Be Mine?

I love Valentine’s Day; it’s another excuse to make cute things and give them to people. We — meaning me and the eldest — have been busy this week with putting together all the goodies. Yes, my teenager likes to give out Valentines. This year, he did wrapped Hershey bars. Not sure if he enjoyed the cutting and wrapping part, but I had no complaints. I had my hands full with other things:

The goodie bags were for the little missy’s preschool class. The covered lollipops, we handed out at yesterday’s ballet class. I’d thought of designing my own but the Confection Collection over at The Shabby Shoppe was just too cute to pass up. That’s also where I bought the template for our Valentines (at the top of this entry). Yes, everything is coordinated. I can’t help myself. (The font is MA Sexy; I thought it was a great match for the papers.) In retrospect, I wish I had nudged down the ribbon on the pictures so it didn’t cut across her face. Oh well.

Here’s a little Valentine love for all of you:

Aren’t they just the cutest things ever? I found these vintage Valentines last month when Miss L and I went “treasure hunting” at a local antique mall. The colors and designs just spoke to me. They’re on my Flickr and I think I’ve fixed the settings so they can be downloaded and incorporated in your collages and crafty projects (personal use only, please). The originals are staying with my inspiration files.

Thanks for the comment love yesterday! Here’s the latest creation. I’m totally in love. I stumbled upon the fabrics and immediately knew they would lend themselves to something over the top. Gotta admit that it scared me a little. I’m not usually an over-the-top kind sewist. Now I’m ready for the weather to warm up so she can actually wear it!

Don’t forget to enter yourself in the drawing for some crafty goodies. You have until tomorrow to comment here. I’ll do the drawing Saturday afternoon (after running a 5K but before meeting friends for dinner and a play). There may be one box o’ good stuff or there may be more — all depends on what’s inspiring me. I do know that there’s an Amy Butler pattern in the mix, as well as some fabric and who knows what else. I’m making a list with all your suggestions, too; definitely some fun stuff y’all are throwing at me!

The Never-ending Eve

We’re still up, waiting for Santa. As is Miss L. Good thing I have cooking to do or else I’d have to do something productive. Like fold laundry.

I finished the last of the Christmas jammies just in time for dinner. The jacket still needs buttons and buttonholes but it can wait. After dinner, we held our Second Annual Family Gingerbread Man Decorating Contest. Honey helped Miss L while the boys and I decorated solo. (Only four cookies to each box from Publix.) Fun, fun! Of course, all good things must end:

This is what happens when the entire family goes downstairs to open a couple of presents and the dog has the run of the dining room. Or, rather, the dining room table. She ate G’s entire creation and this much of mine. I’m sure she’s going to get sick tonight, so more Christmas fun. Maybe I can pay one of the boys to clean that up …

We always open one present on Christmas Eve. This year, I made the jammies, more or less. The boys often don’t wear shirts to bed so no tops were made for them. I had planned for them to have the same flannel jammies but my inability to do math on the fly (i.e., the cutting counter at Joanns) means I ended up short on flannel. Again. I ran back over there yesterday and picked up the fun guitar flannel for Gar ($2 a yard!). He loves it as much as his brother loves the comics flannel. I’m rather enamored of that cute pink tree flannel. Not enough leftover for much of anything that would fit me, though.

Wishing you and yours a merry holiday filled with many wonderful things!

Looks Like the Holidays

I’ve had such a wonderful experience with the latest Sweet Goodness Swap. My amazing swap sister, Jessi, sent me a beautiful garland — the picture really does not do it justice. I only photographed a small section of it; it’s super long and just lovely. My package also included the cutest gift tags. I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but they are cardstock layered on fabric and they are so special. It will be hard to choose what recipients will get them; I want to make sure they are appreciated! She also sent a tasty bag of chocolate that did not make it until today’s photo session. Jessi, thank you so much for my wonderful swap package! I love it all!

I made these monogrammed ornaments after seeing some similar ones on Ali Edwards‘ blog. They’re made with alphabet rub ons and clear glass ornaments. They were a little trickier than I expected. Luckily, it’s easy enough to start over — just scrape off and start again! I did find that my results improved when I taped each letter to the ornament. Also, it was much better to use my metal rub-on tool than the little popsicle stick that comes with the letters.

The holiday decorating is happening a bit slowly around ye olde Craft Addict abode this year. The boys got the tree up and decorated right after Thanksgiving but the remainder of our decor as stayed in the boxes.

