Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 8: White Envelope

Phew, I am caught back up. :)

Today's activity was a special one. Like I mentioned before we really want to teach Sydney that Christmas is about loving others and giving not just the commercialized version we see all around us. Today Sydney and I did a little white envelope activity for Shane. If you haven't heard of this before it is a really great way to teach kids about giving as well as a creative gift for somebody in your life. The idea is to give to somebody else or do something special to meet a need in your community or the world. Then you write down what you did and seal it in a white envelope and place it in your Christmas tree. On Christmas day, your recipient (in our case Shane) will get to open the envelope and read about what we did in his honor. I am excited for Shane to read our first white envelope!! No peeking!

Day 7: Date with Daddy

For Day 7 of Christmas celebrations, Sydney was able to go out with her dad. Shane took her to get ice cream, or so I thought. They returned with this year's ornament for the tree (Sydney picked out a pink angel), new legos (she picked out Star Wars), AND ice cream. Daddy definitely treated her. Today she will not let the new legos out of her sight. We have taken apart and rebuilt them about 5 times. Well, she has taken apart and asked me to put them back together. I love seeing how excited she is when she gets back from time with Shane. Special time with family and those we love is such an important part of Christmas.

Day 6: Festival of Lights

On Saturday we took Sydney to the Festival of Lights. It is an annual event here in Los Angeles sponsored by the Department of Water and Power. Even though we have lived in the area for a few years we have never been before. After going this year, I am sure it will become an annual event for our family. We met some friends there and the kids all had a great time. Usually you drive your car through the event to observe all the light displays but there are special nights when they shut the road down and you can walk. We decided to see the lights via our own two legs. I figured that Sydney would have more fun running from display to display rather then reaching her neck to try to see each one. Different local departments have displays. For example, there was a display from the local fire department, one from the airport (which was one of my favorites), and of course some from the Department of Water and Power. I would definitely recommend this for any family who lives in the area.

While we have figured out where our camera is, we have not been able to pick it up yet. And since my iPhone does not work too well when trying to capture Christmas light displays, this post is sadly pictureless.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

DreamWorks Holiday Bazaar

I had a great time participating in the DreamWorks bazaar for the first time. I met some really nice people including some ladies who make amazing children's clothing. I had an array of blankets, elf hats, scarves, and onesies. You may remember a little sneak peek at a new pattern I was working on. Well, as you can see from the picture I worked on a design for an ogre beanie. It was a big hit. I sold all the ones I had and took orders for a few more.

I learned alot from my first two craft fairs. I learned that you never can predict what people will like. I also learned that in economic times like these people prefer smaller items. I look forward to doing more shows in the future but for now I am ready to only craft for our own gifts and my own fun for a little while. After I finish up a few more Christmas gifts and a couple orders I really want to try my hand at some new things. I will be working on getting the extra blankets and hats in the shop over the weekend so check back.

Day 4 and 5: Hot chocolate and a Date

Sorry for the little delay. Here is the Christmas activities we shared the past two days.

First up, on Thursday I had a holiday bazaar at DreamWorks (I will share more about that soon). Since most of the day was spent in a mad dash to finish things and pack everything up I needed to look at the list of possible activities for something simple. To my surprise, Shane brought over the perfect treat. While Sydney and I were watching the table and chatting with people he brought Sydney hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. I think that is a wonderful little holiday treat. (And yes that is a full cup of hot chocolate for a three year old on my table of goods. Luckily, we didn't have any accidents.)

Friday's Christmas treat was a date with just Sydney and Mommy. We went out to dinner for Mexican food and talked about ponies and other things Sydney thought she might get for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 3: Ornaments

Today's Christmas activity was making ornaments to hang in Sydney's room. She really loved doing these. In fact she spent a little over 2 hours working away on them. I was inspired from this post and just simplified it for a three year old. We used silver pipe cleaners and as you can see Sydney picked all pink beads. They actually look really cute and festive all hanging in the corner of her room.

