Thursday, December 29, 2011

Deck the Halls Winner!

And the winner is...


I'll send you an email so you can claim your button bling. Thanks for the feedback ladies!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Deck the Halls: Giveaway!

Thanks for following me through this 5 day series! It was so much fun to come up with ideas and write about them! Today I have a giveaway (see picture) for one special person.

How may you get to be this one special person? Leave separate comments for each of the following on this post!
  1. Leave me feedback! I'd love to know how to improve for next time. Was there enough explanation? Do you need more pictures?
  2. Share this giveaway on Facebook.
  3. Tweet about our blog and this giveaway.
  4. Tell me which of the 5 projects was your favorite and why.
The winner will be randomly selected. Entries must be submitted by December 28, 2011 @ 10PM Pacific Standard Time. Winning comment will be posted on December 29, 2011. 

Merry Christmas!!!

Deck the Halls: Christmas Crochet

This is an easy one! I mean, you could really whip it out in less than an hour if you set your mind to it! I used a 12" x 12" piece of cute paper, but you could also try this with old (or new) Christmas cards, the cover of a Christmas program, or a festive gift bag front.


  • Christmas paper/card/etc.
  • 1/8" hole punch
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Yarn - I used Berocco DK weight
  • Crochet hook - size 3.25 worked well for me
If you are new to crochet, check out this page for a little help! 


Using your ruler and pen, measure and mark 1/2" in from the edge and 1/2" apart all the way around the perimeter of the paper. 

Punch holes in every spot you marked. (They don't have to be perfect. Once you've got the yarn going around, it will help even things out.)

Attach your yarn with a slip stitch and begin following this pattern along the straight sections:

Ch 3, Sl st.

When you arrive at a corner, follow this pattern:

Ch 6, Sl st. You will Sl st twice in the same hole here. 

When you arrive back at the Sl st you began at, slip together. 

Finish with the following pattern in each chain section:

Sl st, 1 SC, 1DC, 1SC, Sl st. 

When you arrive at the corners, follow this pattern:

Sl st, 1 SC, 3DC, 1SC, Sl st. 

When you reach the beginning again, slip stitch and fasten off, hiding your tail on the back side. You can then attach a ribbon or yarn chain to hang it from, set it on a shelf, or stick to the wall! 

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the giveaway!

We've Been Christmasing

Here's what we've been up to the last few weeks! It is so much fun to watch Halcyone discover this season of Christmas. We've been making decorations, spending time with family and friends, reading books about the stable Jesus was born in, and looking at bright lights. Yesterday we got a nativity that Halcyone can play with. We're so excited to help her understand that Jesus is the reason we really celebrate Christmas.  

Visiting the Cougar Mtn. Zoo for the Reindeer Festival

Baking Christmas cookies with Mommy and Grandma

Being silly at home!

Snowflake Lane in Bellevue with Daddy & Mommy, Uncle Alex & Aunt Kelly, Grandpa & Grandma

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Seattle Motorcycle Show

This last weekend was the international motorcycle show at the Seattle Convention Center.  I was able to attend a couple of years ago, and it was fun to come back and see what was new.  The biggest differences I noticed were that there seemed to be were fewer vendors, and far more dealership bikes.

Quite a few people had ridden to the show.  The concierge told me that the sunshine on Saturday had brought people out in droves. On Sunday, it was still a bit hard to find a spot to park.


The stunt team performing this year were the Smadge Brothers. They did a pretty fun trials bike routine, and made the crowd pretty happy.

Most of my time at the show was spent looking at the adventure/endurance bikes.  With fuel injection becoming more prevalent, new materials, and constant improvements to engine technology, there are a number of machines that provide light weight, excellent performance, and phenomenal gas mileage.

I am a bit of a sucker for these things.  They are like two-wheeled jeeps but with better gas mileage.  This one has a winch.  A WINCH!

Not a dual-sport, but this CB1000 looked pretty good too.

Another great tricked-out adventure bike. Sadly, even if you get an affordable vehicle, the accessories will kill your wallet. This one had a sign stating that it was equipped with a little over $10k in aftermarket accessories.  Ouch.

One of the main things I was looking for were aftermarket marker lights and front illumination to increase visibility: so I can see where I am going, and so other drivers can see where I am going.  Because there were fewer vendors, I didn't really find what I was looking for.

All in all, it was a fun show!  The every-other-year rotation seems to have worked well, and I will try and make it back for 2013!

