Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Happy Holiday

After weeks of preparations, decorations, gifts to make and a flu bug making it's rounds through the family, we ended up having a very sweet and lovely holiday up north with my husband's family. I thought I'd share a few photos of our holiday celebration...

The boys made a gingerbread train with their beloved Nonniey and Auntie H

A very adorable gift on Christmas morning!

Nico gives me the gift of his gorgeous, happy smile

Roxie the sweet-faced pug who I wanted to sneak home with us

The day after Christmas we went up to Lassen National Park where the boys played in the snow for the very first time!

Daddy and Nico sled

... and my attempt to pose the boys for a Christmas photo.Matteo and Nico are pretending to be Christmas monsters while Luca stares at something shiny in the distance ;}

I'm hoping that all of you had joyous celebrations with your loved ones! I'll be back in a few days to share photos of the homemade goodness that found its way to our home this holiday season, but until then I'm wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

Much Love,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Glorious Times

There's been rain and blustery weather here, but I have to admit that I actually love the times when we experience something resembling winter. We all stay sequestered inside, not feeling the constant rush to be somewhere or do something.

We had actually picked up our tree almost 2 weeks ago, but got around to making ornaments for it last weekend. With Luca Bean who still likes to explore the world through his taste buds, we've put aside some of the older, more fragile ornaments for now and have been making new ornaments to become a part of our family history

As a child, Ivan remembered making salt and flour ornaments and helped the boys make their own

I dried some orange slices for garlands for our tree and around the house
By some miracle, I'm finally getting holiday cards out before New Years Day!
With the sweet light of the Advent candles, we celebrate the animal kingdom

...But we are far from immune from going stir crazy from being homebound. The breaks in the rain make for some excellent puddle hopping opportunities!

So please excuse me for my infrequent presence online, I've been huddling in the warmth that is our family and hope that all of you are able to feel the joy in these glorious times

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WIP Wednesday- Return of the Crafting Mojo

Eight o'clock at night has become a pretty special time for me. The boys are all tucked into their beds and I finally get my quiet time for crafting. I have time to peruse your blogs for inspiration, sit down and focus on instructions and actually have some time without distractions to let my imagination and hands work together! For whatever reason, I felt like I was in a crafting slump for most of November. Then this past week, something clicked (funny how swap deadlines will do that to you!) and I felt like I had all these ideas just waiting to be formed into actual creations.

The talented Maike inspired me so much with her wonderful Adventswichtel that as soon as the boys fell asleep that night I had to make my own little wichtelman for our tree!

For the Seasons Round Exchange, I decided to try making my first felted doll. For anyone who wants to try this, I have to say that the book More Magic Wool is a fantastic resource! I sat at our kitchen table with a pile of wool, felting needle, that book and my Snow Angel was born.

Two of Nico's darling little friends had a joint car themed birthday last weekend and certainly needed crowns to commemorate the occasion!

I participated in a very fun ornament exchange where I was able to play with our wood burning tool a bit and have some fun actually doing some cursive writing! It had occurred to me that almost all my written communication these days is with a keyboard. This was definitely good practice getting my fingers ready to write out our holiday cards!

The boys made a few lovely hand-dipped beeswax candles at a Winter Faire last weekend, so Ivan and I drilled a few holes into a found piece of wood to make our own custom candle holder :). Shown here with the Fire Element Gnome from ZooLooNaturals.
Lastly I will end with my knitting project that has been sitting in my bag for months... what I call the Scarf of a Thousand Bad Stitches. There really is no reason or rhyme to this scarf. I knit a few rows, purl a few... I don't even pay much attention to how many stitches are across (gasp!). I just wanted something to keep my hands busy when I have a free moment.

There has been a lot of crafting and creating going on around here this past week. I'm grateful for the return on my crafting mojo and for all of you who inspire and encourage me. I'd love to hear what you're working on these days!

Happy Work In Progress Wednesday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Spirit

A busy week and weekend with school meetings, birthday parties, winter festivals, craft deadlines...

...and then finally, a beautiful moment of peace at the advent spiral walk

a woman playing lovely harp music





inside of me

and I wanted to share this as a small gift to you

...Wishing everyone moments of calm and bliss...

Love, Marina

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Atelier

My son, Matteo, is an artist.

He loves to draw, he loves to paint, he loves to make things with his hands. This week, as we have been moving things around the house in preparation for the holidays, I decided to set aside an area to honor his desire to create, thus creating The Atelier :)...

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, I brought home an old rustic cabinet that I had been keeping at my parents house. I have so many fond memories from this bookcase as it was one of the first pieces of furniture I had purchased for my first apartment. A friend and I had gone thrifting in a seedy part of Chicago and this little gem seemed to be calling out to me to take it home. As my career moved me from city to city, this bookcase held all my treasured books. Now, that I believe that I am in the home I will stay in for the rest of my life... my beloved bookshelf is home as well. Though now instead of holding books, it is home to the tools that my son uses to express his imagination.

I hung a few of our playsilks above the work table, a rainbow of colors to provide inspiration

We've always felt that Matteo would let us know when it was time for him to learn his letters and he has shown interest in learning to write his name. I love these beautiful cards which make the alphabet seem like art.

I have to admit that part of the impetus to create the Atelier were these incredible natural crayon caddies handmade by my lovely, creative friend Nicola. She was so incredibly generous in gifting all three of my boys with a set! I decided to use one with the wonderful colored pencils she gifted us with, one with colored markers that Matteo enjoys, and the last one with these twig crayons we had.

I love that Matteo has such a strong love of art and creating and I hope that it is a passion that stays with him for the rest of his life. For now I will rejoice and revel in the beauty that is his childhood and the art that is his gift.

Yours in the love of childhood creation,

*Nicola is doing a giveaway for one of her amazing natural crayon caddies on her wonderful blog this week! Please do take a moment to check it out!*