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A Little Cheer

Preparation and waiting are this week's Advent focus, which Brooklyn and I read about over dinner, with our two little candles - a mindset I was already in, between soon-to-be Sprout and wanting to get Christmas wrapped up (in a literal sense) this week so that it's off my conscience.

So in the spirit of preparation, I hung Brooklyn's ornament for this year on her doorknob, thereby making her quite happy (she likes to walk by and poke it). I've been getting her one each year - this year's is by Fayetteville-local Gingiber. I spotted it at The Little Craft Show and Brooklyn delightedly waved it around when I showed it to her, then carried it (without dropping or losing it) until we'd forgotten that she even had it. I want to get her (and Sprout - and any subsequent small Burches) an ornament a year 'til they're 25 - then if they want to do some sort of countdown-y thing, they can. With that in mind, I'm trying to find things that are relevant to their life that year but won't be embarrassing once they're grown.

Oh, The Little Craft Show. Totally worth waiting an hour in the rain for (the line for the 5pm Friday night preview started forming at noon, and stretched about 3 blocks by the time we joined it). They do such a good job putting it together - choosing vendors, and then the vendors outdo themselves with what they bring...

Like Gingiber - I was ornament scouting on Friday night, but couldn't resist a die-cut hedgehog card, which I plan on using as art in Sprout's room (which is brown-and-orange-and-animals). 

Or Little Mountain Bindery - they're a newish shop in Fayetteville (sometimes I'm glad we moved away - I gave them the last of some carefully saved, hard earned design commission money without the least bit of hesitation... leather and paper fumes, they get me every time!) and had "Fillions" at the Show. It's an expandable leather case that holds Moleskine notebooks and filing pockets and folders. They have a beautiful type for debossing your name onto it... and lovely options for the pockets and inserts... and two built-in ribbon bookmarks, if you use the cahiers that don't have their own ribbons.... and it's both practically indestructible and gorgeous all at the same time. (Ahem. end advertisement/> But seriously. They're awesome.) 

Bella Vita was there, too, so as consolation while I wait to see if Sprout is a December baby or a January baby, and an A or a T, I snagged a "maker" charm to add to one of the bookmarks on my Fillion - it's a reminder that I'd like to have handy.

Even the food was amazing - Pure Joy Ice Cream had "milk and cookies" flavored goodness (think "cookie dough," but gluten free!), Greenhouse Grille had a tabbouleh that I ate and enjoyed (crunchy veggies and all), and Onyx. Oh, Onyx! I was headed over for some cider (I chatted last week with the barista who'd been aging the spices in a rum barrel for the past three months and he was contagiously excited about it) but ended up succumbing to the two-lined title of another masterpiece: sipping chocolate with a toasted handmade vanilla bean marshmallow (emphasis on sipping, toasted, and handmade, please). It was ridiculous in an amazing way.

They had also given students from the UofA's art department total creative license for some installations. The photobooth was one (the reason all four shots from Friday night look good is because Theo decided on what-to-do in each one and I followed her directions --- and then Mum and Brooklyn and I had a riotous and blurry time doing a three generation photostrip on Saturday). There were pennants hung outside, pieces scattered throughout the vendor space, and one artist had made snow-globe renditions of everyone's pieces (here's the inspiration for the snow-globe I got - 40,000 zip ties of amazingness!)

Christmas shopping is nearly complete (and hopefully will be so by the end of this week), and now I've gotten to the wrapping/tagging/card-writing part of holiday preparations - and after that, I should be free to wait in peace!

Christmas in July, slow and steady, last minute panic... how do you get ready for Christmas?


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


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