Archive for December, 2007

Very Merry

I sure hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!

Around here, things were CRAZY! I was sewing right up to Christmas day and didn’t have time for anything including laundry, cooking, cleaning and least of all blogging. Crazy I tell you.

And yet, this has been the best Christmas I can remember. The kids really got into it with the decorating, cookie baking, and present making. The best is their total belief in Santa. We don’t talk much about him around here except to say that he’s a very generous man who brings every kid a present. We’ve never made them sit on his lap or brought up the naughty list thing. It makes things a little less complicated.

So, we got all dressed up and thanks to Auntie Mary, they ALL matched this year:

All Dressed Up

How cute is that? I kept thinking all night long, how darn cute they were all dressed up.

Christmas day was filled with lots of surprises and lots of chocolate. And if you live anywhere near the NW, you know that we got an extra special treat that morning- SNOW!

It's Snowing!

Chris claims that it’s snowed on Christmas day only one other time that he can remember so you can imagine the excitement. It snowed for about 3 hours and there was enough to have a great snowball fight, but everything melted by the time we got ready to go to Grandma’s for dinner. Perfect.

I hope your Christmas was great and filled with many moments of happiness.

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Easy Peesy

I did it! The last of the non-family presents were finished and given yesterday:

Fabric Wall Boards Wall Board #2

These wall boards were super easy to make. I bought the cork boards at Ikea for $4.99 each, thumb tacks for .99 ¢, cover buttons for $2.99 and everything else was fabric from my stash.

I started off using Craft Apple‘s great tutorial, but then made everything else up as I went along since these were going to be much bigger. Chris removed the wood frame and glued fiber board onto the back of each one so that the staples would stick. (Otherwise, if you try to staple onto the cork board, the staples easily pop out.)

The first step was to fuse the lightweight double-sided interfacing onto the cork with an iron. I then sewed the top pocket onto the denim background fabric. Then, I ironed the denim onto the cork board to hold it in place. I flipped the board over, pulled everything tight and stapled the fabric in place with a staple gun. I then took my large lower pocket and stapled it on the back as well. (I didn’t put any seams in this large pocket since I wanted one large pocket and no separation.) Using a hot glue-gun, I stuck the back felt piece on and Chris nailed on the teeth things for easy hanging.

The back of the wall board

Done!

The buttons took me less than an hour to do (while watching TV) and I just followed the directions on the back of the package along with this tutorial.

Fabric Covered Tacks

Finished, the upper pocket is about 9½ x 6½ inches and the bottom pocket is 6 inches tall. Each can hold a regular piece of paper. The board itself is about 18 x 24 inches and can hold alot of stuff. I plan on making another for my sister and one for me. Yep- something for ME. Isn’t that crazy?

Oh, and did you see my new little button to the right —>
My little Eddie Cap made it on Whip Up. Cool!

NO!

This is the most popular word around my house these days. Everyone, especially me, is itching for Christmas Break to start. In years past, school break started a week before Christmas, but for some reason they moved it back this year.

Nooooooo!

I’m used to having that extra week to get all those presents bought, made, and wrapped. Needless to say, I’m behind. WAY behind.

I just finished these presents last night to be given away TODAY:

Little People Presents

They are for my little toddler boys I watch. Their mom’s teach with Chris which is very nice because I get all those school breaks off. I was going to give them all slippers, but while trying them on their little feet for the final fit, all three screamed,

Nooooooo!

And immediately wanted them off. Since the slippers were pretty much done, I decided to add the snack bags to their gift just in case the slippers get pushed aside. I hate giving a gift that isn’t used. I know that the snack bag will be put to good use since toddlers can’t seem to go far without some sort of snack. And remember, every child *has* to have a bag with their name on it.

For the oldest child, I made another Eddie Cap which I finished this morning to be given away this afternoon.

Another Eddie Cap

Ms O is modeling it for me since I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. I must of snapped a half a dozen of these before I got one that wasn’t blurry. Man, toddlers can MOVE!

I made this hat out of some remnant wool which was super cheap so it cost me less than $3 to make. The wool is simply luscious, so beautiful, soft and just the right color. I can’t figure out what the blend is since the info wasn’t written on the tag, but it’s much nicer than the stuff I made my boys’ caps out of- dang.

In the end, with fingers crossed, the gifts were given *and* enjoyed by all. Whew!

Now, for tonight, wall boards for Augie’s teachers which are to be given tomorrow. Along with 24 fabric covered tacks.

Oh, don’t you worry, it’ll get done. Come back and see.

