Friday, December 31, 2010

For My Guinea Pig

Do any of you have one (or more) of those? A dear friend that you “use” to try out new ideas? new patterns? new recipes? Well, I do! We are kindred spirits…and she will tell me how it REALLY is! If we lived closer, she would be my partner in crime this little adventure of Stormy Hen Creations. I miss her EVERY time I work on a project.
Recently, I asked my friend to describe a style of apron that SHE would BUY if she could find it. So she described one that she had seen a lady at her church wear at a church function…Then knowing that I am a visual person she went a step farther and sent me a link for a pattern. Here is the apron I made for my guinea pig dear friend!
Heather's Apron
I bought the fabric at Hobby Lobby. I absolutely fell in love with it…so much so that I bought enough to make myself an apron. I learned some new skills while making this apron. I also bit my tongue quite a bit to prevent not nice things from escaping my lips. Which means there are a few things for which I definitely need more practice!!! It isn’t perfect, but I know that my friend will love it, flaws and all. (…with that said, I must also say that it is MUCH better quality than most aprons that I have seen in stores!….of course, I am picky, picky, picky!)
Now I’m off to do some more organizing in my studio….which I have spent my ENTIRE week working on and have FINALLY (I hope) come up with a much better work space….will try to take some photos later…BEFORE my next project takes over!

OH....and I hope you ALL had a wonderful Christmas (I did). And HAVE A HAPPY (and safe) NEW YEAR!!!!
I’m going to join the party at:
freckled laundry

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Sack

What do you do when you have only ONE gift left to wrap and NOT enough gift wrap left on the roll…and only a few too small gift bags? You go to your fabric stash, of course. If you are lucky you will find some left-over Christmas prints or at least a solid in a seasonal color.

Then with a simple straight stitch, you can create one of these:

Christmas 2010 002

Just cut a rectangle a little larger than the item to be wrapped. With right sides together sew down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side. Hem the top, and you have a simple gift bag.  If you want, you can take the time to sew a strap from the fabric to use to tie the top closed. I just used some hemp twine that coordinated well with the fabric…ribbon would work also. As a bonus, after the gift is opened, the bag can be stored away for future Christmases!

Check out Stormy Hen Holidays to see the yummy Oreo Truffles that I made earlier this week. They are super easy to make and are great gifts (if you can prevent your family from eating ALL of them!).



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow…

Christmas 2010 058Christmas 2010 059Christmas 2010 060
That is what’s been happening outside. This is what’s been happening inside:
Christmas 2010 048Christmas 2010 051Christmas 2010 070Christmas 2010 071Christmas 2010 072
Some of you may remember my “Joyeux Noel” banner from here. Well…while recently blog party hopping I saw where someone had made basically the same thing (without the writing) to use as a card holder. (And if I ever find it again, I’ll tell who that was!) I already had my banner hanging…all I had to do was glitter some clothespins to coordinate with the letters to use to hang the cards. It was really one of those “why didn’t I think to use it that way” moments.
I have a HUGE to do list (who doesn’t this time of year???), so I’m off to continue working on it. I pray you are all having a blessed holiday season!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Looking for My Christmas Spirit…

