A Crafty Christmas

December 10, 2014



I feel like over the last couple of years I haven’t done much Christmas crafting.  A couple of small things here and there, but nothing very significant.  With Joshua’s birthday right in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I feel like this time of year passes in a blur.  This year however, I started early and was able to do some fun Christmas crafts.  I’ve been working on a couple of different ornaments.  One is from the Make it Market Kit from Papertrey Ink.  I’ve recently become interested in a lot of these paper crafts and when I saw this kit, I had to have it.  The ornaments just look so cool and there was a video showing me exactly what I needed to do.    Needless to say, I treated myself and over the course of a couple of days over a couple of weeks I put the ornaments together.  They went out to family as a small token of appreciation to family who were so wonderful to Joshua when we were recently in New Orleans.  I was all set to make more except that it has been nearly impossible to find more of the plastic ornaments.  I even had a bad experience on Amazon trying to get them.  But I’m really happy with the ornaments I did finish.  They were fun!  And I can always make more for next year.


My other craft required a little more brain power.  I had seen this idea on Pinterest, but no instructions.  (Actually, I falsely assumed there were no instructions but I just clicked on the pin and “ta da” there they were.)  Anyhoo, I figured it out myself and have made 3 of them.  They are little gifts for a couple of knitting friends.  I used little bits of leftover yarn, and had no trouble finding these kinds of ornaments.

It’s not much, but it’s something.

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Basking In Post-Christmas Bliss And Movie Reviews

December 28, 2009

Yes, I am. Hopefully you are too! Our Christmas was as I expected: low-key and wonderful! Bill made a delicious dinner Christmas Eve which included a Honeybaked Ham, broccoli rice casserole, creamed spinach, applesauce (homemade) and cranberry orange relish. It was super delish and we are still enjoying it!

Christmas morning was gift opening, skyping with family and opening presents via the web, Sherlock Holmes, playing with our Christmas presents, and a little bit of knitting. Bill got a blu-ray player so we had to watch a movie (Transformers 2 which looked amazing) during which I started a new shawl (rav link here).

I got some great gifts. Just a few books (nicely stacked in the photo), including a really cool book on wallpaper projects. Bill got me a purty new necklace and my big gift from him was a parrot. Not a bird, but bluetooth for my car. It’s installed and automatically connects to my phone so that I can talk wirelessly. AND, I can play music off my iphone through my car speakers. It’s pretty cool. I got some sequined chuck taylor’s from my in-laws. My mom bought me a pretty piece of artwork that I picked out when we were in Monterey. It’s a beautiful small floral oil painting and I like supporting local artists. There’s other stuff, but these are some of my favorites.

The rest of the weekend seemed to fly by. Bill got some new wii games that we haven’t even opened yet. We did see Avatar in digital 3D. It was amazing. James Cameron created the most beautiful world and with the 3D I felt like I was floating in it. But the movie also had a very good storyline and it was really, really enjoyable. The bad guys are so bad you just hate them. Visually stunning, excellent film.

As I mentioned, we saw Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Day. I am partial to Basil Rathbone as Mr. Holmes and don’t watch any other Holmeses. Robert Downey Jr. was excellent and Jude Law as Watson was surprisingly good. It was action packed, funny, kinda violent, with a bit of a love story. I really liked it.

Today we saw Nine. I might mention that these movies double the number of movies we have seen in a theatre all year. As for Nine, it was okay. Daniel Day Lewis was excellent but his character wasn’t someone I was particularly rooting for. The females in the movie are amazing and the dance numbers were spectacular, my favorites being Fergie’s and Kate Hudson’s. It was good, but not my favorite of the three.

There’s one more movie I’d like to see, The Blind Side. I’ve cleaned off my cutting table and am thinking about some sewing projects. I’m enjoying my shawl which I’m knitting up in delicious Sundara silky cashmere yarn (one of my top 5 favorite yarns). I’ve got some organizing to do in our wrapping room and our guest bedroom, and want to do a goodwill run before the end of the year. That’s what I’ll be up to these next few days.

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Everyone’s A Winner and Christmas FO 1

December 17, 2008

Is anyone else freakin’ out that Christmas is 8 days away??? So many gifts to finish and pack up and get in their merry way.

