Tag Archives: Christmas

Care Package

My good friend Michelle and I agreed to do a care package exchange this holiday season. Originally the idea started out as an ornament exchange, but then we decided to add in a few extra goodies, since we were sending our packages so far. (she lives in England, I live in the US)

She sent me SO many wonderful goodies! (you did get carried away, Shell!)

She has a talent for painting faces, bringing out the most charming expressions.

In fact, she is good at many crafty mediums, from drawing to painting to stitching.

She was thoughtful enough to include a couple local goodies from her neighborhood. Wish I had thought of that with the package I sent her!

Even though I’m not finished with Christmas gifts and I have several custom orders to work on, I am already brewing ideas for our next swap. There’s nothing like a care package full of handmade goodies from a long-distance friend to warm your heart. Thank you, Shell!

Cookie Day

Every year since I can remember, my family has gotten together to celebrate Christmas with our annual Cookie Day. UPDATE: I added the recipes to my Favorite Recipes tab above.

(Chunky Triple Chocolate Cookies)

We pick a day around Thanksgiving when we all get together, cousins, aunts and uncles, for a marathon of cookie baking. Well, okay, the guys go out for lunch and watch a lot of football. But some of them help with the baking and decorating. It has been a great tradition for all these years.

(English Toffee)

One year we made over 20 different varieties! Our recipe book has grown into a 3-ring binder. This year, I think the family made 12 different varieties.

(Peanut Butter Blossoms)

When I was a kid, my mom used to keep the cookies in the freezer so we wouldn’t eat all of them before Christmas arrived. We snuck them out of the freezer anyway! Imagine her surprise when she wanted to set out a plate of cookies for a party. (seriously, I’m sure she knew about our shenanigans all along!)

(Chocolate Mint Sandwiches – recipe pending)

I think I might have a couple left, but they are definitely not going to last until Christmas!

List of Gifts To Make

Have you started making gifts yet for the holiday season? I admire you if you started back in July, like I should have! I just recently started making a list of the gifts I want to make. I have gifts completed for just a couple people, but I sure would love to be able to give more handmade gifts this year.

Here’s my list so far, of the projects I want to make for gifts:

-Charm square table runner

Storage cubes

Little Forest Quilt (in progress!)

More bird ornaments

Advent House ornaments

Scrappy tree mug mats

Makeup bags

Makeup brush roll

-Travel jewelry pouch from the Fall 2010 issue of Stitch magazine

-Travel sewing kit from the Fall 2010 issue of Stitch magazine

I used to tell myself that if I didn’t have to work, I would have time to make all those things I want to make. I’m not working now, but I feel like I have less time than before!

I am taking two classes, which means I’m gone about five hours a day. Then I have homework to do. I try to cook and bake a little more, and clean parts of the house once a week (not just before guests stop by). That just tells me that life is busy, no matter what you are doing.

I put a new list on my sidebar called Quilts I Want To Make. Maybe I will get to those projects next year, as long as I finish the five or so quilt tops I have piled in the closet, waiting to be quilted.

These days, I have started telling myself, “if I had all the time in the world, I would make this!” And then I add it to my list.

The Ornaments I Made for Our Swap

EDIT: oopsy, my previous title indicated a giveaway, but this isn’t a giveaway post – sorry to mislead anyone! I just forgot to change the title of my post before publishing it – doh!

I hope everyone has sent and received their ornament swaps.

I also hope everyone has added pictures of your goodies to our Flickr group. Stop by to check out all the goodies that were exchanged this summer!

I finally remembered to share with you what I made for my partner: a knitted mini sweater, a fabric dove and a felt star.

I included a couple fat quarters in her package as a bonus.

While I was at it, I made a few extra bird ornaments to have on hand for future gifts or exchanges.

I used this simple and quick tutorial from The Purl Bee to make the birds, and I used the pattern from this book to make the knitted sweater. I think they always have the best projects and tutorials!

Today is my first day of class for computer graphics, so I’m excited to start learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator!

Christmas in July Ornament Swap – Planning

UPDATE: Ornament swap is closed now (as of July 6, 2010). Thanks for the interest!

I usually start thinking about crafts and gifts for Christmas the week before Christmas. I am an “in the moment” kind of person! Last Christmas, I participated in two ornament exchanges, one with a friend and one with a blogger who would become a friend. I love making ornaments and exchanging them.

I am starting to get my thoughts organized for our Christmas in July Ornament Swap.

I even made a button for us to spread the word! Here’s the code to copy if you want to post it to your blog. For now, it will just link you back to my blog.

UPDATE: I got some feedback that my original code didn’t work, so try this: (thanks Vicki for your help!)

<center><a href=”https://terrisnotebook.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/christmas-in-july-ornament-swap-planning/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv132/dottyjane/ornament-button1.jpg” /></a>

If you are interested in participating, I have a few questions:

1. Should partners be assigned where you are exchanging with the same person who has your name?

2. Or, should partners be random and anonymous?

3. Or, should we exchange in groups, so for example, you would make five of the same ornament to send to five people?

4. Should we exchange just ornaments, or do you want to include another little crafty project of your choice, such as a potholder, mini quilt, patchwork card, pincushion, favorite holiday recipe, or whatever your fancy?

I have a couple giveaway items planned for participants in the swap too, so stay tuned!

I am hoping to open up the sign-ups in a couple weeks, around the end of June. I’m thinking our deadline to mail our crafty items should be the last week in July. Let me know in the comments or an email what you are up for, if you are interested in participating. Remember, it’s summer so we want to keep it simple!

Handmade for Christmas

Before I do a recap of 2009 (which I love doing), I wanted to show you some handmade gifts that arrived at our house and were mailed from our house for Christmas. First I wanted to extend a thank you to my friend Lisa for sharing these adorable handmade projects with me! Aren’t they sweet?

Handmade gifts from Lisa

Next, I want to thank Emily for the fabulous note-taker. What a wonderful surprise!

Note-take from Emily

I mailed a pile of handmade gifts to share with friends for Christmas.

handmade Christmas gifts

They range from a patchwork basket to a drawstring bag to nesting bowls crocheted in organic cotton yarn,

crocheted nesting bowls

… to felted oven mitts,

felted oven mitts

… to a drawstring bag knit from silk yarn and a cotton chenille facecloth.

drawstring bag and facecloth

I wasn’t sure how I was going to get a few handmade gifts done this season, but I remembered how quickly each one of these projects comes together. I didn’t use a pattern for the crochet bowls, but I used patterns for almost everything else. Those cool soaps came from The Soap Opera in Madison, one of the best places to buy locally-made soaps. I love giving and receiving handmade for gifts; I just need to remember to start earlier next year.

Christmas Quilt Tops

I finished two quilt tops the weekend before Christmas, and I’m happy to report that I like how they turned out.

For the quilt above, I used two charm packs of 5 inch squares from the Figgy Pudding collection for the center, and added three borders to make it big enough for an adult to snuggle under. I’m going to use a fabric for the backing that is in the lower left corner and probably green for the binding.

For this second quilt, I did the same, with two charm packs of 5 inch squares from the Crazy Eight collection. Since I ordered these charm squares a couple months ago and now this fabric was impossible to find, I’m not sure what to use for the backing and binding.

Oh yeah, I finished my mini quilts too!

I think the backs look almost as fun as the fronts.

If I hadn’t had anything else to do these past couple weeks, I may have been able to finish quilting these new quilt tops, but since I was super busy at my day job, and the Christmas holiday was just upon us, I will add these to my (small) pile of UFOs for a 2010 resolution. I only had three unfinished quilt tops before these, so I’m hoping to finish all of them in January.

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