Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Christmas Shop on Amazon

All through July, I have been thinking about adding a few items to the Christmas Shop which is part of my A-Store on Amazon.  I'm not very good about updating this shop, and I'm not sharing this link so you will necessarily shop at it, but just mostly for inspiration and for Christmas items I  have enjoyed using (mostly books) and want to share the info with others.  Hope you enjoy your visit if you stop in at My Christmas Shop!

Monday, July 30, 2012

For some fun and Christmas inspiration ...

(Pour yourself a cup of Christmas coffee and enjoy!)
... I'd like to invite all of you to visit my Christmas Board on Pinterest

I love Pinterest even though I seldom find a lot of time to go there.  I just use my "Pin It" button when I find something that inspires me.  It occurred to me today that those of you are are visiting here for Christmas in July (and beyond, I hope!) might like to visit my Pinterest board and see some of the nifty ideas and art I have found.  Hope you enjoy your time there if you visit my Christmas board!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Planning for Christmas in September

 Yes, I'm planning a mini Christmas in September while our daughter and her hubby and four little ones are visiting us out here.  It has been many years since we've celebrated Christmas with them, and we won't really be doing so now -- just a little mini-celebration. 

My plan is that those family members who'd like to take part will draw names, with a $1 per gift limit.  The local dollar stores will likely be our favored shopping sources.  Then we will wrap our gifts and, at some point during the visit, have a little Christmas party.  I'm thinking I will decorate very simply to suggest the Christmas season -- probably a Christmas table runner, perhaps a Christmas centerpiece (or just a mason jar full of evergreen sprigs), and a string  of lights.
I'll probably use this runner which I sewed in 2009; however ....
it's barely possible I'll have these placemats finished in time.
We will have a festive repast -- probably just something like appetizers, cookies, fudge and punch -- and exchange our small and simple gifts.  Sounds like fun to me!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A fabulous resource -- TipJunkie's Christmas in July!

(Image from TipJunkie)
If you are not familiar with TipJunkie, you are missing a fantastic resource -- not just for Christmas ideas, but for recipes, crafts, party ideas, organizational helps, printables,  all sorts of DIY projects and much, much more.  I subscribe to their emails and I have found so many amazing ideas that way.

Right now, TipJunkie is hosting Christmas in July.  Head on over: TipJunkie's Christmas in July!  You will find ideas for decorating, hostess gifts, Christmas trees, Nativity sets, kitchen gifts, bath and beauty gifts, stockings, gift wrapping, and homemade gifts for everyone from kids to neighbors to co-workers, teachers and more.  I think one could easily spend a day browsing this site, so go on over and see what's happening!  I guarantee you will find some great ideas!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fantastic felt food

Over the past few years I have made lots of felt (and some crocheted) food for Christmas gifts and for other occasions too.  I showed the sugar cookies earlier this month, but I've made lots of other items too.  These fun projects are small and portable and can easily be taken along on vacation to work on wherever you may be.  Best of all, kids love felt food.  If you have kids or grandkids and like to make handmade gifts for them, felt food will likely be a hit!
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream

Cheesecake (or cheese pie) with whipped cream and a strawberry


Cinnamon rolls

Fried eggs -- sunny side up

Strawberry frosted doughnut

Frosted chocolate doughnut with sprinkles

Assorted popsicles

Bacon & eggs

More popsicles

Bow-tie tricolor pasta

Bags of chips

A closer look at the potato chips

Peanut butter & jelly on wheat

Ham & cheese, lettuce & tomato on hamburger buns

Four slices of pie

Chocolate cream pie

Crocheted chocolate sandwich cookies

A bag full of cookies

Pie slices in a bakery box

Toaster pastries

Ready to give

Tomatoes in a box

Tomatoes out of the box

Lemon meringue pie
Hope you've enjoyed this look at some of the felt food I've made.  If you are interested in instructions for a particular food, let me know in the comments and I will add a link to the tutorials I used.  Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Some favorite Christmas cookbooks

These are the first three Gooseberry books I acquired.  The one on the left is a particular favorite because it goes from Harvest right through Christmas and is packed with ideas!
July is a great time to look through your collection of Christmas cookbooks and craft books for ideas.  Like Vicki, who shared her collection here: Christmas in July: Cookbooks, many of my very favorite books in this category are from Gooseberry Patch.  Since my time is sort of limited today, I thought I would just share my favorite Gooseberry Christmas books with you all.  Just pictures and captions, to keep it simple.

Here again, the one of the left has ideas from Harvest right through Christmas.  The middle one is one that I have a recipe published in, so got that one free.  Christmas Pantry, on the right, is a favorite of mine.
These are all favorites.  Simple Joys of Christmas contains one of my recipes and a Christmas memory; Farmhouse Christmas has one of my craft ideas.  I bought Magic of Christmas at a Cracker Barrel in SC on a visit to my daughter when she lived there.

These larger books have so many of the recipes and craft ideas and they also are filled with gorgeous photos.  Here are Books 1 and 3.  I also own Book 2 but it was in use on my crafting desk.

