This Santa is having fun crafting. Happy to have been given the excuse to play with felt and sequins, beads and old finds by my son requesting "more sparkles" on his stocking. Here's the story of our family stockings, as I wrote it on Halloween over at the Silver Bella blog. You can see the stocking that we have used for my son for years. How cute is he that he wants more sparkle? Of course he does! Who wouldn't? So, at the last minute, I'm making him a stocking. I'm using felt that I've had (some of the best stuff was bought years ago in Martha's Stocking Kit). I'm also using bits and pieces I've salvaged from other stockings I've found at thrift stores and flea markets. Here it is in the beginning. You know I'll post pics when it's done. Until then, here's one I made for my husband 2 years ago.
and here's the back
Obviously, I've got to get busy on my son's stocking! More when finished. Hope you are making merry memories today.
Still loving the candy jar and it's ability to transport me into a holiday mood depending on what's in it.
Other signs of the season? Gifts getting wrapped:
And I'm finally sitting down to work on our cards...
I can't believe my first ever blog post was a photo of our cards last year. Last year's were far more creative, this year I'm happy to be getting some out at all...Next year I will start earlier, with everything, and I'll get to enjoy all this fun stuff longer. I will. Really, I will!!
I owe you a nice big post, but in the meantime, I'll share some bits of Holiday cheer that I happened to photograph yesterday. How we typically decorate for Christmas is to do a few spots over the top. We buy a tree (which you can see the star on the top of it hiding where it's wired to the ceiling) and hang this winter dreams banner from the ceiling near it. I'll show you more of our tree when we finish it. Here's a few ornaments from the tree starting with a Wendy Addison heart.
I just bought this bird ornament at my visit to Paris to the Moon. I wish I remembered the name of the artist, but it's not written on the back. It's not mass produced.
I also bought this frame there, which I think is Wendy Addison's line for Midwest Importers, which nestles a Tara photo of my not so wee-ones.
And here's the front door. The wreath from last year lost it's Two Turtle Dove Swag and gained another wreath to the back, so that's a bottle-brush wreath on top of a wire star wreath on top of a silver tinsel wreath. There's some fresh garland on the door frame, with some glittery branches tucked in the middle. See what I mean about a few spots over the top? Plain and simple mixed with glittery abundance.
With two big deadlines done, I moved on to a much more fun task today...crafting! I owe Holly for hooking me up with some supplies for Silver Bella, but she wanted to be paid only in hand crafted items, so I've been trying to put a big box of unique goodies together. Inspired by the wonderful SisBoom creations, I made one of Jennifer's ornament wreaths with a slightly different take on it. Of course, when I decided that I had enough vintage ornaments to make this, I didn't have a wreath...so, I took a frame I had from a different wreath, and added some wire for structure. I wrapped pink tinsel around the outside frame as you see here, then I repeated the process with silver tinsel, tucking it in and out of my crazy wire job. The last part was the most fun, wiring and gluing old ornaments, birds and do-dads on. Fun fun.
Amazing what some vintage goodies and a new roof line will do for a house.
Looks like someone else has been busy crafting today too. How about you?
Oh my! I had to deliver my project to Kerri Judd, the talented artist that gave me the assignment I previously talked about, and she just happens to work at Paris to the Moon, a wonderful store in Costa Mesa. So I thought I'd take you on a little tour of the deliciousness that is Paris to the Moon. I mean, just look at these business cards! They're slightly larger than a standard business card, but are on a roll just like regular tickets. No detail is ignored here. Are you ready? Enjoy...
This gorgeous creation was made by the shop owner, Darren Calkins. It's up in the air and about 3 feet tall. Not only does Darren own this shop and handle all that that entails, he also does displays at other shops...when you see the rest of the photos, you'll see why he's in demand.
This dress form is clothed in Kerri's hand made gift tags...she designed those wonderful chocolate wrappers that Anthropologie used a few years ago. She's also got many other projects in the works...even a couple of books...can't wait for those!
