Now that the dust has settled from Christmas weekend I have a minute to breath and to blog. I wanted to get this post out before Christmas, but I was working on gifts down to my Dec. 23 deadline and I didn’t want to disappear while we were enjoying family time.
First, I wanted to share a project from last year: our stockings. Last fall I was pregnant with our second baby and I felt it was time to make our family stockings. I grew up with a a crafty mom and we had super cute felt stockings personalized with our names. I loved those stockings, but I wanted a different feel for our family stockings. I looked and looked, but I wasn’t thrilled with many of the DIY stocking patterns/tutorials out there. Until I stumbled upon the Moda Bakeshop. I love this site. It has tons of free tutorials/patterns utilizing the Moda fabric pre-cuts (jelly rolls, charm squares, layer cakes, etc.) and I found the perfect pattern. The His and Her Scrappy Christmas Stockings. I loved the shape and the scrappy look of the stockings. And I thought the plain band would be perfect for embroidering our names.
Since these would be in our family for a long time to come I wanted Christian to have a say in the fabric chosen. We looked and looked at lots of different fabric collections online. The pattern called for a jelly roll so for simplicity’s sake I wanted to stick with collections that carried jelly rolls. Christian tends to prefer more playful Christmas items and I lean towards the more traditional so a compromise was difficult to find. We eventually settled on Makin’ New Friends by Deb Strain for Moda. It was the perfect blend of traditional and playful. And I actually had some foresight and made sure to buy enough fabric to make matching stockings for any subsequent children we might have.
I pretty much followed the pattern exactly…the only embellishment I made was hand-embroidering our names on the bands. Here are the completed stockings…
(I should offer an apology for those photos…they are from last year and not great and I was too lazy to retake them by the time I sat down to actually insert pictures into the post…I promise I will be less lazy in the future!)
Okay, so now this year’s projects which are brought to you courtesy of Pinterest. I only made a couple things in the way of new decorations this year. The first was an Advent calendar. My mom saw this one on Pinterest and had the idea for us all (my sister, mom and I) to make them the day after Thanksgiving.
A few details about them…mom got all the main components together and pre-cut all the pockets and brought them up for the project. We used scrapbook paper and various stickers. Each pocket contains a card with some sort of activity for each day December 1-24. We worked and slaved ALL DAY. Seriously, all day. It was an 11 hour project. I don’t think any of us expected it to be so long! But, they turned out great! Here is all three of ours…
I love how different each one is even with using very similar components. We were all so proud. 🙂
And here is a close up of mine as well as some of my favorite pockets. You can see I opted for uniform numbers on my pockets. It is a sickness of mine.
I also made a couple of wreaths.
One for the front door and one made from live trimmings from our tree. The one for the door was super easy. I just wrapped it in this fun striped ribbon and made a bow. I did want to personalize it, so I painted an “S” and hung it in the middle.
The live one was a bit of a trouble. At first I didn’t think I needed to look up a “how-to”…I mean, I’m crafty, I should be able to figure this out, right? Wrong. I spent a very frustrating hour fighting with sappy limbs and trimmings and all for nothing. It was hideous and I dismantled it immediately in a huff. Christian wisely suggested watching a video or something to learn how (humph.) and so I reluctantly looked up some options. I found a great video that made everything very clear, unfortunately I cannot find it again. Boo. Anyways, it was like an “A-ha!” moment and my next live wreath attempt took maybe 20 minutes. I trimmed it up with a simple berry garland.
The only other thing I worked on (besides gifts) is ornaments. I made the girls’ yearly ornaments and I made some little ones for gifts for my fellow church staff folks and our community group.
I’ve been trying avoid owls since they are so trendy…but they are just so cute! And I decided that having something trendy isn’t so bad for something that represents the year. In 20 years or so when we unpack them we can say, “Remember when owls were so big?”
I wish I could claim that I made up these owls on my own, but alas no. I saw them on Pinterest (of course) and I got the pattern from Juicy Bits. I love how sweet they are!
The other ornaments I made I also saw on Pinterest (again) and they are actually a Martha Stewart craft. They are simply tiny cookie cutters with scrapbook paper glued to the back and tied up with ribbons for the hangers. They were really easy and turned out really cute. (As a sidenote, I purchased a little 4×6 scrapbook paper matstack and it has come in so handy through the whole holiday season. I used it to make a pennant banner for church, these ornaments, gift tags, etc. and I still have a ton of paper left!)
Here are some of my favorite ornaments…
I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year!
Coming in January 2012: Christmas gifts breakdowns, a pattern review or two and more sewing for the living dolls.