Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas in a Jar

Confession: most of my Christmas decorations are still packed. Usually I can't wait to put my keepsakes out on display.  Despite this funk, I find myself still enjoying doing things for others. I came across this idea trolling through tumblr. Christmas in a jar! What a great alternative to the traditional plate of goodies. 
Luckily for me, my parents have a dehydrator. Drying the fruit became a labor of love. It took days and days. I watched carefully to make sure the fruit didn't over dry and brown. I am beyond ecstatic with how it all turned out. Beautiful! I can't stop admiring these apple, orange and lemon slices.
Then the challenge became finding the spices. Who knew cinnamon sticks were so expensive!?! And tis the season for cloves to be completely sold out. A little whole all-spice, ground nutmeg and bay leaves. Mmmmm!
Once I had all my ingredients gathered I set out my jars and began the assembly. 
Every item was decoratively placed in the jar. And then rearranged. And rearranged. I really enjoyed putting these together.
Time to finish them. Coffee filters are very inexpensive. (And we'll have enough to make these jars every year for the next 50+ years.)
 Desiree hand lettered the tags, then printed them on brown paper.
Tie them up with some string and DONE.
I didn't have enough stuff left over to make up one for myself. I'm not sure how WONDERFUL the concoction smells, but if it is anything like it smells dry it must be DIVINE.

If you were lucky enough to get one from us, will you please let us know how it smells? (I reduced the cloves by half, because they can be very strong and some people don't care for the scent.) If I can find cheaper spices, making these may become a yearly Christmas tradition.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa. One for you, and you, and me.

My Mom made this Santa over 30 years ago. It is one of the few Christmas decorations that has survived and still manages to make it out of the attic every year. He's just missing the bells that used to be on his boots. Isn't he ADORABLE? I love him. Every year when he gets unpacked Mom says, "Someday I'll make another one." She was never really happy with the fabrics she chose, but at the time she was a young married with little money. A few years ago I uncovered the pattern. And since then every year have said, "I'm going to make my OWN Santa." Well . . . last year we set aside Thanksgiving weekend to each make a Santa. That's 3. One for Mom, one for Desiree and one for me. 
 We bought our fabric before the big weekend and I pre-cut it so all we would have to do is assemble them. I also crocheted little circles to use for cheeks.
Beards are tricky things!
Face and arms DONE. Now to stuff the body!
Desiree was never too excited about this project, but she walked right into the fabric store and chose hers in 5 minutes. I secretly had her type of Santa in mind for my own, but let her have first fabric choice.
Mom wanted hers to match her living room. She also went a little bit crazy with the fringe for Santa's beard.
My Santa is still missing the pom pom for his hat because I can't find the right color yarn to make it. I named him Thaddeus.

I absolutely LOVE the fact that we all used the same pattern, but each Santa has his own personality.
And somehow my Santa turned out to be the shrimpy one. Appropriate since I am the runt of the family.

It took ALL weekend to finish. There was some minor swearing, but memories were made nonetheless. Now I'm the one saying "Someday I'll make another one."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm grateful for so many things---too many to list---but I am especially grateful for all of our friends and family who support our handmade businesses. I would be remiss if I didn't share with you all the great things going on at FlyAKite!

The teddy bears we made as stocking stuffers for Children's Hospital are now available for purchase.

NEW crochet Snowflake Star Ornaments in white or natural.

With every purchase starting today through Cyber Monday you will receive a single Snowflake Star Ornament in either white or natural. If you have a preference, just let us know in the notes to seller.

PLUS you can save 20% off your entire purchase with coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS. The discount is good on regular AND sale prices. FYI all FlyAKite stockings are now 50% off! There are some great savings to be had!

If you're a Sylvia-Louise fan we are also running a CLEARANCE SALE on all remaining  ready-made bags. Up to 75% off! When they're gone, they're gone.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Leaves That Are Green

This is my FAVORITE time of year. Daylight Savings Time is over, there is a chill in the air (except today it is forecasted to be 90!) and the holidays are right around the corner. While I wish many things in my life were different, there are so many things I am grateful for. Recent events have made me appreciate more the little things in life. It is important to live in the moment and make lasting memories. 

The lyrics of this song have been running through my head for weeks now.

"Time hurries on
And the leaves that are green turn to brown
And they wither with the wind
And they crumble in your hand
Once my heart was filled with the love of a girl
I held her close, but she faded in the night
Like a poem I meant to write
And the leaves that are green turn to brown
And they wither with the wind
And they crumble in your hand
I threw a pebble in a brook
And watched the ripples run away
And they never made a sound
And the leaves that are green turn to brown"
-Simon and Garfunkel

I'm reminded that the cycles of life and death are all a part of God's great plan. And that it is up to us to make His will our own.

Here is video of the song. More meaningful with music.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BOO! It's a SALE!