Over the weekend, I tried to get a little more out and up. Putting the runner and place mats on the table was pretty quick and did a lot to festive up the dining room. This may be the last year we use these. I love them but they are dry clean only — not the family-friendliest linens in the bunch. I’ve seen next year’s Christmas fabrics from Robert Kaufman and the alternate colorway will be perfect for my house, so I believe I’ll be making some new table decor. Never done it before, so obviously I’ll have to give it a whirl and make some more spring-ish ones to use before then. It’s not just another excuse to buy more fabric, I promise!

Holiday baking has begun in earnest. In the past couple of years, I’ve made fewer types of cookies but decided to revert to the good ol’ days and make several varieties. I even made a banana nut bread, which I haven’t done in more than a decade (Honey doesn’t care for pecans or walnuts) and I’m itching to slice off a bit to sample. There are two more batches of dough in the fridge and I’m planning to make at least three more types of cookies. So far I’m resisting temptation quite well.

See what my little elf was up to while I cooked? Yep, she camped out on the bottom of the butcher block and ate up her soup. She loves soup and she loves to be in the middle of the action. Normally, she would not be able to sit there, as my Kitchen Aid stand mixer lives in that very spot when it’s not in use. She’s cute AND an opportunist! She was also quite willing to sample as many cookies as I would let her. Ah, my child, for sure.

I’ve been sewing whenever I get the chance but finding time has been a challenge the past week or so. I miss it! It’s such a stress reliever to cut and piece and sew. Luckily, I managed to squeeze in a little time over the weekend and whipped up this pretty little purse for my cousin. She is 16 (about four months younger than my oldest child) and loves the color tangerine and the combination of pink and tangerine.

I thought the Candy bag from Melly & Me would be perfect for her. I’m still planning to make a key fob and iPod case to match.

I have to be honest: it’s not my best work. You can’t see the sides, where the lower pocket pieces do not match up. Or the pucker in the quilting.

You see, I had this brilliant idea to modify a pattern I’d never before sewn. I wanted the outer pocket actually quilted — with batting and everything. Nice in theory but the execution? Oy. By the time I had to stitch through all that batting and fabric to make the corners of the bag, I knew I’d made a grievous error in judgment. If I had more time, I would sew another and keep the screw up, even though the colors really aren’t me. *sigh*

From Me to You

I truly did not expect that this would be our Christmas card this year. I had plans, you know. Grand plans that involved a tri-fold card and cutesy embellishments and a different picture (or three). Instead, I had to go with the one and only photo I managed to get all year with all three kids looking in the same general direction with at least a semblance of a smile on all their faces. It’s a cute picture but it doesn’t say “Christmas card” to me. Really, I’m probably the only one who’s going to give two figs. Everyone else will (most likely) love it.

Once I realized I was stuck with this pic, I tried to figure out some way to make it cuter and more holiday-y. I spent two hours this morning farting around with it and got nowhere. NOWHERE. At 10:15 a.m., I finally realized my daughter was eating frozen pancakes while I sat on the bed in Honey’s robe and screwed around on the laptop. Damn — there goes my Mother of the Year Award. Again. Sixteen years running, now, that I’ve done something to blow it. Oh, well. I figure I’ve got a couple more chances, at least.

After dinner, I headed over to Two Peas to check out the card selection. I didn’t know what I was looking for but I had a pretty good idea of what I didn’t want. Thankfully, I found something both Honey and I could live with: a Rhonna Farrer card. I did have to tinker with it  a little (it actually was designed with a graphic inside the circle) but now we’re both happy and I just have to count the addresses in my planner so I can order cards. I’ve decided that my previous method of “think of a number and order, then find out I’ve got enough extra to wallpaper a bathroom” is really pretty wasteful. And expensive.

Tomorrow’s mission: Contemplate putting up the rest of the holiday decor while I actually do other things. It’s the best way I know to make sure our holiday junk stays in boxes instead of hanging all over the places I intended.

Perhaps I need to spend a little time getting in the holiday spirit. Hmmmmm. I think there’s some peppermint martini mix left over from last year …

It’s a Tough Job

This weekend, I got to be a little crafty. I wrote a feature for the magazine with Mother’s Day craft and recipe ideas. While our art director made most of the things, I really wanted to do this particular craft, which has been jotted down in my notebook for about a year. (And was I ever surprised to see silhouette crafts in two magazines this month!) It was my first attempt and I think it turned out OK, but I definitely can see room for improvement.

Be Mine

Happy Valentine’s Day! This year’s card was created with a free kit from The Shabby Princess. Isn’t it adorable? I love the papers; they have a great vintage feel. I used another digiscrapping product I bought in her store for the treat bags the kids gave out to their friends (and I have to admit that I made some for my coworkers, too).

I love Valentine’s Day. So many fun, cute crafts and all that pink and red!