Our same lovely friends from New York also made Christmas cookies while they were visiting. All of the traditional Christmas shapes were represented; holly, angels, sleighs, candy canes, and, of course, the traditional Christmas Slug.
Here he is, trying to escape.
Ok, and here are the real cookies.
Aren't they pretty? And they were tasty too! Good job Cara and Heather!
Up here in the wilds of Vermont we like to hunt down our own Christmas tree, rather than buy one. Luckily for us some friends from Brooklyn came up and helped us with this undertaking, since Emmett is no help, and neither am I since someone had to stay home and watch Emmett be no help.
We have this old Christmas tree plantation on our property, but it hasn't been maintained for years, so the trees have gone feral. And grown BIG. When the trees you see below were planted, they were intended to be Christmas trees. And we refuse to give up on them, so what we've been doing for the past few years is cutting down one of these overgrown trees and only using the top. This year was no different, except the only tree that had a somewhat symmetrical top was quite big indeed.
That's Tom and Brian at the bottom there.
And luckily they had the proper tools and woodsmen knowhow, as demonstrated by Brian here. Both the saw and the hatchet turned out to be essential.
And here's the section that they dragged home. And believe it or not they had to cut off about another 5 feet from that section to get it to fit in our house! Trees look a lot smaller outside than in. But in the end it's quite a nice tree. It has character. See? It has some parts that might stick out funny, but don't we all?
Emmett is absolutely in love with this penguin mobile from Flensted designs. He will stare at it and smile and laugh for a half an hour, which is like 2 years in grown up time!
It's made of paper penguins and very light thread and wire, and the penguins dance when you blow on them. Our friend Doug got it for him at Acorn, a toy shop on atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. Here's a link. They've got lots of great stuff! click here to go to the penguins on Acorn's web site
And here's a picture of Emmett enjoying his penguins this morning!
So we made the big adventure to California with the wee one and it was great. And given how the weather has turned around here, it was nice to see some bright sun. We did lots of great things while we were out there, and Emmett got to meet his cousins. Here's just a quick post of us at the beach in Moro Bay with TH's brother DH, and his girls.
As with most of the momentous occasions in his life, Emmett pretty much slept through the whole event.
TH and DH! See the resemblance?
Moro Bay Beach
Looks just like Vermont, right?
Here's a cute sister picture of Tacey and Finley. Way to persevere DH!
The internet has been abuzz with speculation surrounding one of the images published under our "Winter Is Coming" post We'd like to print a quick correction. Well, it's not really a correction but we'd like to clear up the much mentioned "wave". As much as we consider our child to be the world's most advanced super genius of a baby, the picture was a lucky catch mid-flail. And yes, TH did write he was waving, maybe he got carried away, but can you really blame him?
EVERYONE! It is snowing right now! Look above, SNOW! Most of us are excited. TH and the O have already been out 3 times. RH is undecided and we can't tell what Emmett thinks.
Here's what it looked like when it started. Another lovely shot of our barn, check out the windswept goodness.
and here's another from slightly later on
We also took Emmett out to document his first snow. Here's evidence of that. He's waving!
And TH's turn.
and TH with the family.
We fully realize that it's been a long time since the last update. We're working on some posts from the last month. There's lots of exciting things like winter preparedness, Emmett's visit to the West Coast, the return of the turkeys, and we didn't catalog or present to you the change in seasons. We'll have all that soon.
So here's the 1st craft project I undertook for the nursery. It's a printing project I found in Lena Corwin's book Printing By Hand. I highly recommend this book to anyone with any desire to learn printmaking. The projects are really fun and stylish, and the instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I was lucky enough to be able to fit in a silkscreening class with Lena before we moved out of Brooklyn, but this project is totally different from silkscreening and I was still able to follow it.
So here's what I made:
And here's how I made it. The bureau itself is from Ikea, I just did the paint treatment on the front drawer panels. We are going to put a changing pad on top and use it for a changing table and bureau. You can do this with any old bureau you have lying around. The advantage of buying a new one was that I could do the treatment on the drawer panels before assembling the bureau, which made life a little easier.