1. To make just use 3 pipe cleaners and twist at the centers. Then arrange to resemble a snowflake or star.

2. Then have your child place beads on the pipe cleaners in whatever order or color they want. The beads stay on the pipe cleaners by themselves.

3. Then hang from string.

Note: You could also use a nice ribbon instead of string and use them on the Christmas tree or have your kids hand them out as gifts.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 2: Mailing a gift to Zambia

We sponsor a child through World Vision for Sydney. It is a little girl in Zambia who is the same age. We really wanted to encourage Sydney to think of others. Having somebody the same age is a great tool to teach her about another country, culture, etc. It is also a great way to show Sydney how blessed we are here in the United States.

For today's Christmas activity we sent Ireen a small gift. Sydney helped pick out a few little gifts: a small notebook, gel pens, stickers, and a pack of hairclips. Since Sydney can not write yet, I wrote a letter to the little girl and Sydney drew her a picture of the two of them playing together. It was so cute but alas I forgot to take a picture before sealing the envelop. Whoops. This is a wonderful way to teach kids that Christmas is about giving and loving others. Plus, through sponsering you can use this to remind kids throughout the year to think of others!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Anticipation Day 1

Now that Sydney is three she understands fully that Christmas is coming and that it means lots of fun presents, food, and activities. I would love to make an amazing advent calendar for our family like this one or this one. But alas, it is December 1st and no such calendar is finished (or even started for that matter.) So last night we made an old favorite, a paper chain, to help her see visually the count down to Christmas. I have also decided that every day I will have a Christmas activity for her. The goal is to share them with all of you but I am not promising to get to it daily. I hate making promises I can't keep but I will do my best.

Today's activity was making her own Christmas cards for handing out. She made Christmas tree cards last year so this year we decided on Snowmen cards. This is pretty easy but here are a few steps in case you are interested in doing this with your little ones too.

1. First, we read a book about snowmen so she could see different pictures of snowmen and get different ideas for details.

2. Then I let Sydney pick out construction paper for the actual cards. I just cut them in half and then folded those pieces in half.

3. I assisted Sydney in cutting large and smaller circles for the snowmen.

4. Finally, I left her with all the cards, circles, scissors, glue, markers, and extra construction paper to assemble and decorate the cards.

Sydney says that this one has 'branch' arms, boots, a hat, eyes, a smile, and buttons. So cute!

P.S. I have misplaced our camera so for now you are going to get cellphone pictures. Forgive me...I am cleaning the house today and hoping to will turn up soon. :(

Friday, November 21, 2008

A guessing game

DreamWorks has a holiday bazaar for employees, friends, and family on December 4th. With encouragement from Shane, I have signed up to have a table. To say I am nervous to show my things to people who breathe creativity would be an understatement. I mean, its DreamWorks!

Here is a little glimpse of a pattern I am working on for a new hat. See if you can guess what it might be. (No guessing for you Shane.) This picture is from the first time frogging I think. Let's just say it has gone through a few prototypes already. ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Elf Beanies

Here is a picture of the new hat and scarf set I have started creating. These are like the ones I sold at the boutique but I thought you all might like seeing it on Sydney. :) She makes them looks cuter. It was sort of by accident that I made the elf hat originally but I really like them. With a little adjusting to the pattern they are becoming my new favorite thing to crochet while I watch movies in the evenings. This set is over in the shop if you are interested in more details. Let me know what you think.

Blog Award

What is an Uber Amazing Award you ask.

Uber is a German word that is similar to our English word super.

An Uber Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~ inspires you
~ make you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design
~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

Amy from Knit Me Pieces gave me this award. Here are the rules to play:

Once nominated, recipients are to follow these rules:

~ Put the logo on your blog or post.
~ Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
~ Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
~ Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

So I thought I would share some on my favorite (often daily) reads. I decided I would share some smaller more personal blogs since we all should know about Anna Maria Horner and Decor8 by now. (wink)

Mulholland Drive because I love him and it is fun to see things through his eyes.

