Saturday, July 04, 2015

It's not too early to be making (or thinking about) some small gifts!


Tea wallet

interior of tea wallet
This isn't going to be an extensive post on small gifts for friends, co-workers, etc.  But I wanted to share a few thoughts.  This post: 10 Small Gift Ideas to Give to Your Friends by Sarah Beals at Joy-Filled Days will give you some terrific inspiration.  Some of her ideas are homemade or put together at home; others are things to buy.

I hope to share a few posts this month about small gifts to make.  Some ideas right off the top of my head are coasters, mug mats, tea wallets, dishcloths, potholders --- nice small, uncomplicated projects, some of which could be worked on while traveling or at the lake or the beach.  I've made loads of these sorts of projects in the past and have many ideas to share.  Stay tuned!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Drawstring Gift Bags


Photo by Amy at Positively Splendid
I've been browsing through some of my emails and Pinterest pins to find some interesting and fun projects to share with you for Christmas in July.  I thought this one, which I found at Skip to My Lou, looked like a good project to work on in July: Drawstring Gift Bags.  The tutorial is by Amy of Positively Splendid.  By the time you are ready to wrap your gifts, you could have a nice stack of these pretty gift bags all ready to go!

I love the idea of looking through my fabric stash to find prints to sew up into these nifty bags.  And then looking through my stash of ribbons and trims ... what fun on a summer day to sew some of these up in front of an open window.  Think I'll be trying this!  How about you?

Thursday, July 02, 2015

A fun Christmas poem -- "Holiday Cheer"

A vintage card from my collection
 I'm going to be sharing a few Christmas poems over the course of Christmas in July.  I found several in the November/December 1990 issue of Country Woman and enjoyed each one of them.  I thought my readers would, too!  The first one is "Holiday Cheer" and the poet is Ericka Northrop of Tuscon, Arizona.  Here it is:

Holiday Cheer

Christmas wrappings on the floor,
A choir of carolers at the door,
A tall and twinkling Christmas tree
Bedecked with lights for all to see,

Sparkling ornaments so jolly,
Fragrant pine and shiny holly,
Bells that ring out Christmas cheer
To guide us through the coming year.
~ Ericka Northrop

Hope you've enjoyed this festive little poem!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Christmas in July!


Another card from my friend Ann in New Zealand
Welcome to Christmas in July at my Christmas kitchen!  I hope to be here every day, sharing links for crafts, poems, recipes, memories, ideas and inspiration -- just whatever I can find to help us celebrate!

I thought it would be fun to start this month, with its patriotic holiday, with another vintage card from the parcel my friend Ann sent me awhile back.  This one, with its red, white and blue theme, is perfect!
Inside the card ...
As always, the fonts inside the card are so pretty and unusual.  I like how the red snowflake edge shows through to the front of the card, too.

Hope you've enjoyed my patriotic vintage card!  See you tomorrow for more of Christmas in July!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Planning ahead for Christmas in July


A favorite magazine from my collection
Just a quick little note to say I've been busy as a bee behind the scenes here in the Christmas kitchen.  I've been writing posts like crazy to schedule them ahead for Christmas in July.  We are going to have visiting family here for three weeks in parts of June and July, and I know I would never be able to post daily in July with all that will be going on.  So I'm preparing posts ahead of time -- everything from poems to vintage cards to crafts to recipes -- and I hope you will all enjoy them.  A lot of the posts will be links to ideas I've found through Pinterest, including some of my most frequently repinned items.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rudolph Day recap


A page from my vintage Night Before Christmas Little Golden Book
So this past Monday was Rudolph Day for May.  Although I didn't have time to do a lot of Christmas-related activities that day, I will tell you about what I did do.

I pulled out my Christmas notebook and spent some good time with it.  If you click "Christmas notebook" in the label cloud in the sidebar at right, you will find all of my posts concerning my Christmas notebook and the sort of things it contains.

What I was doing on Monday was to go through my lists of handmade gifts I'm hoping to give this year.  I have one list for birthdays, and another list for Christmas.  I added in a few items and crossed off some birthday gifts already made and given.

I also added a few items to my Christmas list.  For example, I made a felt campfire, logs, fire ring and s'mores for 2 birthday kids.  After completing those, I knew I wanted to make more for a Christmas gift for another family.  So those have now gone on my Christmas list.

And I also went through and figured out a timeline for several of these handcrafted gifts.  I explain my crafting timelines in much more detail here: Planning for Handmade Gifts.  Basically, the timelines list the project, who it's for, what materials I need, and what date I'd like to finish by.  I don't always accomplish it by then, but I find that failing to plan is planning to fail!

And that was my Rudolph Day hour or so.  Pretty simple; not even Christmas tea, Christmas music, or anything.  It's been hot here, so iced tea was the order of the day.  But I was thankful to be able to take some quality time for planning.  How was your Rudy Day?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Another Rudolph Day got away!

Found this free graphic online years ago -- I forget where.  It's an illustration from the Jolly Old Saint Nicholas book I loved as a child.
Yes, Rudolph Day for April got right by me.  I had thought I would try and celebrate at least a little, but no Christmas crafts were made, no Christmas tea sipped, no Christmas music listened to.

Over the next couple of days, though, I took some time to browse through some Gooseberry Patch Christmas books I'd purchased used on Amazon.

Book 13 -- photo from Amazon
Book 14 -- photo from Amazon
If you have never thought of buying used Christmas books, head over to Amazon and see the selection.  The pricing, even on hardcovers (which these were), can be amazingly low.  I still haven't finished browsing through these, but when I do, I will hopefully write some book reviews.  These feature the wonderful projects, recipes, handmade gift ideas and decorating inspiration we've all come to expect from Gooseberry Patch.

Even though my Rudolph Day got away, these books are mine to keep -- and I'm enjoying them!