12 Days of Light: Land of Magic and Imagination

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12 Days of Light: The Longest Night

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12 Days of Light: Handmade Gifts

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12 Days of Light: Snow Day

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12 Days of Light: A Feast of Fools

The feast of fools was a grand celebration with family from far and wide....

We ate exquisite soups and salads, fit for a royal court.

We played ridiculously fun games, like the White Elephant Gift Exchange.

We laughed until we cried.

And then danced the whole way home!

May your days be filled with foolish fun and fancy free~

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12 Days of Light

As is our tradition this time of year, we're spending the next twelve days remembering, releasing and recharging, as we celebrate our journey out of the darkness and back into the light...

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A Winter Walk with Wool

If you were to take a winter walk with through the north woods of Wisconsin, 

you'll want to layer up with a pair of wool socks and a plaid flannel shirt,

to keep Jack Frost at bay.

 Winding through the many generations of blue spruce,

speckles of bright red winter berries are painted in the reflection of the trickling water,

 just above the creekbeds.

Tread softly on the snow, and you may hear the song of the Thrush, a casual winter visitor of the midwest.

Smells from the woodstove fill the air,

 and a faint flicker of candle light welcomes you home.

I'll be back here on Monday with the beginning of our annual 12 Days of Christmas celebration.  Yep, we're a little behind this year, but it should be fun!}

Wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with love and celebration~

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the tree

We planned on just a small tree this year.

  However, sometimes the pheasants know better.

So we followed the fowl.  

And brought home a handsome Balsam Fir.

To fill with memories, both new and old.

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Childhood Memories

It's funny where those little bits of childhood memories come creeping in from, isn't it?  A passing scent, or a cool breeze on the cheek or a day of cutting felt shapes with my boys.  Last week, Cole, Luke, and I spent the whole day just sitting on the floor of the new studio cutting pieces of felt from the scrap bucket with no intention at all except to slow down and share some time together.

As Luke was busy cutting out circles from a sweater scrap, the most vivid picture of my Great Aunt Leatha swept through my mind...

When my brother and I were very little, we would spend afternoons at her house while my mom was at work.  She lived right across the street from our elementary school in an old brown bungalow with a giant screened in front porch and stained glass windows above the door.  We'd race each other up the steps through that heavy old door, into the living room that smelled of century old dust, past the dining room table and finally the kitchen, where she'd be waiting at the formica table with a smile and a plate full of ice box sugar cookies.  Oh, they were simple, light and buttery and warm out of the oven, everyday!  We'd sit and talk and laugh and eat until my mom came around dinner time.

It's one of the greatest memories from my childhood that I never want to forget, so with Luke's kind and generous spirit, his train wheels {which were bound for African adventures} have become a batch of icebox sugar cookie ornaments.  I'm keeping a few for myself and sharing the rest in the shop for all to enjoy~

Do you have any favorite childhood memories?

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{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

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It didn't take long for the new studio room to become the official holiday hangout!  The boys have all been taking their turns elving along side of me while I bustle about filling orders for the shop and try to work in a few secret gifts of my own!  No easy feat when it seems there's someone occupying the space around the clock.

What kind of elving is going on at your house this week?

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It's only been a week since my last post, but it seems like it's been months since I've written in this space.  I'd like to say that it was because I was gone on some glorious hiking excursion, but really it's just been a recovery period of sorts.

I've never mentioned it here before out of respect for my mother and father - in - law's privacy, but it seems like an appropriate time to share now.  About a year ago, Mike's parents moved in with us.  My mother - in - law was recovering from breast cancer at the time {She's been cancer free for a year now!!} and because she couldn't work during the surgery and recovery period, they ended up losing their home.  After much consideration, we let them move in with us.  It has not been an easy journey, to say the least, and has been a true learning experience in patience and tolerance.

Fortunately, for everyone, a couple of weeks ago they both decided it was time to move on and rent a little house of their own.

Our house is so quiet now, without all the hustle and bustle of extended families, extra grandchildren on the weekends, and all the pets {oh, the pets!}.  We've mostly been relishing the quite, slow way of life we're used to and have missed so much.

So you see, we're moving through our recovery period carefully.  The words are beginning to work their way back to me again.  I can see true happiness and laughter returning to our days.  We're patching things up.  Both emotionally and physically.  And with all this extra space, I'm getting a new studio!

Jake moved his room into the vastness of the now empty basement and I'm getting the tiny little room to call my own.  Where no one will bother me, and the three extra dogs don't bark, and the two extra cats don't leave hair all over, and three year olds aren't wiping their jelly faces on my hand spun alpaca.... Oh damn, and I said I wouldn't go there.  I did say we're moving through recovery slowly, right.

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I finally finished the gauntlets that I've been working on for just about forever.  The opera length fingerless mittens have been knit and ripped back, and knit and frogged, and knit and reshaped enough times that I could have made enough pairs for my entire family!  I even managed to finish the last inch in redIt was hard, but a good lesson in stepping out of my comfort zone.  It took me about a week to build up the courage to knit the last inch of one mitten in red for my good friend.  I even darned in all the ends and clipped off the snippets. Then they rested on the back of my sofa for a few days.  I just couldn't do it.   I carefully picked out the end, ripped back the red and reworked the last inch in black.  As it should be. 

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Free Knitting Pattern: Electronics Cozy

Remember the coffee cozies from last year?  Well, again we have about a month until Christmas and I'm just now starting my handmade gifts. I'm not going to beat myself up about it, because I've figured out the perfect guy gift {which crosses off about half the list}; electronics cozies.  The best thing is that it's pretty universal for all those tiny electronic gadgets!  It fits the digital camera we stuffed in our backpack during our trip across South Dakota.  It fits my sister in law's new hot pink cell phone.  And it fits my cousin's ipod touch. 

{Yep, bulky yarn = really fast handmade gift}

You can download the pattern on Ravelry for free!  

~Happy holiday knitting~

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