Bricolage and Butter because their blog is a great read and inspiring. Plus, they are my dear cousins.

Alff Family Adventures for its witty humor.

Make It for her inspiration and beautiful designs.

My Longest Year because she inspires me to be a creative and encouraging wife and mom. In fact every girl should read this post, it is good perspective!

Hope you all enjoy these blogs. Go check them out especially if they are new to you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday Boutique Coverage

Thanks to everybody who stopped by at my first ever boutique. It was super fun to participate. The event too place in beautiful Pasadena and I was lucky enough to spend the day with Amy. We spent the time talking with each other, with other vendors, and with lots of visitors. I felt like if I sold one thing I could consider it a success and so it was a success. Hee hee.

Actually I sold an owl onesie, both of the elf beanies below, a bunch of buttons, and received a very special commissioned lap-size blanket that I will share with you all soon.

I have posted a couple of the blankets that did not sell in the shop and I hope to post more blankets and possibly a couple hats in the next couple days so stay posted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank you Shane!

My wonderful husband gave me some birthday gifts yesterday. First he bought me some of these fabrics!!! I am so excited. Plus, since Shane bought me some last year too I am thinking that receiving Anna Maria Horner fabric should be a new birthday tradition. What do you say Shane? He went above and beyond and also bought me her new book. If you haven't seen it yet, GO GET IT! It is fabulous. I already have spent lots of time looking through it. It is beautiful, personal, and inspiring. Sydney gave me a new set of crochet hooks. I am excited to experiment with different gauges for the blankets soon.

Tonight Shane is taking me out to dinner with a couple close friends. Yummy Mexican food here we come. I am telling you....that handsome man knows the way to my heart: fabric, a good book, dinner out, and no dishes!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Holiday Boutique

There will be a holiday boutique in Pasadena on November 15th. I will be participating and sharing a table with a dear friend, Amy from Knit Me Pieces. If anybody is in the area and available please stop by and say hi. There will be lots of opportunities for holiday shopping for unique and handmade gifts. This is my first time participating in anything like this so I am a bit nervous to see how my creations are received. I have a list of things I am trying to make in time for the boutique including crocheted baby and lap blankets. You will just have to come visit to see all the fun things I am making. ;)

The boutique will be at 1841 Fiske Ave. Pasadena, CA 91104 from 10am thru 3pm. Some of the handmade items will include dolls, quilts, cards, soaps, jewelry, bags, and my stuff just to name a few. I hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We went as a family this morning to vote. It is always a good way to teach Sydney about the process and about how blessed we are to live in a country were we have a choice. Whatever your feelings about either candidate or proposition on the ballots today, I hope you go vote. I have been feeling very torn over some of the choices in this election. I guess you could call it a general anxiety over where our state and country are now and where we may be heading. This past Sunday our pastor shared these words in our bulletin. I found it encouraging and a great reminder to always be praying for our elected officials and our nation. I especially loved the song he included which we also sang on Sunday.

The Apostle Paul had dual citizenship. He was a proud Roman citizen (Acts 22:28). He exercised those earthly rights more than once to further the Gospel. He was also a proud citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20). This was his eternal citizenship (Hebrews 11:16).

We have dual citizenship too. We are citizens of an earthly country and a heavenly country. If you are a citizen of the United States, this is a big week. We have several big responsibilities:

1. We register to vote.

2. We vote our conscience.
3. We pray for our elected leaders.

I want to teach you a song today. I think of it as a song for Wednesday morning. Beyond our periodic opportunity to vote in this country, we have a daily call to pray for our leaders (1st Timothy 2:1-2). This song has helped me pray.

