Christmas of Socks

My creation

This was the Christmas of socks!

The socks along the top of the mosaic are in order: mine, my husband’s, my dad’s, my mum’s. They’re in reverse chronological order, as I did my mum’s first, then dad’s, and then those two got packed up in a parcel and mailed off. Then I did hubby’s, and managed to finish them completely before he got home from school, so I didn’t have to do any sneaky knitting at home! My pair I started December 18th and finished on Boxing Day. All the details are on my Ravelry project pages, here is a link to a page of all the socks I’ve knit!

Husband Socks

And I’m extremely happy to report that everyone’s socks fit well!

Christmas Socks

Christmas 2014

I’m really hoping to knit a good dent into my stash of sock yarn in 2015 – I finished 7 pairs in 2014, and this year I’m hoping for 12.

Mrs Cinnamon Bun’s Holiday Gift Guide

As I said in my catching-up post, Cinnamon Buns has gone back to university. He started in September 2012 at the university in town. That year, we put a $100 limit on presents for each other, because hey, education ain’t free. In June of this year, we got the news that the program he was taking was basically cut, so we scrambled to get him in to a university on the coast. He’s out there now, and has a year and a half left. If university fees alone put us on a tight budget, think about paying university fees and two sets of rent + bills on what one  artist (me!) earns… it’ll be a quiet Christmas.

Financial restraints aside, I’ve always preferred to give thoughtful, handmade gifts. Handmade gifts give twice, to the recipient and the artist.

My List:

These are pipe-dream things, (A) they’re expensive, and (B) before I had a chance to produce a list this year, husband texted me to say ‘OMG found your Christmas present already!’.

Here’s something I’d like that’s from an actual store!
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It is a (plated) rose gold ring that looks like a sewing needle! I love crafts, and I love rose gold. What else can I say? Oh, that I love Anthropologie, so I’m not surprised it is from them.

My dream gift right now would be a membership in the BareNakedKnitSpot club (or, even better, the double membership!) Anne Hanson, an amazing knitwear pattern designer and her team scour the globe for interesting and beautiful undyed (thus BareNaked) yarns. Buy a membership, and every other month for a year you get gorgeous yarn and a pattern in the mail! I’ve got so much yarn in all colours of the rainbow, but I’d like to get closer to the sheep. And what I said about handmade gifts giving twice? I’ve lost count of how many gifts this gift gives. You, the knitter, get 6 presents, there’s six yarn producers, Anne herself, and the people you give the finished objects to!

The Husband:

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I knit him this hat (the pattern is Windschief), and I’m knitting him mittens to go with it. I think I’m going to use this pattern, so he can still text! Luckily I have a huge stash of yarn from better times, so this yarn was all paid for in the past.
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I’ve got one glove done, and am working on the mitten flap/cover.

The Parents:

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My dad had mentioned earlier in the year that it would be lovely to have a handknit scarf. So, I obliged! And, I’ve actually finished it in time to mail it to him, which I think is the most impressive part. This pattern is free on Ravelry.

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My mum is getting Countess in Limbo. I was browsing a bookstore the other day, and the author was doing a signing. I chatted with her for quite a while. I got mum this, not because she’s interested in Russia, but because she has just embarked on a journey into our family’s history, a bit like the author of this book did. I’m hoping to inspire her to write our journey down too.

Husband’s mum. What do you get a woman whose husband of 25+ years just passed away two months ago? The gift of family. Hubby and I are spending the holidays in Nova Scotia with her. Before this summer, when his step-dad was diagnosed, we hadn’t been to visit them since they moved in 2012. We always said ‘Next year! Flights are expensive right now. We’ll come next year.’ (The crazy thing about this large country and its airlines is that flights to England are cheaper than flying from here to the East Coast!) Christmas will be hubby’s fourth trip out there since the summer, and my third. Family first, friends!

Friends:

I wouldn’t say we officially give friends gifts… but I love baking, so whenever we visit friends during the holidays, we bring baking! I bring it to work too.

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Those are mini flourless chocolate tortes I brought to a work potluck last week.

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OK, so I ate these mince pies (made with my mum’s homemade mincemeat!) myself, but I’ll make more for giving away. I swear.

And the presents begat presents begat presents….

