Ribbon Bracelets

I didn't end up making many gifts for Christmas, but I did make some ribbon bracelets.  I found the idea in an old issue of Martha Stewart Living.  (See the article here.)  These are the ones that I gave my sisters.

Cassandra Ellis

I think we should all set a goal to make a handmade quilt in 2013.  I read about Cassandra Ellis in The Simple Things.  She makes beautiful and meaningful custom quilts.


Friday Featured Art: Christmas Cards

Did you see the lovely cards on the Mormon.org Christmas site?  The prints are simple and beautiful.  I like this one.


Thursday Text: Your Happily Ever After

I've been working on my Young Women's lesson for Jan. 6 (the first of the new year).  I really enjoyed reading Pres. Uchtdorf's talk Your Happily Ever After.  You can read it here.



Did you have a great Christmas?  We did!  We got mandolins - inexpensive ones.  It's always fun to learn something new.


Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope you'll all have a fabulous holiday.  I took this photo the night that they turned the lights on at Temple Square (the day after Thanksgiving).  (Then I edited it using PicMonkey.)


Friday Featured Art: Adoration of the Shepherds

Adoration of the Shepherds by Luca Giordano is a painting held by the Louvre.  Very Christmas-y.  I like the lamb.


Thursday Tunes: This Little Babe

Here's another high school choir Christmas song.  When we sang This Little Babe, I didn't realize that it was part of Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols.  It is fast and fantastic.  (This version is by a German choir, so you can hear a bit of an accent.)


Needlepoint Kindle Case

This needlepoint Kindle case from Lands' End is so cute.  I love the idea of using traditional crafts to accessorize modern technology.  And I love that it's monogrammed!


Cricut Folk Art Festival

Folk Art Festival is an adorable new cartridge for Cricut.  I really love the little animals and the darling borders.  Maybe it will go on sale soon...


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Shannon Westmeyer

Shannon Westmeyer sells beautiful jewelry made from antique wax seals in her Etsy shop.  I ordered this "bee silent" charm for Christmas.  I also really like the "forget me not" design.  Very unique!


Thursday Tunes: Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree

We went to the local high school choir concert last Friday.  All of the young women at church who attend the high school are in one of the choirs, so that was a lot of fun.  The madrigal choir sang a beautiful song that I had never heard before: Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree.  Here's a rendition by the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge.


Embroidery Kit

Did you see this in Martha?  Purl Soho has a fun embroidery kit for sale.  It includes all of the supplies to make two seasonal trees plus enough embroidery thread for all four.  What a fun idea!


Hannah's Bretzel

We did some Christmas shopping downtown on Saturday and found a fun new place for lunch.  Hannah's Bretzel is a European-style sandwich place.  The sandwiches are served on either multi-grain baguettes or pretzel buns.  Everything is organic and delicious!


Haptic Lab

I picked up the December issue of Martha Stewart Living to read on the plane over Thanksgiving.  I'm not enjoying the magazine as much as I used to (too much Alexis and babies and Kevin Sharkey!), but I did find some great projects and places.  One is Haptic Lab - they hand quilt maps!  I love this idea, and they even sell kits so that you can make your own.  (Below is the city of Chicago and a world map.)


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: AN Original Jewelry

A stumbled across a fun Etsy shop the other day.  AN Original Jewelry has fabulous, whimsical metal pieces like these cute bunny earrings and this north star necklace.  Lovely.


Thursday Text: The Sweet Smell of Christmas

One of our favorite Christmas books growing up was The Sweet Smell of Christmas.  It's a cute story about a little bear at Christmastime.  The best feature about the book is that it has scratch 'n' sniff scents!  There's pine and orange and candycane and hot chocolate...  It's so fun.  We wore out the old copy and had to get all new ones.


To Dry For

To Dry For is a fun web site that I learned about from the latest issue of The Simple Things.  It is all about designer tea towels - hence the name.  Here are a couple of cute ones that I found.


For the Makers

Did you see this fantastic idea in Country LivingFor the Makers sells subscriptions for monthly craft boxes.  When you sign up you pay $29 per month and then receive a box with supplies and instructions for four projects each month.  It sounds like so much fun!


Zions Mercantile Goodies

When we were in Utah over Thanksgiving, we stopped at Deseret Book.  I managed to bring home a couple of cute things from their Zions Mercantile line.  This glass honey jar is only $1.99!  And Sara's spoon rest inspired me to pick up one of my own.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Le Goods

Here's a great resource for packaging all of the Christmas gifts that you're working on: Le Goods.  This Etsy shop has lovely twine and kraft paper bags in all colors.


Thursday Tunes: For the Beauty of the Earth

Last week the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed John Rutter's rendition of For the Beauty of the Earth.  It's such a beautiful song.  I couldn't find a version by MoTab, so here's one by the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir.


