I discovered that I have a thing for garlands.

Over the holidays, I thought it would be fun to have some festive New Year’s Eve decorations to put up. I used this project from The Purl Bee to make the felt circles garland.

I made this one a few years ago with white pom poms and a variety of colorful beads, and decided it went well with the felt circles.

Then I got carried away and started working on garlands for Valentine’s Day, which is now right around the corner.

I don’t know where the idea came from doing the felt hearts, but it might have been based on other Purl Bee projects.

The paint chip garland I found on the Internet but I can’t find the right site. (Click on this one for a good reference.) It’s made from a variety of pink and red paint samples and a heart punch.

I think they are a simple way to make the house feel festive without feeling cluttered or overdone, no matter what the holiday or season.

Is it real or felt?

I haven’t bought anything from Etsy since Christmas, until recently. I ordered these felt treats from Sweet Things by lisajhoney a couple weeks ago.

We love donuts around here, so I thought it would be fun to have a glass plate of donuts in the center of our table.

I also love truffles, but they aren’t so good to have around the house after losing 15 pounds. These are the next best thing. Anyone want to join me for a cup of coffee (or tea) and donut or truffle?

Etsy Shopping

I don’t have a lot of gifts to buy because we give couples’ gifts on Dave’s side of the family, and we exchange names on my side of the family. We have a relatively new tradition with friends where we just go out for dinner instead of buying stuff for each other. But I did a little shopping on etsy anyway.

I bought these fabulous handmade pewter ornaments from Bee Hive Kitchenware. I loved each one of them so I just bought the whole set.

I also bought one of these felted balls from Flapjack and Pippin for no reason. I just loved it. It can be used as a pincushion, practical, yes. But it can also just sit in the corner of my drab desk at work and cheer things up a little bit.

I bought one more item that is being shipped from the UK, so it will take a little while longer. I will show you that as soon as it arrives.

I bookmarked a few other fun, whimsical handmade items on etsy that I might order before the holidays, just for the fun of it!

Felting is Fun

The only thing I did not get to on my weekend list was to spend an hour at the local yarn shop. Instead, I finished a felting project at home. I fell in love with felting a couple years ago. In fact, it was on my list of New Year’s resolutions for 2007 to learn something new, like felting.

I knitted two of these oven mitts from the pattern “Out of the Frying Pan” by Amy E. Anderson with Ella Rae yarn by Classic Elite. Very easy pattern to follow (even for beginning knitters), very nice yarn to knit with, and it felts great too.

And then I felted them, which calls for three cycles of agitation on my washing machine.

I just love how these oven mitts turned out!

Next step – embellishment, which I did with a little embroidery stitching.

I make these felted oven mitts as gifts quite often. I made a pair of forest green mitts embellished with daisy stitches using variegated thread as a gift for my sister. This pair might be for my mom’s birthday coming up soon. She’s a very patriotic person, so I thought the red and blue mitts with white stars would be festive. Next on my list should be a pair of felted oven mitts for us to use in our kitchen.

My Holiday Ornament Plans

I was inspired by this post from Adorn magazine’s blog to take stock in the ornaments I have made in the past couple years, and to decide which ones I have time for this year. Of course, I want to make ten of ALL of them. My first and foremost deadline is for the Holiday Ornament Swap 2007, which is due December 15. I haven’t been able to begin many projects until the last class of my semester, which was last Tuesday, Dec. 4 – yippee!

Rustic Felt Ornaments from Rustic Winter by Marilyn Gash and Indygo Junction

Rustic winter ornaments

I ordered the wool and thread for these gorgeous stars, which I absolutely adore! Molly’s Wool Felt Stars from The Purl Bee

Molly’s wool felt stars

Wool felt mittens from disdressed blog

disdressed blog mittens on the line

I have made many of these over the years for other ornament exchanges and gifts for my family. Knitted sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Sweater ornament
Knitted stocking from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
sweater & stocking ornament

mini stockings

Knitted mittens from (Creative Knitting November 2004 issue)

mittens ornament

Wool Felt Snowmen from Liberty Rose

wool felt snowmen ornaments

Here are some of my own ideas:

Folk Art Soft birds – in progress

soft bird ornaments in progress more soft bird ornaments

Felt gingerbread men (cookie cutter shape, tan felt, brown embroidery thread, black embroidery thread, tiny red heart buttons)

gingerbread ornament in progress

Felt cardinal (cookie cutter shape, red felt, yellow felt, red embroidery thread, black embroider thread)

cardinal ornament

Think I’ll enough time to do everything? Probably not, but that’s part of the fun. I hope you are finding ways to be creative during the holiday season!