oh, snow



According to a certain, rather dramatic 4 ½ year old, today is the worst day ever because all the snow around here has melted. And after being blanketed in fluffy whiteness for a week or so, I’m also missing snow’s many personalities: feathery clumps falling swiftly into snowball and snowman-making ready piles; single dry poofs of intricately-flaked entangled masses; dart-shaped pellets of ice and snow combined.



I can’t say I miss everything about it (I admit, I haven’t driven our car since the first flurries appeared…I’m a wimp like that), but I’ll continue to romanticize its presence within our memory as Portland’s whitest Christmas ever.



As the snowfamilies melt and the city thaws and returns to its soggy, above-32 degree state, I’ll relish in the pictures and memories of our snow-filled holidays and hope for maybe a few more flurries this season…you know, to appease a little one’s wishes.



Checking (off) my list!


Snow falling…check!
One last minute stocking made for one small fuzzy family member…check!


Baking ingredients lined up, ready for duty…check!
Last minute items felting in the washing machine…check!


One slightly wonky hat crocheted for hatless husband...check!
Gifts wrapped and waiting in the sidelines for their morning debut…check!
Kids ready to explode with excitement...double check!

Other than searching down some catnip-laced stocking stuffers, we are good to go over here in the WhatKnot household. Here’s hoping your holidays are merry and bright (and full of catnip if that’s your schtick)!

xo & hohoho!


stockings hung


Still snowing!


So I just keep on crafting.


Even kitty is overseeing some last minute gift-making (she's our official lap warmer).


The weather-peoples keep promising warmer temps just around the corner.


It will be a race between the warm, snow-melting temps and a whiter-than-Portland's-ever-seen Christmas.


Either way, we'll just keep on crafting, cookie-making and candyland-ing.


Because it's gotta stop sometime before July, right?...


...we shall see!


VLMS (very last minute shopping)

Going on 6 days of the snow-melt-freeze dance and we’re starting to change our ‘let it snow’ tune around here. The grandparents arrived last night. Yay for back-up candyland players and online last-minute Christmas shopping. Speaking of which…

Check out these fabulous etsy vendors that I met at last weekend's craft show (all images are borrowed from each individual shop):

holden lee tees is a collaboration between a very clever mama and her 6-year-old son Holden(!) to incorporate his drawings and character bio’s into cute, silkscreened + appliqued t shirts. I love all the designs but decided on this one for my own dino- and robo-loving Holden.

better late than never makes jewelry out of vintage plastic doilies. I didn’t even know vintage plastic doilies existed, let alone that they could be made into such fracken cute jewelries. But, they do (and do!)

Namaste Works makes clay, mosaic and stained glass pieces and 10% of their sales go to Heifer Intl. I bought a little mantra, just for me.

Reimagined Musings
I happened to meet this supernice etsy vendor in the superlong, sanity-busting post office line when we were both shipping internationally. The kids were going postal, needless to say, so it was nice to have someone to keep my nerves in check. All her creations are made out of recycled junk mail…so cool!

ReThink Crafts makes super cute recycled sweater mittens and other items. I got a tote similar to the one pictured made out of a recycled sofa cover. It’s my new favorite bag, baby.

I chatted EclectiKid's ear off (or was it the other way around?) during some down-time. Cute cute CUTE designs. The toast guy says it all…

Yay handmade! Yay local! Yay, my Christmas shopping’s done!!!! (I have more non-Portland etsy treasures to share…next post!)


Wintering In


The weather (and road conditions) outside are frightful
But candyland, hot cocoa and crafting are so delightful


And since we've no place to go
Let it snow let it snow let it snow


We're having an Arctic Blast! Here in Portland, we love our snowstorms so much that we name each one as well as shut down pretty much the whole city in honor of cuddling in...


Or, tricycling in our snowy backyards...


Or, simply watching the snowflakes fall...

Stay warm, be well and I hope your December days are filled with coziness!


this n that

The feverish dash to the 25th begins!! And I do mean feverish literally as I'm recovering from my upteenth sinus infection of the year...tis the season!

