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Friday, December 31, 2010

Made It: Meaning of Christmas Ornamnets

~~~~~~  I ran out of photo space on blogger, so after the holidays I'll have a little more time to clear out some photos so I can update this post. Until then, here is a picture-lacking tutorial on how I made my ornaments. ~~~~~~~~~~ :) Happy New Year!!

Earlier this month I mentioned that I was making our ornaments this year. I have this list of "The Meaning of Christmas" in my Christmas book, and decided this would make a great project, and be something meaningful. And, best of all, they aren't something that my boys can destroy! Boy-proof is a MUST for us! lol.

Here's the list of items and their meanings:

Here's how I am making them:

Take a chalk pencil or some kind of marking pen and draw the item on some felt fabric. Cut out the pieces and any other details you want to add. I decided to keep mine really simple and not decorate them too much. It just makes sense to not make them all bling-bling when the purpose of them is to remember the meaning, and not be distracted by design or fanciness. Anyway...


Then I took some simple craft glue, glued on the details and let it dry for a minute. Then I took one of the main pieces and glued only right around the edge of it, leaving some room for an opening.


After the glue dried, I took some coordinating floss and did a simple whip stitch around the edges of it to help keep the pieces together and to add a more finished look, leaving a small opening for stuffing.

`````````````````````floss pic``````````````````

About a week ago I realized I should really be sewing them like this to add at least a little bit of cute detail.

`````````````````other way to sew pic`````````````````````

Next stuff your ornament to desired fill, and finish sewing your ornament shut. I didn't glue the last edges before sewing. You could probably do without gluing at all, but I wanted to make sure I didn't get little stuffing fuzz falling out everywhere.

``````````````````````````````````finished pic`````````````````````````

I also was going to add some ribbon before closing, but with how my boys are crazy rough with our tree already, and I knew they would do what they could to take them off anyway, I figured it might be safer to not tie them on, less the tree fell over while trying to get them off. (For the same reason I'm kind of glad we don't have our decorations out. haha.)

So instead of hanging, we just place the ornament in the tree, and they can play with them, or leave them. So far, we love them! :)

I'll show the pillow when I get it finished too. I can't decide it I want to embroider the words or just use a fabric marker. I haven't done embroidery for so long, though it has turned into a great crafting method for doing while I'm doing whatever with my boys all day! So I just may have to start doing more of it! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blog Update

I am currently coming back to blog land, and have been working on cleaning up my blog a little bit.
I wanted to let you know that I just finished fixing my Tutorials tab at the top of the posts. There is now a nice, clean picture list of all the tutorials I have done on my blog, linked to their tutorials. There aren't a lot, but I do have a few on the way (3 or 4 more I'm hoping to get out by the end of next month, at least. Plus I need to bring a few over from my old blog). I also pretty much finished my Made It tab, but still need to link the pictures. It is now much easier to brows (is that the right spelling for this meaning???) through the different projects I've made.

I also have a giveaway planned for next month, a big announcement to make, along with a sew-along (if you want to join me). I have a super big kid project I'm working on, but have been a little stumped with, and thought it might help to blog the process. It will be fun. :)

I really have so many projects I need to finish, so I'm hoping that planning it all out on my blog will help me get everything finished up. :) Good luck with that right?! haha.

Thanks for joining me!

And here's a random picture to add some interest to this post. Haha. :)

some random side street in Wuerzburg Germany.
I LOVE the art on this wall!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Made It: Christmas Presents, Part 1

We had a fabulous Christmas this year. We never did get our decorations out of storage. lol. But with our paper chain and the simple ornaments I did finish, along with finally finishing the tree skirt, it was a simple Christmas. And pretty simple all around. A lot of the presents we gave out were home-made, and not all have been given yet, so I'll have to have a part two next week. (That and I forgot to take some pictures of some, so they'll be added with it when I get them from my sis.) It was such a wonderful month, reading scriptures and stories about the birth of Christ and singing Christmas songs every night. We really felt like it extended the Christmas Spirit throughout the month. We also didn't splurge on the boys this year, or each other, which to me, made Christmas day the best ever! Usually I'm really excited about getting this or that, but this year all I really wanted was a box of chocolates. haha. And boy are they yummy! ;)

Anyway, to get on with the fun stuff we (I) made, we'll start with my sister. We had her for Christmas this year, and since her and her hubby just got new Windows 7 phones, I couldn't resist making them some of these:
 (sorry the photos are the best, but hey, they work.) ;)

It's a phone pillow. I saw the idea at Dog Named Banjo's blog. Here's her etsy shop if you want one. I had kind of a tricky time figuring it out, and all my compliments to her, her's are fantastic!
this one is the BIL's, and I forgot to take a pic of my sis's before wrapping it. I don't have a cool phone, so I'm hoping that the angle is good on them. You can use them to charge, or to hold your phone/iPod while you watch movies, take in on the airplane to use on the tray table, etc. Such a fab idea!