First of all…I will be copying this to all three of my blogs. So to you few followers of all…no, you’re not crazy!
Now on with the story….
I can’t find my Christmas spirit this year. I forced myself to put up our tree, hoping that just doing it would help. I still haven’t made my topper yet…but the tree looks nice. I didn’t however find my Christmas spirit by decorating it. Actually it made me a little sadder.
Christmas 2010 016
A few nights ago, I went to our community’s Christmas party. The company and the food were wonderful, as usual; but no….I didn’t find my Christmas spirit there either. I came home feeling a little sadder.
Last night, we went out to a very nice dinner with friends. Prime rib, filets, and other yummy things were ordered. There was no tiramisu on the menu…so I skipped dessert. I had a lovely time. We traveled to and fro in a winter wonderland as snow softly fell. I came home with no more Christmas spirit than when I left.
In talking to a few friends…and even reading a few other blogs, I am finding that I am NOT alone with this lack of Christmas spirit this year. My friends and I are VERY fortunate. Our husbands have good jobs, and they work hard. We all have everything we need and much of what we want. And we are smart enough to know how blessed we truly are…and we know that it is all by God’s grace. Which makes my our lack of Christmas spirit even MORE frustrating. We know why we are celebrating this season. We know that the greatest gift we could EVER receive is one that we have already accepted…the gift of salvation through Christ. So why these feelings? I don’t know. My friends and I have discussed possibilities…we are at a stage where our on children are older and we are likely years away from grandbabies. So perhaps we are missing the magic of Christmas through a small child’s eyes. Christmas is over commercialized….But I don’t think that is it. I long ago threw away notions of giving just to keep up with Joneses…I give for the true JOY of giving, not because I feel obligated to do so. My husband said that I just needed some snow…for which,  evil looks were sent his way. (At the time there was no snow on the ground….and I have a real love/hate relationship with snow, but that is a story for another time). Perhaps I am just more than usual missing HOME! Maybe it is just a combination of all those things and more.
Whatever the reason, I have come to the conclusion that my Christmas spirit…or at least that feeling that USUALLY envelopes me…may not show up this year. I may not get the urge to fill my home with the aromas of cookies, cakes and pies baking. I may not unpack the rest of my Christmas decorations. I may not even have many gifts under the tree….or make lots of candy treats for my family and neighbors. And it will be OKAY! I WILL do some baking and I WILL make some Oreo Truffles because my son loves them! But unless something BIG happens soon, I don’t think I will be doing my usual CHRISTMAS CRAZY.
With all of that said….maybe my job this year is to help someone else find their Christmas spirit. While I am truly blessed, I do not live in a happy bubble. I know that many out there are suffering. So instead of just my USUAL Christmas donations, I have decided to actively look for those that “need a little Christmas”. (I know this is turning into a small book…but bear with me…PLEASE)
My first “find”:
I am from NC…so every few days I check out the Charlotte Observer online to see what is going on back home. Today there was an article telling how one of the shelters in Charlotte has a goal of collecting a ton of dry oatmeal by Jan. 31 to help serve the increased need this year. DRY OATMEAL! A relatively inexpensive, easy, nutritious meal. Something that MOST of us take for granted---or even COMPLAIN about---on a cold morning! Since it is NOT convenient for me to donate to that particular shelter AND there are hungry people EVERYWHERE, I have decided to donate some simple dry goods, including oatmeal, to my LOCAL food bank. I hope to make it a regular habit…not just a once-a-year, make myself feel good thing. I CHALLENGE you to do the same AND to ask those you know to do the same. (If you have a blog, please share the challenge there.) I imagine that many of those in need today may have sat down with friends in another Christmas season and ate prime rib or a perfectly cooked filet….and never imagined that they would one day need to ask for a bowl of oatmeal! One day it may be I or YOU or someone you love. It is not this day however. So this day (or this week), I give and thank God that I can!
* I did a quick Google search and found that my little, itsy-bitsy town has its own food bank. I have lived here for 2 1/2 years and had NO idea…so maybe I have allowed myself to live in a happy little bubble!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Check these Beauties Out

We interrupt my regularly scheduled "blog hopping" for this important post......


Head on over to Janette Mallory's blog for a chance to win them.

Now back to the hopping! ;-)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Gift Tags

Before I get to the gift tags, I just wanted to share this little beauty:
Christmas 2010 019
My in-laws found it while cleaning out a storage unit and sent it to me a couple of years ago. It opens and the inside is lined with a floral print paper and edged with doily-like trim. A little paper tag shows the copyright K.S. ADLER 1956 on the front and on the back says “Made in Germany”.
Now on to those gift tags. I seem to always have trouble finding gift tags that I like, that match the gift wrap AND the recipient of the gift. The last few years, I’ve made my own using printable business cards; but this year I’m going a tiny step farther….as usual I went to one of my favorite blogs, The Graphics Fairy, and found some images. I resized them using Word and printed them on cardstock. Then I used this little toy to cut them out…
Christmas 2010 027
It cuts the shape of a merchandise tag. Here are a couple of tags that I made today for gifts for a party my family is attending tonight.
Christmas 2010 020Christmas 2010 024Christmas 2010 026
Aren’t those beautiful images? Karen really has some wonderful images on her blog!!!  (You should also check out her other blog, Fleurish. She has some lovely items from her retail space on that blog!)
Back to the Christmas Party……each lady brings a gift for another lady and each man brings a gift for another man.  You bring a gift for each of your OWN children. A couple of little elves (children) are selected to pass out the gifts. The price limit on the gifts is a mere $5…since there isn’t really anything spectacular that you can buy with that budget, I really wanted the packaging to look nice.
Here is the man’s gift:
Christmas 2010 033
Very simple….because farmers don’t care about the wrapping!…well not any I’ve met around here.
But I tried to make the lady’s a little more special:
Christmas 2010 030
Christmas 2010 031
In addition to the tag, I also added one of my glittered snowflakes and a handmade bow. I hope the little elf gives it to someone who can appreciate it (I may cry if someone throws that bow and snowflake away!!!)…and who likes chocolate. Winking smile
That is all for today….gotta go make a dish to share at the party!
Oh yeah…before I go, I’m linking up to these parties: