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January Knitting Plans....




      For those of us who love to gift knits, we've been knitting for weeks (or months!) for others in anticipation of Christmas giving. I have also been knitting baby hats in a sort of frenzied zombie state--- they're so tiny and knit up so quick but yes, one little head only needs so many hats.

   And so I'm going to indulge in what has become known as 'selfish knitting month' in January-- when all your gift knitting is done and you can make some little treats for yourself. I have some beautiful yarn that I've been hoarding for months--- one is a silk blend I got over the summer at a fiber show, and the other is a soft white-and-black blend that I bought in Salem when I was in New England this fall.

   I've been trying to decide what to do with these special yarns, and after looking through some of my favorite knitting books (Swedish Handknits and Norwegian Handknits are total gems, full of so much great information and history, as well as pretty patterns) and I have decided to make some fingerless gloves for myself--- and yes, maybe a little matching hat for baby if I have leftovers!

   My cream colored skein of yarn came in that nice looking loop, but needed to wound, so I got to use a beautiful and very handy little piece my friend Holly got me for my birthday-- a nostepinne made by local talented wood worker Nick Connor. 

   A nostepinne is a Scandinavian tool used to wind a ball of yarn that can be pulled at both ends and means "nest stick", and does create a pretty little nest of yarn when its done (you can see the white yarn still wrapped around the nostepinne in the last photo).

   Now I'm starting on the first glove-- wish me luck. I'm not following a particular pattern but am writing down what I do on the first glove so that I can do it again with the second! That's the pesky thing about things that are knitted in pairs-- they need to match! We'll see how well I do. I am terrible at following patterns. I cant be made to pay attention, but I think I've gotten to where I can tell now what I need to do in order to make pretty things happen.

   And so, that is what I'll be up to this coming month. Oh, and having the baby too! Can't forget him! At this point in time, it's looking like he's too snuggled up to be inspired to be a December baby, and so January it will be. I'm trying to not be too impatient, but I'll be honest-- its getting hard. I'm so tired, I'm outgrowing all my clothes, am pretty puffed up and too tired to do much at all--- although my mind is still buzzing and wishing my body could keep up. That's probably why I'm so obsessed with knitting lately-- atleast my hands still work. And I'm planning great plans for 2014. It'll be so much fun....

   Until then-- I will try to keep positive and know that this baby has to come sometime. And I do love garnets. What a pretty birthstone :) And who knows, perhaps the next post will be about baby--- whenever he decides to arrive!

~H

2013, a look back....
















   I knew a lot happened this year, but looking over a year's worth of photos has made me realize--- 2013 was a big year for us as a little family! And for me, in particular. Back in January, I had no idea of all the new adventures that lay ahead--- babies, trips, a new home....that's a lot to fit into a year, and also so much art and fun projects.

     I think is was the end of February when we made an offer on this beautiful bungalow and it was accepted. And a week before we closed on the house, we found out we were going to have a little winter baby! First trimester exhaustion settled in quickly and I just remember lugging boxes through a sleepy haze and passing out to sleep just as the sun was going down!

    We were so excited though, and Miss Audrey was so eager to be a big sister--- still is! She insists "he's coming tomorrow" all the time now! And as I got bigger and bigger we slowly started unpacking things and this beautiful old house on the same street my great-grandparents lived on for decades started becoming home.

   Then just after my birthday this fall I boarded an airplane all by myself and flew across the country to New Hampshire to meet up with friends Alyson and Emily for a completely decadent and self-indulgent old timey girls adventure for an entire week! I was also able to meet my friend Patricia and all were able to see so many wonderful things that I never dreamed that I'd see with my own prairie girl eyes--- the Boston Harbor, Salem, Orchard House, Deerfield, the Tasha Tudor Museum, the ocean, lighthouses, tons of old colonial homes, and many a spooky and magical old cemetery. I will never forget my time there in New England among friends, or my joy at getting to return home-- back to my family and my life and art that I was so excited to create.

   And for one 'last hurrah' I did three craft shows at the end of the year--- nine months pregnant! But it was so good to see all my old friends who do the shows and meet new friends, all before settling in and feathering my nest--- filled with knitted baby hats that I have been compulsively making for months now!

  So many wonderful things came to us--- and to me in particular--- this year and I am so grateful for each and every one. And I'm so happy that you all continue to come here to visit me, to see my art and little adventures, to make my creations part of your home and life and gift giving. Thank you so much for that!

   And so....as 2013 comes to a close just one little project needs completing! We're expecting our little boy to arrive any day. I can't wait to see his little face and kiss his little hands and nose. What a wonderful way to usher in a new year, with someone not even expected when the calendar turned last year.

