Merry Christmas – Frohe Weihnachten

photo (12)

I thought this was so funny and fitting for our bi-lingual family. The German School of Dallas posted it on Facebook. I printed it out for the kids and made a list of the words that needed to be translated. The kids are out now with my husband to give me some time to myself get some fresh air:-). I could just put up my feet and enjoy the calm before the storm but instead I am using this time to prep a surprise bag for them. First I will this poem to them: A little Weihnachtsgedicht

When the snow falls wunderbar,

And the kinder happy are,
When the glatteis on the street
And we all the Glühwein need,
then you know, es ist soweit
She is there, the Weihnachtszeit

Every Parkhaus is besetzt
Weil die people fahren jetzt
All to Kaufhof, Mediamarkt,
kriegen nearly Herzinfarkt
Shopping hirnverbrannte things
And the christmas glocke klings

Mother in the kitchen bakes
Schoko Nuss und Mandelkeks
Daddy in the Nebenraum
Schmücks a riesen Weihnachtsbaum
He is hanging on the balls
When he from the leiter falls
Finally the kinderlein
To the Zimmer kommem rein
And it sings the family
Schauerlich “oh christmastree”
And a jeder in the house
Is packing the Geschenke aus

Mama finds unter the Tanne
A super neue teflon Pfanne
Papa gets schlips and socken
Everybody does frohlocken
President speaks in tv
All around is harmonie
Bis mother in the kitchen runs
Im Ofen burns the Weihnachtsgans

And so comes the Feuerwehr
With tatü tata daher
And they bring a long, long schlauch
And a long long leiter auch
And they schrei “Wasser Marsch”
CHRISTMAS NOW IS IN THE ARSCH!!!
Frohe Weihnachten!

Then the kids will find this surprise bag with a note that reads:

Mosby Christmas 2013

 Dear Isaiah, Seda & Stella,

It’s Christmas Eve! I know you have been really patient counting down the days since December 1st! I hope the Advent calendar has helped ease that long wait a bit. But to help you make it through the next 12 hours of waiting for Santa to come we have something special planned for tonight. Now look inside of the big ‘deer bag’ and see what’s next …

photo 2 (6)

Inside of the bag is another note with further instructions:

You can’t open your presents yet but to help practice your wrapping-paper-tearing-skills we wrapped up something for you that you are going to like – every night!

Go ahead and find your name and see what it is …

There is also popcorn & a chocolate Nikolaus in the bag.

Before you grab the remote & select a movie (that everyone would enjoy) let’s do a dance off and shake your sillies out…

Make sure to be kind to your brother / sister(s) J.

Before you go to bed place a cookie or two & a glass of milk on Santa’s plate! Also, REMEMBER to go to bed by 9 pm!

Let the merry times begin!

Love,

Mom & Dad

Hope you will have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Frohe Weihnachten!

Love,

Yasemin

photo (13)

 

Kids & Christmas

I have to say, I miss sitting in front of my PC to write down what’s happening around here… It’s been five days and I’ve been super busy – as expected. But not taking at least a few minutes to ‘reflect’ on the last few days makes me feel unorganized. Boy, but this week was packed! With my husband travelling one more time before the end of the year it’s been extra busy for me. It meant I had to be dressed and out the house with ALL kids by 7:30 am! I hadn’t taken the kids to school in a few weeks and didn’t realize how bad the construction on this relatively short drive had gotten. Oh, I so hope that everything will be fixed by the time school starts in January. I feel sorry for people who have to deal with traffic, construction etc. etc. on the road EVERY DAY! That can take a toll on a person.

photo 1 (5)

Once back home from dropping off the children, I had to tie all loose ends around here before they are off for the year tomorrow! All little packages have to arrive – now!!! Starting tomorrow afternoon I won’t have the freedom to spread out on the dining table and take my time wrapping gifts. Kids will be around and nosy!!! Last year I had to wrap the last packages inside of my closet. Trying not to let it get there this time. Talking about last minute gifts though, last night Seda’s present arrived in the mail.

photo 3 (2)

I ordered a photo book for her that I am so excited about. It’s pictures from six years of SEDA! All the cute faces she makes, all the fun places she’s already been to, all of the fun clothes she wears!!! Priceless. So far, my favorite gift under the tree this year. ‘The world according to Seda’. One page has all of the pictures she has ‘edited’ on my husbands Ipad. They are so funny. Makes me smile to look at them.

