Thursday, December 18, 2014

Crafting with my Kids: Jellybean Row Ornaments

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This past summer we visited Atlantic Canada (stops in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). The downtown of St. John’s, Newfoundland is renowned for its colourful “jellybean row houses.”

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The jellybean houses figure prominently in the work of local artists.

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IMG_9914  We even noticed some jellybean birdhouses.

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It was our first trip to Newfoundland and a very special time. I thought it would be a nice idea to add something to our Christmas tree as a memory for 2014.  We used scrap 2X2 wood cut between 2-4 inches high and painted little jellybean houses with acrylic craft paint. Eye hooks were added for hanging. [We didn’t fuss too much about sanding the woodcuts because these were hanging and not playing.]

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And here they are at night!

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Happy Crafting and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pepparkakor Ornaments


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This past weekend, we attended a beautiful Lucia procession at the Swedish Church in Toronto.
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Prior to the procession we popped into the bazaar and picked up some Swedish goods, including a tin of the most delicious wafer thin gingersnaps, or peppakakor as they are referred to in Sweden.
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This was fitting because this year our Scandinavian Christmas project was to create cinnamon applesauce ornaments designed to look like pepparkakor ornaments. The project was inspired by a a scene in our Pippi Longstocking book and you can read about how we made them today on Day 4 of Scandinavian Christmas at the Pickled Herring.
After making the ornaments, I realized that I could stamp them with a acrylic paint and rubber stamps. I found it best to apply the paint to the stamp with a sponge.
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It would also to fun to stamp names and use as gift tags. It is a fun and inexpensive project.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Santa Lucia 2014

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For those celebrating, Happy Santa Lucia! 

For the past couple of years, we have marked the occasion with doll making (clothespin dolls and cork dolls).  This year, I found a wreath ornament at the Salvation Army thrift shop (score 50 cents) and I sewed a white gown (it is a 18 inch doll peasant style) for our American Girl Doll. It is very similar to Kristen’s outfit on the AG site.

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Darkness shall take flight soon,
From earth’s valleys.
So she speaks a
Wonderful Word to us:
A new day will rise again
From the rosy sky…
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

For more Scandinavian inspiration, Scandinavian Christmas kicks off today at the Pickled Herring !

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Flower Show 2014

I took an unplanned break from blogging this fall.   Hope broke her right arm in September (cast for 6 weeks and has made a full recovery) and Lily’s appendix ruptured in October  which required a hospital stay and recovery period so blogging and crafty activities were put on the backburner. I do plan to return to more regular blogging soon.  I am also participating in Scandinavian Christmas at the Pickled Herring this year.  The series begins Saturday.
This past weekend, the annual Christmas Flower show opened at Allan Gardens, one of Toronto's oldest public gardens and a little oasis in middle of the city. I thought I would share a few photos - never underestimate a poinsettia.IMG_0997
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During my visit, the amaryllis were noticeably absent, but there were succulent wreaths and trees on display.
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Toronto is looking sparkly right now and the snowfall is in the forecast.  Below is the skating rink at City Hall with the CN tower in red and green in the background.
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The boyhood home of Almanzo Wilder

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Today, we took a day trip to the Almanzo Wilder property located in upstate New York, near Malone.  This is where Almanzo’s early days took place as recounted by Laura in Farmer Boy. The house is original - including some of the floor boards so today we walked where Almanzo walked.

IMG_0236 The barns have been rebuilt three times, most recently in 1991. 

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The management does not permit photography of the building interiors. The main house is furnished in period furnishings, including rope beds for the boys.  There is no original furniture, but there is a bed cover which did belong to the Wilders.  The curators also uncovered the famous black mark on the parlour wall which Almanzo recollects.  The barns have period farming tools and sleds as as very interesting wool display. There are no animals on the property.

At the time of our visit, there were only three other families so we had an individualized tour which was very informative.  The girls really enjoyed the chance to pump water from the same well where Almanzo would have collected the water each day.

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Almanzo also would have enjoyed climbing this maple tree which is original to the property.

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The girls had a chance to pick apples from the orchard.

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There is a visitor centre / gift shop stocked with interesting LHP items.

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This was a fun outing and the first stop on our LHP tour.  Next summer, we plan to visit Minnesota and continue the tour. 

I hope you are enjoying the long weekend and thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vacation Post: Green Gables

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This evening, I read a lovely piece in the New York Times travel section on Green Gables and it woke me from my blog slumber.

I have been meaning to share a few photos from our Atlantic Canada family vacation.  When I was 11 or so, my family visited Prince Edward Island. I read the Anne books when I was 10 and a huge fan.   The girls have not yet read the original stories, but  they do love the dramatic series with Meghan Follows so when an opportunity presented to visit the Maritimes at the beginning of August, I made sure we included a visit to Green Gables Heritage Place.

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Above: Lover’s Lane

“Lover's Lane opened out below the orchard at Green Gables and stretched far up into the woods to the end of the Cuthbert farm. It was the way by which the cows were taken to the back pasture and the wood hauled home in winter. Anne had named it Lover's Lane before she had been a month at Green Gables.”  Anne of Green Gables

To reach the PEI, we drove from Nova Scotia up to Nova Scotia to the Confederation Bridge. When you reach PEI  there is a visitor centre called the “Gateway Village” and there is a shop that has Anne complete costumes for all sizes (just 3$ per person and you can take as many photos on your own camera or cameras as you wish to take). This is one of our family photos. 

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Over the years, I have acquired a number of Green Gables post cards. Below is my first one from c.1982. I was able to pick up a few more at the Gateway Village shops. 

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On my PEI flickr album, I have posted a number interior photos of Green Gables, so I will just post one of the sewing room.

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The shops at the Gateway Village also had some Anne editions for early readers.  We picked up these two versions.

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Prince Edward Island is absolutely beautiful.  The island is famous for its red sand.   This is photo was taken at the seaside village of Victoria-by-the-sea at low tide. The beach was treasure trove for the shell collector.

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PEI is also famous for its Cows ice cream, some say it is the “world’s best”. I am not sure about that distinction (my family preferred Nova Scotia’s Farmer’s Dairy ice cream), but Cows certainly has cornered the merchandising - I thought the Cowtown Abbey shirt was pretty clever.

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At Cows, you can also pick up a six pack of Anne’s infamous raspberry cordial.

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We had a wonderful and memorable visit.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit PEI, I highly recommend it.

I hope you are enjoying your summer,

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