I got what I wanted for Christmas! Or rather, Boxing Day. Since the summer I’ve been dreaming about a new camera. P was on board, but thought we should wait to check out Boxing Day sales to hopefully get a good price for the one I wanted, the Sony NEX 5N. I’d found a great price at a local camera store, and it turns out that none of the sales could beat their regular price! Boxing day we were out picking up a few other things just across the street from the camera store, so on our way home we stopped in and picked up my new toy.

I love it! I’ve had lots of fun in the less than 24 hours I’ve had it so far playing with various settings. I got Christmas tree bokeh!

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And some good close-up shots of yarn, with nicely blurred backgrounds!

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(apparently, I’m easy to please) My other camera was very good at taking pictures like this, but with everything in focus in crisp, distracting detail.

But, purchasing this camera has led to a lot of me looking at websites and figuring what I can buy now that goes with the camera.

I want to keep it safe, but have lots of bags that I love already, so I really want a Crumpler Haven (size small).

The Haven is the squishy inside of a camera bag, without the camera bag! Pick this up and put it in whatever bag you’re carrying that day.

I want to be comfy carrying the camera itself around, and nothing sounds better than this Black Rapid camera strap designed specifically for women.

There’s also a book about this particular camera (David Busch’s Sony Alpha NEX-5N Guide to Digital Photography), which I think would be good. While you can easily use this camera as a point-and-shoot, I bought it because I want to learn more about photography, and the book looks like it would help with at least the basics of that, with instructions particular to my camera! Sadly, the book doesn’t seem to be carried by Amazon.ca, and Chapters lists it as ‘Rare and Unusual’.

Of course, as I bought an interchangeable-lens camera, there are lenses to buy. I’d love a macro lens for crafting & Etsy detail photos.

There are a few other Sony E-mount lenses too. My camera came with the 18-55mm, which from the description seems to be a good-for-everything lens. The Carl Zeiss one on that page looks like fun, but it’s $1000+! Any photographers out there have tips on which would be the next lens to buy on that page?

So I got the present I wanted…. and now I just want more. First world problems, right?

Christmas Open House

This year being the first year that I’ve had more than 3 days off for Christmas in a while, we decided to try doing an open house again. We chose an open house format for our party because many of our friends would be working no matter what date and time we chose, and this way they could stop by before or after work. I had great fun baking up a storm, and because way less people came than we expected, we’ve been having great fun eating all the leftovers and not cooking at all.

After everything was set up, I realized that my camera battery was dead, so all photos in this post were taken with Hipstamatic on my iPhone.

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We bought all these tiny teal Christmas balls last Boxing day for something silly like 90% off. We were going to use them as wedding decor, but decided it was too much effort in the end. I really wanted to turn them in to some sort of chandelier-y thing, and it worked! We knotted them on to fishing line at random intervals, and knotted a blue jingle bell to the end of each string for weight. I thought it was very whimsical and festive.

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I baked. A lot. We had Lime Linzer Cookies, Brown Butter Shortbread, Lemony Slice & Bakes, Peppermint Meringues, Chocolate Spice Drops, Eggnog Coffee Cake, mince pies made with mum’s homemade mincemeat…

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And that was just the baking! For savoury, we did our favourite caramelized onion dip, spinach-avocado dip, pizza monkey bread (with chicken chorizo and goat cheese), Caesar salad devilled eggs, and curry chicken wonton cups. Plus veggies, naan, and chips for dipping.

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I used these printables from Hostess With the Mostess for the food labels.

It was great to see the people that did come, and I know those that didn’t are probably having a busy holiday time. Hey, it meant we didn’t have to cook for a few days afterwards!

Festive Food

I need only the slightest excuse to bake up a storm, and when I found out about the 4-theatre potluck dinner / evening of games and entertainment (and booze) that was happening, I just had to bake. I decided to go with a literal red & green theme. I’d had these cookies pinned on Pinterest for a while, so they were my red component:

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The tiered baking racks are one of my favourite items we got off our wedding registry. We ended up with two sets, which has come in really handy with all the Christmas baking I’ve been doing recently.

For my second item, I looked to one of my favourite baking books, Baked. Once I’d leafed through, the answer was obvious – Grasshopper cake to compliment the red cookies! So I went out and bought a bottle of creme de menthe, which came with a lovely layer of dust on the bottle. Now that I’ve used my 3 tablespoons, I’m sure it will gather more dust until I make that cake again.