In other news, I am weaning off the baby. She’s 15 months now and that’s about the time I weaned her big brother & sis off as well. I really need to prioritize my sleep in the new year. 15 months of interrupted sleep cycles is wearing me down. The kids need me to be well rested in the mornings. I can’t justify coasting through the day. It’s been a couple of rough nights & nap times around here. But once this little munchkin finally settles down, she is so peaceful & I am so peaceful & PRODUCTIVE!! I just love my children – especially when they are asleep :-).

photo 4 (3)

Although, she is pretty darned adorable ‘awake’ as well! 🙂

photo 1 (2)

Oh, and here is the pouch I’ve made my friend Jen on Saturday. They came over for dinner on Sunday. It was so good to hang out. It’s nice that all our children like to play together as well. PLUS: The men get along really well, too!!! Yeah!

photo 2 (2)

And this is the present we gave Seda’s friend Chloe for her 6th birthday yesterday. I had no idea how many birthday gifts I would be making this month. Foolishly, I had been focusing on Christmas only instead. Next year I need to take into account how many birthday gifts I have to make / buy for December friends, too.

photo 2 (5)

Chloe has gotten a violet & yellow combo doll quilt & pillow. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for the ‘standard’ Yasemin Tea doll skirt. Instead I made the quilt extra large and also the pillow is huge & fluffy. Perfect for her American Girl doll.

photo (9)

Unlike the other doll quilts I’ve made, this one does not consist of equal squares. I changed it up a bit. Each time I construct one of these little doll quilts the picture in my head of my king-sized dream quilt is becoming clearer & clearer… One day soon I wish to tackle this grand task of making a huge quilt pieced together only of my favorite fabric scraps. Some day in 2014…

On today’s to-do list: TEACHER’S GIFTS! I better get to them before my baby decides she has napped enough. Otherwise, I’ll be doing more of this:

photo (11)

Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone. It’s almost Christmas!!

Love,

Yasemin

A quick hello!

I think I am going to have to take a little break from blogging for a week or so. Things are getting quite busy with last minute preparation for the holiday. Or as my husband would put it: It’s fourth quarter! Let’s get it!!

I am 90% done with everything but the last bit is proving to be very time consuming… Yesterday, I finally got one of the more important presents I had ordered in the mail. I was so happy until I found out that they send the wrong thing!!! Arghhhh! Got that taken care of this morning. At least I hope so. They promised to ship what I had actually ordered via express mail. This mysterious thing that I can’t say the name of (wink wink) could make or break Christmas morning for one of the two older children… That’s all I can say about it at this point. Keeping my fingers crossed that Monday morning the nice mailman brings me a small package directly to the door preferably before the kids come home from school!

In other news, I am done with my LOVE ART for our bedroom.

photo 1 (24)

So excited to get this off of my table and finally on the walls. It was actually really simple and quick. A few left-over felt pieces for the letters & the heart, the largest embroidery hoop I had at home, some embroidery floss & needle!

photo 4 (16)

I just couldn’t dedicate too much time at once to it so it got pushed from dining table to sewing table to couch and back. I love where it hangs now. It complements the Nordic colors and decor we have going in our bedroom.

 

photo 2 (25)

The little pennant triangles are my favorites. AND: I got to use up don’t tiny left-over felt pieces from other projects.

photo 1 (18)

Of course, every bedroom needs some ‘love’!

photo 5 (12)

The letter are simple straight lines pinned directly onto the grey felt. No glue used here. I used embroidery floss and just whip stitched it on.

