Hollow House

Ok so I love to decorate for Halloween.  I don’t know why this really got started, Oh wait maybe itWP_20150928_18_43_03_Pro was because I loved how our house always had plastic pumpkin lights strung across the eves for Halloween every year, not creepy just cute orange light up pumpkins.  (Mom and Dad do you still have those?)  Anyway maybe it stems from there.  But Halloween is a challenge, you see I don’t like gore.  Nope no bloody yuckiness or haunted house chainsaws for me, NO THANK YOU.  No all that is the easy way out of Halloween, the JPEG_20161005_145055_649573338hard way to decorate for Halloween is fun, classy and family friendly.  Last year was a little more colorful, I mean how cute are those topiary pumpkins and paper lanterns, adorable!  But this year I really loved the black against the gray and blues of our house.  So on we go with the Hollow house!  I draped the porch in black cloth this year, like a back curtain being pulled back from the window.  The  wreath is a new addition I created this year thanks to some lovely black spray paint and a few cheap artificial leaves, and the crow watching over all..  Stacked black cauldrons placed in one corner, as if a busy witch has left them out for brewing. 🙂  A wide variety of pumpkins greet you, a few with smiling faces, as cut out spiders dangle in the side windows. Ooohhhhh, you scared yet, I hope not it’s really not meant to be scary so much as fun to look at.JPEG_20161005_132753_2704620

Inside the console table is filled with a fun selection of various brewing paraphernalia.  All ready to cook up something spooktacular!  I decided my chandelier needed a bit of a twist so I dangled my favorite bat garland I made several years ago from it, with some fun pom poms because they just make it so cute, right?!  JPEG_20161005_131158_-783111128The mantel has the same garlands strung about, with the addition of some spidery lace.  And my favorite addition is the Halloween silhouette village and crooked fence.  I saw a similar one of these at crate and barrel and thought “ohh how fun.”  But here is the thing, it was CARDBOARD, I live in a moist climate cardboard doesn’t last very well and warps.  Second it’s cardboard, every week I pay someone to take all my cardboard away why would I pay for it?  It’s painted cardboard for an outrageous price!JPEG_20161005_131356_-1764290485  NO THANKS!  So I went to designing my own!  I designed some cute houses and then a fence to go along with it.  The problem then became how do I make these bendable to stand up and then to store for next year?  Hmmmm, Oh hinges!  But I was still riding the cheap train and didn’t want to pay for them.  Luckily I’m married to an engineer, and he owns a 3D printer!  So we made our own, I glued them together with the best glue in the world, E6000, the glue of champions!  That stuff I fixed my dance shoes with so believe me it can take a beating!  Ohh and it turned out so great!  I love it!  Perfect for my mantle!  I had a little more village so I added some fence to a family room shelf, our PSX_20161005_165959Big Hero Six figurines fit perfectly, I love combining little Mr’s toys into decor.   The remainder on the table along with another glass cauldron, and a friendly ghost popping out for a scare!  Little Mr. calls this his ghost, and I say “yep it is.”  I don’t want him to be scared so anything scary like ghosts and skulls are all his and for some reason that makes them less scary.  Then those cute, mischievous, mice running about the floorboards are kinda a tradition in our house.  So that’s it y’all!  I am adding a few little things here and there to finish up the fun.  But I’m tuckered and ready to just enjoy having the Hollow House up for the month!

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Balloon Festival

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Collage_FotorI really love Provo UT for the 4th of July.  They have so many family friendly activities with that down home feel.  One of these such events is the balloon festival which spans over a few days but that’s mostly because a) there are so many balloons that enter to they need multiple days, b) you never know with wind if there will be a cancellation or delay.  Not wanting to risk to or fight the crowds on the 4th we went the Friday before this year.  I wanted to take little Mr. to experience this at a young age and he is fascinated with all things balloons, rubber fabric, whatever form.  What is particularly fun is thatIMG_1003 copy they lay out all kinds of different balloons and were talking like 20+ in one morning.  You get to see the whole process of that balloons rise right up 20160701_064942 copyclose.  You can go right up through them touching the fabric as it gets larger
and larger.  It’s like a maze of balloons rising on all sides of you!  Watching the large fans the blow so rapidly and hard that they are filled to capacity in no time flat.  I don’t know am I the only one that finds this whole process fascinating?  And then if all that wasn’t cool enough those things actually lift off the ground, ICollage_Fotor3 mean come on it is incredible!  No I don’t really have a desire to go up in one, but I think they are so beautiful rising in the air with all the colors swirling.  Growing up in Utah Valley we saw balloons all the time as it isCollage_Fotor2 apparently a great location to fly.  We would often see them land in the park across the street from our home.  I think this all contributes to my love of this fun fourth of July activity.  Watching My little Mr’s excitement at they filled them was so fun and then it only increased as they took off one by one in rapid succession.  We had to cheer “Wahoooo!”  As they rose in the sky preparing to compete in the various activities we laid down and watched.  Another lovely memory, you know those are my favorite things to collect and having them with this precious little boy and My Mr. fills me with joy.  Ok sorry for the cheese, I amCollage_Fotor5 just so grateful.  Hope you like the rainbow of color in these photos, I just couldn’t stop snapping.  I love color so much that I think I was overwhelmed and lost control.  And so here I am throwing all my colorful balloon photos up all over you!  Lovely description I know, so enjoy lovelies!

