The Star of the Show

Another day, another ornament!  I keep having these ideas pop into my head while I’m doing something else and I just have to try them.  This one is another gift for someone and it turned out to be pretty easy.  Well, sewing a circle that you’re going to stuff is not really that easy, unless you’re satisfied if it doesn’t turn out perfectly round.  However, to be honest, this doesn’t really have to be round, it could be square, or randomly shaped, or if you’re creative it could be shaped like *something*.  But I wanted this to be quick and easy.

I used some of the leftover fabric from the gift bags I’m making and decided to make the opposite sides different, just to make it more interesting (this ornament is going to a boy and altho it’s not classically boyish, I think it’s *interesting* enough and not girlie).  I used a big ribbon spool to draw a circle on one piece of the fabric and cut both pieces at the same time (cutting them about a quarter inch larger than the circle I drew).

Next I simply placed the “right” sides facing each other and sewed around, leaving an opening about half an inch so I could turn it and stuff it.  THIS is the hard part as I’m not that good yet at sewing where I intend to sew and turning in a circle is a little tricky for me, but it was mostly roundish.  I stuffed it with some leftover batting from another project (and you know, if you have any old pillows you want to just get rid of, wash them first and save that batting and reuse it for other things, batting is kind of pricey!).

Then, I turned the edges under and hand stitched.  This was also a little tough, as it tends to want to be a bit flat there.  I just did my best, and maybe someone has some good advice for how to do this better.  As you can see from the photo mine isn’t perfect, but then again, it’s sort of how I roll.  If someone criticizes your home made stuff say, “Oh, I like the organic, home made look –it’s how I roll!” And then don’t make them anything.  🙂

Last, I took some cording that I’ve had forever that’s really pretty. I bought it for wrapping gifts but hardly use it anymore because It usually end up buying things online these days.  I just stitched it around the edge (not nearly as difficult as it sounds and it took about 10 minutes tops, I promise).   Just be sure to leave enough on what you are going to use as the top to tie once (not a knot, just one over and under) and then make a loop for a hanger and tie a knot at the top.  If you have a twisted cord like I did you will have to cut it close because it will unwind.

If you want to put a dangly thing at the bottom (do it, it looks cool!) here is what I did:

It’s 2 star shaped buttons hot glued together with a piece of metallic gold thread sandwiched between them.  Be careful when you do it that you get the thread where you want it so the buttons will hang the direction you want them to (just put a little thought into it).  Then I took those little glass drop things that you find at craft stores in the jewelry section (I think–I’m sorry I have all this stuff that I can’t recall where it came from anymore!) and hot glued them over the button holes.  You could use beads or something else.  Whatever floats your boat.

Then I put that thread on a needle and sewed it into the bottom of the ornament, and there you go. It was kind of funny because I was ready to put it in the mail this morning before I added the dangly star, but I thought….  “It needs something.”  And it hit me.  I’m glad I didn’t mail it yesterday.  I think that last addition is sort of the star of the show!  🙂

A Bit of This and That

Another day, another quick ornament.  It’s one of my favorite things about the Christmas season.  I used to make this sort of thing by the dozen, and so I still have a box of odds and ends with which to put something together in short order.  I thought I would share the process, briefly, since it’s not so much a step by step thing, but really more like, “Here are the things I have, what can I make them into that will be pretty/cute/nice.”

I started out with a mini blue twig wreath.  I didn’t want a blue and red ornament though, and I happened to have a nice green wreath I had just bought to decorate for the front door, so I clipped 2 pieces of greenery from the back (I often recycle artificial greenery that way).  A dab of hot glue to anchor each piece to the wreath, and wound it around the wreath until it pleased me and then a couple more dabs of hot glue (be careful, the hot glue gun can melt the greenery).

Next, I took some pretty mini red ribbon with silver edging and wrapped the top (the part that wasn’t covered by the greenery) and also hot glued that in place.  The red berries came from a little sprig that was in my old wreath box.  I cut several off and kept adding until they looked good to me (odd numbers always look better).  The middle looked bare, so I tied a little bow and hot glued it down.

I already knew I was going to use the little red bird.  He’s been sitting in my craft things for many years, and I have never found the perfect thing to use him on.  This ornament is going to my niece, and so I think he will have a wonderful home.  I had first intended to position him facing out and his tail going through the wreath, but when it came to placement I liked him flying across better.

Lastly, I added a ribbon hanger.

I suppose it’s too late to be brief.  However, these are very simple.  If you want to make a quick gift/ornament, you can do something similar with things you may have around the house or a quick trip to the craft store.  None of the items are expensive. Great for teachers, Moms, Grandmas, friends, to have on hand, even to decorate gifts.

