Sunday, December 30, 2012

Capture December, Day 30 - Your Winter Wonderland

For the last few years we've been getting more snow in November and December. This year has kind of been odd and we've only had a couple of snowfalls to the valley floor. When you're only a couple hundred feet above sea level, you get shorted on snow. It's not really a problem since we're just an hour away from the Cascades and Mt Hood with its snow and there's often snow in the coastal range.

A few days before Christmas we did have a brief snow fall and I was fortunate enough to capture it:
Used to be a hazelnut orchard on the other side of the fence, it was probably only a 1/4 inch of snow and gone in a few hours

Norbert really enjoys the colder weather and does play in the snow when there's enough to play in

Houses instead of hazelnuts. I imagine next summer I'll have them on the other side of my fence. The roofs look pretty with the snow 

Wind toy, see the snowflakes falling?

Where the future houses will go, its all prepped for them to start building and it will be harder for me to see the snow on these trees, if at all.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Capture December, Day 29 - Skyview

We're in the gray skies period of winter. No rain, 36 degrees out and cloud cover. It's the kind of weather that causes SAD in some people. I'm a cave dweller, so don't mind the weather. ;-) So long as the light isn't piercing, and doesn't hurt my eyes, I'm happy.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Capture December, Day 28 - Words

Kind of wondered about what to do for Words. Brandon suggested looking around at the decorations. So I did find the words inside the ornament that Rachel gave a few years ago, but then I ran across the bucket that we had our Christmas cards inside. They have words on the inside and outside. I'll share the outsides with you since the insides are personal. ;-)

Years ago when the budget could afford it, I used to send out Christmas cards and a family newsletter. The budget took a hit and they were the first non-essential thing to go. I gave them in person where I could. I noticed this year that the numbers have decreased again of the ones we receive. I think others have had the same problem.

Do you still send out cards?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Capture December, Day 27 - Night Time

A night time pic I don't think I've shared yet:

Our fireplace mantel all decorated up!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Capture December, Day 26 - Gratitude

I am grateful for my family and for getting to spend time with them during the holidays as well as having a home we are all safe in.
What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Capture December, Day 25 - Morning

I did get a Christmas cactus and it was blooming today!
We were up at 6:30am to shower and leave by 7am so we could drive to Judy's and pick her and my massage chair up. She was in an 30 min up and 30 min down from eye surgery. Then on to Aunt Debbie and Uncle Dave's house for the celebration.

Stockings have been done and looking at what was given in them. This is Will, Shannon, Paige and her boyfriend Spencer

There are five children under the age of 12 in the house, so there were lots of gifts given out:
You can see some of the wrapping paper disaster and J was having presents passed over her head.

ps: the formatting is being difficult for me.

How was your morning?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Capture December, Day 24 - Favorite part of Christmas Eve

I don't have a picture of my favorite part of Christmas Eve because it involved sitting quietly upstairs next to the tree talking with my son about is day with his father. We were having our time together while the rest of the family with the munchkins were downstairs getting special presents from Santa Claus.

Brandon's Uncle Dave dresses up in a Santa costume and talks with the kids. There are five of them and parents are busy taking pics and everything. I was talking with my kid, so we were all happy.

I'll take a couple extra for tomorrow's post.

Have a safe and happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Capture December, Day 23 - Scarf

I made a scarf! I was test knitting it, and had the idea of giving it as a gift. So tonight it went to my lovely step-mother Jeanne to wear.

Its the Webfoot Scarf by PDXKnitterati.

I have been given some lovely scarfs in the past. Have a very nice brown plaid cashmere scarf that I can't remember who gave it to me. Another in a black plush too. I so very rarely use them though. It just doesn't get cold enough and trying to keep it on the jacket, I've lost scarfs that way.

What's your stance on scarfs?  Use them, or not?  Good knit to give away?  Six feet or more of boredom?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Capture December, Day 22 - Tradition

A tradition that I had to ask my stepmother to continue is to send an Advent Calendar. She was awesome while William was growing up and sending one to him each year. Then he turned 18 and she thought he was too grown up for it and stopped. It wasn't until we didn't have it that year that I realized how it was a part of our family tradition. So I told her how much we loved them and looked forward to getting it each year, so she's continued.

This year it was a couple days into December and I realized we hadn't gotten the oversized envelope in the mail. There was a card from them that I thought was just a holiday card. I opened it up and was blown away that it was a tiny card sized advent calendar:

What is your family tradition?

