One of my favorite Japanese brands, Liz Lisa, has a special collaboration mook (magazine/book) with My Melody. It always comes with a cute tote.
Liz Lisa also has a My Melody collection of goods and clothing, and this year it came out right around my birthday, so I was able to pick up a few cute items. This plush sits on my dresser. I really like her flower crown.
And the mini bag charm has a beautiful plate that reminds me of stained glass.
Now I’m gearing up for Valentine’s Day, getting my papers, punches, seals and stamps in order.
Stay warm and thanks for visiting!
I hope you had a merry Christmas and are enjoying this beautiful New Year. I had a bit of a rough December. I was sick for most of the month, and then got especially sick on Christmas Eve. My family actually had to postpone Christmas on my behalf. That made me so sad. But I am doing better now, and I discovered that there are some definite perks to prolonging the Christmas season.
I am still in a New Year’s mindset, as I’ve had to go at a slower pace than usual. So before I get started on my projects for 2014, I thought I’d look back on some of the things I made last year.
2013 was really a return to sewing for me. I dusted off my sewing machine and set up a little craft room in my attic. This was definitely a learning year for me. There were lots of bumps along the road (and unpicked stitches), but I rediscovered the thrill of making something new from fabric and thread.
To that end, I decided to create a couple collages of some of the sewing projects I made in 2013.
Before I got started on any sewing for the new year, I had to finish my traditional first project of the year- a new calendar.
A few years ago, I started printing off some of my photos from the year with a calendar template to give to family and friends. This year, I only gave a very few and decided to make things easier on myself and got them printed at Walgreens.
And here are some of the calendars from years gone by.
Wishing you happiness in 2014!
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
And having lots of sweets!
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.
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.
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 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!
Every year I like to have a tiny tea party for my birthday. I usually pick a ballet theme, and over the years I’ve chosen some of my favorite individual ballets as inspirations. In the weeks leading up to the party, I try to find as many variations of the ballet as I can to watch, as well as classic storybooks to read. It’s quite fun to reacquaint myself with the stories, music, sets, and costumes. Even with ballets I’ve seen dozen of times before, I usually discover something new while I’m in party prep mode.
And planning a tea is a welcome diversion since I tend to get a little depressed around my birthday. Even when I was a little girl, I remember always being a bit somber around the day.
Luckily, having some tea and cake, putting on a frilly dress, and playing a Tchaikovsky record are all nice antidotes to birthday melancholia. And busying myself with baking and making in the weeks prior helps a lot too.
I thought I’d revisit some of my earlier parties this week starting with Swan Lake.
It is truly a dear favorite of mine. When I was a girl, I had an all white room with a Swan Lake theme. There were black and white photos of various Odettes and Odiles on the walls and feathery pillows and throws on my white twin beds.
So in planning that party I continued the airy white color scheme.
Some lacy hearts I made as favors.
Tiny white swans for decoration.
A fluffy white cake. Frosting a whole cake still stresses me out a bit. I’m more comfortable with cupcakes…
Here’s a link to more ballet birthday inspiration. Stay tuned for Cinderella!
For the past few years it seems I start my Christmas preparations earlier and earlier…
When I was little, I often got upset that Thanksgiving, and indeed a good measure of the entire autumn season, got trampled over in the rush to emphasize Christmas. Being a November baby, I always had a fondness for the quiet fall days.
And I still wait for advent or at least until after Thanksgiving to really decorate and immerse myself in full Christmas spirit. However, if you enjoy making your gifts or holiday sewing and crafting, one month is just not enough time! So in the fifty or so days we have until Christmas, I’ll try to gently work on my projects and gifts so hopefully I won’t be in a frenzy come mid-December.
I know I’ll never be one of those people who has all their shopping done by Halloween. I will always sew and bake and shop up until Christmas Eve, but hopefully by getting an early start, I’ll enjoy the season with a bit more calm!