Monday, November 30, 2009

Another gift finished

Here is another finished gift. I actually have finished quite a bit of Christmas crafting, but am not posting photos yet because they are gifts for family who may see my blogs.

This is a set of pillowcases for dear friends. As you see they are plain brown pillowcases, embroidered very simply with Queen Anne's Lace in ecru. I have lost the web address where I found the design, but they are designed by Alicia Paulson and if you simply google Queen Anne's Lace embroidered pillowcases, you should be able to access them quite quickly.

Now... back to laundry, turkey-soup making and crafting!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some serious Christmas crafting

Thanksgiving is over, and our granddaughters (6 and 8) were here for the weekend. With Thanksgiving Day behind us, these little girls are getting into the Christmas spirit already!

They made:

A stand-up angel

A spiffy snowman

And a candle decoration!

Oh, and a flurry of paper snowflakes!

I must add that the candle decoration is from an old Christmas activity book from my own childhood. I had everything on hand that Sarah needed to create this project.

What fun!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Baking List for Christmas 2009

While we were away I also made out a tentative baking list for the Christmas season. Something on it is sure to change -- I may leave something out or try some different recipes -- but I thought it was a good idea to make a tentative list so I would have more of an idea as to what ingredients to buy. Incidentally, Walmart has been having a good price on Gold Medal all-purpose flour -- the 5 lb. bags are $1.50. Their butter is $2. So we have been stocking up somewhat. Here's the list:

Whipped Shortbread*
Eggnog Logs*
Sacher Torte Cookies*
Peppermint Cookie Wands (or possibly Peppermint Tree Spritz)
Almond Raspberry Thumbprints
Chocolate Dipped Maple Logs
Double Drizzle Pecan Cookies

Breads/Cakes (to be made in mini loaves for gift giving):
Golden Apricot Cakes*
Cranberry Lemon Bread
Chocolate Fruitcakes

Heavenly Delight*
Snowflake Fudge
Pistachio Cranberry Bark

* Recipes marked with a * are "must-makes" for our family during the Christmas season.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time to tweak the Christmas list and timeline...

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. T and I were so blessed to be able to take a little getaway to a lake way up in the northern part of our state. It was a great time to relax, reconnect, and renew. I brought plenty of crafts along and spent the Monday afternoon (which was a gorgeous day) on the dock soaking up the late fall sunshine and working on projects.

Another thing I did was to bring along a couple of Gooseberry Patch Christmas books. For each, I made a list of projects and recipes I want to try and posted a list in the front of the book.

I had also brought my Christmas notebook along on our getaway and spent a good bit of time looking through that and refining my thoughts and plans for Christmas 2009. I majorly tweaked my Christmas list and decided to postpone one large project until next Christmas. I could just tell it was going to turn into one of those broken-record projects that takes forever, although it is fun to work on and is coming out quite well. I decided to spare myself the aggravation and stress of trying to finish it for this year.

I also tweaked my Christmas crafting timeline in a big way. I think I finally faced reality about what I can accomplish and what would be best not tried for this year.

You may not have time to get away as we did, but maybe you could spare an hour or two here and there for some Christmas planning. It really does help ease the stress so one can focus on the true meaning of the season.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

One project completed!

I planned to make five embroidered pillowcases for Christmas gifts for various people -- two sets of two pillowcases, and then one single case. It was neat how the Lord provided that single pillowcase. Many years ago, an elderly friend who loved embroidery and other needlework passed away. Her husband gave me her embroidery supplies and several unfinished projects. This pillowcase was one of them.

The only problem was that there was no floss included with this case. By going through some of the other items, I found the pinks that she had used, but no green. By painstakingly matching what she had done with a DMC color card that I have, I managed to come pretty close.

The finished project came out really well, and I know the recipient will be pleased!

Shiny icicles

Here's a simple, fast project that kids can do. It's similar to the "tin" icicles which I think are in the archives here on my blog, but much safer for kids. These shiny icicles started out as the giant twist ties that come around bunches of leaf lettuce. I have seen some in shiny metallic green as well as the red.

I had two ties, and cut each one in half. Then, I simply wound each tie around a pencil to curl it, and slipped the pencil out.

These icicles can be simply bent to fit over a tree limb, but I used a tiny hole punch to put a hole in the tip of each one and threaded through a piece of gold cord, then tied the ends to form a hanger. You could also put an ornament hanger through the small punched hole.

These are so simple and easy, but they look pretty and colorful on the tree as they catch the lights.

Yo-yo Christmas ornaments

Recently we had a rainy Saturday, and I needed something easy but absorbing for my granddaughters to do. I suggested making yo-yos out of Christmas fabric, with the idea of making them into ornaments. They thought that sounded like fun, so we quickly headed to my bin of Christmas fabric. They both enjoyed the yo-yo making project, but I was surprised at how the 6-year-old stuck with it.

Here is Mackenzie's yo-yo candy cane.

Basically, you make yo-yos starting with 3 1/4-inch circles of fabric, and just before pulling the gathering threads, you center a 1 1/2-inch poster board circle in each one. This stiffens the yo-yos and makes them suitable to work as ornaments. In the candy cane, there are 4 red and 4 white print yo-yos. You hot-glue them together to form the ornament, then hot-glue a loop of ribbon to the back to serve as a hanger.

The candy cane would have gone together better if Mackenzie had not glued a button to each yo-yo beforehand, but it worked out fine and she is pleased with the result. (The pattern I have suggests adding buttons and other embellishments after the ornament is glued together.) The other ornament possibilities are wreaths and Christmas trees. Sarah has started on a wreath, so there are still yo-yos in my living room!