This scarf is one gift that has already begun its journey. I knit up My So Called Scarf using Manos on size 10.5 needles. I have been wanting to knit up this scarf for some time and I finally got around to it. This beauty is going to someone in a cold climate so I think it is perfect. The scarf took me about 3 weeks (working sporadically). I had a little trouble getting used to the pattern, but once I did it went fast. I didn’t measure the scarf before I sent it out, but if it were for me, I would probably have started a third skein of yarn. I have a feeling the length is about 55 – 60 inches and it’s about 6 inches wide. I like my scarves long, but I have a thicker neck than most. I just love this pattern. Check out more pictures here and here.

On a separate note, thanks for those who participated in my giveaway! The good news is that everyone who left a comment is a winner! I will be in touch to let you know what your pouch options are and to get your snail mail addresses. Okay, I’m related to 3 of you so I don’t need your addresses, but you still do get to choose your design. I’m looking forward to trying Keri’s candy cane cookies. I was able to do some Christmas baking last week with my mother-in-law. It was very fun! I ate way too much dough, and I was on my “good” behavior. We made oatmeal scotchies which turned out well (we’ve had problems with these being too flat in the past), pressed cookies (I even got to work the press!!!), sugar cookies and snickerdoodles. All in about 4 hours. CJ helped, but her strength is in the clean-up. (Here she is again.) I have been enjoying cookies all week and surprisingly enough, there are still some left. The holiday season has been flying by and I haven’t had or been taking the time to enjoy it. I feel like I’m running from one deadline to another. But the baking really helped it feel like Christmas. Thanks, Jeanne!!!

A Christmas Giveaway

December 8, 2008

I’ve spent most of the day recovering from the holiday bazaar and all the preparation that went into it. Aside from some stupid work obligations, I did fine some time to rest, knit and update my shop. There’s still more to post, but I’m going to give myself a couple of days to get it done.

I really enjoy having an etsy shop, but the listing of items is my least favorite part. I don’t mind taking the photos, I do not like the cropping and resizing and color adjusting and writing copy, etc. Usually I have help but I was on my own this time. And when I say I don’t like it, it’s more that it’s my least favorite part. And usually because I am rushing to get it done. But I enjoy everything else about having an etsy shop.

Anyway, I was supposed to go up to Philly to bake cookies with Bill’s family today but that didn’t work out. (boo!) But it did get me to start thinking about my favorite Christmas cookie. I have to say that Nut Cups are probably my all-time favorite. They are like little bite size pecan pies. But there’s so many that I like. I LOVE Jeanne’s sugar cookies with the icing. And her oatmeal scotchies which Bill and I have had a lot of trouble making ourselves. My mom’s kolacky cookies are awesome too. Oh, and snickerdoodles are up there too… It’s hard to pick one favorite.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and I remember my mom doing tons of baking. She would make about 7 different kinds of cookies and she would double and triple recipes. I would help, but she stayed up until 2 or 3 am baking, and she would do this for days. All the cookies would get put in boxes, and then stored in the trunk of her car. A makeshift freezer of sorts. I remember going out to the car with various plates while mom opened up boxes and created plates for my teachers, dad’s coworkers, the neighbors, a party she was attending. I’m not sure you can still use your trunk as a freezer what with global warming.

Anyway, this is a long way to introduce my giveaway. I’m pretty sure there aren’t many of you reading out there so it makes your changes of winning pretty good! Leave a comment with your favorite Christmas cookie recipe (or link) by Sunday, December 14th and I’ll pick a winner on Monday. The winner will have his/her choice of one of my pouches with a flower pin.

I look forward to reading your comments!!


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Handmade For Me

January 6, 2008

I received some wonderful handmade gifts for Christmas. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to post the pictures.

My aunt is into beading and she made me two necklaces and a bracelet. I probably shouldn’t have favorites, but I do. One necklace is made from different shades of Indian stones. I could swear that I saw a similar necklace online and I loved it. Then there’s my little elephant from Tiny Warbler. He’s just a little guy, maybe 2 inches tall, and he’s got the cutest little tail. And finally, there’s my little Penelope made by Five Trees. She’s just so cute sitting with me, wearing her little scarf.

necklace elephant penelope

I’m so happy to be able to support other people and their amazing talents. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have beautiful jewelry to wear and adorable little critters to keep me company.