A few things I'm thankful for:


2 1/2 -- I just love this age with all its excitedly incessant chatter. Esme enthusiastically exclaims as soon as I walk through the door, "I. got. the. ife. cream. cone...you. know?" in her sing-songy robot-like 2 1/2 year old way that assumes I know exactly what she's talking about when I usually don't. A quick glance around the Candyland-strewn room instantly updates me on her ramblings.

4 1/2 -- (ok, I pretty much like all the ages). Holden's ability to lose himself in imaginary dinosaur land for a 4 1/2-year-old eternity, which equals approximately 1 hour in craft time.


The beautiful collection of vintage fabric scraps from Kristena for December's 12 square block along with instructions to make a scrappy log cabin...my favorite quilty pasttime.

This bill moyers interview with michael pollan. I love pretty much everything mp says (except that he won't consider the secretary of agriculture position. sad face.)

Finding a home remedy for aforementioned sinus infection; rediscovering the wonderful feeling of breathing through my nose. ahhhh.

Esme's love for her big brother, which has recently translated into doing everything he does...including standing up to pee. Not too excited about cleaning up the aftermess, but any progress toward potty-learning is fine by me.


My etsy elves for updating my shop with new activity totes...and fabric depot for restocking my favorite Alexander Henry print (Leo the Lion, with his oh-so-soulful eyes). OK, the elves are on strike, so I'll be updating the shop myself sometime today-ish.


And finally, all the sweet new babies and babies-to-be announcements that are popping up in blogland lately which makes me want to add a new little baby of my own to my Christmas wish list this year (j/k, we're done)!


A Winner!!

Thank You, Thank You to everyone for visiting my little blog and leaving such lovely comments! Every single little email *ping* that came through gave me the warm n fuzzies. I read all the comments and appreciate each and every one.

To show my appreciation, I'm offering blog readers a 10% discount in my shop until Christmas. I have a pile of in-progress totes stacked aside my sewing machine and will be updating my shop (while also getting ready for another craft show next weekend, ack!). Just mention that you're a blog reader in the 'comments to seller' field and I'll extend a refund via paypal. Thanks to those of you that have placed orders, I've already processed your refunds. AND I'll most definitely be doing another giveaway, so please stop by again!

Ok, now onto the winner!

Congratulations to Katie!! If you're reading, Katie, please email your mailing address to melandbri (at) comcast (dot) net and I'll pop the tote in the mail asap.

Thanks again everyone, have a great weekend and please excuse me while I go check out all these lovely new blogs!


Giveaway Day!

Hi all! In hopes of helping to check one small item off of someone's holiday gift list this season I'm having a giveaway today in honor of Sew Mama Sew's Give-Away Day. I have to be honest here -- I fretted a bit about what exactly to give away and finally decided on an activity tote because it's the most popular item in my shop. I hope you like it:

It includes a crayon roll and two handmade notebooks inside plus a couple other small items I'm throwing in for the giveaway, just for giggles. More pics and a description can be found on this listing.

Please leave a comment on this post between now and Friday, December 5 and I'll announce the winner Friday afternoon. I hope this tote makes someone very happy...good luck! (edited to add: please remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!)

Oh and don't forget to visit the other participating blogs via Sew Mama Sew. I'm thinking this day will go down in blog history as the biggest giveaway day EVAR!!!


giving away

Just popping in to mention that I'll be participating in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day tomorrow, December 3rd. I'll be giving away a homemade something-or-other, so please stop by and say hi! There are lots of other blogs participating as well, so be sure to stop by SMS for the master giveaway link list!

Also wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful ideas for homemade Christmas tree ornaments. We'll be doing a handful of them throughout the next few weeks, so pop back to check them out as well!

OK, that's enough blog promo for the day ;-) See ya tomorrow!!


advent re-invent


So Holden asked me yesterday when "that special day" is going to be here. I asked him to clarify since a *special day* to a 4 1/2 year old could mean anything from Christmas to garbage day to that one glorious day a year when we wash our car. He replied, "you know, that very special day when we get lotsa stuff." And my heart immediately sank to my toes.

