Monday, 26 December 2016

Our Christmas

Our Christmas was much like last year. We celebrated with our parents and son, just the seven of us. 

Our daughter and her family stayed home in Boulder for Christmas again this year. My husband's brother and his wife booked a trip to Punta Cana from December 21-28. We enjoyed their photos and daily updates on Facebook. Our niece and her husband spent Christmas with his family in Goderich. They celebrated with her parents the weekend before they left for Punta Cana. 

My parents joined us Christmas morning to open gifts. We served cappuccino. They brought muffins. This has become a fun family tradition since moving to London 15 years ago. Even our pets get excited about Christmas gifts. They know exactly how to rip into wrapping paper.
Our cat loved her new hand-knit doll filled with catnip. She chewed, tossed and drooled all over it. Our poodle loved her new squeaky toy. She took possession and refused to share.
Our son's pup thoroughly enjoyed his first Christmas. He loved all his new toys and treats. It was a joy to watch him play.
After gifts, my parents returned home to rest. They had been up late hosting their annual Christmas Eve Open House for family and friends. 
After my parents left, we hiked to the Sifton Bog boardwalk before heading home where I spent the afternoon preparing a traditional Christmas dinner of roast turkey, crock-pot stuffing, cubed squash (baked), broccoli with cheese (also baked), mashed potatoes (made by Mom), cream corn and gravy. I always fuss and worry about the meal, although I'm not sure why. As always, everything worked out and tasted delicious. It would be difficult to mess up turkey.
For dessert, we enjoyed trifle made by my Mum-In-Law... mmm so tasty.
I am so late writing about Our Christmas that it's New Years Eve already. Our son and his girlfriend joined us for dinner (barbecue steak) before heading out to a party at a friend's house. My husband and I are enjoying a quiet evening. He is reading while I write. We're almost ready to watch a movie and maybe stay up as late as midnight.

From our house to yours, we wish you all a Happy New Year.

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Festive Holiday Housewarming

Our niece and her husband married and moved in together in October of this year. To celebrate and share their new place with family and friends, they hosted a Festive Holiday Housewarming Open House on Sunday afternoon. We were excited to visit and see their new home.

Their house is spacious, welcoming and nicely decorated. I couldn't resist taking photos of some of the festive features decorating their home. 

A basket of delectable mint smoothies greeted guests at the front door.
I love their snowman Advent calendar counting down to Christmas. 
This whimsical stripey hat atop white fluff is adorable and Christmassy.
A string of lights and Christmas stockings create a festive fireplace.
Their Christmas tree looks spectacular. Our niece was pleased with this garage sale find including a handy-dandy storage bag for only $20.
Our niece's Gramma (our Mum) helped with prepping food for the party. There were so many tasty treats being served. 
Our niece's Mom was busy in the kitchen prepping even more food. 
I love this hand-sewn button Christmas tree decoration made by a friend. 
My husband sampled from an assortment of yummy sweets. The red licorice was labeled "Twiz the Season". Love the word play.
Our niece and her husband - the newlyweds - paused to pose for a photo.
Many thanks to our niece and her husband for hosting a fun and festive Holiday Housewarming. 

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Monday, 12 December 2016

Back to Crochet

I stopped crocheting in May when I started sitting on the floor to improve functional strength and flexibility. I wrote more about my reasons here if you're interested. I still believe more natural movement and floor sitting are important for longterm health and mobility. Unfortunately, I cannot crochet properly while sitting on the floor.

I also cannot read books or watch TV for any length of time from the floor. It is way too uncomfortable for me even after months of practice. A couple months ago, I relaxed my rules around floor sitting to read books and watch TV in the evenings. Reading and TV are pleasant pasttimes, but do not satisfy my creativity. 

A week ago I finally felt like buying new yarn. I wanted to make simple cotton dishcloths to build up my supply of hand-made gifts. I bought three large balls of Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn in white, off white and fruit punch (mix of purple, blue, green and white). I decided to crochet despite the risks associated with sitting for extended periods. 

It took me a week to work through one ball of white yarn. I made seventeen dishcloths with very little yarn left over. Twine wrapped around two folded dishcloths makes a practical little gift for Christmas or any other occasion. They look pretty with our whimsical Christmas elf.
It takes me about an hour to make just one dishcloth including weaving in the ends. That's 17 hours of crochet in a week and a lot of extra sitting.

I plan to carry on making dishcloths with these two remaining balls of yarn before completing this little crochet doll I started months ago. Progress has been slow because of my self-imposed floor-sitting rule. 

I am happy to be Back to Crochet on my comfy cozy couch despite the hazards and associated risks.

My favourite easy-to-make dishcloth pattern is provided below in case you might like to make some too. Word of warning though, crochet can be addictive and possibly hazardous to your health.


Supplies Used:
Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn
5.5 mm crochet hook
yarn needle

Stitches used:
ch (chain)
sc (single crochet)
flsc (front loop single crochet)
blsc (back loop single crochet)

Starting chain - 25

R1 - sc in 2nd ch from hook (24) 
Note: I like to crochet in back bump of starting chain as shown here.
R2 - ch1 turn, sc in 1st sc, flsc, blsc (repeat across), sc in last sc
R2 - ch1 turn, sc in 1st sc, flsc, blsc (repeat across), sc in last sc
Continue until dish cloth is square (fold diagonally to check)

Border: sc around, 3 sc in corners, finish off and weave in ends

Finished size: 7" x 7"

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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Christmas Decorating

I have been very slow getting around to Christmas decorating this year. Somehow it has not felt much like Christmas. I blame the weather. It has been relatively mild with only one snowy weekend in November.

On Saturday with only two weeks to go, I finally felt like decorating. First I needed to clean. A thorough vacuuming, dusting and mopping was in order after a few weeks of minimal efforts around the house. To further complicate things, I decided to rearrange the furniture in our family room, living room and hallway. It took all afternoon to prep the house. Once I got started, there was no stopping.

After dinner, I pulled out our Christmas bins from under the stairs in the basement, brought them upstairs and set about making the house look a little more festive. 

I took a few photos of our simple Christmas decorations. Enjoy the tour.

We don't have a proper Christmas tree this year, but we do have a little singing tree - very LOUD, cheerful and fun. There are also quite a few crochet bits and bobs scattered throughout the house.  
I want to wrap our banister in twine and hang these cards, but everything else is done. Even the weather is cooperating with plenty of snow making a beautiful white winter wonderland outside. It feels great to finally feel excited and ready for Christmas. 

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