Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011 In Pictures

Once I went through my pictures from the season I realized I did not do a very good job of capturing all the things I should have. No really good pictures of opening presents or of the fabulous gifts that I put together for my niece and nephew through thrifting and sewing. So sad. Here is what I did capture and a little story to go with each that may help explain why taking pictures seemed to fall to the way side quite often.

Our loveable lapdog lab who earned himself a trip to the doggy emergency room
when we found a PIN protruding from his chin. He is just fine but is still sporting a remaining piece of
pin in his lower jaw. He really does channel his inner goat...

My little and his sick momma (I spent the whole week before Christmas with a head cold) spent lots of time needlefelting Christmas ornaments for our loved ones. The one thing I seemed to be able to do with a stuffed up head. And he LOVED it. He made ornaments for his cousins and his brother. The one for his cousin Cam is pictured below with my favorite needlefelted bird, Hedwig, the Snowy Owl.

The Little and I also managed to pull off handmade gifts for his teachers. Handmade Sculpey ornaments pressed with cedar and pine needles. I got the idea from a Soule Mama post. While the Sculpey was out both boys were inspired and created an igloo and penguin together which will grace our Holiday collection for years to come.

And I did finish the handmades for each of my boys. Above is an apron and chef's hat for my Half Naked Chef (every time the Little cooks he somehow manages to end up without a shirt.) He also received three cookbooks: an organic dog treats cookbook, The Star Wars Cookbook and a Paula Dean cookbook.

For my almost 11 year old making him handmades is getting increasingly harder and I always worry if they will be appreciated after all the time spent. This year though I nailed it. I made him fuzzy feet slippers (idea from Our Ash Grove) because I noticed that he was constantly borrowing my slippers (we currently have the same size feet - not for long though). He also requested a hat for sleeping. Even with all his blond hair he said his head gets cold so he wanted a hat to wear to bed. How could this knitting mamma refuse! To top off his gift I needlefelted him his 2011 ornament - a football and baseball to commemorate two stellar seasons!

There it is, in a very small nut shell. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and will have a very happy new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Minor Disagreement....

....between myself, blogger and my new Mac. Not working together to allow me to download pics. Hopefully, by tomorrow, there will be a belated Christmas post (I have been trying for 3 days :(!).

Monday, December 19, 2011


...the fabric scrap bracelets on the Cloth, Paper, Scissors blog today!

I'm not much of a jewelry person but I really want to make one of these for myself and my sister-in-law. Mine out of scraps of vintage fabrics and hers out of more contemporary fabrics. Now if I just had a little more time before Christmas and not such a big to do list. And yet here I sit at the to work!

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Ornament Exchange

I love doing an ornament exchange every year! This is my 4th year and I love looking back and seeing all the creative goodness that has come to our house from other corners of the country. This year I signed on with White House, Black Shutters for an exchange. I just needed to send two ornaments - one to my exchange partner and one to the organizer. I sent mine out on Monday in hopes that they make it by Christmas. I had such fun making them! My first delve into flat needle felting. It is a scene that my eldest immediately entitles "Silent Night" the minute he saw it. I couldn't think of a more appropriate name!
My mom loved them so much that she has requested one for Christmas. I think I should be able to do  that!
My package for our lovely organizer! I also included two recipes and an upcycled card -
an old card trimmed out and glued on a piece of card stock!

The package that went out to my swap partner! With hers she also got a bookmark because one of the
edges I trimmed off her upcycled card was just too pretty to throw away :)!

Alternate Holiday Wrappings

In an effort to try and save money and cut down on some waste the boys and I are coming up with alternate wrapping methods. Besides are collection of gift bags that get reused from year to year, this year we are going to use the comics from the Sunday paper, Christmas fabric I have collected and hemmed and the boys and I water-colored some of the Sunday newspaper. It didn't turn outas wellas I expected but we sure had fun doing it and will be using it. I really don't want to go back to buying
wrapping paper.

Gingerbread Houses 2011

The gang getting started.

Last Sunday was one of our favorite annual Holiday gatherings - gingerbread house making at my Mom and Dads house with my brother and his family. Such fun! My eldest started planning his ahead or time and it turned out wonderful! A reindeer stable. My youngest had a wonderful time creating our house and shed and spent his longest time creating so far - he kept coming back and adding a little more. My 19 year nephew still clears his calendar for this event and his house this year was wonderful! His college roommates were then happy to help him eat the candy outside. :). My niece is 9 and stepped into the upper level with her fabulous house. My 7 year old nephew was extremely independent in his creating. So amazing to watch them grow from year to year. For the first year though my brother (a landscape designer by trade) did not complete his house. Started out a little too late with too grand of an idea. 
Next  year!

The little working on his creation.

The goodie table! This year we put it in the next room so they had to get up to get their decorations. I really think this cut down on the amount of sugar that was ingested.
My 19 year old nephew working on his house. It was gorgeous!!! He even posted a picture of it on Facebook.

The final creations! (Some still in the works...)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Handmade Holiday Gifts

In the past few years (especially since staying home) I have been trying to make handmade gifts for as many people on our list as I can. This year I am really excited about my niece and nephews gifts. I am still working on them but will post as soon as they are done. I am also knitting all kinds of goodness as well. Now if I had only started a little sooner...

Starting my niece's gift...

A sneak peak at the finished product...more pics to come with the entire gift all together ...

Knitting away in the late hours of the evening after everyone else is asleep.

