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

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Trimming the tree

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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!

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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…

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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.

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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!

hello october

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Wow. I can’t believe it is already October! This time of year flies by so quickly and there is always just one project after another. But fall is also my favorite season, so I try to savor the coziness. IΒ have been working on some autumn sewing projects, but I’ve found it a little challenging to mesh the harvest color palette of fall with the rest of my world.

I did, however, make up a new banner of burlap and lace using a bit of spiced pumpkin colored trim. I tried a few other projects, but was still uninspired until I read an article in Romantic Homes magazine about decorating for fall with pastels. It had been my original goal to incorporate some lighter colors, but I was unsure about how to go about it until I saw some of the ideas in the article.

Firstly: Pink Pumpkins! Yes, I have a bit of a reputation for painting everything in my house either pink or white. So it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I spent the first day of October in my backyard spray painting and glittering pumpkins.

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As per the article’s suggestion, I tried painting a few leaves, and rather liked how they turned out. So I’ll probably do a few more after I get some mini pumpkins and gourds at the pumpkin patch to glitter and paint.

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The inspiration photo. Adding a teacup candelabra to my wishlist!

My other little project is one I like to do for all holidays: Mini Wreaths. I have a weakness for small things and love anything miniature. These tiny grapevine wreaths can be purchased for less than a dollar at the craft store and can be embellished with just a few scraps of silk flowers or ribbon. I always like to include a little message as well. Birthday wreaths make a personal gift-topper and make nice mementos.

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Hope to be back soon with more fall projects! Have a lovely day!