Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas In A Jar

Hi Kids~
Now that the gifts have mostly all been given, I can spill the beans a little more about what I've been up to these last few weeks.

I first saw this project on Pinterest, and I thought it was great for several reasons some of which are that it was fast, easy, inexpensive and has a big visual impact, so I tracked down the original source and yay! There's a tutorial! I followed the tutorial exactly, easy peasy. 

I give you...
The Waterless Snow Globe!
Aren't they great? I'm so smitten with these. I actually made five of them as gifts.

I love the whole 'gifts in a jar' idea, and this year I've seen lots of new ones that are really fun & unique. This one was at the top of my list.

Each 'globe' looks a little different depending on the style of light post, and different ribbon.

And don't they glow! These tiny lights actually put off quite a bit of light.

I think they look a little like a scene from The Lion, Witch  & The Wardrobe, you know the one...
All I need is a little Mr. Tumnus. Maybe just a tiny red scarf.

I'm happy to report that everyone who received this as their gift loved it, and I have to confess, I'll be making at least one more of these to keep for myself. Another thing I think is so great about these waterless snow globes is that they're very portable, they run on a small battery pack which can be easily be hidden, or tuck into some greenery, then you can place them just about anywhere you like, and not fuss about access to an outlet. 

So what'ya think, pretty neat huh?

Gosh I love Pinterest! It came in very handy for me this year, stay tuned for more Pinterest inspired, handmade Christmas gifts!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cozy Little Christmas!

Hello sweet friends!
From my house to yours, I'm wishing you all a very, merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is festive, and bright and happy!

We're having a lovely quiet day at home this year, easy & relaxing. I thought I'd share a few snaps from around the house, I love to decorate for the holidays. I haven't added anything new for the past few years, but somehow these little things seem (to me at lease) to look different, and more cherished each time I see them, and it's so nice to pull out these familiar treasures each year, that I don't mind a bit. Comforting memories of years gone by...

The Little Cabin, it is so special to me, I'll have to tell you about it sometime...

 Gather round the fireplace.

A woodland mantle, Miss Moose, Santa, Snowman and Mr. Bear, all present and accounted for. I love these critters, they've been with us for many years.

Well, I guess there is at least one new thing this year, these delicate & sparkly glass mouse ears commemorate our visit to Disneyland this winter. What memories!

This jolly fellow lives in the kitchen window. I love a fat man who comes bearing cookies! You should see his velvet trousers, quite stylish.

Believe... because when you stop believing, you get socks & underwear.

The manger. This is also very special to me, remind me to tell you about it. It was years in the making, from a very talented lady who we love so much.

Stay cozy friends!

And have yourselves a merry, little Christmas now.

p.s. Did you notice who's on the television in that last picture? Teeheehee, Lola really is the star of the show in this house!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peace, Love & Joy

Happy Christmas Eve!

Peace, Love & Joy are what I wish for all of you, and for all of my friends & family,

Three of my good friends are coming over tonight, Christmas Eve cocktails & munchies, it's our "girlfriends" tradition. These three smart, funny, kind, beautiful ladies are sisters, and they are so dear to me.
I made these three hoop stitchies this afternoon, a gift for each of them. I'll let them decide who gets what.

All three of these came together in no time, 2 hours flat from start to finish which included painting the hoops, stitching the words and adding the fabric in a quilted style, then placing them in a hoop and adding some gingham hanging ribbon. Everything came from my stash... a little bit of Mary Englebreit Christmas, and a little bit of Bliss. Christmas & Bliss, what a great combination!

I hope they like them.

Thank you so much for you kind comments about my little craft room. It looks pretty different as I sit here looking around right now, and writing to you after just finishing a project than it did in those pictures, lol. But that's the whole point, a place to play! If you haven't seen it yet, keep scrolling, it'll be the post right under this one.


Now if it's late in your part of the world, off to bed, you! As my mom used to tell my brother and I when we were little, Santa won't come if you're awake!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas In My Craft Room

'Ello Lovies,
The Christmas countdown is almost over, the big day is just around the corner, are ya ready? I'm surprised to find that I'm very close, just a bit of finishing up on a couple small projects. Usually I'm still sewing late into the night on Christmas Eve, this by contrast feels ahead of schedule, ha!

