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Crafty Happiness

We retreated to enjoying mostly homey things this weekend, only venturing out Saturday night to have dinner with friends.  We crafted and played and watched movies and pretty much just warmed to the unplanned simplicity of it all.  Sometimes even kids need a break from schedules and planned activities.  The weather was unseasonably warm Friday so the boys and I took a walk and played outside.  We threw out all the rotten pumpkins and emptied all the outdoor fall arrangements that had taken a beating with the wind and weather.  I put the surviving pumpkins and gourd in the bird bath until I get a chance to fill it up with something wonderful for the winter months.  Maybe evergreens and birch logs.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is that my mind is constantly aflutter with all kinds of fun excuses to pull out my cricut and my sewing machine.  I say my sewing machine loosely.  I have been borrowing my sister-in-law’s machine for the last 7 years or so.  As we say in Dirksmeyer land, it just lives at my house now.

When I was pregnant with Jack, I couldn’t sleep towards the end of my pregnancy, so I would go downstairs and watch tv in the middle of the night.  This was a dangerous activity for me because there where only two things on at 2:00 am.  The discovery and health channels must have known that the wee hours of the morning are primetime for all their preggo viewers, so I watched plenty of beautifully edited 30 minute baby stories.  Because this is of course how it all goes.  In and out in 30 minutes.  Easy-peasy.

The second thing on – infomercials.  So, while I laid there with my very large belly I weighed the pros and cons of owning a juicer, the bullet, P90x, but mostly… the cricut.  I think I watched that same infomercial for the cricut at least 15 times.  I considered the actors on that show friends really.  And, I kept telling anyone that would listen, my husband, my mom, I really, really want a cricut for Christmas, for my birthday, for any old reason.  My well-intentioned sister-in-laws tried to save me.  They kept saying, but you’re going to be a new mom soon, you won’t have time to use a cricut and then you will feel guilty because it will just be sitting in your closet, collecting dust.  BUT, they all underestimated my level of crazy, my level of creative, crafty geeky-ness.  So, after 3 years of salivating like Pavlov’s dog over that bright green paper cutting ninja, I got one for Christmas last year.  Hooray!  Hooray!  Oh happy day!

So, I dreamed up an idea of something the boys and I could make with it together for our Christmas tree.  I picked out 5 different colors of card stock I already had and cut them to length.  Then, I put the boys both on my lap at my craft table and let them take turns pushing the buttons on my beloved cricut.  That was at least a good half hour of toddler happiness.  We cut out, I mean my friend the cricut, cut out a bazillion little circles of all different sizes and then we glued them on to some gold thread.  Voila!  Polka dot garland for our Christmas tree.  I think all instructions should end with a good hearty, “voila!”  Yes?

And some more crafty happiness…

This is the fabric I finally landed on to make Jamison’s rag quilt out of for his birthday.  I couldn’t find any John Deere tractor fabric I loved in flannel, so this quilting cotton will have to do.  I’ll just have to double up on the flannel for the back side so it still ends up super cozy for my tractor lovin’ boy.  I’m sort of in love with the tire print design, so clever.

And look sunflowers, quilts and happy cows, too.

This past weekend I finally checked off the longest ranking item on my to-do list.  I bought this Christmas stocking kit in 1999 to make for my first godson Owen.  Owen is a sophomore in high school now, so I sort of missed that boat.  But, I have been lugging this half completed stocking around for a decade and a half working on it when I traveled, when I didn’t feel well.  This felt and thread, these beads and sequins have been all over the place.  I was in college when I bought this.  That means since I bought this, I have moved at least 8 times, we have had 2 different presidents get reelected and I got married and had 2 kids.  By these standards, Jamison’s stocking should be done somewhere around 2028.  But, Jack loves it, he was actually hugging it when I finished, which made it all worthwhile.  I told him I stitched his name on top just for him and he told me the J looked funny.  I told him it’s just a fancy J, all dressed up in a suit and tie.

The boys are at such fun stages currently and doing so many things that make me want to scoop them right up and kiss them silly.  I overhear them playing in the other room and they are just starting to work out their own problems, their own negotiations.  There is less prompting for please, thank you, you’re welcome and I love you.  They come out more naturally now, as if they have attached meaning other than just a conditioned response.

When we put the boys to sleep, Jamison stands in his doorway and yells “goodnight Jack” to his brother and Jack hollers back, “goodnight Jamison.”  When Jamison wants to kiss you, he grabs your face with both of his chubby little hands and plants a giant kiss right on your lips.  This is no peck either, the boy is serious about his kisses.  He holds it for a good long time.  Rocking him the other night before bed, he would alternate between laying his head on my shoulder and deciding he needed just one more kiss.  Then he’d hold my face in his hands and kiss me again.

Happy Trails to you my friends, until we meet again….

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