December 29th, 2008 |
Posted in craft | 1 Comment »
For Christmas my sister-in-law, Beth, and I decided to make something meaningful, useful, and sentimental for our mother-in-law. Using vintage napkins from her mother-in-law, we created these beautiful pillows for her. We purchased the pillow forms and used them to make a pattern. The front is made from two napkins: one for the square background and the embellished corner of the other for the front piece. The back is a classic pale fabric in blue (purple for the one representing her granddaughter).
To add a little decoration to the pillow, we added ribbon to the border and a cute old button. We made three total and we were able to complete them all in one day from shopping to completion. To make it even more personal, we embroidered each grandchild’s initials into a pillow.
Next time, I will make it as a pillow case – just like we did with the sachets. We did not have a plan for how to wash the pillows and I think that would solve it.
On Christmas day, the gift was received with great joy – and a few grateful tears. I am convinced after this Christmas that the best gifts are the ones that are handmade with love. Stay tuned for a few more gifts that we will post soon!
December 28th, 2008 |
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Just a quick post about some Christmas presents made this year. Below is an apron I put together (with my mom and my dear friend Stephanie) on the Sunday before Christmas. I have to finish another for my older sister that I will try to get a good picture of to post – its a whole different color palette of greens and browns. I do enjoy seeing how a pattern can look different depending on the fabric choices. The pattern is from this website. We used a rotary cutter to make the rectangle and a pattern cut from interfacing to make the arm holes. A serger finished off the whole perimeter of the piece, and then the fabric was folded once to make a crisp edging. The pattern called for ribbon and d-rings for the neck and side ties, which is the method I will use for the other apron. We ran out of d-rings so modified this one with matching fabric from the pocket, although it would have been best to have used Carrie’s measurements (the neck piece was too long), but I think a safety pin or well placed knot in the back will make it adjustable.
Another fun gift we did this year was for my nephew and his parents. With family in town for Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to do a craft project – so I pulled out a Make-A-Plate kit I purchased in November at a conference that I used with some friends’ kids for their Christmas presents. The plates were decorated by my mom (frog), aunt Sandy (fish), uncle Gene (E-train), Matt (robot/lizard), and me (whale). I think they came out really well – and the rush service from Makit was exceptional. Once he gets older I think it would be fun to make one with Ethan, but for now I hope he enjoys the collection! Individual pictures of some of the plates are on our Flickr account if you click on the image below.
I still have projects I have to finish that were meant to be for Christmas that I hope to post soon – and Carrie and I need to work on a post about some long overdue (but now finished!) baby quilts. We will work on a more regular schedule for posts for 2009. Hope everyone’s 2008 ends creatively!
December 24th, 2008 |
Posted in baking, food, holiday | No Comments »
For a Christmas Cookie Exchange, I made Candy Cane Cupcakes to share. They were peppermint cupcakes with red and white stripes. Tracy found the recipe for me here for a yummy Christmas cupcake. The fondant icing made it fun to decorate with festive Christmas themes:
The Santa Claus was my favorite! Of course it took so long that I only did one! The white fondant needed to be colored red and I made the pink face by mixing the prepared red and white together. The eyes are chocolate – I chipped off small pieces of chocolate chunk we had reserved for cookies.
I enjoyed eating them almost as much as I enjoyed making them!
December 21st, 2008 |
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I do love taking homegrown materials and mixing them with vintage materials. The juxtaposition of old and new is so beautiful. Last year, my mother-in-law gave me a lavender plant that has done quite well in our yard. I let it die last year on it’s own but this fall I decided to clip some lavender to dry for an unknown project.
When my own mother gave me a dozen or so vintage hankerchiefs, the unknown project was born! I started with the hankerchiefs, dried lavender, some left over shower favor bags, and patterns. I also added vanilla fragrance and buttons later on.
My friend, Abby, came over and in 3 hours we had made 8 sachets. I found the pattern for the sachet “pillow case” here on a delightful blog: One Pearl Button. Each pillow case was 5×5 and instead of hemming the 2 back pieces, we used the edges of the hankerchief and it made such a great design on some of them that we made it the front. The lavender was sprinkled with vanilla fragrance and let dry a few hours. We then stuffed the shower favor bags and stitched just below the ties. They were a perfect 4×4. We cut off the tops and saved the ribbon.
Each is unique in it’s own design. We had fun choosing which part of each hankerchief to use. Here they all are:
To be even more thrifty, we used the ribbon from the favor bags to make the loops. Some will be used for Christmas gifts:
The most beautiful one is below. We decided not to put a loop on it as it would take away from the hand-embroidered flowers:
The best part about each sachet is the aroma. Every time you squeeze the sachet, the lavender and vanilla fragrance delighfully fills the air! I liked them so much I had to keep one just for myself!
December 20th, 2008 |
Posted in decorating, holiday | 1 Comment »
I love decorating the Christmas tree but I always feel wasteful when I just throw away the trimmings after we get the tree into the stand. I decided to try to use real pine branches is some of my decorating. I started with a pile of trimmings:
And decorated most rooms in the house. The banister:
The window above the door:
A dresser in the guest room:
Around the poinsettia:
And my favorite – the pitcher from my lovely mother-in-law with trimmings and a few ornaments:
No more wasted trimmings in this house! Actually, there was still another pile outside! I’d love to hear some more ideas of ways to use them!