Friday, December 5, 2014

A Little Bit Of Christmas

I have been spending a lot of time in my sewing room, preparing for the holidays.  My Christmas quilt top is done, and the backing has been purchased and prepared.  Here I have it laid out on the sofa with the batting cut beneath it.  I will baste it this weekend, and begin the process of machine quilting.
This is the cute label that we made for the back of the quilt.  Lori Holt's designs are just adorable.
Speaking of cute snowmen, I turned two plain white pillar candles that I had in my cupboard into Mr. and Mrs. Snowman.
I went into the yard for their twig arms.  It is hard to see against the fireplace.  Mrs. has some earmuffs, and is holding her pink wool mittens.
Mr. has a crochet hat.
I have made some more of these nifty heat saks.  These are made with holiday finger tip towels and filled with rice.  I put some ric rac around the edge.  Pop it in the micro for three minutes and then place it behind your back, or whatever ails you, for some soothing heat.  I also like to heat mine up on cold nights, and then put it in the bed underneath the covers while I take my shower and then when I get into the bed, it is roasty toasty.
I have been cutting squares of Christmas fabric with my pinking rotary cutter for the tops of my homemade jams.  These will make nice little gifts for my holiday giving.
We haven't even taken a single box down out of the rafters to do our Christmas decorating, and I am liking the little touches of Christmas I have added, even without them!
This is a little corner of our kitchen all set up for some Hot Cocoa drinking.  I have it all sitting atop a large wooden lazy susan that my Mom gave to me.
I have been collecting Santa mugs for a couple of years now.  These three are my latest acquisitions.  The red plate with bike and gifts on back I picked up at Target the other day.  The red thermos with green Christmas tree is a thrift find.  I put any leftover coffee in it in the morning, (rarely have any leftover!) and then when I am making hot chocolate, I make mine with  half coffee, for a cafe mocha.  The glass jar holds mini marshmallows, packets of hot chocolate mix in the middle, and a red sugar bowl holds candy canes.  The wire basket with moose, bear and canoe were a thrift find in one of my favorite shops in Big Bear.
The cabin scene trivet, also a thrift find.  It reminds me of  our beloved Big Bear.
My red ceramic egg keep is sitting on my dining table in the family room, filled with Christmas Kisses.  The girls are only laying a couple of eggs a day, so I thought it would look cute sitting out with something else in it.
Last year my daughter Gennifer gifted me with this darling holiday pillow from Target.  I had seen it at her house and loved it, and she went out and bought one for me too.
I saw this one with the Santa on it when I was in Target the other day.  Had to have it.
Two holiday pillows from last year came out of storage too.  The first one is a ski sweater just like one that my husband wore in the 70's.  Greg's was navy blue.  I found this one in a thrift store, in perfect condition.  It is 100 % wool, and oh so cozy.
I slipped it over a comfy down pillow, then slipped the sleeves inside the arms and tied them to secure.  I sewed the neck closed using several strands of red floss, and did a blanket stitch.  I did the same thing on the bottom, by tucking the sweater ends up inside the pillow, then closed with a blanket stitch.
The next one is also thrift find.  It was another wool sweater that had been accidently washed in hot water, and felted.  But the felting process really made the beautiful cabled stitches stand out.  I cut the sleeves off, and made this pillow.
There was one small stain on the front that I could not get out, but I still love this cabled sweater pillow.  I put some vintage Santa buttons on the front in place of the ones it had, and closed the bottom with a blanket stitch in red floss.  I tucked candy canes in the pockets.
Last Christmas, I had seen a beautiful blanket in a Gooseberry Patch book that I had bought.  It was made using thrifted sweaters of different greens and reds, and unique designs and cabling on them.  I scoured thrift stores for weeks, collecting sweaters to make one of my own.
I backed it in red flannel polka dots, and quilted an X through most squares and stitched in the ditch in others.  It is the coziest blanket we have!  I saved all of the sleeves that I cut off, and have used them for various different projects.  I made wine bottle cozies with some to gift a bottle of wine.  The other day I saw these sweater trees on Pinterest.  I grabbed my sweater sleeves and a large sturdy cardboard box, and began to trace out trees.  I cut them using my dull rotary cutter, the one I use for paper only.
I made several, using some of the green and sweater sleeves in different shades, as well as the felted wool sleeves with the heavy cabling.  In the Pinterest photo there was no bling added to the sweater trees.  But I was feeling blingy.  I lined them up on this shelf in my kitchen.
The off white cabled trees are my favorites.  I topped one with a vintage star earring, and left the other one plain.
This green tree I studded with various sizes and shades of white beads.  I used some baby ric rac as garland on one tree, and then some other snippets of sequined trims I had on  hand for a couple of the others.  I dotted one with red pom poms.  I think they are darling.
Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at our house.  And the decorations haven't even come down!  We will put our tree up this weekend, and I know I won't be able to resist putting some of my favorite things up as well.  
This afternoon about 4:00, I was hit like a ton of bricks with a strange bug.  It took me down, and took me down hard.  I slept for several hours, and woke up feeling restless.  I decided to get this post up.  Spare time seems to be at a premium lately.  I will have to take it as it comes.  Hope my tummy settles so I can sleep.
Tootle Loo.
XO  Kris


mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi Kris, first of all I hope you are feeling better! If not you must slowdown and have some of your lovely coffee/mocha in a santa mug : ) Love your post, so festive and so many fun ideas. I think I need to make some tea towel rice packs, great idea. I'm always have new aches : ( Quilt top is fab and I'm sure you are so excited to machine guilt. Love your sweater trees and all the bling! Hope you have a nice weekend and feel better, xoRobin

podso said...

