Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Just the Wool...

Now that Christmas is over it is time for a round up of the handmade happenings around here this past month! Ginny over at Small Things is doing a Yarn-A-Long today just for that purpose!

I made a couple of plaid wreaths -- one for my pantry door and the other for the front door.

They were super easy and quite inexpensive to make. I bought styrofoam forms at the dollar store and used thrifted plaid cut in strips to cover the forms then added either some felt holly or some inexpensive "picks" from the craft store.

I sewed a tea cozy for myself, my mom, and Christina out of 6 vintage-y Christmas placemats I had picked up at Goodwill Outlet this summer. I had been contemplating for a long time how to best use them and I was happy with how they turned out and it meant that three households could enjoy them instead of just one at a time!

 I spent the first week of December getting 70 ornaments ready for Emily and Craig's shop! I made piles of holly and invented a new ornament -- the plaid heart.

I also sewed this purse from recycled wool for Emily's birthday, at her request. I took the basic pattern for the knitting project zip cases and added handles to it. I was excited with how it turned out and had high hopes of sewing one for myself in red plaid but that idea had to get thrown out. :)

I took part in my first ever calligraphy exchange with members of the Flourish Forum. It was great fun and I loved receiving cards from the others.

 I had promised a friend a wool tea cozy with a caboose on it and got it finished just in time to send it in the mail!

The other side had a tree on it.

And the polka dots inside gave it a bit of a modern flair.

Laura was the only one that I made homemade Christmas presents for. She received a large Velveteen Rabbit and this tiny one for her doll.

Here is Laura showing off some of the clothes I made for her baby doll.

And here she is with the Velveteen Rabbit, whom she really loves! I was very happy with how this pattern turned out.

I had the most fun sewing this Moses Basket complete with a pillow and blanket. I used vintage sheets for the basket and pillow. I think Laura was happy with all her gifts. :)

Phew.....Christmas creating is over for now! But, I do have a list of things that I am working on or need to be working on. I'm making progress on my blue sweater!!! And also on a vest for Laura.

For links to everyone else's Christmas creations, visit Ginny's Yarn-A-Long.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas has come and gone and now we are in those cozy little days leading up to new year's day. Time for organizing, reviewing, thinking, and somewhere a little resting.

Just about everyone was healthy in time for Christmas, all but Rachel. We started the festivities with our traditional Christmas Eve dinner in the living room:

We did watch our Narnia film and I did stay up wrapping until 12:30 a.m.

The kids were up at 7:30 for their stockings and Michael and I pulled ourselves out of bed around 8.

We had our traditional breakfast of tea ring, fruit salad, and bacon-wrapped sausages. This year I figured out how to make a gluten-free tea ring!!!! (I used a Bob's Red Mill pizza crust kit to make the dough and just followed my normal tea ring recipe to put it together.)

My mom came over sometime after 9 and joined in the present-opening.

We always begin with Luke 2 and then Michael distributes the presents.

Andrew LOVED this shirt.

Here's James sporting his new hat from a friend and his awesome knight's necklace.

Laura got a "new" doll from Grandma complete with cozy clothes Grandma sewed for her.

She also received several baby buntings and a little rabbit for her baby dolls.

The kids were each assigned one of their siblings to buy a present for. Andrew bought James a magnifying lamp to use for all his special art projects.

Grandma made the three youngest children "Pooh Bear tea" baskets complete with a Christmas mug, cinnamon shaker, honey bear and candy. (Now I'm trying to find places for extra mugs, honey bears and cinnamon shakers which seem to have multiplied everywhere!)

Laura had been wrapping up things in the weeks leading up to Christmas and this was my pile -- several pennies and some sticky notes and something else....all things that belonged to her which she was willing to give away. :)

The present announcer:

Andrew's new favorite shirt: "You just be yourself and I'll be awesome"

Here are the couch dwellers:

Laura certainly had a lovely Christmas -- see that miniature teaset for her dollhouse and the wicker chair for her dollies and the new pink Moses basket!

And her very own Velveteen Rabbit!!!! (more on these handmade gifts in a later post)

Soon Laura had set up a tea party for her animals in the kitchen:

Andrew was thrilled to receive a monitor for his laptop and had it up and running as fast as he could!

The kids designed a Lego Christmas tree complete with presents and snowmen.

Here is Miss Polly and mommy in our plaid outfits!

I sat in my chair as long as time allowed but then it was time to throw the sausage rolls in the oven and pack up things for our traditional Christmas hike.

The weather was much warmer than last year! By probably 20 degrees at least!

It was a delightful walk in the woods!

Some happy hikers:

Our destination was the raccoon tree, hoping we might see some peek their heads out, but they didn't :(.

So we headed back and unpacked our afternoon picnic onto the picnic table.

All the Christmas Eve baking came into its own!

Hot tea or chocolate, homemade sausage rolls and as many cookies and chocolates as you could eat!

Oh and homemade marshmallows too!

Everyone enjoyed themselves!

Then it was back to Christina and JK's for the evening.

And a little present-stealing when no one was watching:

Christina had a beautiful table set!

The kids had their own table:

And John had wrapped up bags of candy for the kids.

The Christmas mice were on display:

Christina's tree:

A little winter scene:

And there were Italian Beef sandwiches with salads for dinner! Delicious!

After dinner we all opened our stockings (which is what we do now instead of exchanging gifts).

This is one of my favorite tea cozies. Must make some more sometime.....

 And then it was time to get the pudding out of the pot and put it on a plate!

And set it on fire!

It was so good! Surely it was the best yet?!

We ended the evening with a game of pictionary involving adults and children.

And the next day I just sat, and sat, and sat! :)