Tuesday, December 30, 2008

so that was Christmas...

so that was Christmas..., originally uploaded by sapaho.

it's in between week and I can't get anything done

this flickr foto sums it all up

Sunday, December 21, 2008

is it christmas yet?

is it christmas yet?
Snappy was so tired that he didn't mind posing with the Santa hat. It is a busy time. The house is full and there is so much to do!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mailing Letters

Mailing Letters, originally uploaded by Smithsonian Institution.

It seems that all I can think of is mailing out cards, letters and packages in hopes that they will get to friends and family in time for Christmas.

I spent part of the day attempting to put together a Christmas card. I was trying to wait and get a shot of my kids together for the card. But, as the holiday approaches and with my kids going in all different directions, that seemed impossible. However, with the help of scrapblog, I came up with a sweet little greeting. It was quick and easy! It looks a lot like the ones you can order at the photo shop. I downloaded the jpg from the site, saved it, and then printed out 4 x 6 prints at the local drug store. I guess it looked so much like the ones you can order, that they tried to charge me for printed Christmas cards!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Handmade Holidays Charm Quilt!

Quilt Front

I am getting ready to send off this quilt made from another charm pack. I made it for a teenage niece who loves to read. I was thinking that a softy, snugly quilt to warm the lap while reading would be a wonderful gift for her.

I love the fabric on this one. It comes from the Park Slope collection by Erin McMorris. There are also some squares from Jennifer Paganelli's Sis Boom line. These fabrics are offered by Free Spirit Fabrics. Free Spirit has a wonderful website featuring tons of hot designers. There are also lots of free quilt patterns for each of their collections.

For this quilt, I simply sewed together a pack of 30 6.5" pre-cut squares from a charm pack I purchased on Ebay from materialgirlchic. I added some squares from my stash to make a 40 square quilt. I used a single layer of polyester quilt batting in the middle, and then backed it with hot pink fleece. Then, I sewed the quilt, right sides together, leaving a little spot at the top for turning. Then I machine-quilted squares in each square. Since I am a beginner at this, I thought it turned out pretty darn good. To finish it off, I couldn't resist adding a few pom-poms at each corner.

pink fleece backing

Pom Poms

Quilt 2

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Warm & Fuzzy Holiday Music

We have a family joke that we only allow Christmas music to be played at our house after Thanksgiving.  We may not have our decorations up in a timely fashion, but you can bet that we have good music playing.  Since we have been pulling out all our old cds and transferring them to mp3s, I thought it might be fun to give you a sampling of just a few of the notes coming from our house this holiday season.

1.  Shawn Colvin - soft and dreamy!


2.  James Taylor - Makes me HAPPY!

3.  Jars of Clay - I discovered last year and really liked it.  By the way you can download a free track here.

4.  The Carpenters - I get teased endlessly about this one.  But, it is the ONE I HAVE TO HAVE!
5.  Bing Crosby - It isn't Christmas without this one. We love the MOVIE too!

And, in all fairness, you can't for get Rosemary's version of the same thing!

I could go on and on and on.  Thanks to Amazon, you can hear a sampling over in the sidebar if you are so inclined!  

Handmade Gifts to Go!

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I finally finished the ornaments for the ornament swap. It was great to see all those little houses wrapped up and ready to go to their new homes! I made a trip to the post office with 10 of them. Hopefully, they will arrive at their destinations (California, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Rhode Island, Spain, Texas, United Kingdom, and Wisconsin (2))

Now, I have moved on to my next goal - getting all the gifts out in the mail to relatives. I like to send gifts to my nieces and nephews who live on the west coast. I made this little bag up for my 5 year old niece. I was inspired by the little bag that Anna Maria Horner made for her daughter written about in this blog entry.

I used some Alexander Henry (fabric for the imagination!) for the base. It has little birds on it. I am really impressed with the weave of this fabric. It is top quality!

I am particularly proud of the monogrammed "K" on the front. It was my first attempt at this type of embroidery, and I am pleased with the results. I used a carbon template from the Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To book. The book has pages and pages of reusable templates which come in handy at the least expected times! The accenting fabric is from a charm pack I purchased several months ago. Charm Packs are packs of squares pre-cut out of coordinating fabrics. You can find them on Ebay or at online fabric stores. I think these are from a Moda Charm Pack.

I filled the bag with some amigurumi birdies, a little blankie, some mini-markers and two little coloring books. I crocheted the little birds about a year ago, during my amigurumi phase, and was saving them for something like this! I can't remember the pattern I used, but on a quick search I found this free pattern that looks really similar!