Capture December, Day 21 - Peace

I find peace in the solitude of my bedroom away from the electronics and losing myself in a good book. I'm not going to share my bedroom with you though. :-)

I also find peace when the dogs are sleeping with me. I thought I had some camera pictures of them sleeping, but I'm only finding a couple of poor quality pictures from the phone:
Norbert in one of his favorite sleeping spots, along the back of the couch. 
 He kind of squishes down the back pillows.  He also walks along the back edge too.

Leeloo snuggled on her pillow on the couch. 
What gives you peace?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Capture December, Day 20 - Tree Topper

We have two tree toppers, neither one of them on top of the tree. We have a 7 foot artificial tree and where it goes in front of the living room window, there's not enough height to add either one.

The angel was the first one

The Santa that we picked out
What kind of tree topper do you have?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Capture December, Day 19 - Candy Canes

I thought I was going to have to go out and buy some candy canes, but then I stopped and looked around. There's candy canes on decorations, chocolates, candy and even ornaments.
Some candy we bought to share at Juletide with the girls

Brandon's mom and niece made some peppermint bark and added candy canes

Noticed that there were some on the wrapping paper 

The stocking holder Santa is holding on to one

The copper ornament, see the cut outs to be the stripes?

Santa is also holding one on the glass ball

I almost missed these - they each have a candy cane!
I'm saving the rest of the Lindor's to put in stockings. They don't need to go inside me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Capture December, Day 18 - Stockings

We've had our stockings for the last ten years or so. William picked out his when he was younger. He'd like a new one, but hasn't found one that he likes yet. I wanted to knit some for us, but those aren't the kind that Brandon want and we have a set that my Grandma Eileen made, so those are covered.

What kind of stockings do you have?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Capture December, Day 17: Presents

Not all of them are under the tree and I'm starting to cut it close to get my mother's shipped to her. Need to buy a picture frame and get that taken care of tomorrow!!

Juletide 2012 Goodies

As mentioned in my post about the Juletide largess event, I was picked the winner of the event and got to have one each of the entries as my prize. I thought I had taken pictures of all the entries, but when posting about it, realized I had a few missing. Queen Astrid had contributed needle felted coasters:
Lady Amelia's items I picked out, her hair pins, necklace and journal:

The booklet made by her daughter Rose:
Lady Lissette's blade/sword cleaning kit:
Instructions on how to clean with lint free towels and oil in the baggie
I also didn't get a picture of the Alkanet Lip Balm made by Lady Petronia:
The alkanet gives it the red color, but doesn't really impart it on the lips
All those who gave largess were given a necklace by the Baroness Svava in thanks:

As thanks for cooking the meats and helping with setup and clean-up, I was given:
Another pretty purple necklace, some artisan soap and a purple ceramic mug

Lady Ameila had found this pretty gold necklace to wear with my German garb
In the gift exchange, I let Lord Finn pick my gift from under the tree. My hands were in the sink washing dishes at the time. He pulled out a package with this lovely cup/vase in it:
It was made by these lovely people, I have several of their pieces already - Thistillium 
I forgot to mention that there were three vendors, a fourth was planned but she was very ill and couldn't make it. Thistillium had their lovely pottery, Eulalia was selling her hats/headcoverings and Lady Rune had her ceramic masks. She also had some little ivy platters that will hold a votive or she says her mother uses it as a teaspoon rest. They're made with real ivy leaf impressions. I thought it was nice and only $5 so worth supporting a fellow artist:
With trying to get all my largess projects done, I didn't have time to get the Christmas gifts done for the household. I'll get those done this week and to them at this week's Revels. Lady Amelia gave me a pair of hairpins, a necklace and some nice hand lotion:
I love the greens! The green pearls really glow and  I love cloisonne
I mentioned the kumihimo, here's what it looks like. I like that its easy to tell where you stopped:
We teased Lissette about giving us Iron Ring colors. I'll give it to one of them when I'm done. ;-)
I am terribly thankful for all the goodies I received at Juletide. I know that they represent not only time, effort and care in making of each of them but creativity and thought. Now, I have to stop with the procrastination and get started on the few handmade gifts that I want to get done by next Saturday. Yes, I know Christmas is on a Tuesday, but some of my family is celebrating on Sunday.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Capture December, Day 16: Outside Christmas Lights

This is a neighbor's house. Their back property shares 2/3 of my backyard left side property line. it's all about being in a corner of a cul de sac for that to fully make sense. ;-)

I like the candy cane at the entrance to the house walkway by the garage door. 
Nice touch with one of the reindeer eating out of the trees flower box.

