Thursday, December 29, 2011

Expected Breakage

 I have quite a few ornaments and decorations about the house that are delicate, and this time of year, especially, we are bound to have some accidents involving these crashing to the floor and such.
But really, I am not the one that is supposed to do the breaking.
I get the prize for the most expensive accident this year.
There was a worker who was pounding on the outside stucco of my house who also broke another Radko ornament by just coming within 5 feet of its presence. He "pounded" it right off the backers rack that it was perched on.
But I destroyed this beautiful finial.

Smocked Skirt

I wanted to make something a bit more grown up for Lexy this Christmas, yet still have it go along with a dress that I had made a couple years ago which Lena was going to wear this year. So... I decided to still use the same type of smocking and have it go along the waist line of a dupioni silk skirt instead of a little girls style dress.
I took it to Hawaii in November and worked on the smocking while we were on vacation.
 The smocking matches the older dress beautifully.
Because it is for a little larger child and I thought ruffles in a bustle down the back would be cute, I just had the smocking go 3/4 way around the skirt and then I added the ruffles with elastic at the back waist.
 Here is the cute girl now in the skirt with a ruffly black sweater and silky shell underneath. I made a little yo-yo pin out of the silver dupioni to put on the sweater.

And little sister is precious in the cranberry silk dress that the skirt goes well with. I added a couple of grow strips on the dress, because her legs are a little shorter than her older sisters and the dress was too long.
Cute girls all wrapped up in Christmas attire.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Shepherd's Were Tending Their Sheep Through The Night

We reinacted and ate supper accordingly on Christmas Eve night and I wanted to simply post family pictures to remember.
 Looks like this was before we were interrupted by Santa.
 The Hubby, Stephanie and me. Check out the perfect plates.
 Here is our shepherd and wise man.
 The angel in our house wears a crown and Mary is conversing with her.
We read a few scriptures as we acted out the Christmas story. I am both an animal and a star holder.
So multitalented.
Luke was into the dressing up for a few minutes, but then had enough.
The children and adults all did a fine job at whatever their participation level warranted, and it was a lot of fun for me. Good job guys!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Aprons for the Little Girls

I like aprons.
I don't wear aprons often enough and I figured last year that if I started making them for people, perhaps I'd remember to wear one when I am making a mess. Maybe it has increased my wearing percentage by 3%, maybe not.
The little helper cooks in my life need some aprons to go with their little play kitchens, so for Christmas I made up a few personalized ones for the special little girls in my life.
Starting with the youngest.
 This one is a half apron, which may not be the smartest kind to make for a year and a half old child since there is no waist on a baby, but it was so cute at this point that I didn't want to add a bib. I will if requested by her mom.
The underside of this apron is from red ticking fabric I made an outfit out of in the 9th grade. Pretty awesome right?
 This little ruffled bottom job I made for Ellery. Again some of that old fabric ties it all together and makes it look a little vintage 20's although I bought the fabric in the early 70's.
 The machine embroidered name is what makes up the bib. Love the dittoed polkadots on the dish rag.
 Lena gets a different color wave in the nearly same design. Love the "Bliss" fabric by Camille RosKelly.
The little ribbon tabs on the side of the apron can act as a sort of pocket for keeping things.
 This last apron has Lexy's initials instead of her whole name on one pocket, and a cute little cupcake embroidered on the other pocket.
 Maybe a little too curly to be legible, but cute anyway.
... and the pockets hold everything imaginable.
"I want one," was heard from Aunt Stephanie.
I guess she is next.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Santa EVER

We were able to share Christmas Eve with our 3 Hodgman Grandchildren this year and we got a real visit from Santa Claus as he was preparing to go out for the night.
Lexy says he visits just 10 good children personally on Christmas Eve and she was very happy to be one of those chosen few.
We were just settling down for our Shepherds dinner when we heard sleigh bells outside and we turned around to see St. Nicholas at our very door.
After freak out tears from the 6 year old Lexy and a very scared Lena, the children actually settled in quite nicely with our very friendly and slightly soft spoken Santa. I think he toned down his high volume and energy for these apprehensive kids and they responded appropriately.
This is apparently the first time all three of these siblings have sat on his lap.
We told him about our dinner and why we were sitting on the ground just like the shepherds would have been on that Christmas so long ago. Santa told us the story behind why he gives out candy canes to good girls and boys, and the shepherds crook theme fit right into our evening.