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Here’s the evolution of a layer cake:

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And the final product:

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At said party, our group also contributed the ‘Joyeux Noel Coward’ tree,

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and a ‘spirited’ manger scene, complete with knitting shepherds (shepherds shown before & after heads) :

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I’m the Grand Marnier bottle with the glasses.

Festivus Ribbon Trees

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I spent a couple hours last night watching Mad Men and making some cute little trees to put around the house this Christmas. Christmas crafts are one of my favourite things in the world (they were my mum’s business, our house was always CHRISTMASED-OUT in November when I was growing up) but the past 3 years have been very busy at this time normally. This year I have different contracts, and two weeks off for the holidays, so naturally I’ve been crafting my little heart out.

I had a lot of ribbon leftover from the wedding in teal and apple green, which paired with red (or pink) is one of my favourite takes on the colours of the season. I went through my ribbon stash and found some red velvet, some printed twill, and some metallics in our wedding colours too.

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I went to Michaels to buy a styrofoam cone, and ribbon was 70% off that day only. So I bought some ribbon, and a second cone. Oops? I used a trick P taught me for cutting many lengths the same – find something the right size to wrap it around, the make lots of wraps, and cut them all at once. My little sudoku book was just right to give me 4.5″ lengths when I cut the ribbon at each edge.

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Then it’s just a whole lot of pinning until your ribbon runs out. My lengths of ribbon weren’t exactly all the same (I cut the printed twill between the words, and the wrapping method isn’t quite an exact science) so I paid more attention to the bottoms being all at the same level, rather than the tops. I tallied up the empty ribbon spools afterwards, and they added up to 41 yards. Don’t use that as your guide though – some were partially used, some of my ribbon wasn’t on the rolls, and I have a bunch of 4.5″ pieces leftover. I also used ribbon ranging from 1″ wide to 1/4″ wide. I’ve seen this project done before with more uniform ribbon, but I love the mix & matchiness of mine.

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The tops were tricky to figure out – I wrapped each top in the wide teal grosgrain before I put the last layer of loops on. On the shorter one I wrapped a ribbon around the top to cover the raw ends and pins of that last row.

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On the taller one I made proper loops from the ribbon and then pinned carefully, so no raw edges were showing. I used some of my extra pieces to make little loopy toppers for both trees.

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The shorter tree is almost entirely stash ribbon (minus the candy print and the diamond-y print), and was my original plan of teal, apple, and red. Tree number two ended up teal, apple, pink, with a bit of red.

Crafting lesson I learned last night: When bringing your giant box of 500 pins to the coffee table, make sure you’re really actually holding on to it. I had to clean up 500 pins from our wood floors before I could start. It doesn’t help that our floorboards have settled since they were put in, and they have pretty substantial cracks in between them. I ended up using a rare earth magnet to get the pins out from between the boards.

*I’ve just discovered Pugly Pixel, which is where I got all the awesome frames for my photos! It takes way longer to get the images ready now, but I like the ease of making groups of photos, and I’m learning so much about Photoshop using her templates.

Double-Photo Christmas Cards

I got inspiration for my holiday cards this year from this post on Papertrey Ink’s blog. (Have I mentioned that would happily buy everything they sell, if I only had the money? Because I totally would.) I ordered the tri-fold card bases, and while those were in the mail (plus, ahem, some stamps) Cinnamon Buns and I went through the wedding photos and picked our favourites out. When the card bases arrived, we got to work.

Photo Christmas Card

You can switch up how you fold them up, we decided to go with this orientation.

Photo Christmas Card

We stuck a photo of us to the front with permanent glue dots (glue dots make this project so easy!)

Photo Christmas Card

People who weren’t at the wedding, or didn’t use the photobooth (shame!) get a silly photo of us inside, also stuck down with permanent glue dots.

Photo Christmas Card

Those who were there get our favourite picture of them from the photobooth, stuck down with temporary glue dots so they can take it out and frame it/magnet it to the fridge/whatever they want to do with it.

Photo Christmas Card

I used these two sentiments on the middle panel inside, with both ink colours shown above. The two faint red stamps in the upper left were some Colorbox pigment ink, the bright red and the greenish-blue (the two colours I ended up using) are Tim Holtz’s seasonal distress inks in the colours Festive Berries and Evergreen Bough.

