Handmade Christmas gifts are the best. I like to give ’em, I like to receive ’em. Something about putting the finishing touches on a mediocre craft and boxing it up to distribute to family who are obligated to love it just feels über Christmasy. This year I was lucky to receive my fair share of handmade trinkets and goodies.
A favorite might have been these ornaments my mom made to resemble Stella and Wyatt. Our tree was lacking in doodle-themed ornaments–something that clearly had to be remedied. See the resemblance?
My sister and brother-in-law, of StormulaOne Photography fame, put together these coasters featuring his photography. I’m a big fan of his work, so getting to glance down at mini prints of his photography on my coffee table is really exciting. I might have to commission more.
Heath’s mother made this reversible hobo bag that I can’t wait to use as a travel pouch.
And of course, let’s not discount all the jellies, jams and baked goods from my mother and from Ranjana that will carry us into the new year.
So, too soon to start working on next years gifts? The wheels are already turning.
For years I have heard the following sentence…
“Stella is a Muppet.”
After a recent viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol last week, it hit me. A background character, a Muppet extra if you will, sounded an alarm in my head. Stella is Sprocket, the occasional doggy guest star from Fraggle Rock.
Exhibit A: Sprocket, looking delightfully loveable.
Exhibit B: Stella. Very happy about the Christmas tree behind her (and the awesome new camera lens used to take this photo).
The similarities are undeniable.
It’s a Christmas miracle. The Muppet mystery has finally been solved. God bless us, everyone.
Moving furniture is easy. Figuring out how to develop a new landscaping plan from scratch, not so much. Establishing a visually appealing space that can accommodate doodle romping, veggie growing and human entertaining is easier said than done (and it’s not even easily said). The yard has a long, long way to go, but some semblances of life and greenery are beginning to take form. Behold the early stages of the new back yard.
And because they’re so pretty, a few of the fleurs we have going on INSIDE the house.
Last weekend was our first back in Austin after our globe trotting adventures. The return to our state’s capitol had to be epic. Enter weekend extravaganza of fun times (working title).
Fortunately there was plenty of fun to be had. In 1 weekend, over 2 days, there were 3 parties—all with a common theme: food and fun.
Host: Mark and Ranjana
Summary: In honor of a very special occasion–Friday–Mark and Ranjana, or Maranjanark, hosted a pizza-filled fiesta that included a pie made with a bacon crust (courtesy Epic Meal Time), bacon-wrapped and cheese-stuffed jalapenos and “the salad bowl game” which is essentially the love child of Taboo and charades on steroids. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but had we won tickets for performing well in the game (circa the days of Chuck E. Cheese or Fun Time Pizza) I’d have walked out of there with an awesome water gun or magic kit. In layman’s terms…I did good.
Host: Avee and Rajia
Summary: The Saturday day party (that inevitably went into the night) celebrated Rajia’s birthday with yard games like badminton and ping pong. And of course, there was beer, queso and party snacks to boot.
Host: Candace and Chris
Summary: The party celebrated both a birthday and the couple’s recent decision to c0habitate. Playing starring roles at the love fest was an abundance of hip home decor, homemade edible goodies, keg beer, hipster music and a 90-pound doodle-like dog that fell too much in love with one of the party guests.
The garden has been offering up an abundance of leafy greens and broccoli, but recently we’ve seen the first signs of other veggies like sugar snap peas, banana peppers and tomatoes. We’ve even gotten to pick a few strawberries. We’re a ways off from competing with Central Market’s produce section, but when that first little tomato popped up, it sure felt like Christmas at the doodle house.
..and why not throw in a snap of Wyatt too? He’s a good garden helper.
Well, we did it! Heath did it, mostly. We finished the coop!
When we moved into the house, there was this odd, half-finished structure. We weren’t sure if it was meant to be a raised garden or what. So we took some liberties of our own and built the coop! Heath came up with the design and did the construction himself while I watched and got lotso mosquito bites. He knocked this project out over the long weekend, and today we got some little friends for it…
Meet Ruby and Marion!
Ruby (named for her Ruby-red face) is a Blue Wyandotte. Marion (named for my favorite Dallas Cowboy Marion Barber) is an Ameraucana. They are still getting used to the joint, but I think we will be very happy together.
[Stella and Wyatt really want a piece of the chickens.]
With some lots of help from mother, Heath and I are on track to turning our backyard into a mini oasis in Central Austin. It is, of course, a work in progress, but we wanted to share some images we’ve captured of our little backyard haven before the summer heat gets the best of it.
[early spring before leaves came back]
[a little shade]
[homemade water feature]
[front yard flower bed]
[yellow rose of Texas]
[Stella digs the garden]