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Handmade Holidays

December 28, 2007

I hope that you all enjoyed Christmas and have recovered from the holidays. I am getting there. This was my most ambitious holiday season yet; I made the most Christmas gifts by hand that I have ever made. This made for one very tired me. But I was thrilled with how the gifts turned out and the recipients’ reactions. Here’s pictures of some of the goodies (some made it out the door without getting photographed – that’s what happens when you’re last minute):

coasters fingerless lynnsearrings momsbag
momsearrings shadesredshawl wristlet chicks

The black and white bag with the flower was inspired by a design by Lisa at Pink Lemonade Boutique. I just loved the appliqued flower on the black and white background. I am very happy with how my version turned out. I made the bag for my mom hoping she would be able to use it as a work tote. It’s pretty big and would make a nice travel bag too.

Then there are the fetching gloves I knit. And a wristlet I designed. Plus some earrings to match a necklace my mom received from her husband (that he bought from my etsy store). Then there’s the pearl earrings for my aunt Lynn. And coasters and ornaments that I made for secretary gifts and my dad. And lastly, there’s the shawl I knit for my mom, in front of my mom, that I finished at 1am on Christmas morning.

Unfortunately, there’s some things that didn’t get photographed. I made a necklace for my mother-in-law and another necklace for my number one salesgirl. There’s probably others but I’ve forgotten in all the craziness.

My next post will be about some of the beautiful handmade gifts my husband got me from etsy.

Almost there…

December 21, 2007

I can’t believe that Christmas is 4 days away. 4! And I might just get everything done that I want to get done. As if I didn’t have enough to do with all the gifts I wanted to make, I decided that I needed to do some touch-ups to the kitchen. It was lacking a little character. And oh, it needs to be done before Mom gets here.

claudiasfetchingThese is one of the gifts I made – the fetching gloves. They were for my dear friend, Claudia, who’s always cold. I was literally finishing them on the way to meet her. She’s tiny and I know her hands are smaller than mine so I knit them on size 5 needles. I added in 4 extra rows, but when I finished, they didn’t seem long enough. It was after midnight and I didn’t have time to undo and add some more rows so I decided that if they were too short, she would have to give them back to me to fix. As luck would have it, they fit perfectly. Like a glove you might say! (ha, ha, ha)

Well, it’s early and I’m actually up for a reason! So I’ve got to run! Laters!


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Chick Fest

December 11, 2007

chickfestHere are my little birdies, patiently waiting to be finished. Bill helped me stuff them, all they need is to be sewn up. The pattern is from Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts. So far I’ve only done one project from this book, but I plan on doing more. I highly recommend the book, it is absolutely beautiful and the instructions are well written. And I’m not a very experienced sewer (what do you call a person who sews?), but the birdies look the pictures in the book.

I’m a little under the weather, so this is a short post. G’night.

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Christmas To-Dos

December 10, 2007

Does anyone else hear a clock ticking? I freaked out a little yesterday because of the holiday shipping deadlines. I got it in my head that Christmas was 10 days away and but’s not. What a relief! Suffice it to say, Bill and I will be busy wrapping and shipping this week.

ChristmasToDosI’ve been keeping track of my Christmas crafting using my “white” board. It’s this cool sliding linen covered bulletin board/glass “white” board that I got from the evil pottery barn. I like it because I can slide the bulletin board over my to-dos because sometimes I get a little stressed with it staring at me. I’m getting there with my crafting. I’ve swirled my list in case you’re name is on there. I don’t want to ruin any surprises.

This weekend was wonderful. We met our friend, Mark, for breakfast on Saturday. He was in town for a quick visit and it was nice to catch up with him! Then Bill and I went to the mall to do a little Christmas Shopping. It was nice to be in the stores, soaking up the holiday atmosphere, but we get there when the stores open to try and avoid most of the crowds. And I knew exactly where I was going and what I was getting. Focused as I was, I did get drawn into one store and make some unplanned purchases. ‘Tis the season! We got home and I intended to do some sewing, but I was kinda tired from getting up early so I snuck into bed to take a little nap. Bill found me and decided it was a good idea so we snoozed the afternoon away. I did get up and we had Indian for dinner (yum!) and I did more crafting. We stayed up until the wee hours catching up on Grey’s Anatomy and House. Thankfully, the pups let us sleep in on Sunday. For the rest of the day, I was glued to my sewing machine. Boy did I get a lot done!

Still no tree, but we are making progress on that end. We found a tree stand. Slightly harder than you might think as Bill couldn’t find any at Target. Bill’s been putting up lights outside and they look very festive. We’ll have to get moving on the inside decorations!


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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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