Tuesday, 17 January 2017

This and that

And again it has been two weeks since I last wrote here, sorry about that. The kids had a full two and half week Christmas holiday of which we were away one and half. It was a great holiday even though I didn't have much time for sewing, or at least for blogging. I know, the whole December was silent too.

I have been reading all the blogs with all those Christmas crafts published almost daily and I had so many ideas too but simply didn't find any time to blog about them! I had this ambitious idea to make all the presents for relatives and friends myself. So I did. I also made some worry eaters for local Christmas sales. So what did I sew? For me it feels like I didn't do anything much but this is what I made:

12 worry eaters
9 multipurpose scarves
1 bag
2 table runners
5 pairs of gloves
some Christmas ornaments

So... actually. I did do something. The bag and gloves were upcycled and I will have own post about making the bag later. Then I took part for the great 12 days of Christmas DIY challenge. I had plans for all of them but simply couldn't find time to make them all. Everything I made you can find here. Then I had promised to take part in Finnish craft bloggers' advent calendar. For that I made Christmas ornaments. I like the challenges and other "get togethers" so much that I usually can't resist them even I know I probably shouldn't. But the community is what is the best part of blogging!

I felt that I didn't do much because I simply didn't have energy to do anything. Sewing has never been harder than it was in December. It felt like I had to force myself to do something and didn't have the usual inspiration or motivation, just did what I had planned before hand. It is this dark winter that gets me, the missing sun light causing depression is a real problem. Calling my tiredness a depression would be underestimating all of those who are diagnosed as depressed but being tired all the time isn't fun anyway.

Together with all the dark (only 5-6 hours of day light) I had some kind of insomnia too. I was tired and couldn't do everything I wanted to so I woke up during the night around 2-3am, was awake for couple hours thinking everything I should be doing and getting more and more anxious because I knew that I still can't do anything if I don't fall asleep right now. Which I of course didn't. Sometimes it even happened that I woke up around 3am, was awake till 5am and when I was just about to fall asleep our daughter came to continue sleeping next to me and woke up after 6am. An hour that I didn't sleep at all so there were the days that I had actually woken up at 3am. That continued for few weeks and I'm still trying to catch up with all the sleep deprivation. I'm better now that the Christmas is behind, nothing obligatory to make and I can actually sleep through the night. Also the day is getting longer every day.

We also had our daughter's birthday, she turned 6. Finally, if you ask her. She is born in December so she will always be one of the last ones to have a birthday and is probably youngest one on her class. She is still a huge Frozen fan so the cake looked like this:

We also had some self-made decorations, some made by me like this:

Branches that were spray-painted grey, heart-wire-thingie and led lights. Easy, super fast and looks great!

Also a candle holder made by the birthday hero herself:

She made this at the preschool and was very proud when we had it in middle of our dinner table. Our kids like crafting, daughter more than the son though, but I usually don't give them strict guide lines to follow. They are more creative when they can think themselves rather than copy from me and the result is usually better than whatever I had in my mind! They are better thinking out of the box than adults and I like to encourage to that. They are already grown used to think what all the odd pieces of this and that could be used for. But sometimes following the guide lines is good too, you learn new techniques for example and after making this my daughter has been suggesting making more of these with different pictures. She also gave me full explanation how to make one.

For the Christmas we went to my "in laws" and there we had very traditional Christmas dinner table:


Potatoes, meet stew, turnip casserole, carrot casserole, meatballs (mainly for the kids' sake), smoked salmon, cold smoked salmon, grave salmon, rosolli salad (beetroot, apple, onion, sour cream, not my favourite), pasta salad with mayonnaise and of course the ham that is missing from this picture.

I don't think anyone was hungry after this even though I think that the whole Christmas dinner tradition should be updated to the 21st century. This is pretty much the menu from the 19th century, just the pasta salad and the different salmons are "new".

And the presents.... Oh my. The adults only got a present or two but the kids! Our two kids, their 8-year old cousin and baby cousin and the Christmas tree looked like this:

And that's not even all! The Santa Claus visited us in the evening and brought some more. With the daughter's birthday in December, the Christmas and our son's birthday in the beginning of March we could easily go through the whole year without buying any new toys. The Lego's were the favourite thing this year; both got three new Lego-packages (and of course other presents too). Our son has been wishing for Lego Prison Island ever since Lego announced it, I think it was in the beginning of last year and he got his wish granted. Oh my with all the screaming! He simply didn't need any other Christmas gifts after that. Later he got Lego Crooks' island and Fire rescue helicopter (the Santa Claus had missed couple packages and we got those after coming home). Our daughter got Lego Ariel's palace, Frozen ice castle and Lego Friends camping package. Most of our Christmas was spend building those! Mostly the kids did the building themselves, they have become very good at following the instructions and rarely need help. The only problem is that they don't realize themselves when they become too tired and would need a break. Can you imagine all the protest and objections that were caused by asking them to stop building and go outside? But out they went and the building could continue after that.

Our son especially is a huge Lego fan. He sleeps with a Lego catalog in his bed and always with some Lego parts too. He likes to look at the Lego pictures and build something small with the parts before falling asleep. If that's his way to calm down and catch the sleep, I'm fine with it. He also likes to save some keepsakes from places he has visited etc. and the package of Lego Prison Island simply couldn't be thrown away! I didn't want the package on our floors so we ended up with a compromise:

The pictures were cut out of the package and hanged to the wall. Perfect solution, now he has un-crinkled picture of his favourite Lego package to look at over his bed. He was so happy that when we hanged the pictures, he wanted to have a picture taken and also be in the picture himself. He usually doesn't like to be photoed...

When we visited my relatives in my home village, the Legos were there too. And how can you go to bed yourself if you don't put your Lego figures to their beds too?

At the New Years Eve we were at home, had some small fireworks, the kids were allowed to stay up as long as they wanted (they went to bed just before midnight, quite well for kids at the age of 5 and 6) and made good food. For the adults home made kebab with garlic sauce, salsa, rice and salad:

I had also made garlic baguette. The kids don't like kebab, too peppery for their taste so I made chicken nuggets for them with regular baguette.

Now the holidays are over and everything is back to normal again. I have been making some repairing rather than sewing anything new, except these slippers for our daughter:

Or are they called slippers? Sneakers? She likes to use these at the school because they aren't slippery like socks and also her socks won't get wet in the hallway so easily or too cold as the floors are always quite cool in big buildings like school. Pattern is my own, very easy to make. The bottom is leather (suede I think it is called), doesn't slip at all and is soft.

My sewing room has also suffered some kind of explosion with all the cleaning around the house. My room is for some reason to stuff everything that doesn't find place at that moment. I'm trying to make a place to enjoy sewing and crafting again. I noticed that I had collected quite a pile of broken bags:

After they were stripped down this is what was left out of them:

Everything else I threw away, the fabrics were in bad condition or otherwise un-usable but all these parts are a real treasure!