...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Monday, November 30, 2009

When do you decorate for Christmas?

So when is it that you decorate? Do you decorate? Live tree? Man-made tree?

There's a joke in our house that the pie is served in the attic after our Thankgivings' meal. It did seem that we cleaned up the dinner mess and then promptly began to decorate for Christmas. I agree. But I LOVE this holiday. (I don't love it when Hobby Lobby takes down Fourth of July and puts up Christmas though, that is tacky IMHO.)
I thought I'd share a fun advent calendar with you today. When do you know you have a collection? I ask because I think these advent calendars are multiplying. Anyway, back to this calendar.
In my past life, I traveled a lot! Not all hotel keys found their way back to the front desk ;-). So at last count I had hundreds of them. This advent calendar is made from 24 of them. I chose older family pictures for this one. One side has the picture, a ribbon and maybe an embellishment or two. The other has a poem, or Christmas story or simply some pretty paper. It was great to find the kids first visit with Santa pics...

Basic instructions: adhere a picture to the front, adhere something to the back. Add a number. Add some embellishments. Use a Crop-a-dile to punch a hole in the top. Tie a ribbon through the top. Find a suitable ornament hanger. Find a tree. Done.

Be Creative!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgivings.. and the winner is.

Here's a not so recent picture of a Thanksgivings tablescape. Old house, taken a couple of years ago. But it's my favorite tablecloth. Made of rectangles cut from a large variety of fabrics. Serged together and then backed and finished off with a binding. White plates Wedgwood; turkey salad plates Spode; Mikasa crystal, WMF silver; Silver wines from ebay!; Silver candlesticks from TJMaxx; silver mint julep cups - Huntsville Al -?? Charlotte knows the name of the store.

And on the what you are really waiting on: From the twelve posts labeled Christmas Countdown, Random.org chose:
And on that day there were 3 posts;

And the second post that day was Caroline!
Caroline said...

My absolute favorite is the nutcracker! He is so adorable!!!!

Congratulations Caroline, email me with your address and I will mail the Printed Treasures printable fabric. You are going to love it!

Be Creative!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgivings all y'all!

May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump.

May your potatoes 'n gravy have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious, may your pies take a prize,

May your Thanksgivings dinner stay off of your thighs!

Check in on Sunday to see who won the package of Printed Treasures printable fabric!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Countdown - Day 12 - Believe

I love banners. They proclaim! They announce! They are festive. Believe. Christ in Christmas, the season, Love. I believe in them all. Although this banner is made form paper, it's easy to translate to fabric and fiber. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
I love adding small details to the die cuts to bring them to life.
Brads come in so many different colors and textures - try some.
Not all letters have to be letters. Doesn't the stocking make a perfect 'L'?
Decorative buttons can be used on other items besides just fabric!
Tiny lights adorn the letter E and a bell hangs from the bottom.
Two holly leaves form a V.

Santa's hat rests on the last E...This is a little quilt that hung in the boy's bathroom - just a reminder that if Mom believes, so does everyone else!!

Be Creative!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Countdown Day 11 - Door Danglers

I created these door danglers for Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine it seems like eons ago. I use them every Christmas and have them on all the doors of our home. The motifs are embroidered by machine, but any of these could just as easily be translated to paper. Just be sure to have a sturdy chipboard backing on them so they withstand the daily use. Santa and lots of different ribbons and gold bells... it sounds so festive.
Instead of Santa, this one sports the word Joy. It was soo much fun to find all the ribbons.
This jolly snowman was embroidered on green velvet, sewn into a star shape and then the cording was sewn on. Click for a close up- the simple white cording available in the notions department of your local sewing store was embellished with a simple machine stitch. Bells from Bernina Sewing Studio in Lubbock.
Purchased tassels hang from the bottom center of the star.

This is probably my favorite. Santa, antique bells, red ribbon and a beige tassel. Once again a machine embellished cording.

Be Creative!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Countdown - Day 10 - Frosty Felt Ornament Swap

