Right now it's a demanding job, Apartment Therapy's January Cure (and while I enjoy that I have to say that no, I did not manage to deep clean and organize my entire kitchen in one weekend, not even close to that), family things going on, big brother learning to play the guitar, little brother learning to swim and a party planned for February. Among other things.
But really, if I wait for a better time to blog again, I might never get around to it.
So here's just a brief hello and a little recap of our holidays, before the first month of the new year is over...
Luckily, I started early, and made a plan. Otherwise I would have never managed to make so many gifts. I did eventually give up taking photos of all the pretty little things and wrapped gifts, but I did manage to give something handmade to everyone on my list.
Such as these simple little barrettes, covered in fabric scraps. One of the easiest things and so much fun.
For coworkers, I covered the buttons in more grown-up fabrics and glued them on oversized paperclips instead.
We also did out tradition Advent calendar, and this year I included quite a few activities, such as reading Christmas books, baking, making Christmas cards or, in this case, having a tea party - complete with a tin teacup, a bag of winter tea and some anise cookies.
The complete calendar just before being wrapped up. I always forget that doing 48 packages is more work than 24, even if's mostly the same things.
The kids also made a lot of Christmas gifts. This year their main gift to their friends and grandparents was using porcelain markers on mugs. Ikea sells these miniature sized white mugs that were perfect for their friends, and we did larger ones for the grandparents. That is a cat on the mug, in case you didn't notice...
We didn't get more than two types of cookies done this year, but we did make a double batch of the dog biscuits to give a way to our four-legged friends. I bought some lined kraft paper bags and used the stamp from little brother's dog party last year to make labels that we attached with red and white bakers twine. One of those things where a good blogger would have gotten a nice picture of. Oh well.
Of course I also sewed part of my Christmas gifts, like this soft cloud pillow, made from fleece blankets. And yes, that is a 7, and not a 9. For some reason German seem to prefer cloud 7 to cloud 9. Go figure!
My favorite sewing helper. Especially when he's sleeping right on the fabric I want to cut...
Then it was time to pick out our tree...
... and trim it. Little brother insisted on hanging four ornaments on one branch.
For the first time since big brother was crawling, we also pulled out the wooden pyramid that my dad built some 30 years ago. It works with votive candles and the boys were pretty good with it, so we might just make this a tradition again.
Finally, Christmas Eve - presents! We didn't get much this year, the boys got books, little brother got the guitar and camera (kiddie camera) from his wish list, and big brother did get his one big wish, his very own laptop. We got a used one and he uses it to run the same software they have at school. Not really getting any more real toys this year, meaning no games, Lego, Playmobil, cars and such was also a nice break, because really, they have enough of that already. With all the handmade things and sibling gifts, the packages still added up and there were more than enough things for everyone to open.
New Year's we had neighbors over with their kids, which was nice. The boys had fun decorating for the party with lots of silvery and glittery things.
So here's to a happy new year!
Now it's back to working, enjoying the simple things (and the snow we're having more than enough of) as well as organizing and cleaning up the house before the weather gets nice again and we'll spend more time outside.
What have you been up to?