Quick Christmas Ornament

I’m going to do a more in depth tutorial on making colored glass balls, but wanted to share something I made that I had to package and send, and I just never can wait, so here is a quick explanation with a photo.  This is a clear pink glass ball that I simply pushed some thin white ribbon into –the sort that is edged with shiny silver so it sparkles!

Don’t trim the ribbon until you have finished shoving it into the ball and just keep shoving it in until you like the effect.  If it bunches up and you don’t like it, pull it out and try again.  Leave enough out on both ends to tie a bow (if you can’t guestimate be safe and leave several inches).  Then pop the top back on, tie a bow around the hanger ring thingie and you are DONE!  You could jazz it up a little more if you wanted to put a little ribbon around the neck but I just left it just like that.  Quick, easy and I thought really charming.  I think this would make a great craft for kids too.

Golden Christmas Wishes

Golden Christmas Wishes by sundero
Golden Christmas Wishes, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

Still working on Christmas things, but as the holiday approaches I realized I had not done Pauli’s Christmas photo! So, here she is, wishing you all warmest Christmas wishes! Even she knows that Christmas is all about love!

Christmas Cards

I am closing in on the cards, and hopefully by the time you read this they will be in the mail –at least most of them.  But I am writing this a little early so that I can get it posted and get back to work.  I have most of them finished, so I thought I would do a few photos before I put them into envelopes and realized I was short a few (or maybe not a few!)

I won’t go into details about the making of them, since eat one was different.  I will just admit to using my Cricut (and I will post a photo of it soon for those who don’t know what it is) to cut the cards and the words and some of the shapes.  I also cut out things from wrapping paper, and leftover Christmas cards from other years, ribbon, and fancy pens, colored pencils (altho sadly I cannot find my good artists colored pencils, they have managed to hide themselves somewhere in the craft room mess, but I know they will turn up).

I wrote the messages on vellum paper that I had from another project because I was afraid if I tried to write directly onto the cards I would mess up and have to throw away cards I spent a lot of time on.  I spent a great deal of time deciding how to affix the vellum into the card, but finally settled on the little corners you can buy to put photos into scrap books.  This has the added advantage of not only looking nice (they basically disappear on the page if you use the clear ones) but the recipient could recycle the card if they wanted to by removing the greeting and putting their own in there! Or, even replacing it with a photo.  It was an accidental idea, and I have to give my husband credit for pointing it out to me.  I should also mention that he’s the one who cut out all the vellum for the messages too.  He’s a wonderful partner because he never seems to mind those mundane tasks that make me crazy!

I’m pleased with the cards.  Some of them look a little whimsical (that means they look like a small child made them!) but hopefully the people who get them will enjoy them.  I know I had fun making them.  I would have had more fun if I had started them in August.  🙂

Now, go and check out the other Handmade Monday crafts.  I am going to, and then I hopefully will post a few other things over the next week.  I have done a few other Christmas Crafts.  Once the cards are in the mail, and I have my Christmas shopping done (closing in on it!) my only other big project is little kitchen thing that is going to disrupt the entire house, I’m afraid.  So, I will either have lots of time to blog, or I will be nowhere to be seen.  I’m not sure which.

 

A LIttle Christmas Mess


I have been working on everything at once this week.  It’s the season to be doing everything at once and making a mess.  I don’t know how I used to do it all and with kids and all of their busyness as well.    I don’t have any tutorials to share this week.  I did make something that I will share, but I wanted to perfect it (it’s a recipe) and everything else I did was something I’ve already done before, except for the cards, and those I’m not good enough to do a tutorial for and I’m cheating anyway, with my Cricut!  🙂

So, I just thought I would take a photo of what I’ve done and what I’m working on.  My Step Grand Daughter asked for a Mod Podge ornament and so I made one for her and her brother –they turned out well, I hope they like them.  Then someone else made noises about wanting one of the Mod Podge cups, so I went ahead and made a special one for THAT person and will get that off in the mail right away.

The cards are another story.  I decided to make my Christmas cards this year, which is kind of silly since I normally send out about 30.  I’m cheating and using my Cricut, but still, it’s going to be quite an undertaking.  As you can see, I’ve finished 2.  🙂  But I have cut out 27, and that’s a lot of the work, so I hopefully will get them finished next week and into the mail.  I will try to take some photos of some of the better ones.  I usually have trouble cutting things straight and getting glue where it doesn’t belong.  So, we’ll see.  🙂

Anyway, if you’ve stuck with me this far, please head over to Handmade Monday and check out what everyone is doing.  I know everything there probably has the glue in the right place and they usually cut their lines straight!  🙂  I’m going to check them out!

