Thursday, December 30, 2010

Red, Ruffles, Rosette and Polka Dots Purse

Wow, a purse that uses three of my favorite things! One of the ladies I work with commissioned me to make this purse for her sister as a Christmas gift. I had a little too much fun designing and making it.

2010-12-25 004

I forgot to take pictures at home, so I took these at church right before handing it off to her.

2010-12-25 002

The outside is made of duck cloth, so it’s really sturdy and durable.

2010-12-25 005

The lining, ruffle and straps are made from a basic quilters cotton. I ventured out and put a magnet closure in it. Turns out, that’s pretty simple to do!

2010-12-25 006

It has two pockets inside, one on each side.

Want one for yourself? You can buy it at my Etsy Shop, Ruffles ‘n Such!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sweater Turned Cardigan

This sweater sat in the box to go to Goodwill for quite a while. It was a little tight and had a small stain right in the middle.
2010-10-15 010
But then I wanted a cardigan, so out it came. I cut up the front middle of it, pinned the raw edges under and finished them off with a serged-looking stitch. And then, possibly without even trying it on, I threw it in my closet where it sat for a few months (maybe I lost my inspiration? wasn’t sure what to wear with it? the weather wasn’t cold enough?).
And then, last week, I didn’t know what to wear. I thought it would be nice if I had something to pair with a sweet, fluttered, sleeveless top I bought over the summer. After some scrounging through my closet I found my up-cycled cardigan!
2010-12-20 005
It was perfect! And the best part? That evening while helping my parents settle in at our house (they were in town for Christmas), I told my mom the story behind it. She had just thought it was a cardigan I had bought. Yay for passing the mom test!
2010-12-20 007
Now to go find some more sweaters to cut up!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Several Christmas Posts All Rolled Into One!

Wow! This Christmas season flew by for me! I supported a friend early in the morning on the 12th as she gave birth to a precious baby boy (how special it was to be a part of this!), and after that, I don’t think I had much down time. So here you have it: all the Christmas posts I meant to do.

Jace made his first art project! My dear friend Mary watches him for me once a week while I’m working and LOVES my son. Mary loves anything sentimental, so her gift from us just had to be made by Jace. I saw this idea on eighteen25 and was inspired.

2010-12-19 0112010-12-19 014

Jace liked having his hand painted, but didn’t care for me making him do anything. He would have rather just play with the paint. I’m very proud of Jace’s first craft, and Mary loved it!

In past years, I’ve made tree breads for the people I work with. But this year, with a 10-month-old underfoot, I was worried that undertaking would leave us with an unhappy mommy, unhappy Jace or both. So instead, I made peppermint kissed pretzels, soda cracker candy and white chocolate melt and m&m topped pretzels. I had been saving empty formula cans for a while, so I cleaned them out, decorated them with scrapbook paper, and filled them with treats.

2010-12-18 0032010-12-18 010 

Our house looked beautiful for Christmas. I love that my house is already decorated with red, so it just makes everything look more festive! I tend to stick with a classic red and gold theme with some green thrown in.

We enjoyed three days of celebrating Christmas! We spent the afternoon with Nolan’s family followed by Christmas Eve service at our church.

2010-12-24 051

Christmas day was low key. Nolan and I headed downstairs around 9 am to open our gifts. My amazing, wonderful, sweet, loving, generous husband gave me the most perfect gift…

2010-12-24 073

A SIHLOUETTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jace didn’t wake up until 10. Another wonderful gift! We enjoyed a breakfast of my family’s traditional caramel cinnamon rolls (thanks to the Betty Crocker cookbook!).

2010-12-24 078

That afternoon, my parents and younger brothers came over, and we had fun watching “Top Gear” (the British version) on Netflix, ate a wonderful dinner, and had fun watching Jace play with his toys. I also finally made a tree bread! Here’s what the final product looks like (I didn’t have any pictures of a finished one in my tutorial):

I also used the last of the bread dough to make a loaf of cinnamon bread (basically a giant cinnamon roll) to use for French Toast later on (and it was delicious this morning).

The next day brought a morning at church for me and rest for Nolan and Jace (sleepy baby had the sniffles), followed by the afternoon of celebrating Christmas with my whole family. It was a blast! Jace got one of his favorite gifts from my mom: the Hippo Critter Chair. He calls it “Po”.

