Wednesday, December 07, 2011

All good things must end....

After six years of blogging, I am writing my final post here on ArtsyMama. It is with deep gratefulness in my heart I am finishing this chapter. I have written 1096 posts and taken thousands of photos to share on this blog. Thank you for being such an amazing audience and supporter. You have watched my children grow from infants to toddlers now to school age kids. You have participated in swaps, blog parties and book launches. You have been my cheering section. Many of you that know me personally know that this has been a difficult fall for me. My children are now in first and second grade and having them both at school all day leaves a big gaping hole. I have had to figure out how to spend my days while they are gone and figure out who I have become in this new chapter of my life. I know that I will always need a creative outlet and avenue to express myself and I'm not sure what form that will take. I just don't feel that this is the most authentic place for me to share right now. I want to know what it feels like to be fully present and not have to make every little event "presentable" to blog about. I know that I will continue to follow the seasons and I'm sure I will capture it through the lens of my camera. I will post on my 365 blog a photo a day until the end of the year. I do plan to continue to archive each post of this blog and you'll find the topics on the right side bar. Life changes, whether we want it to or not. Children grow up. I am going to stop, take a deep breath and embrace whatever it is that comes next. Thank you....

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

day six....

The kids woke up to an extra special treat this morning. Last night I told them the legend of St. Nicholas celebrated on the eve of Dec. 5th in some European countries. They left their boots on the stairs and were pleased to see them filled with treats in the morning. The coins were a huge hit!

Then they opened their book for today, The Best Christmas Hunt Ever by John Speirs.

Bodhi was taking it all in from his perch.
He was then joined by his favorite pal, Chloe.
The sun is out, the snow is sparkling. Hope you have a great day!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Day five...

Today the kids opened up their books before school. They got two Berenstain Bears books: Meet Santa Bear and Trim the Tree and Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Connor.
There wasn't any time to craft before school, but they are always very eager to read their books right after they open them.
After school we crafted a bit. In the Fancy Nancy book their tree topper breaks and they make a homemade topper. I thought it would be fun for the kids to make their own tree topper. Lowell came up with the very colorful creation below.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Day four....

We woke up to a few inches of snow this morning. A nice little winter wonderland!
Our books for today were Christmas in the Big Woods and A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingles Wilder.
We made pancake men for breakfast, just like in the book.

Our craft was making our own snow globes with plastic cups, fake snow and little vintage figurines and trees. They turned out pretty cute!

I went to work and the kids went to an old fashioned Christmas event in the city where we live. They got to meet real live reindeer and take a sleigh ride. What a fun day!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Day three...

Along with our book advent each day, the kids also look forward to the chocolate advent that I got from Trader Joe's (below) and our traditional felt advent calendar that we had growing up. Each day brings inspiration and surprises to enjoy!

Today's book is Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett.
We first went to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to view their storybook trees and see all the fun holiday decor they had.

When we came home the kids were eager to start on today's project...gingerbread houses!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Day two....

The kids have really been enjoying the book advent idea. Last night after dinner we did winter wreaths since the theme of yesterday's books were snow and winter.
Chloe made this wreath using some of the glittery snowflakes I had around and some fun goodies from my vintage stash. So fun to find a project to use these on! As always, Lowell had his own interpretation and made an adorable little snowy scene. Love the creativity!
This morning they woke up bright and early excited for their next book, which was Sparkle's Brightest Holiday by Andrew Clements.
They were eager to do the craft right away, and since it needs 24 hours of drying time we went for it. This craft was inspired by these string balloon snowballs by Martha. After they dry we pop the balloon inside and (hopefully) have a stiff string snowball shaped ornament. We will then add glitter to them to make them ~*sparkle*~. I do have to admit this craft is very messy and I ended up dropping watered down glue all over the carpet before sunrise. Yikes! 

                             Thanks for your kind comments, we're really having fun with this countdown.

I also thought I'd share my little holiday journal. It began right after Thanksgiving when I was thinking about to-do lists and plans for the holiday's. We were also getting a lot of catalogs in the mail, so I wanted a place to put these bits of visual inspiration. It's just a little notebook to jot thoughts, pretty pictures and other fun stuff.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Book Advent begins...

I started a new tradition today. The kids will get a new book or two each day starting today until December 25th. I was inspired by a few of these projects I have seen online over the years and on pinterest. I vowed to not buy a single new book, but scoured the thrift stores and library book sales and came up with a set of wonderful "new to us" thrifted holiday books. The kids have been very excited to begin. Happy December!

Today's books were One Winter's Day by M. Christina Butler and The Little Snowflake by Steve Metzger. They were most appropriate since it snowed over night and the kids woke up to a lovely blanket of white.

They opened them before school and got right to work on making some paper snowflakes with doilies. Each day I will have a craft or activity that goes with the theme of the book. I have another activity planned for tonight. Stay tuned....