Wednesday, January 12, 2011

American Girl Farmhouse Bed from Knock-off Wood

Okay, you have to forgive me for one more Christmas post and a title that may generate so much traffic that my little old blog on the edge of the internet crashes and burns.  But, the title fits and I can't go any further into January without showing you the AMAZING bed my husband and son made for my younger daughter for Christmas. 

I am a big (big, big) fan of Knock-off-wood along with just about the entire universe or at least the thousands of facebook fans who ardently follow her every furniture plan.  I have big plans to actually build some of those plans one of these days, but this Christmas it was my husband and my 6 year old son who jumped in and got the job done.  I didn't get the action shots of them working on it, but here is the end result:

I very inexpertly made the bedding for it.  I have less than minimal sewing knowledge and skills, so it was kind of an interesting morning when I decided I wanted to make a "quilt" for this little bed.  I ended up getting some flannel fabric in a cute print and doubling it over, making kind of a pillow out of it by sewing up the edges.  Then, I stuffed it with a little batting and just sewed in random patterns all over it. 

So, now, it kind of has the look of a quilt-at least the dolls aren't complaining!  If you want to find the plans for the bed, just visit Ana's site.  I will warn you, however, that you will want to make every single thing on her website. 

Here is just one more picture of the bed because, seriously, it's too cute:

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

getting organized for Christmas..... 2011!

Yup, you read that title right.  I am thinking about next Christmas even as I un-decorate the house from this Christmas.  My house looks like it has a hangover right now, from a really great party.  There are random pieces of wrapping paper under the couch.  A sparkly ornament slid underneath the China cabinet and you can see it when the light hits it just right.  There are stray decorations still up, but most have been packed away for next year. 

Every year, there are the same amount of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the same amount of hours in each of those days and yet, some years like this one, I can't seem to get it all done in time.  Of course, we were still renovating and painting the kitchen well into October, so that could be partly to blame for my late-entry into the Christmas planning game. 

I also really like to let each holiday shine-without being overshadowed by the next.  We have a fun Thanksgiving tradition of making a Thanksgiving List and I cherish each year's list more than I can say.  Some years, it's a competition between my kids to see who can write the most.  Other years, they are reflective and genuine.  But, every year is a treasure.  Only after we have celebrated Thanksgiving can we head into Advent and Christmas. 

So, to get ready for next year, I have sent my future self some reminders (in my outlook calendar which also synchs with my iPod-love that technology) for things that I want to finish early so that my Thanksgiving to Christmas will be a little smoother.  I set reminders for:
  • some projects that I didn't get finished-like the yarn ball wreath and the felted sweater bags.  I put these on September so maybe they will be done by Christmas
  • Christmas photo of kids (and maybe us, too!) that needs to be done early so my cards can go out a little earlier than this year
  • gift card buying.  I think next year, I will spread this out so that it doesn't pack such a big punch all at once.  We have lots of "grown-up" kids that get gift cards or money so I can do them early and just stash them away
  • Gingerbread houses-I already bought 8 of them on clearance and they are ready to go for next year. 
I also did something I have seen around on other blogs, which is give each of my kids their own ornament box.  This, I hope will eliminate some of the craziness that can happen when we are decorating the tree.  It can be especially tough for my youngest to wait for his ornaments and, being the youngest, he has the least.   The very best thing about this idea for me is this:

Okay, it looks creepy, I agree.  But that angel in the plastic box has been the subject of much, heated discussion between my kids every year.  They argue a little, whine a little and then each try separately to convince us that it's indeed their turn to put her at the top of the tree.  Now, with the angel tucked safely away in my oldest daughter's ornament box, we shouldn't have any problem next year (in theory). 

Now, I just have to finish putting it all away-I already miss the glow of the lights.