Photo Christmas Card

We didn’t have a printer at our wedding, so people had their photos taken in the photobooth and never got to see them. I’d always planned to send out photobooth photos in the thank you cards, but I wanted to get the thank yous done and dusted and we didn’t have wedding photos back yet. So we revised that plan and decided to send out photobooth photos with our holiday cards this year. We’re also including a little business card-size insert with info on where to find all the photos (including the photobooth ones) online. I think all this completely makes up for the lack of printer at the actual wedding!

If you got married this year, are you milking the wedding-photo-gift possibilities this season? I know I am!

Santa or Gandalf?

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This was something else I bought at the craft fair I went to yesterday. He’s the perfect fit for Christmas in my fantasy hobbit house!

I have always loved these types of carvings – they had some beautiful large wall pieces of old, wise, bearded faces with knots and bark incorporated into the carving. As I won’t get my hobbit house until we win the lottery, I decided to buy a little Santa to bring out at Christmas. Most of the Santas had been painted red – she said too many people called them Gandalf or Dumbledore before she started painting their coats red. I didn’t tell her about my hobbit house dreams. 😉

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See? Bark!

Taking pictures of this guy really confused iPhoto though:

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He is very Gandalf-y, I have to say. He may end up staying out year-round as a little desk wizard/wood spirit/green man/Santa mascot thing.

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I bought this guy to hang on the tree – it’s obvious who he is. :)

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Also note the successful bokeh! Yay!

Christmas Ornament Shopping

Even though P would argue that we have enough Christmas ornaments already* I still buy a few each year.

My mum used to do the big Christmas craft fair in Vancouver, Circle Craft, when I was just a kid. It was always fun and a little bit magical to go along with her and watch people set up, then watch people come by the booth, get taken around the fair by dad. Mum always used to buy an ornament from Vincent Van Dough and get it personalized with all our names. She has tons of them on her tree from various years – they’re all different shapes. The biggest one is a tree with 3 little blobby people sitting at the bottom of it, each with a name. They all have the year – one year we didn’t get a named one, we just got a rustic cow with the year on its side. My first Christmas in Calgary, I discovered the big craft fairs here and lo and behold Vincent Van Dough was at one of them! I tried to explain to the lady at the booth that I knew her from way back when, and had been buying her ornaments since I was 6. Turns out it wasn’t the original lady, she wasn’t there that day and I was talking to a friend. I still bought an ornament though!

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I haven’t made it to the fairs every single year, so I don’t have one from every year of our relationship, but it is still fun to continue the tradition:

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These bears bring back serious childhood memories – I think she also did ‘occupation’ ornaments, where a bear like this would be a dentist, a ballerina (I had one of those), a fireman, whatever.

Lately Vincent Van Dough has changed to Vincent Van Designs, and the ornaments are now plaster and made in molds, not hand-formed. The molds are of original pieces, but it still isn’t quite the same. This is the only plaster one I have right now:

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I went to the craft fair today, expecting to see the same old booth, but for the first time since I’ve been to the fair at the BMO Centre, they weren’t there! Luckily (for me, probably not for VVD) there was a booth there selling very similar ornaments. These ones feel more like they are made from Fimo or some other polymer clay. I had to go with the all-white one – it seemed appropriate to me for the Christmas of our wedding year.

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Have I mentioned Christmas day is our 6-month anniversary? That makes it extra-exciting!

 

*Yes, there is a large tub full of just ornaments that we did not put on the tree. Those are the less interesting ones, plain glass balls/teardrops/ovals that will fit on our tree, hanging on the inner branches, once we get one taller than 4′!

Crafting to Christmas Carols

Once our Save-the-Dates were done, it was time to package them up. We’d decided to send them out with our Christmas cards. It saves a little bit of postage, and it’s a little like a Christmas present! Is it too self-centered to think that other people might view an invite to our wedding as a present? I, for some crazy reason, decided to make the Christmas cards. Here is what they ended up looking like:

DSC05813Argyle makes us both happy, and I was doubly happy that I got to use my favourite apple green in the cards too. To start, I put on some holiday music (I’m a geek for it. Especially BTO’s Taking Care of Christmas. They spoofed their own song!)

I used blank white cards from Michaels – the kind that aren’t even folded yet (but they do have a crease). I just wanted the pattern on the front, so I taped two pieces of paper together to make a mask that would cover up the back, and prevent me from stamping on to my craft mat. The craft mat could take it, but I was going to be doing so many, I didn’t want that ink to smudge onto the clean cards if I wasn’t careful.