Oh, and one more update: Yesterday, I swooped the kids up from the school bus stop and zapped over to our little shopping center. After filling their always empty tummies with some yummy Belgian waffles we hit the stores and got daddy a present! One! Well, it’s a start. Let’s just see if the kids can keep quite and and tell him what we bought…

photo 1 (25)

I really gotta go. On my list:

  • 6 Christmas cloth napkins for the adults dinner table this Sunday!!! That’s super priority.

 photo 3 (23)

  • One pretty pouch for my friend Jen using this cool fabric that she had commented on when I bought it in Germany and posted on Facebook back in July. She is coming to dinner this Sunday so this has some urgency as well.

 photo 2 (28)

  • This embroidery loop art for the front door since I didn’t get to buy a wreath …

photo (18)

  • Two pouches for the kids’ teachers for next Friday with matching tote to put the pouch & truffles in.
  • A quilt & pillow case for Seda’s friend by next Wednesday. Sorry, but it makes the perfect birthday gift I think. Plus, I get to practice my piecing skills for future projects. 
  • PJ’s for my big girl and a few smaller things sewn up for her doll Ciara but I got a little extra time for that.
  • And while I’m at it a cozy flannel pillow case for my son so he won’t feel left out. 🙂

I think, that’s about it. Gotta dash.

Talk soon I hope.

Love,

Yasemin

Update: By the time I had a minute to ‘publish’ this post I had already finished the FrontDoorEmboideryHoopChristmasFeltArt! Bam! Side note: Maybe it’s done so quickly because I ‘dropped’ the third frame. The one with the ornaments on it. Two look good together! Sometimes less is more!

photo 1 (28)

 

Now, my guests can come!

 

Getting things done!

photo 2 (18)

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since Thanksgiving. First we had to cancel our long anticipated trip to California because of some bad weather on the road… And then we really got bad weather last weekend and were cooped up for 3 days with power outage and complete white out and all…

Even today, after two days of temps above 32 F for at least 6 hours a day there are traffic delays on highways, my drive way is still as slick as can be and makes parking in the garage super difficult … But the biggest upside to these change of plans is that I actually got a ton done at home! I mean A TON! Who said you had to hit the mall to do some Christmas shopping? I have everything in my studio, right here at home, surrounded by beautiful white roofs in our street and ever melting icicles on gutters, Christmas music in the background and enough water to make cups and cups of tea!

photo 4 (11)

It has been a dream. Not one dull moment indoors. This has got to be the perfect season to be cooped up. Much better than the annual obligatory summer months spent in air conditioned spaces. Having lived here in Texas the last two years I can sing a tune or two about that. Not much fun. You can’t open a window. No refreshing breeze, no break from the heat for almost 3 months straight!!!

I like this winter weather more and don’t mind parking my car, lighting the fire place & sipping on some chai for days … Granted you need electricity for that. We’ve never had a power outage in the summer. I can only immagine how miserable it would get indoors. But no power in freezing weather is no fun either. I know that from experience now. 🙂 So as long as we have power I am good to stay at home for days in the winter! Hibernating! Ahhhh… and rejuvenating from the stressful cross country move & the giving birth last year… Finally! Downtime! Momma needed that badly.

photo 3 (17)

The thing is though that I have been more productive in the last few days than ever. All my girlfriends’ gifts are made & shipped, some have already arrived at their destination. But I also got to make plenty gifts for my family. Especially my girls.

Starting with finally making the pattern for a circle skirt (following instructions by Dana from MADE).

photo 1 (19)

My first circle skirt ever was for Seda’s Red Riding Hood costume in October. For this polka dotted skirt I simple measured with a string tied to a pencil. Didn’t make a pattern for it. Just had no time then.

photo 2 (18)

Finally I taped 4 sheets of printer paper together, took Seda’s & Stella’s waist measurements and marked and cut my two patterns! Now, I can use it for many more skirts to come. All it needs it very slight modifications as the girls grow. Actually, I tend to make my pattern at least a size too large. Then I can make the finished skirt as small as possible especially around the waist. Stella’s mini-circle skirt turned out too big around the waistband. But that doesn’t bother me at all. She has the diaper bum holding everything up still :-). I will keep this pattern for the future skirt and make a slightly smaller one that she can wear right now. It’s so easy. That’s future work done today!

photo 1 (21)

photo 2 (22)

For Seda’s circle skirt I used this corduroy that I had in my stash from the spring and highlighted the hem with this store bought bias tape. Boy, these circle skirts have huge circumferences which makes them perfect for twirling of course but they use up A LOT of bias tape!! It goes around and around forever!

photo 1 (20)

