Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Crafts (and) Taking Part in a Miracle

Well, it's Christmas Eve as of ten minutes ago. This year really just doesn't feel the same. Perhaps it's the fact I worked all week. Perhaps it is the lack of convincing winter weather. Either way, it seems that Christmas snuck up on me.

I've made a commitment this year that for each dollar I spend on gifts and Christmas preparations I will give a matching donation to the Christmas Miracle Offering at my church. The grand goal is to reach 1 million dollars this year half of which will go towards creating water yards and building schools and churches in Sudan and half will go towards sustaining food pantries and facilitating job placement programs in Dayton.

Consequently, I've been taking it easy on the presents this year- imposing a $5 cap on each person. It's made me very aware of the amount of investment I've put into "Christmas" the commercial entity in the past. That could be the difference this year. Less about things more about love.

I wish I had more time to make gifts this year, but with the new job it just wasn't in the cards. It surely would have made cheap presents a whole lot easier to achieve. I did make a couple little doo dads. One, I tossed together yesterday for my niece. I can post it today because I know she won't be checking my blog. She's 2.

It's a simple purse. I just basically crocheted a rectangle then folded like an envelope and single stiched up the sides and around for the handle. The scallops on the flap serve nicely as easy buttonholes. A couple little girl treasures are going inside it. I am excited to see what she thinks. She loves to play dress up- just like her mommy and Aunt Sarah did.

Merry Christmas everyone! All my love. (Holey Moley- it's almost a new year!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Notions and Apartment Bits

Though over the years, I had become accustomed to "unpacking" Christmas, I still longed for a live presence above the presents. When I was little, our family had real Christmas trees. I remember the picking and cutting process kind of vaguely, like a dream. I recall sleeping in the car and my tiny toes freezing while we walked up and down rows of pines. I recall it taking entirely too long for a 6-year old attention span. But the smell of the branches in our chilly front living room and the prick of the pine needles on my fingers as I hung ornaments- these are very vivid, and positive, memories. 

This year -for the first time ever- I have my own LIVE Christmas tree. Check it out! I cut it down with my own two hands and erected it in my living room with the assistance of a couple "old pros".

It was a quick process of elimination to find a Christmas tree once I discovered the discounted tree section. (Seriously, who WOULDN'T go for a 15 dollar red-trunk tree with a couple thinner branches?!) I am so grateful to live near my parents. I didn't realize the things that I was missing being 12 hours away from family.

The 'rents came back to my place with me and helped to set the tree up on my cute vintage stand (I found it on the side of the road several falls ago.) Then they sat their butts down and let me hang each and every ornament all on my own. My tree is already full with just ornaments I've collected up to age 28. What will happen if I ever have to share my tree? Geeze. 

My townhouse is sparkling for the holidays and it really feels like home. The only thing missing is some company! Here's a couple shots of some bits of my apartment. 

The craft room is still under construction, but it's about to get some serious usage in the next week. It seems I've left a few too many gifts to the last moment. Typical Huff.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pinterest Project #1 - Crochet Wreath

Like many ladies out there I am currently wrapped up in a brand new obsession: Pinterest. I love the feeling of being a part of a vast community of stylish and crafty people. And I am collecting a list of projects to tackle in the near future. Feel free to follow me if you wanna, and if you are in need of an invite, I still have 3 left so give me a heads up.

I saw this post on Pinterest about a crocheted wreath. The gist was to single crochet around the girth of a foam ring. The lady had also added some flowery bits around the edges. It was super pretty and inspiring. I pinned it. And then what? I MADE IT!

I didn't have a big ring, so I took the styrofoam packaging that held a large glass candle in it and cut it into 1/2" rings with a bread knife. I think you could have the same kind of effect (a little more rounded) by using dessert-sized paper plates with the middles cut out. 

I had an old pair of magenta tights that had seen their last wearing (RIP- you will be missed) and I cut them into 4" tubes and stretched them around the styrofoam rings.

Half of the rings I left bare (the ones that turned out the best). The other half, I crocheted around with a pretty matching boucle yarn I had in my stash. Because I wasn't planning on adding any scallops I hid the bumpy seam in the back of the ring.

I wound more yarn through the rings to connected them in a large circle and tied a little teal bow on. (Sorry the pictures are so icky, I should have waited to take them in daylight but I was so excited!)

I like the jewel tones on a Christmas wreath. It's festive but unpredictable. Like me! 

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