What I wanted to do next was talk his little ear off about commercialism and consumerism and sit him down in front of this and this and this (thanks julie!) and force into his impressionable little mind the idea that Christmas is about more than just 'getting' or 'stuff' or blahdy blahdy blah...

But thankfully, I did none of those things. I sat on my hands and said nothing.


Instead, my brain took over and remembered these 24 little Christmas-colored opportunities to focus on giving rather than receiving, on spending time together rather than spending money, and on the importance of appreciation, friendship, gratitude and any other concepts of value that can fit into those 2" by 3" envelopes (which is quite alot, I think).


I have a little list going, including things like Make Glitter Pinecones! Donate to our local Food Bank! and Candyland Marathon Day! Today began big with picking an animal donation via Heifer International in lieu of gifts for the adults in our family. Because what's more fun than giving a family a water buffalo for Christmas, I ask you?

When we were done picking our animals, Holden asked if he could give some money from his piggy bank to the kids in the pictures on the HI website and my heart rose back up above my kneecaps.


Turkey Dance


I won a turkey. Yes, a turkey ended up on my doorstep, wonned. Ham-dinner-plan, be gone with you. We’re doin the turkey dinner song and dance.

So my last-minute change of plans includes: turkey (won), stuffing, cranberries, gravy, bru spro’s, buns and what else? Oh yes, pie. Of course, PIE! What would Thanksgiving be without pie, a wonned turkey, my sweet little fam and wonderful friends, I ask you? Ok pickles. And olives that go on the ends of your fingers, too. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without those.

Happy day to you all!


christmas, reinvented


After a nice, restorative, pajama-wearing-filled weekend, I emerge eager and energized to take on the Holidays.

This particular holiday season is destined to be different than previous, as our entire stock of holiday decor rests nestled and snug in the corner of our temporary basement, behind and beneath the multitude of boxes that contain the rest of our life. Truth is, we thought we'd be in our new house by now (by Halloween, actually) but dang it to all heck, our planning skills stink and we packed those boxes in first.

So here we are, without stockings to hang by the chimney with care, without my beloved thriftstore-rescued vintage snowman collection and without the things that make everyday living feel 'holiday-y' this time of year.

Life, of course, will go on. And the challenge of having to find creative ways to appease the holiday decorating itch is quite appealing.


Because December 1st comes much, much sooner than December 25th, a new advent calendar battled its way to the top of the to-do list. Taking the idea from this adorable site, I bought a bunch of felt (the same eco-fi'd felt of PDFB turkey hand snafu project fame, might I add) and rigged together a plan for a last minute endeavor. And yes, I admit, I was sucked in by that larger-than-life ricrac. Sigh.

So far, I'm optimistic that it'll be ready by the 1st, especially after adding some buffer time in to compensate for my stinky planning skills.

And, now onto *tree decorating* (ugh). Any suggestions out there for clever-crafty-no-time tree ornament ideas???


s t i l l day


I've really enjoyed the s t i l l-ness around here this past week...just what the creativity-slump doctor ordered.

I'm heading over to the 12 Square blog now to post pics of my november/fall block for ms. turkey cookies. C'mon over!!


s t i l l: bird, watching


Have a lovely weekend, all!


S t i l l shot

Just compensation for flu shots today...



S t i l l Fall


ahhh, loving the fleeting stillness of Fall.



s t i l l here


I realized after Esme's meltdown today over a cheerio stuck to her rainboot that we're all a little overwhelmed with life around here these days. New school, new schedule, new friends, new obligations...you know the routine. So I'm going to step back a bit and maybe post pics of our comings and goings instead of trying to force coherence. Because I've heard that "The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness" (J. Muir) but I'm kinda stuck on the whole "forest for the trees" thing right now.


Needless to say, I'm quite drawn to this project that I've seen buzzing around blogville. While I'm entirely too lazy to upload my pics to a flickr group, I'd love to partake in some 's t i l l ness.' So here goes.

And there I go, talking. Enough of that. "I'll be baaaaaack" (A. Schwarzenegger)