For Stella’s first circle skirt ever I used this fabric I purchased in Germany in the summer. It was kind of pricey so I only purchased half a meter which is almost 20 inches. I figured since my girls are still small I’ll be able to make something cute from it. I had no idea I could make 2 cute things from half a meter! Yeah! Money well spent! Love that. Stella got a holiday circle skirt and Seda get a slightly A-line skirt with a pocket! She loves her details that girl.

photo 4 (14)

I’d been looking forward to using this beautiful, woven fabric for a while now. I especially love that the roses look like antique embroideries. The fabric is warm & festive and ideal for this time of year. I can’t wait for the two girls to wear them on Christmas. First, Seda gets to wear hers to her Holiday party at school on the last day of school this year! This reminds me:  There are only 9 days left until winter break! And only one Monday in 2013 at school! Where did this year go! After losing two days of school due to ice the kids finally went back to school yesterday. All wrapped up like burritos they went on their way. With an empty house after five days of family time I finally had a chance to start wrapping presents.

photo 3 (19)

photo 4 (10)

 

Oh, that was so much fun. Especially, with the baby fast asleep at 10:30 am! Wrapping presents is therapeutical. Perfect to slowly get into gear for the week and finish the year strong! Another bonus: All is wrapped up & one less thing on my to-do list this season. A few more things are still due to arrive on our door step any day now but other than that the majority is done. Now we can admire on our mantel for 2 more weeks. No tree for us this year. I already know that with the baby it is bound to be a disaster. She’ll step on the boxes, tear the paper (eat it!!!), take them to other rooms! throw them in the bathtub (which is my favorite – not!) etc. etc.

Talking about my miscevious 15 months old baby: She got to experience the joy of snow & ice yesterday too! I hadn’t taken her out yet. It was just too slick plus she didn’t have any boots. Thanks Old Navy for taking care of that! So yesterday when the older kids came back from school I took them to the park. We skipped German tutoring. I wanted the kids to enjoy this left-over ice & snow for another day. They didn’t get any recess at school which is sad. I wished they’d let the kids go out at pretty much any weather. I remember that recess was the best part of school – in the rain and in the snow, too. Just running around … Getting all dirty and muddy, and wet …

photo 5 (9)

Seeing the baby’s delight with new strange thing covering all the grass was priceless. I also loved that little Rudolph-red-nose that she’s got immediately. As usual, she thought she could manage walking on ice by herself. She didn’t want me to hold her hand.  It was so nice to see the kids all just play on patches of ice. No balls, no play structure, no instructions … Just slip & slide and fall and giggle. That’s how I grew up with my 3 siblings. Outdoors no matter what! Bliss!

photo 5 (8)

Anyway, I better get off the computer and keep making – things. It truly is one of the greatest joys of my life!

photo 1 (18)

What have you made for Christmas?

Love,

Yasemin

Winter Wonderland!

 IcedTrees (2)

Today is Friday. A school day. But with all the bad weather coming into the region last night, the school district cancelled classes today. Wise decision! It was nice to get the closure notice before we went to bed last night. I didn’t want to have to set my alarm just to find out that I could go right back to bed this morning.

photo 2

Last night, I couldn’t have even imagined how serious this storm would be. It wasn’t just freezing rain & snow as forecasted but a POWER OUTAGE!!! This time it hit only our neighborhood. Other parts of our little town weren’t affected. (Later on other parts of Dallas were affected as well :-() According to my little girl it was 2 am when we lost power. She knows because she has a night light in her room and if that thing goes out she has a free ride straight to our bed!! My poor hubby got a little crowded in the bed and slept laid on the couch instead. I was sure all would be back to normal by 7 am when everyone naturally awakens around here. But no. We weren’t that lucky. It took until 10:40 am this morning to restore power to our neighborhood.

IcedBranches

Boy, was I grouchy. No heat, no tea or any other form of caffeine, warm breakfast, light, etc. Kids were not too happy either. Their precious extra TV time that they would usually get on a day like today was cut. I am sure a grouchy mother was not much fun either. I had no idea how this power outage would effect our mood. The gas fireplace worked so we weren’t too cold. At least not right in front of it. But with outside temps in the 20’s it was COLD! I had been looking forward to a cozy day with the kids since last night. But without tea!!, hot chocolate, toast!! it’s not cozy…

My husband was upbeat as always. He showered with whatever hot water was left and thought he was going to head to Starbucks to get some breakfast. I just laughed. No way he was going to get his little bug free of inches and inches of ice… Yep! I was right. No such luck. Actually by the time he deiced his car the power came back on.