I really enjoy making (nearly) all of my Christmas gifts, but it means that I spend a lot of hours in November & December in my crafty space. This year, I thought it would be nice to decorate that room too, since that's where I'm at so much of the holiday season. I already had some bright & pretty Christmassy things (from back in my single-girl days) that don't really match the Christmas decoration used in the rest of the house, so the bonus was I didn't purchase a single thing. That's always nice, especially this time of year when you really need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those dollars.

I always love to see where other people do their creative work, and I thought you guys might like to see where I do mine. So howza bout a little tour? Yes? Well then let's get on with it! Without further adieu, welcome to my craft room...
Whoa, there's a lot got on here... let's go clockwise shall we?
(Click any of these pictures to enbiggen)

Just inside my room is a big ugly file cabinet. Ugly, but functional, it holds a lot if important junk so I don't think I could do away with it, but I am thinking about painting it, or Modge Podging it, something. Also, yes that is a Barbie on a scooter. That's what Sean got me for my birthday this year, so awesome!

My little white tree! Remember these guys?

Eventually, I'd like to have this little tree covered in handmade ornaments.

This is my favorite corner... my comfy chair, a cuppa, a lamp and my stitchin' or some good books. Call me granny if you want, this sounds like a good night to me. My first quilt lives on this chair along with the very first bit of stitching I ever did. I made a pillow out of it. 
My wee side table, holds lots of books, crafty and otherwise. I picked this up at the Roseville Flea with Jill last spring, I hinted about it here, and always meant to show you guys but never got around to it. Twenty bucks! I'm nothing, if not thrifty.

Yup, this is my favorite corner. Eventually, the wall(s) behind my chair will be filled with embroidery pieces. Made by me, my friends, my niece, and my embroidery crushes. I have several more embroideries that need to be hooped up, I just haven't gotten them done yet. Shame on me!

What's that, you want to see that stitchy a little closer?
Sure thing jelly bean! This is from Wendi Gratz's etsy shop, Shiny Happy World. I won a gift card from her shop in the Feeling Stitchy, Covered In Stitches Contest and this is what I chose. Isn't it great?!

I also won this book, the cover art is hand stitched, it's so pretty. The artists original work can be seen here

Continuing on to the next corner, here's my sewing desk... it's not really a desk, it's a cheapo folding table, but it works for me. (Note the awesome Harry Potter poster, Potter rules!!)

The shelf over my "desk" holds all my ribbon spools and lots of my small sewing stash items. This shelf was a freebie when one of my friends redid her daughters room and thought it was too "little girlish" to keep... heh... I'm 37 and I LOVE it!

Need a hoop? This person is obviously obsessed with embroidery.

Next to my sewing table is the great big shelf. I LOVE this piece, another freebie from a different friend who was moving cross country and couldn't take it with her. Yay for me! It was dark brown when I acquired it, lovely, but not how I envisioned it, so I painted the entire thing a pretty light blue, same as the shelf; {Valspar, Sea Air from Lowes if anyone is interested}.

The shelf holds all my fabric, sewing tools, scrap basket, etc., and it gives me a little space on top to put pretty things.

I made this tiny pipe cleaner tree a few days ago, cute yeah? Tutorial here.

A little bit of Christmas goodness...

Here's a better look at what's on the shelf. Oh my, I should have stacked my fabric a little neater like a good blogger. Ah well... Just so you know nothing in this room is staged. Tidied, yes, staged, no. I cleaned up the room to take pictures because I've been in here working every single night after work (my day job, I work full time) all month, but in between projects, it pretty much always looks like this. I made myself a promise to try and keep the room neat when I'm not in the middle of a project, and so far so good. It's hard to be productive in a mess, so keeping it picked up helps the creativity flow because I can just go right in and start something, not have to spend and hour making space to make something. Clean as you go, that's my motto. Muuuch easier. 

A bit of shiny garland swagged over the closet (a closet that's also organized by the way, woo!)