 

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Snow a Go

WP_20151231_10_58_05_ProWith Christmas break in full swing we sought a bit of the snowccf 2015 we grew up with as kids.  The idea of seeing our little Mr frolicking in the snow just made us giddy!  So with a great tip we headed up the mountains for a little snow day.  As we got higher and higher the scenery got more spectacular.  Trees draped in thick layers of snow, the mountains capped in snow slipping in and out of wispy clouds.  I am constantly in awe 130961815324643452of this beautiful place we live.  Arriving to knee high snow, we pretty much jumped in!  Well we jumped in and little Mr. crawled.  He was a little short to plowArtile-01Jan16-190219 through the snow on his own though he gave his best effort to walk, chest high snow is really heavy.  We eventually showed
him how to throw it in the air which delighted him.  But the big hit was when we AdobePhotoshopExpress_f484e8608a224414942f1ac789713649showed him he could eat it!  Yeah that may be a little gross but you know you all have done it and who better to learn from than Mom & Dad.  He was gracious enough to share a couple handfuls with us, so nice right?!  Mmmmmm nothing like the taste of mountain snow, it always has a hint of dirt.  Next up was snow angels which he enjoyed laying on Dad and watching Mom.  We had a blast!  He didn’tAdobePhotoshopExpress_058794299f034a78988880d38a0c6e7e want to stop, but soaking wet pants made us put a stop to the fun.  We ate a quick picnic lunch in the car and started back.  Nothing better than cozy feet on the dash, My Mr. by my side, a sleepy, happy boy in the back and beautiful mountains ahead.  Perfection!

 

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Hankering to Hang!

I had a major dilemma on the stocking front for our family.  First the ones I tend to like cost and arm and1 a leg, and well I just couldn’t make myself pay for them, maybe in the future, but not this year.  Second; have you noticed how stocking now days seem to be the size of a small child?  I mean a kids whole Christmas could fit in some of these.  I guess I’m old fashioned that stockings are meant to be for little, simple things not a giants foot. And Third yes I am picky, possibly the pickiest person when it come to my stuff, ask my mom, which is why number one is a problem.  So between my lack of budget, size capacity and my obvious insanity I made the crazy decision to make my own.  I of course scoured the “Pinterest” universe for ideas and patterns.  Finally settling on a hybrid of a couple different stockings and making my own downsized stocking pattern.  With coupons in hand I made the drive to JoAnn’s.  Picked out my felt and started the madness.  2Special Thanks to my mother in law who helped me with the cutting and interfacing.  I also wanted these to have some unique touches.  Have you ever hear of “felt wool.”  Our little diaso market sells it and my friend Stina and I have always wanted to make something from it, “stina I did it.”  All be it simple I learned to make felt balled to act as my holly berries.  Heck if these little gals could do it like pros, maybe I could do it too.  50 tried later I had enough, geesh that was the most time consuming part, why I do this to myself I have no idea i could have slapped on some beads and called it good but  . . . . Nooooooo I have to be crazy. (sorry enough of my obvious control issues)  I sewed on my leafs, sewed the sides together, added hanging hooks and finally added those time sucking berries.  And as my little Mr would say Ta-Da!  They were done!  Now they are hung by the chimney with care.  Finally ready to be filled on that special night!  Lovely memories!

