Friday, December 23, 2016

Five on Friday

Good Morning! Two more sleeps ... are you ready?! I'm not, but it's not for lack of trying. I still have two more things to finish up. One is a painting project for my husband and the other is stuff for my brother. Wish me luck in finishing them in time!

I'm joining Amy of Love Made My Home for her final installment of Five on Friday for this year.

This is just a sort of wrap up of all the Christmassy things the I've been working on for and with the daycare kids.

I bought the book "The Mitten" by Jan Brett for one of my charges. I really like this book and bought it myself a few years before I had kids of my own. I bought the board book for this little girl, although the story is much condensed from the large hard cover book. Basically, the story is of a little boy who begs his grandma to knit him mittens as white as snow. Grandma tells him if he drops it in the snow, he'll never find it. Of course, that's exactly what happens, but all sorts of woodland creatures come and find the mitten and crawl inside it stretching it out of shape. 

I made eight felt animals to go with the book, and also knitted up one snow white mitten. I was in a frenzy of stitching these darned animals up all this week, and even when the girl's mother came to collect her yesterday, I was still stitching the last animal closed (I embroidered details on the front and stuffed them). Unfortunately, I did not get time for even one photo before I shoved the entire project into a gift bag and raced downstairs to hand it over. All I have to show you are the paper pieces I used to cut the animals out of felt. I use freezer paper for this, and highly recommend it for making felt pieces. You just draw your image on the paper, iron it onto the felt and cut out the shapes. It was a fun project even though I was crazy rushed.


The kids have been happily working on some little Christmas decorations all through the month of December. I think this little guy was my favourite ;)  I had these tiny baskets on hand, and the kids painted them up. Then I made some very dense pom poms for the cardinal bird baby, and they glued in the paper beak, the googly eyes and the feather tale and added details to the basket. It's stuffed with Spanish moss inside.


Other decorations we made were paper mache balls that the kids painted and decorated with glitter and beads.  Rudolph made with handprint hands and the face is their footprint.  Christmas trees made from jumbo popsicle sticks and other decorations. And jingle bell bracelets that we made up and then spent some crazy time dancing and singing Jingle Bells accompanied by Michael Buble!


I finished up the two scarves for the older kids. I know the girl will love her scarf as she seems to wear a different scarf every day. The boy ... not so sure. I was about three-quarters of the way through making his when he told me he "hates scarves that you have to wind around your neck". sigh..... He's getting it anyway, but I wouldn't be surprised if I never see it wound around his neck. They turned out so nicely I thought, and they are very squishy! I knit the orange/grey scarf with a basket weave stitch, which looks really nice. It isn't reversible, but the pattern isn't too awful from the back (you can see it in the photo).


Yesterday was my last day with the kids until the New Year. I'd had enough of crafting and knitting and sewing, so I took them for a very enjoyable, very quiet, magical walk in the snowy woods. We were the only ones there. I would very happily have laid down in the snow and watched the snowflakes come down through the branches ... something I did often as a kid when out tobogganing with my brother on our own hill. Simple pleasures :)

Instead I enjoyed watching the kids running and falling into the snow and giggling the entire time. The big white pines in this forest are my favourites, and I took a couple of panoramic photos to share. Apparently there is a great horned owl now living in these woods. I'll be keeping my eye out for him when I visit again.


And that's my "five" for this year! It's been a real pleasure joining in with you Amy, although I haven't always had something to share. This is a nice meme to join in to share something simple that's happening in your week. Thank you for hosting.

Merry Christmas Everyone!
God bless you all and enjoy the time with family and friends.


PS Just wanted to share a couple of pottery decorations I purchased at the Pottery Guild Show in Dundas back in November ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Card Swap with Amy

Joining in with Amy of Love Made My Home and her Card Swap!

I was paired with Josie of Alcea Rosea 31, and she sent me this very pretty and very glittery card ...

I tried a couple of shots to get the sparkly effect, just click on the photo to see it larger.
It's really pretty, and the sun shines through the windows in the morning and really lights it up!

My Christmas cards this year are all from fellow bloggers. I don't know what happened to all my other friends and family, but I haven't received any cards from anyone else. I gotta say, bloggers are the best! You are a most reliable bunch of friends :)

Josie was a little sneaky and tucked in this beautiful tatted lace snowflake. Isn't it gorgeous! Even though we technically weren't supposed to send any gifts, I have to say that I was tickled to receive such an amazing piece of handiwork that Josie made for me. Thank you again Josie!

It looks so pretty on the tree when the sun shines through the front window in the afternoon.

Josie and I have exchanged a few emails leading up to sending and receiving our cards. It was so nice to meet yet another lovely lady through Amy's blog. Thank you so much for hosting the card exchange again this year Amy! I know you had to cut it short on the entries, so I'm glad I was able to get my name in there ;) 

On another note, since I think everyone has received their cards from me now in my card & tea exchange group, I thought I'd share what I made for all of them. These little felt decorations were the replacement gifts for the dolls that I made. 

Another cute design that I got from Pinterest. I just didn't have time to work up something of my own design, and these little foxes were so cute I couldn't resist!

