Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Spirit

This Christmas, Yule, whatever we call our winter celebration was one of the best we've had in years ... many years! Maybe the best ever because having your own child makes all the difference in the world at this time of year. Angelo's first few Christmases were punctuated by sadness for me due to circumstances beyond my control from several different angles, but this year in our new home, it was very special. DH and I decided that since we bought each other a house, we would just buy/make for Angelo and Dana. I was so relieved with this decision, not just from a monetary standpoint, but having just moved ALL our stuff (which always seems to be a LOT, if not too much despite all the trips to Good Will and very reduced buying), I just couldn't face trying to find a place for anything else. We just don't need it.

I was pleased with what we got Angelo- all books, puzzles, art supplies, some pirate dress up accessories and one hand made wool felt robot puppet I actually managed to squeeze in with all the craziness. Oh, and a few trains he asked for- the only things he asked for*- because I truly understand obsessions. ;) Since he makes up stories to go with the trains, I consider them all good tools for a creative mind. :) *He excitedly described what Christmas day would be like and included party mix and trail mix, so we had party mix Xmas eve while watching the Grinch and trail mix for breakfast Xmas morning. I put together both from the bulk and natural sections of our new grocery store.

Dana got her super cute and sweet doggie travel bag I made for our super cute and sweet girl and a new bandana. I don't put her in costumes, but she doesn't seem to mind the bandanas, so I do accessorize the pup. :) I will take a picture of the bag and post it at another time.

These pictures are from our awesome back yard snow ball fight/sledding/romping play time and what Angelo wore outside later because his coat was wet and we didn't know where any other coats were for him (it worked out well for my amusement, I think.:)

Stately doggie in the softly falling Xmas snow.
You can still see him smiling through all the layers. :)
Kicking a snow covered ball.
A new train gets to play in the snow.
Really happy pup!!! :)

He had a very warm-y vest of mine underneath and it worked out nicely that the pirate gear was made of wool. My cinched up trench coat fit the bill nicely too. :)

Hope your holiday celebrations were full of warmth and happiness!!! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

We're Here!!!

About a year ago, DH and I decided we needed to move. We wanted to be in a more "trick-or-treatable" neighborhood for Angelo. We were seeking more of a community and easier access to playmates, sidewalks for doggie walking, etc.

So, in January, we started sorting and boxing, tossing and storing, and repairing (way more than we intended to thanks to the major snow/ice damage, oi!) Once all the repairs were done, we finished the painting and staging, and called in friends to help with the final push. By the end of May, we were able to put the house up on the market.

If you've ever had your house on the market with a toddler and a dog, you know just how *fun* it is getting everything clean and staged when a realtor calls you and wants to show the house in an hour. Yes, we asked for 24 hours notice, but you just don't turn down a showing, especially in the current market. At least we were cleaning the house more regularly. I use the term "we" somewhat loosely, though DH did help when he could. Murphy's Law dictated that most of the last minute showings were when he was working and getting more than the usual volume of phone calls.

We had a few people interested, but nothing came through. We were really discouraged when we only had a couple showings between August and September. We were ready to take the house off the market for the winter after Thanksgiving if we didn't get an offer by then.

But, by the end of October, we did! 10 days later, we'd looked at 27 houses in Pittsburgh. (oh, yeah, remember when I talked about how transient Morgantown's population is and how difficult it makes it to form community? We decided that because we already have so many friends who have roots in Pittsburgh and we already drive there so often, that we would move there instead of across town in Morgantown.) Amongst all those houses we found one that is just what we need and love. Built in 1881, rooms to serve every need and plenty of updates to allow us to focus on being more social and connected rather than on fixing the house. *LOVE*

*Insert much drama with the details of inspections, delays, packing, moving brother to his apartment, etc.*

We closed 5 days ago and are overjoyed with the house, our neighborhood and the proximity to so many friends we've known for so many years. And though there are still boxes everywhere, we even have our Christmas tree up. Angelo is soooo excited! You can see him playing on the deck in the pictures and Dana standing guard. :)

Hope you have very Happy Holidays too!!! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

I made an apron

I didn't make the deadline to have it submitted to the gallery, but I made this apron, my first one ever, for the Apple Cider theme over at Tie One On. I don't know why the idea of making aprons is so appealing to me, but it is. I've been using this one, but not in a traditional sense and it has been fun. I didn't measure or follow a pattern. It's all rectangles, so with the exception of making the ruffle, it was pretty easy and fun to make.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Art

This first piece of art was a last minute Halloween crown. I just felt I needed one. Angelo is modeling it here since it's adjustable and he is such a cute model. :) I made more Halloween art, but will post it later, maybe.

This piece, I made a long time ago when the free to print company www.ilovetoinspire.com asked me to do some collages using their materials. I used a quote and background from their site and cut it out in the shape of a house. The quote says "In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." It surfaced a few days before Thanksgiving and I thought it was pretty appropriate to have it out to go with the theme of the day, especially with the house image.

The set of Christmas houses was for a blog challenge over at Art Chix Studios. I used their mini wooden houses, vintage letters background, Christmas fun images and Christmas post image. The challenge was to use their baroque trim in a holiday art project and the stars and medieval borders worked out nicely for this project. If you like it, pop on over to the Art Chix fan page and comment. It is a contest and I could win a $20 gift certificate for more Art Chix art supplies! Please, feed my addiction! :)