Ms. & Mrs. Minimergency Kit

I saw these handy kits when we were wandering through the airport last week.  They seem like a great idea and would be fun to make!


Grand America

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had a lovely meal with my father-in-law at the Grand America in Salt Lake.  It's a beautiful hotel.  I had not remembered all of the crystal chandeliers - they reminded us of Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.  (I also did not remember my camera - so I borrowed the chandelier picture from Flickr.)  The flowers in the lobby were beautiful and fragrant, as always.



Friday Featured Art: Cousin Reginald Catches the Thanksgiving Turkey

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  Here's a fun Thanksgiving picture from Norman Rockwell: Cousin Reginald Catches the Thanksgiving Turkey.


Thursday Tunes: River

Happy Thanksgiving!  I can't believe I haven't posted this yet.  One of my new favorite holiday songs is Sarah McLachlan's rendition of River by Joni Mitchell.  Beautiful.


Threshold Silver Snowflake Collection

Here's another great Target find.  I didn't want to look at them because they're kind of Christmasy, but I was overcome by the pretty snowflakes.  I would like the whole set.


Chevron Blanket

There is a fabulous chevron baby blanket at Target - made by Cherokee.  (I borrowed this picture from someone on Pinterest.)  When I was trying to find it online, I found this lovely version from the Purl Bee.  Beth - you should make one!


George at ASDA

A week or so ago, I saw an online article listing inexpensive lace dresses - it was British, though, so it may be difficult to locate some of the pieces.  But it led me to a line called George at ASDA - a British department store.  This pretty dress would be just under $32.  And I really liked this blouse (about $19).


Friday Featured Art: Another Season's End

I know I just featured some work by Joe not that long ago, but I had to include this new piece.  Another Season's End is a beautiful large, square oil painting offered by The Mission Gallery in St. George, Utah.


Thursday Text: Chasing Vermeer

I finished the book recommended to me by Ian, and it was good!  Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett is a creative mystery with lots of art history and puzzles and codes.  And it's set in Chicago.  A very fun read.


Family Tree Stamp Starter Kit

I saw this cute new stamp kit from Martha at Hobby Lobby the other day.  The Family Tree Stamp Starter Kit includes stamps and ink for creating a custom family tree.  What a great idea!


Jewelry Class

Here's my first assignment from my intro to metal jewelry class.  We were given a strip of copper that we rolled through some rollers to put a pattern on and then cut out shapes and made a clasp.  I used kind of an Islamic design that I cut out of paper with my Cricut.  Sawing is harder than it looks, but this was fun!



This little fox is the cutest thing.  I found the Manomine shop via Pinterest.  A lady in London makes sets of whimsical little animals with their clothes and food.  I love her goose friend, too.


Friday Featured Art: The Geographer

My nephew got me reading a book called Chasing Vermeer.  I'm about halfway through, and I'm enjoying it.  One of the Vermeer paintings that it references is The Geographer.  I looked back through some pictures and realized that it was one of the two Vermeer paintings that we saw at the Louvre in March.  Vermeer's work is really incredible.  (More about the book later!)


Thursday Tunes: Mix Tape

Remember mix tapes?  Do you still make them (with new technology)?  I made up a CD of some country/folk/bluegrass tunes from my iPod, and I'm really enjoying it.  I love Nickel Creek - I wish they were still together.  We heard Steel Magnolia and Sarah Jarosz at the Grand Ole Opry a year or so ago.  It was Sarah's Opry debut.  She's fantastic.  I am loving Lady Antebellum and the more melodic sound of the new country music - the harmonies and instrumentation are great.  And, of course, Steve Martin's banjo playing is enthralling.  Here's my playlist:


Lego Minifigures

When Sara and Ian were here, we went to the Lego store (of course).  They helped us assemble some minifigures after they found the sweater and tie - it's perfect for Tony the philosophy professor.  My figure has binoculars for bird watching.  Ian thought that they looked exactly like us.  Fun!


Doctor Who Season 7

I just got Doctor Who season 7 on iTunes, so now I'm all caught up!  It was fantastic.  I really loved the Dinosaurs on a Spaceship episode with Mark Williams as Rory's dad.  So funny.


Boden - Winter

My Boden winter catalog came, and I'm loving the skirts.  I noticed when we were in England that a lot of women wore skirts past their knees.  (And there were a lot of cute dresses with sleeves!)  I like this denim one, and I love the British tweed!


Thursday Text: Choose Something Like a Star

I'm not sure why, but a line from this poem came to me the other day.  Choose Something Like a Star is a classic from Robert Frost.

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud --
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.


Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

When Sara and Ian were here, we visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park.  They are now allowing interior photography (for $5).  I remembered really loving the ceiling in the living room and the inglenook (fireplace nook with curtains).  It's really a fascinating place.  (And Happy Halloween!)