Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

This holiday is for remembering and reflecting.  Please don't let me stop you from doing just that.

I'd also like to remind you that we are already 6 months into this year and Christmas is fast approaching. 

Maybe this year you might try to send gifts to some of the soldiers we have in the Middle East.  I know that there are many fine young men and women that would love to receive a present from a secret Santa.  Maybe you could spearhead such an event at your church or community center this year.  Let's make a habit of remembering our soldiers while they live not just when they die.  These young people really do give up everything for us and live with fear and constant danger.  They deserve to be thanked. 

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Give a hoot for the holidays--an owl ornament tutorial

This is just too cute to pass on.  I found this originally on, but the original post is on  The blogger, Jessica Levitt, has a wonderful blog with many wonderful craft items.  This one, with the owl ornaments, fits well here on my Christmas blog.

If you make any of these from Jessica's instructions, please send me a picture so I can post it here.  Send one to Jessica, too!  I love working with felt to make tree ornaments.  It is so easy and forgiving.  It comes in a wealth of colors and thicknesses.  You can sew, embroider, glue everything together.  All in all, a great craft supply.

Here is the owl ornament tutorial:

Owl orns 1
But I did do a little felt hand sewing.  I made the little gnome from the last post and a few other things for my tree.  I’m doing a woodland theme this year.  Hopefully it will be all set up soon for you to see.
Owl orns 2
Anyway, these are the little owl ornaments I made.  And it’s a simple tutorial, just for you!
Owl orns 3
Download Owl ornament and all you do is cut it out from felt and sew however you’d like.
I love ‘em.
 Owl orns 4
And if you make it bigger it would make a cute softie.  I was sewing one on the bus with my daughter’s field trip and a couple of the little girls were begging me for one of their own.  So they could make a cute gift or stocking stuffer.  (Of course, I’d stay away from buttons with real little ones for safety’s sake.)
*****NOTE: I forgot to mention on the pattern about ric rac.  That's what I used to make the "feathers" on the belly....
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cover of "Gifts for the Family"Cover of Gifts for the FamilyHere's an interesting article I found on that gives you numerous ideas for your holiday gift giving this year.  Check it out and maybe something on one of these lists will be just what you have been looking for. 

This particular list is from the Fatherhood category on  There are more categories and many other lists to check out.

Great Gifts for Moms

Irresistable Mom Gifts's Working Moms Guide Apryl Duncan has this great list of gift ideas that will warm any mother's heart. For that special gift for your favorite mother, check this list out. Ideas for Surefire Working Mother Gifts
This list of gift ideas for working mothers, including pokcet camcorders and a day at the spa, will give any dad a set of good ideas for the working mom in his life.
Top Gifts for Crafters
If the mom in your life is crafty (meaning that she enjoys doing craft projects--not that she is sneaky), then this list from's Family Craft Guide Sherri Osborn is one you will want to check out. Focused specifically on crafts a mom can do with her kids, this list is sure to please any mom who enjoys craft work.
Gifts that Moms of Multiples Will Love
If that special mom in your life has twins, triplets or more, this list from Multiples Guide Pamela Fierro will help you find just the right idea for her. From jewelry to books to items that will pamper this special mom, it is all here.

Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

Classic Toys for Today's Kids
If you remember some of the classic toys from your childhood like Etch a Sketch and Lite Brite and wanted to find them for your kids, then this list will be a great source. Check out all the old favorites and find out how to bring them home for your little ones. DVD Gifts for Kids
Carey Bryson, the Guide to KIds Movies, has prepared this list of the top DVD's that will appeal to your preschoolers. The list also includes links to Carey's own reviews of these popular movies.
Top Toys for Preschoolers Preschooler Guide Amanda Rock has a great list of toys for your favorite preschool kids. An incredible puppet theater, a dollhouse, puzzles and Tinkertoys are among the gifts that my grandkids just adore. Any one of these gifts will help you be a savvy and popular gift giver this holiday season.

Gifts for Tweens

Tween Gifts That Rock
Sometimes buying a gift for that in-between age - not quite a teenager but too old for the school aged kid stuff - can be the toughest of all gifts. Tween Guide Jennifer O'Donnell has put together a list of gift ideas for the tween crowd. Electronics Make a Great Tween Gift
Jennifer has also assembled a great list of electronic devices that appeal to the tween in any family. If your tween is into MP3s, digital cameras and cell phones, this list will give you some super ideas.

Gift Ideas for Teenagers

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teens
Teenagers are also a challenging group to buy for. They are so varied in their interests and often a bit moody and unpredictable. Denise Witmer, the Guide to Parenting Teens, has put together an idea list of 50 gift ideas for your teens. This list is sure to include something for your teen, or perhaps will generate an idea or two beyond the list. Gift Ideas for Teen Boys
Specifically for teenaged boys, this gift idea list is spot on for them. Having two teen boys at home right now, I can tell you that their gift list would certainly include many of the ideas on this list. Magazine subscription, a watch or a DVD would be on any teen guy's favorites list.
Gift Ideas for Teen Girls
If you have a teenaged girl at home, Denise's list for teen girls gifts will certainly make you a popular dad this holiday season. Jewelry, perfume and makeup top the list.
Coupon Books
One of my favorite gift ideas for teenagers is the gift of time. I put together these printable coupon books, one for teenaged boys and one for teenaged girls, that you can print out, assemble and staple together and give to your teen. They keep on giving throughout the year as the kids redeem them with you.

