Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Suggestions Please!

Since I am a new blog, I am totally open to suggestions. I know that I need to get a logo and some more 'stuff' added to my sidebars.  Your thoughts and ideas are very welcome.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Homemade Gifts

This year is the first in a long time that I've made some of my holiday gifts. Hopefully, the recipients will appreciate the time and effort put into these various items.

For the first time in 9 years, I got out the sewing machine. I bought cuddly fleece and made these cute but ugly dolls. My oldest son loves these in the store - I just knew I could make them myself.  The small one is a little freaky - like a messed up E.T.  The big one, I think he's cute. Best of all, my son loves him.

These are either called 'wristers' or 'fingerless mittens.'  I like that they're hip and found in cute shops at the mall, and they're so easy for me to make. Simply crochet a rectangle and then do a simple stitch to connect the ends.  Leave a hole for the thumb, and you're done.

I've wrapped up sets of 6 homemade cards, tied them with raffia, and I think they're the perfect teacher gifts.

I bought a plain little notebook at the craft store, and covered it with scrapbook paper and embellishments. I think it's adorable.  On the right is a box with square note paper, also covered in scrapbook paper.  Along with the homemade cards, they are such a cute teacher gift.

And last but not least, scarves.  As mentioned in my very first post, I've made about 25 scarves in the past two months. They're so easy and simple.  I'm too scared to crochet with a pattern, so I just use simple repetitive stiches. I think they are nice and clean looking, and the modern yarn (almost a flat ribbon) gives it a fun look.  I can make one of these scarves in about 2 hours.

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

My boys and I love making these - so easy and delicious.  Simply cover a cookie sheet with pretzels, put a rolo on top of each pretzel, put in a 250 degree oven for 5 minutes or less, and then press a pecan into the top.  Yum, yum, yum. Salty, and sweet.

Holiday Decorating

I am a very good shopper, great at buying things that I love and, hopefully, putting them together in artful, creative ways.  Here is a sample of how my home is decorated for the holidays. I have so many ideas of things to add that I can't wait for next year.

This is my main floor Christmas tree. It has beautiful white lights, silver and pale blue ornaments.
You can also see my sideboard with candles on a tray and my silver star wreath.

Closeup of tree ornaments.  Love those little beaded swags and the dragonflies!

Closeup of my sideboard.

My Willow Tree Nativity set - I look forward to getting this out all year!

Cute little birdies on the table next to hubby's favorite chair.

And the stockings were hung...

My basement tree is so fun! It's full of candy and toy ornaments. It's so bright and cheery. Underneath you can see my gifts - all wrapped up in pink, red, bright blue and lime green. So fun!

Closeup - I especially adore this little owl ornament!

A favorite tray on display in the kitchen.

As you can see, I've mostly decorated with store bought items. I can't wait to begin projects that will make my home even more inviting.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting Started

I used to make all sorts of things - covered lampshades, greeting cards, blankets, upcycled furniture and more.  Then I had my two boys 18 months apart, and my husband worked evenings while I worked days, so most often I was a 'single' mom.   I no longer had time for all of my old, beloved hobbies.

Over the years, we've always had a craft cupboard, but it's been filled with pipe cleaners, markers, and  ceramic or wood pieces for the kids to paint.

This past year, a health condition that I've had for 8 years drastically worsened. Most days, I was housebound. I decided I need a new hobby, one that would keep me busy. I'm an avid reader, but some days I wanted something different to do.

I decided knitting was the hobby for me - many of my family members are avid knitters, and my grandma actually owns a knitting shop! I tried several times to teach myself. I bought a video on knitting, a 'how to teach yourself to knit' book, and looked at instructions and video on the internet.  All to discover that I just couldn't figure out how to hold my hands. Since grandma is too far away to teach me, I gave up.

Then a neighbor suggested crochet. I bought a kit with everything I needed to get started, and within a day I had finished my first dish cloth.  Granted, it's the ugliest thing you've ever seen, but I did it, and I made it all by myself!

From dish cloths to scarves - I've now made about 10 dish clothes, a hot pad, 25 scarves, and I'm working on a baby blanket for my dear friend. There's no stopping me now!  The joy I have found in this new hobby has led me to get back into all sorts of other projects. 

Here are some of the scarves and fingerless mittens that I've made:  

Join me on my journey, as I rediscover the joys of being 'Creative Again.'