A Cupa Christmas

I do love Christmas and I have always loved making Christmas decorations.  I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for a couple of weeks, in fact ever since I ran across these little china cups while cleaning out the attic.  These were some little blue and white cups I had collected back in the 1980s.  I think they were one of those premiums the grocery store gave away, and while they were pretty, they are really pretty nondescript and rather worn. I looked them up online and they aren’t worth much (I wanted to make sure before I did something else with them).  I don’t need more cups, so when inspiration struck I decided to go for it.

It also just so happened that I had read in several places about a product that this was a good opportunity to take out for a test drive.  I love Mod Podge, but it’s not water proof.  I often have ideas for things, but I would like the item to withstand moisture.  So, I thought, you know what?  I’m going to try that stuff and just see.  It doesn’t matter if these cups are water proof, but I can see how that stuff goes on, how it looks and how well it works.

At any rate, I have to say, I’m really pleased with my little Christmas Cup.  I have only made one, but I really wanted to share it with you for Handmade Monday. So, before you head over there to check out what everyone else has done, I hope you will take a look at what you can do with a little tissue paper, some Mod Podge, an old china cup, gold thread and that mystery ingredient!  Just click on Christmas Tea Cup.  Then head over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone else has been up to!  🙂

Starting Christmas

I am still cleaning out and organizing my craft room.  One thing I ran across was some Christmas ornaments I made before we moved to Florida that I put away and never did anything with.  I don’t need to take up that much space, and honestly, someone needs to enjoy them, so I finished them up with some ribbons and will get them into the mail to my sons and their wives.

They are very simple to make, so I thought I would share them here.  Obviously I didn’t take photos of the process.  However, it’s just torn tissue paper and Mod Podge on glass Christmas balls.  You can use either the clear ones, or the colored ones you buy to decorate a tree.  I actually used gold balls I bought a box of because they were cheaper.

Buy pretty Christmas tissue paper and tear it into manageable pieces (about 1 or 2 inches, random sizes).  Brush Mod Podge onto the ball and smooth the tissue onto the ball and brush more Mod Podge over the paper.   I like to buy cheap one inch paint brushes from the hardware store to use.    This is messy, by the way.  I don’t know if I do many things that aren’t.  You will have to do one side and set it on something like a small glass jar to let it dry and then do the other side.

Overlap the paper as you go, and just keep working it until you like the effect you get.  On some of them I wrapped gold thread for an interesting effect and on some I sprayed gold glitter spray.  I’m sure there are other things you could come up with.  Add a few coats of Mod Podge and let it dry thoroughly.  Add a nice little ribbon and that’s it!  These cost next to nothing.

When my boys were growing up I gave them an ornament every year so that when they left home they would have at least 20 or so ornaments for their tree.  Some years I bought them something if I found one that was perfect, like the year I found Santas with various sport’s themes.  Other years I made something.  Do any of you do this for your kids?  I think it’s such a nice tradition.  I even have a few ornaments made by my Mother in Law that will pass down too.

Oh, and don’t forget to also go check out Handmade Monday.  I’m sure everyone has done some really amazing things!  They always do.  🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

Peppermint Stick Cocoa

I know Christmas has come and gone, but cocoa is always good, right?  And peppermint is always good, and I have a feeling you can make this with any kind of candy anyway (like red hots!).  I made these for my neighbors this year, because I wasn’t up to baking, and I had found this recipe and wanted to try it.  It turned out really cute, and got good reviews, so I’m going to share it here.  I had a little leftover but I’ve run out, so I made more today and made enough to send a batch to each of the boys as well.  A few Christmases ago I gave each of the daughters in law a hot chocolate maker and frother.  I had recently discovered that two of them had been broken when they got them, but no one had wanted to hurt my feelings by telling me.  After a little searching, because Crate and Barrel was no longer  selling them, I found them here.

At any rate, it made me want to send them all some of this really good cocoa mix. And make some more for us.I made a few changes in the basic recipe, which I’ll explain.  The original is good, but I like this a little bit better.  I think you could give this as gifts, or just keep it on hand for yourself and your family.  I’m not sure about making a sugar free version, because I’m not sure if there is a suitable substitute for the chocolate chips.  I assume you could make a lower sugar version with Splenda or your sweetener of choice.  Or, you could just splurge once in awhile.

So, to see what I did, check it out on my Cook It page here.