Thursday, May 31, 2018

Christmas Club meeting for May

Last Wednesday, our little Christmas Club met at a local library.   I just realized I'd better post about this while I can still remember what we talked about! 

It had been awhile since the three of us who attended had seen one another, so we had lots of catching up to do first. 

Susan had just returned from an RV trip to Texas.  She got her Christmas cards before the trip and brought them along, with her address book, so she could address them in all of her "free" time.  Of course, the addressing task didn't get done.  But her intentions were admirable!

One thing I brought the others up to speed on was my little Etsy shop, A New Hampshire Attic.  The sweet little card at the top of the post is one that I had listed in my shop.  It has already sold, and I'm not surprised.  It's adorable!  I'm planning to add lots more items to my "Vintage Christmas" section in the coming month, and am planning a Christmas in July sale!

Carrie brought along some lovely little paper trees she had made from sheet music.  The pattern called for using book pages, but the sheet music added a special festive touch.  We will be learning how to make these at a future meeting.  They would be so pretty strung together as a garland.

One Rudolph Day idea I had seen for May was to think about recipes to try and even maybe make a cookbook of one's favorite Christmas recipes.  I did that a few years back -- made a memory book and filled it with memories and our family favorite Christmas recipes.  You can read about how to do that here: How to Make a Christmas Memory Book.  Now would actually be a good time to start a project like that!

I'm seriously thinking, though, of making a Shutterfly photo book with favorite Christmas recipes.  Layouts are available for recipe books at the Shutterfly site.  These might make fun small gifts for grandchildren.

I also brought up the idea (mentioned here many times before!) of planning ahead to free up time at Christmas by making a large batch of mac'n'cheese and a large meat loaf, or making and freezing several lasagnas or containers of meatballs or cooked chicken -- all with the idea of simplifying meal prep in the busy month of December.

Another thought I had was that now, in spring and summer, we are often bringing cookies to events like showers, graduation parties, picnics, and so on.  It occurred to me that now might be a good time to try out some festive new cookie recipes (modified slightly if need be for the season) that could be used as Christmas cookies in December.

To that end, another thing I shared with the ladies was a few pages from the Printable Christmas Planner at Organized Christmas.    I brought along forms for favorite holiday recipes, recipes to try, and a menu planning form.  If you're like me, you have favorite Christmas recipes in a number of different cookbooks.  A form noting just where to find each one could be very helpful!

That was our meeting in a nutshell.  We're hoping to meet more regularly from here on out!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Crafting goals for 2018 ... just a little late

My friend Les, over at the Christmas craft forum, posted some questions/prompts to get us thinking about 2018's crafting goals.  I thought I would answer them here, as well as over on the forum.  Here they are:

- crafting resolutions for the upcoming year
- sort through your WIPs and join DJ’s challenge
- tidy craft room/area
- create a list of projects for 2018
- share any links for interesting projects/ideas

So now I see that I never did answer these over on the forum. This has been a very busy three months [and just how did the entire first quarter of 2018 pass so quickly?] with lots going on.  So I'll do them now.

Crafting resolutions for the upcoming year:
It might be better for me to set goals rather than make resolutions!  One of the biggest is to clean out and reorganize the craft closet so that I can fit all of the items (other than cross stitch/embroidery supplies, which are stored in a trunk in the living room) into one space.

Another goal will be, if at all possible, to finish my "Snow Angels" cross-stitch UFO of many years' standing.  I've been doing a little bit on it every day.

Probably half of the stitching is done with a blended needle with two colors in it.  I find that challenging.  I decided to just jump into stitching the areas that are done with one color and start with that, then the blended needle ones won't be quite as much of a problem.  Much of the other floss will be used up.  There are a ton of colors in this thing as there is a lot of shading.  [As of this writing, a lot has been accomplished and I am just finishing up the back stitching.]

I should have set a goal not to buy any new craft supplies, but I have already bought some on a Joann's Christmas clearance, so it would have been an unmet goal.

I "finished" a winter embroidery piece a year or two ago; it was actually someone else's UFO, but I liked it and so finished the stitching.  This year I would like to truly finish the project.  I'm thinking I may make it into a pillow.  Now I just need to find where I put it!
I'm sure there are other goals I have, but let's move on to the next question, as UFOs are also dealt with there.

Sort through WIPs [works in progress, in case you didn't know] and join DJ's challenge [this is a challenge DJ, a friend on the Christmas forum, sets up every year]:
Well, obviously, the two UFOs mentioned above.  Then there is a set of fabric alphabet letters to finish, a crocheted throw, a charger holder, a dishcloth pattern that I'm trying out, and probably many more.

