Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Years, Holiday Wrap Up, and New Kitchen Renovations

Hi! Hi!  Wave, wave!!

Gosh! It's been awhile since I blogged, we had the busiest holiday season.  We're still getting the hang of things here at Aelfheim, and learning that we have to do some things differently.  For instance, my old tradition used to be to put up the tree over the Thanksgiving weekend.  Now that we live in the country, we travel much further for Thanksgiving and between that and catching up with orders when we get back home, I decided that from now on, all the Yule decor will be coming out much earlier, probably the weekend before Thanksgiving.

It was such a joy creating beautiful things for people all over the world this holiday season, we shipped to Germany, Australia, even Japan for goodness sake.  Each order was packed up lovingly and as quickly as possible to try to get it all there on time.  Dan takes it very seriously, bringing in the holiday cheer in an efficient and timely manner.  We had families ordering for each other, incognito packages so as not to give away surprises, even helping to make a new surprise when one had been discovered by accident.  I have to say, it's really exciting getting the opportunity to be a part of so many holiday celebrations in even a small way.  We really felt like Santa's helpers!
One of our new items this holiday season, beautiful full color suncatchers!
Everyone that got one loved them! Check them out here; Mickie Mueller Studio Etsy shop.

Speaking of Santa's helpers, we are doing some upgrading here at Aelfheim.  When you move into a new place, there are always things you need to do to make your house into your home.  We brought in our own refrigerator, a really nice one I inherited from my grandmother that I wasn't willing to give up.  It spent some time in the dining nook blocking a window for awhile because we needed to move some cabinets and run a line for the ice maker in order to place it in it's proper home.

We were also very blessed to receive a dishwasher as a gift from Dan's mom at Christmas.  We all had been pitching in washing by hand, and we could manage, but especially when we have company like my daughters and their families, it ends up being a lot.  There was no dishwasher here at all before, so electricity had to be run, plumbing, and a cabinet needed to be removed. The counter was even to low, so a router was needed to be able to install it under the counter.
Sparkly dishes! This dishwasher was a great gift!! Amazing!

 Dan and Grandpa Gecko did all the work together, they're a great team.  I owe a special thanks to Will for climbing under the house to feed the electric lines through, dude, you're a great mole!  New Years Day, the last of the work installing the dishwasher and a garbage disposal was completed! Less time doing dishes, more time drawing, painting, and writing.

I also learned something new on New Years Day! Like many rural homes, we have a gas tank in the back yard here, and our heat, water heater, stove etc. is all gas. My stove is pretty old, it doesn't even have a light inside and uses pilot lights to ignite the stove and oven, which means it's always burning gas whether I'm cooking or not.  That kind of waste just bugs me.  We had looked at new gas ranges that would be more efficient, but once we got a look at the prices, we decided that was not going to happen!  Man they were pricey!  Well, New Years morning my mom and Grandpa Gecko discovered a really nice range that was returned and refurbished like brand new, still under the full warranty, and it was half off! It's pretty cool, and it's cobalt blue on the inside!  Apparently that's a thing, it's pretty striking.
Loaded up, ready to cart it home!
It's kind of Sci-Fi looking inside isn't it?!  I think I shall name it "Sexy!" 

We won't be installing that until next week probably, but I drove the trailer to Lowe's to pick it up myself, and I even managed to back the trailer up into Grandpa Geckos workshop! I decided I want to learn to drive with a trailer so that we can plan more festivals in the future without having to rent a cargo van.  I was pretty proud of myself.
Yep, I drove that in there!  Woo-hoo!

Well, that's all the news for now.  We've got snow here at Aelfheim which means we need to drive the little plow around the driveway.

Blessings and Happy New year to all!!