2010-12-26 016

We had a great Christmas, and now I’m excited for all the projects I’ll be making with my Silhouette and the SERGER (!!!!) I ordered today with Christmas money!

I hope your holidays were wonderful and special as well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pillows on Exchange

At my last hair appointment, I was telling my hairdresser about my new Etsy shop. She asked if I knew how to make round ruffle pillows. I had seen tutorials for how and said it’d be easy enough to figure out. So she offered to do my haircut on exchange for some accent pillows. She also wanted to make sure that I took my time into account in how I valued the pillows. Score!

She told me she likes vintage, and her house is decorated in reds, yellows, blues, greens and browns. I had a lot of fun making two pillows for her.

2010-12-15 0042010-12-15 005
2010-12-15 0062010-12-15 009
Like the brown ruffle flutter flower pillow? I have one for sale at my shop!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Handsome for Christmas

I’ve been excited to plan out all of Jace’s outfits for Christmas. I found button up shirts for our Christmas Eve celebration with Nolan’s family and the day after Christmas celebration with my family, but I still wanted something casual and cute for Christmas Day. I originally planned to applique a felt Christmas tree on a shirt.
But then, Kristie over at OCD-Obsessive Crafting Disorder made THE CUTEST thing… car
I fell in love. I knew exactly what I wanted to make Jace.
2010-12-18 015
A tree would have been cute, but this makes it all that much more fun. I used some leftover green from mine and Nolan’s stockings, blue from a quilt I made in college, a scrap of brown fabric, and some buttons I was eventually going to use on a scarf.
2010-12-18 018
And, after one year of owning my machine, I finally got out the manual to learn how to use the embroidery function. It was so easy to just program in all the letters and let the machine go! I can’t believe I waited this long.
2010-12-18 024
I decided to have him wear it to church today too so we could get more than one wear out of it. He was feeling goofy in Daddy’s lap before heading to the nursery. I love it!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My [Adapted] Ornament Wreath

2010-12-11 004
I love all the ornament wreaths I’m seeing in blogland. So a few weeks ago I headed to the dollar tree, picked up five tubes of ornaments and a roll of ribbon. I undid a wire hanger and got to stringing. And then I realized I didn’t have enough ornaments to fill the one hanger I was using, and that even if I did, the wreath wouldn’t be as big as I’d like for the front door. So it sat, unfinished, on my living room floor, the coffee table, the dining table, and a barstool, for a week.
Then Nolan (tired of having to keep moving it) asked if I was ever going to do anything with it.
I let some ideas for how to finish it stew for another day or so. And then I finally finished it.
2010-12-11 006
I took another hanger and used it to complete the circle to the size I wanted. Then wrapped the rest of the empty space with some cheap garland we had sitting around (it was a long piece, so wrapping it over and over again took it to the thickness I hoped for). I finished it off with the ribbon I’d bought with the ornaments. I’m actually glad I ran out of ornaments because I love the way it is like a Christmas tree in wreath form.
And I really love the way it looks (although it’s hard to tell here) with my beautiful white Christmas lights! The ornaments sparkle. I’m so thankful for a husband who doesn’t mind my crazy obsession with perfectly hung lights (I can’t stand it when they’re crooked). He also took the time to hang our garland this year (something I was too lazy, and pregnant, to care about last year).
2010-12-06 006 

Friday, December 10, 2010

How To Keep Your Tree from Falling

It was the Christmas of 2007. Nolan and I went out for our second tree hunt of our married life the day after Thanksgiving. We hiked around the tree lot on the beautiful (yet freezing) day for an hour. It was quite the accomplishment considering the tree hunt took three hours the year before. Then it was home with the tree, decorations hung, the house decked out, and festive music played. Ah, I loved the sense of accomplishment.
But then, at 1 am we had just settled down for a long winter's nap, when down in the living room there arose such a clatter. We sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Down the staircase we flew like a flash... OK, different story. But all that to say, the cats had climbed the tree and knocked all 9 feet of it over. So instead of sleeping, we were re-standing the tree, picking up pieces of broken ornaments and attaching 70 pounds of weights and rope to the trunk to keep the tree up in case the cats decided to climb again.

