Happy New Year!

My boys have said this is a very early spring cleaning
that we are doing during their holiday break.
Why not call it that, the temperature is up near 40°
and it feels like a sunny spring day outside.

With their help, we sorted all of their toys
and moved them to the basement
then cleaned the living room from top to bottom.
They were rewarded with pizza afterward.

I have finished sorting through the massive yarn stash
and crochet books I keep stored up in my bedroom.
Much of the excess is going to my sister for
her home ec classroom and a project she is doing.

Up next, my Etsy shop's storage closet.
My oldest son reinforced the shelving unit as
it had been buckling under the weight of everything.
Now I can cull out non-sellers and organize the rest.

After that, the dining room I use as my crafting space
will be totally cleaned and reorganized too.
Right now, there is no room to actually craft.
Plus, there are supplies in there that I will never use.
Much of it will be sold on Etsy or donated.

You may be wondering why I am telling
you all of this here on my blog.
Once I spell it out, I can't back out of doing it.
That's why, lol.

See you in a few days once it is all done!
And HAPPY NEW YEAR in the meantime.


Forget the Snuggie, I like my handmade blanket better

What was once three sweater vests and one sweater
has been transformed into a lap blanket.

First came the crocheting of hexagons,
lots and lots of hexagons,
in Pepto-Bismol pink, pale lavender
and two pretty shades of blue.

Trimmed out in charcoal gray
they were ready to come together.
And I took them with me
everywhere all summer long.

 Delayed by the busy holiday season,
it was neglected for months.
I picked it back up Christmas weekend
and finally finished it.

Alice thinks it is hers, but it is mine
as it fits my lap perfectly.
Maybe I will share it with her though.


Baby, it's cold outside

Christmas in Vermont
means it's cold outside
but the kids didn't care.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.


12 Days of Christmas Decorating: Day Twelve

It all began less than two weeks ago --
decorating our tree in an Adirondack-y,  handmade way
after finding and cutting down one with a birds' nest in it.

It wasn't complete until it had a star at the top.
A shiny one wouldn't do. Birdseed seemed more appropriate.
After cutting a star out of cardboard,
the little guy got to work smearing it with Crisco.

(You could use peanut butter but we have a family allergy.)
 Next, he poured birdseed over the top of the star.

And smeared it all over and shook off the excess.
I glued an empty toilet paper tube to the back
and it was ready for the uppermost tree branch.

While we were at it, my crafty guy wanted to make ornaments.
He covered foam stars with seed and made star-shaped Santas
with markers and fiberfill for his friends.

Here's is the seed-covered star in place.
It will reside there until we take the tree down.
Then it can go on a tree outside for the birds.

And here is the fully-decorated evergreen.
By now, I am usually counting the days until Christmas is over
so we can reduce clutter, including taking down the tree.
Not so this year. I want to keep it up longer.

Couch update

Here is a photo of the couch refashion I did earlier in the month.
They are so happy with it, I might get to redo a chair too


12 Days of Christmas Decorating: Day Eleven

Don't toss those wool sweaters you mistakenly washed.
So many things you can make, like  a woolen holiday wreath.
Or head to the thrift store for inexpensive options.

To shrink a sweater to reuse the resulting felt,
wash and dry it repeatedly on hot until the weave is tight.

After cutting through the side and sleeve seams
I was left with fairly big flat pieces of fabric.
You can use scissors but I used a straight edge 
and rotary cutter to cut approx. 1" strips.

With scissors, I then cut approximately 1" squares.
Don't worry at all about perfection as
messier pieces actually make a prettier wreath.

Next, thread a large needle for your elves
leaving a long tail on the end for later.
Let them take a go at stringing the pieces together
until the stack is about 6-8 inches long.

Once their strand is done, as tightly as possible,
tie the two ends together to form a circle about 4" wide.
After that, add any embellishment you want.
I used silver cord for hanging and
added a mini red glass ornament to the bottom.

I didn't even use one panel of the sweater
for all six ornaments we made.
Next, I am going to try making a larger wreath
from much larger cut-out squares.

We area almost done with my series
"12 Days of Christmas Decorating."
Check back tomorrow for the final installment 
and to see how beautiful our tree looks.


12 Days of Christmas Decorating: Day Ten

All done with the scented decorations.
Let's move on to ones that taste good.

Who is peaking from behind the branches of our Norfolk pine?
Why they are stick ponies and Rudolph made from candy canes.

I can't take credit for these adorable stick ponies.
They were made by my friend a few years ago for my boys.
Two pieces of felt cut out in horse-head shapes
with fringe sandwiched between for a mane,
googly eyes and tiny ric-rac for  the reins.
These are sewn but could be glued instead.

These sweet but simple reindeer are soooo easy.
Tiny pompom red noses and googly eyes glued on
plus pipe cleaners wrapped and bent for antlers.
You can add other elements to make Santa or snowmen.
Just use your imagination!