Next up, I remember a while ago when my sis did a blog post about all the notes they always left each other around the house. When I saw these super envelopes over at Sew, Mama, Sew! I couldn't resist! I made one for each of them in their favorite colors. That way they can either know who the note is from, or just give that person a note in their own envelope. I'll let them figure all of that out. ;)

I loved the idea for using the buttons and interchangeable messages.

the backs of the cards have the same fabric as the inside of the envelope.

 I decided to stamp all the messages, since my embroidery skills are lacking. I didn't have a fabric ink stamp pad, so I just added some fabric textile paint to my regular acrylic craft paints and used stamps. (iron the paint after it dries to set the paint so it doesn't wash out). It was kind of tricky getting the right amount of ink on the stamp so it wouldn't smear, and some were a little more difficult than others, but I think they turned out. I also would have cut all the squares out first and then stamped, but silly me, I just stamped them all on a big piece of fabric, and guessed how far apart to stamp them. Some of the squares ended up a different size, but oh well. :) I still like it.

We had a white elephant gift exchange with the YW, and I thought these tissue holders were super cute so I made this:
I think this fabric is so much fun! :)

And last for now, I made new hats for the boys. They are so cute in them, if I do say so myself.  And I do like how the ear flaps turned out. :)

What did you make/get for Christmas this year?! :)

I'm linking up, so check out all the great sites on my side bar ------>

Thursday, December 16, 2010


My sister sent the following to me in an email, give it a try! It's pretty cool. 
Leave a comment and tell me how you do! :)

This test takes 10 seconds...try it!


(i love this part.. its absolutely amazing!)
Count every "
F " in the following text:




6 -- no joke.
Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F's before you scroll down.

The reasoning behind is further down.

The brain cannot process "OF".

Incredible or what? Go back and look again!!

Anyone who counts all 6 "F's" on the first go is a genius.

Three is normal, four is quite rare.

Send this to your friends.
It will drive them crazy.!
And keep them occupied
For several minutes..!

Isn't that so crazy?!?!?! 
For the life of me I could only find 3, then when I saw there was six it took me a long time until I saw the F in "OF". Then they all showed up. 
So crazy. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Made It: Tree Skirt

We spent last Thanksgiving with my Dad and his wife and my brother and his family. While we were there my SIL and step mom started making these really cute tree skirts. They were nice enough to cut fabric strips for me and send me home with the fabric for it too. :) Since our decorations are still in storage and our tree was awful bear with out a skirt, I figured I'd just finish this one. I was too ambition and didn't wait to get the pattern and started cutting and sewing away. Come to find out it doesn't look ANYTHING like it's supposed to, but I couldn't figure out how else to make it with the fabric I had. Turns out I wouldn't have had enough fabric anyway, so no big deal. Plus our tree is modest in size, and I think the finished tree skirt would have covered our whole living room, so this works out well. :)

Thanks for your help and the fabric family! :)

 very quick Tutorial:
with a few edits.
It's super simple to make. For the center, cut 13 of one fabric and 12 of a coordinating fabric 4.5" square. Sew in a checkerboard pattern. Cut 8 strips of green and 4 strips of red 2.5" by 21". Sew strips together (green red green = strip set) and  sew one completed strip set to opposite sides of the checkerboard. For the blue cut 4 - 6.5" square  squares.Sew 2 blue squares on each end of the remaining 2 strip sets. and sew those on the remaining two sides of the checkerboard. The top is now finished. Sandwhich with batting and a backing fabric and quilt layers together. Cut (I think, may be more or less) 6 - 2.25" strips of blue fabric and use for the binding. Before sewing on the binding, cut ~5" circle from the very center of the tree skirt. Measure the middle of the skirt and the middle of one of the edges and cut a straight line. (I had found an awesome tutorial for this part, but I can't find it for the life of me. I'm sure my center would have turned out better had I been able to find it. oh well.) Then bind the entire edge. :)  You can add ties to close it or velcro or just leave it.

This is my favorite binding tutorial, though I don't really have any tips about binding the center circle, as mine doesn't not look very good. (http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2008/10/binding-tutorial.html)

I tried to get Baby to pose with it, but all he wanted to do was "sleep". :)
He's totally faking! 2 seconds later he got up and unplugged the lights.
He's so stinking cute.

 I'm linking up! Come join in the party(s) and check out all the great sites on my side bar!

Why do sewing projects take so long?