Then, energized by a hot cup of tea, he went on his merry way. Got some work done at Starbucks, had a hot breakfast and came back home by 2 pm. Only because the Starbucks employees kicked him out. All stores in the neighborhood closed early today. Thank goodness he made it back home safe & sound. Oh, and thank you Starbucks for the free pumpkin loaf. Since they were closing early they sent some home with my husband :-). So sweet. Tomorrow the forecast is actually looking even worse. We shall see what happens overnight. As long as we have power I am ok with that and at this time I like to take a moment to thank the power line men who fixed whatever was broken. I gotta say I never appreciated their jobs like today. Thank you for working on the coldest days of the year.

WhiteOut

THANK YOU POWER LINE PEOPLE FOR WORKING IN 19 DEGREES AND BRINGING US WARMTH! I hope they paid you extra today!!

Stars

Now back to today’s sewing project:

With the power back on and nothing else to do I dedicated the afternoon to making a birthday gift for one of Seda’s friends. Unlike the many Christmas gifts I am sewing up in my studio this month I can post about this one. Sometimes I forget there are many birthday’s to celebrate before December 25th…

This little birthday girl is turning 6. She has an American Girl doll which makes it easy for me to sew for ’cause I just love making things for those dolls. Tomorrow they are planning on going to see the movie ‘Frozen’ together … only if it is not still FROZEN here at home of course :-).

I chose these fabrics:

photo 4 (8)

I used my super duper 6.5″ square quilting ruler and cut out 9 squares of three different fabrics. I think she is going to like it. I love how this one turned out. I was determined not to use Disney character fabrics although her family loves Disney with a passion. It would have been too predictable. But I didn’t want to go the pink & purple route either. Too typical girly. Instead I chose coral combined with these playful prints.

photo 3 (11)

 

The polka dots are my favorite. If I remember correctly from the selvage it’s organic cotton! Bam! It checks all the boxes. A perfect blanket for a little doll in frosty December. I am so excited about the binding. I hand stitched it. I could have just used store bought inexpensive bias tape. It would have been faster but I love making these gifts thinking that this girl might actually keep this one and hand it down maybe? I know I know. I am reaching here… But a girl’s gotta dream right?

photo 4 (9)

The best part about this project? I used fabric that I had at home, made the binding myself, used batting & backing, elastic and ribbon for the skirt … all from my stash. I didn’t have to go to the store for this present at all. I feel like this is the kind of gift that deserves the HANDMADE WITH LOVE stamp ribbon!

photo (15)

photo 3 (15)

photo 5 (7)

Happy Birthday Megan!

And since it was so much fun to make a tiny pillow to match the quilt I went ahead and made one for my little girl as well. Now she can play dolls with her friend with quilt & pillow and all!

photo 2 (17)

Before I forget, here’s one more upside to this ice storm: Tomorrow’s back-to-back basketball games early in the morning are cancelled!!!!! Don’t tell the boys I am excited about this but I really really am! 🙂 It will be much more fun to make up these games when we are back in the upper 60’s. I’m just sayin’. It’s Texas. You never put away your flip-flops ’cause you never know. One day it storms the next day you are back to sweatin’.

Talking about tomorrow’s plans: We were invited to a friend’s house for dinner. We’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. It looks like it’s going to be too dangerous to drive though… We’ll decide in the morning.

This is what I’ve sewn up for our hostess:

photo 3 (14) photo 4 (7)

I think I am going to have to make one for myself as well. I love the size and how it lays flat unlike my stand up pretty pouches.

Either way, I am happy to have today off, no games tomorrow & enough food & craft supplies to make it through the weekend. My only prayer: Please power please stay ON! It sucks to be cold! There I said it! I am spoiled that way.

Stay warm people.