The 1st thing you have to do is pick a pattern you want to use. You can really use any shape or shapes you want, as long as you don't mind cutting them all out of contact paper. The more intricate you get, the longer it will take you. Here's an image of me cutting out my pinwheels with an exacto-knife on top of a self healing exacto mat.
Once you have all of your shapes cut out of your contact paper (you need one for every place you want to remain white, or whatever background color you choose. You can't reuse them) you then arrange them on your surface. Leave the backing paper on until you have a layout that you are happy with. Depending on what surface you are starting with you may want to rough it up a little with sandpaper so the paint will adhere better.
Once you are happy with your layout, you then peel the backing off the contact paper stickers and stick them to your surface.
Now you are ready to paint. I used Benjamin Moore Natura paint, which is the same paint we used on the stripes on the floor of the Bean Room, so they would match.
You will probably need 2 coats. I did. And here's what the panels look like all painted. As you can see you just paint right over the contact paper shapes.
Once the paint has dried completely you can peel off your contact paper shapes to reveal the backround coler that has been preserved underneath. It is a little bit of a painstaking process, but the paint didn't peel off in the wrong places, which was a relief.
And here are all the panels with their stickers removed.
And that's that. Here is the final product, complete with changing table top (from Land of Nod). It's all ready and just waiting for a Bean!
We are going to begin to try to catch up on our posts about renovating our nursery, which we call the "Bean Room." We have really done a lot of projects, so we can't fit it in one post. Also, it's not quite done, so I can't really do a true before and after yet. But no projects of any kind could be undertaken before the walls, ceiling and floor were painted, so it is the appropriate place to start. Here's the before, so you can get an idea where we started from.
We forgot to take a true before picture, but if you'd like to imagine brown seventies commercial carpeting over that floor, go ahead, because you'd be getting a more accurate before picture. And obviously in this picture we had already begun priming the walls. We really felt that the whole thing needed a tremendous amount of brightening, so we decide to paint everything white and add a striped floor for fun. At first we thought diamonds, but for both practical and aesthetic reasons we switched to stripes. So here's how it looked all primed.
Ok, so then we painted the walls and ceiling white. (Please note that this room truly has the weirdest ceiling, but more on that later) You can notice in the upcoming pictures that the white on the walls looks more even and bright than the primer. Once that was done TH could start on the stripes on the floor. Here's the 1st color of stripes, which is white.
I drew out a pattern for the stripes that looks semi-random, but is really a pattern of 1, 2 and 3 board wide stripes. Now here's TH filling in the yellow stripes.
I believe it took 2 coats of each color. And then we put 3 layers of non-toxic polyurethane over the paint to save it from wear and tear, and make it easier to clean. And there you have it, a painted Bean Room Floor! Doesn't it look so much bigger and brighter?
Stay tuned for upcoming posts about the decor and diy projects!
Update: We actually do have a picture from before. Yikes!
Everyone, meet our new wood stove, Otto. We're very pleased and proud with this addition to the family. After a long period of research we decided on Jøtul, a Norwegian company. It's very attractive with its matte black finish and glass front door. The stove came with a spark screen so we can keep the front door open and enjoy the crackly goodness of a roaring fire.
It's also very kind to the environment. On the roof of the stove's fire box there's a series of tubes (I'm totally serious, there really are tubes!). Air flows in and out of these tubes providing the oxygen to mix with the smoke creating a secondary combustion. This secondary combustion creates longer, cleaner burns so we're not polluting as much and we get longer burn times out of our logs.
We're still trying to figure out how to get the best out of the stove. We'll run it during the day and before we go to bed we'll fill it with logs and lower the air flow into the firebox for it to burn slowly, hopefully through the night.
Here's what the stove looks like without a fire burning (doesn't it look nice!):
We also needed to bring in a bunch of wood that we hope will last through the winter, though it seems at some point we'll need to re-up the stash. Here's our lovely stack in the catch all room. There's just over 2 cords of wood here (a cord is defined as enough wood that fits a 4ft x 4ft x 8ft space).
of or pertaining to fields or open country.
Or, in other words, pretty much everything going on in my life here in the country: making jewelry, paper craft, cooking, gardening, horses, photography, raising a kid, and everything in between.
All photos on this blog were taken by me unless otherwise indicated.