Category Archives: christmas

Handmade Christmas

We just got back from having Christmas with my family in Virginia/Tennessee and as quick as you can say “Bob’s your uncle,” we’re about to be headed back out the door for Christmas in Ohio.

First, a few things about our first Christmas.

1. We had a White Christmas. A rare treat for me since I come from the land of “not much snow ever.”

2. I knit Christmas ornaments.

3. Handmade gifts were exchanged.

Knucks for Mom.

My brother's girlfriend made blankets for us.

Dad built birdhouses made from wood shelving from my grandparents' home.

4. I got a teeny tiny Turkish drop spindle from here that I couldn’t be happier with. Spiders will be envious of the tiny webs I spin.

5. I made this face. A lot.

6. The reason I made that face so much is not pictured here. It was the aproximately 20lbs of candy, cakes, and desserts made by Mom, Jana, and myself. I’m amazed we didn’t all die of sugar overdose. There were: peanut butter fudge, chocolate fudge, chocolate covered cherries, coconut bars dipped in chocolate (and without chocolate), peanut butter rolls, cake balls, strawberry cake with fresh strawberries, these little individual chocolate cakes topped with a fresh strawberry, 30 day friendship cake, and on and on.

7. I got to be with my family for Christmas and that made it very Merry indeed.

And a Happy New Year

I’m on Christmas “vacation” until Tuesday. See you folks next week.

Have a very Merry Christmas. Stay warm. Stay safe. Hug somebody you love.

Snow Days

Over the past weekend we’ve had quite a bit of snowfall here in the Mountain State. Of course you know what that means. Cats in the snow. What? They wanted to go outside. Honest. At least I waited until it was well above 20F before I let them out. They were starting to go stir crazy.

Izzy ran outside and immediately jumped onto the porch railing because of this furry creature.

Jenna was really really really really excited that I and the cats were all outside. We were OUTSIDE! TOGETHER! CATS! And HUMAN WHO GIVES ME TREATS! Also, there’s a DOOR! with WARM! LET ME IN! SNOW TASTES GOOD! CATS!

 She was so excited her brain short circuted and she just sort of stood there.

And the inch or so of snow she’s standing in? That’s under our carport. That’s the snow we got in an area with a ROOF.

Not to be deterred by a dumb dog, Izzy continued walking down the railing.

The only problem with this is Izzy isn’t very smart. And she hasn’t seen snow for nearly a year which means she doesn’t remember it. Not very smart cat + soft, white, wet stuff she has no real memory of = hilarious photos for us.

Check out that stretched paw action. Claws fully extended. It’s as though her mind decided she could just stretch out far enough and there’d be no more snow. This would have to  ignore completely what her eyes are telling her since EVERYTHING was covered in snow out there. She’s cute. But she’s not bright.

After this she gave up and came back to me. Ready to be returned to the inside where her bed and the heater are.

Forget this crap. Let's go inside!

Guy on the other hand is smart. We know he’s smart. But I was impressed with him. He managed to only walk in spots with little to no snow.

He was bound and determined to be outside so he figured out the white stuff and got over it.

The humans cleared a path for me. Excellent.

That’s not really his path. That’s our path to the car.

And yes, this is really what I did while I was snowed in for 2 days last week. Laughed at my animals in the snow.

And took a photo of bird foot prints. It’s winter. There’s not much else to do…

5 Days to Go

It’s only 5 days till Christmas!! It’s been quiet around here and for good reason.

I’ve been working on Christmas knits.

And thanks to all the kind souls who shop on etsy, I’ve spent nearly every night for the past 2 weeks sewing mustaches. Sewing, sewing, sewing.

The shop is on vacation mode now. I want to be able to spend the next 2 weeks relaxing, spending time with my family, and being able to take a deep breath without worrying about orders, and envelopes, and packging. I also have some plans for the shop in 2011 which include some knit/crochet items and maybe some of this action.

This one is just a prototype and has a lot of bugs to be worked out (her eyelashes ended up making her look angry) but I like her. And she went on my tree this year, hence the 2010.

So that’s what I’ve been up to and now I’ve got to get back to it. Stay warm folks. It’s cold out there.

Christmas Shopping

I’ve been working hard this week getting photos ready for a big shop update and it’s done! Head on over to my shop and you can find goodies like

The Happy Happy Snowman! Like Nadine says, “He’s just so damn excited about that snow!”

Also brand new and available are Marshall University Christmas ornaments. Display your Thundering Herd pride on your Christmas tree.

And in an effort to support local artists, be kind to the Earth by reducing the carbon footprint, and give unique gifts for the holidays, I’ve made a Huntington Etsy Artist Treasury. So if you’re in the tri-state area and reading this, please consider giving one of these talented local artists a try. Why go to a big box store and buy something there’s a billion copies of, made in another country, and flown across the world? Instead consider buying local this holiday season.

The Prettiest Thing

I love flowers. All flowers. Fresh flowers warm my soul and make me so happy. But I also have allergies which means fresh flowers aren’t always possible. So on a wing and a prayer, I decided to make a giant felt flower out of one of my favorite flowers, the dahlia. They have such giant, cheery blooms, how can you not love them? 

