Besides the beauty of snow hanging heavy on the branches of evergreen trees, there are two other things about winter in Minnesota that I love... the solitude and the brightness indoors. To recapture the brightness factor, I cut a wintery snow scene and attached it to my windows. Instant indoor brightness...
I drew a pattern on freezer paper then traced it onto heavy pellon, which is fusible interfacing. I used heavy pellon because it has a felt-like side that looks like snow with a waterproof film on the underside and I had a 50% off JoAnn Fabrics coupon. It provided a sturdy, yet flexible, material to work with that was wide enough so that no seams were required. I repeated the tree triplets sequence in each of my three windows.
Using a circle cutter, I made dots to set atop the trees.
Have you ever considered making fabric yo-yos but didn't know what you'd do with them other than joining them together to make a quilt top? Well, here you go... a cute card that puts a fun spin on the Ho Ho Ho Santa greeting. I can't remember where I discovered this idea otherwise I'd give credit to its originator.
If you're new to yo-yo construction, I recommend Heather Bailey's tutorial. O.K., so make three yo-yos. If you have Publisher software, choose what size cards you want to create and type YO YO YO centered at the bottom (or use Microsoft Word). Print it onto cardstock. Attach three yo-yos onto the card with a dab of Tacky glue. Above each yo-yo, poke a round head fastener through the cardstock and loop an ornament hanger over each one. If you want to reproduce the card, scan it into your computer and you can make postcards, top fold cards, side fold cards, etc. When you scan it, you don't lose the dimensional aspect... the depth of the original. (The card in my photo is a scan.) Note: I featured these pinecone postage stamps in my photo because stamps that I take a liking to don't surface often enough. These I like.
Jessica J., via her blog How About Orange, provided the inspiration for this snowflake package topper. See her version here. So so cute.
This Christmas wrapping paper, with vintage-looking cars each heading home from a cut-your-own tree farm, is my all-time favorite. I bought a roll last month at Target, I think. To enhance the paper's theme, I found a pattern for this snowflake with evergreen tree shapes and cut it from green gingham scrapbook paper. My snowflake doesn't look like the pattern. Either I took a detour and chose to put my own spin on it, or my direction following went awry. The end result was trees, though, so I glued a red plastic snowflake-shaped bead, leftover from my kids bead crafting days, in the center to provide a pop of color... and I smiled.
The Hallmark Channel, where Martha Stewart moved her daily talk show, also hosts her shows from years ago. Yesterday, an old show featured her taking a field trip to a tree farm in Maine. The farm's owner explained that a tree has a bare spot here and there. This occasional, sporatic, excess space between the branches creates what is called an "elf shelf" where a small, wrapped gift for Santa's elf can be placed. I tucked my gift box topped with a paper cutout snowflake in between some branches for Cedric, my elf to rest. The inspiration for Cedric came from I don't know where. Maybe a magazine clipping? What I do know is that with a few scissor snips of paper, yarn, and string and some strategically-placed bends in chenille stems, Cedric's playful personality was birthed.
Cedric... my elf. I constructed him of paper, chenille stems, and yarn. His simple sweetness has found its way into my heart.
Cedric's tinkle toes are Shiny Brite bells purchased years ago at Gambles. In my childhood, Gambles Hardware Store in downtown Brainerd (Minnesota) was a frequent stop on our Saturday trips to town. This memory prompted me to hang the two remaining bells, that are wired to their display cardboard, on a tree branch.
I saved the directions from a November 2001 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. The "Holiday Countdown" article in the BH&G Kids section of the magazine provides directions, but they are a little sketchy. Along with the magazine's instructions, I've provided you with a few extra hints. With supplies you probably already have in your craft stash, he is so quick to make.
The wood ball knob looks likes this:
To make Cedric's tunic, I cut a piece of paper 6 3/4 in. long x 4 in. wide then folded it in half. For the hat, I cut a 3 1/2-inch diameter circle with a Making Memories Circle Cutter that I had purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts a few years ago. (Michael's sells a Martha Stewart Circle Cutter that cuts up to 12" circles.) I cut the circle in half then formed a cone shape that is the perfect size. When attaching the yarn, I applied Tacky glue to the sides of the wooden ball as well as the top so that the "hair" lays flatter on the head. This allows the hat to sit more snugly on Cedric's head. I attached a tiny pom-pom to the hat by threading some red and white twine onto a needle, inserted it into the pom-pom, and tied a knot. I poked the other end of the string into the tiny opening at the point of the hat and secured it with a drop of glue.
To simplify Christmas gift giving, my three daughters, their spouses, Dick, and I draw names. When we were visiting them in NY and NJ over Thanksgiving, we exchanged gifts. Heather had my name. One of her gifts to me was the most adorable cast iron tree stand molded into a snowflake form. To coordinate with some fun fabric Jessie had given me a few years ago, I spray painted the tree stand a cheery blue.
If you are already drawing names for Christmas gift giving, or are considering it, elfster.com randomly chooses names for you. After setting up a free account and entering the names of those who will be in the Secret Santa gift exchange, the names are randomly drawn for you and each person is notified privately via email. You can even create a wish list.
My daughter Jessie chose the most perfect wrapping paper for my granddaughter's camping theme birthday party. The gift inside was just as perfect.
Four varieties of cards were housed in a cardboard owl-shaped box. One wing lifts up for easy removal. My granddaughter used some of the cards to write thank yous to her friends who attended her party. Three of the card styles were especially appropriate for her party's camping theme. The cards are available for purchase in Jessie's fortandfield on Etsy Shop.
Flickering votive candles placed inside pint canning jars illuminate the sidewalk for my granddaughter's birthday party guests. Invitations requested that each guest bring a flashlight for outside play and to reinforce the camping theme.
"Fireflies" created by loosely piling a strand of mini white Christmas tree lights in an over-sized clear glass jar provided the perfect lighting and enhanced the camping theme.
Hot dogs (free of sodium nitrates and sodium nitrites) and marshmallows for s'mores were roasted over a crackling fire in the porch fireplace.
Day 4 of my granddaughter's birthday party prep... To expand upon the camping theme, Heather hung construction paper leaf cutouts from ribbon in her home's entryway and cut a tree trunk and branches from four brown paper grocery bags which she secured with tape in a corner of her kitchen. Here and there, she tucked in clipart deer, squirrel, bird, mouse, frog, and other forest animals.
She spelled "campout" with ABC paper cups that she purchased from my daughter Jessie's fortandfield on Etsy Shop. Inside each cup, she set a LED candle which softly illuminated the forest.
Today is actually M's birthday, but the party with friends is scheduled for tomorrow so it's not on a school night. To make this day special, she opened family gifts, but first... we accompanied her to the mall to get her ears piecred.
I received these handmade felted wool shoes from my daughter Heather for my birthday. They are keeping my tootsies warm as I type this post. They are so so comfy and the timing is perfect as these October nights have cooled considerably... down to 39 degrees overnight. It's difficult to see in the photo, but there is vertical rib stitch around the shoe's perimeter. I love them immensely. You can get a pair, too. http://www.etsy.com/shop/quiltery I wear mine everyday all day long when I am indoors. When I need to wash them and wait for them to dry (they air dry fast), I miss them so very much. They are perfect in every way.