Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rudolph Day for February

I knew that Rudolph Day, February 25 (actually on Saturday) was going to be a busy one for me, so I planned to celebrate the day before, on Friday the 24th -- Rudolph Eve day, if you will.  The morning was busy as I tried to complete housework and free up my afternoon.  I actually did accomplish a few of the things I planned to.

I sipped Twining's Christmas Tea as I went about my day.  Forgot to listen to any Christmas music, though.   In the late afternoon, it began to snow.  Few things bring me more joy than working at my little crafting desk, sipping tea and looking out the dormer window at falling snow.

On my to-do list was making a thank-you card for a friend.  The picture doesn't show it very well.  The illustration was from one of those page-a-day calendars, and was just perfect for my friend, as we joke about aging quite a bit.
I used a fuchsia floral print for the basis of the card, to coordinate with the old lady's sweater.  I found this print online as a free printable scrapbooking paper from Activity Village and simply printed it out on card stock.

The inside of the card -- just a simple stamp  and an edging made from stickers.
Another thing I've been trying to do on a regular (monthly) basis is to craft multiple items for use as gifts and possibly for sale at craft fairs, etc.  I managed to make eight of these on Rudolph Day:

And lastly, I took time to make up some Christmas graphics out of vintage/antique magazine illustrations I had previously scanned.  I don't like my new scanner as well as the old one, and am still trying to figure out how to make the program work most efficiently.  But I did get six or eight graphics made and was pleased with accomplishing that much.  I enjoy using vintage illustrations here on my Christmas blog and it is especially fun to make them from my stash of 1950s Christmas magazines.

And this is a project I had hoped to work on, but didn't get to this time:
This is one of the Dresden Plate placemats I'm working on to match the table runner I made a few years back.
And that was my Rudolph Day for February 2012!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An inspiring quote

I found the following quote in the front of a magazine (Taste of Home for December/January 2011) and just had to share.  I couldn't agree more!

"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas."  -- Peg Bracken, cookbook author

That says exactly what I feel about gift-giving!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Christmas Card List of Blessings

Did you ever think of your Christmas card list as a list of blessings?  I must admit that I have never thought of it that way.  I don't think of sending cards as a chore, as some do -- I tend to think of it more as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family we seldom see -- but I had never thought about seeing my list as a list of blessings.  The following was printed on the back of our church bulletin for January 8:

"As Christmas greetings are addressed in the coming days, this poem reminds us that Christmas card lists are more than just address lists.

"Our Mailing List of Blessings

Our mailing list is more than just a way to keep track of
The special people God has brought into our lives to love.
It's like a treasured scrapbook filled with pleasant memories
Of all the times God has answered prayer through friends and family.
Every name's a touchstone that leads to a place and time
Where God has used another's heart to reach out and touch mine.
It may have happened years ago or even yesterday,
But every person on our list has changed our lives some way
Through simple conversation, a warm hug or shared meal,
Every person on our list has helped us grow or heal
Or laugh or love or learn or smile -- the blessing never ends,
As God allows our paths to cross as family and friends.
So please know that this greeting is more than just a wish;
It's a 'thank you' card to God for putting you on our list.
                                                                -- Author Unknown"

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." (Philippians 1:3)

The meter for this poem is a little odd, but once you read it correctly it actually does rhyme.  If that bothers you, then just think of it as blank verse.  This little poem has certainly  helped me to look at my Christmas card list differently!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Using some of one's Christmas fabric stash

Do you have a stash of Christmas fabric?  I think most serious crafters who love Christmas tend to have a stash of the lovely and unique fabrics that reflect the beauty of the season.  I know I do.  Sometimes, I will buy Christmas fabric with a project specifically in mind, like aprons or pillowcases.  But most often (probably because I tend to buy such fabrics at after-Christmas clearances or Christmas-in-July sales), I really have no clear idea of what I will do with a fabric.  I just buy it for my stash!

Over the past few years I have pared down my stash considerably, and I have shared many of the projects here on my Christmas blog, but I thought that it might be helpful if I were to put the links to the projects all in one place.  So I am going to do just that.  I should add that most of these projects can be done with any fabric.  It need not be Christmas fabric to make these basic projects.  I do apologize that I don't have pictures for all of these, but if you follow the links you will find pictures on the original posts.

I'll start with the largest projects.  I should note that I almost never buy any more than 2 yards of any one Christmas fabric unless I have a specific project in mind or find a huge sale.  So for my larger pieces of fabric, I made some Christmas throws.  Here are the links:  Simple Flannel Throw and Christmas Fabric Throw.  One thing that works well is to make one side of the throw a holiday fabric, and the other side a solid color.  That way you can just fold it the other side out and use the throw all year long. 
Flannel throw with dark green on the reverse side
I especially like my flannel one and tend to cozy up with it whenever the weather is a bit chilly.
This shows the holly and mistletoe print on the reverse side.
I love this print.  A quilt-like throw was really only about the possibility for this.

Another good project for larger pieces of fabric is to make Christmas Tablecloths.  These need not cover your table.  You can make them runner size, full size, square, or whatever.  You can always layer them with other table coverings if you like.  I have some larger ones for my dining room table and have made some small "table squares" (or rectangles) for smaller tables, islands, shelves and the like.
A pieced table runner I made from a vintage Christmas magazine

Foldable Fabric Baskets are pretty and useful; practical, too, since you can just unfold them and store them flat.
I love this vintage-looking pine cone print.
Some hot mats I made from Christmas fabric.  I don't have a post about these, but they are easy enough.

Fabric Napkins are a great way to use up a variety of Christmas prints.  The mix-and-match look is cute, plus it's easier to remember which napkin is yours.

Blue tree on an inverted sherbet dish
These Soft Fabric Trees are so cute, you'll be tempted to sew up an entire forest of them.
Green tree in a teacup

These Patchwork-look Coasters are a particular favorite of mine and I have made them in many fabrics, not just Christmas ones.  It's fun to make some for every season.  I love how easy these are!

You can use smaller pieces still to create these Yo-Yo Ornaments.  Fun and easy enough for kids to do.

A yo-yo candy cane
And a yo-yo wreath
And last but not least for the really small strips of fabric, you can make Rag Garlands.  They look nice intertwined with white lights, too.

Why not pick a project and delve into your fabric stash?  You'll be getting ahead of the game for next year.  By the time the Christmas-in-July sales roll around, you may need more fabric!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

A couple of small Christmasy items

Seems like I have neglected my Christmas blog of late.  I will try and do better; I'm sure I have plenty of ideas I could share.  Here are just a couple small items for starters.

I made this small table or shelf topper from a remnant of beloved Christmas fabric.

A closeup of the fabric.  Isn't it pretty?

And last but not least, my Christmas cactus, which bloomed for Groundhog Day!

It certainly brightens up my little crafting desk!