Give

It’s been a challenge. This is the first Christmas where Augie is truly understanding the whole Christmas + presents thing. I mean, he understands that he will be receiving gifts. I’ve been trying to emphasize that it’s not all about gifts, but then most of what he hears is what he wants for Christmas or what to buy people.

We’ve sat down several times to try and make Christmas presents for his aunts, uncles and cousins. I really wanted him to take the time this year to be involved with the whole gift giving part. The problem though is that it’s been a disaster every time. I’m trying to have the kids make things that won’t end up in the garbage or that are so tacky even I wouldn’t want it hung up. I’ve racked my brain, spent hours online reading crafts sites and blogs trying to get ideas. Things are either too expensive for the basic supplies or are simply above their abilities. I have a Xyron 900 which can laminate things well so I plan on having them draw everyone a picture that I will make into an ornament or luggage tag or something.

In the end, I’ve come to a conclusion: They are just too young for good home crafting. (Augie is 5, Eddie is 3 and Ms O is just 18 months.) Instead, I went to this site and ordered some of these with a picture of each kid on a mug. For $80, I think these would be appreciated more and they should last for some time.

Or am I giving up?

Repeat

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been whipping out presents. For some, I’m not going to spoil the surprise and post pictures yet. Let’s just say that my fingers and back are sore from repetitive cutting, ironing, stuffing and sewing- about 45 times worth! Doing the same thing over and over and over again can be relaxing in a way, but it sure is nice when you’re done and you can move on to something else:

Little Girly Purses

I can tell you about these little gifts since they are for people who don’t usually read my blog. These little purses are fun to make and are from a “It’s So Easy” Simplicity pattern #3857. I’ve made them several times before, and I still love it. (I guess that’s why I keep finding ways to make it again.) The things I love are 1.) the darts, which give the purse such a nice shape and 2.) the overall dimension of the purse body and handle.

Inside lining

I lined both, but used a button for one and a magnetic snap for the other. It’s the perfect little purse for a 2 to 4 year old. My boys are “dying” for me to make them one since they’ve seen these several times now. Of course, theirs will have to be out of camo or pirates or something along those lines.

I also made a wristlet for the first time:

First Wristlet!

Now, this little thing took me WAY too long. I was even using different tutorials to try and figure out the best way to make it. I started off using this tutorial, but then didn’t like the way the zipper was inserted. I found this one which seemed better, but found out later that it wasn’t specific enough for my sewing ability. (Although, I have to add that the little 1″ tabs sewn to zipper before sewing it onto your bag is a MUST. It helps to minimize any gaps at either end of your zipper. No other tutorial had this step so I’m really glad I saw the suggestion in this one.) In the end, I liked this one the best for it’s step-by-step instructions and loads of pictures.

Since I really like the shape of the little purses above, I used the same pattern, but trimmed an inch off the top. The final size is 8½” x 5″ with a 11″ wrist strap. After sewing, turning, swearing, ripping, swearing, sewing, turning, pressing, turning, ripping and sewing some more, I finally finished my first wristlet.

Then I went on and made two more, but gave one away before I could take a picture:

Repeat!

It gets easier and faster with each one so it gives me confidence in my sewing. And who doesn’t need a little boost every so often? So I can’t stop at one. I must Repeat!

Grumpy

Yep- that’s me. Very Grumpy. People are noticing so I guess I have to snap out of it. But really, why can’t Mom’s be a little off sometimes? I guess we are the ones holding everyone else together and if we’re not together then everyone is affected…

Snap, it’s over. (Actually, I simply apologized and got a couple huge wrap-around hugs that literally drove the Grump out of me.)

So no more Scrooge. And my little ones can be my little happy elf helpers again.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more handmade holiday gifts that are turning out great- IMO.

Got It

I’m happy to report that we made it. The kids made a fast recovery so by Saturday we were able to head up to the mountains and cut our tree.

Looking for the perfect Tree

After a couple hours of playing and looking, we found our perfect “Charlie Brown” tree:

Found One

We really wanted a noble this year, but found a nice fir tree instead. I think it’s magnificent- and so is the man carrying it.

At first, Ms O wasn’t sure of all the white stuff and kept asking me to wipe the snow off of her mittens. But, after a few more falls in it and watching her brothers roll around in it, she decided that snow was fun after all. Here’s her *huge* smile to show it:

She Likes It

I love love love this little girl!

We put the tree up in our living room last night and the boys really enjoyed decorating it with all the “kid” ornaments. (The other ornaments do not go on the tree until Christmas Break starts and the daycare children aren’t here.)

So now all the lights are up, the tree is up and our house is filled with excitement. I love Christmas!