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Decorating for Christmas

I love decorating for ChristmasWP_20131127_001 but I have for years I haven’t be able think of what to do with my tree skirt.  I have this cheap velvet skirt that well is nice but it’s just kinda boring.  So I have kinda been on the hunt this year for something new.  You won’t believe the costs of some of the tree skirts out there!  I saw one for $900 dollars, it was beautiful but really $900 dollars, it blew my mind.  picFrame (29)Undaunted I continued my search.  I came upon these at Crate and Barrel last year, their called tree collars, which is something I never heard of before.  I really liked the clean lines, no messy fabric to gather dust and it made the tree look like it was freshly cut from the forest.  But still, the price was a little high for me.  I showed My Mr and without a second glance he said, in his heroic voice, “we can make that”.  So off we went to the local hardware store!  We found a lovely,picFrame (30) large, galvanized pail for $20.  My Mr bore a hole through the center we were set, slipped the tree through the hole and TAAA DAAHH!  It looks so nice and really like we went out and cut it and plopped it in a pail of water.  I just love looking at our tree with it’s fancy new base and I can always paint it or add some fabric to it and give it a new look, Gosh it’s just amazing!  Merry Christmas to our Tree!

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A Memorable Christmas

WP_20131225_036While last Christmas was a great time of joy as we welcomed our little Mr, it was also one that we felt a little alone.  Our amazing friends the Clines who we lived with while little Mr. grew, had left to spend Christmas with family and we were alone in their house.  As we watched our little one go through the ups and downs of NICU growth, the stress can be overwhelming and we found ourselves lonely in a city we didn’t live in and had no family.  We thought of the gathering and the parties going on back in Utah and while nothing compares to being near your child, the stress of your new situation can make you feel what I would call family sick (homesick).  Missing the support and presence of those who can help buoy you up and give a hug in a time of need.  There is nothing like family.  But we were grateful for our little miracle and I made plans to celebrate with our little one and keep a few of our traditions alive.  I didn’t however feel that My Mr. was going into it with the same vigor as me.  He kept delaying theWP_20131224_007 food buying for our traditional Christmas eve dinner, or getting traditional items to make our unconventional Christmas a little more homey.  I reluctantly thought this must just be stressful for him.  But I was wrong, he had something up his sleeve!  As the days leading up to Christmas neared I was getting irritated with his lack of urgency, and feeling more family sick.  When one night or I should say morning, I got a phone call at 4 AM, as a NICU mom I went into full panic mode as I jolted, drowsily up and looked at my phone.  I confusedly saw my Dads name.  He told me he had sent a package and that it should be there now, and to go to the door.  I was so confused, I stumbled to the front door of our friends home and looked out at a confusing sight.  A bright optical Christmas tree perched upon my parents car.  I dashed to the car falling into the arms of my Dad, tears welled up in my eyes as we WP_20131225_037embraced.  They had come to us.  My parents had left immediately after a party they hosted at their home, packed up, and drove all night with our family’s traditional food and so much more.  They literally brought all my Christmas desires to us.  My heart was full, they didn’t want us to be alone, it was an act of love that I will never forget.  As we all gathered around the little isolette that contained our sleeping baby, and my parents took turns holding their newest grandchild it became a Christmas that I will never forget.  Thank you Mom & Dad, I can never tell you what that meant to me.

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Tree Cutting

WP_20141128_0032While we prefer our lovely fake tree and balsam smelling candle for our house.  This stems from a couple bad Christmas’s with needle messes and a bunt up vacuum.  And it doesn’t help that at our house we track in plenty of needles from the MANY pines that live and shed all over our house, allowing us to track them in without the addition of a tree.  But I digress.  picFrame (27)

We were lucky enough to get to Join our friends on their hunt to find and cut down their tree.  And yes I will take credit for finding the perfect one for their house.  It was a fun little outing and we braved the rainy, downpour.  Little Mr. took a nap on the ride out so we WP_20141128_0023bundled hip up and put him under dads rain coat to stay cozy until he eventually woke hearing all the excitement.  We picked it and then had the owner come and cut it down for us.  We watched and then I took Alvin and showed him how to could the rings of the tree to see how oldpicFrame (28) it was.  We carefully counted 17 rings and Alvin delighted in knowing his trees age.  We hauled it down to a machine that shook off the old pin needle and spiders from it’s branches.  That was really interesting I had never seen that before.  We paid the huge sum of $15, awesome deal right?!  Tied to the roof and home we went to find it’s final corner.  I’m sure we will have to do this someday with our Little Mr. so maybe we’ll get a cute little table top tree when we do it!  Less needles to clean up if we get a small one!  Thanks to my dearest Clines, our family, for giving us another fun memory!

