Christmas Morning Run

This year we had the most amazing Christmas Day run.  Christmas morning Emily and I were 6 days in to an 11 day trip to France and we had recently gotten back to Paris having taken a trip to Bayeux.

That morning we woke up and had a cup of coffee in the room.  We walked outside for our run and spent a few minutes re-acquiring satellites, since GPS watches don’t appreciate when you move around a lot and when you are surrounded by tall buildings.  After walking about a half mile waiting for this acquisition, we were off on our run.

The first half mile lead us to the base of the Eiffel Tower, then we got to run under a basically abandoned monument, as no one in Paris wakes up until at least 10 AM.  Once past the tower, we ran through a park adjacent and up to the Paris Military Academy.  Since both of us were pretty tired and Emily was fighting a bit of foot pain, we cleaned up a 5K and decided stop.


It was a super fun run and a great add to our collection of Garmin Activities from “different places”.

Christmas Sunset

I was going through pictures this morning and found two photos I took of the gorgeous sunset on Christmas Day.  They were taken approximately 5 minutes apart as the sun was setting.  Enjoy!

Sewing – Star Wars Pillows

With the basement complete, we’ve begun decorating the family room.  This space is going to be used for entertainment and we want it to be fun and relaxing.  The bookshelves are full of movies, pictures, and action figures.  We have a couch and recliner in the area, but I wasn’t satisfied with our throw pillows, I felt we needed a change.  I went to JoAnn’s in search of some material.  I immediately found the licensed section and picked out some Star Wars and The Walking Dead flannel fabric.  Then I proceeded to the pillow section and picked out 2 firm 16″ throw pillows.  I got the fabric cut and left the store with some ideas in mind.

When I came home, I ironed the fabric.  I didn’t worry about washing it, because I was making throw pillows and Star Wars PillowsI’m not too worried about the fabric shrinking.  I measured and cut two 20″ square pieces of fabric.  With right sides together, I sewed three of the edges using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  I flipped the pillowcase right side out (wrong sides together) and sewed a 1 1/2″ seam around the same three edges.  For the final edge, I put the pillow in the pillowcase and folded the edges under 1/2″ sewed them together, then sewed 1 1/2 inches from the sewn edge, thus completing my pillow.  I repeated the steps for the second pillow.

When I finished, I tied them together with a bow to give to Nick as an early Christmas present.  Lou decided since she oversaw the operation, she should be in the picture as well.

They look great on our black sofa.  As far as The Walking Dead material, I may make a pillow for the recliner; at this point, though, I’m still undecided what to do with the fabric.

Star Wars Pillows


Making Spirits Bright Christmas Lights

Sheboygan County Rotary Club sponsors an annual drive through holiday light show in Evergreen Park.  The Making Christmas Bright holiday light display is free to the public, with canned food donations encouraged to benefit local pantries and cash donations used to support future growth of the event.

Here are a few pictures from this year’s event.

2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show  2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show

2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show 2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show 2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show
2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show 2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show

2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show 2014 Making Spirits Bright Sheboygan County Light Show

I made Nick drive through the light show twice because I couldn’t get my camera to cooperate the first time around.

Crocheting – Dog Paws Christmas Stocking

After completing our Christmas stockings and all of the snowflake decor, I had one more crochet project to complete and ship before Christmas.  While perusing the RedHeart website, I found this adorable Dog Paws Christmas stocking pattern and knew without a doubt which four-legged pup would be receiving this for his first Christmas!

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Meet Roux, my brother’s pup!

I made the leg sides one afternoon and finished the stocking the following afternoon.  Overall, it took a few hours to make.  The directions were quite simple, and the featured video located below the stocking picture was extremely helpful, especially when it came to making the paw and toe prints and sewing them onto the stocking.  Helpful hint, when making the paw, toe prints, and bone, when you are fastening off be sure to leave a long tail.  You can then use this piece of yarn to sew the piece to the leg sides (if you are having trouble, watch this youtube video for further explanation).

I used the same yarns as our Christmas stockings – I Love This Yarn, 100% acrylic, worsted weight, in Forest (leg sides), Cranberry (center paw and toe prints), and White (bone).  After completing the bone, I decided to use my sewing machine’s embroider function to add Roux’s name, and then attached it to the front side of the leg.  Once complete, I filled the stocking with a few doggy treats and mailed to my favorite Rhodesian Ridgeback, Roux!  Dog Paw Christmas Stocking

Crocheting – Christmas Stockings

I’ve been looking for Christmas stockings for me and Nick since before we were married.  Since we’ve yet to find any that we liked, I decided to make Christmas stockings this year.  As you know, Red Heart has become my go-to for crocheting patterns, and this was no exception.  I found this Holly Berry Christmas Stocking IMG_1406pattern on their website and wanted to give it a try.

As with just about all of my crocheting projects, I made a few changes to the pattern.  Basically, I followed the pattern, with exception  of the cuff, I did not complete the holly and berries portion, just repeated the single crochet in Rows 2-11.  I used I Love This Yarn, 100% acrylic, worsted weight, in three colors – Cranberry, Forest, and White.  These were extremely easy to make – you crochet all of the rows, not working in the round.  Then whipstitch the seams together from the top of the leg to the bottom of the toe, so there is a seam in the back of the leg.

We now have stockings hanging from our mantle, awaiting Christmas day.

Crochet Christmas Stockings

Crocheting – A Snowstorm

The week before Thanksgiving, I began looking for something fun to make for our moms and my grandmother for Christmas.  I found this White Snowflake Table Runner pattern on the Red Heart website and decided this would make the perfect gift.  So I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and purchased I Love This Yarn, color Metallic White, 97% Acrylic and 3% Metallic Polyester medium weight yarn.  It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the yarn has a sliver of silver in it, so it sparkles in the light.  The pattern is quite simple, it is just a combination of single crochet (sc), half-double crochet (hdc), and chain (ch) stitches while working in the round.  I completed the first table runner according to the pattern.  After this, I made a few modifications, either adding or deleting snowflakes, to obtain the length needed.

From the first snowflake to the last ornament was a little over three weeks.  In this time, I completed a 4-foot, 6-foot and round table runner as well as three snowflake ornaments.  It brings me much joy to give handmade gifts this year.  The presents were mailed earlier this week and all were delivered by Saturday.  The recipients were surprised and very excited to be given “such a special Christmas gift”.