There’s Still Time!

Proj-2015-RudyNeed a really quick and cute project to make before Christmas Day? We have just the thing for you then. This little stuffed reindeer can be made in just a few hours, and you probably already have everything you need on hand.  Is he not the cutest thing?!  And at about 6-1/2″ tall he’s small enough to fit into a little a little basket or on the branches of your tree.

As with most projects I do using someone’s pattern, I don’t follow it to the letter. In this case, rather than using freezer paper to make my template I just made a copy of the pattern and cut the reindeer out on the outside edge of the black line. I placed my fabric with right sides together (or print sides together for those who know there is no wrong side to any piece of fabric as both can be used equally well by those who are willing to do so) and pinned the pattern to my fabric. I then sewed along the edge of the paper pattern, cut away the excess fabric ¼” from the stitching, and snipped the curves so it would lay well once turned inside out. There were a couple of places where I stitched through the pattern, but I was able to pull the edge of the pattern out from under those stitches and can use it again to make more reindeer if I so desire.

I gave my little reindeer button eyes and a ribbon that was a bit narrower than the one specified by the designer. The designer by the way is none other than Miss Anne of Bunny Hill Designs. The little snowman in the mitten that I shared in a previous post is also from Bunny Hill Designs. Yes, you might say we like her designs quite well and have lots of her patterns in the shop. Not all have been made into samples mind, but we do love her work.

Proj-Snowman Candle MatWhile I was stitching my little reindeer by machine, Miss Martha was stitching a candle mat in wool felt by hand. It turned out quite nicely, but I’m not sure I want to hide the snowman’s face in the Proj-Snowman Candle Mat CUmiddle by actually putting a candle on it. It might just have to lie around and decorate instead of making itself useful being what it’s supposed to be.  I mean, look at him, would you want to cover up that cute, cute, cute smiling face?   This mat is a nice size, around 11″ give or take.  It still needs three little buttons going down the front of the center snowman according to the pattern by Penny Lane Primitives… or does it?  Our wool felt is the good kind and comes from National Nonwovens.  We love this product so well that we have close to 50 different colors on the bolt.

We will be making kits for the snowman candle mat and could easily put one together for the reindeer as well if you need it.  Patterns at present are limited, so let me know if you want one, or both.  Since you’re coming down to the wire where making handmade gifts is concerned, a kit will make it much quicker to accomplish your goal of giving nothing store boughten, as the old folks around here use to say.

 

 

New Projects and Giveaway Winner!

First, I’d like to announce the winner of the sweet sixteens set I used to make the first block of Moda’s Sampler Block Shuffle. Now the winner can make one just like mine, or some variation thereof. The winner is…Janet! Congratulations Janet! While I didn’t say you had to use your new fabrics to make this first block, I do hope to see something that you’ve used them in…eventually.

Now, on to our projects. Miss Martha has been keeping herself busy making new samples for the shop. The latest two are both geared to winter which is fast approaching. The first project I’d like to share with you is actually the last of 12 in the With Thy Needle series that we’ve been doing this year. These are made from wool felt, and we do have kits for each month available if you didn’t participate but would like to. Just give me a call and I’ll put a set aside for you.
Pic-December
This last installment showcases a boot which has been filled with holly, greenery, and candy canes. It can hang from a background designed to be changed out each month, made into a wall hanging, or framed. It could also be turned into a small pillow or hung from a wire hanger. At only 8″ square you won’t need much room to display your handiwork once finished.

The second little project is just too cute! Made from wool felt, and measuring around 4″x7″, you can whip this up in no time. Not only is it quick, but it is a very versatile project as well. So, just how versatile is it? Well, let me clue you in.
Pic-BHill-Snowman in Mitten
The original intent is of course as a tree ornament. However, you don’t have to just hang it on a tree because you could just as easily hang it on the door knob of a kitchen or bathroom cabinet, or the knob on a dresser in a child’s bedroom. Anywhere you’d like to put a little color and cute into your décor would work.

