Friday, December 19, 2014

Super Celebration Post

The last few months of the year are host to many significant birthdays and holidays in my friend and family circle.  Here is a mega-enormous post to acknowledge some of those people and events:

First up: October! Jamie and I have been friends since elementary school so our families know each other pretty well and her mom Charleen is like another mom to me. Jamie, Charleen and I all have a slew of the same hobbies, which is how we came to find ourselves celebrating Jamie's birthday with a soapmaking, cooking, crafting sleepover!

Always remember to practice safe soapmaking, folks.

Our batch of mild, unscented goat's milk soap is finally aged enough that I am going to test a bar out this week.  Fingers crossed that my skin likes it.

On to a packed November, including my sister Jessy's birthday!

We started the evening with a family dinner out followed by tickets to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra at the Ordway Theater.  Our family does not regularly attend orchestra performances so this was a special way to celebrate Jessy's birthday by trying something new. Last year Jessy picked Whirly Ball and this year she picked a symphony.  Who knows what will be next!

I was also motivated to sneak in a Crafternoon before the December holiday plans kick into high gear for everyone.  I think this instance of Crafternoon might have broken an attendance record with 15 people.  It required some creative positioning of tables in order to make a spot for everyone. It was so fun to have an abundance of laughter and creativity filling my house.

I think this Crafternoon might hold the record for youngest attendee with Molly at about 3 months old.

Being the one behind the camera means you rarely show up in front of the camera.  If it wasn't for photographs of my finished knitting projects, there would be almost no photos of me.  Paul and I are trying to be mindful of that and so he kindly snapped this shot while I was setting up for Crafternoon.  On that platter are slices of Pumpkin Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake, which is a recipe you should definitely make.

And, of course, Thanksgiving is in November, too! My mom hosted our extended family for a potluck meal. I have to say, our menu is getting better and better each year!

Appetizers included cheese with some of that fantastic balsamic vinegar from our trip.

The pre-meal time also included pin-faced versions of 2nd cousins.

That little bit of sauerkraut on my plate?  It has become a Thanksgiving tradition to taste test Uncle Bill's sauerkraut.  It was a little young this year, but still delicious and expertly grated.

Usually there are a select few of us who take a nice, long walk between the meal and dessert, but this year was frigid and a walk was not deemed worth it.  It didn't stop me from sampling a small slice from 3 of Michelle's decadent, homemade pies.

December! The month of my birth! I have been having a major craving to create a stash of homemade greeting cards.  I floated a somewhat last minute idea of having a cardmaking gathering as a way to celebrate my birthday and it came together wonderfully!

As party hostess, my mom did the heavy lifting and I just got to show up with my supplies and hang with some of my favorite people while enjoying lunch and creating cards.

We pooled supplies and had a huge arsenal of options that spilled over on to the floor, another table and quite a few chairs. I was so into it that I went home after the party and made cards for the rest of the evening!

The birthday cupcakes were a fun surprise.  I had no idea there was a Cupcake War winning bakery in my mom's town, but there is!  The salted caramel one from Nadia Cakes was the best out of the 4 (FOUR!) I tasted.

Sylvia was the most focused crafter of the gathering and also a perfect fit for the hat that was too small for me!

Thanks for making my birthday party request a reality, Mom and Jessy (and friends)!

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