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I used the scrap paper that I’d used to test colours and how to line up these stamps.

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Here’s my little set-up with a blank card inserted under the paper on the left. If you’re wondering why I didn’t fold them, thus hiding the back from the evil inky stamp, I tried that, and it stamped funny around the fold because it was a teeny bit thicker.

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The stamps I used were the A Little Argyle set from PaperTrey Ink. I could go on and on about the awesomeness of PTI, so I might save that for another post. My perfect green was ColorBox’s Moss Green pigment ink. I inked up the larger of the two argyle strips with that.

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Then I stamped it on the card. I ignored the patchyness of the ink for now. Because of the size of card I had, I had to do 4 passes with the stamp. In the photo above, the diamonds don’t go all the way to the right-hand edge of the card – it just needs two more diamonds in each row! And I wanted them 4 diamonds high.

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Now that I had all my diamonds in place, it was time to address the ones that were patchy. I wasn’t going for perfection, as they are handmade, but I wanted a bit more coverage from the colour in all the diamonds. That’s where the single diamond that PTI includes in the set comes in:

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Ink that baby up, then just line it up over a patchy diamond and stamp away! I love clear stamps because it makes this so easy. Imagine trying to do this with a wood-handled rubber stamp? Practically impossible!

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I didn’t re-ink the single diamond after every single stamp, as I didn’t want it to be too obvious that I’d gone over some diamonds.

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The red lines were faster, because I had a regular-sized red inkpad (not a tiny cats’ eye like the green one!), and I didn’t have to go back with the single stitched diamond stamp. Large expanses of stamp are harder to ink evenly than a thin design like the stitches.

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Then came the sentiment (a Hero Arts stamp), in the same red as the stitches (Colorbox Cranberry).

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Then I decided to have fun with the envelopes. This single diamond is bigger than the diamonds on the cards, I love the oversize look of it!

I had meant to get us a pretty address stamp, maybe even a calligraphy one, but Christmas snuck up on me, so I ran our envelopes through our printer to get our return address on them. I think I’ll still order the address stamp, for thank you notes, and invites and such.

Each envelope got stuffed with a holiday card, a save the date, and our Christmas letter. Some years I write our news in the cards, but we’re sending out more than normal because we’re combining them with save the dates, so I was in full support of Cinnamon Buns writing the Christmas letter.

I got in to stamping in a big way last year, because I decided to make holiday cards that year too. Now my stamp collection is threatening to take over the office!

Do you make your holiday cards?

Podcast-Inspired Gifts

Last night I had to clean up my craft desk (and my ‘unofficial storage space’, the futon beside my desk) because my parents are coming for Christmas. I thought I’d stick a podcast on in the background to keep me amused while sorting everything out. I noticed that I had a new episode of Scraptime in iTunes so I turned that on. And then I got out the papers and made more mess!

The episode I watched was #446 – Holiday Packaging.

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I had just decided earlier in the day to give a couple of my co-workers some homemade jam for Christmas. I was just going to bring in the jars, but when I saw this project, I knew it would fit my 125mL jam jars!

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I used up some Christmas paper, which is good – it’s just going to hang around until next year if I don’t!

I modified the boxes a little, not by size, although I thought about it. When putting the top piece on, I used Scor-Tape to adhere the back side of that piece to the back of the box. Then I punched holes in the front flap, then the front of the box, using the first set of holes as a guide (PS: I really want a Crop-a-dile. I got to use one at my last cardmaking class, and I love it!)

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I made that modification because the jam jars are just a little too big for the box, so they made the sides bow out, and I felt this way would put less pressure on the box. The picture above shows how I threaded the ribbon through the holes. I also made that top piece a little bigger than recommended. I think the red/green box was 3″ wide, and the swirly one was 4″. I like the 4″ width best.

I pulled the two Kitchen Tildas out of my bowl of stamped, coloured, and cut out Magnolia stamps. They don’t particularly match, but they don’t clash like crazy either, I think. Especially since I used blue ribbon on the box with the blue Tilda.

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I think I am going to use this box pattern A LOT. I can’t wait to try re-sizing it too!

Cowboy Christmas

I am very happy that December 21st has come and gone – not only was it just a bad day, it means that from now on the days are going to get longer! I can’t wait until I see daylight again.