I (and Justin) cut out 3 different sizes of petal shapes. Then I painstakingly folded each one in half and sewed it down to a piece of fabric. Then I spent 2 days, TWO days, sewing about 200 red, shimmery seed beads to the center. The result?

Breathtaking. If I do say so myself.

Each of those folded petals took about 12 minutes from cut out to sewn down. Do the math…

This photo shows the color of the beads perfectly. They’re red but they shimmer with yellows and golds as well. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

For the back, I sewed on a circle of felt on which I embroidered my initial and the year.

Stunning, eh? You can buy it at my shop and bring it home just in time for the holidays.

74 Days

According to my Christmas Cactus,

Christmas is coming.

We’ve got plans for a very handmade Christmas around these parts.

Better get a move on. The calendar waits for no man….or knitter.

Christmas Roundup #7

This is what it’s been like crafting in my apartment since Wednesday night.

Thanks to a big windstorm on Wednesday, we’ve been without electricity for a couple days now. But the Mustache Christmas ornaments are still selling and I’m still making them! At least, during the daylight hours.

Unfortunately for me, Christmas won’t stop getting closer even though I sent a memo about the whole can’t craft and get things ready with no electricity. The craft round-up this week features more and more Christmas crafting ideas.

This crocheted mouse ornament from Lion Brand is just about the cutest thing I’ve seen all day. And trust me, I’ve been looking for cute.

Justin and I already have stockings we both like but I’m tempted by this pattern at Purl Bee to make new ones.

I’m in love with these ornament topiaries from Better Homes & Gardens.

Remember the homemade marshmallows I posted last week? The idea has been made even more decadent and hard to resist by adding chocolate and peppermint.

A fabric flower brooch would make a great, quick gift for a friend.  

And last this week, I had grand plans to make these adorable felt christmas ornaments.  But you know…no electricity.

Stay warm folks!

Craft Round-Up #6

The Crafting links had a break last Friday since I was (a) not home for much of the week and (b) it was Thanksgiving. I was doing other things.

But this week, it’s back! And loaded up with lots of Christmas crafting ideas!

Like this adorable argyle Christmas ornament.    Embroidery hoops are so cheap they’re practically free. And the rest of the supplies are easy enough to come up with from around the house. This ornament should cost no more than $1.50 to make!

Looking for an affordable, beautiful calendar for 2010? Why not print one? This gorgeous Matryoshka calendar is printable, free, and has the dates empty so you could save the file and use it again in 2011!

I want to make these Snowman Felt Scenes for every room in the house. (I have a new obsession with felt. Can ya tell?)

And for more felt, try these adorable felt mitten ornaments. I really like the suggestion of making an Advent Calendar from them.

This Fall Pillow made from fabric scraps is super adorable and looks easy to make.

Fabric Flower Earrings. I need to make these now.

The visual appeal of these homemade marshmellows is too much. They look sooo good.

Do you Hear What I Hear?

Halloween is over. The election is tomorrow. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Wal-Mart has already put away the Halloween leftovers and opened up Christmas Village. Know what that means? Time to reopen the Christmas Crafting Sweatshop. 52 days until Christmas. Official crazy time for those of us inclined to spend hours and hours agonizing over handmade gifts for our loved ones. I first started my blog about this time last year and posted a list to keep myself and my “readers” on track. How did I do? hahahahaa. You’re so silly. Not very many were accomplished and those that were…well.. they weren’t as good as I had hoped they would be. I spent so many hours and dollars, trying to make every single present perfect and elaborate and “the” gift that would be cherished above all others. At the point I started giving up sleep and eating so I could sew another stitch or glue something else together, I knew it was time to quit. I mean.. who needs a cabled knit coffee cup holder in Texas? Nobody, that’s who. Especially since I didn’t even know how to knit then (I couldn’t be bothered with details at times).

So, having spent another year crafting and learning and planning, what do I have in store for this year?

Not much. Maybe a pair of socks for someone, if they ask. We have a friend who enjoys the warm and wooly; I’ll ask if he wants anything for a gift. And that’s it. I’m done slaving and stressing and spending huge amounts of my time where it isn’t necessarily needed and/or wanted. Not that my loved ones don’t want my time, but perhaps they don’t want it spent on a pair of mittens they’ll never wear. This year, instead of wasting my stash on unwanted hats and scarves, I’m going to use it somewhere it’s wanted…on me!

I know, I know. The crafter personality inside me is shouting, “SELFISH!” Others could use it!! But really… how often does somebody ask for something handmade? In my world, hardly ever. So, my Christmas to do list this year looks a little different.

Haley’s Christmas To-Do List
Tatted Snowflakes for the Christmas tree
A new tatted snowflake pattern (I can only make the same one so many 100s of times before I want to poke my eyes out.)
More socks for myself.
Some new baked goods recipes (for us, for families, and for friends… baked goods are always welcome)

And that’s really it. There are a few others, but the recipients all read this, so I can’t tell. Yet.

My advice to you this Christmas is to take it easy. We only have so many holidays together with our families. Sure, maybe someone would love those socks but wouldn’t they rather have an extra hour or two with you instead? I’m by no means saying give up the holiday crafting altogether. I know people like us thrive on crafting and giving. But be reasonable. And if you really feel like crafting for every single person you know, I love scarves and my favorite colors are the colors of fall.