Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY Centerpiece

One detail I spent time on last week was creating four centerpieces to decorate tables for our guests as we dined and celebrated our daughter's making her First Holy Communion.

It's important to me to draw attention to the heart of the event, occasion, or reason for any gathering. In this case, we were celebrating the presence of Jesus in the bread and wine and remembering his words to his friends. It seemed appropriate to highlight this in our home.

A quick google image search provided this arrangement of John 6:35: "I am the bread of life..."

I printed it and wrapped it around a mason jar. Digging through our wrapping paper box I found the perfect color and size of ribbon to tie around the jar and conceal the line on the back.

My daughters assembled the tulips in nice arrangements and voila! A Spring centerpiece - beautiful and meaningful for this special occasion.

Now we just need some sunshine to open these babies up!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Friday Evening Art Crawl

Our Friday family night was glorious - the weather, the scenery, the creativity, the spontaneity.

We visited two locations where local artists are displaying their creations in our hometown city as part of the weekend's Saint Paul Art Crawl.

First we stopped in at the Grand Hill Gallery to check out cousin Josh's paintings.

Here's the artist himself (on the right) and a couple of his paintings we admired.

Other artists displayed their works here too. I think our collective favorite was this sculpture - Dancers. Simply made with two forks. Brilliant.

Upon leaving the Grand Hill location we took a quick detour to this tiny park near our beloved first house.

Then we headed to the newly renovated Schmidt brewery artist lofts to check out cousin David's paintings.

 It's a talented artistic family I married into. Here's a shot from David's studio.

And this building and lofts are amazing. I just couldn't get enough. A gorgeous blend of the old and new.

Here are the shots our eldest captured as she meandered through the building.

Sunset on the way home was a perfect end to our evening excursion.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Crepe Cake

We had an unusual Easter. Sickness kept the family divided for the Triduum. Sickness kept us from enjoying the taste of delicious food and pleasant company altogether. Bummer of a weekend in one sense.

A few highlights made is memorable in a good way though. We initiated the Italian soda and cannoli dessert as part of our timpano tradition. We tried an all natural version of egg dye by using left over cabbage - it worked! We almost overheated in the pure glory of 70 degrees and clear skies.

And we enjoyed the heavenly crepe cake that my sister made and served for brunch.

Divine. Simply divine.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sew Good Goods

Combine a traditional skill, socializing, and compassionate giving and you get Sew Good Goods.

Sew Good Goods is a Twin Cities based non-profit organization that provides materials and instructions to any individual or group who wishes to sew bibs, receiving blankets, or pillowcases. These are then collected and distributed to those in need, both locally and abroad.

Whether you are a novice or expert sewer or somewhere in between, you can participate in creating beautiful items for children around the world to enjoy. We take for granted the mile high shelves and dozens of aisles of baby items of every shape and size begging to be purchased at Babies R Us. We register at multiple locations for the perfect matching baby items to complete our nurseries. We pack our bags in advance for the hospital stay with a cute take-the-baby-home outfit, nuks, blankets, burp cloths, etc. We buy, accumulate, donate, pass on, replace, cherish, and store bins and more bins of items to clothe and comfort our little ones.

In some places, mothers don't bring even a blanket to wrap up their newborn - apparently it is considered bad luck to come prepared in that way.

Sew Good Goods provides the opportunity for young and old to sew and donate items to those in need.

All you do is ask for a "kit". You can request to sew bibs, blankets, or pillowcases. Each kit comes with easy to follow instructions, material (some pre-cut), and thread. You provide the time, a sewing machine, and skill.

This is a great activity for one to just have on hand and do in those spare moments, or it can be a fun group activity for a birthday party or service project. There is no requirement for how it comes together - you can decide the timing and who helps get it done.

I have made pillowcases and blankets so far and each of my kids has helped in some fashion. Even a little help with ironing counts!

Sew Good Goods has also hosted mitten/scarf making events and a children's birthday party at which the guests made one pillowcase to donate and one to keep.

Follow them on facebook and check our their website for more information!

Giving through sewing is a wonderful experience!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

SPRINGing Into Action

That's one small step for kid.

One giant leap for kid-kind.

Today was the day. Our official start to spring is here.

For some it is March 20.

For others, the first sign of a robin.

For some die hard, desperate and delusional  fans, it is the Twins Home Opener.

For us, it is the set up of the trampoline.

And this year, little hands made light work.

Let the good times roll.

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Snow Day

Look what Ol' Man Winter brought us over night!

Could barely open the back door this morning.

I have my shoveling work cut out for me. But today I have an extra helper - school called off again.

Gorgeous morning!