Barony of Dragon's Mist Juletide 2012

Saturday was the Barony of Dragon's Mist Juletide event. We had a day long event with a potluck feast. We even had Queen Astrid spend the day with us!  She lives in Salem and since there wasn't a conflict in her schedule and the late invite, she chose to come spend the day with our Barony.
Baroness Svava and Baron Refr
The Baroness proposed a Half Dozen Largess Contest for the event. Make six of something and have it judged with the others and the winner gets one of each of the competition and the barony gets the rest as largess. I entered in hand sewn pouches with i-cord drawstrings along with soap bags containing handmade soap, hand/lip balm in a tin and wood hand mirrors. Yes, I even did the wood work on the mirrors! Ignatius did help with cutting the wood so they could have the forstner bit cutout for the mirror, but the rest of the work on the mirrors I did myself.
Lady Lissette had a sword/blade cleaning kit - very useful and for the men!

Lady Lissette also embroidered little needlebooks

My personal toilette kit. If I had started earlier, I would have tried to embroider the pouch and also make a sleeve for the mirrors

Lady Amelia made beaded hair pins
She also made pretty beaded necklaces

And some journal books

Her daughter Rose made some little booklets too
Just before court the Baroness pulled us all together and it was announced that I won the competition!  How awesome was that?! So I got to pick out one of each of the items for myself (I didn't take one of my own contributions). Then we were told that we would present our largess as 'paying taxes' during court.

There were a few classes taught, Italian Hair wrapping was one. I saw Petra do a couple people's hair, but I think the actual class time wasn't set and so more people didn't take advantage of this class. It was kind of at the same time as the Head Covering class I took. I'd suggested that Luitgard teach such a class. It was very enjoyable and the four or five (the numbers changed if someone had to leave for other responsibilities) of us that took it thought it very interesting, though hoped that she would go past early 15th century.
Lady Luitgard putting on her Laurel's robe. Wild headgear - huh?
Lady Helena being a model for the pleated toque, wimple and  veil started in the 12th century and worn for several centuries
The other class that was going to be cancelled because the headcovering class ran long was a Kumihimo class - Japanese braiding. I also suggested this class because I've had interest in learning how and thought this would be a fun place to do it. Lady Lissette was the instructor and I found out that Lord Finn also had an interest so she taught us. She had prepared things before the event, but things disappeared on her, so we spent some time preparing the bobbins and being interrupted for one reason or another. We did get a basic idea of how it works and I'll try to get more of my braid going to show. She also plans to get us some nice foam circles instead of the cardboard ones she made. Both Finn and I have ideas of making the nice wood ring stands that we've seen.

While we were getting started we watched Queen Astrid doing her needlefelting. She made little colored heart ornaments for each of the children as gifts during court:

Queen Astrid in her pretty red Italian dress made for her by Countess Ilaria
Ladies Amelia and Osanna were the event stewards for the event:
They've expressed the desire to do it again next year too!

Our court with our Champions and Retinue behind
Baroness Svava had activities for the munchkins earlier in the day. They made peanut butter bird seed feeders on tp rolls. I bought oranges and cloves for the Baroness so that the kids could make them into pomanders. The leftover oranges and cloves will be made for pomanders to become largess. She also pulled in the teens later with the kids to do some carols during court - kazoos were involved!

They did an awesome job and it was a fun activity to include.

Lady Larissa was involved in kid wrangling during the different activities and the Baroness recognized that in court by presenting her with a Baroness' Favor, a handmade and embroidered haversack:
There was a rapier demonstration, but I was downstairs in the kitchen, so missed that and I'm not sure where Ignatius was with the camera.

Lady Petrona from the Barony of Adiantum has been making the drive once a month to do dance practice with us at our first of the month Revels. She also came to help with the dancing at Juletide. There was dancing before court and after the feast.

I was responsible for cooking the meat for the feast. I bought a large round roast (18 pounds if you're curious) and a rotisserie duck from Uwjimaya's. I tried to do half of the roast with just salt and pepper as seasonings and the other half with the salt, pepper and an herb crust of olive oil with garlic, shallots, marjoran, rosemary and thyme. The herbs all fresh from my yard.

Last year we had other meats brought, so it was a surprise not to see some chicken in the potluck. We had just enough meat for everyone, but not enough duck. Next year, I'm getting two if I'm doing the cooking again. I made a couple of soups for the fruit/vegetables for my potluck contribution and glad that I had. I did an apple-curry and carrot, fennel and apple soup. Both were well received. I was disappointed in the quantity of items brought to the potluck. We had more people than items brought.

Overall it was a fun time and I think a success for a day long event. Hopefully we'll do something similar for next year!