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A Halloween to Remember

IMG_6742I have forever been planning the first Halloween with our child.  So this year I was so excited I had our costumes completed before September was over, yes I’m a nut and over preparer.  Regardless I knew that we had to be something STAR WARS, obviously.  But the issue is well . . . . . Leia.  So the metal bikini was out right off the bat.picFrame (18)  And the white dress and ear buns is well so over done I really didn’t want to have to resort to that.  And then it came to me, the strong, blaster wielding, forest racing,  “I Love you, I know” Leia from “RETURN OF THE JEDI!”  It was perfect and of course it made perfect sense that my little V__229BMr. would go as Wickett the always adorable ewok who steals Leia’s heart!  My Mr. would round out our costumes with his dashing Han Solo costume, blaster in tow.  I prepped our costumes by painting my poncho out of drop cloth canvas (while little Mr. took his naps).  Little Mr’s bear costume came in simply the wrong color brown so I got some dye, boiled it in a pot, making it the lovely brown it is, my Mom contributed to our Halloween cause and found some amazing fabric to make his head covering, and we dyed it orange and frayed the edges for the perfect effect.  My Mr’s black vest was refurbished from a black long sleeve shirt with the sleeves cut off and stripspicFrame (17) added to make it look more utility.  On the day of the Halloween party I spent forever learning how to Dutch braid my hair to get the perfect Leia look, I will never braid like this again it was insanely hard to do on myself.  And regardless of my lovely knee brace the costume still worked out pretty well.  It all turned out great and was the perfect first Halloween costumes for our family.

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Little Pumpkin First

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130604000436749677Pumpkin carving is a very important part of Halloween, and Little Mr had to participate! We picked a fun stencil and started the digging.  Little Mr watched intently and then he reached for it, I let his dip his hands in the goo and his surprised face with the texture was priceless. As I started carving the front I handed him a piece to chew on and ease his teething gums, he went through 3 pieces, enjoying the gnawing of fresh pumpkin. We it the candle and there was his cute minion (Despicable Me) ready for Halloween night!

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Pumpkin Package

AdobePhotoshopExpress_71a0383acd0b4e81976316e43d98a697Little Mr. received a special package at the beginning of October.  He crawled over to the box and began hitting it.  Special Thanks to Uncle BYU who made the package possible.  We waited for DaddyWP_20141008_002 to get home to share in the fun.  They opened the box to see newspaper, lots of newspaper.  My Mr’s were persistent though and continued to dig finally finding a cute little pumpkin and some Halloween candy.  An a note from Grandma F. saying that they grew pumpkins in their garden and had enough for each grand child and so here was little Mr.’s  It was then Uncle BYU who thoughtfully mailed it for him to happily lick, drool and nibble on.  Perfect way to start October.

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Tulip Festival Year 2

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With My parent in town picFrame (2)and the weather perfect for spring we bundled up and headed north to enjoy the visual color explosions that only the Skagit Tulip festival and give!
I think they had even a few new varieties of tulips that I just fell in love with.  Someday I want at least a whole flower bed full of tulips.  My parents were in complete awe of all the varieties and
they have even been to Holland to see the fields in bloom there.  So it was nice that our little slice of Deutschland here was giving us the WP_20140423_163same enjoyment as over seas.  After a couple hours of tulip after tulip my father said he was OVERLOADED and sat down to people watch on a bench nestled in the tulip display garden.  We finished up with MY Mr. helping me to get the perfect shot by holding my bag to keep me balanced.  Then all of a sudden I realized I was becoming the spectacle with people taking photos of us.  I was embarrassed and hurried up my shots.  But regardless of that it was A totally colorful day!

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Thanks Plank

WP_20131107_002_Fotor_Collage3I have been wanting to use an old plank I found around the house for some fun art but hadn’t found the right idea for it yet.  So with my fall decor ideas flowing I created this fun reminder.  First using my cutter program and machine I cut the letters out.  The I placed them where I wanted them on the board.  Originally I thought I would just place the vinyl lettering onplank and be done.  But I really liked the weathered look of the plank grains so I decided to reverse it.  Laying the letters in place and then watering down my paint for a white washed look.  I peeled the lettering off and voila!  I love the natural look to it and now I will remember the plank came from our first home in Washington.  We really do have so much to give thanks for!

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