Maybe you’re not one to buy lots of presents and have gotten into the habit of buying gift cards instead. Let’s face it, when you have teenagers on your list it’s usually the best way to go these days. If that’s the case, you could make just the mitten and put the gift card inside. That way they get two gifts in one. They can still hang the mitten on the tree to enjoy long after the gift card has been used up. You could even include the date on the back of the cuff or stitch the recipients name to the front of the cuff in the event you make multiple mittens for the same family. You could also include the snowman if you’d like depending on how much time you have to work with and whether or not you think the recipient would appreciate your efforts. A gift card could easily slid in behind him.

The snowman isn’t attached to the mitten. This means that he can be made as a stand alone ornament by attaching a small loop to the back of his head. Better yet, why not make him into a pin that can be worn all winter long on a coat, toboggan, or purse. Snowmen can be displayed and enjoyed for several months you know.

Maybe you have smaller folks for which to make gifts. This little snowman would make a great finger puppet by leaving the bottom open. With a little imagination you could make a whole snowman family. Make two snowmen the size given in the pattern for a mom and a dad and then shrink the pattern just a bit and make a brother and sister, or maybe one for each member of the family that you gift the puppets to depending on the family’s configuration. What better way to foster a child’s imagination than with finger puppets?

We have a couple of kits ready to go with plans on making more as soon as we get more patterns. If you think you need help making this project, we can set up a time for you to work one-on-one with Miss Martha at no extra charge. While this project is something you could do in an evening or two, especially with all the fabrics on hand, you don’t want to wait too long to get started. I mean, who’d of thought it would be November already!? That means December is fast approaching and will be here before we’re ready. I know that for a fact because it always does. Agreed?

Just Two More Months!

Sorry for being away so long, but I’ve been busy. I know, you’ve been busy too. Life seems to just zip by faster and faster with each passing day. I say that because it hadn’t occurred to me until one of my visitors today asked what the date was. When I said it was the 25th my first thought was that it was my mother-in-law’s birthday. Then the number, 25, sunk just a bit further into my brain, and I realized that in just two months time it will be Christmas Day! Can you believe it?! CA-Dec 25

Were it not for the fact that we didn’t put a tree up last year I’d probably just now be ready to take down the decorations. Yes, I can be that slow to getting around to doing things I don’t particularly enjoy doing. I enjoy putting up the tree, getting out all the decorations that have been collected over the years, and being reminded of special times and special people connected to those decorations, but I do not enjoy having to take down the tree and pack all those lovely baubles away again for a whole year. That’s why I like the fact that we celebrate Christmas for 12 days. It allows the tree to stay up until at least January 5th, if not a little longer depending on what’s going on in our lives at the time. My sister takes her tree down after lunch on Christmas Day. It’s amazing to realize that we actually came from the same family. The only answer I have is that she had to have been adopted.

So. Are you getting ready for Christmas? Have you started your gift making or do you plan on buying everything? Of course, my intentions are always to make something for everyone, but with the shop to keep up with, that hasn’t happened in over 10 years now. We will make fudge for lots of folks without a doubt. Last year we made over 30 pounds of fudge to give to friends, co-workers, and family. We use a recipe that my grandmother mom used when I was little. I’ve taught Victoria how to make “our” fudge so she does the batches for all of her little friends and co-workers. Everyone seems to look forward to getting that fudge each year. I for one just enjoy getting to sop the bowl every now and then. That was the part I enjoyed doing as a child, but once my own children came along they took over the bowl sopping, and I was lucky if I got to lick the spoon. We play Christmas music while we make our fudge so it will taste better. I’m almost convinced that part of why it tastes so good is because we play Christmas music during all the stirring that has to be done.

Now that the proximity of Christmas has been pointed out to you as it was to me today, where are you in the process? I know I have lots left to do but am pretty sure I have all the gifts I need to get for at least one person on our list. As for making things over and above fudge, I’m not sure I’ll do any better this year than in years past. I do have one of a four part gift done, except for sewing up the side opening where it was turned inside out. Maybe if I could make one part each week I could at least get that done for one of my closest friends. Then there are the 11 blocks I need to make for the block exchange of my sewing circle. How I got talked into doing that again I’ll never know. Needless to say, I’ve got to get on the ball because those blocks are due to be shared long before Christmas Day gets here. Yes sir. It’s a good thing that the light bulb popped on, and I finally realized how close we are to Christmas. I’d hate to have been caught unprepared again this year. Now if I can only figure out when we’re going to have time to put up the tree and get it decorated…

Merry Christmas!