   May this new year be filled with many unexpected miracles and bits of happiness for all of us--- a fond farewell to 2013 and a happy hello to 2014!~

See you in the New Year--
~H

Christmas Eve Wishes


    Wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas Eve today!~ May your Christmas be merry & bright!

~H

Cozy Christmas Time





   My favorite part of the day now is when dusk falls and the house turns into a warm and cozy Christmasy place to be. One thing about your better half being super into technology, is that they love to get gadgety with just about everything, so most of my christmas lighting is on timers. It just click, comes on. Which is nice, when you're huge and tired but like some ambiance. 

   This is our first Christmas here in the new old house. First of many, I know. In this house our family will grow and I am so excited to see what the new year will bring us. But til then, I am ready to settle down into winter and enjoy the slowness and quietness-- even the bleakness can be beautiful if you look for it.

   They say cold and ice is headed our way. I've already started a pot of white chili in the crock pot and bought the most luscious yarn at Loops the other day, so there will be tons of tiny hat making on the horizon.

   I hope where ever you are, a cozy Christmas evening awaits you. Less than a week for the big day, can you believe it? Santa's on his way.....

~H

In my Christmas nest...



    Well, I am pleased to report that my craft show season has come an end with the fun of Indie Emporium, and now I am ready to get in my little Christmas nest and await my little Christmas bundle. The show was good, and I saw lots of new and old friends-- and once again the Swedish Christmas items were great conversation starters! I am also proud that I was able to do all these shows with not too much difficulty, aside from just being big, and a huge thanks goes to my sweetheart for that, he was so much help xoxox.

   The morning after Indie I was of course up early cleaning my house in a fit of "gotta get this done before I have this baby!" and now I'm ready to just curl up and await Christmas and all the loveliness that it will bring.
   I went ahead and closed my etsy shop for right now, just to ensure that if I do go into labor early, I wont leave anyone hanging on their Christmas orders. The last orders have gone out, and I'm sure they'll reach their destinations by Christmas (knock on wood!)

   Anyhow, I wish you the merriest of Christmases and Happy Holidays. Thank you for coming here and reading and enjoying the art! I cant wait to see what 2014 brings!~
h

    

A busy day!: Indie Emporium and St. Lucia Day!


   Today is a busy and festive day! Not only is it the first day of Indie Emporium this evening, but it also the feast day of St. Lucia!
   I'm busy putting on the last few beards on tomtens (who else can say that?) and then we'll finish packing the truck and head over to the AHHA in downtown Tulsa. Doors open at 7 pm and there are some amazing goodie bags for the first 100 or so customers in the door!
   The show continues tomorrow--- 12-10 pm, and it'll be a busy and festive day downtown with lots going on, including the Holiday Parade!
   As show season winds down I'm thinking this may be my last show for a while. Craft show schedules are not the easiest with little babies, and so I may be sitting out 2014 as a vendor, but you know I'll shop! So...if you're local and you'd like some Audrey Eclectic fun in person--- this may be the last chance for a while!


  But it IS the 13th and so we can't forget St. Lucia! The bringer of light and delicious treats! Hers is such a lovely tradition in Sweden. (Want to learn more? Visit this link)
   I didn't really go all-out with anything St. Lucia this year. Honestly, its enough work just getting on my snow boots (the only shoes I have left that are comfortable!) but next year we'll do it up right!

  So have a very merry and lovely St. Lucia Day and if you're in Tulsa--- maybe I'll see you at Indie Emporium!~
~H

PS: thanks to all who adopted a tomten yesterday! They all have homes now, hurray!!

Adoptable Tomtens!




    I've been a busy little Tomten making bee this week, making ornaments for Indie Emporium (which opens TOMORROW!) but I also saved some for you, my little blog friends, so that you might have a tomten of your very own!
   Each Tomten is sewn, hand painted, beard felted and given the spark of life by me! And each comes with his own Swedish name and a little card explaining the magic of what a tomten is. Tomtens are very special little guys to have around, and although I've made these for the holidays, you can sure keep them around all year! Shy and quiet, they will most likely keep out of sight as they stand guard over your children, pets and home. And who knows, if you leave them a bit of hot porridge on Christmas Eve, they may leave you a treat in thanks!

   The tomtens are $10 each, plus $2.50 for shipping (so you'll be invoiced for $12.50) If you'd like to have one, just leave me a message here in the comments, plus your PAYPAL email address. At this time, I'll only be able to do transactions through paypal for the sake of speed. Just tell me the name/number of the little guy you'd like (and be sure no one else in the comments has claimed him!) and I'll send you an invoice.

