Well, we made it through Thanksgiving relatively unscathed. We hosted this year which meant 1-7 additional people (depending on the day) staying with us in our tiny house for 5 days. Surprisingly, it didn't feel all that cramped though, and our Thanksgiving couldn't have been nicer. Dave's mom, sister, her husband and their too-freakin'-cute-for-words toddler son came out from the Dallas area, bringing all kinds of T-day goodies with them. It was also my mom's 65th b-day so my brother--who usually avoids family holidays at all costs (don't ask), opting instead for working at the fire station every year--even flew out for the occasion! This in and of itself made the day rule the school because a.) I *heart* my bro to the umpth degree and b.) having all three of us together was the best gift possible for my mom.
Dave did most of the cooking, making the best version of "turkey" I've ever had. For you fellow vegetarians out there who've been subjecting yourselves to spongy soy roasts all of these years, PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE TOFURKEY! There's a relatively new product out by the UK brand Quorn that tastes so close to real turkey breast, that even the carnivores in the group were nibbling on it cold the next day! Bake it in olive oil, rosemary, oregano and a little salt & pepper, and the result is pretty darn near perfection. Seriously.
The only thing that I cooked myself, was the cornbread stuffing my mom used to make when we were kids. This is the one dish that makes or breaks Thanksgiving for me--it's not the holiday with out it in my humble opinion. But I digress.
The holiday week turned out to be pretty crafty in Casa de Howell/Campbell beginning with , my mom's birthday present. Since 65 is a monumental year, I thought a keepsake would be the way to go. Tanner & Tristan collaborated on drawing a card for her, which I then transferred onto some unbleached cotton, embroidered over, sewed into a pillow. I was a little nervous that it wouldn't seem like enough, but when the happy tears started flowing I breathed a sigh of relief. ;) For all of you out there trying to think of grandparent gifts for Christmas & Hanukkah, embroidered artwork (for photo album covers, journals, pillows, or just framed) makes for a great option. It's a fantastic opportunity to co-produce something with your kids, instilling a sense of pride and giving in them. Not to mention, since now we're officially in a recession, handmade gifts offer a thoughtful way to honor your loved ones without breaking the bank!
For a refresher course on how to get artwork transfered onto fabric, see my Eco-Craft article from a back issue of KIWI Magazine, here.
For the first time this year, I started and got 2/3 through (thanks to super-bulky yarn & size 19 needles) a non-work related project for myself! Below is my WIP Rockerfeller sweater, from Twinkle's Big City Knits. I love working off other people's patterns every once in a while, to see how differently everyone designs and writes patterns. It seems to vary greatly from to designer to designer which I guess speaks to the fact that knitting is an oral tradition with many different interpretations. This can be pretty frustrating for knitters but also, a opportunity for learning.
The kids got in on the crafty action (again) by making the obligatory waxed paper place mats, for the Thanksgiving kiddie table. Here they are working on the only surface at the time, that didn't have food or dishes on it. ;)
Lastly, after 2 years of talking about it, I finally taught my sister-in-law Meredith to knit. She's a complete natural! I literally showed her 2 stitches and watched her as she knit 2 more herself, and she had it. She knit the piece she's holding in a matter of 2 hours, WHILE drinking wine and watching a movie! She's officially kicked Will Forte out of his 3-year reigning "fastest learner" position. :) I've brought another innocent person over to the knitting dark side--mwahhahhah!
I hope you're all recovering from your own holiday adventures, and that you all had a peaceful and happy week. More later!