And here we are again, back at the beginning... it's night time now, all shut in nice & cozy.
I've already told you about the island in the middle of the room. It was in the kitchen of our last house for years and it was such a perfect fit in this room. It's the work horse in this room. No, wait. I'm the work horse in this room, hehe...

So yeah! That's my room, whad'ya think?

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have a whole room for my crafty adventures, I feel like such a lucky duck. I never though I'd have a room like this. When we rented this house, we decided (or rather, I decided) that I'd get more use out of a craft room than an office or guest room, so I ran with it. Now, I don't think I could live without this place. It's my retreat, my harbor, my happy space. A room of my very own to create and do things that make me happy. I don't like shopping, I'm not into flashy clothes, cars, expensive handbags or jewelry. We lead a pretty modest life. But what I do care about is having a happy home, someplace comfortable where we feel safe and warm and content. That's how my space makes me feel, that, and like I said, lucky. It may not be the biggest, or prettiest crafty space in the world, but it is mine and I think it's pretty darn great.

Anyhooo, I hope you've enjoyed my little tour! It was fun to finally show you, I've been meaning to do a post like this forever. Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions about anything pictured above. I love that kind of thing!

I'll be back tomorrow with another pre-Christmas post, so pop back in if you have a chance!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Tea At The Crown & Cumpet

Ho, ho ho y'all!
Jill and I snuck off to San Francisco yesterday. Ah, the city at Christmas... I love San Francisco always, but at Christmas, I think I love it even more, if that's possible. Everything was merry & bright and we had a grand ol time first at the Ferry Building, then wandering at Ghiradelli Square, then taking tea at The Crown & Crumpet, and afterwards, meandering around SF enjoying the scenery. It was a great day, I thought I'd share some pictures with you.
The Crown & Crumpet is starting to feel like our little hiding place in SF, this was our third trip to the C&C, but our first at Christmas and to our delight the C&C was dressed for a party and full of holiday merriment. It is really such a special place, we love, love, love it.
A holiday tea! Those words alone make me all kinds of happy.

Look at all these sweets!

And these sweets, too.

This fabulous red Christmas tree grabs your attention as soon as you walk into the Crown & Crumpet.

A cheery fireplace mantle. Love those fabulous, pink feather trees!

The tea, service and food were as fabulous as always. That's one thing about the Crown & Crumpet that I especially love, the consistency of the product. Each time we've been there, we feel like "friends" of the shop, like they've been waiting for us to arrive. It's awesome, and not stuffy. Such a joy!

Of course no trip is complete without a memento, or three. I bought this happy, little soldier at the Crown & Crumpet's gift shop, so sweet.
He went straight onto the tree in our family room.

And my happiest purchase of the day, this lovely little broach! I've loved the work of the maker, Lorie Marie for some time and she has a terrific blog which I follow (it's over there on my side bar too, have a look!) as well. I knew that she sells some of her wares at the Crown & Crumpets gift shop, and I was excited to see them in person. When I did, I HAD to have one of these pins. It's everything I love, felt, happy colors, flowers, stitching, in a word; perfect. I really wanted one of these, but it's just not in the budget at the mo... maybe for my birthday.   

Oh, and then there's this! Couldn't leave Ghiradelli Square at Christmas without some, it's my favorite.

I know I've said it before, but you can be sure I'll say it again, if you're a tea fan, and ever you're in San Francisco, you must find the time to have tea at the Crown & Crumpet, you will love it. I promise.

I know this has already been a picture heavy post, but I'm really enjoying and learning to use my new camera, so I hope you'll forgive my photo indulgence a little more. Here are a few snaps that I think are pretty from the Ferry Building...
Just inside the Ferry Building.

Rose & geranium French macaroons, tasted as pretty as they looked. Miette.

Beautiful shrooms, Far West Fungi.

Gifts from the hive, Bee Kind.

All sorts of wondrous fromage (hot guy not included), Cowgirl Creamery.

Mine! Mine! Mine! This guy crept up on me, good thing Jill was watching.

So that about wraps it up, I hope you've enjoyed another trip to my favorite city by the bay!
More Christmas goodness coming soon, stay tuned!