New Year goals

I never make resolutions because I really don’t believe in them. I have been making a theme of sorts for my new year and even carried the theme of “have more fun be more fun” over for about three years. I don’t think I was being more fun or having more fun so I needed to try again. 🙂 This year I decided I would “get out more” and that means just really getting out of the house more. This will entail more gas but possibly more fun and broader horizons this year. With a 2-year-old who naps and a 5-year-old in school for half the day my weekdays are somewhat shot during this time of year. I can go out in the early evening but really it gets dark so soon or it’s raining so hard that I usually don’t go out. I get errands done in the morning if possible but I want to start exploring more and getting out “there” a little more this year. So Portland and Vancouver here I come!

The other goal I have is to not so much eat healthier but try new foods and combinations. I used to make cheese and wine and will try to do that this year as well as try some raw recipes and some grain recipes out including quinoa and black rice as well as some herbal soups. I want to try a nettle soup very soon which is so good for you and is like a potato herb soup with benefits really. From age 16 to age 24 I was a vegetarian that ate fish. I don’t remember the term for that. Then I ate poultry on occasion and then went 6 months without it here and there. I still go through phases of eating chicken or not eating it but I don’t really think about it. I know I should think about it but really I just go with what I want to eat because I think your body is a good barometer of what it needs. We never need to eat meat for iron or protein but we have been conditioned to think we do. Also, kids don’t grow up eating broccoli and spinach with nuts to the point that they know how to supply this for themselves either I don’t think. Ok so enough of that. I want to try some new recipes out like tempeh ruebens, red quinoa and black rice with something and coconut water and miso and….

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Melody’s art

I ordered a roll of canvas with some Christmas money and am waiting till it gets here! I have canvases that were started but not finished yet. There is one canvas partially done, another 3/4 done (the trees and the path) and then a 6 by 6 gessoboard that has the background painted. While I was painting that I was standing next to Melody and telling her to be careful with the paint and not get any on the carpet. So what did Mom do? A giant blob of yello   w paint dropped onto the ca rpet and I had to clean it up. So I really have nothing to sho w exactly.

Melody got a two-pack of canvases from our friend Sara and she painted both the next day in about 15 minutes. They are hanging on the walls already. She also made several mandalas I took photos of. My husband has been doing mandalas the past year or so from a book and she likes to do them with him.



Well hi there

We had a wonderful holiday and I hope you did as well. 🙂 I was sort of worried like maybe Moms tend to be when presents are wrapped and you think it doesn’t look like much. We try not to go crazy around here because we can’t afford it and also it’s good to set a precedent while the kids are young I think that they aren’t going to get 50 presents from us every year. I also chose more quality things that I knew would be played with and not be cast quickly aside. For Willow this is her water and sand table that I finally found for about $27.00 instead of $80, a magnetic design kit, an owl book and for Melody art supplies and books and a scooter. She also got a globe which has been a great thing so far because she can see where different countries are and where people we know visit or where we have been.

I made two new things, well three really, this year in the kitchen. I made a chocolate torte, my great-grandma’s or great-great grandma’s? salty cookies, and then a Mexican orzo salad. For some reason we choose a theme for Christmas sometimes and go with that. It was a Mexican theme with my  Mom’s enchiladas so I made the salad which we are still eating. It’s very good and goes with my idea to try out new recipes this year or new foods or combinations. I tried a raw Kambucha strawberry drink this morning from the store and it sprayed all over my pants so I smelled like beer. It was a little too tangy for me even with the strawberry flavor so I added honey to it when I got home. I like the ginger pear variety better but I will still try new ones.

Yule logs

Part of our annual tradition is making a Yule log. Drilling holes and decorating a piece of wood, not the chocolate cake kind. Although I am wondering if I should make one of those this year as I have never had one.

We light the Yule log’s three candles which represent the maiden, mother and crone aspects of the Goddess. She is giving birth to the Sun God on the Solstice and we celebrate the return of the light.

One year we had a duraflame log with the paper peeled off and tiny candles stuck on with sculpey. That was the year I forgot to prepare one ahead of time I think.

Here is some further information about the Yule log from online:

The Yule log was originally an entire tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony with the purpose being to provide maximum warmth and endurance. In some European traditions, the largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. While references are anecdotal, it seems to be a tradition that morphed into early European Christian tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Within 20th century Europe and North America was predominantly a reference to the burning of the largest log possible at or around Christmas.

The Yule log has frequently been associated with having its origins in the historical Germanic paganism  which was practiced across northern Europe prior to Christianisation. One of the first people to do so was the English historian Henry Bourne, who, writing in the 1720s, described the practice occurring in the Tyne valley. Bourne theorised that the practice derives from customs in 6th to 7th century Anglo-Saxon paganism.

Yule log symbolizes the light returning to conquer the darkness. According to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder’s land, or given as a gift… it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze . The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out.

There are many traditional ways to collect your log;  Some collect a log at Beltane and dry out till Yule. Others use the thickest part of the Yule tree trunk to save till it becomes next years Yule log. Still others will make a ritual of trekking into the woods at yuletide and dragging their Yule log home.

I decorated our Yule log with my circle this past weekend. We used dead/dried rose hips, gold ribbon, holly from a nearby tree and baby sized pinecones from another tree around the corner.The candle holes are almost hollowed out enough and I have the three candles ready to put into it. I went to go shopping after this and came home to find two more Yule logs decorated by David and Melody. Melody used clear thumb tacks to put a lot of drawn and colored decorations. She did a sun on the back and a star on the side because, “yule is about the return of the light.” Willow wanted to make her own the next day so I went out and found her an appropriate size and she glued on what she chose from a box. 🙂 She has since removed the baby and put it somewhere else.

Magic Tree

I finished the magic tree last night and listed it in my Etsy shop. It’s textured background has paper, acrylic, medium and eggshells crushed (from my own chickens). The tree is painted in acrylic and the leaves are text from a fairytale book all cut up. I used a bead for the magic door or portal’s doorknob and the key is adhered to the door in case you need it. 😉

I like how it turned out overall and that it’s not all paint but a lot of other things too. I guess that’s why it is mixed media though. 🙂

More

I made two newish necklaces including this one that I really liked. It sold already but I thought I would share anyways. 🙂 I have to get some more supplies like earwires to make some more jewelry which I will put in my Etsy shop. I covered up another painting and did a textured base on this canvas. I don’t like it yet so I took a photo and altered it using a separate photo of an owl I took a couple years ago. I like the way it’s looking now. 🙂

I am only making one thing for Christmas this year and I don’t have to finish it if I don’t feel like it. I got into the rush over the years of making things and then waiting till the last minute and being pressured to finish everything. That’s not a fun way to spend time during the holidays so I changed it up instead to make it what I want it to be. That’s what it’s all about I think. Do what you want to do instead of what others think you should be doing.

I really have to get more creative with titles for these posts.

Don’t forget that my coupon in the etsy shop is only good till Dec. 12/Sunday. Enter “thanks” when checking out and it will take 20 percent off your order. Whoooo!!!

Jolly

I have been busy lately and not gotten a lot of photos of anything or a collection of words to share. We have been spending a lot of time making things, reading and cooking lately it seems.

Melody’s school winter carnival was this weekend. They have a separate area where the kids can shop on their own with help from an elf. She went in there and did her shopping for me, David and Willow and came out with a bag that we are not to peek into! So cute and fun for her to be able to get a few surprise presents for us. Melody went over to talk with Santa quite a bit but Willow was not having it. There was no piece of candy or coaxing that could get her over to the jolly dude. She did get in on the bake sale though.