Yasemin

photo 3 (16)

 

It’s beginning to look …

photo 2 (11)

We are only three days into December and I have decided that this is going to be a great finish to an already amazing year. I feel ahead of schedule in terms of gifts & Christmas related stuff in general. I decided that this year’s motto is going to be: Simply Christmas! Nothing too elaborate nothing too time-consuming or expensive, nothing that costs a lot of stress … Simply Christmas! I even purchased the kid’s advent calendar this year! I’ve never done that before. Usually these are the welcome opportunities for crafters like me to go overboard. But not this year. Not when Playmobil makes these cute boxes. At a price of $19.99 who has time & energy to make one? I don’t!

 photo (14)

Behind each door is a piece of the castle setting including princess bride & groom, king, armoire, a chest of gold etc. etc.

photo 2 (15)

And how about this little thing for a buck from Trader Joe’s? A tiny square of milk chocolate to sweeten each morning. Perfect!

photo 1 (13)

Oh, there is more: My friend Elke sent this cute card from Germany just in time to open the first door. Behind each door is a cute gingerbread ornament.

photo 3 (8)

I am liking the idea of keeping it simple this year very much. At first, my Christmas to-do list was long. I intended to make a whole set of fabric & felt ornaments. That’s why these guys have been hanging on my wall for weeks as a reminder.

 photo (16)

I even planned on purchasing some ornaments in the jazzy new colors that have been displayed in stores since October! But why? That’s not going to make our holiday any better. Not mine, not my husband’s (he is always happy to not have to buy anything anyway :-)). As for the kids? They don’t know the difference when it comes to old or new home decor in the first place. It saves me another long wait in line at the store which baby Stella is thankful for too! All around a good decision!! Pat pat pat …

This year I am using as much fresh seasonal greenery as possible.  Add a couple of candles and voila! Done! The post-holiday clean-up at the end of the month will be so easy. Plus, I don’t have to store anything else which means less clutter!!! Amen to that! SIMPLY CHRISTMAS!

 photo (15)

As far as holiday cards? Done in 30 minutes at home! I used this picture below that a kind stranger volunteered to take of us last week, put a little app magic to it (I used the free app Pic Collage & Over) and printed on photo paper at home! Sorry Shutterfly. You ain’t getting my money this year. I have places to go, people to see …

photo 1 (10)

photo (13)

Alternative card option:

photo (11)

Regarding kid’s visit with Santa? We’ve already gotten that out of the way after Thanksgiving, too. We went to Watters Creek. No lines. No hassle. Kid’s had extra time to bond with Santa. So sweet. Isaiah asked for a LeBron James jersey. Santa couldn’t hide his dislike … he he he. After all, we are in Texas and he had to rub it in that he prefers the San Antonia Spurs. Dang Santa! What happened to being bias??? He almost blew his cover. I wonder how long my son will believe in the magic of Christmas anyway. Seda asked for an American Girl doll. So far she has (only) a bitty twin – Ciara. She had an unusually happy smile on her face – first time for her. Of course, if you get to ask this man in red for an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL you better smile ear to ear.

 photo 2 (12)

Not surprisingly the baby screamed on all but one picture. You can still see the little tears. I love this look though. It’s a classic one-year old meats the big guy kind of look. Precious.

In other news, I have absolutely NO IDEA what to give my hubby for Christmas. He is better at this than me. He always thinks of something that I don’t even dream of but really really love all the more. This year I got NOTHING! I know what I am not doing: clothes, perfume, hat, socks, books … I do that every Father’s Day, birthday & Christmas, too. He loves technology. But he is up to date on those. He doesn’t wear a watch and thinks those are obsolete which I don’t agree with but anyway. So what’s left? He doesn’t wear jewelry – obviously. He doesn’t craft or have any other handy hobbies. He could use a pair of designer glasses. Hmmm?? I am thinking… still thinking… I’ve done photo books which he loved. I’ve done a personal horoscope & analysis which he LOVED! Now what? Golf? Still thinking … Well, this might be THE ONE challenge for me this season.

I’ll keep thinking and leave you as usual with LOVE! This one’s in form of a banana peel courtesy of my 6-year old.

photo 5 (4)

She sees beauty & love everywhere. On that note:

Love,

Yasemin