Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet little ornament

Here is a cute ornament idea. Our daughter remembered the felt handprint ornaments I had made for her siblings years ago. For those, I had traced around their hands, cut 2 of each handprint, placed matching prints together and stuffed them lightly as I sewed the two together by hand. I had embroidered their name and the year on the front of each ornament.

Being a busy young mom of three, my daughter figured out an easier way.

She traced the hands and feet of her kids onto red, white and green craft foam and cut them out. She cut a photo of each child into a circular shaped and glued it to the hand print, then added the name and age to the footprint, attaching the two prints with thread so the ornament just loops over a branch. Cute idea! Maybe other moms would like to try this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Soft fabric trees

One new thing I tried this Christmas was making some soft little fabric trees. I had seen these on a blog quite some time ago and had saved the pattern. This year I finally got around to making a couple of these. They didn't come out quite as nicely as the ones I had seen, but they are cute.

I thought a blue tree would be nice in the upstairs bathroom. This particular blue isn't exactly right, but I liked the fabric (which I had on hand) so much that I used it anyway.

This tree is resting on an inverted footed glass dessert dish.

I made a green tree, too. Here you see it with other items on a hutch shelf.

Later I had the inspiration to put the tree in a Christmas teacup.

If others would like to try making these sweet little trees, the pattern may be downloaded here:

soft fabric trees

Friday, January 08, 2010

Some great after-Christmas deals

Understand, I am not one who rushes to the stores the day after Christmas to shop the clearance sales. I know all too well that those 50% off prices will, in a week or two, become 75% off prices, and then, sometimes even 90% off a bit later. So my tendency is to wait a couple of weeks.

But this year, I had to go grocery shopping the day after Christmas. We do the shopping for my elderly parents and ordinarily go on Thursday nights. Well, that was out this year, with stores closing early on Christmas Eve, and so was Friday night... in fact, the entire week was too full to do the shopping on a different day. So, Saturday it was (and I make it a rule never to grocery shop on Saturday! Too busy!), so we went about 7:30 a.m.

I barely glanced at the clearance stuff in Walmart, though we did eyeball the fake trees with an eye to getting one later if they go to 90% off. My hubby did buy some clearance candy.

We unexpectedly had to pick up a prescription for my dad at the second store, and had to wait for it. So, we walked over to Marshalls. And that is where I found the wonderful deals. Impulse buying for sure, but such fun for only $7.96!

First I found some terrific Christmas coffee on clearance for only 2.49 a bag.

I bought 2 bags. One was hazelnut, and the other a cinnamon-hazelnut blend called Christmas Blend, I think. We sampled one of them and it is wonderful! Then I froze them for later use.

Then there was this cute little glittery house for only 99¢!

It doesn't look exactly like the others I have, but I couldn't resist. I want to make some of these, but if I can add one to my collection for pennies, I will, of course.

I love that the brand is the old-timey Shiny Brite. This is the bottom of the house.

And then there was a much larger glittery house.

It reminds me of a church, although there is no steeple. This was only $1.99, so you see there was no way I could resist getting this one, too.

In other terrific buys, I noticed that our local Hannaford supermarket had the Almond Bark (confection coating) in with its Christmas clearance merchandise. I bought 2 packages of the white chocolate coating at 50% off. This week it is 75% off, so I got some of the dark chocolate as well. This coating has a 2-year shelf life, so it will keep awhile. And actually, wouldn't it be great to use in making candy for Valentine's Day and Easter?

It's so much fun to get a good deal, especially on something you can really use!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mini spool wreath ornament

Here's an easy, easy ornament that is a lot of fun to make and could use up some of your crafting odds and ends. As you can see, it requires 7 mini craft spools. You glue ribbon around these -- you could use ribbon of the exact width for the spools, or use any width and cut it to fit, as I did.

Then you string the spools on a length of chenille stem, stringing 6 pony beads alternately with spools. I can't say the exact length of chenille because I made these ornaments a long time ago, but probably half a chenille stem would do. When beads and spools are all in place, twist the ends of the stem together to form the circle for the wreath.

Finish by tying (and/or gluing) a bow of contrasting ribbon to cover the twisted stem ends. Add another loop of ribbon or thread for a hanger, and you're done.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I pray that all of my readers and friends will have a happy, healthy 2010! I hope to be in the Christmas kitchen a lot more often throughout this new year, and I'd love for you all to join me in my kitchen. Hope to see you there!