Wednesday, September 25, 2019

September's Rudolph Day

Suddenly it's September 25 -- Rudolph Day! 

I'm still trying to figure out where the year has gone, and September has flown by even more quickly than the previous 8 months.  It's crazy!  Still, here we are, and the few months remaining before Christmas must be used wisely. 

I'm planning to take my Christmas notebook along on an upcoming vacation, and will hope for some good planning time and for inspiration to strike. 

Some shopping has been done,  and I have the gifts for two grandchildren completely taken care of.  That helps a lot, but there are still quite a few to figure out. 

My Nevada daughter gave me the idea of making some felt food for the youngest grandchildren.  She mentioned that although there is plenty of felt food in their house, their youngest (soon to be 4) has no felt food of her own.  Which reminded me that my second youngest granddaughter (soon to be 5) has no felt food of her own either. 

So I'm going to do a few simple things, probably like these Felt Cinnamon Rolls ,

Crocheted Donuts,

and maybe some Christmas Cookies as well.

 All of these are very easy and are ones I've made before. 

When I went looking for some fresh ideas, I turned first to my Fun with Felt Pinterest board.

From there, I ended up at this new-to-me Etsy shop, Treehouse Patterns.  What amazing felt food patterns she has created!  These are downloadable pdf files, and I think they are very reasonably priced.  I bought 2, and am excited about making some of these felt goodies for my youngest granddaughters!

So, for our upcoming vacation, you can be sure some felt, thread, and patterns will be in my crafting bag.  Since I already have 1 other gift each purchased for these little ones, the felt food will finish off what's needed for their gifts.

I'm thinking that, other than some Shutterfly gifts already completed, and a few others planned, that the felt food will be the extent of my handmade gifts this year.  We will see!

How are you coming with your Christmas planning?  Are you making any handmade gifts?  Comment and let me know!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Rudolph Day for August

Rudolph Day fell on a Sunday this month and I really did nothing Christmasy on that day, being busy with other pursuits like church in the morning and a  hike to a lake in the afternoon.

But I have been working on a few Christmas gifts as Shutterfly free offers come along.  I can't say much about what I am making, but I will say I've made a few items similar to this:

A couple more Shutterfly packages arrived on Saturday, so I'm calling that my Rudolph day. 

It was a bit low-key this month, but I am thankful to have quite a bit of my Christmas shopping already taken care of!

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Christmasy surprise in August!

How much fun is this?  A few days ago I picked up the mail and was intrigued to see a large manila envelope from my blog friend Arlene.  Arlene blogs at Nanaland.  Among other subjects, Arlene writes about cross stitching, decorating, books, grandchildren, and her little getaway place in Georgia.  She is one of those bloggers I hope to meet in real life one of these days.

What had Arlene sent me?  It was a project-filled magazine called Annie's Christmas, the 2015 edition.  It seems that Arlene had won this magazine at a cross stitchers' group she attends.  Kindly, she thought of me and my Christmas blog and decided to send it on to me.  She enclosed a note:

What a nice surprise!  This thick magazine contains many projects to knit, crochet, sew, cross stitch, quilt, or paper craft.  Although obviously I will not make every project, I do already see a few that I would like to try.  My eye is drawn especially to the sewing projects like the kitchen set pictured below.  It's a set of place mats and hot pads with a sweet vintage look.  I think that I would make the hot pads and use them as mug rugs.  This project would be perfect for using up narrow scraps of Christmas fabric.  I'm not much of a quilter at all, but I think I could manage this beginner-level project.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Arlene!  It was like Christmas in August!

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!