christmas

Little Red

Hello lovely people and Happy Friday! How are you? Our house is filled with the smell of our Christmas tree - I just love that about this time of year! Every morning, I go around the house turning on all the twinkle lights and appreciating their beautiful glow. I do love Christmas!

Wanted to share some pictures of little Claire Bear, that I managed to capture the other day. I'm surprised she kept the hood up, since she tends to dislike anything on her head - stubborn little bear...but so stinkin' cute.

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Those eyes get me every time...and I think she's starting to figure that out. ;)

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Hope you are all enjoying this special time of year! What's your favorite thing about the season?

Have a beautiful weekend.

xo,

Ivy

A New Member of the Family

After losing our dear cat, Sydney in early December we sorely missed the presence of a furball in our home...so...I trotted down to CAT (The Cat Adopotion Team) and adopted a sweet kitten, originally named Hickory. I thought I would share the story of our meeting... Upon walking into the Kitten Room of the shelter, one could NOT miss the tiny white and black kitty desperately scaling the walls of his cage, while meowing with all his might!

"Oh boy"  I thought, "That one looks like trouble!"

I gave him a finger pat on the head and moved on to the sleepy, quiet kittens.

"Meeeooooooow!!! Meeeeeooooow!!!!"

Hickory was hard to ignore. I couldn't help but feel bad for the little guy. I put my finger between the bars and he grabbed on with both tiny paws, bringing it to his face. A loud purr began. Cute. Very cute.

But..... I withdrew my hand and went back to looking at the more mellow cats.

CLANG! BANG!

Hickory had once again climbed the sides of the cage, but this time he had knocked over his metal water bowl.

"MEEEEEOOOOOWWWW!!!!" he yelled at me, like it was my fault.

Okay! Okay! I told the adoption consultant that I would visit one on one with Hickory in the "meeting" room. Once in my arms he scrambled up to my neck , gave me a few head butts and curled up under my chin. He sounded like a little engine with that purr!

Smiling like a fool, I carried him into the room and sat cross-legged on the floor. He unfurled himself, jumped from my arms, pounced on an invisible speck on the ground, ran circles around the room, leaped over a chair and then hopped back into my lap...head butted me again...and then off he went on his circuit of adventure around the room. Every few seconds he would check back in with me, head butt, purr and then back to his kitten antics. He put on quite a show. I found myself laughing out loud. I liked this little guy. Trouble...yeah maybe, but he looked confident and playful, perfect for dealing with a four-year old. Dear old Syd, had been terrified of Grace and we rarely saw her during the day.

For good measure, I visited with three or four other kittens but while they were all adorable, they didn't have the personality that Hickory did.

Half an hour later, I was driving home with him. His eyes closed, purring with contentment. He had gotten his way.

Hickory, now renamed Toby, has made an amazing addition to the family. He is so sweet and loving. Playful and patient with Grace (and all the neighborhood kids who visited him). We couldn't be happier with our new little fur baby.  He had a blast with everyone over Christmas! Thought I would share some of the photos...

He loves to "help" Grace color...

He surely wasn't going to miss Christmas dinner...

and unwrapping presents was a highlight...as was scaling the Christmas tree...TOBY!!!!

The best part of having Toby in our life - Grace has a new best friend...

xo,

Happy New Year

Hello Friends! Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were lovely. We had a fabulous time here. Lots of food, wine and laughs! A wonderful Christmas with everyone under one roof - ours. Having the space this year, to host the festivities, was a real treat!

Today, we took down the tree (boo!) and all the twinkling lights (I miss them the most). I really hate taking down the decorations. It always makes me a little sad...like unpacking after a beautiful vacation...there's so much build up, so much excitement and then it's all over so fast. ho hum.

On the up side, I know 2011 is going to be fantastic! I've got lots of ideas and inspiration and I'm truly excited to see where this New Year will take me.

Speaking of inspiration...over the break, Chris got me Photoshop Elements and I've been dabbling with digital collage...wow...can you say FUN!

Here are my first three attempts...

I am having a blast playing around with this new medium. So many possibilities!

What's inspiring you right now? Got big plans for your New Year?

xo,

Happy Holidays!

My house is filled with family. The cupboards are stuffed with food and outside, the sky is silver-gray. Our street twinkles with row upon row of strung lights. Chimneys happily puff smoke from their tops, as families gather around the fire.

Yeah, it's a pretty special time of year...

I hope your holiday season is filled with love, happiness, peace and hope...oh and food...lots of food...and wine...you gotta have wine.

Happy Holidays! I will see you all in the New Year.

Thank you for all your love, encouragement and comments!

xo,

Image via homelife.com.au

Link Love

Hello friends,

Image via weheartit

Yesterday it was perfectly rainy here in Portland. (Surprise, surprise)...and I was roaming through blogland with my hot cup of tea.

