Thursday, December 18, 2008


I have so much to finish up, but I wanted to show you this..... it's the gift I made for the little one I watch, Cate. She loves all the "If You Give" books, and this is the newsest version. So I made a little kitty to go with it, wearing tropical shorts (he does in the book) and a cupcake. The Kitty and the cupcake fit into a little lunch pail, which actually would be better for another book in the series, If You Take A Mouse to School, but she'll still like it. I think I might also give her a cupcake recipe and a jar of sprinkles.

And just to procrastinate a little more, here are some of the finished oven mitts with a cookie cutter attached. That's how I plan on presenting them. They'll be going into my sisters' stockings so I'm not even going to wrap them. I made some cinnamon ornaments with each cutter first and will attach those to the mitt as well. I highly suggest making the cinnamon ornaments, they make your house smell soooooo good.

For the few things I need to package up, I whipped up these gift bags. I was looking at printed gift bags and even at $1.00 a piece I thought, that's too much. (Have I told you that I am extremely cheap about somethings?) So, I bought a pack of plain white ones, (10 for $4.00) cut some tree shapes out of sticky backed felt that I had on hand, had Ethan help me glue sequins onto some of them and stamped them with a "Merry Christmas" stamp I got at Michael's last year. Festive and super cheap!!

And this little cute thing, I just had to share.... it's a reindeer Ethan made in nursery school a few years ago. We reined him up to this Santa and sleigh that we received as a gift. I just think it's hysterical.

This past weekend we went away (kid free- yoo hoo!) to Aurora, NY. My parents rented a house (with servants!! yoohoo!) so we could all hang out, drink wine, be served dinner and celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Aurora is a totally adorable little town on Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes) and Mackenzie Childs is located there. We looked around the shop a little, and although everything is so fantastically cute, it was also so fantastically expensive!

Here is my hubby (sister and parents are in the background) leaving the grounds. We thought about staying for a factory tour, but Bloody Mary's at Fargo were calling us. (Did I mention we were kid free!!)

This was a cute tree decorated with chicken ornaments.... I almost bought one for my daughter because she made some chicken ornaments for her brothers for Christmas and I thought it would be ironic... but $18 was too much to pay for irony.

You can order tiles and sinks and knob there too.... if you can afford to outfit you home with it.

The displays were all so wonderful.

This little girl bed was so beautiful... and I don't even want to tell you what it cost (more than my husband's car). But, to be a good consumer, I did buy something.... this little cardboard house.

It goes with the little cardboard church I bought a few years ago and the sparkly tree candle that Ethan stared to peel this year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


How did it happen that Christmas is NEXT WEEK? And that my kids' last day of school before the holiday is this Friday?? It just dawned on me this morning that I still have to make the peanut brittle that I give to the teachers (along with a gift card to Target or Borders). I also still have, oh, 6 oven mitts to finish, a movie/babysitting/fundraising event to plan (takes place Saturday), the Christmas Pageant to get ready for (more costumes to finish, and some cardboard animals to paint- takes place Sunday) as well as regular old Christmas stuff to do...... so it may be a bit before I am back here.

In the meantime enjoy this picture of my kids...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Present Makin' (Part 3) and Buying!

I've slowed down a bit on the oven mitts... but finished one lat night, along with a set of cloth napkins! Now I only have,what, 6, to go?? Something like that.

And I just made my second Etsy purchase. I followed a link for one of your blogs to find the Etsy seller.... so thank you to who ever linked to Lynn. I am so excited! look at the gorgeous packaging!

And the necklace!! So beautiful. The necklace is for my mom for Christmas and the flowers represent her five daughters.

I have one question.... is it pronounced? ET-see or EET-see?? Anyone??

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Present Makin': Part 2

Now, just so you don't think I am biased and only make gifts for Jack, I made something for his baby brother Griffin too.
And in keeping with the name theme, here is the art work I made for my daughter's room. This is not a Christmas gift. I actually finished it up a few weeks ago but we have yet to hang it up on her wall. The A was bought from Anthropologie back in Feb. when we went to NYC. The L is just painted canvas. The E is a cardboard letter from Micheals that I covered with Starburst wrappers. The X (Alex's least favorite part) is a small solid cardboard letter from Micheals mounted on canvas that has a page from an old encyclopedia glued to it. The canvases are about 10" x 10", so this whole thing is pretty good sized.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Present makin'- Christmas Past version

Because I don't have anything new to show you yet, and because I did not have this blog last year at Christmas present makin' time, I am going to share what I made for gifts last year.

This is the little train bag and quilt set I made for Jack. (My little charge Cate was my toy tester.) Before he was a tractor freak he was a train freak. I bought the fabric with the train on it at the awesome fabric store that closed, and added the rest from my stash. The quilt flips over to a play mat. I got the train at Target in the dollar bin, and the tote was from Micheal's or Joann's.

Here's a close-up of his name on the bag. When Ethan saw the bag he wanted something special too... so I made him a "5" pillow. It's in the picture below behind Knuffle bunny... which I made for him for Christmas.

Here's Knuffle on Christmas morning.Knuffle Bunny is one of Ethan's favorite books. I searched high and low for a knuffle softie, but didn't like what I found... so I decided to try to make him one. He's made from a green sweater I found at the local thrift shop, some felt and a big white pom pom tail. I didn't use a pattern (do I ever? I'm far too lazy) so he's a little wonky... but Ethan loves him.
I also made for some fabric flower barrettes for Alex, a squid t-shirt for Hudson, a set of coasters for my friend Sue, artsy clutches (from Bend the Rules Sewing) for all my sisters and my mom, some rolo turtles for one brother-in-law. I helped the kiddos make ice candles for their grandmas.
This year, in addition to the toy barn and the oven mitts, I plan on making more rolo turtles (my BIL ate them all in about 5 minutes last year!) my peanut brittle that I make every year, a painted sign for my nephew Griffin, a little kitty with some accessories for Cate, a tag like this for my husband (it will be from Ethan) and some pj bottoms for Alex. I am also helping Alex make some chicken ornaments for her brothers to represent their real gift.
**If you need any ideas for Christmas crafting with little ones, head over to the Crafty Crow. Such cool ideas!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Beards!

I know... 2 posts in one day!! (In one hour even!!) But I had to share this... Remember when I made some shepherd beards? Well, my friend Deborah found this awesome site!!! Check it out, its so hilarious! I am feeling a felt beard coming on.....

Christmas Present makin'

I asked my sister in law what my nephew Jack (who is three) would like for Christmas. He is known to be a tractor freak, but Maura said he had enough tractors. "Maybe a barn," she suggested. So the hunt began for a reasonably priced nice toy barn for Jack. I found a few nice (but pricey) wooden ones, and nearly ordered one, until I saw the shipping price was $18!! So I decided I could try to make him one.
I saw this tutorial and thought that it was just adorable, but didn't know if I'd have the time or the patience to make it. So I took the pattern but tweaked it.

Instead of using fabric, batting and something rigid inside, I made the whole thing out of stiff felt. I just cut out the pieces and sewed them together using a zig-zag stitch. The little fence is from the flower decor section of Joann's. I sewed it to the side of the barn with red thread with tiny stitches around the wire that is holding the slats together.

The hay bale on the inside is also a floral item. Its and actual real small straw bale, and to make it so that it doesn't shed it's straw all over I covered it with Mod-Podge.

I'm adding a tube of animals (I took them out of the tube for the pictures) to complete the set. I figured Jack could play with the little barn with his tractors too. Hope he likes it!