Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fabric Gift Bags

Fabric Gift Bags
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
This year I made fabric gift bags rather than using wrapping paper. I have quite a bit of fabric that doesn't seem to get used, so for Christmas and Sophia's birthday so far I've been making these bags.

Some of the fabric I used for Sophia's birthday bags came from clothing we no longer wore. Thought these bags would have special significance and memories. Sure enough, they were recognized right away.

I also sell fabric bags in my shop (made from new fabric). Please visit my shop (Harvest Moon by Hand) at

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mom in the Prayer Shawl I Made for Her

I crocheted this shawl for my mom since she is always cold. She can wear it around her shoulders when she's sitting up and moving around.

It also is long enough that she can put it over herself and use as a blanket. The yarn is incredibly soft and warm.

The shawl is 125 chains long using a size K crochet hook. I double crocheted the shawl until it was wide enough to go from my shoulders to mid-back.

The fringe is knotted in every other chain along the length and sides of the shawl. I did not fringe the top (along the neckline).

The shawl took 5 skeins of Angel Hair yarn.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finished Sensory and Memory Quilt (for my Dad's Christmas Gift)

Finished Quilt

Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

I made this quilt for my dad who has Alzheimer's Disease. It is a sensory and memory quilt.

The fabrics have different textures, and the pictures are ones that he picked out that are meaningful to him. The back is a very soft fleece.

Gave it to my father today (December 27th). Was a couple days late because of the big snowstorm. Anyway...he opened the box and looked at the quilt, and immediately started recalling memories and sharing stories about some of the pictures.

He cried when he looked at other pictures. "I've had a good life," he said.

There are more details about the quilt at my Flickr site here:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Traditions

After the girls sang in the church choir on Christmas Eve, we came home and had dinner.

After dinner, they make reindeer food. This is something they look forward to doing. Sophia peeled and cut up carrots to put out for Santa's reindeer.

Olivia (and later Sophia) took oatmeal and added sugar sprinkles to it. The oats give the "reindeer energy to last the rest of their flight" while the sugar sprinkles give the reindeer a quick pick-me-up.

The girls know not to put TOO many sprinkles in the reindeer food. Otherwise, Santa's reindeer will have a lot of energy fast...and then have a "sugar crash." They wouldn't want they showed some restraint with the sprinkles.

This is Olivia adding sprinkles to her bowl of reindeer food.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cranberry Salsa

Cranberry Salsa
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
Each year I make some homemade food items to give to others. This year, I made a cranberry salsa with cranberries, granny smith apples, fresh cilantro, jalapeno peppers, apple juice, and probably some other ingredients I'm forgetting at this moment.

It's a rather sweet salsa - yet has some punch to it thanks to the jalapeno peppers. It's delicious with chips, or on top of cream cheese and crackers.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Girls Making Lemon Honey Jelly

This is the first time that the girls and I have made jelly. Have always made jam. Was happy that it turned out.

The jelly is made with lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and honey from the beehives in the backyard.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stockings for the Horses

I hand-embroidered little dala horses and put them on Bailey's and Hoss' stockings (they are the pony and miniature horse).

All of the pets have Christmas stockings. Seems like I am making stockings every year.

The stockings are now all hung by the woodstove. There's very little room left wood timbers next to the woodstove. Hopefully no more animals find their way to the farm in the next few years. Otherwise, I'll have to think of another way to display the stockings.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Las Posadas Meal

Las Posadas Meal
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
December is a fun time here...and probably one of the busiest. We celebrate a lot of different holidays including St. Lucia Day, St. Nicholas Day, Las Posadas, Winter Solstice, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.

Today, we read about Las Posadas, and then had tacos and nachos for dinner. Last year, during the Home Ec class I taught, the girls did a more in-depth study of Las Posadas. We made chicken enchiladas last year which we all enjoyed.

Living in a rural area in a northern state, there are not any Las Posadas activivites going on. It's too bad...I know the girls (and I) would enjoy seeing what a real-life version of Las Posadas is like.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Girls with Gretel and Tree

Each year, the girls make a gingerbread creation. Last year, they each worked on a separate project. Sophia made a gingerbread house and Olivia did the gingerbread tree.

This year, they worked together on a gingerbread tree. Sophia was in charge of the frosting (which Olivia finds difficult to do); and Olivia was in charge of decorating the tree with little candies.

When the girls were done, I was ready to take a picture. Gretel wanted to get into the picture with the girls.

Perhaps Gretel was hoping for some frosting if she posed nicely for the picture. (I think the girls did give her some when I stepped into the kitchen.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Window Stars at Church

I was asked to make some stars for the windows at church. This is one of the windows. There are another 10 stars on the other window.

All the patterns are different on this window - just like snowflakes are different from one another.

Window stars - in a variety of colors and patterns - are available in my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Purple and Blue Window Stars for Winter Solstice

These window stars were sent to Italy for the Seasons Round Exchange. They are made from a special type of paper that allows the sunlight through and provides almost a stained-glass effect.

The blue star is folded 6 times per point (or 48 times total) to make the star pattern.

The purple star is folded 6 times per point (or 30 times total) to make the star pattern.

I've been making the window stars for over a year, and each new pattern and color (or color combination) that I make I'm as equally as exciting about as the first star I made.

More stars in a variety of colors and patterns are available in my shop (Harvest Moon by Hand).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Looking at Gifts from St. Nicholas

The girls woke up at 4:21 a.m. to see what St. Nicholas brought them. They were so excited with what they received this year.

There's a little wooden statue of St. Nicholas in the center of the table.

Friday, December 4, 2009

St. Lucia Program

St. Lucia Program
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

The girls and I have gone to the St. Lucia program at the local church now for a couple of years.

This year, they served breads, cookies, punch, and rice pudding with lingonberries.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pile of Dyed Wool

Pile of Dyed Wool
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
Taught a class to a group of homeschooled children about needlefelting. They each made a Christmas tree ornament using sheep wool.

This is selection of wool that the children chose from to make their Christmas ornaments. I like the vivid colors of the wool.