From Here to There

Since it's been 3 1/2 weeks since my last weekly post, one can certainly understand my reasons for not posting all my resolutions publicly, yes?  The last few weeks have been full to the brim and overflowing down the sides.  Looking back, it's hard to see how so much bustle could fit into a short space of time, unless governed by the same magic that springs a rabbit from a stageman's hat.

We are now on the tail end of the worst cold we've had in a few years.  "Cold" sounds too benign for it, as it laid me flat for longer than I would have liked and kept little ones awake with earaches and coughing fits and croup.  But, now, a new year stretches out ahead with who-knows-what around each bend.  Goodbye, 2017!  For the most part, we lived you well.  And welcome to you, 2018.  We're here, and ready for another spin around the sun.

Making Stuff to Give Away

Stuff stuff stuff.

Can it have been this long since I paint-a-doodled a gift?  I think so, and that's craziness, and makes me sad that I misuse my time.  Here's a Christmas pig for Mom Owen, though. Who needs excuses to paint pigs?  (Sorry for the atrocious lighting.  It was 3 a.m.)

 A late baby gift set for the son of John's high school buddy.  Nick is an all-around great guy, but he's also a physicist who loves astronomy, to explain why I appliqued such ridiculously small planets on a baby onesie.  (Millie informed me that I did not create them to scale, so none of you other astronomy buffs need inform me.  Really now, I can't fit them all on a baby onesie otherwise. And thank goodness Pluto's been downgraded.  There was no room for him!)

Half the fun was rooting through my stash to find the right fabric for each planet.

I'm now in the habit of increasing my gift's appeal with an upscale handknit item, so I ordered Millie to produce!  (She was happy to oblige, using this wonderful pattern.)

Another paint-a-doodle, this time for a Peanuts aficionado


I think you gave us this bowl, Mom O., yes?  It was solid white and waiting for paint, and the experience was a distant cousin of filling in a coloring book.   It was fun, though fussy and time-consuming in the tiny parts.  During the process, we discovered that Pluto is not as easy-going as he seems.  CARNIVORE!

A cutting board and spoon set.

An ornament that WAS a cheerful red until I baked it, at which point it turned mauve.  (Lesson: Do not bake cheerful red ornaments or they will turn mauve.)

And, yeah, another paint-a-doodle.  As long as the paints were already out...

This may be my favorite gift.  My brother Joel is still finishing up his (interminably long) doctoral dissertation on Aquinas, so I burned Aquinas on a cutting board for him.  Thomas Aquinas!  On a cutting board!  It's a Christian bookstore's worst nightmare. (Credit: I totally copied this.)

 And on the back, a subtle note.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Here's a handy trick to fool yourself into thinking you're a Most Productive Person.  Put things like this on your to-do list,

and then Do Them.

A Hat Times Two

Millie made a handknit item for nearly every member of our family, and I took pictures of this one for her ravelry account.  Aidan liked the hat she made for Joseph Julius so much that she made him a matching one.  Lucky duck to have such a big sister...

Guinness Book Tea-Drinking is Happening Here

Remember last year's jazzed-up dollar store mugs?  Apart from three that shattered, to great dismay, all of the others were used daily, often multiple times each day.  I was impressed by how well the designs held up, but after a year of constant use, they looked pitiful and needed to be scrubbed off and inked fresh.  Pip, Lucinda, and Aidan chose the same design (with some new flourishes), but everyone else wanted new doodles entirely.

And this year Cadence was big enough to get her own mug!  Now she can stop stealing everyone else's...

Ezekiel said he still wanted a bear, but this time, "the kind of bear that lives in the snow," and he wanted "My Little Honey Bear" in place of his name.

We used to call Birdie our screech owl when she was younger and chubbier, so she wanted that on her mug  When I showed her the screech owl doodle, though, he looked so grumpy and fierce that she requested I draw a gentler looking owl, so...no screech owl.

Stringing Them Up

The children don't let me skip this inadvertent tradition, even on years when I just want to put the lights on the tree already.