Wow there is so much to see and comment on in this post! The candle snowman and lady are so cute. And I just love your sweater trees. They look great with the bling. It looks so Christmassy around your house it's hard to believe you haven't brought out the boxes to decorate! Hope you are feeling better.

Mereknits said...

Oh no about the bug, hope you are feeling much better today after a good nights sleep. Love all of your wonderful festive touches, but I especially like the sweater trees, that is a brilliant idea.
Hugs to you,

Patty Marker said...

Love Christmas at your house Kris. I wish there was more December left so that I could make it out your way but somehow my days are filled to the brim. I am looking forward to seeing you on the 20th. I hope the bug didn't stay too long. Feel better my friend!

a8383 said...

Lots of cute ideas! Feel better! Angela

Holly said...

I just love all your goodies. You've been working (playing) so hard. Sure hope you're feeling better. No time to get sick!

Home Meadows said...

Hope you are feeling better Kris. You always have such neat decorating ideas. Enjoy getting out your tree and Christmas decor. Heather

Taciana Simmons said...

Hope you are feeling better my dear friend , it sure isn't fun to be sick around the holidays with so much to do... Your decorations look great and your house already look wonderful. Can't wait to see your tree. Get better soon!

Teresa Kasner said...

Oh dear, Kris.. sorry about the bug, I hope it was a short-lived one. Tell it to go away! I love all your new makes.. that quilt is amazing! Your home is taking on a holiday sparkle.. can't wait to see your tree up! And just know, I hope that some day you do come to visit.. we would have so much fun chatting away!

*H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Betsy said...

Oh no! Poor you Kris. I sure hope you're feeling much, much better today. This is no time to be sick. :-(. I love everything about this post. All of the pillows, the quilts, the sweater quilt, rice cozy, coach a station...but especially those sweater trees. I have no more time to make anything this year, but I want to tuck some of these ideas away for future Christmases. Now, will I remember? Probably not. My brain is like a sieve anymore. :-). Again, I truly hope you're feeling better my friend.

Pam said...

You are Little Miss Crafty, aren't you?! I really love the rice bags! We use one I made by just cutting the leg off a pair if pantyhose and tying the ends together. Haha. It's ugly, but we use it constantly! You would laugh if you saw it after making your pretty ones. Hope you feel better quickly! ♡

Patty Antle said...

Thank you for sharing these fantastic ideas Kris. I really enjoyed seeing all of your holiday touches in your home. I want to try making the heating packs sometime.

Gracie Saylor said...

So sorry you felt poorly, Kris :( Your quilt is coming along so beautifully and your sweater projects are very clever. I especially like the trees and the bling you added to them. Thanks for sharing all the neat ideas!I hope you have fun doing more decorating this weekend, and I especially hope you are well !!! xx

Gloria Baker said...

Aw Kris I love all your Christmas deco!
Look just beautiful.
A I love how you use all sweaters!
You are soooo smart!

Gloria Baker said...

Hope you feel better soon!

Kerri said...

You are so crafty! All your special touches fill your home beautifully! I especially love the sweater trees!! I must get to Target and get me that red plate before they are gone!! Hope you are feeling better are much too busy to be down and out with a bug! :)

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Feel better, Kris ... more important to be healthy than have all the decorations up!

Amy at love made my home said...

So many beautiful things happening at your house! I hope that you have a great Christmassy time. xx

Deb~in~Denver said...

Sorry you've caught a bug! Seems as though there's a lot of 'crud' going around. Hope you are MUCH better!

You must never sleep, always coming up with something crafty! Love the towel/heat packs and those adorable trees! After reading one of your posts, last year, I made a sweater out of a favorite old sweater, I thought of you when I unpacked it with the Christmas decor.

Take good care of yourself!!

Tania @ Out Back said...

What a wonderful creator you are Kris. So many nice things on display, and some very clever ways to re-use too!

I do hope you are feeling a lot better and that the tummy bug didn't keep you down for long.

Sorry for my absence, I have missed reading all my favourite blogs. I am going to spend time catching up over the next few days.


priscilla said...

Love your quilt ! Hope you are felling better !

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I see a lot of bloggers have gone back to number ion their blogs-must be a lot of spam going on. I love seeing all your decorations-so very festive. You stay so busy my friend, I admire your creativity. Love your home.
Hope you have a wonderful day filled with lots of joy!
Love, Noreen

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I see a lot of bloggers have gone back to number ion their blogs-must be a lot of spam going on. I love seeing all your decorations-so very festive. You stay so busy my friend, I admire your creativity. Love your home.
Hope you have a wonderful day filled with lots of joy!
Love, Noreen

Jann Olson said...

Kris, I hope you are feeling better. It's really been going around here. Luckily, we've dodged it so far! Love your quilt! I have just sewn my 3" ones in a long row. Seems scary the way she cuts it. Guess it will all work out. lol! Love your trees and pillow!

Nicolle said...

The sweater trees are adorable, and I love all of your cute pillows!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Love the sweater pillows, oh my! XOX