So much making going on! Most of it, unfortunately, I cannot divulge (Like the sweet dresses I made up with this pattern! Oh, my.). Last night we had our second truffle making session of the season and we packaged them up today. I also bundled up some copies of a perpetual gardening calendar I made (for our deep south zone 8b) for a few of our friends and we had such fun making a little pile of these little stick Santa's (as we are calling them) to attach to gifts. The super simple tutorial can be found here at Garden Mama. Aren't they the sweetest? The 10 and up crowd carved them and then we added a bit of paint.
Tomorrow is going to be another full day of friends and festivities, but I just wanted to pop in for a minute and wish everyone a very merry Christmas!
(Chip snapped the shot below on his phone of some of the non-stop making that was happening in the kitchen today. Yes, Lilly had snagged yet another truffle and was nibbling away.:) )
A fun little weekend addition to my Etsy spot.
Hope you are having a great one!
The other day I had what can only be appropriately described as a "duh moment". It suddenly occurred to me that offering my past (and future) things as downloadables / printables would be both more affordable for most (and who isn't looking for affordable these days), and easier for me. (Not to worry, any future calendars will be offered here on the blog for free!) You are probably thinking, "This girl is nuts. I wish she'd make up her mind already."
I can't deny that my life is extra busy right now, but I know I will have time for more drawing and painting someday (soon?) and what better way to offer my doodles yet keep my sanity during the crazy times. The little shop now linked to in the sidebar is just getting started and I hope to steadily fill it as the days go by. I am not quite sure about the future of a separate space for the artsy posts, I may just move the few posts over there, to over here, and ditch it. Who knows, it's autumn and I feel like cleaning and simplifying.
Have a fantastic weekend!
The bees are covering the crepe myrtle's every day now. Bumble bees, mason bees and (mostly) honey bees. Such buzzing! They are such amazing creatures, I could watch them for hours. If you are feeling crafty this weekend, fly over to the (neglected) art blog for a free bee embroidery pattern!
Have a sweet weekend!
I thought I would just share a few of the handmade gifts we made this Christmas. Above you can see some of the little peg people (there are two boys also) that Ginny inspired me to paint. I was going to do a nice assortment like Ginny did, but I got rather hung up on the matryoshka look and well, you see the results.
Some time ago I had made myself a small pocket sized watercolor sketchbook using chipboard covers (gleaned from the backs of sketch pads), linen spine covers (from the scrap bag) and an assorted mix of watercolor papers for the sewn signatures.
I liked it so much I decided they might make nice gifts for the artsy ones on my list. (The end papers are simply small rectangles of brown paper bags.) These are time consuming, but so much fun to make.
I haven't mentioned it here (because we were giving three as Christmas gifts) before, but we have been quite into the whole hooping thing these last couple of months. We made several for ourselves (various sizes) and then thought what cool gifts they would make.
We used 3/4" 100psi tubing following the instructions here.
Also made, were (lots of) truffles, homemade/homegrown tea blends, branch blocks (This is the set we gave Lilly for her birthday, but we made a second set for a special Godchild.), crocheted hats and scarves and homemade quick bread mixes. The best part about the whole handmade gift thing this year was that everyone got involved. Chip with the woodwork, Anna with crocheting and everyone else (with except maybe Lilly) with the candy making (and tasting) and overall idea giving. All in all, we loved the whole process and I am already making a list of ideas for next year. :)
In the last post I mentioned that I was stocking a "shop" for the dolls. This post gives a bit more info for those who asked (and those who didn't). Now as much as I would like our "doll's Christmas" to resemble Tasha Tudor's, it does not. It is entirely of the kids (the 4 middle ones) creation and has become something of a mini tradition as this is the third year they have celebrated it.
The kids (the 4 middle ones again) collect Breyer horses (mostly from my old 70's-80's collection) and each has one or two "riders" to ride and care for those horses. The boys have the cowboys and such, and the girls have well, the girls. They came up with the idea a while back for the dolls (the boys don't care for that word, they prefer the term "Breyers") to pull names among themselves and give gifts at the "Breyer Christmas party".
Last year I noticed that this gift giving involved a whole lot of Mama being called upon to make in mini at the last possible moment. This year, I decided to head off those requests and open a "doll shop" for the Breyers to make their holiday purchases.
The inventory included festive garland made from catalog pages, blank notebooks, bottle caps, a mini zine on coyotes (important info for those cowboys, you know), items constructed from the printable minis site, various mini wood items and even a Breyer sized haversack made out of felt. The "shop" itself is in a plastic sectioned box that I found in the boy's room.
I even made a currency... doll dollars. Each child got $20 to begin with but could earn more by trading re-salable minis (such as nice walnut shell halves and mini pencils made from toothpicks) back to the store.
So far it has been great fun, the kids are really into it and the doll's trees have many surprises tucked under them in anticipation of the big day. :)
Everyone is getting into the season with secrets and surprises being plotted and planned.
Hope you are having a lovely Advent with plots and plans of your own!
This is one of the few gifts that we have in progress that I can actually mention here. It is a hat I am crocheting for my father-in-law, who I don't think has ever seen this blog. I am using some City Tweed (in Chipmunk) from Knit Picks and it is so incredibly soft. The hook is a Brittany that I got about three years back and cannot decide whether or not I like. I love the feel (and look) of the wood, but I prefer the way the metal ones work. I think.
For the read, we have been rediscovering the Foxfire series lately. We used to regularly check them out of the local library when we lived in Tennessee, but had all but forgotten them until a few months ago. The stories and people in these books is the culture that Chip grew up with in Appalachia, and we are enjoying passing bits of it along to the kids and revisiting it ourselves.
For more stitching and reading, hop on over to Ginny's blog for her weekly Yarn Along!
We dipped leaves in beeswax (per Ginny's directions) this morning. Mostly tallow and maple leaves, but amazing nonetheless. The autumnal glow coupled with the honey scented beeswax is so very festive.
We have been busy here, making Christmas gifts of all shapes and sizes. We committed this year to do only handmade (using mostly what we already have) gifts for friends and extended family (Our kids will get a few non-handmade's, such as books). I'll tell you one thing, it's quite a bit more of a challenge that I anticipated. But so very fun! Everyone is getting into the act and making or helping to make something. I know I talk a lot about making things here, but this is really the first year that we are crafting Christmas on such a large scale. Somehow it just feels right.
A Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving to All!
After the new coat of paint in the kitchen / dining room, I found myself wanting something a bit different on the walls than what I had just taken down. I needed to fill one particular spot with something somewhat large, but lacking the "large" budget, I needed to think outside of the proverbial box.
I already had a can of chalkboard paint from a few previous projects, but what to put it on? Well I explored several options (costing money) but finally settled on (free) just using a couple of the many scrap boards that (still) lay outside near the shed.
Now this is probably not the correct way to go about this, but it works. My only expense in the whole project were the metal repair strips from the hardware store. I used 4 over the whole length to secure the two boards together. (Try to ignore the use of the completely wrong type of screws.)
My favorite part of the whole thing is the little chalk cup. It is an idea that I have seen in a few different spots (I am sorry, but I cannot remember where.) on the web and have been itching to try. It is simply an inverted cup pull for drawers. This particular one was leftover from when we did the living room cabinets back in 2007. A lighter color metal would have been easier to see, but hey, I'm using what I have here. :)
Have a fantastic weekend!