You're the God of this city

You're the King of these people

You're the Lord of this nation

You are

You're the light in this darkness

You're the hope to the hopeless

You're the peace to the restless

You are

There is no one like our God

There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come

And greater things are still to be done
In this city

For greater things have yet to come

And greater things are still to be done here

Halloween Part 3: Fun Fest

As you can see, Halloween was a smashing success for our little girl. She was such a trooper this past week as we prepared everything at church. She happily ran tons of errands with me and even was my helper at the church. She would run and grab me more supplies or water. She tried out all the games for me to make sure everything was working well. Of course, with all the preparations and running around making sure everybody had enough candy to hand out I did not take too many photos. Here are just a couple Shane took of the evening.

First up was getting her face painted.
Then she played some games.
Next was watching part of a pirate movie and enjoying some candy.
And finally here she is working on some crafts.
The evening was so fun and it was great to meet so many new people from the neighborhood around our church.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Part 2: Dreamworks

Sydney and I took a break from setting up for Fun Fest on Friday and spent a couple hours at Dreamworks for their family Halloween extravaganza. They had trick-or-treating for all the kids around the campus. They even had a little area for Monster vs. Aliens!! It was exciting to see some of the characters and stuff that Shane is working on every day. Sydney has already decided that she likes Bob and Ginormica the most. Here are some pictures...
Sydney's favorite part was the pink fountain!

Butterfly princess (sans wings) with Bob.

Creative frog balloons from the Shrek area.

Halloween Part 1: Pumpkin Carving

Last year we just let Sydney paint pumpkins for Halloween. This year Dreamworks was handing out free pumpkins for their pumpkin carving contest so we decided to let Sydney help carve her first pumpkin. At first she wanted nothing to do with putting her hand inside to get all the pumpkin guts out.

Then she decided it would be ok to use a scooper.

Finally Shane was able to convince her to try with her bare hands. She did not like it at all and quickly went back to the scooper even though it didn't work that well.

She was very pleased with the final pumpkin though. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fun Fest 2008

As I have mentioned before, I love fall. One of the fun things about fall is Halloween and all the excitement I remember as a child. Now that Syd is three she is starting to get that excitement too. However, as a parent the world is a little scary on Halloween. Some of the decorations and costumes frighten me and I can't imagine how many sleepless night I may have on my hands since Syd is going through a scared-faze. (Please tell me this is just a faze.)

To my delight our church is having a fun-filled evening for families on Halloween this year. We have been planning for months and this week all the final details are coming together. It is a pirate themed events and will include carnival-type games, food, cotton candy, crafts, a magic show, a pirate skit, tons of candy, and more. There is games and prizes for kids ages 2 through 5th grade. I have been helping with the plans for the 2-5 year olds. The image above is the treasure map for the kids to follow as they go through the games in search of their treasure. If any of you live in the area please join us for a great family time! Just between us...I think the kids will have more fun than just trick-o-treating. ;) The event will be from 6:30pm-9:30pm at Calvary Chapel Burbank.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Family Weekend

I had a fun-filled weekend with my two favorite people: Shane and Sydney. On Saturday we went to a screening of Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa. It was super funny and Sydney laughed frequently and only needed one potty break. In our book that means it was a very successful movie. Later in the evening we went to a birthday party at Chucke Cheese. Shane nor I had been there since we were young and we now have a new appreciation for our parents taking us there. It was exhausting and over-stimulating to say the least. It was fun to get to know some of Shane's co-workers a little more though and of course Sydney loved it.

On Sunday we woke up early and headed over for the AIDS WALK. We met our fundraising goal thanks to awesome family and friends. We were part of the DreamWorks team so we rode a bus over to the walk and were treated to breakfast. We also were able to start at the front of the walk which was nice because there wasn't a huge pushing crowd of people. Walking with the DreamWorks team was super fun too and people along the route kept yelling about how much they love DreamWorks. Thanks to all of you who donated money and who were praying and thinking of us yesterday.

Us at the finish line.

