dreaming of a pink christmas

IMG_8562Christmas is really near, isn’t it! Oh my, I should be putting the finishing touches on gifts, but instead I’m up in the wee hours sewing little mittens. 

IMG_8827It seems as time goes by my Christmases keep getting pinker and frillier. Oh well.photo 6photo 1IMG_8807photo 8photo 3photo 4photo 5feather wreathIMG_3816 IMG_3726photo 2IMG_8845


Wishing you a merry little Christmas!


it’s christmastime

Wow. December is really flying by! It really makes me feel grown-up to say that, because as a kid it took forever to finally light all those advent candles and make it to Christmas Day.

Last weekend I had a nice trip to see The Nutcracker, go to the German Christmas market, and get a little frozen! But now I’m back in my warm cozy home, working away on Christmas projects.

Such as sending out Christmas cards


Trimming the tree

ballet ornaments

And having lots of sweets!

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I thought I’d share a few Christmas projects that I’ve enjoyed making. Two are actually from last year and one from this year (so far).

First off, a ruffled tree skirt. Last year was my first year having a real full-sized tree in my own home. Up till then I’d only had my tabletop “apartment tree.” So I wanted to commemorate the occasion with a new skirt that really matched my style. I had seen quite a few tutorials on making a ruffled skirt and decided to give it a go. As usual, I blended ideas from different sets of instructions and came up with what worked for me.

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My skirt is actually not sewn at all. I didn’t sew much at all last year and therefore didn’t think my machine (or I) could handle all those ruffles, so I took the glue gun approach. Normally I always opt for a more lasting (i.e. tedious) approach, but I would really recommend the glue gun over trying to sew something of this scope. Sure, it eats up a lot of glue sticks, and you should take breaks, but it’s a satisfying and low-stress project– I watched Miracle on 34th Street while I ruffled away.

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Advent Calendar!


I love advent calendars, and have fond memories of them from when I was a kid. I was inspired by this lovely tutorial, but after searching for a long time for a wooden house style, I eventually gave up and bought a brown paper craft advent calendar from the craft store. I painted it white, covered the drawers with fabric paper and made little hang tags with my number rubber stamps. Inside are little chocolates and typed messages of Christmas activities.

I’m quite tempted to try a cross-stitch advent calendar, as I just found I nice pattern in my new Japanese sweets cross-stitch book. So there might be a new calendar next year…


Lastly, fabric trees. These are a pretty common Christmas sewing project, but my first time making them. I liked being able to use some of my Rachel Ashwell fabric in a new way. I’m working on some pink trees now.


I got the pattern from this Japanese site, but there are several tutorials and variations out there.

We had quite a snowstorm yesterday, so I’m cuddled under a quilt with some cocoa, nursing a bit of a cold. Hope to get my shopping done soon, but I may have to do it from my sofa!

a tale of two samplers

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A month or two ago, I was browsing a local thrift shop when a Christmas cross-stitch kit happened to catch my eye. I recognized it immediately as one my mom had made many years ago. And although the package was tattered, it had never been opened. So I decided to purchase it and make a matching one for my home.

I spent a few nights stitching away in front of Christmas movies, and was happy that the sampler was a swift and stress-free project. After I finished, I showed the kit to my mom, and she remarked that mine came with a red frame, whereas hers was in a green frame. But neither of us realized that the patterns were actually slightly different until she brought hers out of storage for us to compare.

I think they are definitely from the same era, series, or manufacturer, and I like that they are not identical but still linked. You see, my mom lost interest in sewing before I was born, so we never did any projects together, but now it sort of feels like we have!




I’ve also been sewing lots of Christmas bows.


And packaging up ornaments and candies for little Christmastime gifts.


We got our first real snow yesterday. Time to bundle up, stay cozy, and keep stitching!

sleeping beauty ballet birthday

sleeping beauty ballet birthday
Sleeping Beauty is a glorious ballet and one that provides a real treasure trove of ideas for a little party. I truly had an overabundance of ideas and images to draw from– the fairies, the spindles, the hundred years sleep, the garland dance, and all the fairy tales characters in the second act. I had to reign myself in!
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1. The Tasha Tudor Book of Fairy Tales 2. Sleeping Beauty The Ballet Story
3-4. Rand McNally Sleeping Beauty 4-5. The Big Golden Book of Fairy Tales
As usual, I got out my story books to reacquaint myself with all the different versions. Sleeping Beauty is so rich in imagery, and I love to see all the ways illustrators have told the story.
A few stickers and an ornate frame make a quick sign that sets the theme.
I love miniature things, so I made tiny little pillows to be the place cards.
Rather than a banner, this year I sewed a small quilt for decoration. The fabric was intended to be used for a “soft book,” but I think a quilt is a nice way to tell a story too.
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Found these ballet cupcake toppers on eBay-have been tempted to decorate more than just cupcakes…
I made some flower crowns for guests to wear, but they also make pretty table decoration.
I wanted a dollhouse bed for a centerpiece, but they are kind of pricy, so I made one from a sturdy box and sewed the bed clothes from scraps.
 The cake! The toppers are from this Etsy seller. They are really beautiful, and have inspired me to try and make a Nutcracker set this Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, I forgot to get a photo of the ballerina cookies I made from the Sleeping Beauty party, but I made a few more tutu bodices when I made Christmas cookies this week. A tutu cookie cutter is on my wish list!
I got balloons! I am such a kid at heart about balloons (and a lot of other stuff too).
Sleep masks and Sleepy Time tea make good favors.
Well that wraps up the series on Ballet Birthdays (for now), but I hope to be back soon with Christmas projects. The tree and lights are up, the Christmas records are playing,  and I’m off to see the Nutcracker this weekend 🙂
If you’re in the mood to watch a bit of Sleeping Beauty…

Sweet dreams!