my handmade Christmas presents

As I write this post I am still working on finishing the last of my Christmas presents, that’s right, Christmas is not over in this house yet. One more apron to go! The week before Christmas all the girls in this house had nasty colds and one little baby with croup. So I went a whole week with nearly any sleep and not sewing a single thing. Thankfully, I have some very understanding friends and family. You know making most of your Christmas presents is way harder then just buying them from the store. So thanks guys for understanding! So here are a few of the gifts that were given away this year for Christmas.

Casserole carrier using melon from the Meadowsweet collection.

**Quick question: Would you think differently of me if you knew that I carried my casserole dish to Christmas dinner wrapped in aluminum foil? That’s right, I do not have a casserole carrier of my own!**
Velour terry cloth dish towels.
And lots of aprons! This was year that lots of little ones were getting their first kitchen sets and NEEDED an apron to go along with it.

This is one of my favorites! First of all, you know my love for orange, but also I love this plaid fabric from Michael Miller! Hope it makes a little nephew of mine happy.

So, am I the only one still working on their Christmas presents?

Christmas 2010

With only a Christmas branch, I had to get inventive on where to put our presents. Wanting to make it magical and look special for the kiddo’s I decided to stack all of the presents as high as they would go and strung lights all around them. The kids just loved it and I definitely got the reaction I was hoping for. Thank goodness it doesn’t take much to get these little kiddo’s of mine excited.

After spending a crazy-fun-filled Christmas Eve with family, we spent Christmas Day at home just the 5 of us. We wasted away the day by opening presents, making homemade donuts, playing with our new tractors and trains, watching a little girl push her new stroller and dolls all around the house, and reading our new books. We even got out to do some snowshoeing. Oh it was wonderful! But then again, I always enjoy days when the hubby is home and all we do is spend time playing with the kids, eating way too much food and are able to sneak in a movie when the kids are napping.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!

Merry Christmas to all!

embrace the camera {momma’s 3 little reindeer}

First of all, congrats to the Anderson crew! Such great news and we are so excited for all of you. You truly got the most precious gift for Christmas this year, and so didn’t she!

Oh how we have loved opening our advent calendar this year. The kids take turns each day opening each one up. It is usually something for them to share, an activity to do, or they both get a little something. Remember the numbers that I purchased to make our advent calendar? Well it not only came with the numbers but also some fun activities to do with the kids. So on this day when they opened their advent calendar they had a little circle telling them that they were going to have a mini photo shoot, complete with costumes. Of course I thought it would be fun to dress up as reindeer. I quickly sewed up some brown and white striped pj pants for the kids and threw on some reindeer antlers.

Gotta have a red nose!
And here is what our photo shoot really looked like. One boy totally not wanting to cooperate, a little missy girl trying to get everyone to smile and coordinate things, a little baby not wanting to sit still (gotta love crawling babies) and this momma with some major haven’t-washed-my-hair-in-2-days with my I-will-pretend-this-was-WAAY-fun-smile!
Oh yes, we also had a few tears.
Some antler fights.
With a little wrestling and lots of dorky smiles.
AWW yes! That was fun. F-U-N… FUN!
Well, actually we did had FUN, once I turned the camera off. Isn’t that the way it always goes?!

2010 Christmas branch

Just another reason why living in this house of ours is so hard…no place for a Christmas tree! For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a house that would hold the biggest Christmas tree eva, but instead our house can only hold the smallest Christmas tree eva! That makes this Christmas tree loving momma so sad. While our oldest kept asking us when we were going to cut down our tree I had to explain to him that we had no room for a tree. It just broke my heart. Wanting and needing something, we decided to cut down a Christmas branch.

So after lunch we bundled up and headed outside to cut down our Christmas branch that Daddy ever so cleverly “planted.”

Our son spotted it first. The most perfect Christmas branch for us to “cut down.”

After “cutting down” our branch we enjoyed some time outside with the kiddo’s.
The baby just loved it! I wasn’t sure how she was going to be her first time in a sled with brother pulling her. But there were lots of smiles from her and brother was so sweet and gentle with her.
And of course one of these was bound to happen!
We even managed to get a picture of the whole family.
While the two youngest were sleeping, we decorated our Christmas branch. I was still feeling a little bummed about our lack of big Christmas tree until…
my little girl woke up and proceeded to squeal in delight with the branch that was twinkling. Oh, she just Melted MY HEART!
So I’m over it!
It’s not about the biggest tree, and thanks to my little ones for making me realize that. That still doesn’t mean that one of Christmas wishes will be for our house to be finished and for a big tree next year!

Embellished dish towels and fat quarter aprons

Here is what I have been making for Christmas.

Some fabric embellished dish towels.

Just use your fabric scraps and dress up your basic white dish towels. Just make sure you use some nice quality absorbent ones. I bought these at OSJL this summer and stocked up. For 4 dish towels they were only $2.99 each. What a steal! Yes, I bought all they had in sight. The hubby never understood why I was buying some many of them… until now!

I made up a little drawstring bag to put the dish towels in. This makes a great gift and is fairly cheap and easy to make.

A fat quarter apron for the little ones.

All it takes is two fat quarters or some fabric scraps.

So that is just a peek of what I have been making for Christmas, what have you been making?

Tonight we are going to be elves.

Ever since I put the kids advent calendar together I have been impatiently waiting for this day.

Tonight we are going to ELF people!

This is something we have never done before but I thought it would be more fun then just simply delivering a plate of goodies to everyone. I found these elfed printables over at Andersruff. I mean, how RIDICULOUSLY cute are these?

