Christmas Roundup 2011

What a fun Christmas I’ve had! I hope your Christmas was as full of family and food and fun as mine was. Some of the best news? I’m going to be an aunt next year! Yay! 🙂 🙂 To announce it, my sister-in-law gave a framed sonogram photo to her parents with the word “Grandma” on it. This is the first grandbaby on their side, so this produced lots of tears. It was so sweet!

Another thing that made this year different for me was how many presents I was able to make! I may have waited till the last minute for some (who? me?!), so there was a little bit of last minute scrambling, but I definitely think it was still a success. Here’s my list of completed (or in the case of one, almost completed) Christmas gifts:

(Click on the pictures to view them larger)

  • For Nathan, KU pajama pants. I didn’t want to give away anything about what I was working on, so I wasn’t able to measure the elastic or hem them until after he opened them. I’ll be working on finishing that up today. The pattern I used was a Simplicty pattern.
    N's pajama pants

    N's pajama pants

    Detail of pocket

    I followed a pattern for the pants, but I added the detailing on the pocket and love how it turned out.

  • For Mom, I embellished a set of tea towels for her. My original plan was to embellish several sets for her, but due to how late I got started with it all, I decided to embellish one, buy a couple more, and promise to make her more in the future. 🙂 I bought the tea towel and Googled to find the angel image.
    Different angel shape cutout sizes

    I had to print out the angel shape in a lot of different sizes before I could decide which one to use

    Embellished tea towels

    Two 'appliqued' tea towels. The applique shape is finished off with gold glitter fabric paint.

  • For my sister, I made her a necklace and bracelet. I started from a kit, and I have to say, that’s definitely the way to go. It was quick and easy and she liked it. Success!
    Completed necklace and bracelet

    Completed necklace and bracelet

    Bead pattern on the bracelet

    Bead pattern on the bracelet

  • For a friend, I made a purse; it’s crocheted and lined. It’s also got a zipper pocket, set in pockets, and a magnetic clasp. I haven’t given it to her yet, but I’m really hoping she loves it, ’cause I think it’s fantastic! The pattern is from the same book as the Hobo Tote I made. It’s the Must Have Handbags, designed by Drew Emborsky.
    Outside of the purse

    In the picture it's difficult to see, but the yarn is sparkly. Fun!

    Inside of the purse

    Inside of the purse, it has a zipper pocket on one side, side pockets on the other side, and closes with a magenetic clasp

  • For another friend, I’m making a scarf with pockets on the ends. I was hoping to have this done by now, but due to getting a fever on Christmas day and feeling under the weather since then, I’ve fallen a little behind. This pattern is from Red Heart, here. I modified it to add the pockets.

    Pocketed Scarf

    Pocketed Scarf

Christmas Spirit

I have been madly working on several project over the last couple weeks. However, I can’t post pictures yet because they’re all gifts and I don’t want to give anything away! So, in the meantime, I thought I’d show some of our holiday decorating pictures till I can do a catch-up post, after Christmas.

N and I have a rather small house, so we therefore have a rather small tree. The size in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the branches of the tree are small enough to be wimpy and not full. So our challenge is to make it look full and Christmas-y without having the branches sag to the floor! And, of course, what evening of decorating would be complete without cookies and cocoa?

Merry Christmas, everyone!

(Click on the pictures to view them larger.)

As Big As Me Table Runner

This project was actually from the week before Thanksgiving, but due to all the holiday busyness, I almost forgot about getting this project posted.

I found some wonderful fall fabric on sale and thought I’d make a table runner for my mom. I had an idea in my head about what I wanted it to look like (dangerous way to start), so I was looking for a pattern that fit what was in my head.

Of course, I couldn’t find anything that quite lined up with what I wanted, so I thought, how hard can it be? Wrong question, or maybe, wrong answer. Turns out trying to do triangle ends is a little harder than I figured. Oh well, live and learn.

Also, I really had no idea how long this would turn out. I guess I should say that I knew how many inches this would make, but I had no idea how long that would look like in real life. Lucky for me, it still kind of works on Mom’s table. Next time, I’ll measure before I cut. 😉

Even though I really really really don’t like having UFO’s sitting around (and the point of this blog is to help me finish things), I think I’m going to have to set this one aside for a while to concentrate on Christmas, some upcoming birthdays, and some other projects I’ve already got in the hopper ( I know, bad!, but there’s so many fun things out there!).

So here’s my slightly larger than expected table runner. (Click on picture to view it larger.)

Thinking of You, Cricut

Recently, I haven’t had as much time for card making and scrapbooking due to this school thing. The other day, however, I needed a thinking of you type card for a friend. I had made one earlier that I thought I could send to her and be done. Turns out, however, that I’d been playing around when I made it and wasn’t a standard size and it had a bow on the front. So I would have had to make an envelope to fit and possibly pay extra for the bulkiness of the bow. Rather than do that, I just decided to make another card. (Tough choice, I know 😉 )

So here’s a card I put together that had a fitting envelope and could be sent for a normal stamp. I used the Lyrical Letters cartridge (still my favorite!).

Thinking of You

Thinking of You

Quilted Table Topper Success

This last weekend, I completed the table topper that I started my quilting adventure with. And the part I’m most excited about? It didn’t take me months and months to finish it! Whoohoo! I think this may mean I’m making progress in my battle against UFO sightings? (UnFinished Objects, for those of you unfamiliar with the term.)

Anyway, back to the project at hand. The overall quality of the project was pretty good for it being a first try (if I do say so myself). I have some things to learn on binding, like why it sits kind of wavy instead of nice and flat. It could have something to do with the first seam around it being 3/8″ instead of the 1/4″ seam it was suppose to be. I had to tug and pull pretty good to get the binding wrapped around it completely, so maybe that’s it. Or it could be that I need to get a walking foot to pull the top and bottom through more evenly. Or both. Or neither. I’m still learning. 🙂 The mitered corners were hard, so I’m pretty excited about them coming out respectable. (Note: respectable, not particularly good).

I do have one thing left to do and that’s sew in the loose threads from my quilting. Again, newbie here, so I decided to do small geometric, unconnected shapes when I quilted it. It looks exactly like I wanted it to, and I love it and wouldn’t change it. However, now I have to sew in all the loose threads from each disconnected shape. Next time, I’m going to go with a “real” quilting pattern instead of one I just make up, even if my made up one looks cooler. 😉

Enough talk! Show the pictures! (Click on picture to view them larger.)

 

Mail Bag

One of the joys of living in a small house like I do is that one small pile on top of any flat surface makes the whole house look messy. Then, if that small pile of paper is left to it’s own devices, it multiplies and becomes a large pile of papers, which of course looks twice as bad as the small pile of papers.

This piling messiness was the situation I faced in my living room. For whatever reason, laziness or disorganization or both, the top of the entertainment center (the only flat surface in the room that wasn’t a TV tray) would get piled with mail.

I found my solution in a book called One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. It’s a fun little book that I picked up at a book sale and have plans to make several of the items out of. (No, this isn’t a review. I really did buy it and I really do like it and plan to use it.)

So, here’s the mail bag hanging in it’s full glory, keeping my entertainment center clutter free. Or at least, keeping it less cluttered. 😉