Winter Chill

It is cold in Chicago. So cold that I am loathe to leave the house. But with Christmas less than a week away that’s likely a good thing. My apartment looks like a tornado just went through the toy workshop the North Pole – piles of wrapping paper (this year, it’s store-bought – one is printed with peppermint candies of all shapes and sizes and the other is printed with winterberry branches on snow), ribbons and gift tags, half-finished sewing projects and baking ingredients. But I’ve been getting a lot done. I’ve sewn a lot of gifts this year, including two crayon rolls and mini tote bags for art kits for my nieces. I actually remembered to take pictures of everything before wrapping it, so I’ll get those posted soon I promise – and I’ve even got a new camera that I actually know how to use too!

I need to finish a small zippered bag for a “makeup kit” for my eldest niece – she’s four and loves to do her “makeup” with mommy in the morning. I found some cute little lip balms that are shaped liked cupcakes along with some brightly colored hair clips and nailpolish (which her mother strangely agreed would be fine for me to include). And I do have a little hand sewing left to do, in finishing the play fruit for my younger niece’s other gift – I’ve got to finish the strawberries I started last week as well as do up some lemon and orange slices. I should be able to finish them up this week while parked in front of the television (as I inevitably will be for a least a few hours – I need decompression time after the office job!) 

I’ve done a little bit of baking this year, mostly by doing quick breads. Last week’s cookie baking with my in laws got cancelled because of some nasty weather, but I do plan to do some Russian Tea Cakes (which are husband’s favorite) and some snickerdoodles (which are mine) this evening so we have some tasty munchies this week. I’m also going to do another batch of my Super-Pumpkin Pumpkin Bread so we’ve  got something good for breakfasts this week.

Time just seems to fly by me lately – I still can’t quite figure out where this year has gone. There have certainly been some difficult moments in the last year, but I feel good to have my family around and a good home to comfort me. I probably won’t post a whole lot of new stuff between now and New Year’s because this time of the year is so hectic, but I promise to be back full-swing in January – I’ve got two seed catalogs to continue planning with, and lots of post-Christmas winter projects to – sewing “draft dodgers” for the in front of the doors, sewing house slippers, working on scrapbooks and trying some new things in the kitchen – so stay tuned for all of that. And if I don’t get a chance to say it to you all in between now and then – have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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