Tuesday, December 11, 2012

merry making

There is so much to make during the holidays and so little time for it. But I must remind myself that the gifts will all get sewn up, they do every year. 

With a new nephew on the way, this season brings lots of making for him and his mama. Bibs and wipes (and all sorts of things I don't want to give away here) are in the works. My little guy is getting some new bibs too and a special pair of pants made from Mama's old snuggly sweatshirt.

There is still that tree skirt I want to whip up, if I can decide on which wool plaid to use, and more felt roses like the ones I made here are cut and ready to roll, literally. 

It's funny, if I focus on all I have to make I don't get stressed about all I have to buy, and wrap, and hide. After all, these are the special gifts and I don't mind spending all of my free nap times on them at all.

Friday, December 7, 2012

a holiday yarn wreath

This project has been on my list for at least 2 years and I am so happy to finally see it hanging on our front door. It was (almost) free and easy too! Here is how it all went down.

I initially got in gear with a little help from my MIL who gave me this yarn. She got it on clearance in a big bag of yarn with other colors she needed for Halloween projects. Hello inspiration.

I picked up a foam wreath with a half off coupon, it costs me about 3 bucks. That is where the spendy train ends, everything else I had on hand.

Let the wreath wrapping begin.

I used this tutorial by Danielle at Take Heart. She uses a straw wreath but I had my reasons for choosing foam, I'll get to those in a minute.

Although time consuming, wrapping this guy once wasn't enough. I wanted him to look bulky and warm, so I went around again.

Then it was on to the felt flowers. These were easier than I expected. Can you believe they start out looking like this?

I had intended to use all cream flowers but I quickly ran out of cream felt and had to switch to a festive red. These happy accidents are the spice of life when you are a reclaimist.

I liked making the flowers so much that I made one into an ornament for my neighborhood ornament exchange. Now I'm thinking of making more to use on holiday packages.

This project called for a lot of hot glue which I wasn't super comfortable with. The space between the storm door and the front door gets really warm, even in winter. I didn't want to see all of my handy work dangling from strings of hot glue. So I used it sparingly and then moved onto long straight pins.

The pins worked great. Not only were they way less messy but they also allowed me to play with the placement of the flowers before committing to a location. Hooray for the foam wreath.

Once I decided on a spot I just had to push the head of the pin all the way into the flower so that it wouldn't be seen.

I did the same thing for the leaves. I just used a yellow head quilting pin so it would blend better.
Recognize that green felt? It's scraps from Desmond's Godzilla costume.

I had these glittery pinecones too. I bought them at an after christmas sale YEARS ago and used them on xmas packages but loved ones kept giving them back to me. So, I hung them on the tree and they made pretty ornaments until I clearly needed them for my wreath.

 I attached them all with hair pins that I had in my bathroom stash of girlie stuff. Because what else am I doing with hair pins?

I am so pleased with how secure everything is...and beautiful. I can't believe I had all this stuff.

YAY!!!!! For finally tackling this easy wreath project!
 It makes me smile every time I walk through the door.

Monday, December 3, 2012

trimming the tree...twice

When we last left off our house had been transformed into a winter wonderland. Desmond and Dana were admiring their handy work and the tree looked beautiful...for a couple of days.

I happened to notice while nursing that the tree seemed to be leaning a little forward. Not an optimal direction if an almost 10 foot tall tree needs to lean.

There was some tinkering and...the tree stand broke.
 Note the tree being held up by our wall in the picture below.

This may have had something to do with the fact that it was a tree stand for a smaller, normal size tree, up to 8 feet.  Within a day we had a new tree stand for the appropriate size tree and all we had to do was switch tree stands.

Yep, Dana lifted the adorned Christmas tree while I quickly switched the tree stands. Desmond was safely out of harms way. 

And this is ultimately what happened. When you have a toddler that needs your attention it leaves only one person trying to steady the tree and make it straight, that obviously didn't work out too well for us. Thankfully Dana wasn't hurt even though the tree fell directly on him. And he is even managing to give me half a smile in his sickly state, did I mention he is sick while all of this is happening.

We aren't sure which happened first, the tree fell and broke the stand or the stand broke and the tree fell. Alas, broken tree stand number 2, but that wasn't all that was broken.

Honestly, I almost cried over a couple of these, like the teddy bear that I gave my grandmother when I was in elementary school, or the cheerleader that my mom had made to look like me. I am remaining optimistic that a couple can be repaired.

It is important to mention that before we made this foolish attempt Dana asked me if there was anything I would be heart broken over if it broke and I only removed Desmond's first ornament. He saved the glass balls from our travels. Hmmmm.

Wait, neither of us grabbed our wedding ornament?!?! Thankfully it made it through alright.
After the fall, everything came off of the tree.

As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!
Sorry, I couldn't resist a little Gone with the Wind humor.

Naked, our tree leaned in the corner for several days until we purchased yet another tree stand. A different one this time, although all 3 were made in the USA to my delight.

Then on Saturday the reinforcements arrived, the Grandparents!

It took three generations to get this job done right.

Yay! It took a week but we finally have a sturdy and beautiful tree.
My vote is for a smaller tree next year but I don't think I'm going to win.