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Let There Be Light!

So those of you who know me well know my obsession with old thing anew. Before leaving Texas, sniff, I hit the jack pot with a collection of vintage spools that was still rolled in it’s amazing original yarn in muted earthy colors-LOVE! My bestie & I made the 2 hour haul to Canton to pick up the loot, grabbed ourselves some etouffe, cone bread & sweet tea and headed on back home. Productive trip? I do declare so! Inspiration struck when my momma & I first happened upon these beauties the month before and quickly whipped our visions into reality in the form of a fantastically unique lamp. We stood back and looked at our work & said, “It is good.” This project is texture, color, nostalgia & warmth all wrapped into one…and I know you’re dying to see it!

Latest exciting development on the CampThork front: look for this lamp to be featured soon in Evergreen’s own Nellybelle General Store!  The How To tutorial on the making of the spool lamp will be up soon. Check it out!


Christmas Gift!

In my family we have a strange & crazy tradition of stealing each other’s “Christmas Gift.” To accomplish this feat one must say (or yell) “Christmas Gift!” at the other family member before the afore mentioned family member says it to you. This is the stealing of the Christmas Gift. I don’t know for how many generations this has gone on, but I can imagine it originated in a year of harder times than this recession has handed us, when there were no gifts to be given. Maybe it began as the giving of the Christmas gift and an overly competitive passle of siblings turned it into the stealing of the Christmas gifts. Either way-we love it. My little people included. This year on Christmas Eve at Grandma & PaPa’s house we all hid in closets & under tables to trick the late arriving Aunie Kimmie & Uncle Wendell into thinking we weren’t there (despite the tempting smells of food wafting through the house) so that we could jump out screaming in their face “Christmas Eve Gift”  like children hyped up on too many candy canes, the night before Santa comes (you add the Eve according to when you’re seeing the family). Yes I bumped my head, yes my brother in law got trapped in the ancient sliding door of the linen closet, but over all it was well worth it. With the excitement, old memories come tumbling out like faded pictures from the leaves of a family picture album not opened in years. It never fails to lead into a trail of “remember that year…” tales of adventure & scheming. Cousins running down the alley, my dad scaling the 8 foot fence, torn pants, an aunt who will rename nameless always getting injured…all to rouse a little Christmas festivity (and prove oneself a craftier gift stealer). This is the joy of Christmas. No real gift even existed in any of these tales of old, but the joy lingered. Enough to be told 10 times over.

This is what Christmas is all about. At Camp Thorkildsen, Christmas is about others. Your birthday is about you. So on a budget & in love with all things hand-crafted, Luke & I decided we would only make each other a gift, with money only to be spent on the materials required. The results were stunning. It was so fun to work on our projects, stealing moments here & there in our work spaces.  I was excited as a kid on Christmas morning, just dying for Luke to open his gift. I made him an ammo-holder. I sewed it myself from muslin & then sprayed camo patterning on it (I call it Keri 4-HD). It was so fun. He loved it & uses it every time he hunts. It holds 14 shells, which is just enough for a limit & a few misses.


Ammo holder being modeled at my parents'.

Ammo holder in action


Luke worked hours on my gift, my curiosity rising each day. He made me a bagel slicer stand! No more sliced fingers in the morning hours before deliveries! It holds 3 various sizes & is made of alder wood which is the hardest wood, so that the knife doesn’t catch in the wood while slicing. It has my logo etched in the side of it, which was done with wood flour made from a darker wood. It is so pretty and functional. I was so proud to be the recipient of such a thoughtful gift. I don’t know how we’ll top it next year, but we decided to carry on our tradition & try!

Showing off my bagel slicer stand from my woodworker hubby at my parents' house.

Luke is such an artist & I’m so impressed with all the crafts he has mastered in his woodshop. The last few months of this year have been so fun as we have each explored more of our artistic sides & tried new projects. I can’t wait till the next project is finished!!! He’s been working on this one for 6 months!


Until Next time…New Years Gift!

Tis the Season!


This year Luke & I made a pledge to handmake our gifts for each other & only spend money if we needed supplies. I have been so pleased to see how fun it has turned out to be! Having a secret project & mission to work on for the other is so exciting. Luke doesn’t even know it, but I had a secret workshop set up on the back patio on the other side of our master bedroom where I would sneak out & work on my craft. So this morning I couldn’t contain my excitement when I got it out & wrapped it up for under the tree placement. Stay to tuned to see what it is and what Luke made me!

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Tough Two’s


I wouldn’t call them terrible, but i’d for sure call the 2 stage tough, at least the male version of the 2 stage. If there is so much as a moment of quiet in our house I go on the search because I know it means trouble. Yesterday morning I took a potty break, changed into clothes for church, & came out to find this guy. He was so proud as if he had created a piece of art. He said he was a deer. A what?! So we had baths before church & barely made it. Today he & joss rubbed a whole tub of hydrocortisone on their legs, then after I wiped him down & sent him to the bathroom to wash up, he comes out soaking wet with shampoo bubbles all over him. And then there’s a shattered mason jar incedent. Now mind you, this is all before 7 am while I’m trying to get a bagel pick up finished by 8:30. Needless to say I turned to Curious George for some real help. I could use a break from the 2s. Thank the Lord he turns 3 soon. (I’m telling myself that’ll be easier.

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The birthday after party

The after party carried on into the day with pottery painting and chic-fil-a with the girls. This was a blast & the girls each were so good & loved the painting.


Getting their instructions (such impressive attention span for a 3, 4 & 5 year old!)

Good color choices

Dancing in excitement








Riley stopped by to see the birthday girl (or his girlfriend-Hi Shelby! No one's sure which.)

Welcome Home

A weekend of celebration led us, as it often does, straight into a week of fatigue and illness for poor Trip. He was miserable with a fever and persistent, thick cough.  He would come out of a coughing spasm saying “trah-tor, trah-tor” just begging to get outside on his new ride. But, as January birthdays go (I know from a lifetime of experience) you are often laid up in bed while your shiny new birthday present awaits you in the cold damp garage. To make matters colder, we got quite an unloading of Texas snow in the following days. (Texas snow: white fluffy matter that falls beautifully from the sky, hits the eternally warm concrete & turns to mud slush.) So Trip is hacking and begging tractor; mommie is begging sunshine & reprieve from ill 2 year old; Jossi exclaims “what’s the deal guys? let’s have a tea party!” And my mom texts me “Welcome Home Guys!” Only a Texan would think that a few inches of Texas snow is consolation for giving up life in the Western slope.  Haha-thanks anyways mom. It was the thought that counted.

So my time indoors is focused on (aside from the obvious motherly duties) finishing projects around the house, finishing an earwarmer I was knitting and starting a new knitting project, reading my book on square foot gardening & making plans and playing with my new cricut Luke got me for my birthday! YAY!

Hilltop House in the snow

Home made play dough

Saturday I was about to go nuts with the early darkness and got the bug to do something hands on with the little ones. So, home made playdough became the challenge for the night. With ingredients we had on hand, we whipped up a batch of gooey fun. Joss loved making it and Trip loved playing with it. So, it was a hit!

So excited to use her favorite color, bright blue.

Simple ingredients.

Is this really going to turn out like playdough?! It looks like mash potatoes.

The fun begins.

Mom, I can't help you. I'm very busy working.

Easter colored playdough

Trip says, "do I eat this or play with it?"

Successful playtime with home made playdough!