On another note, yesterday was our dating anniversary!! Shane and I have been together for 12 YEARS! I still can't believe it. It seems like yesterday that we were marching in the band together at football games and asking our parents to drive us to the movies. ;) I love you Shanie!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This coming Sunday we will be participating in the LA AIDS WALK. Please pray for people around the world who are affected by HIV/AIDS. Here is an email we sent out to some family and friends with more info:

Dear Friends and Family,

Annie and I decided to participate in the AIDS Walk Los Angeles this year. We are excited about getting involved and contributing to our community in addition to teaching Syd about the importance of caring for and helping others.
We have set a modest goal of raising $500 between the two of us and we'd love to meet or exceed it it with your help! You can contribute to our fundraising goal safely and securely online at our Donation Homepage. (We will never personally see your credit card info and the whole process is VeriSign Secured)

Some of you may ask where the money is going and we completely understand as we had the same question ourselves before we signed on to participate. The money raised by AIDS Walk Los Angeles supports the services provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and other local AIDS Service Organizations throughout Los Angeles County. APLA is dedicated to: improving the lives of people affected by HIV disease; reducing the incidence of HIV infection; and advocating for fair and effective HIV- related public policy. You can find more info here:

Thank you for your time,

Shane, Andrea, & Sydney Mulholland

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Baking with the Kiddo

We had a busy weekend that was finished off with a Dodger playoff party at our place. Go Dodgers!! In preparation, Sydney and I did some baking on Saturday. We made up a batch of my favorite pumpkin bread which is my altered version from this cookbook. We also baked some ghost-shaped sugar cookies and Sydney decorated them. She had all the sprinkles in a bowl and was lavishing them on each cookie with complete attention. When I pointed out how many cookies we still had to frost and decorate she became worried and started using them sparingly. We ended up with some cookies completely covered in spider sprinkles and some with only about five sprinkles total. There were delicious though.

P.S. Dad that outfit is in your honor. ;)

Monday, October 6, 2008

First Commissioned Baby Blanket

When little Ryken was born a few months ago, I made him this brown and green blanket as a gift. Well, his mommy wanted another one for him so she asked if she could buy one from me, thanks Amy! So here is what I made. She asked if it could match his bedroom decor which has browns, greens, blues, and touches of red. I hope that Amy and the babe both love this one too. This one is the same basket-weave stitch I learned from Marissa with a machine-washable soft yarn.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Christmas Gifts

Even though the weather is not cooperating much yet it is autumn so I have started crocheting more. Last year I did not make as many Christmas gifts as I would have liked so I decided to start a little earlier this year. Sydney and I made a list of what we would like to make for the holidays and I have made some progress already. Here is the first blanket (almost finished) and a scarf.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Disneyland with the Stansells

I wish I had some beautiful finished sewing or crocheting project to show you but alas nothing finished yet. Instead I thought I would share a recent favorite picture. We recently went to Disneyland with the Stansells (miss you guys). This is little Sydney and Noah waiting oh so patiently to meet Mickey. Well, truth be told neither one of them was being patient in line so I pulled my iPhone out and they are being patient watching cartoons (Animaniacs I think). What did I do before cartoons on my iPhone??? It is sad how quickly we become dependent on technology.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Etsy Shop

Etsy is a mecca of sorts for some amazing artists. When I browse around on there I am impressed at the creativity out there. As I have made blankets and appliqued clothing, Shane has constantly been encouraging me to open a little shop on there. Yet I always have hesitated because of all the great talent on there. I finally decided to take the plunge. It feels scary and nerve-wrecking all at the same time. I know the look of the shop and all the little details need work. I want it to look clean and classic but I don't feel like it is quite there yet. I would love your feedback on the shop and the few products currently in there. I have all these grand ideas for products and I am working on a few so stay tuned for more. So go take a look at the shop and let me know what you think. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

A Crocheted Hat for Syd

A close friend was experimenting with making a baby hat. The gauge was a little big so it didn't quite work for a newborn but it was perfect for Sydney. Thanks again Marissa.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Handmade Gifts for a baby girl

Just a quick note and picture to show what I recently made for a cute baby girl. The blanket and beanie are crocheted and the little penguin onesie was appliqued. The blanket is just a big grannie square but I really love how it looks. I feel the need to make myself a lap blanket like it for the coming cooler weather. Last week it was actually feeling fall-like here in Southern California and I just loved it. Fall is by far my favorite time of year. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Scott and Stephanie!