The tree adventure wasn't finished though. The next day it still felt wobbly so we took it out of the stand, repositioned it and decorated it once more. On Sunday we bought more ornaments to replace to broken ones, and for the third time in one weekend, I decorated the tree.

Every Christmas since, we’ve placed 35 pounds of weights on each side of the tree, as close to the wall as possible, and tied a rope to the weights and through the tree. There’s no way the tree will fall in to the living room. If the cats happen to get too crazy, or the child pushes too hard, it’s possible it’ll fall toward the wall, but hey, the wall can catch it, right?
2010-12-09 001
I love having a weight lifting engineer for a husband!
(And I just have to say, I must have one of the only 10 month olds in the history of the world who is not interested in the Christmas tree! I tried to take a picture of him sitting in front of it the first full day we had it, and a branch must have poked his neck or something. Since then, he won’t go within a few feet of the tree and occasionally reaches as far as he can to poke an ornament with his finger. Go figure!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Nolan and I started a tradition of tree hunting the day after Thanksgiving our first Christmas together four years ago. We go to Volstead’s Tree Farm in Albany, Oregon, where they have three huge lots full of beautiful trees. A tractor pulled wagon takes you to the lot most suitable to you (they ask what kind and size you’re looking for). It was so fun to add Jace to our picture this year!
2010-11-25 025
Nolan’s parents joined us for the fun as well as to help Nolan cut down and haul the tree. I had a sleepy boy on my back.
2010-11-25 026
A perk to living in the Northwest and enduring 9 months of rain each year? BEAUTIFUL Christmas trees!
2010-11-25 039
Nolan wised up a few years ago and realized that wearing his rain gear makes for a much better tree cutting experience. I think he looks cute in his rain gear!
tree hunt 2
A few years ago we fell in LOVE with the Nordman Fir. It has the definition of branches like a Noble, but the fullness of a Douglas. Not to mention, it doesn’t dry out very much and really doesn’t drop many needles. This family picture was part way through the decorating process.
2010-11-29 041
I love my finished tree! I love the warmth that colored lights give a tree.
2010-11-29 050
Our tree is full of ornaments with special memories attached. For a long time now, my mom gives each of us an ornament at the beginning of December that symbolizes our year. This year I got a mixer. For mine and Nolan’s first Christmas, she gave me all the ornaments I’d received over the years.
2010-11-29 056
Nolan knows how much I love Christmas, so he even used Christmas to propose to me (I’ll be doing a post on that next week). Part of the date was to go pick out an ornament. We chose this snow globe. Each year, we pick out another ornament on the anniversary of our engagement.
2010-11-29 070
The whole tree in all its glory. Oh, how I love Christmas!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Christmas Mantle

Usually I leave all my existing mantle d├ęcor up and just add our stockings for a touch of Christmas. But this year I decided to fully decorate it for Christmas.

2010-11-29 018

There’s still something missing, and I have a few ideas rolling around my mind, but for now I love looking at it!

2010-11-29 028

On one side I have a jar full of glass ball ornaments (we had to switch to shatter free balls this year thanks to a baby, cats and a dog), and two candy cane candles.

2010-11-29 031

The other end has a mini tree, an old tree topper (with the coil bent back), and a candy cane candle. (And once again I’m reminded that I need to remove packing tape gunk from an attempt at keeping the cat off the mantle a few years ago.)

2010-11-29 032

I love our stocking hooks!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making the Perfect Stocking Hook

When I made mine and Nolan’s stockings four years ago, we spent a lot of time picking out the perfect stocking hooks. We found a cute set of two at Target that were a good balance of both our tastes.
2010-11-29 0042010-11-29 005
We knew that we’d have a bit of a dilemma when we added children to our family. So, this past weekend, we headed out to Target (our options are limited in our town) in search of the perfect hook for Jace. It seemed like they were all too shiny, too tacky, too big or too small. But then I noticed the plain hooks with nothing on top (which come two to a pack). We looked around, and I happened upon a cute decorative ball bell in oil rubbed bronze. It was a little different than what we already have, but similar enough to look good.
2010-11-25 062
I used a drop of Gorilla Glue in the center of the holder, and a make-shift clamp (a pedestal and teapot salt shaker)…
2010-11-25 063
…and I had the perfect stocking hook for Jace!
2010-11-29 001
2010-11-29 016 (2)
2010-11-29 025