This wonderful brown bag tied with an antique hanky brought back the most delightful felt ornaments from "Silver Bella". My friend Stacy was hosting a felt ornament swap at Silver Bella this year. It's a deliciously exquisite retreat in Omaha. One lady dropped out at the last minute and Stacy sent me an email asking if I was crazy. Well No does not appear in my vocabulary so I said yes to making 18 felt ornaments in one night. I am so glad that I did. Let me share with you the contents of this bag:
Lonnie Jenck made this wonderfully amazing glass ornament. It wasn't part of the swap, but she sent it to me via Stacy-mail! The vintage Christkind image is perfect! She had to have known how special German traditions are to me. Thank You Lonnie from the bottom of my heart.
Virginia Burrows made this amazing quilt ornament. The frosted flakes that give this piece a frosty glow hide none of the perfect stitching!
Jayne Whitney created this layered heart ornament. The back had a beautiful silver Christmas tree on it. The jeweled crown and crystal dangler just make this ornament sing its way into my heart!
Heather Rowley made this fun sweater ornament bedecked with a ruched velvet flower, glitter leaves set apart with a swag of lace. So clever!
Can you see the antique lace on the bottom of this ornament? Did you see the crown on the bird? Isn't this delightful ornament by Kelli Flitton to die for???
Who ever knew that lace could create such charming details on this perfect little felt Gingerbread house??? Well Loretta Reynolds did. How clever and cute!
Jennifer Norman's pear is such a fun rendition of the classic "pear tree"... 4 layers of felt, shimmer from the brooch, a gorgeous piece of ribbon are the ingredients to perfection.
Presented in a cupcake liner nest filled with pink shredded paper is this truly fun bird. Don't miss the crown on her head and the eyelashes!! How clever. Aren't the little flowers so perfect as an adornment. I imagine she is on her way to a ball with her creator Alanna George.
Valita Baxley's perfect stitching, sumptious colors, perfect button and pearls are a winning combination. So beautiful!
Jen Kershner dangled vintage balls from the bottom of this little bird making her the belle of the ball. She's kept warm with a lovely blue scarf around her neck.
Nancy Mitchel made a snowman. I just love snowmen. They are such magical characters. He has chunks that look like coal for his buttons and eyes. beads for a mouth and twigs for his arms. He is going to look perfect on the tree.
Ida May Couch gave everyone a present. Nothing is more intriguing than a box. This one holds a most interesting surprise inside. A tiny little book entitled sing. Now the whole combo just puts a song in my heart.
Kara Ward took us to France with a nubby, felted wool Tour d'Eiffel. The flowers and ribbon are so beautiful. Did you see that the front piece is cut out and there is some jacquard fabric behind the felted wool? Je vous souhaite un Joyeux Noel!
Cannot have Christmas without a poinsettia, now can we. Look at the french knots on the center and that over a whisp of tulle. The hanger is made of wired beads and vintage colored balls. So pretty. Thank you Cammy Pollak.

Melissa Danner made a ball tassel ornament. Each of the sequins is hand sewn in place. The beads and silver chord are absolutely perfect. It looks so yummy!
Cristina Sequino made this amazing tree. Those charming buttons are vintage as is the seam binding bow. It's the perfect way to show that in simplicity lies perfection!
Just look how perfect Shannon Johnson's stitching is. Those snowflakes are what I hope to achieve one day. French knots this perfect elude me. It's beautiful.
Stacy McGinnis, yes I'm crazy and I'm so happy I am! Her beautifully stitched ornament made of a sweet gray glencheck is so pretty. I love the pearl tree. I love the word Joy. It makes my heart sing. Her blanket stitching is so good, I don't dare show her mine. Thank you Stacy for thinking of me, for being my friend and for bringing the best out in me! Love ya.
And finally, here is the one I made. Felted a really nice wool sweater in the washing machine. Stripped some blue fabric. Sewed it on to a heart shape with some decorative machine stitches in silver thread. Glass glitter on the punched snowflake. Two pearls on curled silver wire and a bow are the finishing touches. I dropped a green punched fir branch on this on but I don't know from where that came because it's not on there now? Oh well.

Thank you ladies for letting me be part of your swap! I had a blast and am so blessed to have a part of you to make my holiday extra special.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Countdown - Day 9 - Advent calendar part 2

Still need some cellophane to wrap around the candy pieces..
a couple of packages bedecked with ribbons, bells and jewels.
A wreath on embossed paper, a gold ribbon and a poinsettia jewel.
Mittens that are so Mary Engelbreit-ish...
Distress Stickles on the stocking. Holly leaves 'formed' and glued in place.
A couple of reindeer with holly leaves and bells.
Santa with a flocked beard.
JustRite round circle stamped above the drum.
Alcohol inks and copper alcohol inks make up the paper for the ornament. A bit copper wire and beads.
The candy canes started out as paper clips which were re-bent and cut to shape.
Embossed the dress of the angel and used wrapping paper for the border on the dress.
A bit of snow from a tube and frosted lace Stickles on the fir punch embellish the flocked snowman.
The complete calendar! This one is a gift to one of my children. I just know he'll love it. You've still got time to make one for yourself or as a gift.

Leave a post for the package of Printed Treasures printable fabric to be drawn on Thanksgivings weekend.

Be Creative!


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