Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Tin

This little Christmas tin is so handy! I set it out as a decoration, but it holds extra ornament hooks and replacement Christmas light bulbs. Its really nice when you have an ornament exchange or  when one of your light strands goes on the blink. No more digging through boxes or drawers to figure out where you stashed these little extras.
It comes as a plain tin in the scrapbook stores, and it reminds me of a Band-Aid box with a small handle.
It was decorated with scrapbook papers, ribbon, buttons & lacy edgings of paper made with a border punch. Oh what fun....

Decoration Day At My House

 Got my tree put up today! In spite of every one catching a head cold at my house we managed to get the decorating done. I don't think we put up as many decorations as usual, but since my head is feeling big and fuzzy I'm OK with it.
 We added Khloe's first ornament to our tree this year. When we adopted her back in August the vet made an ornament with her paw print on it for us to take home. So I embellished it with ink so the paw print was more visible, added the date of her first Christmas with us and hung it with ribbon. She did really great with the tree and decorations. She hasn't messed with them once. She did lay under the tree and was looking up at the lights, but she wasn't to sure about the whole thing and hasn't given it a second thought since.
 Next, we hid the Christmas pickle. Last year I forgot to put it on and my daughter noticed right away. They are older now and I didn't think they even looked for it any more, but I guess I was wrong. I thought it was nice that they still want it on our tree.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

Left - regular garland/ Right - outdoor garland


Kesha, Carmen & Camille

These are a fun alternative to some of the more expensive decorations. I made these about seven years ago, so they have lasted a long time out in the weather. As you can probably tell, mine look a little beat up. Its time to re-do the garlands. I took some old baskets and spray painted them silver for the base. (I turned my baskets upside down and added a couple of bricks for some weight....we get lots of wind through here.) Then wired on the tomato cages and duct taped the top three prongs together to make a point, add your lights and cover in garland. Done!
Its best to use outdoor garland for this project. It is way thicker than regular decorating garland and weathers better, but you have to buy it early in the season or it will be gone in the stores. Needless to say, I didn't get there early enough . I used one strand of 100 white lights and three packages of regular garland on each tree ( 2 packages per tree if you use the larger outdoor garland.)You can make any combination of colors, this is just to give you an idea of how much you might need. Silver and white garlands show up the brightest with the lights. Very Sparkly!! This is the first time I have used a garland with colors in it and I can tell the difference. I think I'm more of the sparkle type.
I made one for my mom a while back too, but hers was more outside in the open weather than the ones I have protected on my porch. It weathered fast with all the snow and the garland lost its twinkle by the end of the holiday season. It looked pretty bedraggled. The good thing is you can replace the garland without to much trouble, maybe even find it on sale at the end of the holidays.
Since we were re-doing them any way, we decided to go ahead and fix the one my mom doesn't use any more. My daughter wanted to put it in her picture window since her big tree is in a corner.  Looks cute...even though we only had two packages of extra silver garland from last year. We just spread it out a little more, so its not as full and the coverage is a little more sparse.We also added a bow to the top and wound some ribbon around the tree. Can you see how much brighter it is than the ones made with the colored garland? It practically glows!
All her cats love Christmas decorating!! With all the boxes, shiny balls, and things to play with, they had a lot of fun! Finally, after all that excitement they bedded down for a nap in the garland. .

