Saturday, August 03, 2019

A beach-themed Christmas ornament to craft this summer

Photo by Wendi at H20Bungalow
 While browsing the internet for ideas for my Christmas in July posts, I found this fun project I thought would be perfect to share in August: Beach Themed Christmas Ornament.  Isn't it fun?  It's by Wendi at H20Bungalow.

The project requires a large round clear plastic ornament.  Then sand, shells, and driftwood are added.  (If you visit a beach this month, scoop up a few little found objects to bring home and plan to make one or more of these ornaments.) 

To make the ornament even more fun, Wendi constructed a little sign out of paper, paint, and a wooden skewer.  She gives tips for making sure the sign will stand upright in the ornament.

The finishing touch was to paint the ornament cap in a beachy color and then add a raffia bow. 

I fell in love with this ornament and will probably try to make at least one, at some point.  Using summer souvenirs to make a keepsake ornament is such a fabulous idea, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

First things first ... taking time to think about Christmas 2019

As we finish off Christmas in July, it seems the perfect time to make some plans as to how we want things to look come December 1.  I found a great resource and some wonderful encouragement and inspiration for putting First Things First.    This is from Melissa at The Inspired Room

I've done similar exercises before, but I have never started so early.  Here's what Melissa wrote that really energized me:
From Melissa at The Inspired Room
So I think that, this very afternoon, I will sit down with paper and pen and do this exercise.  Question 2 in particular should be incredibly helpful for me.

This is actually the first of a series of posts that Melissa wrote titled Love the Home You Have: Simply Inspired Holidays.  You can access the entire series of posts -- I think there are around fifteen of them -- from this link.  You may have to scroll down a bit to see the list, but it is there and includes such things as "Puttering and Decluttering", "Finding Childhood Wonder", and "Inspiration for Opening Your Home."  You will want to take a look at these!  I think I will spend some time in August browsing through this series. 

What about you?  Ready to get inspired and begin planning?  Let's do this!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Simple banner display for Christmas cards

Photo from Kristyn at Lil' Luna 
What do you do with your incoming Christmas cards as the holiday season arrives each year?  We get cards from some people who are so prompt!  Their goal must be to get their cards in the mail for December 1.  We exchange cards with others who are invariably late; it's often January before we hear from them.  Most people fall somewhere in between those two extremes.

As our cards arrive, our usual routine is to tape them up in the front hallway.
But I'm always open to new ideas for displaying our cards, and this Christmas card banner from Kristyn at Lil’ Luna (seen at top of post) is very pretty.

Kristyn started with a simple paper banner of punched 2-inch circles of decorative paper strung on ribbon or tulle.
Photo from Kristyn at Lil' Luna
Then, as the cards arrived, she clipped them to the ribbon using mini wooden clothespins, as seen at top.  What an easy solution!  It looks pretty before and after the cards are added.

I have plenty of Christmasy scrapbook paper and some tulle ribbon on hand.  I think all I would need is a 2-inch circle punch, so I am going to keep my eye open for sales.

I'm thinking a person could make one of these simple banners with the paper circles and tulle now, then stash it away (be sure to write down where you stashed it).  It will  then be ready to hang the first of December.  Whenever your cards begin arriving, you will be ready to add them to the banner.  Sounds like a good idea to me!  What do you think?

Monday, July 29, 2019

A pretty little photo bookmark to make

Photo from Crafts Unleashed
Here is a sweet little project that would make a lovely gift for grandparents: Photo ribbon bookmarks from Rena at Crafts Unleashed.

Some people may think bookmarks are becoming obsolete,  but I really don't think so.  I still like to keep a book at my bedside; it is more restful and sleep-promoting to me than trying to read on the Kindle.  Most people like to use a bookmark, or more than one,  in a Bible.  I also like them for marking a recipe in a cookbook.  My large recipe binder is on my counter right this minute.  I want to make a recipe from it for supper tonight, but didn't want to leave the huge binder open taking up valuable counter space until then.  So a bookmark holds the place until I'm ready to open up the binder and start cooking!

This bookmark is not only simple and pretty, but it has the additional feature of a treasured small photo.  You could even use a photo of a favorite place or a beloved pet.