I've got more gifts completed in the last couple of days ... and even more gifts started!! Will it ever end?! My brother and I have made a pact that we will now send our parcels to each other in the week between Christmas and New Year's (he lives in BC and I'm in Ontario). He's swamped at work, and I could use a little wiggle room there too. Sneaky of us I know, but now I can get his gift all together after all these other things are finished and out the door. 

A few more decorations in my china cabinet. I bought this cabinet a couple of years ago to hold some of the nice bits of china I received from my mom and dad. I've added some little nesting Santas (one set for each of my kids).

I really like this cabinet, and it has an interior light that glows nicely on these cold dark winter nights. I didn't turn it on for these photos as it was interfering with the shot.

My lovely carved loon that I picked up in Whitney this summer while camping in Algonquin. My very old advent calendar behind it. On the back is written "To Wendy, love from Grandma & Grandad, 1964". I'll never get rid of that, it is still full of childhood Christmas wonder and magic for me.

That's all for today folks! I'll take some photos of the scarves that I have now finished (thank goodness!) and another project I've started today which involves knitting one mitten and a bunch of felt animals. The mitten is finished ... now for the animals with some embroidered details. I enjoy doing these things, but I am getting a little tired of every moment spent working on them. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Five on Friday

I made my first ever Christmas cake with a recipe that Mom gave me many years ago. It's not a really dark one like she used to make, so I'm thinking maybe she used a different recipe. I'll have to search through some recipes I have of hers to see if there's a different one. I haven't sliced into this cake yet, but it is ageing in the garage wrapped in rum-soaked cheesecloth. It's tucked inside Mom's official Christmas cake tin too (which I didn't get a photo of, but maybe another day I'll remember to do that). It's an old unpainted heavy square tin that is quite aged and lovely because of that. It's not a pretty tin, but Mom liked it because it closed up tight. She stored her Christmas cakes in there every year, and there were butter tarts at other times. Good memories.

A couple of weeks ago the four of us plus one (my daughter's boyfriend) all went to Toronto to do a bit of fun Christmas shopping. This is inside the Eaton's Centre. They always put up a magnificent display for Christmas, and this is the "tree" reaching from basement level right up to the glass roof. I used to work just across the street from the Eaton's Centre and spent many a rushed, but happy lunchtime there Christmas shopping!

Back at home the following week, we worked on decorating our house and got our own fat tree assembled and placed in the front window. A lot fewer decorations adorn it this year, and I'm really happy with the results. The photos don't do it justice (phone!!!grrr), but it simply glows with the clear lights we put on it this year. I've always wanted clear lights and it's made quite a difference to the tree. I put strands of faux red berries, icicles, snowflakes and tiny felt mice on it. Also a long ribbon of burlap with red edging made by me about 30 years ago. I've always loved the rustic look of burlap ;)

A beautiful tatted snowflake from a new friend was gifted to me this year.

A crystal snowflake that we made from chenille sticks and Borax

A red-tailed hawk my son made out of papier mache
for a school project sis on the tree top
 The living room looks a lot nicer this year without all the clutter of Christmas decorations I usually set around it. We have room to put things on the coffee table and the buffet now :)

a cozy corner with Christmas cushions

Just a few decorations here and there ... this is a tiny porcelain snowman
I picked up when shopping with my girlfriend a few years ago

A cedar branch display with "nature" themed decorations.
Some of these stay on the branches all year. I peeled the bark
off the branches and they are super smooth and now darkening a bit with age.

A small thrifted aged lantern full of tiny pinecones

Another small snowman tealight & tree on top of the desk

Just a few things on the buffet with some greenery in front and
a big log tealight holder underneath

Log tealight, hedgehog bootscrape and metal reindeer (also made by my son)
My "Winter" Brambly Hedge teacup that my husband gave me years ago.

Mom & Dad's ancient tree-top angel that I cleaned up sits
on top of the bookshelf with a few friends

Father Time atop the only logical place
Just a few of the many nutcrackers we have. Even they were getting on my nerves in the past,
so I put only a few on top of the china cabinet this year.

The kitchen was decorated as well, and received it's usual garlands of pinecones across the windows and my pinecone wreath in between. I put some greenery around our light as well, but am a little bit leery of the oil lamp being lit right underneath it. So far, so good.

I made a little felt decoration that sits inside the wreath this year.

Our Countdown to Christmas chalkboard.
I really like this small calendar rather than an advent calendar and have
had it since my kids were little. It was a kit I painted up.

We have a full-sized red pick-up truck, so I couldn't wait to decorate my son's
childhood toy with a fake tree. Couldn't find a smaller tree, but we had a laugh
over this one ;)

A favourite wooden bead and wooden snowman & Santa garland leading into the living room

This is a tiny smoking table at the top of my entryway stairs. Just added my mini tree there with some polymer clay ornaments I made about 30 years ago. I'm surprised they lasted this long! The photo is on the table all year round and is from a blogging friend last Christmas :)

My son was looking around the house the other day and commented "we have a lot of pinecones in our house". It's true! But I find they are such simple yet pretty decoration year round. I get out more at Christmas time, but some are out all year round.

I'm joining up with Amy at Love Made My Home and her world famous Five on Friday.

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