Halloween is FAST approaching. So we decided to have a little SALE over at FlyAKite. ALL Halloween/Fall items are 20% off! The discount is already taken, just add the items to your cart!

p.s. We hope to have some new Christmas products soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Today is LIVESTRONG Day – The Lance Armstrong Foundation’s global day of action. Today we celebrate the 28 million people worldwide facing the disease and honor all those that have lost their lives in a tough fight.

Share your message of support by visiting For every message shared, generous donors have pledged to give the Lance Armstrong Foundation $1 towards programs and services that directly support people fighting cancer. Share via twitter or facebook. Over $100,000 has been donated so far.

"We fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lessons From History

Tears are in my eyes as I type this post. I just watched a special on National Geographic, Hitler's G.I. Death Camp. The story, as told by these survivors struck me especially hard. On top of Berga being a death camp, it was also a labor camp, and when the Germans realized how close American soldiers were, they forced these prisoners on a death march. I've watched my share of WWII documentaries, some with Jewish death camp survivors, but nothing has effected me quite like seeing Americans suffer the same cruelties. What does this say about me as a person? Do I value innocent American lives more than innocent lives of peoples of different nationalities? I like to think that I view all humans, regardless of their nationality/race/gender as children of God who deserve to be treated as such. I know that American soldiers were treated abominably in the labor camps in the Pacific islands during this same time period. I have read the memoir of my great uncle who survived one such camp in the Philippines. Maybe because I was unaware that such torture occurred to Americans in Europe as well. When I think about it I feel silly for not realizing that by the end, the Nazis were placing any enemy in a camp to further their war effort. As I listened to these survivors tell their story I was amazed at the courage and dedication it took to come out of such a horrific experience. These men, who served our country, who fought for freedom and justice, demonstrate true heroism.

Sorry for such a somber post. I normally try to keep this blog about things that inspire and uplift. While I am inspired by the courage of the survivors, I am deeply saddened by the reminder of how much we have still to learn from history. I also didn't include the haunting photographs from the documentary to keep this post from being completely depressing. Thanks for letting me share with you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wish List

My birthday is this week. I've already told anyone who has asked that I am NOT having a birthday this year. And since no one asked what I wanted for my birthday, I started my wish list with a few realistic things and grew more extravagant as the list grew longer.

-I just got new orange platform shoes, so I need orange accessories. This necklace and Marc Jacobs satchel should do nicely!
-An air popcorn popper. Nothing fancy.
-Black matte nail polish
-Gray flats
-How cute is this Kate Spade polka dot scarf?
-Harry Potter books (haven't read them)

And while I'm at it I want

-A cure for cancer
-World peace
-A steady income
-Fiscal responsibility from my elected officials
-Prince Charming
-A refrigerator  

Yeah, that's about it!

Actually, I'm not THAT materialistic. And I really don't need anything for my birthday. That's why its called a "WISH LIST."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Getty Villa

Roman inspired architecture and gardens.
Sean, me, Matt & Desiree
Tempted to jump in the fountain.
Inner courtyard.
Lansdowne Heracles
Entrance to the Last Days of Pompeii exhibit.
Photography is not allowed in all areas. This is just a flavor of what this museum has to offer. 
Here's a cool video they show in a theater at the museum that discusses the history of the Getty Villa.






Monday, September 17, 2012

Dodger Stadium Tour

As a pre-birthday gift Desiree got tickets for us to tour Dodger Stadium. It was beyond cool and we learned a lot! Dodger Stadium is the third oldest ballpark in America behind Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. And it's seating capacity is the largest ballpark in the world. Who knew?
The seafoam colored seat section alone seats more than The Staples Center. It's one of only 11 Major League ballparks without a corporate sponsored name. 
Before the tour started. It was already REALLY hot. And on the top deck we were feeling a breeze.
Visiting the Press Box, where Vin Scully, the longest running play by play broadcaster in history, works. 63 seasons!!! And he'll be back for number 64 next year.
Six World Series titles.
Hanging out in the dugout!
On the phone to the bullpen.
Where's Matt Kemp?
On the field!!!
No breeze and roasting HOT!

Seeing behind the scenes, and all the history of this ball club made me fall even more in love with this ballpark. I've always loved the vintage feel of this stadium. Attending a game here is truly a unique experience. Thanks D.D. for such a fun birthday present! And here's hoping to see our boys in BLUE in post season play!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm in LOVE . . . . . . .

with a chair

a bed

another chair

a couch

a table
a floor lamp

a bath tub

Basically EVERYTHING in the Restoration Hardware Fall Source Book. LOVE. All 690 pages! I don't know what I did to get on the mailing list, but boy am I glad I am. You can also peruse the catalog here. Page after page of beauty and simplicity. You will lose yourself. I did, until nearly 2 am last night.