Annalee Angel Ornnament
Have you had yourself a merry little Christmas? Are you still in the holiday spirit or are you all holidayed out? I talked with my sister this afternoon and she’d already taken her tree down and put the ornaments away. I’ve always thought it amazing how we grew up in the same house but ended up with two totally different perspectives on enjoying Christmas. I’d leave the tree up forever if I thought I could get away with it.

Since we celebrate Christmas over a 12 day period, we’re just getting started here. Last night Victoria opened her ornament from us and read the Christmas story out of the second chapter of Luke. This morning she checked her stocking to find a little something and will do that every morning ending on January 5. Yes, that’s a lot of stocking stuffers I have to come up with!

Tonight I read a Christmas story, one by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and we opened the first of 12 gifts. Since we give 12 gifts, sometimes a few extras as well, the gifts are typically small, but every now and then they can be a little more substantial. For her first gift, Victoria got a pair of socks, with cat faces, that hold little heat packs. She’s always freezing in this old house for some reason so I thought those would be just the thing to keep her warm while watching TV or sleeping.

Julia was here this evening as well and got a box full of goodies. We went ahead and gave her everything at once because she can’t be here every night. Nathanael visited this morning and got a nice set of wrenches. That should keep him from coming and borrowing Rick’s set every time he needs to fix something.

Our way of celebrating Christmas is probably different than any other you’ve ever heard of, but we enjoy doing it this way. We started celebrating Christmas over a 12 day time period when the children were very small. It was such a let down to have just the one day of excitement so we decided to stretch it out a little. It took a couple of years of trial and error to get the formula just right, but we finally got it down to a science and the kids were able to enjoy each gift they received before being faced with another gift. It taught them that good things come to those who wait and that good things can come in small packages. In other words, it helped to teach the children patience because they didn’t get to rip open the biggest box first but had to wait until they drew the number attached to that gift. We learned to number the boxes after the first year because that’s exactly what Nathanael did; he picked the largest gift first.

What?! No Santa Claus?! No, no Santa Claus. We didn’t want our children to focus on a non-existent figure with mystical powers rather than on the true reason for the celebration which is the birth of Christ. My sister thought we were nuts because our family didn’t do Christmas like we had done as children. I took some flack because of our “weird” way of celebrating Christmas. But that was all right, I’m used to being a bit out there on some issues.

When you spread Christmas out for 12 days you spread out the time you spend with the family and end up with more quality time than just one evening or day of paper ripping can give. When that 12th night comes you’ve had enough celebrating to hold you for a whole year. You’re ready to end Christmas and move on in to the New Year. I only wonder whether or not our children will do something similar when they have families of their own. Should be interesting to see. Only time will tell…

The Grinch – Don’t Miss It!

Get your date book out because you don’t want to miss this performance!  On Saturday, November 20, at 2:00 p.m., Ballet Huntsville and the Academy of Classic Arts will present “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” in The New Building at Trinity United Methodist Church on Airport Road in Huntsville.

Don't Miss It!

Tickets are $15.00 for general seating and $12.00 for children ages 4 through 12 years. Children 3 years old and under are FREE but do need a ticket. To order your tickets please contact Michelle Bendickson via e-mail, michelle.bendickson@knology.net or call her at (256) 325-4787.

This is a great ballet, newly choreographed for the 2009 Christmas season by Clinton and Carrie Rothwell. The kids who danced in it last year had a blast. The coveted part for this ballet seems to be that of the little dog that the Grinch used so badly. Victoria will be a Who again this year, a part she greatly enjoyed dancing last year.

This is only the second time that this ballet has been performed in Huntsville, and as far as I know right now it will be the last. Do not put off going because you think you can see it next year. Sadly, the Rothwells are moving back to California and Ballet Huntsville/ACA will no longer exist. That means that you’ll need to take something else off your calendar that you know will happen again next year and come watch this lively and fun performance in the wonderful facility at Trinity. You’ll laugh quite a bit, and you might just cry a little, and you’ll be so glad you made this one of the to-dos on your list this holiday season.

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