   Well, back to the Christmas workshop!~! Thanks for your visit!~
H

All Have Been Adopted! Thank You!~

Tasha Tuesday: The Night Before Christmas


  
      Hey, friends! It's Tuesday again and you know what that means....it's Tasha Tuesday!
This Tuesday we have a special treat, my friend Melissa from Julia's Book Bag has done a fun review of Tasha's "The Night Before Christmas" for our Tuesday reading pleasure :)
    Come visit Melissa HERE at her site, and enjoy!
    Twas the night before Christmas.....


Back from The Little Craft Show!


Beautiful show poster hand printed by Roll & Tumble Press

     We are back from the Ozarks and the Little Craft Show this weekend! We woke in the dark of night and headed out and got to Arkansas at about dawn, and it was about 6 degrees when we got there! We got our first snow in the region on Thursday evening, and so we had snow and ice to deal with as we drove from Oklahoma to Fayetteville, hoping that local shoppers would come out to see us!

   I am happy to report that shoppers did come, and we met some really sweet and wonderful people! My Scandinavian items always bring out the best comments--- I meet people who have Swedish ancestors, or grew up in a Scandinavian country, or had to don the candle lit crown and play St. Lucia as a child. I just love that, and I love that all the tomten ornaments I made found new homes (don't worry! I'm making more, and I'm going to offer some to you all here on the blog!)

  I'd just like to say THANK YOU to those of you who came out and said hello and bought art and ornaments and came to talk. I really really appreciate it!

  I do have one more craft show before the season comes to a close--- Indie Emporium in Tulsa! Unless there is an unexpected arrival, lol, I shall be there for both days with lots of holiday goodies, prints, postcards and originals.

   After that, I am going to cuddle in and nest. As we wait for the arrival of our little boy, things art-wise are going to be a little quiet, but you can be sure I'll be checking in and letting you know how we're doing, and I'm sure I'll sneak some creative time in during nap times, which will be easier once we all get something of a routine in place. I've still got lots of ideas and plans to hatch for Audrey Eclectic! Thanks for coming along with me as it all unfolds :)

The Little Craft Show

   Oh, this may be one of those 'shows with drama' situations, but even as snow covers everything from the Ozarks to the prairie, The Little Craft Show is still scheduled to go on as planned.
   I'm hopeful that the roads between Tulsa and Fayetteville will prove manageable and we'll see you tomorrow morning with lots of folk art on hand and merrymaking to be had!

   The Little Craft Show will be held at the Fayetteville Town Center in Fayetteville, AR with doors opening at 11 a.m.

   Check out their sweet little website for more info!
See you then....
~H

PS: Because I'll be traveling with my art and selling various pieces, the etsy shop will be closed Saturday. I'll have it back up and running ASAP though!

Winter Wonderland


   Today, Oklahoma is bracing itself for its first winter storm-- a bit of ice and snow that I'm hoping and praying wont keep me from getting to Fayetteville this weekend! But as the Okies watch the sky fretfully for that first dusting, I thought I'd share some amazing winter photography of the epic 'winter wonderland' of Alaska that my brother took last week when he traveled to Anchorage!



   Through the magic of Instagram I was able to follow Jordan's travels as he tooled around Alaska getting a frosty beard and wandering around picturesque mountainsides and frozen beaches. I'm not sure if I could handle Alaska in all its ruggedness and remoteness, but it sure is a stunning place!




   Now, if these photos don't get you in the mood for snow and winter, I don't know what will! Now I'm ready to sit back, hot cocoa in hand, and watch a few Oklahoma snow flakes fall. And seeing these photos, I hope I can keep a few pesky inches of snow in perspective as we trek over to Arkansas on Saturday morning, when the low temp will be all of SIX degrees. 

   Wishing you a beautiful wintertime, where ever you are!~ And thanks to my brother, Jordan Van Winkle, for sharing his photos with his sis and you all on the blog today!~
~H

Tasha Tuesday: A Very Tasha Advent


   Well, here it is-- December. It came all of a sudden, or so it seems to me, even though I've been planning for the Christmas season with my art for months! It is also my favorite time in Tasha's illustrations and books--- and the beautiful trees and simple festivities, families gathered together in the glow of candle light while a winter wonderland lays sleepy outside.
 This past Sunday was also the first Sunday of Advent, and so it was time to get out the new Tasha Tudor Advent calendar I purchased in Vermont this fall while visiting the Tasha Tudor Museum!

This year's advent calendar features one of my very favorite Tasha illustrations--- the family celebrating by the warm hearth as mice celebrate their own fanciful Christmas below the floorboards.

Audrey is always eager to see what's behind each little hidden door for each day, a little treasure from Tasha hidden beneath the artwork.


