Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rub On Transfers: A Finishable Project

I am really good at choosing projects I want to do and not getting them finished or ever getting to them! I felt victorious when I completed a dish makeover to match the Christmas decorations on our mantel and tree. Last year I decided to start making some changes with our Christmas decor, trying to infuse a bit of whimsy--maybe that's what having small kids does to you! Anyway, the plates above our mantel are great, from our local pottery manufacturer, but they did not fit what I was going for.Thankfully I had bought some rub on transfers from a scrapbook store in the States. They are Heather Bailey's Autumn Leaves by Freshcuts. I had never done this before but thought it was worth a shot with plates I bought from the Chinesa Loja (what we call dollar stores here) for a Euro each. The kit comes with directions and a "burnisher", AKA popsicle stick. Rubbing the transfers on takes a bit of elbow grease and a lot of patience, checking it to make sure every bit is down, rubbing again and again. Pulling the backing paper up too fast can rip the transfer. A couple times I messed up the transfers beyond repair and had to settle with the thought that it made them look sort of shabby, in a good way.

The mantel with it's updated Christmas attire:
A close up on my favorite dish with the bird transfer:
The whole picture:

Baking with Helpers

Just wanted to share how fun baking can be with 2 small helpers on each side:

Gingerbread for our upcoming neighborhood Christmas party turned out well--in spite of it all-- with all their help. They get really excited about trying the things they "make"!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What a Scent!

I am sitting at my computer in the kitchen breathing in a fabulous smell--nothing I've baked though. It's the apple and orange pomanders the girls and I made today.
Googling "pomanders" showed me that there are many people out there that have such memories attached to making and smelling them. I have been waiting for the year that the girls would be able to push the cloves in themselves, and they (ages 3 and 5) were able to for the most part. Telling them how I once covered a whole apple in cloves and how my mom kept it around for years I think (it dried out nicely) motivated my oldest for some special pomander achievements. In the end we were happy with stripes, a heart, an egg, zig zags and other nameless yet beautiful designs. Wish I could send the smell your way!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Travel Regrets and Reminders

On the heels of an overseas flight this morning/last night/whatever time of day it was where you were, I thought I should make some notes of what to do differently the next time we embark on a flight:

1. How I wish I'd had my camera!!! Somehow it got packed in a box that was checked in. I missed precious shots of the girls riding on the back of their carry ons as Scott pulled them through 2 airports (they had to walk as their carry ons got stacked on carts this morning!). So I have no fun travel pics to share this time. But to learn from it...

2. Put heavy items in our carry ons again to take weight away from the weighed bags/boxes checked in, but do not forget to include all the allowable travel size toiletries you can fit in a quart bag per person. I never thought I'd miss our flight (when I packed) after the first leg of our trip was delayed. Thankfully the airlines put us up in a hotel AND paid for our meals. However, we had no toiletries at the hotel except the few items they offered. Overseas flying can make you look and feel grimy enough. Add a day without all your routine toiletries--whew!

3. I had read from a well traveled friend of mine to always include a change of clothes for everyone on your flight. Thankfully we heeded her advice on a past overseas flight when one of our girls had a stomach bug and went through her clothes and her sisters! So, we had the second change of clothes covered for our unexpected additional 24 hours in the USA.

4. Check into special programs and credit offers with the airlines in advance to save money on baggage fees and allowances. We found out at the counter that we could have saved a lot of money had we joined Continental's elite(?) program but it was too late. We don't have the annual miles to keep it up but we would have been given the adequate miles if we'd signed up for their credit card. The annual fee would have been cheaper than what we paid!

5. Note number 4 also says we bought/got probably too much during our U.S. furlough! Of course grandparents and family want to give to us when we're home and especially at Christmas time--and we are so blessed by that! And then the Dollar is way cheaper than the Euro so it makes stocking up on kids clothes, coats, English books, etc. look really appealing. But I'm not sure if the savings remains once you have to pay to ship it! And the work involved--so glad it's all here now, but packing it all on the other end is not something I want to do regularly. I'm not really sure how to change this scenario for the next time, but we've got some time to ponder/pray about it now.


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