Christmas Gift Ideas for College Kids

Stocking Stuffers for College Kids
College kids are usually into gifts that meet their needs but also create conversation among their peers. This list from Guide to Young Adults, Jackie Burrell, has something for just about everyone. Thumb drives, beanies, and an iTunes gift card, among many other ideas, can be found on this list. [link url]Gifts for Twilight Fans
College aged girls (and some guys) are dedicated followers of the Twilight series of books and movies. This gift guide for the Twilight fan has ideas that will delight anyone who is a committed fan of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight work.

Gifts for the Whole Family

Nice But Cheap Gifts This Holiday Season
Looking this year for some inexpensive gift ideas for your whole family? Katherine Lewis, the Guide for Working Mothers, has prepared this list of great cheap gifts for the family. And who doesn't need money-saving ideas this Christmas season? Family Board Games for Dads and Kids
Every dad wants quality time with his family and playing board games can be a great way to interact. Here are some board games that I recommend for a fun evening at home with the kids.

Gifts for Dads

Finally, I have assembled a list of gifts for dads at each stage of life and for each special interest. If you have a dad with any of these interests, or are a dad described here, then check out the list to buy a gift or leave a gentle hint for your gift giving family members.

Top 7 Gifts for the Do It Yourself Dad
Top Gifts for the Gadget-Hungry Dad
Top Ten Creative Gifts for Dads for Christmas
Top Ten Gifts for the History Buff Father
Top Ten Gifts for the Golfing Father
Gift Ideas for the Cookout King Dad
Gifts for Dads Who Travel
Gifts for Grandfathers
Gifts For Dads Who Love Cars
Top Gifts for a Single Dad]
Movies for Fathers
Top Digital Cameras for Dads
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

~ Swedish Dala Horse Stocking

Best of Christmas Ideas (Better Homes & Gardens Crafts)The Farm Chicks Christmas: Merry Ideas for the Holidays (Country Living)Lake City Craft Quilling Kit - 6PK/Christmas AngelsOne-Hour Christmas Crafts (Leisure Arts #15851)Christmas Gifts and CraftsWith just a little over 6 months of this year left, it really is time to begin to get ready for those end of year holidays.  You know, the ones that creep up on you and beat you up; yeah, I mean Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's! 

Thanksgiving is all about food, and this blog is not about food, so I'll leave you to your own devices unless I happen upon something scrumptious I want to share.

Christmas--well that's another story!  Christmas is what we are all about here. the honor of the fast approaching Christmas holiday, I have a wonderful tutorial for a stocking to hang on your mantel.  I found this tutorial on Allsorts and I hope you will hop over there and check out her site.  There are so many wonderful things there that I cannot even begin to talk about here!


H Happy Friday! I'm just about to scoot out the door for a tour of homes decorated for the holidays, and I wanted to get this pattern up for you before I left. You might have seen this project already in Amy's Inspired Ideas e-zine, but I thought it would be good to document it here as well, in case anyone missed it, and also for future reference.
I made mine in red and white, but I imagine it would look great in other colors, too. You can download the pdf pattern by clicking here, and this is what it will look like when you open it. This design is for a 12” long stocking, but you can enlarge the pattern if desired. Please note this pattern is for personal use only.
You will need:
  • sharp fabric scissors
  • regular needle
  • embroidery needle
  • pins
  • white and red felt (wool or wool-blend works best)
  • red sewing thread
  • white and red pearl embroidery floss
Using the pattern, Cut out all shapes from felt in the colors and amounts as noted. Refer to photograph for positioning of shapes.
Assemble front of stocking:
Pin the Dala horse and heart shapes onto the front panel of the stocking. Pin one of the cuff, heel and toe pieces to the front panel of stocking. Attach all by whip-stitching around edge with red sewing thread. Note - do not stitch along edges of stocking panel.
With red pearl floss, attach the white “plus” shapes to each of the hearts with a french knot in the center. Sew red french knots around the horse’s saddle and below each heart.
With white pearl floss, stitch a french knot for the Dala horse’s eye, and sew white french knots along the edge of the toe, heel and top band of stocking.
Assemble back of stocking:
Pin remaining cuff, toe and heel sections onto the back panel of the stocking. Pin hanging loop in place between top band and back panel.
Assemble stocking:
Pin front panel to back panel with wrong sides together, leaving top open. Using white pearl floss on the red portions, and red pearl floss on the white portions, whip stitch all around edge of stocking, leaving top open.
With white pearl floss, whip stitch around top opening, catching hanging loop in stitches to secure.
Hang your stocking and enjoy! I hope you have as much fun stitching this stocking as I did!

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