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Archive for December, 2009

christmas decor

I haven’t been this excited about Christmas in ages. I am hosting my family this year, which gave me the perfect excuse to deck the halls of my new house. Turns out, I didn’t have the greatest collection of Christmas decorations, so I decided to seek out some “new” stuff. Most of the decorations are vintage or handmade, and most came from Etsy sellers. Click on the photos below if you’re curious.

Click here to see the full set on Flickr.

Just 4 more days until my little house is full of 2 sisters, 2 parents, 1 brother-in-law, 1 nephew, 1 Nana, 1 aunt, 1 uncle, 2 turtle-doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. I’ve got presents to finish and wrap, guest rooms to prepare, and grocery shopping to do, but my main goal this week is to make this.

Merry Christmas!

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I love handmade Christmas decorations, but I hardly had any that were made by my own hands…until now…

I think I meant to make this felted garland last year…but I never got around to it. (That’s a familiar tune around here this time of year.)  It was not *quite* as quick and easy as I had hoped, but that’s probably due, in part, to my perfectionism rearing it’s ugly head halfway through this thing. That’s not to say that it was difficult, by any means. I just added some extra steps.

I used about 1.5 oz. wool roving in several colors, and got about 48 balls out of it. I needed two pairs of stockings to tie up the roving, and used the washing machine technique for felting. The problem was that wherever the stocking gathered between knots, it created a crease in the felted ball. I wound up with 48 little brightly colored…fannies (which you can sort of see in the bowl in the photo below). Ahem. So I hauled my fanny to the craft store and bought some needle felting tools. I’d only tried needle felting once, at a sheep and wool festival, but that little demo provided me with all the knowledge I needed for this project i.e., stabstabstabstabstabstabstab…

I arranged the various felted balls in a perfectly random pattern (I know, I have a problem), and used a natural, twine-colored worsted weight yarn to string them.

I love the handmade touch they add to my mantle.  

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The dining room has been in progress for a long time. This was the only room that underwent some reconstruction. I had to rely on Dear Old Dad to be the project manager, and I paid him in food and beer and hugs. Because that’s all I’ve got. Project #1 was removing two windows and installing a sliding glass door, and Project #2 was building wainscoting around the room.

I could bore you with the details of wallpaper removal, sliding glass door selection, and wainscoting design, but I’d rather forget most of that and take a visual trip down memory lane, instead…

The Before

pink. and very wallpapered.

gold "candle" wall sconces and hideous ceiling fan.

that's the kitchen through the doorway, it looks VERY different, now too!

The During

wallpaper gone. ceiling fan replaced with Ikea light fixture.

one afternoon i came home to find my dad ripping the siding off my house---surprise!

temporary wall to hold my house up while most of the back wall is being removed.

installing the sliding glass door.

the beginning of the fancy wainscoting.

(Another post written during the remodel…back in August!)

The After

(More info about my stuff on my Flickr notes.)

Before I moved into my house this past July, I already knew exactly what I wanted my dining room to  look like. I just didn’t know I would love it THIS much!

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The Second Storie Indie Market was simply wonderful. The show has grown significantly since last year in terms of attendance and vendors, but what remained the same was the warm, inviting atmosphere that Cris, JoAnn, Karen, Rachael, and Shanna worked so hard to create. It had a lot to do with the handmade paper bunting, I think. 😉

It was great to see some of last year’s vendors in person once again, as well as some of the same shoppers! Getting a chance to meet people face to face and hear so many sweet and genuine comments on your work never gets old.

I also enjoyed sharing my table space with a couple of my favorite sidekicks. Having a day to sit and chat together was really a treat for me.

Oh, but enough of this mushiness. On to the loot…

My first order of business was purchasing a pair of earrings from Amber of Mani Designs. I do not have a picture because they have not left my ear lobes long enough to sit for a photo shoot. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you they’re absolutely gorgeous.

I also left with a tumbler which is a collaborative project between Shanna Murray and Vicki Hartman. I knew exactly where I wanted to put it when I picked it out, and I think it is very happy in its new home in my dining room.

This tea towel by Shanna and Betsy of Hello Handmade (which looks so darn cute all tied up that I just haven’t had the heart to undo it!) will definitely be put to use in the kitchen, once I put the Christmas towels away….

…and this pillow by Lizz Switzer looks better than perfect in my living room.

Thanks to all of the vendors who traveled from near and far to make this show the high-quality event that it is, thanks to the Second Storie gang for all their hard work and thoughtfulness in putting the show together, and thanks to all of you who attended the show and stopped by my table to shop or chat! What a nice way to start the holiday season!

You can view more photos of the event on Ashley R. Thompson’s photostream, and read lots more about the show by following the links in the Second Storie post!

And while we’re sort of on the subject, allow me to do just a bit of housekeeping by pointing you in the direction of my holiday shopping info. I’m still working on restocking the shop, but feel free to contact me if there’s an item you are particularly interested in!

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