Deck the Halls: First Christmas

I know, this ornament is for my 2010 baby. You see, last year she and I spent some time looking for a special first Christmas ornament, but we never found one we liked. They all looked like baby shower cake toppers. So here is one I made a year late for her. It has a snowflake on it because for several years she resided in an extra cold freezer and has been referred to by some as a "snowflake" baby. This year some fellow embryo adopters decked their tree out in snowflakes. I asked if I could borrow their snowflake idea, and they said yes! So here ya go!



Begin by cutting out 2 pieces of felt using the template link from the supplies list. 

Determine what you would like to stitch on the front of the ornament. Name, year, birth date, snowflake, etc. I free-stitched my design, but if you like more planning you can sketch your design and use a transfer pencil. Stitch onto the front layer only. The back layer will cover up the messy side of the embroidery work. 

Once the design stitching is complete, stick the two layers together and blanket stitch around the entire edge. Here is a great blanket stitch tutorial

Attach a hanger of your choice. I had a piece of cotton left that was the perfect side. Pull through both shoulders and tie at the top. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deck the Halls: Button Bling

After seeing something like this done in a rainbow arrangement for a wall, I decided it had to become a Christmas tree ornament! These are quick and easy. I made two of them in less than an hour.

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Fabric scraps - I used white cotton, but felt, flannel, or linen would work.
  • Assorted buttons
  • Thread - Perle cotton works great!
  • Needle
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Felt scrap


Use a marker (I prefer the disappearing kind) to trace the inner-most circle of your embroidery ring onto a scrap of felt, cut and save for later.

Lay 2 layers of fabric over the inner ring of your embroidery hoop. Slide the outer ring down and tighten the screw, making sure that the fabric is tight.

Cut the fabric as close to the hoop as you can on the back side.

Lay your buttons out to determine how many you need and begin sewing them on. You may find you need one or two more as you go.

Once your buttons are sewn on, glue your felt backing piece over the knotty threads.

Attach a ribbon, yarn, or hanger to the screw and add to the bling on your tree!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Deck the Halls: Hanging Holly

This is an idea I saw in a paper company's catalog. Their wreath was much larger and pretty pricey. I loved the simple style and colors, but didn't want to spend the money. I thought about the wreath for a few days and decided to try making it with paper I already own. Here is what I came up with!

  • Assorted green cardstock - 4 sheets of 8.5" x 11"
  • Red cardstock scrap
  • Circle paper punch
  • 3M foam double-sided tape
  • Ruler or straight edge for scoring
  • Bone folder or blunt table knife for scoring
  • Scissors
  • Hanging Holly template


Using the holly template, trace 12 leaves onto each of 3 sheets of green paper and cut them out.

Score each leaf down the center.

Fold each leaf up slightly, not all the way like you would if making a card.

Turn all the leaves over and stick a small piece of tape at the base.

Trace a lunch-sized plate or other round object onto your fourth piece of green cardstock; cut it out. Mine was a bit bigger than the paper, but I made it work! I then cut another circle 1.5 inches inside of the outer edge.

Begin sticking leaves down, roughly 2 wide, working around the paper ring.

Punch 9 or more red circles to use as berries, sticking them around as you like.

Hang with embroidery thread, yarn, or paper strips. I used 1/2 inch wide strips of red cardstock for mine, and stuck the whole thing to the wall with double sided tape.

Variations: make all the holly leaves out of white cardstock, spray glitter, use your imagination! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Deck the Halls: Magical Mittens

After seeing many cute mitten ornaments, I decided I should just pull my scraps out and see what I could come up with. Well, here it is. These were a quick project. I'm sure you can vary them depending on your resources. Blanket stitching with embroidery thread would be pretty cute if you don't want to use a sewing machine!

Supplies and Tools:
  • Felt scraps
  • Cotton scraps
  • Stuffing
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Buttons
  • Twine or thread
  • Tacky glue
  • Magical Mitten Template


Cut 2 pieces of felt per ornament, using the Magical Mitten Template.

Cut a 4" x 2.5" piece of fabric from your cotton scraps.

Work some ironing magic! 1) Iron the long sides down, about 1/2" each side. 2) Iron in half so you have almost a square. Open back up. 3) Iron the last two raw edge sides down to meet the fold you made in the last step. 4) Fold in half one more time, iron. 

Sew the felt mitten pieces together, using about a 1/8" seam. Leave the top side open as if to stuff a little hand in. Trim it up evenly once done; felt tends to stretch even if you use a walking foot.

Stuff lightly with fabric scraps or polyfill.  

Lay the cotton strip over the mitten opening (like a roof), pinning in place.

Sew all the way around the cotton strip, making sure to catch the edges of the felt. Use a 1/8" seam.

Sew or glue the button and twine onto the edge of the "front" side of your ornament.