What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, January 11, 2021


I wish I had the time, resources and creativity to make handmade things for everyone on my lists but I barely squeak by with just a few each year.

I do try and rotate around so that everyone gets handmade things every now and again from me... here are some of the things I made as gifts this year.

Of course, food always makes an appearance.  I made lots of mozzerella this year for friends and church people.  And flavored butters.  (We love our cow.)  Chex party mixes and chocolate popcorn and fudge (for neighbors and garbage/mail men.)  And many men in my life wind up with home canned goods- apple butter, blackberry jellies and this year, thanks to a bumper crop of H.O.T. peppers, most men got a jar of Hot jalapeno mustard.

But all of that is boring.  Let's get to the good stuff, shall we?

I have had this one sweater sitting in my mending basket FOR.E.V.E.R because I thought the red and white was so striking and SURELY I'd find a nice way to repurpose it.  (seeings how it stopped fitting a decade ago.)  

Actually, I had the leftover PARTS of a ripped up sweater.  (I must have made something with it long ago.)

This year I said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  I used it up and threw away any leftovers.

First- I made ourselves a 12 days of Christmas garland to be filled with little notes pertaining to the daily surprises of Christmas.

And then, a soft little baby doll for my one year old niece.  

(Don't ever take off the belt or it looks REALLY weird.)

And a nice little stocking cap for Mister Moses.

For my sister in law who happens to love watching The Great British Baking Show, I made a little British inspired basket including some towels with little catchphrases from the show.  Having never actually SEEN the show, I am taking Googles' word for it.

(I tried using printable iron-on fabric tranfers and failed majorly.  I wound up using fabric paint, hence the imperfect handwriting. I'm STILL mad about the waste of $7.00 for that printable transfer paper.)

A hat for my brother Cameron, modeled by Judah.

Why didn't I get Cameron to model it while visiting, you ask?   I have NO idea.  
I'm mad about that too.

A few star trivets... these were very last minute but very fun and easy to make.  And, I think, so so beautiful!  

This project will appear again next year I am sure- I have leftover wooden beads! wah ha ha

(The how-to is here)

For my sweet little Ineke and her ballerina dancing cousin, I made matching swan leotards.

(Well, the black leotards were on clearance at Walmart for $3.00... but I made them into SWAN leotards.)

I used tons of different little bits of lace, cloth, trims, tulle and fur to make all the different layers.

My lace remnant pile is dwindling!

A few years ago, a friend made me a beautiful table runner for me that I love so much.  I knew my Mom would love one too.  So I traced and copied it as best I could.   I used fabric and lace I had on hand. After a slight panic, having no flesh colored fabric, I found an autumnal owl print that had just the tiniest spots of plain tan every now and again.  Thankfully, the head and arms were pretty tiny too... so it worked.

In like fashion... Matt also copied a gift idea that HIS good friend made for us... a monogram stump formed with a chainsaw.  He made this for his Mom to put down at their new lake cottage.

What can I say?  We have very talented friends!

(And I have a very talented husband!)

This next gift is one I did not make for Christmas but for my nephews' birthday.  I never posted about it at the time but want to share it now because it was one of my favorite handmade's of the year- a little gnome post office where my children can give their cousin letters (gnome postage is cheaper these days...especially when he lives just a few hills over.)  

I hope to make one for OUR gnomes next.

I used a plain wooden birdhouse from the craft store, an aluminum disposable pan, sacrete and stones, and an old tile from the pile languishing by the milkhouse.  And then I had Adele' cut moss from tree stumps in the woods.

While I am at it... here's a hat that I knit for Matt for Christmas LAST year.

I never got a picture of him wearing it though and it certainly deserves a place for posterity...

... particularly because of those handsome eye wrinkles it so perfectly frames.

Thursday, January 07, 2021


It was late on Christmas Eve when the stockings were finally filled and the presents were all wrapped.  I always like seeing the stockings all lined up on the couch.  The rest of the house was a wreck and the kitchen would NOT be fun to come down to in the morning, with so much cleaning up to do, but the living room looked quite nice, anyway, and I was too tired to care about anything but my bed.

Three presents each, plus a secret sibling gift makes for a fully loaded tree!

The next morning, I woke up at 4:30 and came downstairs to find that the boys had already come in from doing the morning milking for Papa and were washing up the equipment and that Corynn had cleaned the whole kitchen for me until it was sparkling.

Angels, they are.  Absolute ANGELS.

A wonderful surprise that made for a very tired milkman later in the day...

Bible comes before presents... because we are cruel like that.

Red and Green with my girl.

I made all the food up a day before because on Christmas Day, I want to have as much time having fun and relaxing as everyone else.  

Morning strata:

The rest of the day munchings... and the last of the fancy cheeses and crackers for a good long while.

And lasagna for supper with individual bottles of Ginger beer.

Turns out ginger beer is pretty wicked stuff.  Not one of us made it through our bottle.  
(I absent-mindedly assumed it was birch beer when I bought it.)

A million meringues.  I love them so.

                                                                     Present opening... 

Matt is overwhelmed by books on his shelf that he hasn't read yet and often is so beat at the end of the day he just wants something light hearted to read for the few moments he has before crashing and picks up one of the kids' Calvin and Hobbes books.

So I got him his very own.

It is SO hard to remember which books Corynn needs to complete a series, I upped the ante and got Corynn a whole series for Christmas instead of just one book.

Her face tells me it was worth it.

This is Andrew's excited face and he was excited about.. MUCK boots.

(So is Papa, who no longer needs to share.)

The kids always draw names for a secret sibling gift and Ineke got Corynn a mug with tea in it.  I love watching little children give presents to bigger ones.  I also love watching big children react with grace and kindness.  

Andrew got Moses a ball... and the crowd erupted in applause.  

(This happened many times throughout the day...because Moses loves applause and we love watching him get so excited about it.)

I think Moses favorite gift was the crazy, bumpy ball that accidentally turned on at the conveyer belt in Walmart and it started knocking groceries off left and right.  It eventually stopped after an embarassingly long time just in time to accidentally be turned on again by the cashier, who about had a heart attack when it starting bumping all over her.

Ineke now gets to have lightshows every night in bed.

                                                                        More meringues!  

We hosted the Cantrell Christmas the following week, though some of our family couldn't make it.

Moses, looking all spiffy in his new Christmas duds...

(A friend from church made this adorable outfit for him because I loaned her a similar outfit of Moses' to make a pattern from... let that be a lesson to you- ALWAYS loan outfits to talented seamstresses!)

                                                                  Waiting for company...

INLCUDING my younger brother Cameron, who was able to come home for the holidays! 

The annual Christmas snowflake...which not only must be MADE every year, but also photographed.

My mom and Mister Moses.

And look at that!  MORE meringues!  ;-)

In my next post I will share some of the handmade Christmas gifts that happened *by the skin of my teeth and a borrowed sewing machine!* and then, seeing how it is already well into January, I guess it will be time to turn my attention to the New Year that is before us.

Happy 2021 everyone!