Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry-bright




















What a peaceful, relaxing week we're having, just the four of us at home. We've had long walks in the sunshine, lots of good food and time for reading, crafting and watching movies. It's cold outside but very bright and sunny, and we've tried to get outdoors every day. We'll go out for real today, for the first time since Monday, to do a couple of errands and maybe some dinner. I've enjoyed the cooking, but I'm feeling ready for a little break. I made lasagna and a green salad for Christmas Eve, a spiral-sliced ham for Christmas. With the ham, we had latkes (I always make them on Christmas and often Easter too, a remnant of my own upbringing in a mixed-faith family), green beans, fresh cranberry sauce and dinner rolls, with homemade cheesecake for dessert. I really love cooking for holidays; it feels more important, somehow. There has also been brie, pinot grigio salami and shrimp cocktail...plus stocking stuffers such as Tunnock's Tea Cakes, Haribo Peaches and lots of nuts. The daily walks are integral to our survival, I think.

Our Christmas was wonderful. We limited our expenditures, feeling better about a simple holiday as we always do. But everyone got things they love. Both small Bears received plenty of fun and useful gifts, as did we. The GB got her very first dollhouse and so far, it's a hit with both children. I'm working on some crocheted items for it and feeling a little nutty about the tininess of the work...and the squinting it induces. I got two books I'd been wanting for awhile, Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, an amazing compendium of information and techniques for every job around the house, and Little Stitches, Aneela Hoey's embroidery book. I've got two excellent embroidery books now and I'll be practicing more soon. It's a craft I really want to get better with. I also got a beautiful "mother's bracelet" made with Swarovski crystals and the small Bears' names spelled out in silver beads, and some crafting supplies like rubber stamps, washi tape and yarn. These Bear folks really know me.

My crafty life has been such a pleasure recently. I have finished the Winterwoods Sampler and framed it myself (with help from the ever-practical Bear). I need to get the proper hanging apparatus for the frame (weirdly, it didn't include any), and then it's going to be hung in the dining room, along with some other items that I think will look nice in a grouping with it. This particular wall has driven me crazy all the time we've lived here because it's huge and I searched for the right way to fill it up. But now I think that a slightly random, slightly kitschy, completely homey grouping is the way to go. I've also been sewing. I hadn't done much sewing this fall, as I devoted most of my crafty time to the LB's Manny Stripe and other, smaller crochet projects. I bought a jelly roll of 1930's reproduction fabrics last spring and it called out to me for months. It wanted to be made into log cabin blocks. And so I've made a few. More on the sampler and the blocks another time.

What are you doing on this day after Christmas? I hope you're enjoying good weather, time with friends and family, delicious food either made by you or made by someone else because you finally got out of the house...ahem. I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

38 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, beautiful photos, and very beautiful children! Glad to read what a lovely Christmas day you had. I'm going to my craft space in a few minutes, dinner is in the crockpot. We also limited expenditures this year and shared a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for sharing yours here Jennifer. (Your mother's bracelet sounds great.)

    :) Pam

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  2. Gorgeous photos Jennifer! What a nice memory of the holidays and your family time together. Today is our day to rest but that will end quickly as we prepare for some New Year's events. I love that dollhouse and your needlework project very much. Enjoy your day.

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  3. A wonderful post sounds like you had a lovely relaxing time, we had a big family Christmas bit of a non stop whirl but most of the guest went home this evening, so I think tomorrows going to be about reflection, looking through gifts and crafting, hunking down as another strom is due to hit. Been such bad weather here in the UK with floods and power cuts, I feel for those effected some have had now electricty since Christmas eve. Enjpy the rest of the Holiday x
    Clare xx

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  4. It sounds like you had a perfect Christmas with your family. There is nothing as fun as a new doll house. I ran errands this morning, nothing all that exciting and am now in until we go out for dinner this evening. It is my oldest sons last night at home, which makes me so sad.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  5. Beautiful photos, Jennifer. Looks like you all had a lovely time. It all looks so peaceful, and calm. And your children's faces are filled with so much joy. What a wonderful post. I'm so happy to all enjoyed your Christmas.