I discovered so many pretty things to show you that I was having an inspiration overload, so I thought the best thing to do would just share some of my favorites with you.

A little link love is in order. Ready? Okay let's go...click away!

Discover the snow-covered Amsterdam landscapes by visiting one of my favorite bloggers...Pia.

Enjoy some curated mood board inspiration from Melissa.

Virtually thumb through one of the loveliest online magazine around...Lonny.

Feel like baking something beautiful? Stop over at Aran's for some gorgeous deliciousness...aka...Pear and Hazelnut Tarts!

How about some holiday cheer from one of my favorite artists? Head over to see Geninne...

Hope you have fun persusing some of my favorite blog hangouts. Enjoy!

xo,

Hello my beautiful tree.

After a teary eyed day, picking up all Sydney's toys and cleaning out her food bowl...I needed something pretty to work on...something to cheer me up. On Saturday, Chris brought home the most beautiful tree for us. It's our first real tree! I haven't had one since I was a kid. The whole house smells amazing!

I set to work decorating it...

I kept it super simple using only silver and white ornaments and paper snowflakes. Instead of a star I crowned the tree with sparkling branches.  It was an honor to adorn such a grand tree and I often just sit in the living room and smile up at it. I'm still missing my kitty but this gorgeous house guest brightened my day. Thank you tree.

Have you decorated your tree yet? How did you do it?

xo,

Christmas around the world: Paris

I miss our Vicarious Vacations. Do you? I do love to research new places and although it was hours of work, I miss that feeling of discovery. So...I thought I would start a new little series celebrating the holidays. These journeys won't be as thorough as the VV's, but I couldn't resist hunting down beautiful images of places around the world and how they look at this special time of the year. I asked Grace which city I should begin with and of course she said, "Paris!" Together we perused Flickr, finding the prettiest pictures of Paris during Christmas.

Here's what we found...

The City of Lights certainly doesn't disappoint. It would be truly magical to stroll the Parisian street during Christmas. Maybe one day we will...

Want more? Check out this video tour...featuring some of the elaborate window displays on show this season...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLU_qjTSYbU&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

What is your favorite city at during the holidays?

Hope you have a lovely Monday.

xo,

Photos via Flickr 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

All wrapped up...

To be honest, I'm not the best at wrapping gifts. In fact, I usually let my super perfectionist hubby do it. He has a way with paper and creases...me...not so much. I end up squashing down the ends, slapping some tape on and calling it good.

However - I am a newly evolved, crafty, inspired person compared to the Ivy of Christmas past, SO this year I'm going to really try. Really.

I went on the hunt for inspiration and finding it via this down-under mag comes as no surprise - Aussies are geniuses after all! Look at all the pretties!

Gorgeous right? I can only hope to achieve such results. But hoping is good...

How do you like to wrap up your goodies? Any tricks or tips to share? Trust me I need em'.

xo,

All images via homelife.com.au

Handmade Trunk Show: La Fete de Noel

Hello Friends, I'm sorry I haven't posted today but I am super busy ramping up for the trunk show I'm having at my place on Nov. 20th! I'm so excited for it but wow...my studio is becoming a little nutty! My floor is lined with Grace and Ivy products, the kitchen smells like vanilla and ginger from cooking up sugar scrubs and my cat has deemed the empty boxes from my ingredient shipments her new hang out. She keeps popping her head out every time I enter the room. Too cute.

The mess means I'm busy...right?...so I really can't complain.

If you are a local Portlander, please do join us for some champagne, yummy holiday treats and of course, beautiful, handmade goods!

I'm thrilled to be co-hosting this show with my amazing friends and fellow artists, Amy, Barbara & Jen.  Amy creates stunning jewelry with a vintage touch, Barbara screen prints her amazing artwork onto sinfully soft clothing and Jen delivers stunning handcrafted collage greeting cards! Add my organic skin and body care and you've got a plethora of fabulous gift options for all the special people in your life! Giving handmade not only supports the artists in your community but makes you an incredibly generous and creative gift giver! It's a win - win!

Hope to see you there! Ok...back to work.

xo,

Valentine Love Tree

When the time came to take down our Christmas decorations, my beloved Grace didn't handle it well. She moped about saying it was so sad that all the "twinky" lights were gone. I must admit, I had to agree. I always hate taking down the Xmas stuff...

I headed into her room to remove the small tree we had placed next to her chair.  She ran in front of me and held her hands out protectively.

"NO! You can't take down MY Christmas tree!!!" she protested.

I began to argue with her but then reconsidered. Why must we take down this pretty little tree?  Why not just make it into our "holiday" tree? I knelt down and told her my idea. She was thrilled. She got to keep her tree and we got to make decorations for Valentines day!

The crafts began immediately. Such fun.

xo,

Ivy

More Valentine trees to love...

1. Ljc@flickr 2. Colorfly Studio 3. Bewitchedmagic 4. thesweetlifecreations