It seems like every sewing project I start, no matter how small or simple it is, always seems to take F.O.R.E.V.E.R.!!! So, as I've knowingly, or unknowingly, dragged out all my Christmas projects, I think I've figured it out:

  • I dread ironing = a huge delay before I even get started. Plus numerous delays throughout whatever project I'm working on.
  • I get this unconscious anxiety when starting a new project. For some reason I have to become mental best friends with whatever I'm going to be making before I can begin.
  • I have 2 little boys. enough said.
  • Crafting + a clean house = IMPOSSIBLE! which means a bigger mess to try and craft in, or less time spent crafting and more time spent cleaning.
  • Crafting is like reading books. I can't ever seem to start and finish one book at a time, I always end up reading 5 different books at the same time. If I start one crafting project, it seems to attract 5 or 6 more to go along with it.
  • Burn out. I guess this is why I always have multiple projects going at the same time, some projects I get sick of before their done, so they sometimes don't get done until I come back around again. Though some never do get finished. oops.
  • ironing. again.
  • life. and everything else that demands some time.
  • blogging. ;) though I guess I haven't been doing too much of that lately, so at least for now it hasn't been too much of a distraction.
  • on the other hand, having the computer right next to the sewing machine really isn't a good thing. I'll be right in the middle of sewing something, stop and start surfing the web, check my email or get on facebook. Computer and sewing machine is not a good combination. ;) lol.

I guess those are some good reasons why things take so long.... now if I could just figure out a solution. ;) 

What keeps you from finishing your projects?
or do you fly through them?! ;)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Made It: Gingerbread House

Merry Christmas!! :)

I LOVE this time of year. And one of the best things, although I have never done it on my own, is making gingerbread houses. Ok, I guess if I never take the initiative, it must not be the best (well, not my most favorite thing about Christmas anyway), but I sure do love it.

Yesterday we made gingerbread houses with the young women at my church. It was loads of fun. Hike and Baby were with me to help and I think they liked it too. Hike mostly just ate all the candy he could reach on the table, and Baby ran around the church and begged the girls for candy too. :) Thanks Dianne!

Here's how ours turned out.

I think Hike ate the top of the tree before I put it on.

Notice the flat piece of graham cracker under the roof, that is THE BEST idea ever! It makes all the difference in the world for keeping your roof on and so the walls don't fall down.
Thanks Tiffany for the fabulous idea! :)

Maybe in another year or two we'll start making gingerbread houses as a tradition at home. Until then I'm ready to start eating away! ;)

I'd love to see your gingerbread creations!! 
Leave a comment with your link and I'll be sure to stop by!

Linking up, so go ahead and check out the linky party buttons on my side bar (towards the bottom).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fab Finds: Christmas Projects

Yippy!! I am back at the sewing machine! and it feels soooo good. :) LOL. 

I've started working on a tree skirt that my step-mom started with my SIL and I last year. I actually didn't start it until yesterday, but she gave me all of the fabric for it. I don't have the pattern... though I thought I could remember it. Now that I'm getting farther along I realize that I really have no idea what I'm doing. haha. I have the basics done, but now I have so much blue fabric that I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it, and I'm stumped. Guess that won't get finished today... I'll take a picture tomorrow and post it sometime. ;) (I want to see how much life is going to let me back to the computer before I commit to anything.) 

Onto my next project that I'm really excited for...

Elizabeth from Oh Fansson! shared this on Sew Mama Sew! in July. I love it! :) And can't wait to get started. I am now really glad I bought some Christmas fabric months back... though I only have 9. Hopefully I can find 3 more patterns in my other stash of fabric. :)

I also found another tree skirt from Amy Butler that I LOVE! One day when I have a super nice tree I will have to make this one. Find the free pattern here.

I also have another project I've found that I will have to post later... it's going to be a Christmas gift, so I don't want to give away any surprises.  Now to figure out what to give with it... hum.

 While at Sew Mama Sew I also found this great tutorial on how to make your own tags. LOVE it! I've been wondering how to do it, and really like this technique! I'll have to save this one for later.

Recently my boys have been wrecking my sewing machine. They broke the removable table thing that gives you more sewing surface, which luckily I was able to jimmy rig it. I also noticed two days ago a bunch of scribbles all over the front of it. Oh boy. I'm hoping that if I make a cover for it, they'll also stop playing with all the knobs. haha. (Let me just tell you that my machine is very old and very temperamental. They always adjust tension, and no matter how much I fiddle with it to get it back where it should be, it doesn't work unless I let the thing sit for a day or two. And all of a sudden, presto. Tension is perfect again. Can anyone explain that?!) ;)

I'm using this tutorial for the basics,

but instead of the patch work I'm going to use this tutorial to make it more scrappy.
 I have a LOT of scraps, along with lots of triangles and such. We'll see how it turns out. SO excited!

What projects do you have to keep you busy this Christmas? :)

Picture links
Sewing Machine Cover: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=826