Friday, December 31, 2010

Gift Clutches

I made these cute gathered clutches as Christmas gifts for friends.  I found the idea on Sew, Mama, Sew! blog - Handmade Holiday's post. The original pattern came from Anna Graham, and she has a great tutorial on her blog, Noodlehead.

I made ten of these clutches and found that the tutorial was very clear and easy to use from the first clutch to the last. I didn't change anything. I only left out one optional step and that was not to make the divider piece.

I tried to match fabrics to my friends' personalities, so two of my friends received a variation of this tea fabric clutch. I'm hoping to make one of these for myself too! 

The inside of the clutch has two credit card pockets which makes it great for downsizing your purse, but still keeping your important items organized.
 I will definitely be making these again! Thanks Anna and Sew, Mama, Sew!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Tea with Steph!

When I found out that my friend Steph was coming for a short, 24 hour visit right before Christmas, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to host a Christmas tea for her and a few friends. Not only was I looking forward to spending time with Steph, I was also looking forward to christening a vintage china set that I generously received from friend, a few months ago.

The menu was simple. We started with a white bean - rosemary soup accompanied by our favorite tea sandwiches, egg salad, chicken salad, and cucumber.
At the suggestion of Amy, I served festive cranberry orange scones with orange marmalade and cranberry relish. Followed by a simple dessert of a few varieties of Christmas cookies and candies, that I pulled out of the freezer, and sweet and salty chocolate cupcakes.
The china set also included matching crystal water goblets and dessert cups. The dessert cups were a perfect way to display the cupcakes.

It was such a blessing to spend time with Steph, even though it was brief. I had a lovely afternoon spent with good friends, followed by a quiet evening with just Amy and Steph as we enjoyed a few appetizers and the pretty downtown Christmas lights!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Walk Through Leonard Springs

Mac's class adopted the trail at Leonard Springs Nature Park, which means that they are responsible for the upkeep of the trail. The kids volunteer to walk the trail once a month; they are suppose to pick up trash, remove debris and small branches from the trail. They also submit a report to the city noting any fallen trees or soil erosion. Mac volunteered to take the month of November so the boys, Pongo, and I headed out for an evening hike through the woods.

 There are many things to see along the trail including wetlands, streams, waterfalls and caves. On the day that we went, the trail was in pretty good shape except for this large fallen tree that was hanging by the branches of other trees.

Leonard Springs reservoir was used as the municipal water supply until about the mid 1900's. It was acquired by Bloomington Parks and Recreation in 1998 and dedicated as a park in October of 1999.

We had a nice hike on the cool autumnal day. Even Pongo enjoyed chasing the squirrels and rabbits through the woods.