Tidy craft room/area: That was a big part of my planning for this year, to declutter and reorganize the craft closet and to revamp the entire computer room/craft room/library.  Let's just say that has not happened yet.  But it's still in the plans, hopefully while my hubby has time off from logging during mud season.

Create a list of projects for 2018:
* Christmas tree skirt from Holly Pond Hill fabric
* Winter/Christmas throw
* Chef's hat for Ari
* New barley bag
* Wash and refill current barley bag
* Crocheted coasters and hot mats
* Mug rugs
* Flannel scrunchies
* Book-page banners in seasonal themes
* Simple cross-stitch and embroidery projects as time allows and the spirit moves
My Holly Pond Hill fabric -- finally decided what to use it for!
And that is about all I can think of right now.  This list is bound to fluctuate throughout the year.

* Share any links for interesting projects/ideas: I will be doing this as I go along, most likely in my Christmas in July posts here in my Christmas Kitchen.

So, there you have it, just a little late: my tentative crafting goals for 2018.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Some exciting news!

 Well, it is exciting to me, anyway.  My brand-new Etsy shop, A New Hampshire Attic, is open for business!

I'm still in the process of stocking and tweaking my shop, but I would love for you to visit and look around.   Don't feel you need to purchase anything; just enjoy the browse and tell others, if you like what you see.

So far I have only a handful of items listed (well, make that a couple of handfuls), so if you don't see anything that catches your eye, bookmark or favorite the shop and return later.  I will be adding items every day or so.  There are literally hundreds more items to list.

Most of what I have listed so far is vintage Christmas items.  I'll also be having vintage stationery, vintage sewing notions, vintage hankies, vintage advertising, and much more.

Hope you'll enjoy your visit to A New Hampshire Attic!

Saturday, February 03, 2018

My January Rudolph Day

I was unable to celebrate the day on January 25, just having too many other things going on.  So I opted for the 26th instead, and most of what I did that day involved working in my Christmas notebook.  I did make some Christmasy tea -- if I remember, it was the Christmas Morning from Stash, which is not a flavored tea but just a nice blend of black and green tea -- to sip while I worked in my notebook. 

I got a good start on copying over my 2017 actual Christmas list (as opposed to my list of ideas, which I worked from all year and right up through the Christmas shopping).  I always like to make a nice neat legible copy when all is said and done, and file it in the back of my notebook, so that I will have a clear record of what grandchild received which game, book, toy, etc.  It's easy to be inspired by the same gift again another year, forgetting that a specific child had already received one. 

In my notebook, I also wrote a few notes to myself concerning next year.  I had picked up some Christmas cards at Walmart after Christmas, so I noted just where they are stored.  I ordered Christmas stamps and international stamps from, and noted, again, just where I put them.

(Incidentally, this is a good idea for most anyone in the US, to order Christmas stamps ahead of time.  These seem to be mostly the "Forever" stamps now, so they will still be good in the future without needing to add additional postage.  I invariably forget to buy them until it's time to mail cards, and the selection may be depleted.  Ordering ahead assured I got just what I wanted.)

I've also made and purchased a few Shutterfly gifts for next Christmas -- so I also noted what they are, who they are for, and where they are stashed.

Can't remember what else I did that day, but if I worked at all at the house I've been clearing out,  I was sorting through stored Christmas cards and wrappings.  See that mailbox-themed card above?  That was one of my finds.  My regular readers know how much I love Christmas cards with a mailbox theme.  In my clearing out, I've found a bunch more of them, all different.   It makes a difficult task much more enjoyable!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A lovely poem from a Christmas card

I have seen this on several of the vintage cards I've recently found, but it's a really nice poem I hadn't seen before.  It says,

Whatever else is lost
among the years
Let us keep Christmas ...
its meaning never ends.
Whatever doubts 
assail us
or what fears
Let us hold close 
this day
Remembering friends.

I wish I knew who the author was.  Our world is so upside down, a lot of people are trying to find their way.  As Christians, we need to "keep Christmas" so that the world will understand the precious gift we are celebrating. 

Friday, January 05, 2018

A finished ornament

At long last, I have finished my cardinal cross-stitch ornament.  Excuse the shadow at the ornament's lower right.  I took five pictures and every one of them had a shadow.  This was the best of the five. 

This is actually just a little larger than I like in a tree ornament, so it may end up hanging elsewhere, like on a kitchen cabinet or baker's rack.  I'm not really thrilled with how my finish came out, but am happy to declare it finished!  One UFO off the list!