Thursday, December 13, 2007

Heard on High

These are some of my favorite ornaments. I made these little angels when I was in college. I think I had intended to use them as gifts, but I loved them so much that I kept them. And I'm so glad that I did - they definitely bring a smile to my face each year when they come out of the Christmas box.

We've been busy getting ready for Christmas here - finishing up the shopping, making yummy treats (chocolate dipped delicious things of all sorts that we plan to share with neighbors and friends if we haven't eaten them all before we get around to putting them in pretty packaging), and enjoying the white covered world outside. I'm still making gifts and probably will be until the last minute - stuffed monkeys for the boys, crayon rolls for nephews, and some things I can't mention because they are for people who read this blog. I'm getting excited just writing about it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Counting Down

The weather outside (yesterday) was frightful.

But, inside we have this delightful advent to keep us counting the days to Christmas. Mary put an amazing amount of work into this fun and adorable advent garland - I just about fell over when I opened her last swap package for Sweet Goodness Swaps. I had been wanting to make something just like this - thanks Mary for all the time and creativity you put into this! We love it - especially the Hershey's Kiss for each one of us inside each stocking or mitten. Yum!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Little More How To - Gift Tags

I think I just wasn't meant to do much blogging this week - I keep waiting for the sun to come out so I can take pictures of my Christmas decorations. It's just not happening. And if the sun does come out, I'm busy doing something for the boys - changing Ned's diaper or taking Peter to pre-school or getting lunch ready. I am determined to catch the sun this weekend - if it comes out, that is. I heard on the radio this morning that 4-8" of snow is predicted for tonight with a few more tomorrow. Something will work out, right?

In the meantime, I have this pic saved from last week. I sent these tags to Mary for the Sweet Goodness Swap. (I really need to show you the amazing garland Mary sent me - but alas, there are no good pics.) They were super easy to make and I love how they turned out. I used some of my vintage Christmas fabric and cut it out with pinking shears (you'll want to use pinking shears so your fabric doesn't fray) to my desired size (I think these are 1.5" h x 3" w). Then I cut the paper a little bit smaller (like 1" x 2.5"), centered and glued it onto the fabric
with tacky glue. After they were dry, I punched a hole and inserted string. Ta-da - gift tags! And you could make these for any occasion. So easy!

I'm off to do more sewing for the shop - it's a busy time of year and I'm having a lot of fun with it...hope you all are enjoying your holiday season!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Merry Days and Names in Felt

Happy December everyone! I finally got out a little bit of our Christmas decor yesterday (I'll share pics later) - our little tree, a few lights, a nativity. I must confess that I've been dreading getting out the Christmas decorations because I just imagine myself telling Peter and Ned to keep away from them all day long. And true to form, in the first two hours after they were up, decorations were taken off the tree, the tree skirt was pulled askew, and Ned even managed to pull the tree down on himself (it's very small - no harm done, just a bit startling for him). So, I just got out those few things and put the rest away. Call me a Scrooge, but pulling my kids off the Christmas things all day long doesn't really fill me with the holiday spirit! I promise I'm excited for Christmas and all of the loveliness it brings - just let me enjoy it and not have to spend it keeping my children from touching everything they shouldn't!

I've certainly been helping others prepare for the holiday season by making quite a few custom stockings, complete with personalization in the form of a name in felt on the stocking. I've been wanting to do a tutorial on here for quite some time and while working on this little project, I thought sharing with you how I do my felt names would be good. This technique could also use this technique for any sort of shape. And you can use the letters for monogramming, full names, or initials. So, here it goes.


1) Use a word processing program to type out your names. Choose a font that is wide enough that you will be able to sew around the outline easily. Use the rulers in your program to guide you in choosing your font size. You should be able to fit your letters to your desired size by playing with the font size until it matches the length and width of space on the item you want personalized.
2) Pin the paper letters to your felt. Cut the letters out with sharp scissors that have small blades that will easily navigate the detailed and small edges of your letters. To cut the inner circles of letters like “a” and “e”, insert your scissors into the middle of the circle and clip a hole. Using this hole as a starting point, cut to the edge of the inner circle and then cut around the circle.
3) Pin the letters securely on fabric, making sure that everything is positioned just how you want it.

4) With a coordinating thread, sew around the edge of each letter. Be prepared to lift the pressure foot (make sure to leave your needle down when you do this) several times as you change directions to make it around your letter. It is beneficial to remove the pin when you have sewn enough that the letter is attached enough to stay in place.

5) Clip the threads and admire your creation!