Books 4, 5, and 6
Here is a link to Book 4, if you are interested: Gooseberry Patch Christmas Book 4.
Books 7, 8, and 9

A few more

And a few more

These Gifts for Giving and Merry Mixes cookbooks are filled with great ideas to make for gifts!
Hope you have enjoyed this look at some of my Gooseberry Patch collection.  If you don't own any of these fun and inspiring books, you can find them at Gooseberry Patch, on Amazon, at many bookstores or craft stores or country shops, or even at thrift stores and consignment shops occasionally.  Better yet, submit a craft or recipe idea to Gooseberry Patch.  If they use your idea, they will send you a free copy of the book it's in!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas fabric source and ideas

(Image from The Christmas Cloth Store at the Fat Quarter Shop)
 Do you love Christmas fabric as much as I do?  If so, you might enjoy this fabulous resource:  The Christmas Cloth Store at the Fat Quarter Shop!  Maybe some of you are already aware of this great online shop, but if not, I'm sure you will enjoy a visit to The Christmas Cloth Store.  They carry fabric by every designer and in every Christmas theme you can think of.  You can shop by designer or by collection, shop by theme, or shop the sales.  Sign up for their emails, as I have done, and you will get regular emails updating you on what's new at The Christmas Cloth Store!

If you are like me and want to use up every possible scrap of your Christmas fabrics, here are some links to a few projects I have shared here in my Christmas kitchen in the past. 

 Patchwork-look Coasters
A patchwork-look coaster -- so easy!
Fabric Napkins

Yo-Yo Ornaments
A yo-yo wreath ornament
Soft Fabric Trees
A soft fabric tree in a Christmas teacup
Christmas Tablecloths

Foldable Fabric Baskets
A foldable fabric basket
Rag Garlands

Simple Flannel Throw

Christmas Fabric Throw

What better time than July to get started on some small projects for gifts?  Have fun!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christmas in July recipes at Gooseberry Patch this week!

(Image from Gooseberry Patch)
 I don't know about you, but I often feel uninspired when planning menus during hot weather.  I tend to consider only salads and things I don't have to bake, and often I choose things I don't even need a recipe for.  I just don't have the energy to think of trying something new -- and sometimes I don't even have the energy to get out a cookbook!  I know, it's pretty sad.

Well, Gooseberry Patch has come to the rescue in more than one way lately.  Last week's Recipe Round-Up was Recipes to Beat the Heat, and it featured 61 wonderful recipes from salads to beverages to desserts, all designed to help us beat the heat!

And now this week, of special interest to those of us celebrating Christmas in July, they are sharing recipes just for that purpose.  Here's the link: Christmas in July Recipes!  The featured recipes are from their Christmas with Family and Friends book,  and they look fantastic.  What a great opportunity this is to check out some new Christmas recipes well in advance of the season.  Maybe it will even help us feel a little bit cooler!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Christmas in July table runner from Sew4Home!

(Photo by Sew4Home)
 Here is another fun Christmas in July project from Sew4Home and Moda fabrics -- a patchwork table runner trimmed with pom-poms!  Here is the link to this pretty project:  Patchwork Table Runner.

One year, I made simple Christmas table runners for each of my married children and gave them just after Thanksgiving.   That was many years ago but it is always fun for me to see one of those simple runners on my daughter's table during December. 

This patchwork one is way cuter, of course.  In fact, I just may have to make a few of these!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A few of my favorite [vintage] things...

For today's Christmas in July post, I thought I would just share a few of my favorite vintage Christmas things.  It's a busy day and I need to keep things simple.  So here, without further ado, are some of my favorite things -- just pictures and captions, with the items in no particular order.
A favorite white plastic deer; other items look older but are not.

This honeycomb paper bell belonged to my grandmother.  Paper chain made by my grandkids.

My hallway ribbon board with part of my collection of vintage Christmas cards.

Years ago my grandmother tucked a dollar bill in this and tied it to one of my Christmas presents!

A vintage felt snowman.  Notice that his body is in the shape of a snowflake.

Just a few vintage things on our tree.  Several glass balls, a felt elf, a paper light reflector.  The beaded icicle is a newer creation by one of my granddaughters.

On my grandmother's tree, these white reindeer were hung with red satin ribbon.

From a 1952 magazine.  I love giving cookies for gifts!

The inside of a little vintage card

Vintage magazine page to accompany an article on cookie recipes.

Vintage magazine ad for A&P coffee.  What beautiful coffee cups!

A favorite card.  Oh, for the good old days!

Cute card.  I seem drawn to cards featuring mailboxes.

An illustration from a favorite childhood book.

This card features a snip of real red satin ribbon.

Notice the fir branches framing this skating scene.

This vintage ski jump scene is amazing!

Love the peaceful village all in blue.

A favorite cookbook growing up.  So happy I own a copy now.

Little square vintage card.

Another festive mailbox!

A page from a cookie booklet!

Christmas Eve service

From a vintage Christmas postcard.

Woman's Day cost 7¢ per copy!

Inside the skating card shown above

This peaceful village -- love that chimney smoke! -- is a page from a vintage Christmas carol book.
Hope you have enjoyed this peek at some of my favorite [vintage] things!