Christmas Vignettes

This year I had a good time creating a few little Christmas scenes. Little areas that I enjoy just walking past as I go about my day. I tried to combine everyday items that are out year round as much as I could. Kinda fun!

My collection of ethnic wood pieces. Now resting on a table runner my mom made and sharing the space with one of my favorite Santas. My Russian bowl is now serving double duty as a Christmas Card holder.

My buffet with my little Christmas village complete with a Nativity by the church.

My very first antique purchase - a washstand. Now topped with a Italian nativity (a garage sale find) and my collection of vintage decorations in a hurricane whose contents rotates with the seasons.

I love how these old ornaments capture whatever light is in the room! Some of these were my grandmothers and other's  I have added. There are also a few on our tree.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Making!

Sorry for my computer decided to take a permanent vacation and my hubby just got my new Mac (yep - I made the leap from a PC to a Mac) working. Bear with me as I learn the ins and outs of my new machine.

While I have been away all kinds of goodness has been coming out of my wee craft room/dining room and all kinds of merry making has been starting to happen.

To start with my aunt asked me to make a bag for her and my two cousins for her to give them as Christmas gifts. I most definitely said yes! So, one day my mom came over and we designed and sewed the bags for my aunt and my younger cousin and she chose the bag for my older cousin from my already prepared stock (the "Carrots and Blueberries Bag").  Here are the two newest bags:

A fabulous black toile (this is my second bag using this fabric) topped with a piece of vintage table runner
(each side is the same) and trimmed out with a piece of vintage lace and vintage button.

The inside of the bag is a creme and black print from the remnant bin.
The pocket is a bit more of the toile and another piece of the vintage runner.

The minute my MIL brought me this feedsack I knew that it was destined to be my aunt's bag. She has 2 daughter's and 2 granddaughters. It couldn't be more perfect! The awesome thing about these Hubbard sacks is that I get 2 bags from each sack since the front and back are identical. Which means that after the holidays another similar bag will be making it's way to one of the shops.

At the base of each end of the strap I added a piece of vintage doily - kinda like an epaulet (sp?) if you will -
topped off with a vintage button.

The back of the bag is made from the top and bottom of the feedsack (the front is the center of the sack) and is trimmed with some fabulous vintage doilies. My aunt is a knitter and crocheter so there had to be doilies on there!

We have also been doing some decorating. Once upon a time our house was top to bottom Christmas with stuff everywhere. In the last couple years I have really simplified things and just put out our absolute favorite things. A few Santas from what was a much bigger collection, a few Snowmen and a growing nativity collection that the boys and I are collecting. They are mainly wood and vintage pieces - I love that natural and the old. We also have our nutcrackers out which are a favorite of the boys. We once had a large house village but I now prefer my small wood houses that I place on our buffet in a small vignette. The other houses still come out in other ways but in a much smaller number. (When I put Christmas away in the New Year I will be going through all our Christmas stuff and finally parting with all that we no longer use. I feel the need to lighten the load. I will also be trying to do the same all over the house. I am feeling pressed in by STUFF.)

Our mantle with our homemade stockings, wooden nativities and a few chose Santas and Tomtens.
The garland I made by stringing vintage aluminum candle reflectors on some jute twine.

The base of our tree with our loveable lab channeling his inner cat by basking in the best sunbeams in the house.

Last weekend I was able to go to a Katie McMahon concert with my mom and dad and aunt and uncle. It was a wonderful concert at an old historic church. A wonderful way to welcome this Christmas season.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings and peace on this holiday of thanks!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

As We Speak...

...our first snow of the year is falling outside and our first winter weather alert has been posted. Glad to be tucked in warm here at home. Now off to cook some supper and do a little sewing. Maybe even have a glass of my favorite local wine.

A Handmade Update At Etsy

I just added a bunch of handmades to my Etsy shop so stop on by if you have a chance. He are just a few...

Lilac Travel Sewing Case

A Chef In The Making

My 4 year old LOVES to cook. If someone is in the kitchen it is a for sure that he is right there at their side assisting in anyway he can. I, of course, love to encourage this love in any way I can so a little mommy mades will be making an appearance for him for Christmas. More on those later...

My little chef...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Stockings Off To One Of The Shops

Last weekend I completed a rather fun little project. My mother-in-law had a piece of an old Native American blanket that she gave me to see if I wanted to turn it into something. I most definately did! The minute I saw it I thought it would make the most wonderful Christmas stockings. With a little cutting and sewing and a little vintage glitz (those stars are actually vintage aluminum Christmas candle reflectors for Christmas trees-I just added a vintage button in the center where the candle would go to finish them out). I think they turned out great and are now at Yesterday's Antiques in Alexandria, MN. I will also be sharing this post at  my mother-in-laws new blog.

If you are interested in purchasing these just leave me a comment and I can give you more details. Thank you!

Sweater # 2 Complete!

I finally finished my second Wallaby sweater for my 4 year old. This time he decided he wanted the hood so I added it back in unlike the last one where I omitted it and added a collar (I swear I posted about that one but now can't find it - will add a pic of it later...). I did make the hood a little too big but he likes it just fine. I also cheated and did a simple cast off  to sinch up the top of the hood instead of the kitchener stitch. I still have yet to conquer that fear...

No matter...this little man LOVES wearing his mama made sweaters (unlike my 10 year old) and has already ordered a blue one and a yellow one :)!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Etsy Update!

Just added some new vintage items to Etsy as well as a few more handmades. Here are a few - take a peak (just click on the pic to link to the image in Etsy)!