Ah...Paris to the Moon, always a visual feast. If you live too far away, they do ship, but you should really try to get in to see the wonder yourself.
Paris to the Moon 1720Santa Ana Ave. Suite A, Costa Mesa, Ca (949)642-0942...
Thanks for all the tree skirt lovin'. You guys are so sweet.
I am finally coming up for air from that secret project with the December deadline. That's a sneak peak up above. And now that I'm out from under the panic, I've started to think about decorating for the holidays. Yeah! The boxes came down, and we even dug into a few Sunday night while listening to Christmas music. At one point we had on Barbara Streisand's "Jingle Bells?" which is a really fast, slightly different version of the standard. I loved it when I was a child and it seems to have that appeal, because my son feel under it's spell this year. We ended up having sing-offs, girls against boys, to see who could get the words out correctly and with the music. We girls won every time! We could even annunciate, the boys ended up slurring words and losing tempo, they never even made it all the way through the song without laughing. I highly recommend it as far as cheap entertainment goes.
...Anyway, when I opened the boxes I remembered that last year, after being inspired by an article in Mary Englebreit's Home Companion (I think it was about Margo Tantau??), I covered a couple of ornament boxes in Christmas giftwrap instead of leaving them plain. Every year a friend sends us fruit from Harry and David and I find those boxes to be perfect for ornaments, they wrap that fruit so carefully. But that box is ugly, so wrap it I did with paper used on Christmas morning. Having forgotten about it, it was a pleasant surprise. I've seen old Christmas boxes on ebay, but never bought any, they were expensive. Maybe I'll wrap a few each year with the paper used that year, I don't know.
So anyway, on to the "more skirt love" part of the post title. Like I said yesterday, I love skirts, especially the kind you wear. At artfest one year my friend Amy took a class by Rice Freeman-Zachery on turning jeans into a skirt and then altering the skirt. Amy had the brilliant idea to make a Christmas Holiday skirt. I wasn't in that class, but once I saw Amy's skirt, I had to copy her idea. Here is the skirt I made for myself out of an old pair of jeans that I had already patched once (the rectangle patch). I used new and vintage material and of course added some pom-pom fringe as well as other trims. The little velvet bird was a gift tie-on from Martha Stewart's K-Mart Holiday line (a couple years ago). I also made a skirt for my daughter (which I can't put my hands on today) that she hated and never wore. Humf. She was 12 at the time, I can't really blame her, it does have that "sweater lady" look about it. Of course, I choose to look at it as more funky, but it could go either way. I made two more for my friend's daughters, and they loved them. Here's a picture of theirs.
It's really pretty easy, so worth the effort even though kids grow out of them by the next year. Just make sure they'll actually wear it before beginning.
Well, there you go. A totally random post. Kinda all over the place, just like my brain today (or is it most days?). Hope your finding it easier to focus. One hour before the school bus arrives...must.get.something.done. (Laundry and dishes for starters, oh joy!)
I love skirts. All skirts. Even skirts that trees wear. Last year, at Anthropologie, they sold a beautiful tree skirt that I loved. I even contemplated buying it for a moment, although it was really expensive. Luckily, I didn't, because I would probably would tire of it, as I do most store bought/mass produced things, and then I would feel awful about the money spent. I rarely tire of home-made things, they seem to age better. Maybe the uniqueness of a handcrafted item makes it somewhat timeless in appeal, I don't know. So I studied the Anthropologie skirt and realized that what I loved most was the pom-pom fringe and hand sewn details (maybe some rhinestones? I can't remember now). I adore pom-pom fringe, always have, and hopefully always will. I came home and set about making my own tree skirt that I could add to over the years.
