Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baking, Making and Thanking

Did you hear that?
That was the sound of the days whizzing by.
It may have also been the sound of the rivers rushing by our home as we begin to dry out from some rather impressive storms.
Lake Garage Mahal is as high as ever!
The chicas added water waders to their Santa lists.

Holly and Rich opened there home up for high production cookie decorating. They had everything in order and ready for us when we went over last week. Every color of frosting was represented and all kinds of sprinkles and fancy tips. I think Izzy and Maria were at the longest... reveling in creative, frosted abandon.

Yes, there were classic shapes, like trees and stars, but Max was drawn to the Christmas rhino. He brought back the once extinct chocolate rhino... of course how long do we expect a chocolate rhino to last in the wild?

Nick and Izzy, Tutu, Maria and Rich... we all took turns laying on sweet layers.

Even with traditional shapes, Alex find creative expression. Tasty expression.

Aloha! I was sentimentally decorating an Island lady, resplendent in her floral muumuu. Holly and I did not compare notes or coordinate, but we were still in synch. It's true aloha between these 2 sweet beachcombers.

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments and feedback about the aloha memory quilt. My pride was more about relief in having completed it, but all of your praise helped me appreciate the success of it... it is pretty! You should see it now... Ruth gave it the place of honor on her beautiful pineapple bed. It's a perfect fit. The size is right and the colors fit too, matching the window treatments and the family braided rug on the wood floor.

I know I've mentioned these before, but I have to share more! They aren't necessarily easy to make, but they are very satisfying and fun... simply because it looks so cool when it's done.

It's fun to choose and coordinate the fabrics, then to fill each slim pocket. And next comes waiting to see what the children will think of them. I realize markers and pencils cannot always find their way home, but I think having a nice place to go will help the clean up process.

Sewing, baking, and lots of driving south and north and around and around, and crocheting.

I know I have been modest about my yarn mania. Honestly, I am limited in my skills, but I have been highly productive. All my girlfriends got hand crocheted and comfy-soft face cloths and lovely bars of homemade soap... the suds came thanks to my talented sister-in-law, Gretchen. There are hats and scarves everywhere. I've sent some off to parts east and north, and I am still hooked! I have got to find a friend to sit by my side and teach me how to ripple! I would love to be as Cozy as a Posie!

First Tami surprised me by sharing her color wrap pattern, and that felt like an early Christmas. Well, the surprises keep arriving, and it's awesome! Just look at what came from Mamasparks... now why would anyone think to send me a cute little chicky bag?! You may recall that Mamasparks is the amazing quilter and thoughtful friend that made and sent Blue Aloha... I feel I've hardly begun to thank her for that kindness, and now she is at it again. Maria and I had such a happy giggle about this purse. It's like a bit of origami... folding and opening to reveal 3 separate pockets. Pam, it's beautiful, and so is the clever pocket purse... am I guessing correctly that it could keep sewing needles? Thank you Mamasparks, and by the way, Maria wants me to start right away on the chicken quilt... lol!

"Fresh Eggs." Fresh eggs on my new bag and in our kitchen, all thanks to Lady Betty Orpington. If there were a reasonable way to share them, I would bring some to Pam and some more to Jennifer. It would be a heartfelt gesture of thanks for the love they have been sharing with our family.

At her blog, "Infinity More Monkeys," Jennifer posted about her handmade holiday efforts. Our family received an entire family, a clan? of her beautiful polar bears. Each of us has a bear to represent us on our Christmas tree. It makes me almost glad that we can't access our old ornaments, because these wooly friends are perfect on our little tree and they deserve center stage. Thank you Jennifer, for the bears and the music CD, for being so close and dear, even from afar.

Yes, the days are whizzing by. Not everything is done. I doubt it ever will be, but I feel blessed and hopeful, even in the midst of the frenzy. I think the holidays can be crazy, but the craziness is good when tempered with good friends, and moments spent in quiet contemplation of all that is sacred and uplifting. The fun has begun and there's more to come, as the boys will soon be out of school.

Ahhh... a break in the clouds and a chance to feel the warmth of the sun. Whoosh! Here we go!


tara said...

I am very sorry about your water issues but I had a little snort over "garage mahal".
Rhino cookie! Love it.
My fave chicken is our buff orp, J-Lo. We are getting more of them this spring. Great chicken.

Tiglizzyclone said...

Yummy Cookies!

Em said...

Alex is such a talented guy! His cookies with the different patterns are really outstanding! You've got to make sure he's got access to a wonderful art school as he gets older! The marker wrap-up thingies are great to have in the car! I'm jealous of your sister-in-law's soap... and do you think you could stop by sometime and teach me how to crochet? Are you on Ravelry? uh... I'll stop the babbling here - Natalie, I hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas!

Mama Spark said...

Yes, Natalie, the "other thing" is a needle case. I made several of those for my friends too. I can't wait to see what you and the kidlings come up with for the chicken quilt!!

nikkipolani said...

Oh my goodness, Natalie! So so so much to look at and comment on and.... and I have to go finish writing Christmas cards! But I have to say that the Hawaiian couple were my favorite. So very creative!

warren said...

Wow! Great work on the cookies. I like the super amount of icing on them and the designs are so creative...well done!

Helen said...

my heart soars with joy seeing Ruth bent over with her grand children engrossed in cookie eyes fill with tears seeing the beautiful and thoughtful Aloha quilt made with love to honor our beloved Corm. Thank you Natalie for being you.

judy in ky said...

Love the island ladies and the rhino... did you use any of your fresh eggs to make the cookies?
You and your whole family are so creative, it's an inspiration.

village mama said...

Love the ways your clan celebrates. Wishing you a joyful, happy, and memory rich Christmas Natalie. xoxo