Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

I did manage to make a few homemade gifts this Christmas. Nothing spectacular, but fun, simple projects. I made two homemade ornaments from an idea from Pinterest. I took a friend’s wedding invitation, cut it into strips and curled them inside a clear ornament. Very simple and very elegant. For one of them I also put some cuttings from my Christmas tree inside to help fill the space. Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph them. :/ Court/Lena, if you have a picture of yours, send it my way! Courtney posted some photos of hers:

Rice Heating Pads with Poem



Another project: Bath salts and Heating pads. With the use of some essential oils, I made some fabulous smelling gifts! I found some cute colored glass bottles with cork stoppers at Hobby Lobby for the bath salts and I compiled some recipes from the internet and came up with these:

Soothing Lavender Oatmeal Bath Salts
1 cup of EPSOM SALT
½ cup of SEA SALT
¾ cup of finely pulverized OATMEAL
Muscle Soothing Bath Salts
2 cups of EPSOM SALT
Energizing Bath Salts
1 cup of EPSOM SALT
½ cup of SEA SALT
10 drops MINT OIL

A friend also told me about an easy-to-make infinity scarf and t-shirt flower pin. I made one for my sister and sister-in-laws. I made three turquoise and two reddish/pink. You just dye a men’s 2x tshirt and cut/stretch it! I’ll include the link with instructions. http://rebekahgough.blogspot.com/2011/08/make-something-monday-ombre-infinity.html

Here are a couple of my final creations:

Probably my favorite thing to do this Christmas was making my own wrapping paper! I know it seems silly…to spend so much time and energy on something that will get ripped up and thrown away, but it really was fun! And I made some cute linoleum stamps that I will be able to use forever. I carved out two simple images, one of an elephant and one of a bird. I had a huge role of newsprint paper that Henry uses to draw with and my mom and I both had boxes of printmaking ink and rollers. I used red and green for the elephants and blue and white for the birds. Henry helped me roll out the ink in between stamping. It was actually a break-through moment for us because his “helping” actually helped! So it was a fun project. 


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People gave me some really great things…


Dad surprised me with a beautiful mandolin.

Lily's package arrived on Christmas morning and these were our gifts

Lily's package arrived on Christmas morning and these were our gifts


Sally gave me an amazing iron dressform

Janette magically found the perfect vintage swimsuit for me!

Swimsuit frontswimsuit back

Leo is restoring Samson for me! (That’s my 1972 Volkswagen Beetle that I paid cash for with my Sonic Carhop money when I was 16). I destroyed Sam’s engine back in college, and he’s been collecting dust ever since. Now Leo is bringing him back to life! And it’s going to be great fun to drive it around.

Doesn't it look beautiful?! It's such a wonderful car.

Doesn't it look beautiful?! It's such a wonderful car.

Olive and SamOlive inspecting Sam

It was a wonderful holiday full of surprises. I always get so involved in the gifts I’m giving to people that I sometimes forget about the joys of receiving thoughful gifts from family and friends. Thank you to everyone who made this a happy Christmas!

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Well, Christmas is over. We returned from Washington, Missouri to Mountain View yesterday. It was a wonderful holiday with my family and with Leo’s family. As usual, my family went over-the-top with piles and piles of presents! Too many to fit under or even around my parent’s tree. But it’s always fun to see what crazy things we get for each other.

Some memorable gifts I received this year: 1. a mandolin!!! from my dad…I’ve already picked out “the Merry Farmer” and several Christmas tunes. 2. some great crochet books and yarns from my mom along with a big pile of sewing supplies. 3. a fabulous seafoam green iron dressform from my sister along with some great fabrics and anthropologie clothes. 4. the perfect vintage swimsuit from my friend Janette. 5. a very cool wrap skirt from Lily in China

Just to name a few.

As for my gifts, Leo and I did manage to make something for almost everyone in my family.

For my grandma, Babo: a fleece blanket with crocheted snowflakes and names of all her kids/grandkids/greatgrandkids on it. This was actually my least favorite project. It took forever and turned out not looking at all like I planned. Luckily, Babo doesn’t have a “critical eye” and loved it.

Babo's blanket

Olive liked to help me with this project...

For mom: a quilt-like wallhanging with herbs painted on it.

mom's quilt in processquilt in progress 2mom's quilt

For Aaron: a poster with him standing in front of different famous places all around the world, including in space in front of the starship Enterprise.

Where's Aaron? poster

For Sally: a monkey dress along with a matching vest for Charlie, a pair of republican shorts, and legwarmers for her dogs.

I should have taken a picture of Sally wearing these...because they were much cuter on her...

I should have taken a picture of Sally wearing these...because they were much cuter on her...

Sally's "old man" Martin dons the legwarmer I lovingly made him...

Sally's "old man" Martin dons the legwarmer I lovingly made him...

Calvin is slightly larger than a mouse, so you can imagine how cute the legwarmers were on him...

Calvin is slightly larger than a mouse, so you can imagine how cute the legwarmers were on him...

Well, Sally definitely won't run into anyone else wearing the same dress...handmade tagcharlie's vest

For Jacob: a fancy bathrobe/smoking jacket.

JacobJacob model shoot #2Jacob model shoot #3

We also made a poster for Leo’s sister & brother-in-law, Laura & Heath. It had thousands of tiny pictures of Lucy and Lincoln on it.

Lucy & Lincoln poster

I also made a shirtdress for Lena. It was similar to the bird one I made myself, only I used chocolate brown and mint green and added an owl on a branch instead of birds. It turned out a little more “halloweeny” than planned, but it was still pretty cute.

"halloweeny" owlLena's shirtdress

I’m planning on starting my gifts for next year much earlier. I am pretty excited that I finished as many projects as I did! Not working very much helps tremendously. I’ve gotten pretty spoiled with this whole “part-time in the winter” thing. I’m pretty much loving it, but who wouldn’t?

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Christmas TreeThanksgiving is over, which means to me that winter is officially here. It is a typical overcast, gray winter day outside and I realized that I don’t mind that at all. I love winter as much as any other season. I don’t think I could ever live somewhere that didn’t have seasons. Leo keeps threatening to move us to Alaska, which I could probably do for a little while, but not for long.

Along with winter comes Christmas time! Leo and I went on a long hike Monday in search of a Christmas tree. We scoured our 53 acres (Ok, probably not ALL 53) and found a nice one at the top of this small mountain behind the house. I wrapped my earmuffs around the trunk so that we could find it when we came back to cut it down. After climbing down the mountain and back up another hill to get to the house we, of course, found a perfect tree right off the yard! So, we cut that one down and my earmuffs are still in the middle of the woods. Sigh…I doubt I’ll see them again, unless a raccoon scurries across the yard wearing them.

So we’ve been decorating our 11-foot home-grown Christmas tree and putting lights up in the house. It feels just like a log cabin should during the holidays! We just need some snow on the roof.

Christmas Tree 2

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