The beginning of December came and I BARELY got Lydia's advent calendar started. (I was wrapping packages while she took her bath on December 1st!) I never did find a wonderful old suitcase in which to place advent packages. I also was having a hard time deciding what to wrap up for her 24 advent surprises. Thankfully, near the end of November, one of my favorite blogs posted advice on a Children's Book Advent Calendar! Thank you, thank Sarah Jane (who happens to make some of the CUTEST children's illustrations!... This one makes me think of Lydia starting preschool next year). Her idea is to BORROW 24 Christmas themed and age appropriate books from the LIBRARY, wrap them up, read one each night in December, and return to the library when finished! I will have to watch the due dates and re-check out the books online at some point, but I was able to search the library from their website, reserve books at my local branch, and after a very quick visit to pick up our advent adventure was under way! The elf is my own version of this famous story. If you aren't familiar, check out their website for lots of fun Christmas stuff to do, see, and play.....even if you aren't buying their elf. (Mine is a thrifted vintage Peter Pan!)Other projects that are getting attention this month.... Lydia is getting a bigger doll house. I found this shelf at Goodwill for $5. It was covered in stickers and had five empty shelves labeled Monday - Friday. I assume it was intended to hold clothing selections or stuff to take to school and various sports practices. The good news is after Lydia outgrows it as a dollhouse it can go back to being a house shaped shelf again! The insides of the shelves got brown paper on the bottom shelf to simulate wood floors. I even scored little grooved stripes on the paper, so it has that floor look. The walls are just scrapbook paper, but because I did it myself the paper matches Lydia's room! Now the outside is getting a face lift. There is a coat of gesso covering the old paint. I will be painting it with the same accent colors I am using in her room.
Speaking of her room.... I was able to devote an entire Saturday to painting it while my mom was in town. There are now rolling green hills around the entire room and white fluffy clouds in the sky. It just makes me feel happy and peaceful, but maybe that is the paint fumes talking! Eventually there are more details, like houses and animals, to add.... and I still have to decide what I am making out of the inspiration fabric, but for now it is a step closer to finished.
Also getting a lot closer is the addition to our house. This side of the house is the small addition, basically closing in and existing porch that was under the original roof line of the house. We bumped it out to give more visual interest and so that we don't have to match the exterior as much. It is under roof and mostly behind plywood and larger than it looks from this angle.
Here is the back side of the small addition, where PJ has been working to join the new roof line to the old. To the far left you can just see what will become the big addition of a family room bumping off of the back of the house. That part has its flooring down but will be two stories and will take a little longer to finish. I am AMAZED at what PJ has gotten done, basically in one month!