After a nice visit with Mr. Claus, we sat back down to eat our olives, lamb chops, cheeses, and crackers, but another knock on the door came. Santa had forgotten his sleigh bells and so the reindeer weren't coming to pick him up. We found the sweet sounding, tinkling bells and he was again on his way.

After settling back down to dinner, ANOTHER knock came at the door. Again it was Santa and he asked for GramVi saying he needed to talk to me outside for a minute. (At this point in the post, please have the children cease from reading.)
I stepped out and he informed me that his cell phone was locked in his car and he needed me to call his wife for a set of keys. What terrible luck, I thought. The busiest night of the year and he is stuck at the Hodgpeoples house waiting for his keys.

We totally appreciated the visit we got from Santa and regret that he had to stand outside like a neighborhood prowler for the minutes it took for the wife (actually the daughter came) to get here with his keys.
Thanks Santa. (CH) You are a good guy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shepherd's Dinner Prep

Every year one of our family celebrations surrounding the coming of Christ is having a "Shepherd's Dinner" on Christmas Eve. If you ask each of our children what a favorite Hodgman tradition is, they will include this one in their fond memories.
We have a wood worker friend who heard about this tradition from his sister-in-law and called us up to offer his services in making some wood rustic plates for us to use for the dinner.
 He brought them to us last night and they turned out so great. There are knots and cool curves, and they are 6 -7 inches wide by 8ish inches long or small enough not to be too cumbersome as we all take up space on the floor of our family room Christmas Eve.

Each plate is slightly different and will be just perfect for dishing our small dinner (that really has turned into a Mediterranean feast.)
I'm so excited!
Thanks Dana!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tartan and Wool

I saw the cutest little Christmas jumper in a Boston store window last year and wanted to copy it's design.
So after taking a picture of it with my handy little IPhone, I set off to figure out just what would work for the baby girl in my life. Her mother and I went shopping in SF last January and we bought this great purple   97% wool/ 3% spandex blend along with a beautiful tartan (representing "Scotland Forever") that includes the same purple color.
 The 4 inch wide pleated plaid goes 3/4 around the bottom of this simple jumper. I tried to make it without topstitching around the neck and armholes, for a smoother look, but the size of the garment was unforgiving as it turned towards the lining, so I had to topstitch it.
 I also made a little skirt for the big sister using the same fabric. The bottom edge of the swag in the middle is fringed and there is a silver celtic like button to fasten it up. She'll look cute in the ruffles of the skirt too.
 Here they are from the back.
I got them in the mail along with some muslin, or cheap fabric models, of a vest and skirt for the mommy of the girls. When I don't have real people to try them on, it makes it a bit difficult for fittings, so I hope these work on their cute little bodies.
I'll post a picture of the girls modeling their togs when I get it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Home At Last

Destruction of our backyard has continued at a rapid pace.
 Hand digging for the concrete footings. Can you spot the orange lines for the BBQ area?
 Tractor work to dig and carry it all out of here.
And lots of hand machinery work such as jack hammers, sanding machines, electric shovels, etc.
 Look at this crazy big root from one of the Ash trees. With the wind whipping around our valley like a banchi, I had an awake moment last night thinking about how my Grandpa Kelly's pine tree came down one night on top of his cute, brick house on 2nd South and 4th West in Provo when I was a kid. I was trying not to wonder if the same thing might happen to us even though the pine tree that Grandpa had was shallow rooted and our giant Ash is nice and deeply rooted into our yard (and all the old drainage pipes throughout the large space.)
 All the tiles around the pool and on the several benches and stairs are now disassembled and gone.
This pool working guy is digging new areas for the 2 drains that are now standard code for the pool and spa. "You're makin' a mess." (name that movie character)
 The poolhouse, outside room, boys room, mother-in-law quarters or whatever you would like to call it, has no stairs and there are piles of leftover gravel strategically placed where the landing is to be. There is also a nick, or hole made by the nice tractor, in the sewer line coming out of said room so no more going in there and running water or anything else until it is fixed. (hopefully tomorrow- I just ordered a port-a-potty for the guys)
 ...and there are random piles of different materials to be taken to the dump placed all around the yard.
Plants, soil, concrete. You name it there is a pile of it in the Hodgpeople's back yard.