A simple handcrafted item that would hopefully grow more special with time, but if not, I could always move on, it cost me nothing but time and previously collected items. It's made from the simplest materials. I should have ironed it for the photos, but it really doesn't need it for under the tree, so wrinkled it is. The creamy white fabric is really the batting for inside quilts, softer than felt and having a real vintage look. It also needs no finishing on the edges, which is a plus for me. I didn't even use any sort of real measurement, just cut out a general circle shape, then folded it in half and cut again to even up the sides. It's just going around the tree after all, no need for measuring in my mind (which I hate) since I can shape it as needed once on the ground. I free hand cut a little scallop edge and attached it with ruffled seam binding, and added some vintage pom-pom fringe. The fact that a few pom-poms were missing is ok, I'm sure I would have vacuumed a few off eventually. I cut out a few flower and leaf pieces out of felt and hand stitched them on with a few vintage rhinestone buttons. This year I might try to add a few more poinsettias or holly pieces, I ran out of time last year. The last detail I added was some vintage velvet bows made from a pile of scraps I bought at the flea market. I'm not sure why I chose to use creamy pinks and yellows and brown and mossy green, I tend to go with what strikes me when searching through collected items. Guess it was just the mood I was in. Glad I still am... I think it just sort of blends in with the tree, but if I feel different colors pulling me in the future, I suppose I could just add them in the form of ribbon or trim or felt pieces.
There you have it, our tree skirt. I'd love to see more if you want to leave a link in the comments...anyone have a flickr group out there for tree skirts? Like I said, I love skirts, mix them with holiday decoration and I'm in heaven!
After I saw the prolific Amy Powers post about this feast for the imagination, I happened to be at Long's Drug Store and saw that they had some holiday houses on sale. Originally they were $7.99 and now they're 1/2 off. I bought one intending to bring it home and spruce it up a bit. Above it sits, post-sprucing, on a bed of button snow. Here is how I bought it:
As you can see, I didn't really do too much to it. I just glued on some do-dads like paper trim and wrapped the trees with a tiny ornament with a chinelle stem and snowman (flea market finds). I never would have added to a store bought ornament before, it took my friend Amy Hanna's doing it to turn that light bulb on for me. (Thanks Amy!) Somehow, it seemed to me that if I didn't love it the way it was bought, I should either not buy it, or live with it as is, as if adding to a manufactured product was not allowed. Now I think it's just fine to change up a new product, and I'm left with something more personalized that, of course, is more pleasing to me. I mention it here in case some of you are like the old me, thinking about crafting as either all or nothing, make it from scratch or leave it be. Now I see it as a fun creative quickie, and a good way to get my creativity kick-started when I'm a bit stuck.
Here's some other ways to get unstuck:
...and this, this is beautiful.
Hello out there in cyber land. Sorry I've been away so long. To tell you the truth, I have been very depressed about the Kim family story this past week. I don't know them at all, but as soon as I read this post, I couldn't get it off my mind. While I am very grateful for the miracle of finding Kati Kim and her two young daughters alive and well, I am very sad at the passing of James who was trying desperately to save his family. As I assume many are, I am keeping their family in my prayers. I am grateful that Lisa and her sister and mother are organizing an art and craft sale as fund raiser for the Kim family, giving us all a way to try to do something. More information is available at birdinthehand.typepad.com. . I know I'm going to participate, hope some of you will too.
The photo at the beginning of the post is a picture of the ornaments and holiday decorations that I have collected throughout the year, patiently waiting to be called into service. We did buy our tree and get it up in the house, but it stands tall, also patiently waiting for a bit of glitter and light. In the meantime it does smell divine. This weekend the Christmas boxes come out. If I put it off too much longer, it will be over!
We have also been celebrating our sweet Ali's birthday. Here she is as seen through the loving eyes of miss Tara. She is our sweet angel with the biggest, softest, heart of gold. I am sad she is getting so grown up, and yet, really enjoying the young lady she has become. With the birthday came a big present, something she has always wanted:
I have also been working on a project that has a December deadline. I am very honored to be involved, but a December deadline? Ouch!
Oh yeah, and Ali, my daughter? Yep, that's for sure. Here she is with her friend Grace, who is also a very creative little soul, making Christmas advent calendars. They had just finished playing one of their final soccer games and got right to crafting as soon as we got home. Girls after my own heart that's for sure!
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