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I got this cute little sheriff snowman stamp from Local King Rubber Stamps. Very appropriate for Calgary, I think, even though I tend to despise the Stampede. Not because I hate cowboys, mind you, it’s the rowdy drunks outside my house at 2am that bother me. And the hay bales make me sneeze.

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The colour is much better in the first photo, but this shows you the whole card. The green stripe is SEI, the ribbon was on sale at Michaels, and the silver/white snowflake paper was some handmade stuff I bought at my LSS.

Christmas Spoon?

I really love my ‘Kitchen Tilda’ stamp, and I love that I can use her on many different types of cards.

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Here is the card that I think will be my parents’ Christmas card. It was inspired by the gate-fold card I made in my last card-making class. I stamped and coloured Tilda, then stamped the music background for the sentiment. I used one of my favourite Christmas papers (from SEI) and stick it all together. Tilda is on foam tape so she stands out.

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I’ve had this card in my head for a while, so it is nice to see it all put together. It also fits in perfectly with Magnolia Down Under’s Stamp With Another Use challenge – take any stamp, and use it to make a card for any season/occasion EXCEPT the one it was designed for. Although to be honest, I don’t really know that this stamp has a season.

Christmas is coming

And I just made my first Christmas ornament of the year!
I had bought the Martha Stewart Holiday special (with all the tasty cookies in!) and had also liked a lot of the ornaments. I wanted to have a go at the Christmas card ornaments (page 96), but unlike Martha, I don’t have a handy stack of vintage Christmas cards hanging around.
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I do have to packs of old playing cards that I bought at the VV boutique yesterday, specifically for cutting up though. :) I decided to make a and ornament using the suit of hearts.
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The next challenge was to find something round to trace. She recommends a punch, which I don’t have. Something round, something round… a glass? tealight holder? tealights are just the right size, but bendy… what do I have that is round? Ah, wait a minute:

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It doesn’t get much rounder than a circle template, does it?
Then I cut out the 20 circles needed, end was left with this pile:
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I don’t throw my scraps away immediately, no matter what the project. The bits are always useful as glue-spreaders, and also for testing pens or other things.
Then you’re supposed to draw an equilateral triangle on the back of each circle, for the fold lines. Somehow, my math completely left me, so I eyeballed it with a ruler. Halfway through tracing the triangle onto the circles, I realised “circumfrence/3! That’ll tell me where to put the 3 points, then I can connect the dots!”. Use math, everyone.
Soon I had this pile:
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I wasn’t going for perfectly centred when I was tracing the circles on, I was purposely getting bits of hearts, off centred hearts and other lovely random things. What made the whole project even more random was tracing the triangles onto the back, without ever looking at the design on the front.
IMPORTANT NOTE: sand your cards (or whatever) if they are shiny. Do this before folding them.
I learned to embrace the bulldog clip.
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Martha’s last direction is ‘hang from silver thread’. Luckily, I realised that this would be much easier before I glued the ‘lid’ on. I didn’t have silver thread, so I found some yarn. Also, because of my eyeballed triangle, the gap was quite big at the top.
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Getting the top on took glueing each piece and clipping it one by one.
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<3>your Christmas tree your dirty houseplant?
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I put a date on one of the flaps. That’s where the scappy bits came in handy, to test pens, and finding out that I’d need to sand wherever I wanted to write.

A Knitter’s Christmas

I’m going to craft some Christmas ornaments this year. And yes, I will definitely be knitting some.
My first idea was an inspiration from Handknit Holidays. There’s an icord garland with pompoms in the book. There’s some yarn I’ve been meaning to get rid of, and have actually been trying to get rid of:
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It’s a silver and black railroad yarn that I’m never going to use in anything else. I think a 4-stitch icord of this stuff will be a nice alternative to tinsel. I just have the two balls, so I’m just going to knit and see how long it gets.

And for other scraps of yarn, I plan on making these:
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I ordered “Handknit Holidays” in from work and bought it. I eventually want to do the Aran tree skirt, but that’ll be a while.

I also want to try some felted Christmas ornaments, there’s a class at my LYS, I just need to decide if I can afford it. I’ve already signed up for a spinning class which is in a couple weeks.

I still want to make the felted Christmas boots from one of Cat Bhordi’s books. I have all the yarn, I started last year and never finished.