My brother Scott proposed to his girlfriend on Wednesday and yesterday some family and close friends celebrated. I can not describe how excited I am for them both. We truly love Stephanie and are so happy to be able to officially call her family (even though we considered her that long ago). Congratulations to you both.

"My beloved is mine, and I am his" -Song of Solomon 2:16

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Dress for Sydney

One of my goals in sewing has been to try and begin learning how to make clothes. I have heard some horror stories so I have kept putting it off. When I saw this tutorial from Habitual I thought it would be a good starter dress. The instructions were super easy to follow and had lots of little helpful hints. I used a little Anna Maria fabric from her Chocolate Lollipop for the bow and some Amy Butler Midwest Modern for the dress. It is far from perfect but the fact that it looks ok and fits ok is good enough for me this time. It is a little big now but since summer is almost over I am hoping to will fit her still next spring. Of course, the way she is growing that will not happen so this little dress will probably end up being passed on to somebody else. But first Sydney will wear it for a little celebration dinner tomorrow night.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Family Fridays

These past few months we have been lucky enough to have lunch with Shane at work every Friday. Dreamworks celebrates the summer with family and friends Fridays where the employees can invite people to have lunch on the campus. It has been so much fun and all three of us will really miss it. We have had lots of people come with us including my parents, Shane's parents, the Koops, and Hector but today it was just the three of us. Thank you Shane for sharing it with us and thanks to Dreamworks for being family oriented and treating us to such yummy food each week. I will no doubt be having withdrawals from all the good food and fun walks around Dreamworks. Sydney will probably miss the ice cream and fish the most.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sydney's First Quilt

Last month for her birthday Sydney received a package from Jamie. Her excited little fingers opened it to find her very own fabric scraps. Some of these scraps were decent size and while Mommy was tempted to claim some, I let Sydney keep them. She has been laying them out in different designs and patterns for weeks now. She even carries them around in her purse or backpack often. Earlier in the week I saw this post from My Longest Year about making a quilt with glue and knew we had to try it. Sydney loved making her very own quilt and even wanted to add some crochet flowers I had laying around.

Since she has the bitty twin babies, she is already asking to make one more quilt so do not be surprised to see another one.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back on track...sort of

As you may have noticed things have been sort of slow on the creating side of my life. Mostly due to the extreme craze of other areas. Needless to say, the creativity has begun again. I have been getting inspired every where I turn and sewing has actually began again around here. There is nothing finished to show you yet. I am currently working on some more onesies, a couple baby blankets, and my first quilt. Hopefully, there will be more to show you soon.

Showering a Friend

Throwing a wedding shower for a close friend is always fun. This time around was especially wonderful because of all the great ideas brought to the table. It was a lot of work but with five of us splitting up the work it wasn't too bad. Part of my contribution was making cookie favors. Of course, I had help frosting them all (thanks goodness).

Everything was pink and poppy with bits of yellow. We also used lots of paper lanterns and umbrellas around the room for added atmosphere. It was just inspiring to even participate.

As a gift, Marissa and I joined our crocheting forces and made a blanket for their new home. It was fun working on it and once we started putting the squares together I decided that I wanted to keep it. ;) It is really big, each square is about 23inches and it is a basket weave. I love this new stitch so I think I may try making Sydney a blanket for her bed. I was thinking I could give it to her as a Christmas gift. The stitch is really solid so it would be perfect for winter.