Friday, November 23, 2012

Decorating At My Daughters

Carmen supervising while we make the wreath

My daughter was worried over how her tree looked decorated. She hasn't accumulated all the ornaments & Christmas stuff  my mom and I have, so she was a little wary of her tree at first....just not sure she liked it. I think her tree looks really cute! Bright and cheerful! The picture doesn't do it justice.
Mom and I didn't start out with a bunch of ornaments, but they just add up over the years. I buy a special ornament  every year for my kids, so some day all theirs will add up to a nice collection too. We added some snow flakes, and candy swirls to her mostly decorated tree and later she found some decorations she made last Christmas. The handmade ones added that some thing special. I have to admit that decorating a tree so its cat proof might be a little harder, but they have tons of pretty shatter proof decorations now days. I will soon be finding this out for myself since it will be our first Christmas with a cat. Maybe she will come help me decorate too. Her apartment looks great!
We also made her first wreath....she found some cute accents 50% off , and we used an extra wreath grandma had stored in the garage. She found a picture of a wreath she liked on Pinterest, so we had some thing to go by while putting it together. She loved it when we were finished! Not to shabby!
Every thing looks so cozy and Christmasy for the she can just sit back and enjoy it!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We had just a small gathering of family today, but we have so much to be thankful for! I thank the Lord for my family, our homes & health. I'm thankful for my husband, who had to work today. I also think of the soldiers that are far away & pray for their safety.
Every year it seems that the purpose for Thanksgiving is forgotten a little more. We will not be joining the many that run around shopping today. I love Christmas as much as the next person, but I believe we need to take the time to just be Thankful.
So, Happy Thanksgiving...and to my family, I love you guys, thanks for being in my life.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reversible Squares

As you can probably tell, I've been playing in my holiday stash, hoping to get in the Christmas spirit by the beginning of the season. I've made this square before for some of my swaps. I just love it! Both pictures above are the same square, it's a reversible pattern.There are so many color combinations for this pattern. In fact, I have a stash of finished squares in many different colors. I like to see what all the new variegated yarn colors look like crocheted in a project, so this is my swatch pattern too. For this Christmas swatch I used Caron yarns. I've had them a long time, so I'm not sure they make these exact colors now, but I know they have similar ones out every year for the holidays. The skeins I have are very small and not enough to finish a big project, which is a shame because I like the way it turned out...Merry and Bright!

This pattern was published in "Country Afghans Magazine" Spring 2000 issue.
Reversible Delft Tiles pattern.

Crochet Christmas Tree Coasters

I thought this granny tree pattern was too cute! Almost every one likes a hot cuppa during the winter months, so coasters seemed like a useful thing to make. Handmade touches here and there add to the charm of the holidays. When I use some thing that some one took the time to make me, I think of them and it always brings a smile to my face.
I happened to find holiday colors in Red Heart's Shimmer yarns on sale this summer. Perfect for this project. This yarn is soft and pliable so I added a felt backing to give them a little more stability. It was easy to stitch to the felt with either decorative stitching or a whip stitch. To make a set of coasters, I crocheted one in each color and tied the finished set with a bow. They would look great in one of those sheer fabric pull-string gift bags.

The pattern and tutorial can be found on The Royal Sisters Blog . She has tons of adorable ideas and patterns to make on there. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas Cross Stitch Seahorse

 I really like the Christmas swaps, but I try to choose small ones that are easy on the wallet and do not cost much to send through the mail, especially during the holidays. Christmas ATC's fit this criteria perfectly! My assigned partner has beach and seahorses listed as her favorite things. The design is actually senders choice, but if their profile is specific enough I try to send some thing they will really enjoy receiving. We were given two months to finish up our projects and get them sent.
I found this free pattern of a seahorse through searching the net...I liked the shape and the option of using a solid color, but how to make it Christmasy??? At first, I thought a Christmas seahorse was sorta laughable, but then that is what will make it unique just for her. I started making a mental list of things that say "Christmas" to me. The most obvious was the colors...the most basic holiday colors are red & green. So, my original plan was to make the body metallic red and the mane and accents metallic green. The shiny colors reminded me of tinsel. I wish it would have shown up more in the pictures , but the whole thing twinkles!
 Later, when I was looking at the pattern ...I thought candy cane! That's definitely Christmasy question. I'm always "tweeking" patterns, but I wasn't sure this idea would work. I started playing with the pattern to make the stripes and after goofing it up at least five times, it finally worked out.Yeah! After I got the ATC card stitched, I thought of adding a border, but with all the shiny threads I thought it would look to gaudy.
I added ribbon to the top so she has the option of hanging it on the tree for the holidays or adding it to an ATC book.

Colors I used : DMC
* 5270 Metallic Red
* 4210 Variegated Red
(for the reds I used one strand of each, together for my two strands of floss)
* 5269 Metallic Green
* 272 Blanc Metallic White (on a spool)
* 310 Black

* free pattern: by Sandi Marshall.

* free alphabet (lower case):

* free alphabet (upper case):