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  6. Your Christmas week sounds lovely and very relaxing… just perfect! Love all the photos! Your children look so adorable. Charlotte received a dollhouse, too, and she loves it. We are all relaxing at home today after traveling to visit both families the past two days. It's nice to not have to be any place today. My husband is back to work tomorrow, but off next Monday for another long weekend, and we are planning to visit Ikea for a bookcase for Charlotte's room. I am always ready to get organized again after the holidays. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  7. Tunnock's tea cakes here too, and a gingerbread house. We went for a walk on the beach today. It's an annual tradition on either Boxing Day or New Year's Day. It was sunny today, so we seized the moment. It's a lovely thing to do - masses of space to run around. There's always lots of children and dogs there - they both need a run out after Christmas I think. I love the Winterwoods sampler. You finished it so quickly. You might shame me into getting mine out - I've ground to a halt with it.

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  8. Lovely Christmas had by all I think! I'm hoping to get out tomorrow but today was made for playing with presents!

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  9. Yours sounds like my perfect Christmas Jennifer. I do like your gingerbread house, it is a lot neater than ours! Cx

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  10. It all looks and sounds lovely. The gingerbread house is fab! I wanted to make one this year but there just wasn't time. I envy you your sun - it's been rain, rain, rain here. But cosy too. x

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  11. Well, I just finished addressing my second batch of Christmas cards and decided to reward my efforts by checking to see how my bloggy friends are fairing. I'm so glad you and yours are having a calm and bright time at your home, Jennifer :) We had a simple happy celebration here yesterday. My daughters fixed a spiral ham dinner, too. Four-year-old Molly declared the ham she was eating was delicious. Others around the table echoed her opinion. Then during a lull in the conversation Molly asked, "Who killed the pig?" Oh my....... xx

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  12. Seasons greetings dear Jennifer and so glad that you and your family had a lovely Christmas.
    I enjoyed seeing your photos and looks like you all had fun.
    Wishing you a bright, healthy and happy New Year

    hugs
    Carolyn

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  13. Oh my...your son looks like you♥
    Lovely...calm...relaxing photos, Jen....perfect!
    No Ice....No Rain....No Snow....lucky you!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ps.....love your daughters hat♥

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  14. Sounds like you had a beautiful, fun filled Christmas indeed. :) We, my husband and i, went simple and limited our expenditures too. We both feel better that way. Lots of fun here. We are staying home, away from traffic and stores, and relaxing today. (I guess i should use past tense, since it's so late.) :) And to answer your question in your comment on my post.. yes we had a wonderful Christmas. I just ate too much is all. lol. I will need to do some serious walking for quite awhile!

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  15. Hi Jennifer, it looks like you had a wonderful, fulfilling and happy holiday. Will you show us the dollhouse? I had to clean my dollhouse as it was all dusty and everything was in the wrong place after I turned my 2 granddaughters loose to play with is. :-) I had to go volunteer at the falls today.. I was NOT in the mood to leave home, but leave I did. Have a super weekend.

    *:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*
      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*
    *:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  16. Hi Jennifer, lovely photos of Christmas cheer, and I love your sampler - so pretty. The little bears look very happy, and I bet they enjoyed the gingerbread house! After three hectic days of visitors, we are enjoying the peacefulness of quiet time, as HB says, 'playing with our presents!". xx

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  17. Hi Jennifer, it looks like you had sucha calm and wonderful Christmas. Love your gingerbread house and all the beautiful work you do. Thanks for visiting me. I hope you had a great Christmas and have a wonderful New Year!

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  18. Amazing photos! What a merry and bright Christmas indeed!

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  19. Beautiful photos that capture so many wonderful moments. Love your gingerbread house. Well done on finishing your winterwoods, it's beautiful. There's been a great deal of eating and just being together, it's been exhausting but good fun xxx

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  20. Sounds like you have had the perfect Christmas! I love your photos, all the colour is stunning.

    Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

    Helenxx

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  21. Sounds as though you had the perfect Christmas Jennifer. Love your photos and the sampler is gorgeous. It's lovely to relax now isn't it? I love Christmas but the few days after are just wonderful to be able to relax, read new books, craft a little and plenty of refreshing walks. Lovely post.
    Patricia x

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  22. I think you just described the perfect Christmas! The simplicity of family, food, and love....what else does one need to fill the heart beyond capacity?
    I am awaiting pictures of the tiny accessories you make for the doll house! Knowing you, they will be expertly crafted and very charming in their originality!
    I also love the way the colors in this collection capture the cold winter air. In fall, they were warm and cozy, spring - fresh and bright! Inside and out! Beautiful! No wonder so many people keep coming here like I do!
    Happy New Year, Jennifer!

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  23. It sounds like you've all had a wonderful Christmas. We did get out of the house yesterday, we visited the local nature reserve. I'm glad we got out while we could as it's extremely windy again today, definitely a day for hunkering down, doing a spot of knitting or crochet and watching a good film. Your gingerbread house is fabulous.

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  24. I'm so glad you had such a happy Christmas, Jennifer! And in future years you will have this lovely post to look back at to remind you how nice it was. It's another one of the many great things about blogging. It's like an online storage box for memories. :-)

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  25. It sounds and looks like you had an amazing Christmas.

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  26. Love all the pics :) My husband had to work yesterday and today so I have been cleaning up after all the chaos of the holidays. We already took down the tree etc, I am ready for the holidays to be over! I love that you did a less stressful and gift orientated holidays, it sounds great to me :) I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and great things to come in the New Year!

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  27. Dearest Jennifer
    Thank you so much for the happy Christmas wishes, we had a lovely relaxing stress free day with Andy's family. Looks like yours was rather special and calm and gentle xox Penny

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  28. Your Christmas sounded and looked beautiful! The colors are just amazing in your photos! The blue skies and your daughters hat PURE outstanding! And I do agree that cooking over the holidays feels more important than other days of the year. It is such a great feeling to make really good food for the ones we love and your dishes look yummy! Cheers to you friend! May your new year be filled with all things beautiful!!! Nicole xoxo

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  29. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas! I'd love to see a photo of your mother's bracelet. I have eaten waay too much and definitely feel the need to "detox". I walked a mile outdoors yesterday and today and have been doing a lot around the house, but it's not enough. The lighter food is definitely on the horizon!

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  30. well I am pleasantly surprised you manage to get Tunnocks Teacakes in New Mexico!! They are truly delicious though, especially with a cup of tea!
    Love your photos as always, but in particular your sampler - what a beautiful piece of work that is.
    Very best wishes to you and yours for 2014
    BH x

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  31. Hello there Jennifer. What a lovely time. A time for having family fun and stacking up lovely memories and traditions.
    Love Linda

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  32. A good walk to blow away the cobwebs...very dull, windy and grey here....could do with some cold blue sky days!
    x

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  33. How lovely your simple Christmas sounds and looks :)

    Wishing you and yours much happiness in the year ahead Jennifer. And thank you for your entertaining and inspiring blog.

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  34. I love how your christmas sounded, just a quiet peaceful family time, that is how it should be. Ours was wonderful too. XX

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  35. Hi Jennifer, Love your gingerbread house!!! Very cute!!! Have a fab day!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  36. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! Your cross stitch is so pretty. I used to do that and crewel pieces a lot, but my eyes just don't want to go there any more....lol! Your weather looks amazing. We are having beautiful weather, too, but warmer than yours. We are actually having "fall color" now with lots of beautiful trees and bushes all decked out like New England! Hope you have a very Happy New Year!

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  37. Your Christmas looks so merry and bright. Your son looked pleased with his blanket too!
    Sarah x

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  38. Glad that you had a great Christmas, I hope that 2014 is a great year for you and all of the bears! xx

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