So tonight once it is dark and daddy is home from work, we are going to head out. Oh I can see it now… we will all be dressed up in green and red striped clothes wearing little elf hats. The snow will be gently falling on us in the crisp cool air. We will leave our goodie bags on the doorsteps of the 5 people we choose, ring the doorbell and then hide. Once they open their door and see the goodie bag we will scream simultaneously “YOU’VE BEEN ELFED!” Oh yes, I’m sure that is exactly how it will go!

This was such a fun and cheap activity to do with the kids. The ribbons were left over from a previous Christmas and the boxes were something I bought months ago at Marshall’s for $2.00. All we had to do was bake some goodies, print off the printables and fill up the bags.

We filled our boxes with peanut butter balls, brownies, cookies and some extras. Basically, whatever I had in the cabinets that worked in with my color scheme.

Instead of heading out to Walmart to purchase some bags to put our goodies in, I made some. They are just a simple bag, nothing fancy. I used fabric that I already had in my scrap drawer and honestly going to Walmart on a snowy day was the last place I wanted to be and not to mention we would have waisted a good hour getting everyone dressed into the car.

So tonight we will head out disguised as elves.

Alright, so maybe we will be dressed in our warmest clothes ever, slipping and sliding as we walk to your doorsteps hoping not too fall.

So beware…
we may be knocking at your door!

Handmade Gift Exchange

I participated in a handmade gift exchange over at Craftaholics Anonymous. It was so much fun meeting a new blog friend and exchanging some handmade goodies with her. Through emails we got to know one another and each others likes. I learned that she loves to be organized and make lists. Her favorite colors were green, brown, and neutrals. So here is what I made for her.
A fabric note pad and and a little zipper pouch. Every organized list maker needs their own pad for on the go right? One of these days I’m going to make myself one too. Maybe if I had one as cute as this one, I wouldn’t leave home without my lists. Oh how I love to make lists and somehow I ALWAYS leave home without them. I guess that is what shopping with 3 kids does to ya.
Of course I had to add a little ruffle to it. Not sure if it was to make the note pad cuter or so that I could use the green pencils from my stash, either way it worked.

I made it similar to making a crayon roll, except one side has the slots for the pens or pencils and the other side has a large open slot for the note pad. I was lucky to have already had the pens and note pad in my stash of goodies, thanks to a shopping trip to Michael’s forever ago. I love the contrast between the colors.

I also made her a matching zipper pouch. It is the perfect size to fit into a purse, bag, or diaper bag and can store any little goodies that need to be organized.

here is what I got in exchange.

A clip board calendar. She used a clip board and then embellished it with scrapbook paper, some ribbons and a little calendar on the bottom. I can either keep the same picture displayed or change them out every month. How clever is she? And might I add, she used my favorite color…orange!

She also sent me this Christmas planner. I have always wanted to make one of own, and thankfully now I don’t need to. And yes, I have already put it to good use. The lists are made and I have even checked a few of them off!

It has little sections for lists, cards, menu and to do’s. There are envelopes on the front and back of the book to store coupons and recipes in. LOVE IT!
Thank you so much Christina (yes, how ironic, we have the same name) for the wonderful gifts and for helping me be organized this Christmas!
And thank you Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous or hosting the gift exchange!!

Daddy’s advent calendar

Why not make a special advent calendar for daddy too! Or for that special beer lover in your life.
Here is what we came up with. I used an apple bushel box but you can use any large box that will fit either 25 beers or a mixture of beer and canning jars. I knew my husband wouldn’t consume a beer a day so we mixed it up with some fun little goodies inside of the canning jars. That’s right more canning jars!
I printed off more numbers from the ones I purchased here. I cut the numbers out and tapped them to the tops of the bottles. For the canning jars I wanted to hide what was inside, so I just taped a little piece of white card stock to the lid of the jar. SUPER EASY! I had a strand of those LED lights that run off batteries, so I strung those in through all of the bottles of beer and canning jars. Lastly, I added the tinsel.

Of course we put in lots of beer, but we also added…

some work gloves,

carpenter pencils,

and a screwdriver. We also have some of daddy’s favorite candy in a few of the jars. The kids loved helping me pick out the loot at Walmart this morning. Although they were both a little upset when I said no hammers.
Here it sits in the barn (already chilled thanks to the New Hampshire weather) waiting for when Daddy comes home. I’m thinking next year I just may make one up for myself, but with a new fat quarter for each day, whatcha think, FABULOUS idea right?

I’m so excited for the festivities to begin!

2010 advent calendar

It’s not your typical advent calendar, but it is what I came up with the small living space we have to work with. Not having the space for a real tree, I decided to decorate the window sill with our advent calendar and throw in some lights. There is just something magical and festive about white twinkling lights at night. And what little kid or adult doesn’t love white twinkling lights?!
Other than purchasing the numbers here and the loot to fill the bags, I used everything I already had on hand. I had purchased the bags months ago at the Dollar Store knowing they could come in handy somewhere, and they work perfectly here. The rest of the decorations I already had in my box of goodies.

I had bought these ANAMALZ at OSJL a few weeks ago. I just love them and they were only $2 each! They are normally $8 each, (which I have paid in the past) so score on my part. I was going to put them in the kids stockings but they fit perfectly into the little bags instead.
I also filled some of the bags with cupcake decorating goodies, candy canes, candy, and special activities to do with the kids.
Just another use for my BELOVED canning jars!
As you can imagine the kids are ready to dig into those little bags. We are off to Walmart this morning to get some goodies to fill Daddy’s advent calendar. Check back to see what Daddy’s getting in his calendar, oh it’s a fun one!! I’m sure he will love it, or any man for that matter!