I know I have some of these frame charms in my crafting stash.  They would be perfect for this enchanting project!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

There will always be a Christmas

For Sundays during Christmas in July, I've been featuring newly discovered vintage Christmas cards with motifs that include churches.  I wish that the "large" photo size here permitted a closer look at the details, but it does not.  So be sure and click on the photo to enlarge it!

This scene has a lovely green background and a metallic gold edging.  A large white church with an ornate steeple, lighted windows, and a welcoming open door.  is at the right side of the design.  People are gathered outside the church.  It's hard to tell, but they may possibly be singing Christmas carols.  To the left of the design, a sleigh bearing more people is headed toward the church.  In the background is a house and many evergreen trees.  A leafless hardwood tree stands behind the church.

This card features a bit of encouraging Christmasy verse, trimmed up with a bit of holly.  It reads:

There will always be a CHRISTMAS
With its bright and SHINING STAR
So full of HAPPINESS and HOPE
No matter where we are.

Inside the card is another sweet little view of the horse, sleigh, and house -- all set against that pretty green background. 

I love vintage Christmas cards, don't you?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Memory games -- a great Christmas gift for young children

Photo by Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe
Can't we all use more creative ideas as gifts for kids?  I know that I can!  And sometimes when I come across a new idea, I think of projects I've made before and put them together in my mind to create something really special.  That just happened today when I spotted this Holiday Memory Matching Game for kids from Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe.

She designed the bags seen above to contain holiday Scrabble tiles to use as a memory matching game.  Young kids enjoy memory games and they are such a great tool to help them learn.

My own idea would involve using larger bags.  Kelly used the 3x5-inch size of muslin bags, but I saw 4x6 and 5x7-inch bags on Etsy, where she purchased hers.

So here's my idea.  I guess it was the title of Kelly's post -- "Holiday Memory Matching Game" -- that got me thinking.  In the past, I have made a couple different memory games using photos and Shutterfly offers. Here are screenshots of the front and back of a card from each game I made with Shutterfly.

 The Christmas season one was made for a little girl to see her faraway cousins' holiday traditions.

The logging equipment game was made for a little boy to see the machines Grampa works with.

Each memory game from Shutterfly has 12 scenes on it with 2 of each card -- so, 24 cards.  The game cards are 3 inches square.

So I thought, wouldn't it be nifty to combine my idea with Kelly's idea and make holiday memory games -- and then make decorated drawstring bags to put them in?  This would not only make a really nice gift presentation, but would provide a great way to store the game between uses.  I think I'll order some of the plain muslin bags (or, alternatively, make up a few) and have them ready for the next Shutterfly memory game I make!

Friday, July 26, 2019

A lovely decorating idea ... why not gather the supplies this summer?

Photo by Laura at Finding Home Farms
This Snow Globe Village Centerpiece  by Laura at Finding Home Farms is one of the prettiest centerpiece ideas I have seen.

I've made similar "snow globes" or terrariums in large jars before, but grouping a couple of them with other items like this is a new thought for me.  Laura mentioned that this entire idea got its start when someone offered her a large empty pickle jar.  The bottom of each jar was partially filled with loose artificial snow, then the glitter houses, bottle brush trees, and some candy canes placed inside.

(When I saw those jars with their lids painted red and green it just brought back precious memories of my grandmother.  Every jar in her pantry had a painted green lid and an ivy decal on the jar itself.  What a truly amazing woman she was!  How she would have loved Pinterest.)

A tray or shallow box will be necessary to place the jars in.   If you are handy or know someone who is, you can build your own.

Laura lined her box with purchased batting-like snow.  Then she placed in the filled jar snow globes and also tucked in another glittery house which wouldn't fit in a jar, along with more bottle brush trees and some ornaments.

She set the centerpiece on a simple paper table runner and added more trees and vintage ornaments.  What a cheery vintage look!  I absolutely love this idea.

So why not do a little shopping at yard sales, or shop your house and your Christmas stash, to see what ornaments and other goodies you can find for this project?  And when you're at a summer cookout or reunion, be sure to ask if you can have the empty pickle jar!