Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christmas Plans!

I am so very excited about Christmas this year - my family is planning to come to Hilton Head this year for a week, and thanks to my mother-in-law's timeshare, we have a super cheap and super nice condo for overflow. Yay! My mom and I are about to burst with excitement - this year is all about quality time and food. We're skipping gift-giving and sticking to making ornaments, baking cookies and cooking. My mom is planning to bring her brand new sewing machine so we have two machines making cute ornaments. Here are some of the ornaments I made for her last year...

This one was actually done while I was at work in NYC (hehe). During my more quiet and secluded moments, I would cut out circles from old Christmas cards and glue them into this awesome shape. I got the pattern here from Martha Stewart (Heather Bailey did something very similar for Valentine's Day here). These are gorgious when they're finished and light as a feather - perfect for those delicate branches that can't hold much weight.

Here's another lightweight ornament - I got this knitted tree pattern from Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Christmas Fiddle Faddle in the Wilds" chapter of the Knitter's Almanac. I also knitted up some stars, and definitely plan to do it again this year. It's a great way to use up yarn scraps.

This one is a soft tree pattern I got from sewmamasew. This was so much fun! I basically just cut out tiny circles of fabric scraps and sewed a curvy line through each of them, then sewed on some sparkly beads, and wrapped it with some candy-cane string from my local NY bakery. It's like a little sugar plum tree :)

Of course I had to make some bird ornaments one of my all time favorite books, Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. They take way longer than I had thought, but I definitely wanna make more this year.

After looking at the beautiful embroidery over at Wee Wonderfuls, I just had to try some of my own. The house ornament below is a portrait of my parent's log home. It was a very sentimental ornament to make, and I was so pleased it was recognizable :) The front is canvas and the back is a piece of Laura Ashley fabric from a thrifted dress.

For the other stuffed, embroidered ornament, I did a bear in red. I drew inspiration for this from a woman's printed fabric I found online, but I totally can't find it again. Oh well.

I'm also gonna use up my straw supply to make more straw stars. I got the materials from a Christmas craft kit when I was a kid, and the pattern from this book. This year I'm also gonna make some 3d geometric ornaments from that book. I have some gold and silver paper of some kind for that purpose - you can't beat free, handmade ornaments!

My lovely sisters decided to hang this in my hair last year - not a bad hair accessory. I love love love LOVE straw star ornaments. They are traditional in the most Christmassy parts of the world, like Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and the Ukraine. Plus, they remind me of something from a Jan Brett book. My other big ornament plan is to use the wooden bead curtain my sister gave me in college as cranberry garlands. You can see my mom's canberry strands in some of the pictures above, and they are some of the most sentimental Christmas decorations of all time for me. I'll just spray paint my beads red and string 'em up. I can't wait!!!

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