Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flapper Knit Hats

The 1920's have always fascinated me. (For that matter, so have the 30's and 40's.) So much happened. I am especially fond of the music that was born at this time. During the 20's came the birth of the Flapper. The Flapper was everything new and modern. I have put a little modern twist to these children "Flapper" hats with bright and bold buttons. I feel that vintage buttons would really be perfect, but as these are for my family's Christmas gifts, my nieces may just prefer the buttons of today.

So many people believe that the women's movement started back in the 60's. I actually believe it started back in the 20's. The Flapper gave up the restricting clothing way before the liberated women burned their bras!

These adorable hats are less than a day project. Click on over to Justine from New Zealand at Just Jussi Knitwear Design. The pattern called "Poppy" is free! Thank you for sharing, Justine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Father Christmas Greeting Card

"My Beard"

by Shel Silverstein

My beard grows down to my toes,
I never wear no clothes.
I wraps my hair around my bare,
And down the road I goes.

Here is the first in a series of Christmas cards I am making using this extravagantly bearded fellow. This vintage bearded man image was a freebie from Tumblefish Studios. I have been loving the creations that have magically formed.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Mini Christmas Card Banner

Making this miniature Christmas pennant banner is not very complicated, when you use these adorable digital collage sheets designed by Becky Loyall of Moonlight Journey. I printed each tiny banner approximately 3" in height. They have recently added "craft projects" to their line of beautiful art. As soon as I saw this digital pack, I just knew I had to do something cute with it.

I think it just might turn out to be a very special Christmas card!

"Go ahead--it's Christmas--
decorate every little thing in the house."
~ Mary Engelbreit

CREDITS: "BELIEVE" pennant craft project from Moonlight Journey, "Vintage Market Alphabet" from Tim Holtz Alterations die cuts, "Christmas Cheer" Grand Adhesions from K & Company, Ranger "Stickles" in turquoise, and sari ribbon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus

Get ready! Santa's workshop has been temporarily relocated to my house. I have been very busy knitting up a storm, baking, and creating little gifts made with love. If you are serious about Christmas, you know it's essential to make sure Santa feels really welcome. Don't wait until the last minute to get ready for this important visit!

Making gifts at home is powerful when you like to give presents. It helps me focus less on my own wish list, and fosters an appreciation of the gifts I will be giving away.

This sweet Christmas photo card album has been a work in progress. I purchased a kit for the cover only from my friend, Norma Kooi, possibly five years back and began the process of adding family photo greeting cards each year.

It's truly amazing how everyone changes, and what a great keepsake of friends and family. So save those special Christmas and photo cards. I think it's maybe time to bring it along to family Christmas visits this year to share.

Dear Friends,

The holidays are over before you know it,
so each year I add a few more photos
to my Christmas Card art journal.
I think about what I really enjoyed,
and a jot down maybe things
I would like to do next year.
Then I let everything else go.
Nothing has to happen exactly
according to some grand plan.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Bake a Batch to Share

It won't be long before the hustle and bustle starts for the holidays, but with a little pre-planning, you can whip up these wonderful mini bread loaves to share with family and friends. I love the aroma of them baking in the oven! I used instant coconut cream instant pudding instead for a change.

Mini Banana Bread

1 Pkg. yellow cake mix
1 Pkg. banana cream or vanilla flavor instant pudding (3.4 oz. size)
4 eggs
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Beat first 5 ingredients in a large bowl with mixer 2 mins. or until well blended. Add bananas and nuts; mix well until blended.

Pour into 5 mini loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 40 min. at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely.

These mini loaves will keep about 3 days at room temperature or 3 months in the freezer.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Best Christmas Ever!

The holidays are back! The days leading to December 25th can be very exciting. Back in October, I felt the early whispers of Christmas when I visited the craft store in town. I feel like Thanksgiving formally introduces Christmas, but I like to begin my plan even before.

It's time to start my list. It will become my "making a list and checking it twice" list. Take a deep breath and imagine the Christmas of your dreams. I think of my childhood. Remember how you felt? I want to re-create that spirit and wonder now. I try to in my gifts, and in my hospitality. I truly do not yield to a tide of Christmas demands, but want the comfort and joy Christmas was meant to be. Let your emotions guide you through this holiday journey.

First Presents on my Holiday Workbench

Ever since I became a camper at the KC Willis Ranch a while back, I now experience a charge of excitement when browsing through dollar and resale shops. I saw these humble hangers, and began imagining how I could make them look more artsy. With just a little bit of sanding, some pastel acrylic paint, old sheet music, and a dollie head image, I began the process. Then finding just the right bow to top them off.

Christmas doesn't have to cost a lot of money if you give your gifts a little thought. For me, the joy comes in the making. Handmade stuff, whether it's just for a day or for a lifetime, is such a personal expression. And remember, perfection isn't the goal. It's often the little goof that is just the most precious part of a piece.

Start your list early, and maybe the spirit of the holidays just might be "Your Best Christmas Ever!"