We had a wonderful Sunday afternoon at the FS Austin Children's Christmas party. We got all cleaned up and popped in a taxi and off we went. The hotel is especially beautiful and grand during the holidays and we were reminded of when we first arrived here almost a year to the day now... We admired the gingerbread village and choo choo trains in the lobby along with all of the Christmas trees, decorations, and roaring fire (who says you can't bask in a warm glow when it is 80 degrees outside!). The children had a fabulous time bouncing in castles, decorating cookies and ornaments, and visiting with Santa.
There are more Advent pinecone ornaments to come, but I wanted to share a few little ones I made for our kids as I prepared orders for shipment today. The first few of the Christmas orders are going into the post - phew! Everything is processed in the order in which it was received, and I am felting and sewing my little fingers off in a mad dash for the finish!
Happy December 1st! Holidays and merriment have already begun, and today we mark the first day of Advent - the period leading up to Christmas. This year, I thought it would be lovely to handmake ornaments for each day of Advent using natural materials. As luck would have it, we had precisely 25 pinecones of various sizes in our nature table basket - perfect! For the first 24 days, the children will receive one ornament (which I will hide inside our carriage clock). There will be little elves, angels and the like. On the very last day, Christmas, they will receive the largest of the pinecones, which I will adorn as a Christmas tree.
While I am sure they are going to be asking for chocolate as well each day (it's inevitable when 99 cent chocolate calendars abound at all the store check-outs), I hope that this collection I am creating will last through the years. I have been up late - there was much nursing of baby Reed, working on orders, and of course, an ornament to be completed - 3.30 am is as good a time as any, as long as I get it all done!
Here is the first ornament they will receive: a little blond angel with an acorn cap, flying alongside of our icy Snow Queen. I made the Snow Queen using various hues of cobalt, pale aqua and silvery blue along with pillowy soft ivory-coloured wings. Their faces are neutral, as in the Waldorf tradition, so children are free to explore their limitless imaginations. (*Not the best photo - but the best I could do on my iPhone at this very late hour!) I have tucked the angel away until morning (our cat was also quite fond of these two and I'll have some re-felting to do) and cannot wait til she makes her appearance tomorrow.
My goal is to post each of the new ornaments daily - let's see if I can keep to it!
A single moment captured in a photograph. Candid and fleeting, this will always be a special snapshot in time...
We spent a very gentle Sunday morning, listening to music and taking candids of the children. Gorgeous light filtered in through our windows signalling a day bathed in song, togetherness and family. I see so much of their personalities in each of these photographs: inquisitive Reed, wide-eyed wonder Alina, and soulful Finnlagh. Sometimes my heart is so full I feel as if it could burst ...
In Niko & Nonnie news, if you are planning on ordering from the shop in time for Christmas (Dec. 25th), the deadline for all orders is December 1st. Custom orders are closed until after the holidays - my hands are quite full at the moment filling orders and handmaking Christmas presents! Please visit N&N on Etsy to order or send me a convo. In addition you can always send an email to email@example.com or visit Niko & Nonnie on the web at http://www.nikoandnonnie.com
Getting ready for a sunny walk in the beautiful summer weather outside here today, followed by decking our own halls this evening.
Happy Martinmas! We are going to be celebrating St. Martin's Day today, and I am excited to have yet another tradition to share with you in the coming days. We are also back from our holiday in NYC, cut way too short because of Hurricane Sandy. To say we had to make a run for it is an understatement! Our hearts are with our loved ones in New York and the tri-state area in the aftermath of this most terrible storm.
We are back home in Austin, taking in the sunshine and the delightfully warm autumn temperatures. Our darling middle child, Finnlagh, celebrated his 4th birthday recently as well...Four years old, heart of gold...
There are many photos and stories to share, but for the moment I thought I'd keep you in the loop about some shop updates.
New items have been listed in the shop and are ready for the holiday season! We are still accepting custom orders so if you have a custom order, please have it in by November 20th so we can guarantee shipping on time (to the best of our abilities). Please drop us a line either at firstname.lastname@example.org, send a convo in the SHOP or visit our WEBSITE and click on the Contact link. The last day to order a ready-to-go item from the shop will be December 1st.
For Michelmas this year, we thought that it would be fun to have the children slay a dragon of some sort. Unable to find our ordinary neighbourhood dragon perched and ready for a challenge, we decided to get a bit creative - and literal. As such, we searched online and managed to find a dragon pinata. From its flared nostrils to its empty belly, this dragon was definitely hungry for a fight (and ready to be filled with candy). Indeed, we had a feeling it would be a big hit with Alina and Finnlagh. No pun intended, of course!
We opted out of filling its belly with candy, and instead filled it with small toys: glow-in-the-dark stars, spidery wall climbers that clang when they fall to the floor, kaleidoscopes, stickers, temporary tatoos and figurines of favourite animals. The children thought their winnings were brilliant and I don't think that anyone missed the candy in the end, although goodness, it still is as difficult as ever to burst open a pinata!
One of the most rewarding moments of our celebration came in the form of a drawing presented to us by Alina. She draws day and night; she uses art not only to express mood, emotions and frustrations, but most of all to tell stories and to make gifts for others. There is just something about artistic expression that really appeals to her, and is such a vital component of who she is as a little girl.
As a special surprise, I took her drawing and sent it to Spoonflower, an online purveyor of custom-made fabric. I am awaiting the sample swatch, but if it turns out well, I will get her design printed on a yard of fabric or so, and make something out of it for her for Christmas. Maybe one day we'll even see her designs in the Niko & Nonnie shop!
I am also happy to report that Finnlagh, despite his tumultuous relationship with dragons, was able to save the day. He channeled his inner St. Michael and gave that dragon what for!
We are all looking forward to celebrating Martinmas, a festival which takes place annually on November 11th. This will be our first time celebrating Martinmas together as a family and I'm excited to see how it turns out. As always, I'll post our festivities and share our day with all of you.