Christmas card alternative – a video!

I love love love this video that Nicole from Making it Lovely featured on Friday. The Fosters have been making a holiday video instead of sending cards (rather genius for a freelance filmmaker, no?) for the past four years. I watched them all and this one is by far the best.


Jingle Bells – Christmas Video Greeting 2011 from Jared Foster on Vimeo.

WIP Wednesday 2 – Advent Calendar

It’s amazing how being busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner followed by being sick can keep you out of the blogosphere. From between last Friday and today I have over 300 posts to view… luckily work offers the perfect opportunity to read them all! I kid, I kid.. kinda..

The good thing about being sick (not the kind of sick I was on Sunday but how I was Monday and Tuesday) is that I got some time to work on the advent calendar I’m making for Alfie and Kitty. Here’s where I am now:

As you can see, I only have one pocket done. Out of 24. I do have more of the numbers done than it shows here. I have 1-13 done, as well as 21-24.

So now, I need to finish the numbers, stich up all the pockets, trim the flaps to make them fit, cut and sew the fabric (not shown) to make it a garland, and sew the pockets onto the fabric… whew! And that’s all before filling it with chocolate! Did I mention I am planning on giving this to them Friday? And I can’t work on it Thursday as we’re driving so I can’t have the light on.. Busy night for me tonight! But really, if worse comes to worse, I can work on it at Gavin’s parent’s house up in Stoke and let the kiddos see me making it for them. It just means I have to lug all the sewing crap with me to work, then on the train to the rental car place… no thanks! Tonight it is!

To recap from my last WIP Wednesday, I am almost done with my headband/earwarmer. I ran out wool with about 2 inches left and the shop was out of the red! So I used white for the end and the flower that I’m knitting – oh yeah, I’m so into knitting now, that I’m knitting a flower. Get me. It has taken the backseat to the calendar. As has the jacket. That’s also taken a backseat because I want to measure Kitty to make sure the jacket will fit like a glove! Or least be able to be let out/down! The quilt top is still not quilted nor does it have a back. I might be going to Ikea to check out some cheap/fun fabrics. Woohoo!

Linked up to Freshly Pieced.

I hear those sleigh bells jingling…

I had my Thanksgiving on Saturday so you know what that means! Christmas decorations can go up! Woohoo!

I spent my sick afternoon at home lying on the couch and then all of a sudden BAM! I felt the urge. The urge to pull out all (yeah, all 5 pieces) of our Christmas decorations. Now our living room (and front door) is cozily decorated. Even Gavin, a.k.a. The Grinch, likes it. I think he does because a.) there are no Santa’s; b.) there is no red and green, only red, white, gold, and silver; and c.) it’s not OTT. I’ll put up pictures one of these days :)

What I’m working on

This is the beginning of my advent calendar for Alfie and Kitty.. So far I have the numbers on six of the envelopes and this much stitching of the pockets. I have a lot of work ahead of me! It doesn’t help that the disappearing pen seems to just be absorbed into the felt rather than staying until it gets wet… annoying.

Tomorrow I am cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. Since the British clearly don’t celebrate it, we don’t have a holiday next week. We would do it next weekend but, alas, we are at a wedding were Gavin is the best man. Should be fun as we are having people total! I have already brined the turkey and I’m totally cheating and roasting the turkey and making the gravy tonight! That way tomorrow I just have to worry about reheating it – 20 minutes! Woohoo! So I won’t have the Norman Rockwell moment of setting the whole turkey on the table, but as no one really knows how to carve the turkey properly anyways, I figured no one would care. I’ll just make sure everyone has enough to drink!

And breathe…

It’s starting to be the time of year where we all start to stress out. Whether it’s making sure that everyone has the right Christmas (or any other celebration) presents, making sure that you hit everyone’s holiday parties, or making sure that 11 Thanksgiving non-celebraters understand that it’s not just a second Christmas dinner – oh wait, that’s probably just me..

While stressing is understandable, it’s easy to lose focus of the big picture. Enjoying the season with friends and family – decorating for the holidays (my fave!), making mulled wine, eating stews and roast chicken and veg; curling up on the couch and watching a Christmas Story and Love, Actually. And A Muppet’s Christmas Carol.. what? Only me again!?

This post is simply to remind myself to breathe. The need to take a break and relax is just as important as making mental checklists, as hard as it is to accept sometimes!

Etsy treasury

I made my first Etsy Treasury! I never really knew what they were but when I decided to give my mom a list of Etsy things that I loved, I knew that a treasury was the way to go. I scoured my list of favorited shops for American sellers that had good “gifty” items that are small enough to carry in my suitcase from the States back to the UK. I also excluded artists who sell prints (from a printer, not screenprinted) rather than originals. So here we are, here is my collection of things I love off of Etsy! I am quite chuffed about it all!

One: Set of five gold and silver stacking rings from Secret Charm
Two: Aqua Chalcedony necklace by Petitor

Three: Herkimer diamond gold necklace by Frieda Sophie
Four: Herkimer triple diamond gold necklace also by Frieda Sophie

Five: Wreath hand-pulled screen print by Karolin Schnoor
Six: Pheasants, pods, and feathers original painting by United Thread

Seven: Set of 4 seasons tea towels by Claudia G Pearson
Eight: Set of 16 linen napkins by JB World

Nine: Small red and black dish by Cynthia Vardhan Ceramics
Ten: Aqua and white ceramic nesting bowls by Suite One Studio

Eleven: Baja turquoise porcelain ring by MaaP Studio
Twelve: Grey poppy silk day dress by Rachel Rose

Stockings for Kids

Lyanna over at Purple Panda Quilts is sponsoring Stockings for Kids which is a stocking drive for foster children in her area of Virginia. I thought it was such a nice thing that I immediately knew that I would participate.

I’m always looking for something nice to do for other people during the Christmas season because I become acutely aware of how lucky I am compared to so many. Even if I finish the month eating nothing tins of beans and stealing toilet paper from work (not that I ever would… or have…), I will feel better knowing that a child (or a teenager) has received a stocking that was homemade with love. That kid will also receive it stuffed with all sorts of goodies.. What sorts you say? Well… I actually have no idea other than they are good.

So, without further ado, here is my stocking:

I totally freehanded it and made it up as I went along. I do that a lot… Did you see my painting professional-fakery? But yeah.. there are definitely things I would have done differently. Like add a way to hang it up. Stupid me, I forgot the loop! I would also make the flap (fold? rollover thing? What the heck is that called?!) bigger so it didn’t look like an afterthought.. But all in all, I’m pretty pleased with it!

I have a tutorial I can add, but seeing as the stocking isn’t all that impressive, I’m not sure if it’s worth it!

Now I just need to make the advent calendar by next Wednesday! Eek! Gotta get a move on!

Oh.. and I’m linking up here