   I'm glad to have this little calendar for an Advent treat, since I'm starting to get slower and more tired each day and therefore being a little more restrained in my Christmas decor and revelry. I figure its ok though--- because isnt one of the major players in the Christmas story a weary pregnant lady? ;) I know Mary will understand!

   I'm hoping (trying, making myself!) to take it easy despite two shows coming up. After they are done, I can sit back and relax. I envision knitting needles in hand and good food in the fridge and just nesting until Little One makes his entrance.  There is something very special about being pregnant during the holidays, though. Not just in really feeling for Mary in the Christmas story (there's no way anyone aside from Caesar himself who could coax a large pregnant lady into getting onto a donkey and taking a road trip) but also the stories, the music, the feel of the season--- of hope and love--- it just makes you feel more tenderhearted. I know this little one has probably heard nothing but Christmas music since he could hear! I hope it makes him a happy and hopeful person when he finally arrives.

   And when he is finally here, he will be helping his sissy with future Tasha Advent Calendars, and I'm sure we'll all be snuggling up with Take Joy and Becky's Christmas on future holiday evenings. Its a lovely thought, and  I look forward to it.

Happy Advent and Tasha Tuesday to you, my friends---
Heather

A Christmas Gathering--- now live!


"A Christmas Gathering" is now active in my etsy shop! All new Christmas and winter items are now available in the shop, including new original paintings, prints and postcards! Enjoy! :D

Click here to visit the etsy shop!

~H


Tasha Tuesday: Tasha Tudor's Dollhouse


      The other day I got a special package in the mail--- it was a used library copy of Tasha Tudor's Dollhouse! I think this may be the last book about Tasha that I didnt have, so now I think my collection is complete!
   This book focuses on Tasha's massive dollhouse which was more than what we 'regular folk' think of when it comes to dollhouses--- hers was a huge doll haven created for traditional sized dolls, and home to her creations Captain Thadeaus Crane and Emma Birdwhistle.


    When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by dollhouses. There was a craft store in town that sold dollhouse assembly kits, and they'd display the assembled homes on the top of the aisle. It mesmerized me, and I admit, I still stop and look at them when I go in. I can't help it--- there is magic about a dollhouse!

   Tasha's dollhouse, of course, was so outrageously gorgeous that it garnered its own exhibit in Williamsburg, Va. and then inspired a book! Not only was it a home for dolls and a way to play-- it was a one of a kind collection of art and artifacts collected for decades from local artisans and Tasha herself.

    The rooms, when photographed, are amazingly real. It feels like you're looking at an actual home--- with all the textiles and furniture and minute detail that is not to be believed.


    The fantasy of Tasha's doll world is mesmerizing. And when you think of the time and attention required to create it, it is impossible to not think of it as an amazing piece of art. I so wish I'd been able to see the large exhibit about the dollhouse--- and Tasha herself--- when it took place in Williamsburg a few years back. And now that I've explored a bit of New England, I think my future 'colonial dream trip' wish would be to see the southern side of things--- in Williamsburg. 


    Hope you enjoyed a peek at this book--- and also hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! After that, the Christmas season will officially be upon us, and we can talk all things Tasha Tudor Christmas. My favorite!~

Happy Tasha Tuesday--
h

Back from The Glitter Market!~

 Hey there, friends!~
    I am back from The Glitter Market, and I made some new friends and shared some new art (and bought stuff too, couldn't help it!)

   It's been a little quiet around here at this little blog as I worked to get new holiday items ready--- new prints, new postcards, new dolls and ornaments! But I got everything I needed to get finished finished in time to get down to OKC on Saturday morning to take part in The Glitter Market, hosted by The Paper Crown.

   The market consisted of a small group of super talented ladies and their beautiful creations--- I felt so lucky to have been asked to be included! There were so many beautiful things--- from jewelry to knitwear to journals to pillows to artwork to decorations--- all of it so festive and lovely!

   My little booth was super Christmasy! You know me, I love the red....red is a neutral to me, basically. What doesn't go with red? And if it doesn't, it's not worth having, right? ;)

   A big thanks to all you brave souls and came out in the chilly temps--- some even camped outside the door waiting for us to open! Hope you see you all next year, and I'll probably have a little tiny somebody with me too!~

   In other news--- the pre-ordered postcards have arrived!!! And I've been busy packaging them and getting them all ready to send out to you in all corners of creation! The cards came out really well, and I'm going to make up some small sets to offer in the etsy store--- look for them on Friday when I do my big "Christmas Gathering" etsy shop update!

Thanks for stopping by, and hope you're all safe and warm and cuddled up on this blustery night!~
H


PS: For more Glitter Market pics, check out my instagram feed on the sidebar!