obsequious picture of my sewing area.  or as i like to call it "the dark corner of the basement"

step four:
                  cut the freshly embroidered files into a vaguely stocking like shape

step five:

                 sew them together, adding the almost obsessive amount of vintage lace and trims i have stashed away instead of fur (actually, the boys have a really neat vintage fur ribbon....  1960's).  don't forget to add a loop.

all four together

piratical goodness

 super cute vintage tatted lace.  

i'm not sure why mine is sideways, but it seems par for the course.

step six:
               fill with Terry's Chocolate Oranges, walnuts, bits of candy, and trinkets.

i'm pretty proud of the stockings.  i meant to make them last year, but never got around to it.  i can't wait to see the kids' faces on our Christmas morning when they see them.  


Saturday, December 21, 2013

no more new years resolutions

i make them every year.  i never keep them more than a couple of months.  no one does really.  i mean, how many times have you looked into the windows of a gym on january 15th and seen it packed, just to do the same thing on march 15th to see it empty?  resolutions don't last.  you can resolve to do whatever you like, but that doesn't mean you have the willpower to stick it out.  I'm sorry, but it's true.  i know i don't have the willpower most of the time.  seriously, the only resolution I've ever stuck with is to be amazing.  and lets face it, that one isn't hard to keep.

so this year (and I'm thinking of making it a tradition), instead of a list of resolutions, I'm making a list of knitting.  I'm blogging it here so i can keep you all posted (i know how you worry), and this way i can also look back and see what projects i have yet to do. so here is my list of new year knitting along with links, but no pictures, because I'm lazy and about to go have our christmas with the hubbs family.

     most can be found on ravelry, and some i got in the Jane Austen Knits i just picked up

Sweet Home Socks
Bandanna cowl
Lady Violet's Dinner Gauntlets
Most Sensible Bonnet
Love - Loyalty Pin Ball
Northanger Pelisse
Dumbledore's Smoking Hat
the Griffendor Cami

Monday, December 9, 2013

How to survive the Holidays if you aren't Christian

the holidays are a special time.  filled with home, and family, and hearth.  snow blanketing the land, the twinkle of lights on the tree.  the joy.  the carols.  but when you're a Pagan, the holidays can be a minefield.  here is a little list that might make it easier to navigate.

1.  don't get your panties in a bunch.  yes, early Christians moved the birth of Jesus to coincide with the winter solstice in order to make conversion to Christianity easier.  you aren't going to win friends and influence people by rubbing it in their face every time someone says 'Merry Christmas'.  chillax.

2.  be nice.  if you know someone is Christian, tell them Merry Christmas.  if you know someone is Jewish, say "Happy Hanukkah".  being polite isn't going to kill you.

3.  call it Yule if you want to.  or call it Christmas.  in our house we use the terms interchangeably.  no one really cares what you call it.

4.  it's OK to get frustrated.  yes, people will ask you why you celebrate if you aren't Christian.  they may even be rude about it.  that's their drama, not yours, and it says more about who THEY are than who they think you are.  at worst, you've just dealt with a douche bag, at best you've made somebody think.

5.  find something to LOVE about the holidays.  for me, it's Santa.  there are so many Odin references that i can't not love it.  for you, maybe it's the cookies, the carols, the snow, the rum, whatever.

6.  remember that believing in something other than a "mainstream" religion makes people afraid.  they begin to question their own beliefs, and that's uncomfortable for them.  be kind.

7.  know when to walk away.  there are a couple of people i just steer clear of the entire month of December.  it's not worth the digs, snide comments, and "jokes".

8.  know when to stand up.  if someone is truly harassing you because of your religion, remember that it is your Constitutionally protected right to Freedom of Religion.  you have every right to believe what ever you believe.  sometimes you need to stand and say enough.

9.  above all else, be true to yourself.  if you're not a "Christmas-y" person, don't even try.  if you want to run through town screaming "SANTA!!!!", go for it.  make it yours.

happy holidays everybody

Saturday, December 7, 2013

rome wasn't built in a day

i have a plan.  a very specific 1-2 year plan on a complete health overhaul.  the ultimate plan is to go gluten free, dairy free, organic, grass fed animals, real fat, real food, and daily yoga (and hopefully get my yoga teacher certification too).  and this plan isn't just for me, but for my family too.  it' going to take a couple of years to get everything done.  this is something i want to really excel at, so small changes.  take today for example, instead of getting the microwave breaded chicken nuggets at the store, i got a bag of frozen chicken breasts.  i baked them and gave them to Bam for lunch.  yes, he fussed a bit (he doesn't like new food), but he still ate them.  and i can feel better about giving it to him.  admittedly, it was commercial chicken, and i'm not really happy about that, but it's a small step.  

the path is forged with small steps.  

for starters, i'm slowly ditching processed food.  the chicken nugget for chicken breast is the first step.  today was cooking day, so i made a big ole pot of potato soup, and i'll take those to work for the next week.  BOOM, instant fast food, and it's saving me money since i don't have to buy my lunch every day.  

once the processed food addiction is kicked, i'm going to phase out dairy.  now, i love cheese, so this is going to be particularly difficult.  i love cheese.  cheese and sour cream.  and yogurt.  if i could fry a mix of cheese and sour cream and yogurt i would live on that for the rest of my life.  which admittedly wouldn't be long.  

after that is the gluten.  i love bread almost as much as i love cheese, and there is gluten in almost  EVERYTHING, so i'm really not looking forward to this.  i know this has to be done.  we as humans weren't meant to eat wheat or drink cow milk, and we haven't evolved enough to digest it properly.  so they gotsta go.  

daily yoga is just something that i want.  i feel more centered when i practice every day.  my body feels like my own.  my muscles respond so much better when they are regularly stretched.  so keeping a daily practice is a no-brainer.  and if i'm going to be perfectly honest, i've made a commitment to myself and to Odin.  i vowed that someday (i left it open ended so there wasn't a time frame attached) i would be able to get into crow pose.  crow pose scares me.  scares the life out of me.  and i will keep at it until i get it.  i have to.  vows are important.  this isn't something that i can walk away from.  

four small steps.  it doesn't seem so unobtainable when i see it written down.  but i know it's huge.  huge.  this is my life huge.  i can do it.  

i think i can i think i can i think i can